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The Abominable Hostage Deal


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Ringside At The Reckoning Substack

If you play the barbarians' game, the barbarians have already won.
William Otis
Nov 22, 2023

Paul took apart the hostage deal with his usual refinement and analytical skill. My sophistication is nothing like that (and wasn’t in law school, either). I have more of a cracker barrel take on it: The deal is disgusting and dangerous and, while not a surrender per se, buys into the paradigm of surrender.

Let me start with a couple of paragraphs I saw this morning from Jim Geraghty in National Review:

It is not much of an exaggeration to say that almost everything Hamas does is a war crime. Just about every choice Hamas leaders make blurs the distinction between themselves and the Palestinian civilians they claim to be fighting for, and maximizes the chances of Palestinian civilian casualties instead of minimizing them. Hamas’s philosophy is abundantly clear: a belief that a lot of dead Palestinian civilians is worth it if it gets Israel denounced on the world stage. (The world stage, infuriatingly, plays along almost every time, blaming Israel and hand-waving away Hamas’s role.)

There is no conceivable peaceful coexistence with Hamas, any more than there could have been any peaceful coexistence with al-Qaeda or ISIS. The entire purpose of the organization is the destruction of innocent civilians that it deems its enemies. We can welcome the release of some hostages and the temporary respite in the fighting to help bring in humanitarian relief. But the overall task, needed for a safer world, remains.

Even Geraghty’s take is too optimistic. Israel is in a war for its survival, a war started by a savage sneak attack from Iran’s Gaza stooge, Hamas. There is (at this stage) only one object of the war, namely, to wipe out Hamas root and branch. Doing anything less will simply mean there will be another war later, complete with the atrocities of October 7, only worse.

So here’s the deal: Anything that contributes to Israel’s success in the war is good and anything that complicates it is bad.


The second and better way would be this: Mindful that there are American as well as Israeli hostages, Biden and Netanyahu would deliver the following message to the mullahs in Iran, who are certainly behind this, and the leadership of Hamas: For every day starting tomorrow that the hostages are not released, all of them, one of you is going to be killed. There will be no warning. Whether by bombing, poisoning by one of your staff we’ve compromised, by drone, by sniper — that’s for us to know.

Then do it and keep doing it. When the leadership’s skin gets put in the game, their behavior will change (notice that the suicide bombers they deploy are mentally challenged chumps, never themselves or someone they care about).

I have no delusions about whether this is going to get done. It won’t. Biden is the rightful heir to the original Coward-in-Chief, Jimmy Carter. But it’s the only honorable way — not to mention the only one consistent with victory that will work.

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From The Comments

Doug Israel

1 hr ago

In sentiment I fully agree with you. I would add though that the pressure is not being placed by the US or anyone else but by the Israeli public itself. Contrary to your wish, there is clearly no chance of rescuing the hostages and recovering them alive or it would be done. The answer as to whether this action is disastrous or not will be determined by the final outcome of the war. I do not think there is an outside force in the world that can compel Israel not to start the fight again even if its 3 weeks from now. No Israeli government would last five minutes if the outcome is the same as 2014. So that does not concern me. The most legitimate concern is that Hamas is able to use this time to seriously regroup so as to cause additional harm to the IDF. I do not know the answer to this but the IDF and Shin Bet both urged the cabinet to agree to this and state that this will not affect their ability to destroy Hamas. I tend to believe them. At a time like this I will not second guess the government of Israel on my keyboard in New York.

As for the Cartersque Biden administration, I certainly don't expect them to do as you say. That's a fantasy. I'd settle for a consistent message of support for Israel not an equivocation one.

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Nov 22, 2023


What so many people Don't understand The Ideology that caused  10-7 caused 9-11.  It Drives Me NUTS when I see people on The Right say (basically) 10-7 is none of our business. You have to be 4 IQ points dumber than a retarded flatworm to say that.

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