For the third time since the Persian Gulf war began a week ago, Iraqi missiles have fallen on Israeli soil, this time causing loss of life and intensifying the pressure for retaliation. Israel has long maintained that swift punishment of such attacks is the only effective deterrent.
But while the impulse to strike back may be overwhelming, the wherewithal to do so may be lacking. One must ask, what can Israel do that the American forces are not already doing?
Is Israel's military intelligence any better, its air force any more capable, its pilots more daring, enabling Israel to destroy Saddam Hussein's war machine any more quickly or effectively than the American military, which is indisputably the best in the world? Do Israeli pilots have any better chance of dropping a bomb on Saddam Hussein's head than American pilots?