The Therapy Sessions
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
One of the more interesting stories in the past few days has been the confused reaction in Hamas to the death of its spiritual leader, Sheikh Yassin. Initially, Hamas leadership was full of bluster and fury, promising to make Israel and America pay for his death in blood.
Hamas today hastily withdrew its threats against America:
Rantissi has vowed retaliation for the killing of Yassin, but he pulled back from threats to retaliate against the United States or U.S. interests overseas in retaliation for his predecessor's killing.
'We have an enemy,' Rantissi told ABCNEWS. 'This enemy is occupying our land. United States of America is supporting this enemy. But we said it clearly. We will not target any American targets and we will continue our resistance just inside our country Palestine.'
What happened to the days when EVERY fanatical Muslim group in the region was foaming at the mouth, shouting threats at the US? Back then, threatening the US had no consequences, and killing a few Americans was sometimes a good way to get them to listen to you. After years of tirades against the US, Islamic Jihad killed 244 marines in Beiruit in 1983, and America withdrew from Lebanon shortly afterward. Just like Islamic Jihad wanted.
To person on the left, Hamas's current confusion must surely be baffling.
But to a realist, Hamas - fanatical nutcases all of them - are just being rational.
Picking a fight with America was once easier. But something changed in the last few years (I wonder what it was?), and even the most hard-headed fanatics can sense it.
Hamas does not want to be in a war against America.
If Hamas killed Americans anywhere, Americans would be going THERE. Into Gaza and the West Bank.
And we would not stop at retailiation. Our price would be the eradication of their organization.
This is a good message for everyone to understand.
Sometimes, it pays to be a unilateral superpower with a grudge.