It’s also National Fossil Day, Kraken Day, International Day of the Girl Child, National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work and School Day, Southern Food Heritage Day, International Newspaper Carrier Day. and National Coming Out Day.
My bear is always at work; he resides in a cabinet behind my desk. Here we are in 2002. By now you should know my bear’s name (put it in the comments below):
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the October 11 Wikipedia page.
*This afternoon (I’m writing this on Tuesday), Biden gave a short (11-minute) speech on Israel. Here it is.
He pulls no punches about his opinion, calling Hamas “evil” and the attack a “slaughter”, giving some details about the murdered. He said “We stand with Israel twice in a row and said the U.S. would help Israel respond to this attack and take care of its people. He said the U.S. response would be “swift, decisive, and overwhelming.” (What will that response be?, I wonder.) He notes, as we know, that a U.S. carrier strike force has been moved to the area, and warns any body trying to take advantage of the situation “don’t. . . DON’T.”
It’s a very good speech, and restores my faith in Biden’s commitment to liberty, his rejection of hate, and his ability to give a heartening speech. He finishes by saying, in a low voice, “The atrocities. . . are sickening. We’re with Israel; make no mistake.”
To quote the NYT on this speech:
President Biden bristled with indignation during his 10-minute address at the White House, appearing as angry as he ever has in public since becoming president. In remarks after speaking with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he denounced the attack as “evil” multiple times. Victims, he said, had been “butchered” and “slaughtered,” and he decried the “bloodthirstiness” of the assailants.
The Israeli military continued to hammer Gaza with airstrikes on Tuesday, reducing some buildings to rubble, and said it had regained control over beseiged border towns. The airstrikes continued a day after Hamas, which is believed to have taken around 150 Israeli hostages since Saturday, threatened to kill a captive each time Gaza is struck without warning.
Jake Sullivan, Mr. Biden’s national security adviser, told reporters that there are “20 or more” Americans missing, though it remains unclear how many of them are in the hands of Hamas. He said the government is in regular contact with their families.
As night fell in Israel, rocket-warning sirens blared in the town of Ashkelon, a coastal city located just north of the Gaza border. Earlier, rockets fired from Gaza targeted Tel Aviv and nearby Ben-Gurion International Airport “in response to the targeting of civilians” by Israel, Hamas said on the Telegram social media platform. There were no immediate reports of damage.
It is not yet clear if or when Israel will order a ground invasion of Gaza, an impoverished coastal enclave ruled by Hamas. The Israeli military said it had recovered the bodies of around 1,500 Palestinian assailants since Saturday morning, offering one of the first clear indications of the size of the assault.
Health officials in Gaza said on Tuesday that 830 Palestinians have been killed and 4,250 others have been wounded in the last four days, though it was unclear how many were civilians. Hamas confirmed that two of its senior officials have been killed by Israeli strikes in Gaza.
My two biggest questons about this are these. First, will Israel mount a ground assault in Gaza (no matter what they do, the world will criticize them). The downside of that is twofold: Israeli soldiers will die en masse, and the hostages will be instantly killed. The second is what will happen to the hostages? Remember that Israel released over 1,000 Palestinian hostages just to get back one soldier who had been held five years in Gaza. Now the terrorists are demanding that Israel release some 4,500 convicted Palestinians, most of them terrorists, for the return of 150 hostages. Will Israel do it? The downside of that is also twofold: it gives impetus to Hamas to kidnap more Israelis, and it looses 4,500 terrorists on the world, all ready and eager to kill Jews.
*The Washington Post gives us “Four things to watch in the Israel-Hamas war.” Here they are with a snippet of each. Emphasis is from the WaPo:
1. What are the precise contours of Israel’s military response?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed such a forceful retaliation that “what we will do to our enemies in the coming days will reverberate with them for generations.”
Israeli warplanes have pounded Gaza, while Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said the enclave would be cut off from vital services, vowing there would be “no electricity, no food, no fuel” for its estimated 2.3 million residents. (Some supplies may still get in through the Rafah crossing Gaza shares with Egypt.)
But the biggest questions are whether and when Israel sends ground forces into Gaza, what they do there and how long they stay. The country has mobilized 360,000 reservists.2. Does Iran-backed Hezbollah open a second front?
A conflict between Israel and Hamas is deadly enough. The Iran-backed Hezbollah militia that operates in Lebanon could widen the conflict, adding another front in northern Israel.
Don’t think the United States hasn’t considered the possibility. On multiple occasions over the past 72 hours, U.S. officials warned Hezbollah not to get involved.
My guess: Hezbollah will not get involved.
3. What will the U.S. role be in helping Israel?
President Biden has spoken several times to Netanyahu in recent days, and promised American help in the form of replenishing Israel’s “Iron Dome” anti-rocket defenses and intelligence cooperation. Biden has also sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean. Biden is scheduled make remarks on the crisis at 1 p.m. today.
But when it comes to aid that Congress must approve, things are less clear. The House of Representatives currently lacks an elected Speaker, raising questions about what the chamber can actually pass.4. Will China take a role?
Even as the United States has taken steps to extricate itself from the Middle East, Beijing has taken a more assertive diplomatic role in a region from which it gets the bulk of its oil.
. . . There would seem to be two ways China could step in here:
- First, as a possible intermediary for convincing Hamas to release hostages it took and dragged back to Gaza over the weekend. One of them is a Chinese-born Israeli woman.
- Second, by convincing Tehran to keep the Iran-backed Hezbollah militia in Lebanon out of the fight, averting what would quickly escalate into a regional war.
I’d approve, of course, of Chinna stepping in either way, so long as the first way doesn’t involve releasing every Palestinian terrorist in Israeli jails.
*The Wall Street Journal apparently thinks that Israel is preparing for a ground war in Gaza, and discusses why they think that and some of the difficulties of such an offensive. The article is called “Israel readies for a ground war in Gaza,” which doesn’t express much doubt. (If pressed, I’d say they were right.)
The Israeli military massed forces on Tuesday for a ground invasion of Gaza, and Israeli officials warned of a lengthy and destructive war. Biden said that the U.S. was providing additional military assistance to the country, and the Pentagon was considering deploying a second aircraft carrier strike group near the region to deter Hezbollah and other militant groups from joining the fight.
. . . It wasn’t clear on Tuesday when a possible ground invasion of Gaza would begin. In addition to mobilizing reservists, tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers are still sweeping southern Israel for possible Hamas members still hiding in the area and working to seal the country’s border with Gaza, the military said on Tuesday.
Israeli officials have urged Palestinians fleeing the bombing to leave the Gaza Strip entirely—an option they don’t have since the strip’s borders are sealed by both Israel and Egypt.
Israel has cut off supplies of food, electricity and fuel to the enclave, raising the pressure on Gazan civilians to leave ahead of an invasion.
Asked where Gaza residents should go, Hecht urged Palestinians to use the Rafah border crossing into Egypt. “Anyone who can get out, I would advise them to get out,” he said.
The border to Egypt should surely be opened for humanitarian reasons.
. . .Israel faces a major military challenge in Gaza. An attempt to dislodge Hamas or fully reoccupy the strip would likely result in a long war of attrition, military analysts say. Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups have thousands of fighters, a network of underground tunnels, and would have the advantage of defending an urban area against an attack.
“I still find a full reoccupation of Gaza quite difficult. You’re talking about an area in which they haven’t been on the ground since 2005 and [Hamas] were able to prepare this whole operation without Israeli intelligence having a clue,” said Mouin Rabbani, a nonresident fellow at the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies, an independent research center based in Qatar.
*Following U.S. politicians and their statements on the war between Israel and Palestine is a good way to take the temperature of their morality. If they excoriate Hamas, they’re being moral—although of course they could be insincere. If they blame Israel for what happened, write them off. If they don’t say anything, they’re either cowards or pragmatists, but don’t have a palpable morality.
Most American politicians fall in the first class, save Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who hasn’t uttered a word on the issue, at least on Twitter. I thought she had tweeted a statement (after all, even Ilhan Omar has a mealymouthed tweet that decries violence), but I can’t find one on AOC’s Twitter feed. This is likely because, as a Democratic Socialist, she won’t buck that group.
But she’s ambitious and wants to be a Senator (if not President), so she’s probably confllcted. I figured that after Biden made his ringing speech yesterday, she’s come out as supporting Israel—or at least calling out Hamas—because it would be politically expedient. But so far, crickets from the odious AOC, a Democrat I can’t countenance.
UPDATE: She finally tweeted 8 hours ago, AFTER Biden’s speech. Her tweet is lame, fails to condemn the violence, and brings up “Islamophobia” and “lives currently at stake” (could those be Palestinian lives. This woman, too, lacks a moral compass but the needle on her political compass points to “SENATOR”.
Here’s what we’re not going to do:
We will not allow bigotry to destroy our community and city in this devastating moment.
Islamophobia, antisemitism, and victim blaming cannot be tolerated.
We can + will reject it all. Not hard. We must focus on the lives currently at stake. https://t.co/TWfnp8G6eU
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 11, 2023
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili detects the first signs of autumn, a harbinger of her hated winter:
Hili: This leaf is suspect.A: Why?Hili: It smells of autumn.
Hili: Ten liść jest podejrzany.Ja: Dlaczego?Hili: Pachnie jesienią.
From Jesus of the Day:
And yet another funny wedding announcement:
From Masih, another brave Iranian woman speaks up. (It would be easy for the police to find her.) Sound up.
A powerful vide message from inside Iran: “We are fighting against Hamas every single day in the streets of Iran.
This brave woman told me:
“I am a standing where #ArmitaGravand 16 year old girl was beaten up morality police to explain about our horrific situation. Be my voice. pic.twitter.com/kb9zkNPP2K
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) October 10, 2023
From Jez, who says “something nice for a change.” This is VERY nice.
I love everything about this. The slippers. The orderly line of kittens. The mum checking on them. pic.twitter.com/QsEUIVHX1P
— Jurassic Snark (@underhandrea) October 9, 2023
From Simon, courtesy of M*A*S*H:
— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) August 11, 2023
From Sarah Haider:
These are the kinds of tweets I’m referring to when I said I’m being radicalized. I can scarcely believe my eyes. How deeply must you hate to react this way to civilian deaths? https://t.co/Ofibslir4C
— Sarah Haider 👾 (@SarahTheHaider) October 10, 2023
From the Auschwitz Memorial, a prisoner who lived about two weeks in Auschwitz before perishing:
11 October 1914 | A Polish Jew, Chaim Pipersberg, was born in Maków. A glazier.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) October 10, 2023
Tweets from Doctor Cobb. The first one he tags “More respite from the horror.”
Nothing could have prepared me for the number of #frogs (Litoria caerulea) in this campground toilet. It is quintessentially Australia.
Don't worry, there were other toilets (for us) and frog ponds (for them). Everyone has their preference, I suppose.#Australia pic.twitter.com/WenMe5zxKa
— Jessa Thurman (@jessa_thurman) October 10, 2023
Another respite from horror. Flies copulating!
Ohhh look at the Anisopodids getting it on…
The male is making all the right moves for the lady- she picked an amorous dude pic.twitter.com/tMG9qgiG5u
— Dr Erica McAlister (@flygirlNHM) October 9, 2023
From Dodoland, where everything is wonderful. Here, Kevin has four kittens!
Stray cat shows up with a surprise this family needed 😍 pic.twitter.com/TNirgslsWS
— The Dodo (@dodo) October 7, 2023