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January 13, 2009

Knock, knock. Who’s there?

Richard Fernandez does a brilliant job of thinking through tactical aspects of the new kind of information warfare underway in Gaza.

There are two basic types of information armor. The first may be termed encryption armor. This conceals the target from enemy view. Hamas encrypt themselves as civilians. Israelis conceal themselves by hiding their physical signatures in basic ways, like staying off the streets or moving in the dark. The NYT report says “to avoid booby traps, the Israelis say, they enter buildings by breaking through side walls, rather than going in the front. Once inside, they move from room to room, battering holes in interior walls to avoid exposure to snipers and suicide bombers dressed as civilians, with explosive belts hidden beneath winter coats.” The Israeli encrypt their movements and intentions by limiting access to the battlefield by foreign journalists.

Hamas knows this as well as anyone and its use of encryption armor has already been described. But it has access to second kind of information armor we may call the taboo. Taboo armor is of a very special kind and it can be totally impenetrable, no matter what physical weapons are available to the IDF. Take the forged, 1 mm thick, case-hardened, diplomatic immunity armor.

Imagine Churchill putting up with this nonsense. He had the French fleet destroyed on the off chance the French decided to side with their new German masters.

Again: Gaza is one front in the war. The war is not an engineering problem. The war is a problem of will. Either we destroy the enemy's willingness to make war - and above discredit his Dark Ages ideology of war - or we allow our better natures to make sacrifice of everything we have ever built and of all our daughters yet unborn. If we could only bring ourselves to strictly observe the Geneva Conventions, strictly observe much older laws regarding piracy and - critically - stop paying the enemy to make against us this whole sordid business could be done with in a matter of months.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at January 13, 2009 08:04 AM


Sorry to hear about your mum, silly realy to send condolences to a stranger but i've always enjoyed your blog, only found it 'cause i call my wife flea, she being small an brown an irritating.
All the best Nick,

Posted by: fritz [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 13, 2009 04:24 PM

One wonders if modern ships have anything that would pass muster as an ersatz yard-arm off the coast of Somalia.

I know there are still plenty of walls in Gaza to line the Hamas members up against. Borrow a couple of white French flags to tear up and use as blindofolds. Et Voila, we would once again be complying with civilized battlefield law against fighting Out of Uniform and Hiding amongst Civilians.

Posted by: dpatten [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 14, 2009 07:46 AM