Since my own personal finance plans involve winning the Powerball lottery, I can identify with Israeli leadership's strategy in Gaza, though I had hoped theirs was based on more than the moonshot described in today's NYTimes.
In a highly optimistic scenario for Israel and the United States, a clear victory for Israel would make it easier for Egypt, Jordan and countries farther afield to declare common cause against Islamic militancy and its main sponsor in the region, Iran.Of course, one small problem is that convincing military victories by Western powers over Middle Eastern adversaries never "make it easier" for those countries to "declare common cause against Islamic militancy". Just the opposite - it inflames the region, increases popular support for extremists, and makes perilous those countries' internal resistance to such groups. But hey maybe this one time citizens watching their communities decimated by bombs will decide to blame their own leaders and not the folks doing the bombing.
A two-state treaty could follow, and then perhaps peace between Israel and Syria, leaving Iran isolated behind the buffer of a newly democratic and peaceful, if not particularly friendly, Iraq.
On my way now to touch the hot stove and see if maybe this time it won't hurt.