Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Navel gazing alert!

There's a crop of articles "strategizing" the demise of Sheik Yassin. By far the best story is Amir Taheri's Why Sharon Did It which theorizes that it was part of a plan to clean out the thugs in the Gaza strip so Egypt would take it over. I'm a non-nuanced kind of guy so I prefer the comment of a reader to Andrew Stuttaford at The Corner:
"Can anyone explain what, exactly, was achieved by his killing?"

”He's dead, Jim.”
Sounds right to me.

But back to Taheri's article, there was one part that I noticed particularly:
But possibly the most important reason why Sharon believes he can hit Hamas at the highest level of its leadership is the Israeli belief that the Palestinian radical movement is losing momentum. In 2003, the number of Israelis killed by Hamas and other radical groups such as Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine was down by almost 50 percent compared to 2002. Although this was partly due to more effective prevention work, there has also been a sharp decline in the total number of planned attacks.

Hamas and virtually all other Palestinian radical groups have been experiencing growing difficulties in attracting new recruits, especially for suicide operations. Hamas is also facing financial difficulties.

The fall of Saddam Hussein closed what had become the single biggest source of funds for Hamas in the past five years. Several other Arab countries have been forced to close channels through which funds were collected for and directed to Hamas.

Both the United States and the European Union have also plugged sources of finance for Hamas. (Until 2001 nearly half of all foreign contributions to Hamas came from front organizations in the United States.)
You think that despite all the hand wringing, whining, and obstruction by the Kumbaya crowd, we might actually be winning the War on Terror?