Powered by WebAds

Thursday, April 22, 2010

“You stand there with your law, and I’ll stand here with my bayonets, and we’ll see which one prevails.”

The recent transfer of long-range scud missiles to Hezbullah by Syria was only the latest in a series of transfers of advanced weaponry to Hezbullah over the Syrian - Lebanese border since the Second Lebanon War ended in 2006. Those transfers are watched and noted by Israel, but ignored by everyone else, including the supposed guardians of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
The weaponry supplied to Hizbullah include M-600 surface-to-surface missiles, the man-portable Igla-S surface-to-air missile system, which would threaten Israeli fighter aircraft monitoring the skies of Lebanon, and now the Scud-D ballistic missile system.

If the reports regarding such weaponry are correct, they would make Hizbullah by far the best-armed non-state paramilitary group in the world.

These reports do not mean that war is necessarily imminent.

Israel appears in no hurry to punish Hizbullah and Syria for the flouting of red lines. Unlike its enemies, the Israeli government is publicly accountable, and would find it difficult to justify a preemptive strike – which might well result in renewed war – to the Israeli public.

Hizbullah and Syria also seem in no rush to initiate hostilities. They have merely internalized the fact that nothing serious appears to stand in the way of their activities across the eastern border of Lebanon, and are hence proceeding apace.

The clearest lesson of the latest events is the fictional status of international guarantees and resolutions if these are not backed by a real willingness to enforce them.

The Western failure to underwrite the elected government of Lebanon has led to the effective Hizbullah takeover of that country. The failure to insist on the implementation of Resolution 1701 has allowed the apparent strategic transformation of Hizbullah over the last three and a half years.

While the “resistance bloc” does not necessarily seek imminent conflict, there is also no sign whatsoever that its appetite has been satiated by its recent gains. Laws, elections and agreements do not stand in its way. It operates, rather, according to the dictum of a certain 20th-century German leader, who said, “You stand there with your law, and I’ll stand here with my bayonets, and we’ll see which one prevails.”
There's going to be another war up north. The only question is when. This time, Israel really has to finish off Hezbullah.

By the way, I take issue with blaming this entirely on a failure to insist on the implementation of Resolution 1701. That resolution was flawed from the outset by requiring that the Lebanese army request UNIFIL's intervention rather than giving UNIFIL free reign. The result is that areas like the Syrian border, the Mediterranean coast line and parts of southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley are essentially off limits to UNIFIL troops.

This was all foreseeable to anyone who read and understood Resolution 1701.

One other little point from that same post that I cannot resist putting out for those of you who think of revising history to say that the Bush administration was not behind Israel in that summer of 2006:
A senior administration official in Crawford, Tex., where Mr. Bush is on vacation, said that it increasingly seemed that Israel would not be able to achieve a military victory, a realization that led the Americans to get behind a cease-fire.
We could have achieved one with a different Prime Minister, Defense Minister and IDF Chief of Staff in charge. The three stooges (Olmert, Peretz and Halutz) wasted a golden opportunity.


At 12:49 PM, Blogger Shawarma said...

Could have, would have, should have, didn't.

All sources I had at the time (not just web news sites) indicated the IDF was just not prepared.

And was the Israeli public prepared for a full scale invasion and take-down of Beirut to root out every Hezbollah link?

Would the non-Shiite Lebanese have stood by Israelis against the Shiites? UNLIKELY!

Let's just hope and prey the next war is still farther away. Not this summer, next summer or next decade. Once decades pass - realities on the ground have a tendency to morph. Not being optimistic nor pessimistic - simply realistic.

At 2:58 PM, Blogger Y.K. said...

Shawarma, that's utter bullshit.

First, polls by Minah Tzehmach showed 80% overall support and 90% support in the Jewish public for ignoring the "ceasefire" and continuing the war, so the public supported whatever it took. I know this - I was there!

Second, no matter how badly the IDF was prepared (obviously it was better prepared than in 1973 where it still took the war into the enemy's heartland), the IDF still had a large superiority in tanks and planes. Again, it wasn't the public that failed or even mainly the IDF (as bad as it was), it was the leftist leadership.

Thirdly, the position of the noo-Shiite Lebanese is not all that relevant. They went with the strong horse as usual, which wasn't us due to (again) the leftist leadership.

Lastly, please no defeatism here. I hope there won't be a next war at all, but not because I'm afraid of the "realities". I know we will win, I just don't want anyone to die.

At 2:58 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

We know what Israel could have done was to demolish Iran and Syria. But Israel's three stooges flubbed it and left behind a dangerous nightmare for Israel.

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Shawarma said...

Yair - I'm sure you were all for going full throttle, as were many - as was I. Support for operation by public opinion was there - support for what could have followed - don't be so sure. As you well know that's the difference between 'Mivtza' and reoccupying Beirut.

The three stooges perhaps fumbled, but I don't see an outcome of bombing without occupying as eliminating Hezbollah. You pull back and they're still there.

I don't believe my comment was defeatist. But you managed to call my entire comment 'bullshit' - so perhaps I responded enough regarding this.

At 6:15 PM, Blogger Y.K. said...

I get upset when I see posts appearing to put blame away from the Leftist stooges for the second lebanon war.

And I didn't suggest bombing without occupying - the poll I was talking about was just before the "ceasefire" - so it was obviously about the ground operation, and there was in fact a lot of support. I am not sure we needed to go up to Beirut - taking care of the Bakaa valley might have been enough - but I'm pretty sure the people would have supported that too, particularly with a Leftist government.

Besides, since when did the stooges care about public support? They stalled for weeks in spite of massive pressure... No, the overwhelming responsibility for all the faults in the war must be laid at the feet of the Leftists stooges, their ideology, and the parties which supported them.


Post a Comment

<< Home