Amos Harel in Haaretz on Hezbollah and the IDF:

'The tunnels expressed Hezbollah’s doctrinal change in recent years: the realization that during a war, it needn’t confine itself to firing rockets into civilian areas and defending against an IDF ground maneuver. Instead, it can strike via surprise incursions. In training for this are the Radwan units, Hezbollah’s elite attack force that today numbers several thousand soldiers. These units acquired experience in the Syrian civil war and can use intelligence systems, drones and precision fire.
Though the balance of power clearly favors the IDF, the assumption is that in a war Hezbollah would for several hours or days take control of Israeli civilian areas or IDF positions along the border. Such a success would be a huge achievement in the public’s imagination, and Israel would have a hard time making people forget it, even if it subsequently wreaked destruction on southern Lebanon.
Hezbollah’s new interest in an attack will apparently also influence Israel’s preparedness. A deployment of Radwan forces would expose them to precision fire from Israel’s air and ground forces. Some of Northern Command’s plans have been updated accordingly and rely on a rapid defensive response, with the aim of exacting the highest price possible from Hezbollah’s elite force.'

Read the article here.

Yes mutual deterrence has worked pretty well, till today, as Harel writes. But suddenly it can stop working.

As history taught us, it's often an unfortunate combination of events that will trigger the next war, which could be another even more disastrous tie than the last one.




Paul Krugman on Trump and the markets:

"Yes, he’s deeply ignorant about policy. Yes, his rage-tweets constantly remind us of his egomania and insecurity. But we’ve known all that for a while; Trump’s personality is, in effect, already priced in."

Read the article here.

For those who are still in doubt, Trump is the new normal, absurdism is the new normal. Or should we say, absurdism has always been normal, give or take a decade or two.




A talk with students about among other things the comfort zone and fear.
One of the students said: "Leaving my comfort zone is going to the animal shelter. I'm afraid of dogs."
"Leaving your comfort zone is leaving the safe space?"
The students nodded.




A friend mailed me an article about Fully Automated Luxury Communism by Aaron Bastani, he promotes a new kind of communism, but the difference with the old communism is not completely clear. The old communism said: you will get what you need.
The new communism says: you are entitled to luxury.

Bastani claims that we live in the worst of all times, more or less, this popular belief is a fallacy. Things can change rapidly, but those who hunger for change often hunger for the Apocalypse as well.

"And yet it is true: Ours is an age of crisis. We inhabit a world of low growth, low productivity and low wages, of climate breakdown and the collapse of democratic politics. A world where billions, mostly in the global south, live in poverty. A world defined by inequality."

Read the article here.

Was 1919 better? 1819? 1719? 1619?

You don't have to be Steven Pinker to long for a bit of nuance, but at least in one aspect Mr. Bastani is right: we seem to feel entitled to luxury.