-- August 21 2011- Lessons From This Weeks Fighting Between Israel and Gaza, Qaddafi Finally Falling

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

August 21 2011- Lessons From This Weeks Fighting Between Israel and Gaza, Qaddafi Finally Falling

At the time of this writing, which is the middle of the night in Israel, it looks like a ceasefire has returned to the south between the various groups in Gaza and Israel. One of the Gaza groups, seems to have fired a last few salvos to show it could. Hopefully, this will be the end of this round of violence. Of course, we will not know for sure until the morning if the ceasefire will hold. This round of attacks was triggered by the terror attack in the south on Thursday.

There are a number of important lessons that can be learned from the events of the last few days. One, that Iron Dome works, but is not foolproof, as evidenced by the deaths last night caused when one of four missiles managed to penetrate. Second, there are not enough batteries, a problem that will be mitigated, with another battery becoming available (the third battery will be installed in a few weeks). By 2013 Israel will have 12 batteries in operation. This will be two systems short of the 14 systems a Knesset committee recommended earlier this year as the number needed to defend both Israel's northern and southern borders. Third, despite fears of many, the Netanyahu government seemed to manage this crisis well. While one might try to second guess certain decisions made along the way, the government's response was relatively restrained. Netanyahu's government has also seemed to have handled the accidental deaths of Egyptian soldiers as best as can be expected. It would seem that major thanks are due to the Obama administration for putting extreme pressure on Egypt not to return its Ambassador.

Why this round began when it did is still a mystery. One theory is that Assad was behind the violence, hoping the fighting between Israel and Gaza would lessen the pressure on him. It’s a theory, but there is no real proof for this theory at the moment.

Probably more important, in the long run, is the fact that as Israel and Gaza were exchanging blows, the long tyranny of Mummar Qaddafi looks like it is coming to and end. The rebel troops are in the midst of capturing Tripoli, and no doubt capturing or killing Qaddafi. As I have said before, Qaddafi has been one of the worst players on the international scene, and is responsible for killing a friend of mine. So 38 years later, good riddance.

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