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哈瑪斯組織在著名的贖罪日戰爭50周年時攻入加薩周邊以色列鄉鎮以軍還擊;造成雙方重大傷亡(請見本欄第二篇文章)

哈瑪斯組織發言人陳述了一系列發動這次戰爭理由。但我認為他故意不提另一個重要動機美國出面拉攏沙、以兩國關係正常化如果以色列的報復性攻擊導致巴勒斯坦人民大規模的傷亡這個戰爭可能迫使沙烏地阿拉伯不得不暫時叫停沙、以之間的協商。勢必增加中東局勢的變數

另一個值得繼續觀察的因素是:該報導中提到的這次攻擊的「規劃與協調」不是游擊式或恐怖攻擊式,而近於戰爭」形式。我相信在「規劃」階段有專業軍事人員介入換句話說,伊朗軍方的影子呼之欲出。這當然會延伸到沙、兩國關係惡化,中國可能需要再度出面做和事佬

另一個值得繼續觀察的面向是美國政壇的反應(請見本欄第三篇文章)

我曾說過

美國今天的實力已經不可能面面俱到。由於『備多力分的現實和不可兩面作戰的鐵律,在認定必須保護地區的優先順位上,美國干涉主義陣營可以分成:歐洲派、亞洲派、和中東派(或以色列派)

如果中東局勢高度不穩或這次以巴戰爭無限期延長,美國勢必重新調整她的全球軍事佈署。這個發展不但會影響俄烏戰爭,也會左右台海情勢
 
後記

我寫這篇評論時只看到第三篇報導的標題,來不及讀它的內容。剛剛讀完,發現我就「破壞沙、以和談」和「伊朗軍方介入」的看法,和美國前國安官員毛洛艾先生相合。不得不自我感覺良好一番;1:57 p.m.

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《2023以巴戰爭分析》小評
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0.  前言

2023
開打的以巴戰爭到現在,以、哈兩軍以及巴勒斯坦老百姓傷亡慘重。國際強權毫無斡旋能力;更不要說干預制止。過去一些名嘴、援嘴、學者津津樂道的人道原則」、「美式和平」、和「自由主義主導的國際秩序等等,不但其「羊頭性」明明白白的公之於世,根本上可說已經完全破產。

弗里德門博士這篇文章分析這次以巴戰爭的本質(本欄上一篇);頗有卓見。

1. 
原文譯述

他的分析有五個重點:

1) 
以色列軍方/情報局不可能在事先不知道哈瑪斯的攻擊計畫;只是以色列政府沒有把它當一會事。
2)  
哈瑪斯10/07發動攻擊的目的不在打敗以色列;而在破壞阿拉伯國家向以色列「靠近」。
3) 
在上述第2)點外,哈瑪斯立馬在以下兩個政治面取得勝利:
3)a
讓以色列政府進退維谷;
3)b
贏得世界輿論同情;此處弗里德門博士強調「戰爭的『政治本質』」。
4)  
戰爭有多重型態;對於小國來說,優勢軍力不是唯一取勝之道。
5)a
政治領袖不可高估自己的實力;
5)b
也不可低估操縱敵人心理的效果。

此外,原文倒數第二段最後這兩句話可以給社會運動者加油打氣

Someone once asked: How many military divisions does opinion have? The answer is none, but it can shape the world and is thus vital to a small country like Israel.”

因為,輿論不只對小國政府有壓力,它的確能「影響世局」。

2. 
小評

1) 
如「前言」中提及:美國政府,尤其拜登,是這次戰爭的輸家。且不說來勢洶洶的川普,以色列政府/軍隊的草人命讓拜登淪為過街老鼠。面對連任危機,白宮連一個小小的以色列都搞不定,擺不平;還談什麼「圍堵」中國。

2) 
戰爭是玩政治的手段之一(該文第1);只要有「眾人」就有「政治」;只要有「政治」,就免不了有陰險狡詐的小人使用「戰爭」這個撇步(該文2.1-2)小節)。何況還有等著發戰爭財的奸商,以及/他們豢養的援嘴與智庫學者群在旁搖旗吶喊唯恐天下不亂。

3) 
雖然如此,「戰爭」畢竟殘酷和有著巨大的破壞力。以人類的智慧,即使不能完全免除「戰爭」發生,至少設計出降低它發生率的機制應該是可能的。此處請參看從人類學看人類自相殘殺史簡介》一欄的兩篇文章

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2023以巴戰爭分析 -- George Friedman
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請參看本欄下一篇《小評

Understanding the Israel-Hamas War

George Friedman, 03/05/24

Understanding why Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7 requires an understanding of Hamas’
fundamental goal: the creation of a Palestinian state. The group understood that the attack would all but necessitate a shift in Israel’s national security strategy, but it likely believed that weakening the alliance that was coalescing around it – comprising Arab states such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia – made the risk worth it. Hamas further understood that it lacked the military capacity to defeat the Israeli military, so ahead of the attacks, it sought support from the Arab world. It’s difficult to believe Hamas could have done this without Israel finding out, so it’s likely that Israel did find out and dismissed its goal as impossible to achieve.  

In a sense, Israel was correct. No Arab or Islamic country or movement was prepared to ally militarily with Hamas. The group thought that while a direct, combined attack on Israel would not succeed, it was still possible to force Israel into an untenable position. We now know that this was the line of thinking because Hamas did indeed attack Israel and, in doing so, isolated it from other potential allies. This decision shows Oct. 7 was more complex and, to an extent, more successful than initially thought.

The attack surprised Israeli intelligence, which had failed to understand Hamas’ thinking. Oct. 7 was designed not to break the Israeli military but to create a situation in which Israel could neither decline combat nor bring decisive force to bear because it did not want to endanger the lives of the hostages Hamas was holding. The taking of hostages was meant to drive Israel into a sense of rage and impotence and to sow seeds of doubt in Israeli intelligence.

It’s possible that Hamas expected other Arab forces, particularly Hezbollah, to join the fray. When that didn’t happen, Hamas went to Plan B. If reinforcements weren’t coming, then it wanted to focus Israel on a target that did not have decisive value but was essential to attack and would incur political costs. Thus Hamas activated forces in northern Gaza and introduced reinforcements knowing that the cost would be high. Israel had no choice. With the hostage situation unresolved, a massive attack in northern Gaza would mean that rather than weakening, Hamas was widening its presence. Wars are political affairs, and the Israeli Cabinet had to decide to attack from the air to calm the situation and mollify (緩和安撫) the growing hostility to the government. Israel hoped that airstrikes and special operations would break Hamas. But Hamas was fighting urban warfare on its own terrain – a terrain where disengagement and sudden counterattacks were practical choices.

I suspect that Hamas knew – or at least more sophisticated movements in the Arab world advised them – that a massive Israeli response in northern Gaza that brought the world’s attention to the Palestinian casualties could bring enough pressure on Israel to force an outcome favorable to Hamas. Israel tried to counter the narrative by pointing to the hostages taken by Hamas, but Israeli public relations campaigns have been poor, to say the least. (Israel has historically been good in this regard but failed to grasp that the decisions being made and broadcast about Hamas were vastly outperforming their own efforts.)

Israel is now caught in a war in northern Gaza with a rigid Cabinet that won’t accept a strategic retreat and a media ecosystem criticizing its approach. Hamas had been seen as responsible for the war; now it’s Israel.

At this point, Israel’s military options are limited, thanks in no small part to the shift in public opinion in its most important ally, the United States. The possibility of a successful assault on Hamas is dwindling, and even Israeli citizens are demonstrating for a deal to be made for the remaining Israeli hostages. Someone once asked: How many military divisions does opinion have? The answer is none, but it can shape the world and is thus vital to a small country like Israel.

When I look at all this, I think that Hamas by accident struck at Israel’s political and military structure and that Israel has still not understood that there are different kinds of war, any one of which can defeat you. It would also seem to me that Israel made a fundamental mistake: Its military, while competent and technologically savvy, has convinced the country that it is a bigger power than it is in reality. Technology is fine, but war is driven by subtle and careful leaders who do not overestimate their power or underestimate the power of manipulating the enemy’s mind. An important lesson for us all.

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美國政壇對以、巴戰爭的反應 -- Lara Seligman
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'Clearly a number of failures': Lawmakers asking what went wrong following Hamas' surprise attack

, 10/08/23

U.S. lawmakers and former national security officials are already pointing to a possible massive intelligence failure by the Israelis following Hamas' surprise attack in Israel on Saturday and are seeking more information from the Biden administration.

Among other things, members of Congress want to know how Hamas was able to penetrate Israel's sophisticated network of air defenses, sending hundreds of rockets from Gaza into Israel. The lawmakers are focused on Israel and are avoiding blaming the U.S. intelligence community, at least for now.

President Joe Biden's team briefed House and Senate intelligence committee staffers on the unfolding situation in Israel on Saturday morning, according to two congressional aides, who had knowledge of the briefings and were granted anonymity to discuss sensitive talks. Members of the committees have asked for a briefing as soon as they return to Washington on Tuesday.

"That something of this size could be pulled off, I can tell you that that is not done without a lot of observable signals," said Rep. 
Jim Himes (D-Conn.), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. "It was kind of shocking in its size and ambition."

Himes cautioned that he wants to "withhold judgment" until he gets all the facts. Still, while Israeli intelligence is "about as good as it gets," the attack "raises lots of questions about who knew what," he said.

On the other side of the aisle, Rep. 
Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), a former Green Beret and member of the House Intelligence Committee, said there were "clearly a number of failures."

"I don't see how this got past their [human intelligence] network. There was clearly a [signals intelligence] issue," Waltz said. "Was there a complacency on the Israelis' part? ... I don't know how they would have coordinated all of that without some type of secure communications is what my mind keeps going to."

Former national security officials also expressed shock that Israeli intelligence officials did not detect the attacks ahead of time.

Mick Mulroy, a former Pentagon official and CIA officer, called the attacks an “intelligence failure,” noting that there were likely indications of “a buildup of munitions and the preparation of the assault force,” as well as cyber activity.

While he placed blame for the failure primarily on Israeli officials, he said U.S. intelligence also should have picked up on some of the indicators. The U.S. does not provide air defense coverage for Israel, but the two countries share intelligence.

“They should have picked up something of this scale,” Mulroy said.

The complexity of the operation indicates a nation-state such as Iran was likely behind it, he said, noting that one reason may have been to scuttle U.S.-brokered talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

“If Iran was behind it and is orchestrating this in any sense, they have multiple proxies around Israel, and could escalate by initiating attacks from multiple directions, including Syria,” Mulroy said.

One former Israeli security official 
told POLITICO the unprecedented attack was a “catastrophic” failure that was allowed to happen by “disarray” in the Israeli armed forces and intelligence services.

“It’s a failure in terms of intelligence, operationally,” said Chuck Freilich, the country’s former deputy national security adviser. “It’s clear we were caught totally unprepared by this. The divisional headquarters responsible for Gaza was occupied, they’re in disarray, and so the whole response has been delayed.”

Himes also said Iran was likely involved in orchestrating the attack.

"We are absolutely going to support Israel in every way we can, and this is going to end very badly for Hamas," Himes said. "If Iran had a hand in this, it will end badly for Iran."

Waltz blamed the Biden administration for what he characterized as its weak Iran policy for enabling Tehran to continue supplying Hamas and Hezbollah with weapons. The two groups were allowed to build up a massive stockpile of unguided rockets that could overwhelm Israel's Iron Dome air defenses, he said.

"The entity that is fully funding and resourcing it is Iran," Waltz said. "All roads go back to the failures of this administration's Iran policy. Iran is 100 percent calling the shots."

A spokesperson for the National Security Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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以巴戰爭最新報導 – 美聯社
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Hamas surprise attack out of Gaza stuns Israel and leaves hundreds dead in fighting, retaliation

, 10/08/23

JERUSALEM (AP) — Backed by a barrage of rockets, Hamas militants stormed from the blockaded Gaza Strip into nearby Israeli towns, killing dozens and abducting others in an unprecedented 
surprise attack during a major Jewish holiday Saturday. A stunned Israel launched airstrikes in Gaza, with its prime minister saying the country is now at war with Hamas and vowing to inflict an “unprecedented price.”

In 
an assault of startling breadth, Hamas gunmen rolled into as many as 22 locations outside the Gaza Strip, including towns and other communities as far as 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the Gaza border. In some places they gunned down civilians and soldiers as Israel’s military scrambled to muster a response.

Gunbattles continued well after nightfall, and militants held hostages in standoffs in two towns. Militants occupied a police station in a third town, where Israeli forces struggled until Sunday morning to finally reclaim the building.

Israeli media, citing rescue service officials, said at least 250 people were killed and 1,500 wounded, making it the deadliest attack in Israel in decades. At least 232 people in the Gaza Strip were killed and 1,700 wounded in Israeli strikes, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. Hamas fighters took an unknown number of civilians and soldiers captive into Gaza.

The conflict threatened to escalate with Israel’s vows of retaliation. Previous conflicts between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers brought widespread death and destruction in Gaza and days of rocket fire on Israeli towns. The situation is potentially more volatile now, with Israel’s far-right government stung by the security breach and with Palestinians in despair over a never-ending occupation in the West Bank and suffocating blockade of Gaza.

In a televised address Saturday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who earlier declared Israel to be at war, said the military will use all of its strength to destroy Hamas’ capabilities. But he warned, “This war will take time. It will be difficult.”

“All the places that Hamas hides in, operates from, we will turn them into ruins,” he added. “Get out of there now,” he told Gaza residents, who have no way to leave the tiny, overcrowded Mediterranean territory of 2.3 million people.

Israeli airstrikes in Gaza intensified after nightfall, flattening residential buildings in giant explosions, including a 14-story tower that held dozens of apartments as well as Hamas offices in central Gaza City. Israeli forces fired a warning just before.

Around 3 a.m., a loudspeaker atop a mosque in Gaza City blared a stark warning to residents of nearby apartment buildings: Evacuate immediately. Just minutes later, an Israeli airstrike reduced one nearby five-story building to ashes.


After one Israeli strike, a Hamas rocket barrage hit four cities, including Tel Aviv and a nearby suburb. Throughout the day, Hamas fired more than 3,500 rockets, the Israeli military said.

The strength, sophistication and timing of 
the Saturday morning attack shocked Israelis. Hamas fighters used explosives to break through the border fence enclosing Gaza, then crossed with motorcycles, pickup trucks, paragliders and speed boats on the coast.

In some towns, civilians’ bodies lay where they had encountered advancing gunmen. At least nine people gunned down at a bus shelter in the town of Sderot were laid out on stretchers on the street, their bags still on the curb nearby. One woman, screaming, embraced the body of a family member sprawled under a sheet next to a toppled motorcycle.

In amateur video, hundreds of terrified young people who had been dancing at a rave fled for their lives after Hamas militants entered the area and began firing at them. Israeli media said dozens of people were killed.

Among the dead was Col. Jonathan Steinberg, a senior officer who commanded the Israeli military’s Nahal Brigade, a prominent infantry unit.

The shadowy leader of Hamas’ military wing, Mohammed Deif, said the assault was in response to the 16-year blockade of Gaza, Israeli raids inside West Bank cities over the past year, violence at Al Aqsa — the disputed Jerusalem holy site sacred to Jews as the Temple Mount — increasing attacks by settlers on Palestinians and the growth of settlements.

“Enough is enough,” Deif, who does not appear in public, said in the recorded message. He said the attack was only the start of what he called “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm” and called on Palestinians from east Jerusalem to northern Israel to join the fight.

The Hamas incursion on Simchat Torah, a normally joyous day when Jews complete the annual cycle of reading the Torah scroll, revived painful memories of the 
1973 Mideast war practically 50 years to the day, in which Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, aiming to take back Israeli-occupied territories.

Comparisons to one of the most traumatic moments in Israeli history sharpened criticism of Netanyahu and his far-right allies, who had campaigned on more aggressive action against threats from Gaza. Political commentators lambasted the government and military over its failure to anticipate what appeared to be a Hamas attack unseen in its level of planning and coordination.

Asked by reporters how Hamas had managed to catch the army off guard, Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, an Israeli army spokesman, replied, “That’s a good question.”

The abduction of Israeli civilians and soldiers also raised a particularly thorny issue for Israel, which has a history of making heavily lopsided exchanges to bring captive Israelis home. Israel is holding thousands of Palestinians in its prisons. Hecht confirmed that “substantial” number of Israelis were abducted Saturday.

Associated Press photos showed an elderly Israeli woman being brought into Gaza on a golf cart by Hamas gunmen and another woman squeezed between two fighters on a motorcycle. AP journalists saw four people taken from the kibbutz of Kfar Azza, including two women.

In Gaza, a black jeep pulled to a stop and, when the rear door opened, a young Israeli woman stumbled out, bleeding from the head and with her hands tied behind her back. A man waving a gun in the air grabbed her by the hair and pushed her into the vehicle’s back seat. Israeli TV reported that workers from Thailand and the Philippines were also among the captives.

Netanyahu vowed that Hamas “will pay an unprecedented price.” A major question now was whether Israel will launch a ground assault into Gaza, a move that in the past has brought intensified casualties.

Israel’s military was bringing four divisions of troops as well as tanks to the Gaza border, joining 31 battalions already in the area, the spokesman Hagari said. And the Israeli military later released an Arabic-language video warning Gazans to leave their homes in targeted areas of the dense coastal enclave.

In Gaza, much of the population was thrown into darkness after nightfall as electrical supplies from Israel — which supplies almost all the territories’ power — were cut off. Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that Israel would stop supplying electricity, fuel and goods to Gaza.

Hamas said it had planned for a potentially long fight. “We are prepared for all options, including all-out war,” the deputy head of the Hamas political bureau, Saleh al-Arouri, told Al-Jazeera TV. “We are ready to do whatever is necessary for the dignity and freedom of our people.”

U.S. President Joe Biden said from the White House that he had spoken with Netanyahu to say the United States “stands with the people of Israel in the face of these terrorist assaults. Israel has the right to defend itself and its people, full stop.”
 
Saudi Arabia, which has been in talks with the U.S. 
about normalizing relations with Israel, called on both sides to exercise restraint. The kingdom said it had repeatedly warned about the danger of “the situation exploding as a result of the continued occupation (and) the Palestinian people being deprived of their legitimate rights.”

Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group congratulated Hamas, praising the attack as a response to “Israeli crimes.” The group said its command in Lebanon was in contact with Hamas about the operation.


The attack comes at a time of historic division within Israel over Netanyahu’s
proposal to overhaul the judiciary. Mass protests over the plan have sent hundreds of thousands of Israeli demonstrators into the streets and prompted hundreds of military reservists to avoid volunteer duty — turmoil that has raised fears over the military’s battlefield readiness.

It also comes at a time of mounting tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, with the peace process effectively dead for years. Over the past year, Israel’s far-right government has 
ramped up settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, Israeli settler violence has displaced hundreds of Palestinians there and tensions have flared around a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site.

Palestinians demonstrated in towns and cities around the West Bank on Saturday night. Palestinian health officials said Israeli fire killed five there, but gave few details.


Adwan reported from Rafah, Gaza Strip. Associated Press writers Wafaa Shurafa in Gaza City and Isabel DeBre and Julia Frankel in Jerusalem contributed to this report.


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