In The Weekly Standard Lee Smith has a different take than the MSM on morale in Israel:
…Given the war in Lebanon and the rhetoric of Hezbollah’s Iranian patron, it is an appealing journalistic conceit to suggest that thoughts of yet another Jewish disaster can’t be too far from the minds of most Israelis right now, but that is not really how it is here.
The night before last I was at a small bar when one of the departing patrons wished the bartender, a barrel-chested guy in his mid-20s, a good night and added, “Hey man, I hope you get called up.” “Thanks,” said the bartender cheerfully, “I appreciate it.” Did he mean that he hopes you get called for reserve duty, I asked. “Yes,” the bartender explained. “Everyone really wants to do their part in what’s going on right now.”
It has been curious these last three weeks to follow the ongoing press narratives: On one hand, there is the “Israel” constructed by the media, a country divided, fearful and unsure of itself and its capacity to fight; and then there is the press version of “Lebanon,” where “disproportionate” Israeli bombing has driven all the Lebanese into the warm embrace of the Islamic resistance.
The young [Lebanese Forces] people idolize their za’im, Samir Geagea, even though, among other bloody acts, Geagea is believed responsible for the 1978 assassination of Tony Franjieh, his wife, and daughter. In contrast, My bartender, who served in Gaza last year where the Palestinian factions repeatedly used human shields, did everything possible to avoid hurting civilians, especially children. “You want to protect yourself,” he says, “but you can’t fire if you see a kid. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I hit a kid.”
Clearly Hezbollah, like the Palestinian groups, uses human shields. We do not know precisely what happened at Qana and may never know for sure, but it is likely that we have reached a stage where the IDF believes itself damned regardless of how it regards civilian life, which makes things worse for Lebanese civilians, easier for Israeli troops, and will likely have no effect at all on the international media campaign that Israel has already lost.
And yet Israel seems to be gaining in another of the war’s psychological battles. There’s been some mention lately of Israel’s psy-ops campaign against Hezbollah: hacking into the telephone system and interrupting Al-Manar broadcasts with messages warning of Nasrallah’s impending death. But the most significant Israeli victory to date has largely been overlooked. Hassan Nasrallah, the man whom large sections of the Western press claim without any evidence is more popular now than ever, has been sent underground and will not ever publicly ascend to the real world again in safety. Nasrallah will never again be able to lead a rally of thousands without knowingly endangering the lives of everyone shouting along with him. It is sadly indicative of the state of regional politics that the most charismatic Arab leader since Nasser has been, as Martin Kramer puts it, bin Ladenized… [italics added]
In the noise and smoke emanating from the doctored photos of Lebanon, we are losing sight of the real war and its very real aims. Israel is not losing. Israel is a desert fox. It has not lasted this long by being predictable or soft, and in the end, I believe it will prevail.
Want to see how it turns out? Read this prediction by M. Simon. Here’s a snip:
Any encirclment north of the Litani will be a feint. The real action will be the move towards the Bekaa. When the right flank of the encirclement movement makes its left turn a blocking force will be sent up on the road to the Bekaa. The blocking force will really be the hammer. Light forces will be inserted North of Ballbeck to act as the anvil. They need only have anti-tank and light artillery. The heavy artillery will be air cover. Think Market Garden (WW2 Holland — a Bridge Too Far) without the failure. The light forces will be on the defensive. The strongest tactical position. Thus the force need not be over a regiment or two in size.
Syria will be forced to attack (see Syria Has a Problem) they will mostly be defeated on the road. This will draw Iran in.
At the end of all this the Palestinians will be told by their Arab brothers to take what they can get and shut up. The new rule in the Middle East will be business not war.
Game, set, match.
From Simon’s pen to God’s eyes. Yes, indeedy, it does sound like a plan.
Those sneaky Zionists…
May God so will it.
Still, with so many Hez operatives going to ground–no doubt the best of all possible outcomes for both Israel and the US–the Hez will focus on the one segment of its business plan to which it remains ideally suited, drug running and smuggling. Is there any chance that this de facto de-regulation of the hash market will bring prices down and up the quality of Lebanese Blonde? Just checking, for when Depeche Mode reschedules its Tel Aviv show.
Theres enough feeble peaceniks in both the Israeli and US governments to press for stopping with a job half done (which could be worse than ever), but the MSM crying wolf may have inadvertently freed Israels hand to finish the bloody business of the day. The botched attempts at propaganda by Reuters have really backfired and cast doubt on any anti-Israeli scoops, including legit ones.
On the other hand, as has been pointed out elsewhere, the Israeli penetration into Lebanon is also very very very shallow – 10km or so. Now thats no solution, but it’d be kinda interesting to know how much blood Hezbollah is shedding contesting the ground.
Israel needs to stop pussying around – invade or not invade – halfway is all the evil of both and benefit of neither. The MSMs premature ejaculation has opened a certain window – Israels wrath can get away with being massive (what more could the MSM possibly show?), but it needs to be quick. Unfortunately, blitzkrieg it is not, they seem to fumbling around a bit at the moment… hopefully its just a preparatory snail offensive to open the way while mobilisation occurs …
You didn’t follow the link to the scenario that is being presented. It is not necessary to Israel to do what you’re saying. It is only necessary to blow up the roads out of Syria…and watch all the Hezb. and Lebanese and Palestinians who have fled there have no way to get out. Read his scenarios, starting back in early July.
Best strategy I’ve seen. Only time will tell if he’s guessed the IDF’s moves correctly. At any rate, it doesn’t all have to be sturm and drang to win this.
I’m not so sure the fighting will
extend any futher than what is now
the ‘battle zone’. Olmert will meet
with his advisors tomorrow and make
a decision on whether to send an
additonal 10,000 men into Lebanon
but that is still not the kind of
force necessary for a wider war.
OTOH they are evacuating Kiryat
Shimones remaining population this
On the other the IDF still does not
‘hold’ B’int Jbail. Two weeks after
they said they had taken it. South
Lebanon is a lot like Okinawa in
both size and terrain and Hezbollah
has prepared positions not unlike
the Shuri line that cost so many
American soldiers and Marines their
lives and we were using napalm and
flamethrowers to burn the Japs out
of their tunnels and bunkers.
Israeli ‘hawks’ ( see Yoni the
Blogger) are damning Olmert, Halutz
for indecisiveness and cowardice
but we do not know what diplomatic
pressures are being applied but I
bet they are intense. Israel has
surrounded a large pocket of Hezbos
and maybe content to just let them
fire their remaining rockets into
Israel and rather than take heavy
casualties trying to root them out
of each cave and tunnel just let
them wither on the vine.
There is also the spectre of WMD
should Israel widen the war. Syria
may well have the anthrax that went
missing from Iraqi inventories. If
so that has got to weigh heavily on
Olmert. Iran could give the go
ahead to use the Zelzal’s on Tel
Aviv and they may have more than
HE on them.
This is going to be an interesting
month no matter what. Iran has been
given a deadline by the UNSC and
Ahmedinejad has promised to give an
answer on August 22 which, I read,
is a day with some significance in
the Islamic calender. God forbid it
is WMD but you never can tell.
Fox is reporting that the ballyhooed French/US UN deal has fallen apart. As I say elsewhere, why are we surprised…
Thank you Baron and Lady D.,
I’m told Israel has 200,000 fighters available. Only 10,000 committed. Today the cabinent promised to comit 10,000 more. More bombing of Bekaa yesterday/today.
Every one in Israel is as anxious as I am for the blitzkrieg to get rolling. I have no idea what they are waiting for. In fact the Army (doing what it is told in a most excellent way) is chomping at the bit too.
I beg differ as to the effectiveness of working around the edges and expecting that this would force Syria to cut its own throat by atacking first. Though that would of course be ideal, it is not a given. If Syria holds back from open confrontation (as it has repeatedly in the past 20 years) the remaining option is to go after Hezbollah with both boots.
Hence “Every one in Israel is as anxious as I am for the blitzkrieg to get rolling.”
Agreed, the sooner the better. Channel Rommel and good luck.
the western world needs this win badly. so sad that france and the eu are rooting for the very people aiming to destroy their very civilization and way of life.
im just glad a growing number of people are realizing the islamic scourge.
guys, keep up OUR fight!
I hope stuff works out the way Simon says…but I dunno. I don’t have the impression the Hezzies are moving around much: these battles seem to be more like the fights of the old WW II Pacific campaign, where the bad guys are in bunkers and dugouts, and have to be blowtorched and corkscrewed out of their holes. They don’t have supply lines, or communications to interdict with airborne/airmoble forces. Yeah, the Israels can put in a blocking force, and it may well find some customers, but the armored column moving to them overland will do most of the fighting.
As for the Syrians coming in…maybe. I agree that they’d be smashed if they did, but why should they ? Even the Syrian General Staff can work out how this ends up blindfolded. Why should Boy Assad not instead fight to the last Hezbolli ?
If the Israelis keep going long enough to kill the trained Hezbollah cadres, they have won a substantive victory. Yes, there are going to be scads of Hezbollah recruits, probably, but takes years to train them up to the skill level of the cadres being destroyed.
From the Israeli view, the long term picture seems to me to be less bright. Every day this continues is causing the Israeli economy to hemorrhage, because the north is out of effective economic production. The large reserve mobilisation — because of the necessary extraction of all this manpower from the civilian economy, is similarly problematic. Israel has to win, but quickly. The one way that Israel can be destroyed, short of wrecking the whole middle east in its death throes, is to make it economically unviable, so that immigration becomes emmigration, and then it is all a question of birth rates and time.
I do not believe that Israel’s problem, or ours in Iraq, is going to be solved by Market-Garden in the Bekaa, reinforcements to Baghdad or anything short of taking the war to Tehran.
Jefe, I’m with you. But I think we should at least publicly and vigorously support the Iranian resistance first…
Israel will try to force Syria into the war for the simple reason that it wants Iran dragged in too.
Crippling Syria’s Baathists and replacing them with insane fundamentalists holds no real strategic value to Israel, but crippling Iranian nuclear capability certainly does, and that’s only possible before Iran develops a nuclear umbrella. And its only possible if Iran shoots first, and that will only happen if Syria is against the ropes calling for help.
Israel has also no doubt realized that it can’t go it alone, and needs to drag the US in too, and this may appear to be Israel’s last best chance to do that, given the possible outcome of an US election in 08.
IMO it will try to drag Syria in, but failing that will thrash Hezbollah so badly, and drive so far into Lebanon that Iran will have to implicate itself in the war.
Oh, and has anyone noticed the US hardened tip troop massing in Iraq, supposedly to pacify Baghdad? Or the fact that there is a carrier battlegroup “missing” somewhere out there?
btw, “Israeli television said early the bodies of Iranian Revolutionary Guards had been found among guerrillas killed in south Lebanon. There was no independent confirmation.” 9 Aug http://www.theage.com.au/news/World/Israeli-troops-push-deeper-in-Lebanon/2006/08/10/1154802989600.html
Naturally, Iran and Hezbollah denied it.
And there it will stand.
The west will study the aces it has
in its hands and wonder if the
Mohammedans hold a flush.
If our diplomats were playing poker
we’d be broke. God, they are fools.
On the very day Islamic terrorists
turned the media’s spotlight away
from South Lebanon, a day Israel
could have done what it was ready
and able to do, our Foggy Bottom
Fools demand a halt to combat
In the words of Casey Stengel.’Does
anyone here know how to play this
game”. Kee-rist, the Pentagon could
do more to protect this country by
ordering the Marines to take the
State Department than by any other
Colin and Condi. Symbolism over
Israel is ‘taking it’s time’ because they are evacuating the Lebanese Christians trapped in the south.
I wonder if Israel went on the offensive to prevent the Iranians from getting in rocket warheads capable of carrying Iraqi chemical WMD stored in Bekka?
I also wonder how loud and profound the gratitude will be as Israel is ultimately protecting the Arab oil fields?
The weekend before the soldiers- both Muslim Druze Israelis- were kidnapped, Dinnerjacket had declared war on Israel at a meeting of the Muslim states. An open declaration of war by a world leader, and not a word by the MSM.
I believe Iran’s declaration was motivated more by economics than ‘religion’- 2 major Caspian Sea oil pipelines have opened up, supplying China and Europe. Iranian oil is much reduced in importance, if not irrelevant. (Venezuela, by the way, is already crippled in it’s production, and is invoking ruinously expensive option contracts with foreign suppliers to meet it’s obligated contract quotas.)
Thus, Iran must jack up the price now by activating its Hizb’allah and Hamas fronts. Sacrifice a few Arabs for the Persian cause. Buys time and negotiating points.
My question: What, exactly, had the sovereign state of Israel done to either Iran or Syria? What are they defending themselves against? Iran isn’t quite next door.
And why were these “Lebanese civilians” still being called “displaced Palestinians” a few weeks ago?