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10 July 2010

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b

The IDF is already preparing against critics for when it will bomb the Lebanese cities and esp. schools and hospitals.

Haaretz a few days ago:
Hezbollah readying for urban war in southern Lebanon, IDF warns

Israel's military on Wednesday offered evidence of what it says is a growing threat from Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, using aerial images to highlight the militants group's activities in towns and villages close to the Israeli border.

In a briefing to journalists, Israel Defense Forces Colonel Ronen Marley revealed previously classified photographs to show what he said was a unit of 90 Hezbollah militants operating in the village of Al-Hiyam, where they were storing weapons close to hospitals and schools.

Netanyahoo certainly wants war. Nothing better then to frightening the Israeli public and to gains support from the U.S.

Sidney O. Smith III

Odds slim that the GOI will win politically by pursuing collective punishment via a bombing campaign.

No way the IDF can win militarily vs. Hezbullah when it is mano a mano. No way. Didn’t you guys call the tactic hugging the belt or some such?

But let me guess…someone in the Pentagon will argue the bombing of Lebanon is a new version of the American tradition of COIN.

But those taking such a stand will have to get around something that runs counter to the strategic goal of the IDF, which, of course, is the creation of a racially pure greater Israel. And it is this:

Bernard Fall wrote that to win (with COIN), the military and the population must emerge on the same side of the conflict. It is in his book, St. w/o Joy. From what I can tell, that is the golden rule of COIN -- a very basic tenet.

When in the history of Zionism has the IDF pursued such a goal? It has never happened and will never happen when the primary strategic goal is ethnic cleansing.

In other words, the IDF tactics prove the strategic goal of the GOI. Tactics don't lie, imo, and the IDF tactics, historically speaking, clearly establish that the GOI never has had the goal of a nation following the 67 borders. So the GOI's long-term strategic goal goes well beyond the much criticized idea of to save the village, burn the village. It’s just burn the village with the long -term neocon goal of burning the global village.

In my opinion, the neocons know the IDF cannot win in irregular warfare. Best hope is a clash of civilizations, from their point of view, with the US soldier carrying the burden of GOI’s atrocities in creating a Greater Israel and the GOI’s historical legacy of ethnic cleansing. Hence the neocon goal is to have as many US soldiers deployed in the Middle East as possible before all hell breaks loose. By doing so, US soldiers and US assets will act as a buffer for Israel. Such is certainly the case if the IDF launches a limited strike against Iran.

confusedponderer
Hizbullah, senior officers said this week, mostly consists of a lot more of the same encountered in 2006, except today its command posts, rocket launchers and guerrilla forces are deployed inside villages and not in the notorious “nature reserves” it had created in the forests of southern Lebanon before 2006.'
I can't say whether that is true or not.

Hezbollah positioning worked well the last time. Their losses were apparently not so severe, and iirc basically limited to village militias - i.e. Hezbollah reservists, and launchers. It would be curious to see them abandoning a successful strategy.

On the other hand Hezbollah did hide some of their facilities in villages or cities.

What is clear is that the assertion that Hezbollah has relocated into urban areas in a sense prepares the ground for another systematic bombing of civilian targets - with reports like that they become legitimate military targets in advance.

In 2006 the the Israelis, after their ground offensive ground to a halt, iirc tried to apply Douhet's ideas of air warfare by systematically bombing civilian infrastructure.

It failed then to make the Lebanese people rise up against Hezbollah, and it will predictably fail again to achieve that goal. The same approach failed in Gaza as well.

Since Israel can't win in Lebanon, it appears they're preparing for another penal expedition aimed on inflicting maximum damage - solely on military targets. Of course. To restore their deterrence. Naturally.

blowback

I wonder how accurate this so-called targeting information really is. There have been reports that the Israelis have been using UNIFIL to acquire it by passing then locations to be inspected. This has resulted in confrontations between UNIFIL and the locals and also in UNIFIL passing the requests on to the Lebanese army that is reported to have rejected them.
I suspect that this is really just to provide cover for Israeli war crimes when the shooting starts and then, no doubt, we will hear from Obama and Clinton how moral the IDF is as they forewarned the dead civilians. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if the White House or Foggy Bottom originated this idea.
The last time the IDF had to attack a prepared enemy with missiles, it was against the Syrians in the Bekaa Valley when they were successful in neutralizing them, although according to a USAAF report, the Syrians through poor discipline, gave them a win on a plate. Thinking back further to the Yom Kippur war in 1973, the Israelis had real problems until the Egyptians abandoned the planned strategy and chased after the Israelis at which point the battle turned. Hizbollah have demonstrated solid discipline in the past so any future war in Lebanon could be very difficult for the Israelis. Maybe they would be better off picking another fight with Hamas in Gaza.

confusedponderer

Ah well, it was 'punitive expedition' ...

GregB

Col. Lang,

I would gather that your crystal ball is cloudy because so many factors in the region have changed dramatically in the past since the summer war of 2006 and of course the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

The most important question seems to be what will be the regional reaction among nations, groups, besides Israel and Hezbollah, of course.

If Israel launches a massive campaign against Hezbollah, will this prompt a unifying response among the Lebanese nation?

What then of Syria? Would Syria be targeted by Israel and if so will they respond in a more non traditional way? using Hezbollah tactics?

Would that trigger Iran into action? I believe Iran and Syria have a mutual aid compact.

What then of Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank? Do they respond with a renewed intafada?

Also, Israel won't have Turkish airspace anymore. Will Israel violate that airpsace? Will this also provoke Turkey into assisting the anti-Israel belligerents?

How long can Israel sustain a war on multiple fronts in Gaza, West Bank, Syrian border, Lebanese border?

What of the dessicated Mubarak regime in Egypt? Could this be a trigger point in changing the dynamics there?

Finally of course, what of the US and Iraq, and Afghanistan and Pakistan?

Sorry for so many questions but it seems the math has gotten more complicated.

confusedponderer

Another thing that pops up when reading the article is this assertion, presented as fact:

Scuds, which Syria recently transferred to Lebanon
Rick Francona is cautious:
I am surprised that Syria would consider the transfer of the Scud missile system to Hizballah. Maintaining and operating the Scud, be it the original Soviet/Russian version or the reverse-engineered North Korean version (Syria has both types), is not something done by amateurs - it requires a certain amount of training and a fair amount of logistics support. The Scud is a liquid-fueled missile - handling of liquid fuel is hazardous for even trained personnel. Transfer of this system to Hizballah would have required extensive training in either Syria or Iran.
...

Introduction of the Scud surface-to-surface missile represents a serious threat to Israel. It goes beyond a deterrent - it will actually trigger the action it is supposed to prevent. If they are present in Lebanon, expect Israeli military strikes against them.

No Evidence of Scud Missile Transfer Seen by U.S.
The U.S. intelligence and defense establishments have become increasingly skeptical toward Israeli claims that Syria supplied Scud missiles to the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah, government sources told Reuters yesterday

Scud Claim Tied to Regional Concerns, Experts Say
Israel's claim that Syria has supplied the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah with Scud missiles are tied to broader regional matters, especially Iran's nuclear program and the Middle East peace process, experts said in an Agence France-Presse report yesterday (see GSN, April 28).

Jerusalem could be endeavoring to shift the focus away from its divisive policy of building new settlements in the West Bank and in east Jerusalem, according to observers. Israel could also be seeking to justify a possible new attack on Hezbollah should international attempts to find a nonmilitary resolution to the Iranian nuclear impasse fail, said several experts.

J

Don't forget one/now two of Israel's main goals in attacking Lebanon with any flimsy excuse they can manufacture -- control of the water of the Litani river; and control of Lebanon's coastal natural gas reserves.

MRW.

Warmongers and murderers. What for?

BillWade

Nasrallah has said that the next war will be the last war. I don't know exactly what he means by that but it sounds like Hezbollah will go all out.

Brian Hart

http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=180695

Senators Graham, Lieberman and McCain visit Israel and talk up the war option with Iran.

Tyler

How does Hizbullah feel about foreign volunteers?

walrus

The combatants with the most cameras and citizen journalists on the ground will be the ones to win.

Of course the American internet "kill switch" plus the threat of "citizenship stripping" of any American commentator with the gall to question what is being done to the Lebanese may neutralise American citizen journalists.

We already know the MSM will say nothing, that was the real reason behind Helen Thomas and Nasr.

William R. Cumming

If and that is big if IDF goes into Lebanon again many rockets headed towards Israel will come from outside of Lebanon.
Will the block 4 Patriots be of help?

11bph

How does Hizbullah feel about foreign volunteers?

Posted by: Tyler | 10 July 2010 at 04:00 PM

i second this question.

would be more than happy to lend my us army taught skills to their cause.

Jose

Col., will your "right-hook" option to flank Southern Lebanon via Syria work given the time everyone has been preparing for it?

I am beginning to think we are being setup for another grand vision of transferring the Middle East into American (really Israeli) images just like those preselected for targeting.

JohnH

From what I have seen, the Israeli/Arab kill ration was 1:3 for a long time. In the last decade Israel boosted it to ten to one. Gaza was more like 100 to one.

I would not be surprised to see Israel trumpet its "world's most humane military" nonsense as it annihilates the villages of Southern Lebanon, the Bekaa and South Beirut in pursuit of the Gaza kill ratio goal.

shanks

First off, we are hearing only the israeli version.

It's not only Hez. that's got military C3I centres in the midst of civilian structure. These chaps do it too but more towards Arab qtrs in israel. The wogs have to die first...

As mentioned earlier, the Hez. method is not victory but an Israeli Pyrrhic victory.

The cost in terms of lost professionals,leeching religious nutters on state dole,exploding jewish attacks in France, Spain and Germany(why would hez. stick to the theatre of war?) and importantly lasting fear. Notch by notch, the cost of stealing Palestine will be too high for some American jewish sponsers.

Egypt, jordan would be toppled within a few days of the start of the war. Mubarak is ill, Jordan on edge, essentially a tipping point of public AND Gov. hatred that all the US money cannot change.

Of course, Hez. would lose or even be destroyed. But there's nothing like a shiite telling a Sunni,

"grow a pair, fuckface!"

all over the world. Literally, the OIC would look like a bunch of eunuchs. Besides, what's a better Ashura to the shiites when they literally believe in fighting against impossible odds? They've got a fantastic leader, one who has lost his own son too against the israelis. Who wouldn't die for him?

There's one thing I think hez. has an edge. The age of the conscripts; they'd be a bit older and a bit more sane than an israeli kid in his 20s even with all the professional training that includes hitting grannies in West bank?


Richard Steven Hack

I think the issue with the "right book" IDF move through Syria will result in a "two front war" with what's left of Syria's military fighting in Israel's rear while Hizballah mounts a fierce defense in the Bekaa Valley and southern Lebanon on Israel's front. This could be a disaster for the IDF.

If I were the IDF Chief, I wouldn't try it unless I were seriously overconfident of my ability to take out Hizballah AND ALL of Syria's military functionality. The plan is just too risky, and reeks of somebody thinking this is the 67 war instead of a Fourth Gen war.

jon

Hezbollah seems to have been assiduous is denying Israel any provocations so far. Israel might have to resort to sending some reservists on a picnic to get a rise. Meantime, I haven't heard that Israel has ceased daily overflights of southern Lebanon.

Israel's focus turns to Lebanon once again because they with to bloody Iran by proxy, and also because Gaza and the West Bank continue to be intractable issues that Israel is losing ground on, even as they continue to exert dominance.

Israel seems to be setting expectations that it will once again bomb cities, infrastructure, schools and hospitals throughout Lebanon, regardless of those areas or the Lebanese government's participation in any future conflict. Should Hezbollah fight with valor and distinction, as it did last time, the result may be their dominance of Lebanese politics and government for a generation.

Israel considers it their right to bomb civilian areas in a country they are not at war with. I doubt we can expect a sanguine response should Hezbollah land a Scud in Tel Aviv.

Roy G

First off, consider the source: the Murdoch agitprop rag, Jerusalem Post. We have been seeing a lot of disinfo ops lately--the 'Saudi Arabia to allow IDF attack bases' comes to mind, as does the ridiculous Scud missile rumor.

As others have pointed out, 2010 is not 2006, and the landscape has changed; Hizb is even more entrenched in the fabric of Lebanese society, rapproachment has happened between the Syrian and Lebanese govts, who have also been cooperating with Turkey on regional trade and defense initiatives. Also, the Lebanese economy is booming, which may be one rationale for a cynical 'zero-sum' IDF offensive, however, world opinion will be much less neutral than last time. Also, the erosion of confidence, operational skills and coherent info ops make this a much more risky proposition for Israel than its outdated stratagem of 'cutting the grass' belies.

Even with a deferential White House, the 'blank road map' era is over.

BillWade

Israel says Hez has changed it's tactics and is now concentrating forces amongst the civilian population. All propaganda I think to make the world think civilian deaths were Hez's fault. This will end badly for both sides I predict, Lebanon will suffer many deaths and lots of infrastructure damage, Israeli policy will be seen for what it is, cold blooded killings for theft of lands.

blowback

Now Hizbollah are getting in on the act - they announced that they had a list of military targets inside Israel. In the last conflict, the Israelis prevented journalists from disclosing the targets hit by Hizbollah because this might have shown that Hizbollah were trying to target military sites, which contradicts Israeli mythology.

A "right-hook" through Syria by the IDF is feasible but stupid as Syria probably has even more surface-to-surface missiles than Hizbollah and far greater depth and could use them, if they chose to, to force Israel into a land invasion and occupation of Syria where the IDF would bleed to death as it did in Lebanon prior to 2000.

Hizbollah (the Lebanese version) has never undertaken any attacks outside of Lebanon or Israel nor has it attacked anyone who had not taken sides in Lebanon, so why would it change. The attacks on the French and US Marine barracks followed bombing raids over Lebanon by the French Air Force and shelling of Lebanon by the US Navy. A number of other attacks attributed to Hizbollah were most likely the responsibility of al Qaeda and other organizations calling themselves Hizbollah.

Hizbollah doesn't seem to take volunteers as it risks compromising their security which they are, quite rightly, paranoid about. They have occasionally stood up with Amal.

As for a "Gleiwitz incident", the lickspittles in the US Congress have demonstrated again and again that they will believe any crap that Tel Aviv tells them, so I fully expect to see Lieberman, McCain, et al slavishly parroting the party line if a war starts.

Patrick Lang

blowback

Is J's thought that these fellows should be registered under FARA valid or do they have some sort of immunity? pl

blowback

If they were registered, the Senate could never sit as according to the Standing Rules of the United States Senate, Rule XXIII, floor privileges shall not apply, when the Senate is in session, to an individual who is a registered lobbyist or agent of a foreign principal.
Unfortunately, any remedy would probably involve impeachment so they would have to sit in judgement on each other and they would probably return not guilty verdicts in all cases.
(OK, the floor privilege part might not apply to the VP and Senators as it is not really a privilege for them.)

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