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August 18, 2006

The Real Winner In Lebanon

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

Strategy Page had this up on Wednesday. It's a perspective that many have considered, and one that although likely, leaves Israel with narrowed options:

The success of the ceasefire in Lebanon hinges on a condition that Lebanon and Hizbollah both insist will not happen. Hizbollah is supposed to disarm, but says bluntly that it will not do so. The Lebanese government says it will not force Hizbollah to disarm. So what's going to happen? It appears that Israel is going to hold the UN responsible for carrying out its peace deal, and disarm Hizbollah. To that end, Israel will withdraw its troops from Lebanon, and leave it to UN peacekeepers to do what they are obliged to do.

The Israeli strategy appears to be to allow the UN deal to self-destruct. If the UN peacekeepers can disarm Hizbollah, fine. If not, Israeli ground troops will come back in and clear everyone out of southern Lebanon. At that point, it will be obvious that no one else is willing, or able, to deal with the outlaw "state-within-a-state" that Hizbollah represents. Hizbollah will still exist after being thrown out of southern Lebanon, and it will be up to the majority of Lebanese, and the rest of the Arab world, to deal with Hizbollah and radical Shias.

So, who then was the real winner?

Hizbollah suffered a defeat. Their rocket attacks on Israel, while appearing spectacular (nearly 4,000 rockets launched), were unimpressive (39 Israelis killed, half of them Arabs). On the ground, Hizbollah lost nearly 600 of its own personnel, and billions of dollars worth of assets and weapons. Israeli losses were far less.

While Hizbollah can declare this a victory, because it fought Israel without being destroyed, this is no more a victory than that of any other Arab force that has faced Israeli troops and failed.

Read the rest of "The Real Winner in Lebanon."

Good points, all. However, the Arab world and Iran, in the distorted, upside down logic of the Middle East, believes that Hezbollah won since there's some rubble left standing in Lebanon. Emboldened by their "victory," Hezbollah and Iran, with Syria in lockstep, are preparing ever more earnestly for an even bigger war - one with nuclear weapons, while Iran continues to do the rope-a-dope on the international community via pretending to negotiate on their nuclear weapons program that the international community pretends is going to just go away.

Well, it isn't. And Israel is facing fewer options, with only one that appears both very real and imminent: All out war with Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah, which is likely to involve the U.S. as well. With Iraq looking like it's headed toward the proverbial hell in a handbasket, it appears that what began in 1979, radical Islam's war with the West, particularly England and the U.S., is rapidly going to come to it's final, and deadly, stages. For lack of a better description, let's just call it a much bigger war. One that at the very least, could very well eventually involve tactical nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, read "What Comes Next.

Also, Riehl World View has a "News Report From Israel": "... paying particular attention to Iran as we approach August 22nd, fearing that Iran will launch some sort of aggression against them in conjunction with their blowing off the UN on the nuclear development resolution."

Posted by Richard at August 18, 2006 6:41 AM

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