When Israel assassinates a terrorist leader, it is routine for pundits and politicians to express shock and horror at Israel’s barbarity. These armchair generals go on to wonder aloud if targeting such people is effective and justify their credulity by saying that ‘we will get another one just like him’.
There is truth to that. We DO tend to get ‘another just like him’.
But not quite. Leaders are leaders because they are generally more capable than their underlings. And, when you kill that leader, the less capable underling takes his place.
As you keep killing terrorist leaders, you start to find that the overall quality of terrorist leadership starts to decline. You find that they start making mistakes that you can exploit. But, there is an even better reason, and we have just now seen the results today.
When they assassinated the leader of Hamas, Abdel Azziz Rantisi, in April of 2004, Israel sent a message to Hamas. Hamas indicated that they understood the message when they declared a unilateral cease fire a few months later.
We now see that they continue to understand that message. How?
Via overt and covert channels, Israel recently sent a letter to the Hamas leadership telling them that they would be assassinated if Hamas didn’t stop firing rockets at Sderot and the western Negev.
The rockets stopped.
You do the math.