Monday, August 07, 2006

Beirut before and after

* billmon:
"Accepting the resolution would also make Hizbullah look like it wants peace, neutralizing the American propaganda advantage and adding to the enormous legitimacy and popular support that Hizbullah has gained as a result of the conflict. This would put the onus for any continued ground fighting squarely on the Israelis. If they tried to continue their ground offensive, Hizbullah could respond in kind or even resume the air war -- it would be entirely Nasrallah's choice.
[]
Rejecting the resolution would certainly keep things simple and polarized -- much to Hizbullah's advantage. But it would also increase the risk that the organization's Syrian or Iranian sponsors, who have other interests and more to lose from a longer war, might eventually cut a deal with the Americans and/or the Israelis behind Nasrallah's back, forcing him to accept a ceasefire on less advantageous terms.

To sum up, accepting a ceasefire in place now would allow Hizbullah and Nasrallah to pocket some extremely valuable strategic and grand strategic advantages, and avoid a potential conflict of interest with their state sponsors, while leaving them with more tactical freedom of action than their American and Israeli enemies. Which is why I expect Nasrallah to take the deal eventually, although not without some elaborate posturing designed to create the impression he's doing the Americans and the Israelis a huge favor.

In the interests of peace, of course.


* billmon:
"Please note the distinction: If you are a designated terrorist organization with advanced weapons, you can participate in the "democratic" process and even be recognized as a legitimate combatant by the UN Security Council. But if you are a designated terrorist organization without advanced weapons, and you try to participate in the "democratic" process, you'll get thrown in the slammer. No UN Security Council resolutions for you.

I doubt the applicable lesson will be lost on other designated terrorist organizations and/or heroic resistance movements around the world."

* juancole:
"The Israeli public is beginning to turn on its political elite for its prosecution of the war and for its inability so far to stop the rockets. The Washington Post reveals that even in territories actually controlled by Israeli troops in Lebanon, the number of rocket launches is still 50% of what it would be were there no Israeli troops there. That admission is quite astonishing. So far the Israeli army can only cut the attacks from 200 to 100, even when it actually occupies the territory from which the attacks are coming! Some 38 percent of Israelis believe "no one" is winning this war. You can say that again."


* juancole:
Beirut before and after
"The difference between Ahmadinejad and Olmert is that the Iranian president is a blowhard. The one who had practical plans to wipe a country off the map was Olmert."

7 comments:

damien said...

I see that Israel has purposely bypassed pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon in order to obtain some PR advantage. And that "as of noon Sunday, since July 12, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has carried out 6,800 missions". So it really is true that Israel is cowering under an unprovoked rocket onslaught.


Other news bits of interest: it has recently become public that on 22 Oct 2005 Iran was caught trying to smuggle uranium from the Congo. That's a pity. It would have gone well with the 18 nuclear-capable cruise missiles smuggled to Iran and China four years ago by Ukrainian weapons dealers.

lukery said...

thnx D - fp'd

i cant stand the coverage - 'Naughty H/B sent 150 rockets into israel today'!

damien said...

I can only go by the Australian media coverage. It virtually has no meaning. There's a total disconnect from reality. Somehow a few hundred rocket salvos from Hezbollah is seen to be an equal contest against 6,800 fighter aircraft attacks - and all of this repeatedly not against Hezbollah fighters but straight out civilians and infrastructure. It's pure propaganda. What I find most offensive is that the Australian media actually believes this tripe to be some sort of 'balanced' journalism. I don't know why they just don't call them all 'ragheads' and have done with it.

Juan Cole's remarks (cited by Miguel) were very close to the mark. It's becoming altogether clear that these Israeli attacks can only have meaning in terms of a long-planned broader strategy. Pierre Tristam quotes from an article in the WSJ “[W]orried that Hezbollah’s armed wing might attack too, the Israeli military has issued a high-level alert along its northern border with Lebanon.” This was reported on July 10, two days before the kidnapping of the two Israeli soldiers.

So, there was a 'high level alert' in place?

The whole story stinks. Juan Cole got it right: this has larger strategic aims written all over it.

lukery said...

thnx d.

am scared.

i doubt the ozzie media is much worse than its am.counterparts

lukery said...

btw - did you note the media reports today "EIGHT IRAQIS KILLED" - and then about 8 minutes later '(they were soldiers)'

damien said...

...missed it...I've been distracted. Eight only? I noticed Janet Albrechsten in The Australian had a big piece last weekend talking up the good news in Iraq. Ker-riste. Even the US military leaders can get their tongues around the term 'civil war'. But not the idiots at The Oz.

lukery said...

actually, i only guessed 'eight' - it was a lot - eight at a minimum i think

Albrechsten is on the board of the abc. sheesh. expect the abc to do a 'schools painted' scoreboard soon.