July 23, 2007

HARRISONBURG—In an op-ed published today by the online opinion journal American Thinker, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, and Professor Michael I. Krauss of George Mason University School of Law predict that, given the arms being stockpiled by Hamas in Gaza, a preemptive action by Israel is a virtual certainty:

[I]n the month since it drove off partisans of the rival Fatah faction, Hamas has imported 20 tons of explosives through the wide open Philadelphi border crossing with Egypt. In comparison, until the Israeli pullout from Gaza two years ago, Hamas struggled to smuggle an estimated four tons per year! Hamas fighters are also now equipped with upgraded Katyusha rockets, more lethal and accurate than the primitive Qassams that Hamas has been lobbing onto Israeli civilians…Hundreds of Hamas fighters have crossed at Philadelphi for training courses in Iran, Syria, and Lebanon. In short, unless it is stopped immediately, Hamas will soon have the means commensurate with its will to inflict terrible damage on Israeli soldiers and civilians.

However, the authors note that: “Israelis, on the left and on the right, now apparently understand that their country is at WAR. Over 60 percent of Israelis now accept that the withdrawal from Gaza was least premature, if not altogether ill-advised, in the absence of a Palestinian side prepared to live in peace with the Jewish state. Any vigorous preemptive attack on Hamas will be widely supported.

In contrast, observing that “for a nation at war, the increases in our non-military public spending have been unprecedented” and “as ordinary private citizens we have been urged to ‘go buy an SUV,’ to go about our lives as usual, to do about anything and everything but sacrifice,” the essay goes on to argue:

In the fight against Islamist terror, we Americans have never actually given war a chance. We must do so—and soon—lest when we finally wake up to this war’s reality, we find that the cost of the conflict thrust upon us is immeasurably higher.

American Thinker is a daily internet publication devoted to “the thoughtful exploration of issues of importance to Americans,” among which “national security in all its dimensions, strategic, economic, diplomatic, and military is emphasized.” It is edited by Dr. Thomas Lifson, a former professor at Harvard Business School, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, and Harvard University’s Department of Sociology.

The essay by the two professors, entitled “Give War a Chance!”, can be accessed online by clicking here.