Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Boggled

I make a concerted effort at keeping apprised of world events. I read blog entries, commentary, newspaper and web articles and analytical content regarding any number of subjects in the news arena each and every day. My focal point, of late, has naturally been the situation in the Middle East being that I live there and all.

Despite my efforts, I am having a difficult time understanding Israeli claims of an Israeli loss in the recent/current Hezbollah crisis. Militarily? Why? Because Hezbollah wasn't completely disbanded and dismantled? How does an organized army - or disorganized, for that matter - go about completely disrupting a rebel force hiding out underground in suburban and urban civilian centers? The U.S. has been in Afghanistan for how long? And where is Bin Laden these days? What would have constituted a victory and at what cost?

And let's not forget, when throwing up comparisons to the 1973 Yom Kippur War, that this is a different era. There were tremendous losses then but now the world is in a different state. The quagmire that is Lebanon has repeatedly proven itself as a regional effort in futility and a death trap for Israel's forces.

So although UN Resolutions have failed in the past and Lebanon's south has proven a fertile breeding ground for extremist factions, what is the alternative? Hit them harder? How and for how long and using what strategy?

I simply don't view this as a loss. Politically it was a tremendous gain. The world got a glimpse of fighters hiding behind children and using hospitals as bases, of a people willing to use dead toddlers for public relations gains, of so-called journalists altering war images to garner an edge. And the voices of moderate Lebanese, disgusted with the effects of extremism, reverberated loudly.

I'm not looking to turn this blog site into a free-for-all volley of hatred and insult. So please, don't leave comments about "the Zionists" and refrain from comparing Israelis to Nazis or anything similar. Also, nastiness or hurled insults in my general direction are not welcome. I am posing these questions based upon observation and genuine vexation.

Insights...?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The simplest way to judge whether or not the war was a success would be to observe whether or not the stated goals of the military action were achieved.

These goals are outlined by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs at:

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/Behind+the+Headlines/Israels+counter+terrorist+campaign+-+FAQ+18-Jul-2006.htm

The web page says, "The purpose of the Israeli operation was two-fold - to free its abducted soldiers, and to remove the terrorist threat from its northern border.

Israel understood from the outset that although military operations were necessary to defend its citizens by neutralizing the threat posed by Hizbullah’s terrorist infrastructure, the eventual solution would indeed be diplomatic.

The components of such a solution were as follows:

# the return of the hostages, Ehud (Udi) Goldwasser and Eldad Regev;
# the effective deployment of the Lebanese army in all of southern Lebanon;
# the expulsion of Hizbullah from the area, and
# the fulfillment of United Nations Resolution 1559.

# the preservation of IDF gains in removing Hizbullah from the border region
# the elimination of the Hizbullah long-range missile threat
# the prevention of Hizbullah’s re-arming by closely monitoring of the possible routes into Lebanon from Syria or elsewhere (an arms embargo)."


Was it a success? At this point none of the stated goals have been met. On the other hand it was understood by the Israeli government from the begining that the goals would be achieved by diplomacy so it is unfair to say the military action was unsuccessful because these goals have not been met.


We have to wait and see if the UN resolution is implemented to see if it was a success and if these goals are achieved.

However, many people question whether this approach of the Israeli government was wise. These people believe a stronger military response would have made these goals more achievable by diplomacy.

Stephanie said...

Thank you, Anonymous. Gorgeous. slf