August 14, 2006

Hezbollah Attacks; "Ceasefire" Crumbling

Hatched by Dafydd

Tonight, with the ink still drying on the "ceasefire" agreement, Hezbollah fired at least ten Katyusha rockets at Israeli forces in Lebanese territory between the Blue Line and the Litani River. This flagrantly violates clause OP1 of the agreement resolution.

Israel responded with a small amount of artillery fire; no Israelis were injured and none of the rockets landed in Israeli territory.

However, it's quite clear that Hezbollah has no intention of abiding by the agreement. As soon as they become brazen enough, that will free Israel from following their own part of the agreement, and they can resume their advance -- the "Mulligan" I spoke of before.

The typically anemic and antisemitic UN, which still tries to maintain a veneer of justice and decency, will be stymied trying to blame Israel for Hezbollah's continuing rocket fire. Whatever they may want to say, they'll pretty much have to hold their official tongues. And even if they do not, the Bush administration will be quite justified, in the eyes of the American people, to say, "well, it didn't work -- terrorist organizations have no honor or honesty and we cannot make agreements with them."

In addition, Hezbollah has already announced that they refuse to disarm or allow themselves to be disarmed, which violates clauses OP3, OP8, and OP10.

This is precisely as Big Lizards predicted:

Here is my take: there is no way that Hezbollah can hold its water even long enough for Lebanese and UNIFIL forces to take Israel's place. They will either reject the proposal outright, or more likely accept it -- but with no intention of actually obeying it.

[Sheikh Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah] will be overconfident that the UN has his back; he will think that he can resume shooting missiles at Israel before the ink even dries on the agreement, and that Israel will be stymied by UNIFIL and prevented from responding in kind....

But [Israeli Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert will want to hang on as long as he can, because he's obviously finished in Likud, even when Kadima evaporates. So he will almost certainly be looking for a solid reason to declare the ceasefire broken and restart the offensive... but this time with the vigor and the ground forces it really needs, rather than trying to do it by airstrikes alone -- which everybody now agrees was a miserable failure.

Well, as to that last part, we'll see; I still believe that Israel will be forced to restart the offensive -- but this time not quite so inoffensively. Here is the "promised land" I predicted in that last post:

So sometime in the next year or so, Israel will be back in Lebanon (possibly under a new prime minister); and this time, there will be no ceasefire. They will finish off Hezbollah as an effective military or terrorist organization in that country. And without either the Syrian Army or Hezbollah, the Syrian intelligence officers will quickly head back home, just ahead of the mobs of angry northern Lebanese with torches and pitchforks.

During that time, Iran will only be able to partially resupply Hezbollah; but when Israel attacks next time, they will no longer rely exclusively on bombs and missiles: next time, the IDF generals get their licks from the git-go. And that is the moment we're waiting for.

I'm not so sanguine about that part... not after watching the fecklessness with which Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz "fought' the war so far. But I have not given up hope (unlike Nancy-boy Jed Babbin), and we'll see how far Hezbollah goes and at what point Israel declares them in violation and repudiates the UN-brokered agreement.

At some point, perhaps Olmert and Peretz will each grow a spine. Stranger things have happened!

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 14, 2006, at the time of 11:34 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Terrye

I largely agree with your take, but I think people have been too hard on Olmert. Hezbellah is what it is.

We forget that Israel is a tiny nation of 6 million people. This nation has been at war for its entire existence in spite of its limited size and population. Maybe they are sick of long drawn out wars and occupation and just don't have the means to do what some people think they can and should.

Besides, you never know what obstacles might have presented themselves had Olmert done just what the critics said he should. I have learned over the years that it is easy to assume that if we had zigged instead of zagging all would be well. Problem with that is that the enemy can adapt, he can zig too. In other words even if the Israelis had done just what critics say, the ultimate outcome might have been essentially the same.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 3:14 AM

The following hissed in response by: dasbow

Anybody and everybody knew that Hezbollah wouldn't abide by the ceasefire. So why bother, when it only makes the good guys look weak? It's ridiclous to say that now - NOW -world opinion will side with Israel. Why, everyone will know that Hezbollah doesn't keep their word, so let's give Israel our full support. If only we had had some sort of, I don't know, maybe UN resolution beforehand. One that Israel honored, but Lebanon, Syria, Iran , and Hezbollah violated repeatedly and openly. If we had just had that sacred piece of paper before, world opinion would be on Israel's side at this very moment.

The above hissed in response by: dasbow [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 5:48 AM

The following hissed in response by: Big D

Hey, now, you can't expect Hezbollah to honor a cease fire. They are a terrorist organization! The rabid dog won't sit.

But according to world opinion, that doesn't mean Israel shouldn't continue to honor the cease fire anyway! How else are we to stop the tit for tat, perpetuating the cycle of violence? You can't expect the poor Hezbollah members to fully restrain themselves after years of Israeli oppression. And it's only a few rockets. Why, they probably won't even kill anybody.

Buzz buzz buzz..

Like I have said, the solution is not to invade Lebanon, but to stop worrying to much about civilian deaths in Lebanon. Match Hezbollah rockets with Israeli bombs right into city centers. Every night make up the tally for the previous day - Hezbollah fired 10 rockets, 10 bombs get dropped on South Lebanese villages. Ignore the launchers, ignore Hezbollah. Tally it up plainly each morning in front of the press. Even weep a little as you give the order.

At some point the Lebanese will realize that Hezbollah is doing them no favors.

And you want your soldiers back? Start taking and executing Hezbollah prisoners till they are returned. If your soldiers are executed, kill your remaining Hezbollah prisoners. One way or another the problem gets solved.

The cycle of violence is perpetuated by Israeli restraint and morality. Hezbollahwood and Paliwood make sure they no longer get any credit for it anyway. The fight can no longer be won by being moral - Hezbollah has made sure of that.

And for the record, I think that such policies will ultimately result in less bloodshed.

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 8:18 AM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

Sort of off topic, but has anyone seen any reports of Nasrallah coming out of the Iranian embassy yet? I'd sure like to see him come out into the open...

Also, while we're on the subject of Iranian state sponsorship of terrorists (sort of, anyway), has anyone seen reports of young Saad Bin Laden in Lebanon? Last I heard, two weeks ago the Iranians "released him from house arrest" and sent him off to the Lebanese front to organize Sunni help for Hezbollah.

Love to catch him out in the open too!

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 9:12 AM

The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

Excerpted and linked at Old War Dogs. On a related note: Israeli F-15s downed over Lebanon

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 9:19 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

The idea is to force Lebanon to act like a country and not a client of Hezbellah. If they can not control their state within a state, it will be much easier for Israel to respond and to get support when and if it does.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 12:58 PM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

By the way, UPI reports the U.N. thinks the cease fire is "holding", and the parties are abiding by the resolution. No mention of that pesky disarmament requirement. It's DOA, and will soon be forgotten. The only point of the ceasefire is that Israel has to stop hurting the Hezbollah and give them time to re-equip. I guess we can expect Round 2 will begin at some point.

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 2:15 PM

The following hissed in response by: BigLeeH

I think people get too wrapped up in what Israel shoulda-coulda-oughta have done about Hezbollah in this war and tend to forget that the reason the war was started in the first place was that Iran needed a distraction to provide them cover, and buy them time, while they finish their nuclear program. From that point of view any sequence of events where our side is forced to focus exclusinvely on Lebanon for a long time is a loss. Iran is the bigger problem, even for Israel. The operational destruction of Hezbollah, if bought at the price of allowing the creation of a nuclear Iran, is no victory. The ceasefire is a defeat for Iran simply because the war was over quickly.

Hezbollah is claiming victory right now since they have faced Israel and are still alive. Fine. But they are also a spent force right now in terms of their usefulness to Iran. If they violate the ceasefire before the international forces arrive then Israel will have both reason and positioning to crush them. If they wait until they are up to their asses in Frenchmen in blue hats then they will need to go back to the sort of low-level sniping at Israel that the UN can ignore. Either way it will be years before they are the lead story on every news broadcast.

The above hissed in response by: BigLeeH [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 3:33 PM

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