Powered by WebAds

Monday, August 07, 2006

How far north?

Last night, after I pulled myself away from the computer and before I went to bed, I saw a headline on my wife's computer and almost came to back to blog again. The headline read: "IDF ditches plans to reach Litani River." I found the headline stunning.

The story went on to explain:
While the IDF initially had planned to send troops north to the Litani River - a line from which officials said it would be easier to prevent rocket attacks - high-ranking military sources told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that due to the mounting diplomatic pressure the plan had been deferred for the time being.

An incursion up to the Litani - some 30 km from Israel - would require, a high-ranking source in the Northern Command said Sunday, the insertion of an entire new division into Lebanon. The IDF already has eight brigades on the ground in Lebanon made up of 10,000 troops. The source said that it would take several days to reach the Litani.

"This is not a simple mission," the source explained. "We cannot move north until we finish clearing out the area currently in the security zone. That will take us another few days."

The source said that IDF troops were making huge headway in southern Lebanon and were close to clearing the area out of Hizbullah guerrillas and terror infrastructure. According to the UN draft resolution, the IDF would not be forced to withdraw from southern Lebanon even after a ceasefire was announced and would be permitted to remain at the line it was currently maintaining.

A high-ranking defense source said that Israel was not interested in finding itself at the Litani when the ceasefire was announced.
The article then 'helpfully' added:
Over the course of the day Sunday, the IDF killed 30 Hizbullah guerrillas.
As if the Arabs can't produce 'guerillas' as often as I change my socks and thirty of them is going to make a difference in the overall picture.... Sounds like Olmert wimping out again, doesn't it?

In fact, it was Olmert wimping out again. Who would have thought that Amir Peretz would become the hawk?
Over the last few days, divisions have emerged between Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz, with Peretz favoring a push to the Litani, and at one point late last week instructing the army to draw up plans, but Olmert arguing that it would not be necessary since the missiles could continue to be launched from further north of the river.
That makes sense, right? Since they can also launch missiles from further north, there's no point in pushing them further north and forcing them to use longer range, more expensive missiles? Or am I missing something here?
Olmert prevailed, and the issue was not even raised at a meeting of the Forum of Seven, Olmert's kitchen cabinet, that met Saturday night. However, government officials said, the recent events could change matters.
The 'recent events' were yesterday's slaughter in Kfar Giladi - a lucky hit for an inaccurate missile at fairly close range - and the mass destruction of the area of Haifa near the B'Hai Gardens. Don't expect to hear Nasrallah calling the people killed last night 'shahids' even though as far as I can tell, they were not Jewish. The Muslims consider the B'Hai to be heretics, much as they consider the Christian Copts in Egypt to be heretics. I'm not sure whether heretics rank above or below the 'sons of pigs and monkeys' on their scale of things.

Eleven of the twelve reservists who were murdered yesterday in Kfar Giladi have been identified. They were Eliyahu Elkariaf, 34, of Granot; Yosef Karkash, 41, from Afula; Shlomo Buchris, 36, of Sde Yitzhak; Yehuda Greenfeld, 27, from Ma'ale Michmash; Ziv Balali, 28, from Kfar Saba; Daniel Ben David, 38, from Ahitub; Marion Berkovitch, 31 of Ashdod; Ro'I Yaish, 27, from Herzliya; Shaul Shai Michlovitch, 21, from Netanya; Shmuel Halfon, 41, of Bat Yam; and Gregory Aharonov, 34, from Or Akiva. By the ages, they were probably mostly people with families. Twelve other people were wounded in the attack, which was a direct hit by a rocket shot into a crowd of people.

As the New York Times noted - but the Israeli papers surprisingly did not - the rocket was packed with ballbearings:
The rocket sprayed the bearings in a deadly cloud up to 60 yards in diameter, leaving a scene that witnesses, including a war-weary ambulance driver, described as the most horrific carnage they had ever seen.

The rocket struck two small cars parked next to each other in front of a cemetery enclosed by a stone wall and tall trees that overlook the long valley that runs from northeastern Israel into Lebanon.

The dead were both inside and outside the two cars, said Maj. Zvika Golan, a military spokesman. The cars were in smoking ruins as emergency workers and soldiers rushed to bring the blanket-covered corpses and the wounded to ambulances that took them down the steep hill to helicopters waiting next to the highway below. The stone wall in front of the cars was covered in blood.
The three people killed in Haifa were from an Arab neighborhood at the bottom of Mount Carmel, and once again there are complaints about a lack of proper shelters. Their names have not yet been released. The JPost is reporting nearly 200 people wounded, while YNet is reporting more than 100. The discrepancy is probably caused by the manner in which people who are treated for 'shock' are counted.

More later....


At 11:11 AM, Blogger M. Simon said...

It is hard to tell if Olmert is putting out disinformation or he is incompetent.

This week I'm leaning incompetent.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

It's both.


Post a Comment

<< Home