Having the right to invade and bomb Gaza doesn’t mean that invading and bombing Gaza is necessarily the right thing to do. Military force is a blunt instrument for achieving diplomatic, political, and strategic goals.

Even precision attacks too often miss their mark, killing the wrong people as we have seen in recent weeks in the Gaza Strip.

Furthermore, since even armies with the best possible intelligence operate in the face of many unknowns, the outcomes of military actions are notoriously hard to predict.

A single misstep — striking camp too far away from the nearest source of water — lost the Crusaders their kingdom in a single, agonising battle. In addition, military actions aimed at changing the enemy’s politics seldom work. We have a huge example staring us in the face right now in Iraq.

Israel learned this lesson at great cost in Lebanon in the early 1980s. To the extent that one of the goals of the current incursion into Gaza is to topple the Hamas government, it will most likely fail. Israel has other legitimate goals in its attack on Gaza and on the Hamas government of the Palestinian Authority that recently won the Palestinian elections.

A government can sit on its hands only so long while its population is being shelled, so Israel may legitimately use its army to demonstrate to its citizens that it is taking action to protect them and to destroy the enemy’s offensive capabilities. — Beliefnet.com