Israeli offensive doomed to fail? (Update: Leb gov’t knew kidnappings were coming??)

posted at 11:34 am on July 24, 2006 by Allahpundit

Rarely accurate, usually entertaining, always depressing:

Last week, Israel’s army chiefs believed they had encountered Hizballah’s primary war tactic – Viet Cong-style guerrilla warfare out of hundreds of small bunkers scattered across the country. This week had scarcely begun when a still more formidable impediment was discovered: Hizballah camouflage techniques borrowed from the Japanese in the 1945 Iwo Jima battle. To stop the rockets coming, Israeli special forces must continue to blow up the tunnels and also adopt the methods the US Army’s methods for overcoming the Japanese dug in at Iwo Jima and other Pacific islands at the end of World War II. Without regard to losses, they stormed Japanese dug-in positions and camouflaged units. using flame throwers and gasoline to burn the foliage concealing the enemy…

In the first ten days of the war, therefore, the Israeli air force bombed out empty Hizballah premises in South Beirut and Baalbek, but missed the moving woods and vegetation which concealed the rocket launchers – which explains why the blitz continued notwithstanding heavy Israeli air force assaults on Hizballah’s centers and strongholds.

Yeah, it would also explain why U.S. sources think the Israelis are pounding sand. The IDF estimates Hezbollah has a month’s worth of rockets left — and that they have 10 days to take them all out before international pressure on Olmert forces him to call a ceasefire. Debka says Iran is already resupplying the group via Syria; even if not, they will once the blockade is lifted. As someone (I forget) said the other day, Hezbollah wins simply by surviving. Which, given the time constraints, seems inevitable.

You guys interested in this, by the way, or should I suspend regular posting and join the blogospheric American Gladiators episode that is the Glenn Greenwald sock-puppet saga? There are a million variations on the word “douche;” we could explore them all together. Whatever you want, I’m here to please.

According to Haaretz, the IDF has already entered Bint Jbail, the “capital” of Hezbollah. Two Hezbollah jihadis were captured yesterday but there’s no word on whether they’re providing usable intel; eleven Israelis have already been wounded in Bint Jbail, so all signs point to no. Yahoo News photos confirm that it’s rough going, although Israel already controls positions east of the town. Olmert is now reportedly considering allowing NATO/EU peacekeepers (specifically, German, Czech, and — gulp — French troops, according to Debka) into southern Lebanon, which might be useful only insofar as it will expose the Europeans’ unwillingness to confront Hezbollah when given the chance. Since Bush is going to put the brakes on Olmert in 10 days anyway, why not let the next rocket barrage humiliate Europe by having it happen on their watch?

Proxy wars are like sock puppetry, you know. Nasrallah is Assad’s sock puppet, Assad is Khamenei’s, etc. I saw a ventriloquist do something like that once, with a dummy on his lap and a smaller dummy on the dummy’s lap. It’s reminiscent of the Glenn Greenwald/Rick Ellensburg/Thomas Ellers fooferaw, although I suppose that’s less a case of one dummy on the lap of another than, like, five different dummies all on Greenwald’s lap. Anyway, really interesting stuff.

I suppose Ehud Olmert is Bush’s sock puppet — potentially. If Bush brings him to heel before the job is done, then yeah. But what if Olmert tells Bush to take a hike? Then he wouldn’t be a sock puppet.

He’d be the magic boyfriend.

Syria’s making noise today about direct talks with the U.S., but only as part of a comprehensive peace plan with Israel involving the return of the Golan Heights. I’ll level with you: I have no idea what to make of it. Supposedly, the U.S. strategy is to try to drive a wedge between Assad and Iran by having the Sunni regimes in Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia lean on him. But with what leverage? None of those countries will put boots on the ground to defend Damascus from a U.S. or Israeli attack. Assad can’t be worried much about Bush anyway given the war weariness here, and Olmert’s not going to open a third front with the international supreme soviet already whining about ceasefires. Iran is the ascendant power in the region and they wouldn’t hesitate to have Assad replaced with a more cooperative, um, puppet if he made a move towards cutting off Hezbollah. Which makes me think Syria’s proposal for talks is so much hot air, designed to make the regime look “reasonable” in case Olmert does do something dramatic and possibly to entice Bush into losing (more) face in the region by getting him to negotiate with a Baathist dictator three years after he knocked out the one next door. This seems especially transparent in that regard — although if they’re really clever, they’ll drop a hint or two about maybe possibly knowing the location of Saddam’s missing WMDs.

Bits and pieces: Shin Bet says Hezbollah sleeper cells have been activated; another sock puppet — or is he? — says the final solution is nigh; and lefty bloggers say … well, nothing at all.

Update: I owe you some multimedia, huh? All right: airstrike war porn on what the IAF says is a Hezbollah outpost; a flash map of rocket attacks on northern Israel; and video from Google Current of a rocket attack on Haifa — as it happens.

Update: MEMRI TV just posted a clip of Nasrallah telling Al Jazeera three days ago … that people in the Lebanese government knew Hezbollah was planning to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

Something must have been lost in translation here. Right?

Interviewer: Did you inform them that you were about to abduct Israeli soldiers?

Hassan Nasrallah: I told them that we must resolve the issue of the prisoners, and that the only way to resolve it is by abducting Israeli soldiers.

Interviewer: Did you say this clearly?

Hassan Nasrallah: Yes, and nobody said to me: “No, you are not allowed to abduct Israeli soldiers.” Even if they had told me not to… I’m not defending myself here. I said that we would abduct Israeli soldiers in meetings with some of the main political leaders in the country. I don’t want to mention names now, but when the time comes to settle accounts, I will. They asked: “If this happens, will the issue of the prisoners be over and done with?” I said that it was logical that it would. And I’m telling you, our estimation was not mistaken. I’m not exaggerating.

And on that note, here’s your photo of the day.

Update: Dan the Man Gillerman is on DaySide right now saying that Israel will accept an international peacekeeping force. I didn’t hear the details, but since they don’t have much choice in the matter they might as well act like they’re keen on the idea.

Update: The White House says a ceasefire would be unenforceable right now, but that might change rapidly. Humanitarian supplies, meanwhile, are being shipped in.

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So now Israeli wars are like Vietnam?

In Israeli military history Lebanon = Vietnam as both were similar debacles with embarassing retreats but still is there not a war on the planet that Americans/Westerners are involved that is’nt Vietnam?

Defector01 on July 24, 2006 at 12:01 PM

“You guys interested in this, by the way, or should I suspend regular posting and join the blogospheric American Gladiators episode that is the Glenn Greenwald sock-puppet saga?” -Allah

For the love of God, please don’t.

Cary on July 24, 2006 at 12:15 PM

Please continue posting. I can’t find a good summary of what’s happening elsewhere and I don’t have time to wade through a million links elsewhere.
Forget Glenn SockPuppet. Not relevant to anyone, IMHO.

old_dawg on July 24, 2006 at 12:28 PM

The current battle for Southern Lebanon will not be easy, they’ve had years to dig in. Add in fanaticism and a belief that you go to heaven for dieing for your cause, and you have an enemy willing to take casulties…

Won’t change the outcome, just the cost.

Romeo13 on July 24, 2006 at 12:32 PM

welcome back, allah. and please, no more sock puppets.

pullingmyhairout on July 24, 2006 at 1:17 PM

Thanks so much for the video link of Haifa. I also watched two other videos at that site, also very informative.
I am not interested in the sock puppet debacle.

Babs on July 24, 2006 at 1:19 PM

I so don’t give a damn about the puppet thing. It’s fun to read it in passing, go “teehee,” and move on to more interesting stories. Like, oh, I don’t know, war.

Savage on July 24, 2006 at 1:36 PM

For some reason, the photo of Condi reminds me of this one:


Wish the original link worked. Blogger is being nasty today.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on July 24, 2006 at 1:38 PM

There was a very pessimistic Ralph Peters column a few days ago in which he basically said Hezbollah wins by surviving, and that that was very likely. NY Post, I think.

Alex K on July 24, 2006 at 1:38 PM

Whatever you want, I’m here to please.


Good to see you back.

Pablo on July 24, 2006 at 2:15 PM

Forget an international “peacekeeping ” force. There is no peace to keep.
Now an international “peacemaking” force is another matter altogether…

Abigail Adams on July 24, 2006 at 2:39 PM

In Bryan’s speculative thread as to why Hezbollah chose the time that it did to provoke an Israeli counterattack, I said that, fundamentally, the reason Hezbollah chose the time is that Israel and the United States did not. Here we see the consequence of our being on Hezbollah’s timetable: Hezbollah is dug in, camouflaged, and otherwise entirely ready to make war. The consequence of our good morals is shaping up to be loss, because our notion of moral virtue has ceased to have much to do with military virtue.

And having brought up military virtue, I have occasion to take mild exception to Allah’s remark, “Assad can’t be worried much about Bush anyway given the war weariness here….” What the Bush Administration are weary of is mostly “diplomacy,” logistics, puttering around with low-intensity conflict, “nation-building,” and infighting between their own warmakers and lawyers. There’s been precious little killing, destroying, conquering, pacifying, and seizure of new resources for war-making. I know the Bush Administration are weary, but I don’t think we should dignify their busy, busy activity by calling it “war.” I grant that we’re at war; it’s just that they haven’t been making war.

I’m very much on the American and Israeli side of the war against Islam. But I remind myself of my higher loyalty to human excellence wherever it’s found. I hope it’s my side who will prove to be the better warmakers, but I tell myself that, in any case, it’s the better warmakers who will win.

Kralizec on July 24, 2006 at 2:44 PM

I hate the sound of “limited incursions” in the morning. It sounds like “defeat”.

MaiDee on July 24, 2006 at 3:22 PM

No more sock puppets! It drove me to go shopping!
Condi’s first stop was right. Now on to Israel and tell them to get the job done ASAP!
I too am not sure what is going on with Syria but IF..just IF someone can find a way to glean them from the Iranian influence something good might come of this! If nothing else, Hizbollah is going to be severly depleted in manpower and weapons for a bit.
But there should be no ceasefire until Israel signals they believe they have finished what it necessary. I agree that anything less than the fatal crippling of Hizbollah will be failure.
OH GOOD GRIEF…Dennis Kuchinik weighs in..who CARES?

labwrs on July 24, 2006 at 4:07 PM

It’s getting so you tell the Islamic terrorists without a scorecard. Let’s see, we now are against the Shiite militias in Iraq; more recently it was the Sunni. Egypt, UAE etc (more moderate) are presumably more sympathetic toward the Sunni if for no other reason than the Shiite are very big in Iran. Push comes to shove, they all hate Israel and pretty much getting to all hate us.

Is it too late for that flowering of democracy thing??? Wonder if anyone has let Cheney know….

Talk about a cluster fuck. And Condi on her way for some air guitar diplomacy.

honora on July 24, 2006 at 4:09 PM

Israel cannot give up the Golan and Syria knows it. The fact that the Syrians raised it as a condition is an absolute indication that they are not being serius or honest in their attempts at “diplomacy.”

On another note, if the Israelis really want to take out Hizballah’s leadership, they simply need to infiltrate teams into Lebanon disguised as BBC and CNN “reporters.”
When the jihadis see the cameras they’ll fall all over themselves to get on TV and declare victory with the help of their MSM fellow-travelers. Just imagine their looks of surprise caught on film when the shooting starts. Ah, good times, good times…

secarr on July 24, 2006 at 4:16 PM

Oops, “serious.”

secarr on July 24, 2006 at 4:17 PM

Secarr; that’s a bloody good idea. I’ll pass it onto the mossad :-p (j/k)
The Syrians have been screaming about reclaiming the Golan Heights since they lost it in 67. When they had it, the Syrian Army would move artillery onto the heights and shoot down at the kibbutzim and bulldozers in the area. The Heights are still mostly in Syrian hands but Israel controls the high points (the best spots to put your artillery). And yeah Syria really isn’t serious and this helps prove it.

Defector01 on July 24, 2006 at 4:21 PM

Just out of curiosity, because I can’t seem to find a good source…

Just how many fighters CAN Hez put in the field??? I’ve seen sources that said hundreds… one source 6000… another hundreds with thousands of supporters… any hard intel on this…

Israel could easily throw 30 to 40K of front line armored Inf across the border is needed….

Romeo13 on July 24, 2006 at 4:23 PM

We’re Being Tested
This war is being run from the basement of the Iranian embassy in Beruit. Strategy is planned at the Iranian embassy in Damascus.
If Iran is able to get the allies to force Israel to back off it’s the green light for them to escalate the attacks on America outside the US homeland while feverishly pressing forward with programs to threaten us with nukes. Have we the stomach?

Reality Check on July 24, 2006 at 5:35 PM

I’ll admit it. I am interested in the sock puppet imbroglio.

mikeyboss on July 24, 2006 at 7:25 PM

“Talk about a cluster f***”

Leave it to the liberal to inject gratuitous profanity.
This isn’t the DU, girl. I’ll bet if you really tried, you could get your point across even better without resorting to gutter language.

LegendHasIt on July 24, 2006 at 8:10 PM

Alex K, here is the Ralph Peters article you’re referring to:

I like this author and I believe the pessimism in this article is meant as a wake-up call, rather than a conclusion.

Sock puppets or other light subjects are a great mix with the very serious themes we are privileged to discuss here.

Entelechy on July 24, 2006 at 8:13 PM

Thanks, Entelechy. And, for what it’s worth, Bill O’Reilly just said the terrorists are winning. I haven’t seen the Malkin/Powers segment yet. But Peters and O’Reilly and anyone else saying it are probably right.

Alex K on July 24, 2006 at 9:50 PM

Welcome back, Allah. You were missed. Blame that on the great job you do here.

Please continue with the war news, and links. It isn’t as if we can get the facts from the MSM.

As for the sock puppet issue, keep us informed but my preferrence is slanted towards the war news.

DannoJyd on July 25, 2006 at 12:53 AM

Leave it to the liberal to inject gratuitous profanity.
This isn’t the DU, girl. I’ll bet if you really tried, you could get your point across even better without resorting to gutter language.

LegendHasIt on July 24, 2006 at 8:10 PM

Leave it to someone who can’t address the issue to resort to labeling people. And am I the only person on this blog who uses profanity? (If this situation doesn’t warrant it, I don’t know what does.) I’ll tell you what: you don’t read my posts and I won’t address them to you.

Back to the issue at hand, the conundrum for Israel is this: can they kill more terrorists than they are creating? History would suggest not. Interesting read with some relavance to this is Maggie Thatcher autobio. She discusses her reasons for not bombing Dublin, for taking the negotiation route with the IRA.

Of course history would have told us not to invade Iraq; and what’s deeply troubling is that there is an argument that the real root cause of the decline of Europe was imperialism. Why do we think we will succeed where the Brits and French did not? The sectarian chasms were there before the Europeans set up shop; the same ones are still there. Oh wait, I forgot, we have the Bush Doctrine.

honora on July 25, 2006 at 10:02 AM

Back to the issue at hand, the conundrum for Israel is this: can they kill more terrorists than they are creating?

Can the terrorists kill more Zionists than they’re creating? Do either of us have any sort of data to support such a foolish premise?

Why do we think we will succeed where the Brits and French did not?

We’re not doing what the British and the French did. They colonized. We’ve taken out two especially nasty regimes and handed those nations back over to the people who live in them.

Pablo on July 25, 2006 at 10:18 AM

Oh, and we’ve done it before, in Germany and Japan. Both worked out pretty well for them and for us.

Pablo on July 25, 2006 at 10:20 AM

honora: “can they (Israel)kill more terrorists than they are creating?” You mean, perhaps, by their very existence? How are they creating terrorists? By simply living? If you think that the United Nations made a mistake in 1948 by reconstituting the nation of Israel, invent a time machine and go back and change history. But, until you build that machine, accept the world as it is: Israel is a nation, has the right to defend itself within it’s own sovereign borders, and has been under attack for decades by enemies who wish it’s destruction. I am now waiting for you to mention our deposing of the Hussein regime as evidence of our not recognising another country’s sovereignty. Please, please, hold that up as proof. :)

Doug on July 25, 2006 at 12:23 PM

Doug: I mean that by defending themselves–too assertively?–I don’t think so, but I get the point–they are pissing off more and more Muslims. Case in point–the Lebanese govt did not support Hezbollah in its actions against Israel until the real fighting started. Lebanon has now stated they will take up arms with their Hezbollah brothers against Israel should Israel march into Lebanon. Nothing like a bunch of uppity Jews to create a bond among these guys…

Pablo: you’re not serious? We started a civil war in Iraq–nobody wants to use that word but when you have Shiite militias fighting Sunni militias, what word would you use? And I can only guess you haven’t been keeping up with the news from Afghanistan. They’re baaaaacccckkkk…..You are taking my reference to Brits/French too literally. We are attempting to hold together a country by force of traditional military power–with little understanding of the culture of that country–and are being “quagmired”–if that’s not a word, it should be–by guerillas. Remember Algiers? (Little bit of history: when asked about negotiating with the Algierian rebels, Mitterand responded: “the only possible negotiation is war”. Sound familiar? France’s losses here and in Vietnam marked the beginning of the end for them as a significant world power. What is that expression about those who don’t know history being to….)

honora on July 25, 2006 at 1:25 PM

Oh, and we’ve done it before, in Germany and Japan. Both worked out pretty well for them and for us.

Pablo on July 25, 2006 at 10:20 AM

I grow so weary…listen up 1) we were at war with Japan and Germany–both of these nations declared war on us 2) both of these nations had a history of democratic institutions–you’ve heard of the Weimar republic? the Japanese enjoyed a more localized version of democracy in the 18th and 19th centuries; 3) we were supported by the the rest of the world in these basically humanitarian efforts, and jointly occupied Germany with 3 of our WW2 allies. 4) Germany and Japan were real countries, not one that had been drawn up for the convenience of the “imperialists” by grouping together 3 factions with a long history of animosity.

Sweet mother of God, when did we stop teaching history???

honora on July 25, 2006 at 1:36 PM


Yer an idiot. The liberal mime that Israel is just making more terrorists by killing terrorists, is as logical as saying that we make more criminals by putting criminals in jail. Yea, there maybe an uptick in people wanting revenge on Israel, but you can add that to a long list of gripes that the ragheads have against joooos (most are invented anyway)but once enough of these people are killed, FEAR will keep them away. Yea. you can’t negotiate with people who’s only purpose to exist is to kill joooos. Also, did you happen to miss the warm hugs and kissess that the Lebonese prez gave to Hizbolla? Did you happen to miss the Hizbolla luvfest that is going on between them and the Leboneese army?

So, as much as you liberals hate it, we need to kill more people. Maybe a lot more people. Hundreds maybe. Maybe a few thousand. We need to kill them, their friends, their pet goats and their children. You stop a war be defeating the enemy. You defeat them by killing them.

useless on July 26, 2006 at 3:57 PM