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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

From Saigon to Beirut

During the period that Israel occupied southern Lebanon, many people compared that action to the American experience in Vietnam in the 60's and 70's. Writing at YNet, Sever Plocker explains how the US was perceived to have lost in Vietnam due to the Tet offensive and how it was portrayed in the media. He also explains that Israel cannot lose in Lebanon and how we can prevent last month's war from becoming our Tet offensive.
On July 12, 2006, Hizbullah began its "Tet Offensive" on the northern border. The group had been planning the attack for years, training and gaining strength. It has acquired modern weapons, created a communications network, and become, from its perspective, the best regular army for an offensive war against Israel and for ongoing fighting.

At the same time, Israel has started to lose the second Lebanon War, both in terms of local perception and Arab and international consciousness.

In order to ensure that July, 2006 does not become for Israel what January, 1968 was for the Americans, Israel must undergo immediate political change. Guilty or not, there is no choice but to replace the current government, and no choice but to establish a commission of inquiry.

Olmert and Peretz have lost the support of the public. They are seen as lost, with a mark of Cain emblazoned on their foreheads. Isolated military actions here and there will not get back Israel's credibility, power of deterrence, or standing. It will take a different government to achieve those things.

Hizbullah is not the Viecong. The United States does not share a border with Vietnam, and its military presence there was a mistake to begin with. America had the luxury to allow itself to be beaten in the Tet Offensive. We have no such luxury.
Read it all.


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