Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz
President Joe Biden with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan aboard Air Force One, March 13, 2023.

Under the headline, “US Encouraged by Israeli Changes to Plans for Rafah Operation,” Bloomberg reported Wednesday morning, citing a US official, that The United States has become more amenable to a larger Israeli military campaign in Rafah, following Israel’s attempts to minimize civilian casualties from such an assault. This marks a change from the previous stance, wherein President Joe Biden had cautioned Israel for several weeks that an all-out attack on the Gaza Strip border city of Rafah, where hundreds of thousands have sought refuge, would compel the US to halt the transfer of offensive weaponry to Israel.

Feeling sufficiently humiliated? Well, grow up. This is part of the reality of being a satellite state of a major world power. And be glad Israel has not attached itself to Russia or China, because in Moscow or Beijing, there are no rich Democratic donors who can email the president that enough is enough, Joe, as did movie mogul Haim Saban.


According to estimates, about a million people have been evacuated from Rafah so far. Although the political echelon in Israel has yet to approve an extensive ground maneuver in Rafah, the IDF continues its activities with an emphasis on blowing up terror and smuggling tunnels along the border with Egypt.

Israeli tanks ready to move into Rafah, May 21, 2024. / Chaim Goldberg/Flash90

Meanwhile, IDF forces continue to advance in Rafah, as four brigades of the 162nd Division are controlling the eastern neighborhoods of the city and the crossing itself. The fighters have begun to advance west of the Rafah crossing along the Philadelphi axis on the border with Egypt – one of the main smuggling points for Hamas in recent years.

US intelligence sources told Politico on Tuesday that although Hamas’s communications and military abilities have been degraded, only 30 to 35 percent of its fighters have been killed and about 65 percent of its tunnels are still intact.


Next – the definition of Chutzpa. Those same intelligence sources told Politico that Hamas has been able to recruit new fighters, thousands of them, over the last seven months, because the IDF has not been swift enough in taking over places like, you know, Rafah, and the new, fresh recruits will allow the terrorist group to withstand months of Israeli offensives.

“Last week, Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said Israel’s ‘total victory’ against Hamas was unlikely. Then on Monday, both Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen. C.Q. Brown, the Joint Chiefs chair, chided Israel for failing to protect civilians in Gaza and to prevent Hamas from storming back to places it once controlled.”

If Joseph Heller were alive today, he’d surely have written a sequel to his classic novel, calling it, “Catch Hamas 22.”

“Not only do you have to actually go in and clear out whatever adversary you are up against, you have to go in, hold the territory, and then you’ve got to stabilize it,” Brown told reporters. If that doesn’t happen, it “allows your adversary then to re-populate in areas if you’re not there, and so that does make it more challenging for them as far as being able to meet their objective of being able to militarily destroy and defeat Hamas.”

Holy mackerel, the folks who lost Iraq and Afghanistan, and then tied up Israel’s hands behind its back after October 7, are now CHIDING Israel for not doing what made perfect sense on October 8, which was to carpet bomb Gaza until October 10, complete with napalm and daisy cutters. Because to maintain its hold over all the territories it had cleared while facing another enemy up north, the IDF would require at least double its manpower and equipment.

In moments like this, when the fattest army on the planet that has yet to win a war since 1945, is preaching war tactics to Israel while forcing it to feed and heal its enemy, I am reminded of a description by a friend of mine who was in Lebanon in the 1980s. He described how Israeli infantry fighters were making fun of the way US Marines patrolled the streets of Beirut, completely exposed to terrorists’ fire.

On February 7, 1984, President Reagan withdrew the Marines from Lebanon, concluding yet another war abroad the Americans had no idea how to fight.


I’m writing this not for the sake of getting back at the US Army, which is both very powerful and run by men who rose to the top through political machinations. My main point here is that when Israel decides to deal with Hezbollah one of these days, it should not be tempted to throw our sweet and dedicated Jewish soldiers into a hellish ground war in south Lebanon. It should rain hellfire on south Lebanon with all the means of modern weaponry and chemistry, legal or otherwise.

I honestly doubt whether PM Netanyahu can do it.

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