Skip to comments.Seeing Through The Fog Of War (The Soon To Be Realized Well-Kept Israeli Victory Secret Alert)
Posted on 08/10/2006 5:03:24 AM PDT by goldstategop
Jerusalem, Israel (Aug. 9, 2006) The debate raging in Israel these days is how far and how fast to push into Lebanon, and how to define victory once the phase of intense military operations is over.
The government of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has already changed military strategy twice in four weeks of fighting. On Tuesday, they assigned an over-seer from the general staff to second-guess Maj. Gen. Uri Adom, the operational commander in the north. None of these are signs of a well-planned war.
The Israeli press is full of reports of disputes within the General Staff, disputes within the Cabinet, poorly-planned operations, and pulled punches. Some have suggested publicly that Israel is losing this war.
Former Mossad Chief Efraim Halevy said Tuesday that Israel will ultimately emerge as the victor. "But we have to make sure that our enemies will not be able to project the image that they are similarly successful. This is very important for Israel's deterrence image. We must engrave in the mind of the enemy that it has suffered a serious setback, he said.
But even this measure of victory may be beyond Israels grasp. Israels enemies will claim victory no matter how stunning their defeat. If the Arab states had any understanding of military realities, they would have conceded defeat in 1948 and gone on to make their own deserts bloom. Instead, they have poured a colossal fortune down the drain trillions and trillions of dollars in oil revenues to pursue a doomed jihad against a Jewish state whose existence they can never accept, even today.
So lets step back from the depressed news coverage that suggests Israel is losing this war - because Israel will never win the propaganda war: not against the Arabs, the Islamo-fascists, or the Europeans.
Here is a short list of what Israel has accomplished after one month of fighting. These are not perfect achievements. Nor are they complete. (There is no complete victory against terrorist forces, as Ariel Sharon learned after smashing the PLO in Lebanon in 1982.) But real capabilities have been destroyed and these are important victories.
*The massive arsenal supplied to Hezbollah by Iran has been almost entirely wiped out.*
While some news agencies have mis-reported that Iranian rockets continue to hit Haifa, in fact, as Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told me after Sundays deadly rocket strikes that killed 15 Israelis, only a handful of Iranian Fajr-3 rockets have hit Israel during the entire conflict.
What happened to those Iranian rockets? Israel took most of them out on Day One of the fighting, senior military officials say.
Through good intelligence, they managed to identify the location of the launchers before they could be used. We made this our top priority, a military intelligence source told me.
While Hezbollah most likely has a strategic reserve and can still pull off surprises this means quite simply that Iran lost in a single day of Israeli airstrikes an investment that has cost them hundreds of millions of dollars and six years to build.
The arsenal Hezbollah still retains are mostly shorter-range rockets, which Israel can take out in ground operations up to the Litani river.
*Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has been turned into a fugitive.*
Sure, Nasrallah may be hiding in the basement of the Iranian embassy in Damascus, and he will manage to give pre-taped interviews to Hezbo-TV for the conceivable future. But his public speaking days at mass open-air rallies are over. He steps out of his bomb shelter, and an Israeli missile sends him to Allah. Welcome to life underground with Osama.
*Iran overplayed its hand.*
Guided no doubt by Nasrallahs inflated analysis of Israeli weakness, Iran gave the operational orders to Hezbollah to launch the July 12 attack on Israel during face-to-face meetings in Damascus the day before, as I have previously reported.
Iran believed that Israel would collapse under a steady barrage of rocket-fire against its northern cities, towns and villages, and sue for peace. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his hojjatieh religious mentors were convinced that Israels humiliation would pave the way toward their avowed goal of destroying Israel and America, by hastening the return of the Shiite Muslim messiah (the Mahdi) and ushering in the end times. Instead, its their own demise that is near.
*Irans elite Revolutionary Guards Corps has been humiliated.*
Revolutionary Guards officers, assigned to Hezbollah missile units in Lebanon, have been killed on the battlefield in Lebanon and sent back like dogs in Syrian caskets to Iran.
To disguise the losses (and Irans direct involvement in the fighting), the dead Iranians were put in civilian caskets, and taken to Syria in convoys of refuges. This is a humiliation and a wake-up call the Revolutionary Guards have never endured.
*The Islamic Republic has failed to divert international attention from its nuclear weapons programs.*
The timing of the war was no accident: just days before the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. Initial plans for the summit placed Irans nuclear weapons program at the top of the agenda.
Irans goal in provoking this war was to divert international attention from its nuclear weapons program at the summit; and initially, it appeared that Iran was successful. Iran was stunned when the UN Security Council passed a resolution two weeks later giving Tehran a hard deadline to accept the U.S.-backed take-it or leave-it offer to suspend all enrichment and reprocessing activities, in exchange for Western goodies. In response to that UN action, Iran has thumbed its nose at the international community, and indicated last week that it would reject the offer. But the UN deadline holds.
In other words, Irans efforts to game the international community have failed, and failed miserably.
Each day the fighting continues, Hezbollah grows weaker.
Each day that Israel that bombs Hezbollah command and control bunkers, and destroys Syrian and Iranian and Chinese-built rocket launchers, the future threat to the citizens of northern Israel diminishes.
Israel has made clear that it will not accept a ceasefire in Lebanon until Hezbollah is effectively disarmed and some arrangement is made to prevent Hezbollah from returning to southern Lebanon.
In the fog of war it is often difficult to recognize victory or the beginnings of victory. Israel still has a ways to go to defeat Hezbollah and prevent it from becoming a future threat. But it has reached a tipping point. From here on, the losses are going to be overwhelming one-sided, in Israels favor.
Most important of all, however, has been the message sent by Israels civilian population to the leaders of Syria and Iran.
Until this war, Iran believed it could deter any Israeli military action against it in Lebanon, or in Iran by the threat of massive rocket attacks, essentially using Israels civilian population as hostages.
By playing its hand too early, Iran has lost that deterrent. That may be Israels greatest victory of all.
(Go Israel, Go! Slap 'Em Down Hezbullies.)
Israel is winning, and Iran is losing--don't believe the negative hype from those you know better than to listen to.
As long as there is one left standing he will claim victory over the "evil" Israel.
The one unifying force for the enemey had been the media -- the propaganda images, causing the animal magnetism alignment of the compasses of hate amoung the street mobs.
But thanks to Free Republic, and follow-oners like Charles Johnson and the other good blogs -- the persian rug has been pulled out from under the media and it ain't flying no mo'.
And there's more.
It would be pointless to sue for peace with those who have your complete destruction as their sole purpose. Making glassed over parking lots of Iranian military bases and nuke facilities will help some, but Israel appears tolack the political will to make it so.
As far as the poor Lebanese are concerned, they stood by as the bunkers were built and the weapons moved into place. As did the U(seless) N(othings).
bump for a more positive analysis of the Israel-Lebanon situation...
Thanks. This post does cut through the fog.
Note to Democrats: Note that in Israel, the parties out of power like Bibe Netenyahu are not saying, "Olmert lied, Israelies died" they fight their wars as a nation united and let political differences go for the duration of the conflict."You Democrats might try this instead of political grandstanding.
IMO, this is where they overplaed their hand. For years now, right here on FR as some people urged Israeli action against the hezbos, others would scream "But they CAN'T attack Hexbo! They have 12000 Katyushas pointing at Israel!" Israel finally said, show us what you got, and it ain't that much.
Next question is, what does Iran have? When will we call THEIR bluff? We'll learn something, maybe, on August 22.
95% of the Israeli public support what is going on. If they were polled about taking this war to Syria and destroying Iran's ability to produce oil, I believe you would still be in the 80's.
Iran cannot touch Israel unless they go through Syria. It would make sense then to take out Syrias military infrastructure, plant a sub or two off Iran and declare to the UN that unless the hezzies leave now, Iran will be destroyed.
That is how you fight a war with your enemies.
What better way to make this crystal clear than a public signing of the articles of unconditional surrender by Lebanon. That should be the goal.
and declare to the UN that unless the hezzies leave now, Iran will be destroyed.
I'd like to see Israel very publically taunt Amadinejad. They should be able to humiliate him into striking first. (Of course he may anyways on the 22nd)
Because it would be worse to embarrass the Iranians in the eyes of the Arab world then unite everyone against Israel.
The problem is defining victory and defeat. Victory is depriving the other side of what it wants. Since the Hezbos don't care how many people they lose and since any Israeli capture of territory is known to be temporary (in fact many reports indicate Israel has already agreed to the ridiculous concession of Sheba Farm) the fact that Israelis are advancing and killing Hezbos is not meaningful. The destruction of rockets is good but the Hezbos are still hitting Israel with hundreds of rockets and have largely wrecked Israel's economy. Unless the war ends with Hizballah largely destroyed and unable to threaten Israel I would not consider this a victory for Israel. The Israelis are not considering this a victory so far in that they are changing leadership in the middle of the war.
Damn good writing!!
If Lebanon claims to be an innocent victim of the Hezb'Allah terrorists, I don't see Lebanon surrendering to Israel anytime soon.
Then it will take just a little longer.
I was going to say exactly that but I didn't know how to spell Netenyahu. The other day Netenyahu was being interviewed and he was so focused on the good of Israel. He was asked if he would have done things the same way and he snapped back, tersely but without anger, "That's not important".
Imagine any stinking slimy Democrat asked that question here in the US.
A bit of optimism is a nice thing today. :-)