Israel, Hezbollah, and Left Wing Blogs


While cruising some of my favorite right wing blogs, I came upon an article posted on American Power, a conservative website that I often frequent, it is run by Professor Donald Douglas . I highly recommend reading it, the commentary is fairly insightful and interesting. One article caught my eye, Firedoglake Cheers Hezbollah's Military Power.

The article itself is about Firedoglake's admiration of the terrorist organization known as Hezbollah. Out of fairness, I went to the Firedoglake's blogsite and read the article, to see what the Professor was talking about. Firedoglake does make some excellent points and the article is almost thought provoking about Hezbollah's development. But, they have made some serious blunders in their critique of the Israeli/Lebanese/Hezbollah conflict of 2006. Whether they are blinded by partisanship, anti-Semitism, or just plain ignorance, the mistakes in their analysis are not hard to pick apart.

No one with any sort of common sense would ever state that Hezbollah has not achieved a new level of strategic thinking and implementation of tactics. But the real question that remains is how? This is largely due to the Syrian and Iranian logistics support and training. It seems that Firedoglake is trying to imply that Hezbollah, through grand insight and fortitude, has developed these resources they used against Israel, all by themselves. The keyword in this scenario is "Iran," with Syria as the pipeline. Hardly a personal achievement for our vaunted "freedom fighters."

Secondly, Firedoglake has gone on to imply that it was Hezbollah that defeated Israel. This is possibly the greatest blunder that anyone can make in this assessment. Quite the contrary, it was Israel that defeated Israel.

Israel was stuck in a deterrence mind frame for many years after the 2000 withdrawl from Lebanon. They were constantly worried about an escalation of a second front with Syria. Because of that, they endured many border incursions and harassment by Hezbollah. Also, many of Israel's own military commanders believed that minimal military force and diplomacy would be all that was required to defeat Hezbollah. Chief of the Northern Command Maj. Gen. Udi Adam, is quoted as saying, "There is nothing that can be solved just by the military … There is a need for a diplomatic solution," adding, "I do not believe that anyone wants to go back into Lebanon." This attitude has rung deeply in the Israeli upper chain for many years now.

After the abduction of two of its soldiers, Israel had enough. On July 12th, 2006 the Israelis started their assault on Lebanon and Hezbollah. But this is where the problems for Israel truly surfaced. Most of the Israeli generals felt that this would be a small border skirmish, rather than a full on conventional military campaign. There was very little planning for conventional operations inside of Lebanon as well.

Israel, also, relied too heavily on its air power. For the longest time, the Israelis believed their ground forces to be the key to victory. After the American bombardment of Kuwait in the 1990’s and its devastating results many strategists considered air power to be the new way of warfare. Israel had become fixated on air power and diverted funding from proper development of its ground forces and funneled it in to the Israel Air Force.

When fighting fifth column assets such as Hezbollah, you do not strike from the air as your primary means of warfare. You need boots on the ground that are properly trained and properly equipped to handle the situation. Then there is the concept of overwhelming numbers. The Israeli government severely underestimated the resolve of its people. Vice premier in 2005, Olmert said, "We are tired of fighting; we are tired of being courageous; we are tired of winning; we are tired of defeating our enemies." This attitude, in turn, kept the Israeli army from committing the necessary number of troops and held them up from pushing to far into Lebanon. This gave Hezbollah a lot of latitude to move around, rather than box them in and inevitably destroy them. Much of the Israeli population was willing to escalate the war in order to destroy Hezbollah, once and for all. For some reason the government overlooked this and continued with there botched strategy and tactics.

As with most subjects there is far more to develop and investigate. You also have the lack of an effective missile defense against the Katyusha rockets. Note, it was the success of these rockets hitting populated areas in Northern Israel which gave Hezbollah the reason to claim victory. Then there was the fact that many units lacked the latest and greatest intelligence about Hezbollah capabilities and positions. The list goes on and on.

Israel missed a golden opportunity to eliminate one of its greatest threats and strengthen the government of Lebanon. Their loss had little to do with Hezbollah’s newly derived capabilities, but more with Israel’s attitude and lack of preparation for their war with Hezbollah. This is not meant to undercut Hezbollah’s threat or development, but just to add a dose of reality about Hezbollah "teaching the world how to fight." If anyone taught anybody anything, it was Israel. Their lack of preparation and deterrence mind set were a recipe for disaster. Hopefully, this lesson showed our own military planners and government how not to handle future and present conflicts with insurgent based enemies.


Firedoglake Cheers Hezbollah's Military Power

The Hidden Army: Hezbollah Teaches the World How to Fight


GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Well done CT. Also found it weird that FDL failed to mention that body part collecting, rocket rich rejects hiding out in civilian rich areas - using innocents as intelligent shielding (after all - innocents willingly hanging in a combat zone for like 2 weeks?!) is new school.

Also, FDL implied that HBA was a state within a state - almost like who needs a legit gov - Leb has HBA.

Actually, a case should be made that if HBA was all that - then why didn't they just totally take over in Leb a month back?

The main advantages that HBA has over the government they seek to overthrow is their lack of responsibility for governance. Far from seeking to govern the local population, the goal of insurgents is simply to demonstrate through sabotage, terror and guerrilla operations that the government is incapable of keeping order. And it is far easier and cheaper to sow disorder and chaos than to maintain order and secure public safety.

Nasrallah and his Iranian bosses have no interest in taking on responsibility for Lebanon. They don't want to collect taxes. They don't want to pick up the garbage or build schools and universities.

Hiz'B'Allah and its Iranian overlords wish to have full use of Lebanon as a staging area for attacks against Little Satan and Great Satan. They wish to maintain and expand HBA's arsenals. For this they need unfettered access, and if necessary, control over Lebanon's borders, its seaports and airport.

CriticalThinker said...

Thanks for stopping by GSF. But you are absolutely correct about Nasrallah, Iran, and Hezbollah. If they cared so much for Lebanon and its people then why continue to try and provoke Israel into an conflict. One that will be fought within Lebanon. Sad part is that Lebanon had just really started recovering from the fighting in the 80's.



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