August 12, 2006

Israel's Political and Military Defeat

Over the past month, Israel has suffered an embarrassing military and diplomatic defeat in its war against Lebanon and Hezbollah. For the first time in decades, an Arab and Muslim force has been able to stand up to one of the strongest militaries in the world. There will be a new Middle East, but not the one Condolezza Rice had in mind a few weeks ago.

The changes made to the American-French resolution that was passed today were a result of the diplomatic pressure by the Arab delegation that was sent to the Council last week. The compromises made also came as Israel and the US realized that this war cannot be won by Israel without causing serious risks of severe instability in various autocratic countries in the region.

A brief look at UNSC resolution 1701 shows the significant changes and additions that were made to put an end to Israel’s aggression against Lebanon. The new resolution includes a call on Israel to withdraw completely from Southern Lebanon as well as from the occupied Sheba’a Farms. A prisoner exchange between Lebanon and Israel is also to be arranged according to the resolution.

Israel has suffered huge losses on the military front, losses it hasn’t suffered for decades. The IOF was forced to call in more than 30,000 reservists to help with the war on Lebanon and maintain the occupation of Palestinian territories. More than 1.5 million Israelis are hunkered down in shelters while thousands of others have already decided to pack up and leave the country. New opinion polls show that only 20% of the Israeli public believes that their military will win the war. Public support for Prime Minister Olmert and War minister Peretz has declined dramatically over the course of the war. This has resulted in Olmert accepting resolution 1701 and asking his government to do the same. The Israeli government and military want to put an end to a war they cannot win except by cowardly dropping US-made smart bombs on shelters full of civilians. When it comes to on the ground battles against Hezbollah fighters, the weakness of the IOF is obvious. In the international arena, Israel is clearly alone, except for its partners in the US. Even in the States, many have begun to question their governments unrelenting support to a government bent on destroying Lebanon and any other Arab country it can put its hands on.

The unanimous agreement on resolution 1701 proves that Arab countries do have some leverage with the US and in the UN. One wonders, however, if the same power will be used to end the suffering of the Palestinian people. This war will definitely have an impact on the course of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, although one has to remember that many Arab countries as well as Europe and the US have interests in Lebanon that are not existent in the Occupied Palestinian territories.

The dramatic shift between power among Arab countries was also highlighted during the diplomatic efforts that were taken to end this war. While Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan began with a condemnation of Hezbollah and its “uncalculated adventures”, resolution 1701 passed with the help of the Emarati and Qatari officials who went to the UN to ask the US and France to place more pressure on Israel to end its aggression and withdraw its troops. While the former three Arab countries appear to have more weight and power in the region, the opinions of the leaders which were in clear opposition with that of their constituents have questioned their ability to remain among the movers and shakers in the region. The strong reaction of the Arab street to the Israeli aggression as well as their to their leaders’ condemnation of the resistance was a wake up call for Arab autocrats who began to restate their opinions and review their political strategies fearing an even stronger reaction that could result in destabilizing their positions of power domestically and regionally.

The war has also proven that Israel should not be dealt with diplomatically. Israel is a country founded on war and established by military occupation. It does not understand the language of diplomacy; rather, it only understands the language of Katyusha rockets and military body bags. When Israel suffers a military defeat, it is then forced to accept political concessions. This is exactly why countless attempts to forge peace treaties and accords with the Palestinians have ultimately failed as Israel continued its aggression and occupation against a weakened population despite international condemnation. It is also why Israel continually disregards international law and dozens of Security Council resolutions mostly regarding the Occupied Palestinian Territories. As long as it is not losing its young military men and its Merkavas, Israel will continue to disregard any calls from the international community to stop its state sponsored terror machine.

While most of the world has seen and understood what Israel is doing to millions of innocent people, the question remains if and when the United States will realize that its blind support to Israel is only causing more instability in the region and danger to its own people and its position as the superpower of the world.

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22 Comments:

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Hamzeh N. said...

Ballashna!

La defeat wala ma ya7zanoon. If you're gonna say that Israel lost because it didn't win the war and force Hizballah to surrender, then Hizballah also lost becuase Israel didn't surrender.

Also, Israel won the UN resolution. The resolution gives Israel 100% of what it asked for, while only directly calling for Israel to deliver the maps of the land mines, but doesn't directly ask that the Lebanese prisoners be released or the Shab'a farms be returned.

Israeli citizens are bunkered in shelters? That's not a measure of defeat, and if it is, then what happened to the 900,000 displaced Lebanese people? At the end of this war, the vast majority of Israelies will simply have to get out of their "shelters" and resume their lives completely as normal as they were before the war, while the Lebanese will return to their suburbs, towns and villages and find out that their homes are gone and they have to rebuild them.

Arabs have to stop fooling themselves.

Where's Roba who wrote that "why we suck" post on her blog? You know why we suck? We suck because we're satisfied with sucking. If we call this a win, then don't expect us to ever achieve anything better!!!!

 
At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

It's hard to believe, but I agree with the previous gent's post completely.

 
At 12:07 AM, Anonymous iman said...

The UN Resolution, though took longer to bring to the table due to language issues, is still written in israel's favor. There was no explicit mention of releasing the Lebanese prisoners, but it did mention 'full cessation of hostilities based upon- in particular- the immediate cessation by Hizballah of all attacks ...' and then the 'immediate cessation by israel of all offensive military operations.' So Hizballah must stop all it's attacks first! just as israel will begin to withdraw its forces from southers Lebanon after Lebanese and unifil forces are deployed...

Not to mention that there was no mention of israel's offensive military operations that left more than 1000 Lebanese men, women and children dead and 900,000 displaced. Just like it reiterates its full respect of the blue line, it could've simply mentioned its condemnation of the above!

But thanks to the international community for taking more than one month, more than 1000 lives and the vast destruction of a country to draft a biased resolution...

yes, it is a defeat for israel only in the sense that it did not achieve its goal of 'returning the soldiers' and disarming/weakening Hizballah. Hizballah's resistance stood in the way of israeli troops advancing any further and that deserves to be labeled a 'win', however I share Hamzeh's opinion in that Lebanon's economical, infrastructure, and human life loss is much greater than what israel suffered.

 
At 1:53 AM, Blogger Hamzeh N. said...

"yes, it is a defeat for israel only in the sense that it did not achieve its goal of 'returning the soldiers' and disarming/weakening Hizballah"

You can't seriously believe that Israel's goal was to actually find the soldiers and extract them using commando forces or somethin of the like. Israel's goal was exactly what happened, forcing Lebanon to release them. Israel dictated Lebanon's options: release the soldiers, or face a war you can't win. In either case, Israel wins.

 
At 2:33 AM, Anonymous Iman said...

Hamzeh, defeat was in italics and the rest in quotes for a reason _stare!


==
In either case, Israel wins.

you're right ...but with losses(though nothing in comparison to Lebanon - life, economical) they haven't experienced in how many years?!

anyway,

Till now, the soldiers are not released...and if they are released first then after which discussion of rleasing lebanese prisoners takes place, then yes that would be complete failure for Hizballah, Lebanon and the Lebanese people!

 
At 10:41 AM, Blogger moi said...

Hamzeh-- You are comparing Israel and Hezbollah/Lebanon as if they are equal forces. When I say that Israel was defeated militarily, I mean that relatively. No Arab/Muslim force has been able to inflict that much damage on Israel for a few decades now. It would be naive to assume that Israel does not have the military power to completely destroy Lebanon by air and sea. Also, my post alludes to certain aspects of the resolution that were altered under pressure from Arab delegates. I am also comparing this resolution to past ones, so this one is relatively better than earlier ones. Does the resolution lean towards Israel and use vague wording that gives Israel "the right to defend itself"? Yes. But the current one puts more pressure on Israel to withdraw its forces and address the prisoner issue than did the previous draft. Israeli citizens hunkered in shelters is not a measure of defeat, but it shows the extent to which Hizbollah's attacks have affected the daily functions in various cities across Israel.
Hamzeh, just because I said that Israel was defeated does not mean that the Arab world or Lebanon has won. I am not one to overlook the huge mistakes and consequences of those mistakes on the people of Lebanon. I'm working on another post that highlights the failures of the Arab world in this war.

"We suck because we're satisfied with sucking. If we call this a win, then don't expect us to ever achieve anything better!!!!"

So acknowledging that what Hizbollah did was an achievement now means that we are satisfied and we won't do anything else to resist Israel's oppression? I don't like generalizing or using blanket statements that oversimplify everything [ie-"we suck"]. I believe that credit is due here to a small resistance group that has stood up to one of the most powerful armies in the world while surrounding Arab nations with large armies stood around watching massacres take place.

Iman--I totally agree with what you are saying, but like I just mentioned, I'm looking at this resolution in comparative way and I believe it is relatively better than previous ones. In addition, the fact that Israel has at least verbally agreed to it and not wholeheartedly disregarded it like it usually does shows that it wants a cease-fire because it cannot continue to loose as it has been in Southern Lebanon. And I am also positive that Hizbollah will not return the Israeli soldiers unless they are in exchange for their own prisoners.

 
At 10:36 PM, Anonymous Rihab said...

Hamzeh
--Quote--
Ballashna!
La defeat wala ma ya7zanoon. If you're gonna say that Israel lost because it didn't win the war and force Hizballah to surrender, then Hizballah also lost becuase Israel didn't surrender.

--Quote--

I really don't know where to start with this ludicrous comment.

I'm sure you're aware that Hizbolla kidnapped 2 soldiers with the stated objective of freeing Lebanese prisoners from Israeli jails.

Israel attacked Lebanon (or Hizbolla as they like to state) with the objective of 1)Freeing their prisoners and 2) Eliminating Hizbolla, which was later restated to be destroying Hizbolla's military capabilities and was again rephrased a second time to be reducing Hizbolla's weapons capability.

So, the way people determine who the winner is in the world of politics is by seeing who has accomplished their stated objectives.

So whether or not Hizbolla has achieved theirs still cannot be determined seeing as the resolution has left space for the negotiation of prisoner exchange.

As for Israel, it still hasn't gotten its prisoners back and as for the second objective, well, I think it's pretty clear for all to see that Hizbolla's strength has not been eliminated nor reduced.

So please explain to me how did Hizbolla lose and how did Israel win??

--Quote--
Also, Israel won the UN resolution. The resolution gives Israel 100% of what it asked for, while only directly calling for Israel to deliver the maps of the land mines, but doesn't directly ask that the Lebanese prisoners be released or the Shab'a farms be returned.
--Quote--

The UN resolution doesn't fall under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which means that Hizbolla's weapons cannot be forceably removed, in fact it means nothing can be forced to be under this resolution, so basically the UNIFIL can sit there all day and watch Hizbolla and Israelis exchange fire and they can't do crap unless they get hit. The resolution was just a way for Israel to save face after losing their military campaign. Moshe Arens (three time Israeli Defense Minister) said it best:

"They grasped for straws, and what better straw than the United Nations Security Council. No need to score a military victory over Hezbollah. (Hmm... I don't know if I'm just seeing stuff, but that looks like an admission of defeat...) Let the UN declare a cease-fire, and Olmert, Peretz, and Livni can simply declare victory, whether you believe it or not. (No don't worry, many Arabs are willing to state Israel's victory for it - whether it's believable or not) An almost audible sigh of relief could be heard from the Prime Minister's Office as the negotiations that were supposed to lead to a cease-fire began at the UN. The appropriate rhetoric has already started flying. So what if the whole world sees this diplomatic arrangement - which Israel agreed to while it was still receiving a daily dose of Hezbollah rockets - as a defeat suffered by Israel at the hands of a few thousand Hezbollah fighters? (Moshe, Moshe, come on, I already told you!! We believe you won!! I know, I know, it may seem like complete nonsense to you, but we're calling you victorious whether YOU believe it or not!!)So what if nobody believes that an "emboldened" UNIFIL force will disarm Hezbollah, and that Hezbollah with thousands of rockets still in its arsenal and truly emboldened by this month's success against the mighty Israel Defense Forces, will now become a partner for peace? Does a cease-fire that will avoid further casualties among the IDF's soldiers not outweigh these concerns over future events?"

--Quote--
Israeli citizens are bunkered in shelters? That's not a measure of defeat, and if it is, then what happened to the 900,000 displaced Lebanese people? At the end of this war, the vast majority of Israelies will simply have to get out of their "shelters" and resume their lives completely as normal as they were before the war, while the Lebanese will return to their suburbs, towns and villages and find out that their homes are gone and they have to rebuild them.
--Quote--

No of course it's not!! The measure of defeat would be an Arab army marching down the streets of Tel Aviv!! No! No! Even better! A big mushroom cloud coming out of Tel Aviv!!! Yeah! That's how defeat is measured in the great analytical, politically-aware mind of an Arab!!!

--Quote--
Arabs have to stop fooling themselves.
--Quote--

NO KIDDING!

--Quote--
Where's Roba who wrote that "why we suck" post on her blog? You know why we suck? We suck because we're satisfied with sucking. If we call this a win, then don't expect us to ever achieve anything better!!!!
--Quote--

Yes! Arabs are satisfied with sucking! In fact they are so satisfied with sucking that they cannot possibly fathom the meaning of victory! You see.. to an Arab victory is - signing a "mind your own business" (aka peace) deal, getting financial aid to build pretty skyscrapers whilst living without dignity and remaining America's b*tch for eternity (excuse the language but I really couldn't find a more suitable description). The problem is that we don't like going through that "struggle" phase that's the price paid for earning your freewill, your dignity, your pride, your self-respect... and eventually your pretty coffee shops.

I have no doubt in my mind that Lebanon will be built AGAIN, and will be more beautiful than it was before, and the Lebanese will get their prisoners back and will get their land back and they will have done so while earning the utmost respect of both friend and foe. I think that it is to the resistance's credit that Israeli commentators now say that this defeat should "teach us an important lesson for the future, and maybe influence us to change our ways and language, the language we speak to our neighbors with violence and force" [Gideon Levy, Haaretz].

Yes, the Lebanese lost many lives and of course, anyone with an ounce of humanity mourns those lives, but we are talking about the 4th strongest army on this planet versus a militia!! Put things in perspective before you bless us with what, quite frankly, is nothing more than a complete load of nonsensical, emotional crap.

 
At 3:08 AM, Blogger Hamzeh N. said...

"ludicrous comment"

Getting too sensetive, are we? Anyway ...

"So, the way people determine who the winner is in the world of politics is by seeing who has accomplished their stated objectives."

Semantics, you're getting caught up in semantics. Forget about who failed to achieve their "stated objectives", I'm sure you're also aware that there are unstated objectives too, especially in times of war. I'm talking about who ended up suffering more losses on the ground and in the long run; "smart people think at the margin". Hizballah definitely suffered more losses. Israel is in exactly the same spot it was before the war. Hizballah and Lebanon are about 10 billion dollars down money wise. I'm sure Lebanon can make that in a day, can't it? Wait, it can't!

"nothing can be forced to be under this resolution, so basically the UNIFIL can sit there all day and watch Hizbolla and Israelis exchange fire and they can't do crap unless they get hit."

Again, getting caught up in the semantics of the resolution. Who cares about UN forces when Israel can step in anytime it wants to "defend itself" with all the brutality in the world? lol you even said it yourself; UN can sit and watch while Hizballah and Israel exchange fire. In that same hypothetical exchange of fire, Israel's power is significantly greater than any use of force that by the UN under chapter 7 and which you might consider a loss for Hizballah. The resolution only called on Israel to stop "offensive" military operations; not defensive ones. Newsflash, all the atrocities Israel committed in the last month were under the banner of self defense and the UN resolution implicitly agknowledged that. So yes, Israel won the UN resolution.

"I don't know if I'm just seeing stuff, but that looks like an admission of defeat"

LOL, how can you call it an admission of defeat when the guy didn't even take part in the war? This is very common in every country. Ex-military leaders have inflated ego's that when they're retired the best they can do is criticize their successors.

"No of course it's not!! The measure of defeat would be an Arab army marching down the streets of Tel Aviv!! No! No! Even better! A big mushroom cloud coming out of Tel Aviv!!! Yeah! That's how defeat is measured in the great analytical, politically-aware mind of an Arab!!!"

lol, not even that. There is no Israeli defeat in this war. All the things that you mentioned don't even fit in the context of this war. This was simply a war of aggression started by Israel. A war that neither the Lebanese government nor Hizballah chose to take part in. Nothing Hizballah did (or could have done more) would have affected Israel in anyway. All it could do is resist Israel and let them know that it's not free. Really the only defeat that we can talk about in terms of Israel is if Israel found the war unsustainable (which is similar to what happened in 2000 when Israel finally decided to leave the south). But on the other hand, this war was unsustainable for the Lebanese from day one. God knows how long Israel could have chosen to stay in this war if it weren't for the pressure from the international community.

"Yes! Arabs are satisfied with sucking! In fact they are so satisfied with sucking that they cannot possibly fathom the meaning of victory! You see.. to an Arab victory is - signing a "mind your own business" (aka peace) deal, getting financial aid to build pretty skyscrapers whilst living without dignity and remaining America's b*tch for eternity (excuse the language but I really couldn't find a more suitable description). The problem is that we don't like going through that "struggle" phase that's the price paid for earning your freewill, your dignity, your pride, your self-respect... and eventually your pretty coffee shops."

lol the thing is, I agree to a great extent with a lot of what you said in this paragraph; about having to suffer before change, and all that. What you said about signing a peace treaty and being America's bitch, I don't believe that's victory; that's defeat. This was a war that Lebanon simply couldn't win, and in which Israel simply couldn't be beaten, but could only be stopped, and it was only stopped by the international community, not Hizballah.

"I have no doubt in my mind that Lebanon will be built AGAIN, and will be more beautiful than it was before, and the Lebanese will get their prisoners back and will get their land back..."

On the other hand, the Israelies will simply pick up where they started a month ago. They will only have to rebuild maybe a dozen houses and they will keep building on top of what they already have.

"Put things in perspective before you bless us with what, quite frankly, is nothing more than a complete load of nonsensical, emotional crap."

"Nonsensical emotional crap", is it? I think it's obvious who the emotional person here is, and if my first comment was judged ludicrous crap, I can only imagine what you think of personal insults :D I guess it all depends, as you said, on perspective! And my what a ??? perspective you seem to have. Have a good day/night or whatever.

 
At 11:53 AM, Anonymous iman said...

LOL, how can you call it an admission of defeat when the guy didn't even take part in the war? This is very common in every country. Ex-military leaders have inflated ego's that when they're retired the best they can do is criticize their successors.

Olmert himself admitted failure but called it 'deficiencies'...and said that israel will have to review itself in all the battles... Netanyahu said there were many failures in the war on israel's part.

yes, you're right in that Lebanon's losses (human life, infrastructure, economical)outweighs israel's in that respect...but israel did fail by not acheiving its goal!

 
At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Rihab said...

"Getting too sensetive, are we? Anyway ..."

Hmm.. not really, just stating what would be obvious to anyone with basic analytical abilities.

"Semantics, you're getting caught up in semantics. Forget about who failed to achieve their "stated objectives", I'm sure you're also aware that there are unstated objectives too, especially in times of war."

The "stated objectives" are already on their way to being met, PM Olmert says that he intends to negotiate a prisoner exchange... hmm... wasn't that the stated objective?


"I'm talking about who ended up suffering more losses on the ground and in the long run; "smart people think at the margin". Hizballah definitely suffered more losses. Israel is in exactly the same spot it was before the war. Hizballah and Lebanon are about 10 billion dollars down money wise. I'm sure Lebanon can make that in a day, can't it? Wait, it can't!"

LOL! :D Ok, first the saying is "rational people think at the margin" not smart. Second, Israel is not at "exactly the same spot it was before the war", (how on earth you can actually say that is beyond me!) about 5 days ago I heard that a rough estimate of their economic loss is $1bln and that's their government's estimate. Of course Lebanon won't make it in a day, please show me where I stated otherwise, however, I sincerely doubt that they will be short of investors (I'm sure the irony will be that the most keen investors will be the Saudis).

"Again, getting caught up in the semantics of the resolution. Who cares about UN forces when Israel can step in anytime it wants to "defend itself" with all the brutality in the world? lol you even said it yourself; UN can sit and watch while Hizballah and Israel exchange fire. In that same hypothetical exchange of fire, Israel's power is significantly greater than any use of force that by the UN under chapter 7 and which you might consider a loss for Hizballah. The resolution only called on Israel to stop "offensive" military operations; not defensive ones. Newsflash, all the atrocities Israel committed in the last month were under the banner of self defense and the UN resolution implicitly agknowledged that. So yes, Israel won the UN resolution."

I don't want to call your comment ludicrous coz I obviously hit a nerve last time but you really don't leave much room to call it anything else. Ok, we'll do this in baby steps:

The "brutality" Israel showed, was a show of power.

This show of power was there to make up for the fact that on the ground, in terms of a military victory they achieved 0.

Any political analyst, whether it be by an Arab, an Israeli, an American or a Brit, will tell you that Israel was not expecting this war to go on for as long as it had done, and that they achieved nothing of what they set out to do.

The reason why the destruction of buildings, airports, bridges is not seen as an achievement is because anyone with an airforce can do the same.

Another reason why it is not seen as an achievement is because despite Israel's control of the air it was not able to advance more than 10km into Lebanon within an entire month of combat!

Now, let us put this in perspective:
- 4th strongest army in the world, uses airforce, naval force and ground force.
- Its enemy is a militia made up of a few thousand men, whose most advanced weapons are mid-range rocket launchers.
- War is one month long.
- Advance is at a maximum of 10km give or a take a km.
- This maximum is by no means secure and has varied throughout the course of the war.

Again, I repeat 4th strongest army vs. a militia, max. advance is 10km - a cross country run.

Is that a military victory?

Now, during the course of the war the (in your words) "victorious" Israeli army had to replace the general of it's Northern Command - a move that at the very least, implies he was not able to deliver on objectives.

Is that a move made when an army is on its way to victory??


"LOL, how can you call it an admission of defeat when the guy didn't even take part in the war? This is very common in every country. Ex-military leaders have inflated ego's that when they're retired the best they can do is criticize their successors."

Are you for real? Is that really meant to be an argument? You're attempting to rubbish the argument of a guy who served 3 times as a Defense Minister by saying - oh don't listen to him, he just has an inflated ego??

Ok this is how I'm looking at things at the moment (i'll do it in baby steps again ;) ), so:

- Olmert admits to mismanaging the war.
- The Likud are saying he screwed up and wasn't able to delivery any of his military objectives.
- The Labour are saying we should stop getting into miscalculated adventures in Lebanon.
- Commentators across the Israeli political spectrum, are either talking about "finding out where we went wrong" or "we need to rethink our strategies".
- Olmert's popularity has pretty much plummetted...

and then I read what you write, which has been a long-winded way of saying:

Lebanon had buildings. Israel had buildings. Lebanon doesn't have buildings now. Israel has buildings now. So Lebanon lost.

I mean, you got kinda sensitive over the word "ludicrous", but honestly, how else is anyone who has at the very least, listened to the news in the last day, supposed to describe what you've written?

"lol, not even that. There is no Israeli defeat in this war. All the things that you mentioned don't even fit in the context of this war. This was simply a war of aggression started by Israel. A war that neither the Lebanese government nor Hizballah chose to take part in. Nothing Hizballah did (or could have done more) would have affected Israel in anyway. All it could do is resist Israel and let them know that it's not free. Really the only defeat that we can talk about in terms of Israel is if Israel found the war unsustainable (which is similar to what happened in 2000 when Israel finally decided to leave the south). But on the other hand, this war was unsustainable for the Lebanese from day one. God knows how long Israel could have chosen to stay in this war if it weren't for the pressure from the international community."

Of course the Israelis found the war unsustainable which is why theý started pulling out their troops 3hrs ahead of the stated ceasefire. They are the ones who chose to end the war and not the Lebanese, so what does that mean? Hizbolla was launching rockets into Northern Israel up until the point where the Israelis started to pull out. If that's not a defeat, what do you actually believe would constitute a defeat for Israel?? Does that scenario even exist to you?


"lol the thing is, I agree to a great extent with a lot of what you said in this paragraph; about having to suffer before change, and all that. What you said about signing a peace treaty and being America's bitch, I don't believe that's victory; that's defeat. This was a war that Lebanon simply couldn't win, and in which Israel simply couldn't be beaten, but could only be stopped, and it was only stopped by the international community, not Hizballah."

LOL! Ok, up until this point, your sole supporting argument for the reason why you believe Israel won was bascially because Israel destroyed buildings in Southern Lebanon. Here, you say that Israel could only be stopped by the international community... now, the "int'l community" hasn't done much to stop this conflict, had Israel chosen not to accept the resolution the war would be ongoing. So, Israel chose to stop this war... so we need to ask why? Answer: Because, for the millionth time, as they themselves have admitted, they were unable to achieve their stated objectives.. i'm actually getting bored of typing this..

"On the other hand, the Israelies will simply pick up where they started a month ago. They will only have to rebuild maybe a dozen houses and they will keep building on top of what they already have."

ok.. ur just repeating the whole "whoever destroyed more buildings won" argument.. so nothing to add here.

""Nonsensical emotional crap", is it? I think it's obvious who the emotional person here is, and if my first comment was judged ludicrous crap, I can only imagine what you think of personal insults :D I guess it all depends, as you said, on perspective! And my what a ??? perspective you seem to have. Have a good day/night or whatever."

huh? ok I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean but it just sounds like you're pissed because I called what you wrote a load of crap.

 
At 6:37 PM, Blogger Hamzeh N. said...

"Hmm.. not really, just stating what would be obvious to anyone with basic analytical abilities."

Well I trust that the rest of the readers on this site actually do have these basic analytical abilities.

The "stated objectives" are already on their way to being met, PM Olmert says that he intends to negotiate a prisoner exchange... hmm... wasn't that the stated objective?

This doesn't address my comment. I was saying that you're only worrying about Israel's "stated objectives" of 1) securing the soldiers, and 2) "destroying Hizballah" (will come back to the 2nd one later). I told you stated objectives shouldn't be used as the measure of win or defeat. You simply ignored that.

"I don't want to call your comment ludicrous coz I obviously hit a nerve last time but you really don't leave much room to call it anything else."

I don't think it's my comments that left you no room to call them anything else but .. as much as I think it's actually your inability to consider what other people might have to say in disagreement of your own opinions. Again, this is about that word that you seem to know, but can't really grasp the meaning of; perspective.

"Ok, we'll do this in baby steps:"

I personally don't aspire to using this kind of condescending talk in reply to your comments. Nothing is worse than an arrogant person, but an arrogant person who happens to be both rude and wrong.

"The "brutality" Israel showed, was a show of power. This show of power was there to make up for the fact that on the ground, in terms of a military victory they achieved 0. Any political analyst, whether it be by an Arab, an Israeli, an American or a Brit, will tell you that Israel was not expecting this war to go on for as long as it had done, and that they achieved nothing of what they set out to do."

As far as Israel's expectations, I can't predict what the individuals in power in Israel expected, but I can say this: in terms of Israel's capability, they were more than capable of staying in this war a lot longer than it lasted. In 4 weeks, the only thing that Israel lost was ammunition (which it can easily secure from the US), and a number of soldiers that was not dangerously alarming, coz after all it is war and soldiers will die and get injured.

Also, it's interesting that you mention the "show of power", because along with such shows of power, statements are made, and this goes back to your obsession with "Israel's stated objectives that it failed to achieve". No show of power by Israel is complete without threats to destroy the enemy and root them out and eliminate them, etc. etc. So by trying to undermine the enemy's capabilities and the obvious and real far superior danger that it presents in comparison to any UN force, you're also undermining your own argument about Israel's failure to achieve its [for show] stated objectives.

Are you for real? Is that really meant to be an argument? You're attempting to rubbish the argument of a guy who served 3 times as a Defense Minister by saying - oh don't listen to him, he just has an inflated ego??

Actually it's not his argument that I was pointing the flaw in as much as it was yours. You're saying Israelies admitted defeat, yet you quoted the statements of someone who didn't take a significant, if any at all, role in this war. I'm sorry, but that doesn't count as an admission of defeat.

Of course the Israelis found the war unsustainable which is why theý started pulling out their troops 3hrs ahead of the stated ceasefire.

Are you trying to say that Israel was not able to sustain the presence of its troops in Lebanon for just three more hours? I hope not. Do you know the logestics involved in moving an army in and out of another country and across borders? Thousands of Israeli troops were in Lebanon and at the last hours of the war I guarantee you many of their units (especially at the back) were not engaged in any fighting so what is the purpose of waiting?

They are the ones who chose to end the war and not the Lebanese, so what does that mean? Hizbolla was launching rockets into Northern Israel up until the point where the Israelis started to pull out. If that's not a defeat, what do you actually believe would constitute a defeat for Israel?? Does that scenario even exist to you?

lol, it means what I've been saying all along. That this is a war that Israel had full control of on the ground. Israel chose to start it, and their approval had to be secured in order to end it. Look I'm not with the war, the entire international community except for maybe a few in the US adminstration didn't want this war and that's what got Israel to stop; not Hizballah. If the international community didn't step in, Israel could have maintained this war for months and the rest of Lebanon's south would have been destroyed and the death toll in Lebanon would have been much higher and in the thousands, they [Israel] would have no problem doing that if the world didn't stop them. Look how many rockets Hizballah fired and how many targets it hit, the effectiveness of their rockets is almost nonexistent. You think Israel in a time of war will care if 2 out of 100 rockets are gonna fall on civilian neighborhoods and kill 0-2 people and injure a dozen? It's war and they're killing thousands on the other side, they will simply accept the small number of civilian casualties on theirs and simply continue to live and build their country with unsuspended economy and massive US aid, while their enemy is suffering an economic embargo and massive loss of civilian life.

"had Israel chosen not to accept the resolution the war would be ongoing.

Israel couldn't afford to refuse the resolution; not this time, because what Israel was doing was simply outragous and this time the world really couldn't just stand by and let it go on forever. The entire world gathered and agreed (probably only with the disliking of the US) that the war must end. That's what ended the war and it only ended the war, it didn't really cost Israel any defeat because there's no logical defeat here for Israel. This is a country that simply wanted to punish the Lebanese for allowing Hizballah to survive in their country, they wanted to set Lebanon years back in terms of infrastructure and economy. That much it did. It also needed to get the Lebanese a taste of trouble, so that when this is done, the Lebanese have something to talk about among each other, so that they make the decision that this is not going to happen any more, and then all the eyes in Lebanon are going to turn to Hizballah's mode of operation no matter how much appreciation the average Lebanese holds for Hizballah's fight against Israel. Pragmatism will prevail and today Hizballah is both weaker than it was before and is completely isolated and cut out of aid thanks to the resolution.

"uh? ok I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean"

Ask me if I'm surprised.

 
At 9:29 PM, Anonymous Rihab said...

Hamzeh

Ok, before I answer your points, let's get the personal out of the way. Arrogant/rude - yeah I suppose, wrong - no, I supported my argument with facts that occured, and I rarely base anything I say on assumptions, however, I have little respect or patience for opinions that reflect poor knowledge of facts. If that upsets you, tough.


Now, a few comments on what you said, and, I'll resort to baby steps again:

- You said that "stated objectives shouldn't be used as a measure of win or defeat" but failed to state what is the measure that should be used, furthermore, you failed to state what the "unstated objectives" were, which I presume you have exclusive access to and so would be grateful if you shared them with us.

- Isreal's expectations can be found out by reading Israeli newspapers and reading the comments made by Israeli ministers at the start of the conflict, i.e. keeping up with the news.

- No one denies that they have the military capability to annihilate Lebanon should they choose to but military capability is not how we measure victory/defeat.

- Victory/defeat is measured by how much of your objective is achieved, in fact, away from military battles, this goes for most things in life.

- Israel had stated 2 objectives it failed to achieve them, and until you let me know what those mysterious unstated objectives that the rest of the planet is unaware of are, I will have to go by just those 2.

- You said "So by trying to undermine the enemy's capabilities and the obvious and real far superior danger that it presents in comparison to any UN force, you're also undermining your own argument about Israel's failure to achieve its [for show] stated objectives."

- When I repeatedly state that Israel has the 4th strongest army in the world, that is not called undermining their abilities, that is called highlighting the extent of their strength, so I'm not sure how that undermines the argument of Israel's failure to achieve it's objectives.

- If you want to rubbish the significance of Moshe Arens as a former statesmen - fine. However, it is interesting that you chose to ignore the fact that Olmert has admitted he mismanaged the war, victors don't talk about war mismanagement. Also, you chose to ignore the reaction of both the Labour and Likud parties to this "victory", how can opposition parties criticise a victorious government?

- Hizbolla is more popular in Lebanon today than it was prior to the war; when you have Michel Aoun saying he's backing Hizbolla in its resistance you get a taste of exactly how popular they have become.

- Hizbolla is not cut of aid just because the resolution said so. Again, the resolution is under Chapter 6 of the UN Charter, which means it cannot be forced into becoming reality, moreover, Hizbolla is not a country and so is not really bound by those resolutions.

- You didn't answer what you believe a defeat of Israel would constitute and chose to compare Israeli/Lebanese statistics instead.

- And while we're on statistics, on a final note, it turns out that according to the BBC that $10bln loss you said the Lebanese had is... (surprise, surprise) complete nonsense, the Lebanese loss is at $2.5bln and the Israeli is at $1.1bln...

If you recall I said the Israeli loss was at $1bln.. I guess i was 0.1 off and you were... 7.5 off?? Pretty symbolic of this debate, I would say.

 
At 8:00 AM, Blogger moi said...

We have an interesting discussion going on here, but I hope we can stay away from any personal attacks :)

 
At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

Bickering Arrabs? Not a nice sight, but do go on. Maybe you would get it one day why SOO huge a human ocean of Arabs cannot topple a minuscule and tiny State of Israel. Just imagine what would happen to you, people, when the Jews will invent some cheap oil substitute? Back to rhe camels..

 
At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Rihab said...

Despite your intentions, you do have a point.

 
At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

Intentions, my leg... As an average Israeli my intentions have nothing to do with you - they are purely internal. We live in the different dimentions. Simple example: Europeans live in the 21 century, Moslems - in the 14th. We live in the 58th century. When you will realize that the key for success & prosperity lays in self-discipline and responsibility for one's fate, than you shall understand instantly WHO is your real enemy, keeping hundreds of millions in the world of darkness, powerty and envy. One illustration to feed your mind: Christians had their religious Reformation 500 years ago, and since then Protestant countries had prospered. Moslems never had anything like this. We had our reformation 2000 years ago, when our futile rebellion against Rome resulted in forced change of all Jewish forms of worship. Think about this. I wish you no harm. We are extermely patient people - one day some of my descendants will surf at the beautiful beaches of Lebanon. Whether or not the locals will speak Arabic, or some other language at this time- I cannot tell. It depends on YOU.

 
At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Rihab said...

As a Zionist, your intentions are very well known to all who know about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

I'm not Muslim, so your attempt to offend was futile.

 
At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Andy said...

Sure, as a Zionist I want to take a bath in a blood of innocent babies. Daily. Get real. We don't care about Arabs. Only when they try some nasty trick on us we hit them with a folded newspaper.

 
At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Rihab said...

Yeah, makes sense... I guess that explains why you can kill them by the thousands, afterall, I don't blink an eye when I kill a fly.


Thanks for explaining Zionist inhumanity in so few words.

 
At 11:56 AM, Anonymous iman said...

Andy, Oh, I didn't know that Rabin and Sharon – to name a few – were the male versions of mother Theresa

 
At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

I don't like both of them - but for a different reason. And right, they were not the likes of Mother Teresa - both were atheists and secular pragmatics - a handicap for ME politician.

 
At 8:56 AM, Blogger moi said...

The previous comment was deleted because of the racial slur used in the commentor's nickname. If you would like to repost your comment under a different anonymous nickname, please do so. Personal attacks and racial slurs are not tolerated on this blog. Thank you.

 

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