The Second Lebanon War
was certainly not a success from the Israeli point of view. Few of its objectives were achieved, and most of those that were achieved, could have been achieved about a week into the fighting, since the agreement that was reached in August, was essentially on offer not long after the fighting broke out.
This dismal performance, however, which wasted the the lives of about 150 Israelis and hundreds of Lebanese (not counting the Hezbollah
) seems to have led some to unwarranted conclusions. Eitan Haber speaks for many when he claims that the war was "unnecessary."
The war as implemented was certainly unnecessary, since it didn't accomplish much and may even have weakened us a bit. The long-coveted goal of getting the Lebanese army to move into the south of Lebanon, reinforced by an expanded UNIFIL, was obtained, but it seems probable that the Hezbollah does pretty much what it wants in southern Lebanon anyhow, and that if they want to launch another kidnapping or attack on Israel from the south, they will simply push the Lebanese army and UNIFIL to one side. But the war was only "unnecessary" because it didn't succeed. If the war had rid Lebanon of the Hezbollah, very few in Israel or the West would be saying the war was unnecessary and at least some Arab states would be cheering more or less quietly.
Nor should we accept at face value the claim that it is impossible in principle to defeat an enemy like the Hezbollah. There are no "ultimate weapons" and no "unbeatable armies." No group and no regime lasts forever. In the fullness of time, the Hezbollah and their Iranian and Syrian masters will get their comeuppance, if not from Israel than from another enemy, or they will fall into decay. The government and the IDF should have known that the army was unready for a ground war, and that intelligence was insufficient. They should have either prepared accordingly, or lacking such preparation, they should not have announced such ambitious aims for the war.
The government and the IDF should have understood after a few days that it was not in their power to defeat the Hezbollah by air war alone, as they had proposed. In fact, earlier contingency plans that were scrapped had called for an invasion by three divisions. The obtuseness of Chief of Staff Halutz, the negligence of PM Olmert and the inexperience of Defense Minster Amir Peretz somehow hid from them, for a very long time, what was obvious to many private citizens, and what was evident from common sense: Israel kept bombing, but the rockets kept falling on Israel. The war was going noplace. The government and the IDF were also fooled because they were privy to a bit of information that was withheld from the rest of us. In the first two days of the war, the Israel Air Force, relying on excellent intelligence and accurate bombing, had managed to wipe out the greater part of the medium and long range rockets of the Hezbollah. A single long range Iranian Zil-Zal rocket was fired from the vicinity of Beirut. It was apparently damaged and came down somewhere over Beirut. Most of the medium range rockets were wiped out as well. This success encouraged the false hope that it would be possible to eliminate the more mobile and more numerous short range rockets carried on pickup trucks or hidden in underground launchers and civilian locations in south Lebanon.
The war was also undertaken under an impossible constraint. The government of Fuad Seniora included cabinet members and members of parliament from the Hezbollah and representing the interests of the Hezbollah. Seniora nonetheless claimed that the Lebanese government did not support the Hezbollah and was not responsible for its actions, while at the same time Seniora's government took the side of the Hezbollah in all negotiations. The Americans and the French, along with other Western governments, willingly accepted this charade, and warned Israel not to bring down the "democratic" government of Fuad Seniora.
Given the stand of Seniora and his government, there was no way to bring down the Hezbollah without occupying Beirut and bringing down the government that included the Hezbollah and supported them, along with the Hezbollah, and then hunting down the remainder of this organization throughout Lebanon. If such a plan was too ambitious or adventurous, and it might well be so, Israel should never have started the war in the first place.
The war, in a way, has been lost in installments. Had the agreement embodied in UN Security Council Resolution 1701
been implemented, the Hezbollah would have been disarmed, or at least, they would not have been allowed to rearm. Instead the Hezbollah have rearmed, and the UNIFIL forces simply ignore the facts. The significance of this farce should not be lost either on those who trust to international arrangements, nor to those who trust to US guarantees. The United States, in the conduct of its foreign policy, has the attention span of a lightning bolt. It doesn't occur to the State Department or the US administration that they have damaged themselves and the UN enormously in Lebanon, by committing themselves to a policy they are unwilling or unable to enforce, leaving both Israel and the Lebanese March 14 movement out in the cold. However, this only tends to degrade our faith in diplomacy. It doesn't prove the war was unnecessary. If Israel had won a decisive victory and disarmed the Hezbollah, things would look a lot different. The problem was not too much war and not enough diplomacy, but a war executed poorly, that didn't give the diplomats the necessary conditions for peace.
The next round in "proving the war unnecessary" was provided by the Olmert government itself, for reasons that are anyone's guess. One of the reasons the war was fought, ostensibly, was to return the hostages, because, it was announced, Israel would not succumb to the blackmail of kidnappers. But now the Olmert government showed itself perfectly willing to succumb to the blackmail of kidnappers, making the same deal that they could have made two years ago, before over 150 Israelis died, to return the kidnapped soldiers Goldwasser and Regev, or the remains thereof. The conclusion of this deal was certainly an admission that the war was "unnecessary" for retrieving the hostages. Dov Weisglass
, on the other hand, insists that Israel
has lost the deterrent that it had in the 50s, when a small and disciplined army, with few resources, carried out daring retaliatory raids. Weisglass forgot that until 1967, Israel's "deterrent" was such, that Gamal Nasser of Egypt confidently challenged Israel to a war in which he hoped to reverse the results of the 1948 Israel-Arab War
. The resulting Six Day War
, the height of Israel's military performance, did not not deter Egypt from trying again in the Yom Kippur War.
The Yom Kippur war, in which the Arabs took an objective beating, was declared by them to be a great success. The Israeli victory in the War of Independence did not deter the Arabs from trying again. The lightning Suez Campaign victory did not stop them either, nor did the "brilliant" retaliatory raids of Ariel Sharon. But the Arab "victory" of 1973 put a stop to their war making activities. Paradoxically, after the Yom Kippur war "victory" of the Arabs, there were no more attempts to "reverse the results of 1948." The Arabs understood that they could not withstand another "victory" like that one.
It remains to be determined what Mr. Nasrallah and the Hezbollah, and their Iranian masters, learned from their "victory" in the Second Lebanon War. Ami Isseroff
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In English history we have the story of Burke & Hare two villains who in the 1820s perpetrated a "meat" trade to supply the medical school in Edinburgh. The Lord Advocate Sir William Rae called the mind behind the business (Burke) "Est summum ultra nefas fallere" ( a deceit beyond gross impiety) This was the very first case in law where immunity from prosecution was offered, Hare turned crown's evidence to convict Burke and disappeared. Burke went to the gallows and his business associate Dr. Robert Knox escaped the gallows but was disowned by the medical establishment and run out of town. When I was growing up in dear old St. John's we used to sometimes here the ditty
Up the close and down the stair,
But and ben with Burke and Hare.
Burkeís the butcher, Hareís the thief,
And Knox the boy who buys the beef.
What started for Israel as an expression of noble values has been perverted into "Est summum ultra nefas fallere" by Hassan Nasrallah. This man is a ghoulish monster. I don't give a rat's ass, nor should you, for what did Hizbollah and their ghoulish leader learn!
First Israel ought to take a page from the Americans, when in their past they faced desperados who used robbery mayhem, kidnapping and murder as their political tools as the SDS, the Symbolese Liberation Army, etc. they used their sovereign legal system to notify all people that those activities were not legitimate political tools but criminal behaviour.
Wanted Dead or Alive Hassan Nasrallah
For arson, mayhem, kidnapping, depravity and murder.
Aliases: Shaykh Nasrallah, the Secretary General
Date of Birth: 1960 Hair: Black but quickly graying
Place of Birth: Al Abbasiyah Lebanon
Height: 5' 7" (170 cm )
Complexion: pale and pasty
Weight: Approximately 185 pounds (84 kg.)
Occupation: Secretary General of Hizbollah
Remarks: Nasrallah is the leader of a terrorist organization known as Hizbollah, "Party of God".
He is right-handed and far sighted .
Scars and Marks: None yet, but with a clear tendency to acquire them
HASSAN NASRALLAH IS WANTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE JULY 12, to AUGUST 14 2006, ROCKET ATTACKS ON THE STATE OF ISRAEL AND THE MURDER AND KIDNAPPING OF ISRAELI SOLDIERS. IN ADDITION, NASRALLAH IS A SUSPECT IN OTHER TERRORIST ATTACKS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
CONSIDERED ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS PERSON, PLEASE CONTACT THE NEAREST ISRAELI EMBASSY OR CONSULATE.
The Israeli Government is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading directly to the apprehension of Hassan Nasrallah.
This would be a good start to taking this perverted enemy off balance, and it does have merit both in custom, in law, and this man's own track record. This necessary first step will cut his corporate group from political acceptability and convey clearly that this is criminality masquerading as politics, otherwise the Europeans will try to force Israel to negotiate with him. You will note no one asks the United States to negotiate with Bin Laden. Further it sends a clear message their fight has no legitimacy.
Second after the posters go up (and they should go out far and wide) an amphibious force should be launched and landed where we actually make topography work for us and trap them in their defences while entering from their back flank. This should be done by our own timetable, exploiting climate. By their own actions they have already given Israel "just cause". The worst time to do this is as a reaction to another attack and letting the enemy determine the site and time of your defensive measures.
Remember the best defence is a good offence.
This is where I have to disagree with many, this is something the Americans and the West have an obligation to participate in, in all and any way they can. (I include all western nations with civil societies that are built on the premises of common law, Canada, Australia, Britain, and Europe) If Israel and America do this they will prevent a nuclear holocaust, if they don't that will come to us now, in a matter of months.
Anyone who argues that because Hizbollah is a fait accompli because they already have a social net and carved a political party in the Lebanese country, better realize that this is a party that articulates the premise that " they have the right to make other people their prey!" The Western recipe for civil society is and has always been the notion that every subject hold the inalienable right to fair play due process and peace of mind, Hizbollah's raison díÍtre contradicts this at its very heart. No negotiation, no cease-fire, no truce, this is the modern face of Amalek there is no choice it must be fought to the point that if necessary it means our death. I refuse to acquiesce to this in our world, their flags must be destroyed, those that carry them should be charged with supporting terrorism, those that cry for them should be made to clearly understand what they sympathize with and how it undoes our Common Law society, if they persist then they should be charged with aiding and abetting terrorism, All of Hizbollah's social services, ambulances, hospitals, community centers must be bombed. This is Amalek. The Olmert government with his foreign minister Tzipi (with a legal spin doctor background) and their defence minister have never been fighting to win, they have already accepted Hizbollah as a legitimate political and social force of Arab politics, they have yet to convince their army that they must live with and manage their excesses.
The warning is clear Amalek (Hizbollah, and the Basiji Persians) will either be destroyed by Israel and the West or they will destroy the Israelis and West. Anyone who thinks that cultural or moral relativism will save them will be tormented tortured and enslaved. Those leaders that lack moral clarity the Almighty is against them for they are poor sheperds for their flocks.
Larry Riteman, Thursday, July 10th
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