And so it has come to this. Just over a year ago, President George W Bush, in his premature announcement of victory, stated that "there are no longer torture chambers or rape rooms or mass graves" in Iraq.
Those who opposed the invasion of Iraq have been proved right in almost every respect. Far from Saddam Hussein being ready to launch WMDs against the west, he had no such weapons.
Even if Ariel Sharon's men do succeed in eliminating the entire Hamas leadership, the suicide bombings and rocket attacks on Israel will continue and perhaps intensify. No doubt the classic texts of counter-insurgency advise that resistance is best crushed by eliminating its leaders.