Charles Krauthammer is an MD, specifically a shrink, specializing in wishful thinking and other right wing nutjobbery. His latest contribution to that literature appeared today in the Washington Post. He thinks that the endgame is near in Gaza, and sees the options as twofold:
Israel's leaders have purposely obscured their war aims in Gaza. But there are only two possible endgames: (A) a Lebanon-like cessation of hostilities to be supervised by international observers, or (B) the disintegration of Hamas rule in Gaza.
Option A, he thinks, would be very bad. He doesn't address the question of why he thinks Israeli leaders have been deliberately obscure, which is not helpful to those of us who think those Israeli leaders don't have a f****** clue.
Option B is where the power of wishful thinking asserts itself. Thus speaketh Chuck:
In the first four minutes of this war, the Israeli Air Force destroyed 50 targets, taking down practically every instrument and symbol of Hamas rule. Gaza's Potemkin leaders were marginalized and rendered helpless, leaving their people to fend for themselves. At such moments, regimes are extremely vulnerable to forfeiting what the Chinese call the mandate of heaven, the sense of legitimacy that undergirds all forms of governance.
The fall of Hamas rule in Gaza is within reach, but only if Israel does not cave in to pressure to stop now. Overthrowing Hamas would not require a permanent Israeli reoccupation. A transitional international force would be brought in to immediately make way for the return of the Palestinian Authority, the legitimate government whose forces would be far less squeamish than the Europeans in establishing order in Gaza.
The disintegration of Hamas rule in Gaza would be a devastating blow to Palestinian rejectionists, who since the Hamas takeover of Gaza have been the ascendant "strong horse" in Palestinian politics. It would be a devastating blow to Iran as patron of radical Islamist movements throughout the region, particularly after the defeat and marginalization of Iran's Sadrist client in Iraq. It would encourage the moderate Arab states to continue their U.S.-allied confrontation of Iran and its proxies. And it would demonstrate Israel's irreplaceable strategic value to the United States in curbing and containing Iran's regional ambitions.
Of course the Chuckster thinks Israel missed a similar opportunity in Lebanon.
Krauthammer's delusional thinking is especially evident in his nonsensical prattling about the "mandate of heaven." Hamas still has its guns, most of its leadership is intact (hiding in their bunkers), and Gazans are outraged not against Hamas but against the people killing their children and blowing up their houses - and so is a lot of the rest of the world.
I think that Israel's choices are far grimmer - fight a war to the finish with Hamas that will cost them a thousand or more soldiers (and 100,000 Palestinian civilians), settle down to a bloody stalemate, or lose.
Idiots like Krauthammer used the same kind of thinking when they predicted triumph in Iraq with flowers strewn before our feet.