Monday, October 09, 2023

Pack of Jackals

So apparently Hamas has several American citizens among the dozens of hostages it dragged back into Gaza.

Hostages are, of course, Hamas's specialty. Essentially the entirety of the Gaza strip has been hostage to the terrorist organization since it took control of the territory in its first...and last...election in 2006.

Hamas has basically been free to punch outward from densely-populated Gaza (at nearly 17,000 people per square mile, it's more densely populated than Gibraltar and almost as dense as Hong Kong) knowing that any retaliation from Israel is going to cause very photogenically-awful collateral damage. This has traditionally tugged at the heartstrings of the world's press, and also generated a certain number of new recruits from the fresh batch of orphans and widowers.

This latest raid, a large and complex operation that's obviously been in the planning stages for some time, may have overreached. They've inflamed world opinion and just the very tips of the Political Horseshoe are engaged in the most tepid whataboutism. 

Only the most flamboyantly Progressive Tankies and outright actual Nazis seem to have a good word for Hamas right now. Zahal has probably a two week window where they could get away with rather a lot of murder and not many tears would be shed until long after the shooting died down.

So...cui bono?

Well, first of all, Hamas leadership is holed up safely (for a given value of safe) in Qatar, so even if Israel levels Gaza in a spasmodic overreaction, it's going to be the cannon fodder and their Palestinian civilian hostages who pay the price, while the org's honchos chill out in 5-star accommodations in Doha.

Iran, obviously, gets a bump because this is going to put a stick in the spokes of the ongoing talks between Israel and the Saudis, Iran's arch rival. Those talks were predicated on Israel making concessions to the Palestinians and would have therefore made Riyadh their indirect benefactor...and that's off the table for the nonce, one assumes.

Lastly, a longtime buddy of both Iran and Hamas is Russia, who'll benefit from the world's media focusing someplace other than Kyiv for the first time in a while. It wouldn't shock me if Vlad's troops tried something heinous during the period of distraction.