Thursday, July 20, 2006

From a reader... 
"Exactly--1982 didn't work well at all. Hizbullah has widespread support in the south (in some areas, it routinely wins 80% of the electoral vote). It has proven highly resistent to Israeli intelligence penetration. It has shown remarkable operational sophistication (multiple simultaneous rocket launches from dispersed locations, even under complete Israeli control of the air; Israeli special forces successfully ambushed in Lebanon within sight of the border today, coming off worse in the exchange; indeed, Israeli bombing hasn't managed to even take Hizbullah's al-Manar television station off the air for more than a few minutes). Perhaps most importantly, an invasion would rally a large part of currently anti-Hizbullah opinion in Lebanon behind the movement once again. "You see," Hizbullah would argue, "this was never about two prisoners.. this is about the aggressive, expansionist character of the Zionist state." As a side effect, it would likely bring about the collapse of the Lebanese government, and possibly the split of the Lebanese army. Oh, and did I mention that 35%+ of the army is Shiite, and would like rally to Hizbullah's side in such circumstances?

As for Hizbullah being isolated, I doubt they feel it. From their perspective, popular opinion in most of the Arab world (even the Arab Sunni world) has been supportive. That the Saudi or Egyptian regimes are critical of Hizbullah's actions will hardly come as a surprise. Iranian and Syrian backing is unwavering. The critical issue is Lebanese Shiite opinion, and here I'm hearing from Lebanese Shiite friends that the pereceived disproprtionality of Israeli's response is increasingly offsetting anger at Hizbullah and creating a rally-around-the-movement effect.

On top of all this, the sight of a US-backed Israeli counter insurgency in Lebanese Shiite villages would do wonders for the Coalitions position in southern Iraq or Baghdad.

Fortunately, while Charles Krauthammer may not have much sense of Lebanese or regional politics, the Israeli military and intelligence establishment have a rather better grasp of the dangers involved, and have effectively ruled out a "Return to 1982" strategy."

when is the anti-war crowd going to get it through their thick skulls that hizbullah had taken the entire country of lebanon as a hostage long before this latest provocation of israel?

the actions of hizbullah and hamas is just kidnapping, writ large.

i'm with jason on this. destroy them. now.
So, the original poster admits that Hezbollah is de facto a nation-state and in charge of Lebanon's military and foreign policy?

Good. Any offensive action taken by Hezbollah - any missile launch, any cross-border raid - is an act of war and Israel is well within its right of self-defense to eliminate said threats. Somehow, I don't think that's what the OP really meant. Is it?

Launch an invasion. Move 20 miles into Lebanon. If it resists, kill it. Destroy all war material. Withdraw.
The Expedition which you are appointed to command is to be directed at the hostile tribes of the Six Nations of Indians, with their associates and adherents. The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible. It will be essential to ruin their crops now in the ground and prevent their planting more.

I would recommend, that some post in the center of Indian Country, should be occupied with all expedition, with a sufficient quantity of provisions whence parties should be detached to lay waste all the settlements around, with instructions to do it in the most effectual manner, that the country may not be merely overrun, but destroyed.

Orders of General George Washington
to General John Sullivan,
At Head-Quarters,
May 31,1779
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