Are the Israelis Losing? Is that even possible …

A council of despair is convening over at Haaretz, while the IDF, as the Angry Arab has been documenting, has been making triumphal pronouncements that befit a boyscout troop, not an army that once found itself in Beirut in six days … What does it all mean? Who knows?

“Who would have believed that a guerrilla organization with a few hundred regular fighters, something like a brigade and a half, could paralyze half a country, firing off hundreds of missiles every day? A total of 2,200 by Sunday morning, says the defense minister. Who would have believed that cities like Safed, Acre, Nahariya, Tiberias and especially Haifa, the capital of the North, would wake up every morning to the sound of sirens and deadly rocket fire that would turn tens of thousands of people into refugees and shut down life in a large part of the country? And that’s even before Hezbollah has tried to use its long-range missiles on Tel Aviv.”

Who indeed?

“Who would have believed that the Israel Defense Forces, the army that is prepared for large-scale wars, that Iran fears will attack its nuclear facilities, that can drop 23 tons of bombs in a single night, is incapable of stopping Hezbollah’s missile fire? How is that as soon as the IDF announces Hezbollah’s TV station has been bombed, Hassan Nasrallah pops up in blooming health to continue his taunts against us?”

Who indeed? I know we are all conditioned by history to expect it to be the Arabs making ridiculous false claims about stunning military successes? But are the Israelis encroaching on this Arab province? Impossible to know unless you down south, but interesting to consider … One alternative explanation for the Israelis annoucing the capture of dusty villages with such pomp and circumstance may be the utter lack of a political strategy for waging this war and the fact that the political class had no time to prepare the Israeli public on the what, why and wherefor …

Given that the ultimate goal of the military adventure seems to change each day (prisoners, then destroy Hizbullah, then disarm Hizbullah, then push back Hizbullah, then enable the GOL to disarm Hizbullah and then prepare the border for multinational force), the Israelis may need these daily “victories,” however small, as a sort of narrative that takes the place of actually having some strategic objective and thereby political strategy for their war.

Here is Shimon Peres calling for the Lebanese Army to help out … Which only adds fuel to speculation that either the Israelis have become clueless about Lebanon or are starting to grasp for straws ..

“In this war, there is no alternative to victory against terrorists,” Peres told Israel’s parliament. “Morally, Hezbollah has already been defeated. It will also be defeated militarily.”
Hezbollah made a strategic error, he said, when it assumed that “with `12,000 rockets, it could break Israel’s spirit.”
“This could be your great opportunity,” Peres said, referring to the Lebanese. “You have at your service an army of 80,000 troops. Where are they?”

Also, Lebanese Speaker Nabih Berri seemed cool as a cucumber today with Sec. Rice which may mean he knows something she does not … We will have to stay tuned …

Unfortunately, this may be bad news, as the Israelis will be all the more dangerous if they are either operating without any knowledge of Lebanese realities or becoming desperate as either scenario could lead the Israelis to look for something spectacular to reinvigorate sagging morale at home for the war of no purpose …. More difficult is trying to think of some way the Israeli leadership will be able to sell this adventure as a victory back home? We will see …

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6 thoughts on “Are the Israelis Losing? Is that even possible …

  1. Well, I can think of one reason:

    Despite breathless media to the contrary, Israel actually *IS* trying to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties in its campaigns.

    Israel has the capability to carpet-bomb most of Southern Lebanon into smithereens, with a loss of life perhaps 2 orders of magnitude above what has been seen so far. It hasn’t because, rather than being blood-drinking evil-incarnate Zionist demons, they’re actually trying not to do unneeded damage.

    You can’t have it both ways: complaining that the Zionists have no regard for human life at the same time gloating that they haven’t been able to take out Hezbollah completely. If things don’t happen to make progress in disarming Hezbollah completely soon, the IDF is likely to stop fighting with one arm tied behind its back — which will probably not be a positive step for the region as a whole.

  2. let them fight with the same arms that hezbollah have and the latter will just eat them alive.

    please don’t boast Israeli armament this does not impress us. This actually works in their disfavor showing that they really need to throw an atomic bomb in order to smash everything. How coward and weak you guys can be.

    Besides, targeting a hospital is not minimizing civilian death. targeting a bus full kids is not minimizing civilian death. Targeting a two guys on a motorcycle with and airplane bomb (!!) is not minimizing civilian death. etc..

  3. Good post.

    I agree with the content. They are lost and they do not know what to say……

    And this is the scarriest part of it all.

  4. Dear friends,
    Hizbollah is Israel’s “Vietnam nightmare”, since many years ago. They have been known to use their guerilla advantage in a very successful way (military speakng). I don’t see the surprise here – they’re not underrated by Isarelis, they’re actually pretty overrated by the Israelis.
    Anyway, I didn’t follow the logic: I could detect a sense of pride that Hizbolla is firing rockets on innocent civilians, up to 160 per day (so far), and they didn’t even pull the “big guns” to fire on Tel Aviv (applause). 4 Israeli Arabs died in recent days from these rockets. 3 of them were kids killed in their homes, another one found his death while at work.
    Does this make Lebanese people proud and strong?

  5. Ras-a-tin,

    I am not sure I understand your post … Are you suggesting that you detected that Haaretz was proud of Hizbullah’s capabilities? I would doubt that but Israelis are quite extraordinary so who knows …?

    I will offer the following. I do think HIZB’s ability to engage the IDF in the south is a source of pride for some Lebanese as most expected it to be a cakewalk … I don’t think anyone is cheering dead babies, but to retain an offensive capability while the IDF/IAF is attempting to eliminate that capacity is quite extraordinary and a bit of a surprise.

    I would also agree with you in that I always thought the Israelis overestimate Hizbullah, and thus we may or may not be seeing a cautious IDF so far that is reluctant to go full throttle and accept larger number of casualties without any endgame in place. But what the hell do I know?

  6. Ooh… my bad… I didn’t realise this was a quote from Haaretz and therefore completely misunderstood it. Indeed, it’s a weird text coming from them. Oh no, it’s not weird at all — it’s written by Yoel Marcus, probably the least intelligent of their op-ed contributors.
    Who would have believed? Everybody but Mr. Marcus?
    ::: ::: :::
    Be strong, Lebanon.
    Peace

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