U.S. Convoy attacked in Gaza. Should the U.S. retaliate?

A U.S. convoy has been attacked in Gaza killing four people and marking yet another escalation in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. This is the first time I know of (atleast recently) that U.S. government personell have been specifically targeted by terrorists in that area. Given the two recent U.S. vetoes of U.N. resolutions condemning the “security wall” and taking any hostile action towards Arafat I can not say I am too surprised that an American target was attacked. I am just afraid that this will really escalate tensions between the U.S. and Palestinians.

From an MSNBC news article describing the events around the roadside bomb that destroyed the U.S. convoy

It is unclear how the U.S. will respond to this, but I would not rule out some form of military action either by the U.S. or jointly with the IDF. The Palestinian Authority is offering to do a joint investigation into the attack with U.S. authorities. What do you guys think? Should the U.S. retaliate?

I propose that US military involvement in this conflict, especially in a joint IDF/US anti-Palestinian assault, would create a new layer of complexity to the Middle East situation that would be utterly unproductive towards peace, and would in fact confirm the suspicions of the entire Arab world about US intentions towards Israel and Palestine in the Middle East.

Furthermore, against whom would the US retaliate? Arafat? Refugee camps?

There were Spanish citizens killed in the Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland. Should Spain ‘retaliate’ against ‘the Northern Irish’?

Of course the United States should retaliate the real question is how the US should do so. Working with Palestinian authorities would be great if they were really serious about finding and prosecuting those responsible. If they cannot or will not go after terrorist organizations then the United States should explore other ways of retaliation.



So the United States should just suck it up and ignore terrorist activities against her officials?


Being as they don’t know who is responsible we don’t really have an answer.

If IRA terrorist were targetting Spanish convoys I think they’d have a right to their pound of flesh.


Well, sometimes, yes.

Sadly, this sort of thing isn’t without precedent, and asassination is an occupational hazard of being a diplomat. I didn’t see the US waging military retaliation in Georgia, Pakistan, Bosnia, Yemen, Jordan, etc.

Some situations are so sensitive that the military option is clearly counterproductive. And I don’t think you could possibly find a more sensitive area than this.

This is the basic problem with fighting terrorists.

They have very little you can overtly attack.

A palestinean terrorist blows up a bus so you attack other palestineans who may have nothing to do with it. Resentment festers and more terrorists are recruited. (Palestineans used only as an example)

The only way to combat terrorism is with policing, tracking down individuals and trying them in a court of law.

It is long winded, it is unsatisfactory and you don’t get that feel good factor of striking back but it is the only option you have.

You have to fight terrorists with intelligence not armys

By the way, I am only arguing against overt military intervention. Covert intel with the Israelis/Palestinians would be a less inflammatory ‘retaliation’.

BTW, here is precedent for a situation where a military response to a terrorist act was counterproductive to peace.

Frankly, if the CIA drove down my street in a ‘convoy’ and I had the weapons, I’d want to blow the bastards up – ain’t nothing good ever going to come of them being around, ‘cept in the interests of US.plc.

The UN these people are not.

I agree, I never said a military retalition was the way to go. There are plenty of avenues they can explore.


In fact the whole thing makes me laugh, in a realpolitik kind of way. The CIA take a drive throguh the Gaza Strip and guess what !!?? . . a bomb goes off. Well, strike a light!
“The victims of the blast were security men hired from a private company, not U.S. government officials. Israel Radio reported that one of the victims was identified as an East Jerusalem resident who was the driver of the vehicle.”

  • well, that’s handy. No US personell injured. But what of this:
  • Witnesses at the scene said a silver Cherokee jeep used by American diplomats was completely destroyed by the blast. Parts of the vehicle were strewn in a 30-meter radius around a crater created by the explosion.*
  • Goodness me! those “diplomats” were lucky – funny old world.

The majority of the UN membership looks less than depraved to you?

That sums you up.

You saying that UN peacekeeping forces are ‘depraved’?

Please don’t speed read.

It was clear that the reference was to the majority of the states that constitute the UN.

London_Calling appears to think that a body such as the UN, where gangster states constitute the great majority, is fit to pass moral judgements on matters, whether despite or because of the quality of most of most of its membership, I’m not quite clear.



I was thinking you were the one who was speed-reading.

It was quite clear to me that he meant convoy driving through disputed territories => UN peacekeepers, not convoy driving through disputed territories => entire UN membership.


To get back OT, there is no target to retaliate against and no reason for a foreign government to intervene militarily.

Even if some terrorist group or other claims credit for the deed, it would rate as a minor incident from the viewpoint of a third party government, and would not justify anything more than an expression of “concern” in diplomatspeak.

We’re talking at cross purposes here.

I referred to the UN as an organisational entity. I also, accurately I believe, described the moral worth of most of its membership.

London_Calling referred to the CIA as an organisational entity.

He was also a bit more callous than me in that he expressed a wish to murder its personnel as a way to vent his spleen at the CIA, as an organisation.


Which by analogy means the US of A is fit to pass moral judgements on matters due to the quality of their members ?

What about a U.N. Occupation?