« A Saracen Blade | Main | "Nasrallah didn't mean to" »

15 August 2006

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Altoid

I agree with your assessment. The IDF is leaving because they know (at least some in the organization know) that they were defeated on the ground.

From a strictly tactical point of view, this whole effort should have showed the Israelis that they couldn't destroy HA from the air, and that they couldn't do it on the ground in the way they had sort-of planned.

Whatever amount of destruction was done to them (and I don't think it's as severe as most commentators have said), HA showed that they've worked out new tactics that make controlling the ground too costly for the Israelis to even think about. These tactics look to me like a combination of the Mujahideen war against the Soviets and the current war against the Americans in Iraq, and perhaps the Iranian defense against the Iraqis in that war.

I don't see a way to defeat these tactics on the ground without destroying all civilian life in the area, either by rounding them up a la the Boer War or by killing them all. Maybe better military minds can see another way.

I just hope this doesn't lead the Israelis to conclude that they might just as well nuke everybody since they have to wipe out the civilians anyway.

wtofd

A proof of winning on the battlefield has always been possession of that battlefield when the shooting stops.

Also, Israel went to war to get the 2 soldiers back. They are still in HA custody, no?

jonst

Well, Pat, I argree with as to who will come out of this percieved as the winner. Now...who is going to tell Bush? Did you see him yesterday? Delusional.

Ghostman

Perhaps this is the first smart thing the IDF has done: leave! Preserve your army. My suggestions for Israel:
1. Secretly, pull out all the stops to contact Nasrallah. Hammer out terms of prisoner exchange. The deal will be one-sided...but make the deal and be done with it.

2. A hospital: Israel, secretly, budgets many millions via a trusted, confidential 3rd party. The 3rd party builds a hospital on the south banks of the Litani. A hospital, the likes of which make the Mayo Clinic look like a popsicle stand. The hospital treats everyone. A wounded fighter, a child. Come one, come all. There are no lectures, no propaganda. Just medical treatment. Top flight care.

** the only proviso is that all staff wear, on their breast pocket, the symbol of the "Lebanese Federal Gov't" (LFG). Hallways and treatment rooms all have a wall hanging...the LFG. That's it.

3. Construction: Israel, with USA, via UN, cause immediate and massive delivery of fleets of trucks and building supplies. All trucks manned by uniformed Lebanese soldiers. And, ALL trucks have prominently displayed on each door and the hood: the LFG symbol and the words. These trucks, and hired construction gangs, flood S. Lebanon. The soldiers sometimes bark orders to the construction gangs...even if the soldier doesn't know what he's talking about. But to all appearances, it's the LFG which is IN CHARGE.

4. Food: Israel, USA, again via UN, cause immediate and massive delivery of food trucks. All food trucks festooned as are the construction vehicles. All food trucks manned by uniformed Lebanese soldiers. If Hizb offers dates, fruit, and grain to a destitute family...within the hour a LFG food truck rolls up offering steaks and chops. Seriously!

*** in essence, my plan is simply for the "LFG" to out-hustle hizbollah. Show the people that the LFG is better and faster in every way than hizb. Why, everytime a resident of S. Lebanon would look up, here comes another clearly marked LFG truck over the hill and down the road.***

5. law enforcement: the LFG enforces only one law: if you possess a rocket, you go to jail for 12 months. Trials are swift, and held in the field. There's about a 99% conviction rate. The prisoner is NOT beaten or tortured. He goes to a spartan cell but gets 3 meals and family visits. But he sits in the can for 12 months.
A. all other crime matters are up to the locals to enforce.
B. searches: there are no searches in the middle of the night. If you think someone has a rocket hidden behind the sofa...that rocket will be there the next morning. Searches can be thorough without so much as breaking a coffee cup. All searches led by LFG officers. They are in charge. UN soldiers follow the directions of the LFG officers. If furniture is moved while looking for rockets...put the furniture back when finished! A well-trained military unit can exercise its authority and at the same time exercise common manners.

6. Soldier placement: LFG soldiers heavily in S. Lebanon with many UN soldiers as well. But a MASSIVE number of UN soldiers are placed all along the Syrian border...north to south. These soldiers look for only one thing: rockets. If caught trying to smuggle a rocket across the border...to the can you go. 12 months.

My idea will probably be labeled "pie-in-the-sky". Fair enough. But to the IDF I would simply ask: "hows that Normandy D-Day invasion tactic working out?"

Ghostman

Bob Gaines

Col. - Robert Fisk, who appears to be in Srifa, says in today's Independent that there were apparently never 30,000 Israeli troops and now are probably fewer than 1,000 still in Lebanon (http://news.independent.co.uk/world/fisk/article1219260.ece).

Does that square with what you are hearing?

Hal Carpenter


Dear Colonel Lang;
Thank you for the effort you have put into this site. It’s good to see that there at least a few men of solid credentials willing to carry the heavy load. What has happened to the generals, who spoke up because Rumsfield had to go? Has his job performance improved so much that they can now keep quiet?
Your site is lucid, intelligent and deep. Just to heap on the brownnose a bit more, this is the only site I’ve found about military and political matters, where there is an intelligent, adult and masculine conversation going on among the commenters. People here bring something to the table besides an ego and a screaming mouth. Maybe this will catch on and we’ll all be saved.
I was a grunt. My point of view is a draftee’s and private’s point of view. Still, I’d like to add a few thoughts about the infantry, why its causing Western armies to fail and a terrible solution, but a solution that has been used before.
I don’t see this great weakness in the military power structure to be entirely or even mostly a military problem with a military solution. This is a matter of the class struggle (which, of coures, doesn’t really exist. Ask any politician.) not military structure.
The idea of an empire spreading democracy is laughable. What’s the slogan,”We’re Gonna Teach The World That They Don’t Have to Put Up With People Like Us”? “Down with Us” “Become Democracies, Free yourselves from Empires and Outside Forces”.
As a former piece of cannon fodder, I would like officers to know the Western working class has become more powerful, cynical and considers itself more knowledgeable than any generation in the past. We can now afford to value people over machinery in almost every case. We would never allow our leaders to develop a truly aggressive army. Not understanding empire and unwilling to view their nation and its every act as anything but good, we force the design of armies designed to protect individual soldiers at the cost of military equipment. Our sons are not going to die to keep tanks alive. Tanks are built to keep our sons alive.
As I’m sure most of the people at this site know and as the History Channel taught me, the word “infantry” comes from the greek word for “infant, boy child”. They were the kids who threw rock at enemy spearmen facing a phalanx to show their nerve to Greek warriors. It evolved from there to become disposable units to capture or protect military machinery.
They have become infants again. We know the name of the Israeli kids that were captured. “Our boys” are featured in every media. Why can’t they get some of that RoboCop armor, the people want to know. Did you know that “The Marlboro Man” that weary faced boy from the pics after Falluga, has PTSD and was recently seperated from his wife? The person in charge of the two soldiers who were captured and killed is being investigated for knowingly assigning two soldiers to a position where they might be killed.
The West, America in particular, can no longer build a strong infantry internally. We use tanks to protect our troops. Letting Americans get killed to protect tanks has become immoral. We’re too wealthy for that. We don’t have nearly as much magic as the rich. They are so magically powerful that none of their sons are ever killed in battle. But, all classes in America have enough mojo to keep their sons out of an old time infantry. That’s work for desperate hard men.
Since this is a matter of class struggle, the men who die to protect equipment have to be poor, desperate and oppressed. The slight gains made by the British working class during the Empire period never gave them the muscle to keep their sons from being used in mad schemes. Do you tell An Army of One that his job Is But to Do and Die? The military must reach a solution, because tanks ain’t taxis and you can’t have an aggressive army without infantry to protect equipment and hold ground if needed. Therefore the solution is nasty and racist.
If America desires to keep her so called empire, The American Foreign Legion must be born. Like Rome and most other non-warrior empires, we have to go hire men from poor, desperate lands. We must pay them much beyond what they can make in their own lands, give them power in their own lands if they live to retire, take good care (in local dollars) of their kin, and most of all, keep them oppressed while in the service, so that they are willing to die to protect our machines.
Is an empire worth it? We could go to Africa, Latin America, Asia, in fact, just about any impoverished people will do. Step back from the military engagement and you can see that Triumphant Capitalism is savaging the wretchedly poor. Every one of those 10,000 kids who live on the huge smoldering garbage dump in Sao Paulo and spent their childhood hacking while they pick through trash will want to shoot us in the face if they live.
To the peasantry, who did not understand the glaring deficiencies of the Soviet Union, the death of Communism was the death of hope. The desperate are willing to die.
Any men belonging to an army named “The Army of God” and are led by a man whose name means “God’s Victor” is probably more willing to die for what they believe than I am. Like most Americans, I’m willing to die in defense of what I have; i.e. home and family, but dying for an idea is so yesterday. My son is in the service. He signed a long term enlistment for special schooling just before the feces hit the rotating blades. I’m counting the days until he gets out.
The best most empires can do for infantry is to induce the poor and oppressed to become less poor and desperate, by oppressing other poor desperate people. An Uncle Sam Needs You sign at Starbucks ain’t gonna get you the guys you need. Neither is lowering health and age requirements.
Get poor desperate men with blood on their hands, beat them into disiplined killers and machine protectors. Or, first get out of the Middle East. The Arab impoverished are enraged about our conduct and imperial disrespect. They are willing to die for respect. I used to be a grunt who was willing to die. My new book would be, “Why I Shined Nasrallah’s Shoes on Television; How I Wisely Kept from Getting My Throat Cut”.
I guess that I’ve worked this idea as long as I can, and thanks to anyone still reading. But, I think that the coming excesses of Capitalism will more than allow mercenary brutal infantries. It’s going to allow slavery. Soon the lowest classes will have no individual human value beyond chattel labor. Within a generation, the blacks will be effectively reenslaved by a legal system that targets their recreational drugs and practices. 2.2 million black men are in the system now. One in 3 or 4 spend some time inside. On assembly lines in Asia women often have their mouths duct taped closed for talking. Floggings are still uncommon, because the labor is so replaceable. In India attractive widows under thirty can be purchased for under $100, but you gotta know somebody.
There is no nice way to build or maintain the power of one people over others, regardless of the supposed intent of the oppressor. In our new world, the most desperate group has the advantage. As Dylan sang, “The losers now will be later to win”. Get equally desperate men or get out.
I vote cut and run. Get the hell out of the complexities of the Middle East and come as far home as we can. Doing what we would have to win and maintain the advantage would kill democracy. As if it ain’t under siege now.
Thanks for listening and the great site, Hal Carpenter, Rhode Island USA

W. Patrick Lang

Hal

Welcome aboard. pl

Abu Sinan

It is clear that Hizb'Allah won. The Israel have achieved non of their operational goals, most of which were decided months, if not several years ago.

Hizb still have the prisoners, they still control the vast majority of the border. They seemed to have not lost any operational capability.

The Israelis never made it more than a few miles past the border. Have they even been able to retrieve the bodies of the helicopter crew shot down? The last I heard, from interviews on Arabic TV, specifically an interview with an elderly man who lived in the area concerned, that the Israelis tried four different times to get to the bodies and retreated evry time, loosing several tanks in the process.

I also saw an interview with a Syrian man who had done years in an Israeli prison, he said he intends to start a Syrian type of Hizb'Allah to fight for the Golan.

If anyone has ever seen or been to the Golan it is the ideal area for a guerilla campaign. This is the lesson learned in the Middle East, small, highly trained troops with decent material.

Expect that if this happens with Hizb'Allah a few years down the road it will be harder for the Israels. I think Hizb have proved that they provide a lot of "bang for the buck" so to speak and I think the Syrians and Iranians are going to up the cash they give and up the quality and amounts of arms they give. Why not? They have proved they are a good investment.

Patrick Henry

Hal...Thanks for sharing your thoughts..I found them interesting..As I do those of Pat and all others here..Its a constant learning and Evaluating Process..

At Least the People here THINK..

Montag

Who is dumber? Olmert for bringing a duck to a cockfight, or Bush for betting on the duck?

Here's a poetic description from Ireland, "Poem of Gilla Bhrighde M'Conmidhe:"

"Unequal they engaged in the battle,
The foreigners and the Gaedhil of Teamhair;
Fine linen shirts on the race of Conn,
And the foreigners in a mass of iron."

McGee

Colonel,

I would like to add my praise for SST to those of the others who have commented here recently. The ME was not my area of expertise those many moons ago when I was involved in Intel so I haved remained largely silent here of late. But your coverage of Ehud and Amir's Not-So-Excellent Adventure has been the most informed discussion of this unfortunate situation available anywhere on the web. Kudos to you and to all your commenters.

arbogast

There is exactly one solution to the Middle East. Only one.

A national effort on a par with WWII to conserve fossil fuels. Huge investment in research for alternative energy. Heavy taxation on fossil fuels. Regulations governing mileage on cars, truck, etc. Public transportation.

The works.

Then you get $9 a barrel oil and the whip hand. Saudi's don't let women get an education? Fine, we don't need your oil.

Iraq is a colonial war to control a natural resource. There have been many of them. Iran would be the same thing. They don't work.

You're saying, "What about Iran's nuclear ambitions?" The most intelligent analysis I have heard about Iran's nuclear weapons is that if they used one, their country would be turned into a radioactive puddle in 15 minutes. The tin pot tyrants don't like that sort of thing when it's so much easier just to dictate to civilians.

Oh, and Israel. Hezbollah has changed the Israel equation. It is conceivable that after this experience, Israel will take a different line on Palestine. Don't know.

What do other's say?

zanzibar

Anthony Shadid's WaPo report is a very powerful testament to the will of the HA fighters. They clearly were no rag-tag militia as their response to the cease-fire was humility about their survival.

I found the below comment by Angry Arab interesting. What other opinions are there about the ramifications to Lebanese domestic politics?

The most extreme option to disarm Hizbullah has been tried, and it did not work. What will they use now? On what power do Hariri and Jumblat puppets rely when they insist on disarming Hizbullah? They think that they will use Jumblat’s militia against Hizbullah? I really now rule out a civil war only because street battles will be won without Hizbullah having to fire one shot? I mean, could you imagine Jumblat’s militia going against Hizbullah? That will not happen. But while I have avoided commenting on Lebanese domestic politics in the last month, or not as much, I still believe that Lebanon as a project will not succeed. It is not a homeland, and never was, and never will be. It will either splinter eventually—along sectarian lines, or will be dissolved in a larger entity, especially after a democratic transformation in Syria, and the liberation of Palestine. Hariri Inc is now weaker than ever:

I am sure the IDF is going to go through a painful process of introspection and lessons learned. And probably heads will roll.

This conflict is not over. The IDF will not be able to tolerate such a slap in the face and will return. How will they perform the next time? And will HA use the same tactics or create new surprises? Will they get more sophisticated missiles to bolster their arsenal of rockets? Will Iran increase their funding of HA and upgrade the hardware they supply?

anna missed

Being a former grunt (VN) myself -- and knowing what I know from that experience, I wonder if I've also contracted Hals set of symptoms. And is there a VA %disability option available?

zanzibar

"It is conceivable that after this experience, Israel will take a different line on Palestine. Don't know." - arbogast

IMO, Israel will not change its "iron-fist" policy that they have been using with no final outcome for decades. It requires real statesmanship and willing partners for change. And as we see here at home, fear and military oriented solutions can be supported on a base of jingoistic rhetoric. I believe Israel will look at this as a "loss" to be avenged. They will not allow their "myth" of deterrence to be shattered for good. Their entire policy with their neighbors is based on this premise. And it will be a lot easier in this climate for the Likudniks to gain compared to the "peace" movement which really has no deep political roots. Bibi Netanyahu has already commenced his attacks - and its not on policy but on execution and not hitting HA hard enough. Its only a matter of time before the conflict resumes.

H.G.

I have a question and a completely unrelated comment.

The question first. I had an out of the box but interesting thought: is it possible that the (assumed foregone) Hiz victory, using a combination of political, military and (to a lesser extent) terrorist techniques will actually DECREASE the attractiveness of purely terroristic techniques? What I mean is that if you look at it purely from an "enemies of freedom" (choke) point of view, Hiz has been successful: Al Qaeda has not. Also added bonus, you don't necessarily have to die to be succcessful in a Hiz operation.... The related point is that if this victory leads to some political successes, wouldn't that take the pressure away from pursuing more radical action? Here I'm assuming that OBL and his ilk are interested in something more than the same spoiled child ego-fulfillment GWB needs. On that note aren't the parallels between GWB and OBL interesting regarding oil family background, sense of entitlement, religious fanaticism and general temperament?

Anyway as I initally wrote, I pathetically have to put a completely separate response to arbogast in the same comment: I can't believe our leadership class (outside of Al Gore) doesn't realize that the pursuit, development and implementation of alternative energy sources should be without question the absolute main goal of every economy on the planet. The global fossil fuel energy dependency is the cause of nearly every single political, environmental and economic problem faced by our species and planet and the entire world should mount a "Marshall" plan to surmount it.

still working it out

Hal,

You may be interested to know that some neo-cons have already called for a foriegn legion along the lines you suggest. Max Boot had an editorial in the LA Times back in 2005. Its no longer freely accessible, but here is a quote

"The military would do well today to open its ranks not only to legal immigrants but also to illegal ones and, as important, to untold numbers of young men and women who are not here now but would like to come. No doubt many would be willing to serve for some set period in return for one of the world's most precious commodities -- U.S. citizenship. Open up recruiting stations from Budapest to Bangkok, Cape Town to Cairo, Montreal to Mexico City. Some might deride those who sign up as mercenaries, but these troops would have significantly different motives than the usual soldier of fortune."

And here's a link to a blog post about it which contains a lot of criticisms of the idea. Its a workable solution, but morally questionable and no doubt morally corrosive to the fabric of America. But I suppose today's elites have already shown that moral factors do not enter into their decision making.

Also, to an extent it is already happening with the contracting of mercenary business such as Blackwater. Blokes like Cheney don't know or don't care that they are giving up the state's monopoly on violence with all that implies for political stability in the long run.

Best wishes for your son.

sonic

Interesting blog post here from an Israeli soldier, sounds like they were wandering around without a clue.

http://blogcentral.jpost.com/newsItems/viewFullItem$1183

Mike

As far as oil is concerned, we do not need to be an imperial power in the Middle East in order for Muslims to do business with us--they will still sell us their oil. There are huge oil reserves in the tar sands and oil shale that start in Colorado and go north into Canada--probably larger than what exists in the ME. Clearly, the United States needs to change the source of its' oil supplier; plus, the leverage that new energy technology can bring will help the U.S. maintain its economic importance. Ultimately, everyone is going to be short of oil; it is important to get an early start on dealing with it.

On a different note, the "writing is on the wall," and if I was an Israeli Jew, I would reverse emigrate to some other place that is friendly. The "War Nerd" says it best when he says the demographics will ultimately result in the Jews losing Israel (we are talking about the larger population growth rate of the Muslim nations, and their willingness for self sacrifice). It will be another diaspora, I am sorry to say, and I think the recent debacle in Lebanon is one step in that direction.

On another note, I do not see the U.S. taking any negative messge from this debacle. I think we are still on schedule for the bombing of Iran, and I notice that Mr. Hersh has a new article in the New Yorker pointing towards that strategy.

BadTux

Bob, be careful when you read Robert Fisk. He knows what he sees with his own two eyes, but then he jumps into wild flights of imagination thereafter. You have to wrestle with his prose to figure out what is true, and what is imagination. But in the end that is no different than with any other journalist, I suppose. (Note that I love Fisk's writing, I just am aware of its limits).

Interesting editorial from the Lebanese Daily Star. To quote: "Lebanon also has a rare opportunity to strengthen its army as it extends control over Lebanese territory. Israel's wanton destruction of Lebanon has made a very strong case to the Lebanese people for the need to have a creative and viable defense strategy. The best strategy would be one where Hizbullah's arms and expertise were institutionalized within the Lebanese Army."

I guess this answers the question of where the Lebanese Army can find 15,000 soldiers to deploy south of the Litani when on most days they barely have enough "soldiers" to provide everyday law enforcement functions. The new soldiers are already there and have been there for the past month. They are just waiting for their new uniforms.

-BT

meletius

arbogast, there's a lot of good sense in your energy independence plan, sign me up.

I'm don't think oil will drop to $9/barrel under the theory of peak oil, but your proposal certainly lowers OUR demand.

And a lot of the Iranian nuclear problem is the Ayatollahs reacting to Bush's "Axis of Evil" regime change nonsense. They're interested in deterring our planned attacks on them, not in using nuclear weapons on any other country.

Mo

And still there they are. Khiam was notorious during the occupation because it was at a prison there that people would be "interrogated" for their alliegances. It was kept as a museum to Israeli atrocities but I guess the Israelis were so embarrased about it they blew it up in the second day of air strikes.

People in Lebanon are in a very strange kind of limbo, doing odd things.
Jumblatts people (and for those who dont care for every detail of Lebanese politics, Jumblatt, leader of the Druze community, was one of many anti-HA at the start of war and one of about 4 politicians openly anti-HA all through it)have been turning up at the studios of HA's tv station, demanding to go on air and praise the ressistance.

HA themselves are avoiding the temptation of attacking the Israelis even though at some points they are literaly feet apart. I'll be the first to admit I am surprised by that. However, I think HA will only give the Israelis days and not weeks to leave before the shooting starts again. But the fact that HA is allowing people to return south without warnings of danger means that they aren't looking to prolong this war.

I have heard some reports that now its over, opposition to HA keeping its arms is growing. However, it seems, like most things, including todays report that HA and the govt. have agreed that hidden weapons can remain in the south, are merely agitatory propaganda (not that i think any weapons will be leaving the south). The pride in Lebanon and across the Arab world at what HA has done is remarkable and although it may not seem it, it is a truly historic moment for the Arabs as the day they got their dignity back. The bad news for other Arab resistance movements from Hamas to the Iraqis, is that HA have shown that you can fight without resorting to civilian-centric attacks.

The whole Middle East conflict and the ME in genral has been brought to a crossroads. Will the people of the Arab world now look at their corrupt and, as George Galloway put it, belly dancing leaders and think why cant we have Hizbollah? Will those supine leaders in the Arab world be emboldened in their dealings with the United States? Will HA's new found strength and popularity lead to a more united, less corrupt Lebanon or will the fear if its opponents lead to sectarian violence? Will Israel take this as a warning and choost to talk its problems out or will it return to Lebanon or aleternatively take out their macho frustrations on the poor Palestinians?

Only time will tell, and this is the ME and its abilty to surprise you with an option D when you thought only A, B or C were on the table is well known. But without a doubt what we do know today is that the ladies and gentlemen of the White House, who wished for a new Middle East, have found out what the phrase, "Be careful what you wish for" really means.

A couple of asides in regards to other posts:

Ghostman,
Point 1,
As we speak.

Points 2,3 and 4. Too late Im afraid. HA already have the hospitals there, they are not only reconstructing peoples homes for free (yes they even have their own construction business), they have one-upped your idea and are paying a years rent to anyone who's house was levelled and not only are they providing the food, they are providing the sheep and cows as well (although as far as I know they arent going so far as to throw a chef into the offer).

Points 5 and 6, You are making the mistake of believing the Israeli propaganda of rockets being in houses. Trust me, I know the area there are more natural hidey holes to hide a rocket in then there are potential UNIFIL soldiers. As for enforcing the law in the South, you would have to arrest the man, his family, his village and the next village when they hear about it. The area is so pro-HA, trying to arrest a member for anything would see you leaving the village in whatever the South Lebanese version of tarred and feathered is.

Hal,
A great read. I read that the US Army is already advertising in foreign countries to give US citizenship to those who agree to enlist. I have no idea if this is true, but it certainly seems to be the road you expected.

tomas del sol

How does this experience and the continuing "fiasco" in Iraq, reflect the vision of the quadrennial review, that the secdef has invested his view of the future of conflicts?
Could it be that an honest evaluation of these recent experiences shows that "boots on the ground" are still requied to get the job done, no matter how we wish it was not so.

Jag

With Bush making yet another "Mission Accomplished" speech, it is clear that the attack on Iran will go ahead as planned. I wonder if it will be timed to provide another shock-and-awe TV special to help the Republication party during the Congressional elections in November.

What lessons are being learnt by the various state and non-state actors in the ME from Lebanon war? Above all, how are the Hizbullah tactics likely to affect Iran's planning for a U.S. attack? I suppose the one big lesson would be not to pit conventional military formations against the overwhelming fire power of either U.S. or Israel. Small groups of men who know the area, can operate independently and with small arms caches seems to be the way to go. But many conventional armies would have a fit at the thought; many middle-ranking and senior officers would be out of a job.

Jag

An excerpt from Paul Roger's article "An Unfinished War" on openDemocracy (http://www.opendemocracy.net/conflict/unfinished_war_3820.jsp ):

"As a result of the Lebanon war, the recently increased insecurity in Iraq, and the continuing troubles in Afghanistan, there will be those in Washington who will urge immediate action against Iran. From such a perspective, the Israeli failure in Lebanon will result in a steady increase in Iranian influence across the region and a likely acceleration in its nuclear programme.

"Any such development remains utterly unacceptable to the Bush administration as well as Israel, so it may be better to contemplate military action against those nuclear facilities now rather than later. Moreover, such action would be a powerful diversion in the run-up to the mid-term elections to Congress in November 2006. The guns of August might yet become the bombs of October."

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

October 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Blog powered by Typepad