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19 August 2006

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Will

i noticed the word truce was used. there is no ceasefire. there is a cessation of hostilities with Israel reserving the right of self defense. that means they pretty well can do anything they please and say they are inderdicting rocket resupply or trying to liberate their "kidnapped" soldiers per 1701.
http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&B116AC329DE307CBC22571CF00205DEF

What the Lebanese need is to close their "friendly open skies" they have had for the last 40 years to their southern guests.

One of your recent posters mentioned a 300 million dollar system that the chinese had ingeniously brought the cost down to 30 million.

That's what they need to close their skies.

b

"If Israel persists in unilateral attacks justified by its own understanding of the terms of the UN Resolution, the truce will surely become meaningless very soon."

That is what they want - obviously.

W. Patrick Lang

b

Obviously they are seeking to convince that they won a victory when they did not. pl

pbrownlee

Israel's latest lunacy in Baalbek reveals the utter failure of its leadership, not least in guiding Israeli public opinion to some sort of reality. (Not only a problem in Israel, of course.)

However, good to hear the BBC asking (at last) for any shred of evidence of rearming from Syria (despite the unlikely geography and lack of roads).

Some wisdom in the Financial Times from Olivier Roy of the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales: "If the west wishes to counter the synergy between Arab nationalism, Sunni militancy and the Shia crescent, which will link battlefields from Afghanistan to Lebanon, it must draw Islamist movements such as Hamas and Hizbollah further into the mainstream. This means encouraging a proper settlement in Lebanon involving all Lebanese actors without interference from Syria or Iran; supporting democratisation of Syria and negotiating with Hamas. It also means Israel must renounce its policy of 'bunkerisation', withdrawing behind a fortified border and hammering at any perceived threat".

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/b5e204be-2e17-11db-93ad-0000779e2340.html

Does the Israeli leadership really want to return to the Litani so very soon? Or are they just following the old Sharon reflex that ceasefires do not apply to them?

Byron Raum

The Angry Arab http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2006/08/another-fiasco.html>feels that the raid was actually intended to capture a minor Hizbollah official and the IDF tried to excuse it by claiming a shipment of arms.

The Israelis are starting to understand the depth of their loss - keeping in mind that this is the second time that Hizbollah has thwarted the IDF, the first time being in 2000. It is perhaps all to the good that they expidition was unsuccessful; hopefully it'll give them less incentive to start shooting again.

Mo

There will be more to come. Historically, whenever Hamas and Hizbollah have respected ceasefires and truces for too long for Israels liking, the Israelis have tried to provoke them into fighting. Unfortunately, if that pattern continues in Lebanon, Israel will increase the severity of attacks until Hizbollah retaliates which could lead to another Qana or like the family on the beach in Gaza, another "accident".


A small update of detail of the war that you may have not have heard on non-Lebanese media. Recalling one of the Colonels earlier posts about HA's Village Brigades, a member of HAs war council has said that these brigades remained in position throughout the month, refusing to be replaced by relief troops.

confusedponderer

Israel provocative? Haven't they just, in synergy with the Bush administration's approach to democratize the Middle East, demonstrated their deep respect for democratically elected institutions by arresting the palestinian deputy prime minister? And probably as a gesture of reconciliation, they have declared they want Nasrallah dead.
The raid was likely aimed on capturing or killing a high ranking Hezbollah official. In a time of truce, such a step clearly indicates that Israel wants nothing but peace and love - and of course a demonstration of force after the humiliating defeat in South-Lebanon. Humiliated again, they will probably try to really scoop the next time. And if that fails, it'll be a surgical airstrike that kills everyone +/- 50 metres of their intended target. And if that fails, they'll nuke the village. Just don't expect them to learn anything.

Israel got accustomed to a hyperagressive attitude during the years fending off numerically superior enemies. They started to enjoy the domineering when they eventually faced technically vastly inferior enemies. Israel has a superior and highly capable military, and a politically dissatisfying situation. The temptation to use force to solve the problem once and forever, and cheap, became irresistible. The neo-cons, high on RMA, are on the same trip. They both see war as the ultimate hardware fix, for a software problem.

In Israel I can't tell wether policy is running the IDF, or vice versa, and if there's a difference anyway. No matter where they stand regarding Klausewitz' 'war is the continuation of policy with violent means' - they seem to neither have a sustainable policy nor a sustainable strategy. William S. Lind brought it to the point:

"Israel only has a long-term future if it can reach a mutually acceptable accommodation with its neighbors. So long as those neighbors are states, a policy of pursuing such an accommodation may have some chance of success."

He is absolutely right. If Israel wants a negotiating partner, they are better seved with states, and so they should understand that there is little sense in destabilising Palestine and Lebanon. Conclusion I draw: They don't want to negotiate, they want a 'Siegfrieden', another one of their bad Germanic habits.

You can do anything with bayonets ... except sit on them. As long as Israel reacts only based on force, and if that fails with more force, Israel will go to hell this century. You cannot survive forver surrounded by enemies. To keep them at gunpoint perpetually will eventually exaust Israel, physically, politically, economically, morally. Given their attitude they will then blame the Arabs, go berserk, and nuke them as they go down the drain. Remember Masada!

J

Colonel,

re your :"They observe the rules when it suits them." regarding Israel is a true statement of the highest order. we have example after example of they observe or 'not' when it suits them -- Israel's attack on the USS Liberty in 1967, Israeli intel's chief conveniently letting a bomb laden truck go its way towards our Marine barracks in Lebanon and on purpose not passing the critical intel to U.S. intel., that could have saved American lives.

Also "They observe the rules when it suits them." can be applied to Israel's bombing of the UN outpost in Lebanon.

Jerry Thompson

Has anybody seen any actual physical evidence that recent Israeli operations actually degraded Hizbollah military capabilities in any way? -- from this raid or any of the preceding operations. I've been waiting for a photo or some description from a reliable human source that describes a missile storage bunker or some similar, containing missiles of any type, captured or destroyed or rigged for destruction. I have not seen it. So far, all I've seen is abundant evidence of destruction of Lebanese civil infrastructure and private property. The only Hizbollah missiles I've seen destroyed have been the rounds they expended. Is there some reliable estimate somewhere of Hizbollah military equipment captured or destroyed?

pbrownlee

Jerry,

On target about evidence for degrading HA. If there was anything at all, Olmert, Peretz and Halutz would be holding press conferences to justify everything and claim all the credit.

Same with the recent "ceasefire" raid/s into Lebanon. (Where did they get the Lebanese uniforms? What were they up to?)

And everything else - my attitude now is that I am happy to give any preposterous proposition (and we have heard plenty of them) some mind time -- if only you can show me some evidence for what appears most unlikely and grossly self-serving.

billmon

"If Israel persists in unilateral attacks justified by its own understanding of the terms of the UN Resolution, the truce will surely become meaningless very soon."

It's already meaningless, and the Israelis and Hizbullah both understand that. What we really have here is a return to the status quo ante (albeit with some minor wrinkles, like the presence of a few additional Lebanese Army personnel in the south.)

Which means both sides are back operating under the old post-Grapes of Wrath rules -- no attacks on civilians, no big operations, lots of recon missions, assassination attempts other covert ops, etc.

Of course, how long THAT'S going to last is another story. It looks to me like the Israelis are now actively discouraging the deploymenet of a sizable multinational force (they've rejected the Malaysians, the Indonesians and the Bangladeshis on the grounds that they don't have diplomatic relations with Israel.) It looks to me like they may want to take another crack at a ground campaign, perhaps soon.

zanzibar

"It looks to me like they may want to take another crack at a ground campaign, perhaps soon." - billmon

It makes sense if the IDF believes that HA has been degraded and would prefer the camapaign before HA have rearmed and rebuilt their bunker network. But its also likely that Olmert needs the burnishment of his image now before Bibi takes over. Its clear the IDF wants a PR rehabilitation real bad.

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