Israel on the offensive

A few days ago I posted on a couple of theories about exactly why what’s happening in and around Israel is happening the way that it is. To recap:

  • Israel may be taking military action now because the ‘green light’ had been given previously by the US. The kidnappings of Israeli soldiers were the catalyst for a major move by Israel to “clean up” some of the scum in its neighborhood, a cleaning that may have been discouraged previously by America as we struggled to get Iraq under control. No more. This is simply another part of the Long Global War On Terror (World War 4).
  • The lukewarm protest by much of Europe may be because they know that they will not or cannot do anything about Iran, so why not let Israel do something for them. Then they can be denounced after the fact. Business as usual.

I didn’t mean to suggest in the first theory that this military action was part of some grand scheme cooked up and finally set into motion. Rather, that Israel had been strongly “encouraged” to hold back as much as possible until the strategic situation in the Middle East was settled.

The invasion of Iraq, the subsequent creation of a new democratic government in Iraq, the death of Arafat, the “Cedar Revolution”. All of these things muddled an already muddled Middle East. Much as retaliation for the Scud attacks on Israel in 1991 would have jeopardized all that we had labored to build, an Israeli war during the past couple of years (which could easily spread to Syria) would have have threatened our efforts in Iraq and elsewhere. But now, as the new Iraqi government takes power and the new Iraqi army grows in strength, the US is content to “let Israel be Israel”.

In the post-9/11 world there are those who would take the fight to the enemy, and those who wouldn’t stop others from doing so. Hamas, Hezbollah, and others need to be dealt with at some point, and Israel is the one to do it. Maybe there’s just no time like the present.

Here are a couple of items which seem to support this:

Strikes Are Called Part of Broad Strategy
U.S., Israel Aim to Weaken Hezbollah, Region’s Militants
in the Washington Post

It’s Our War
in the Weekly Standard

Meanwhile, John at OpFor thinks Israeli action thus far is consistent with prepping the battlespace for a major ground offensive into Lebanon.

Murdoc agrees, and wonders just how deep this offensive might go. Certainly far enought to try to prevent rocket attacks into Israel, to be sure. But it’s not that far to Beirut or the Bekaa Valley. Or Damascus, for that matter, if things get particularly nasty. Just think how many insurgent ratlines into Iraq that would shut down…

Comments

  1. No question Israel’s experience of going into Lebanon previously will color it’s strategy & tactics this time around. The situation of Hamas being a shadowy government within the legitimate government of Lebanon and the utter chaos of Palestine (Gaza & the W. Bank) illustrates the hazard of not having a unified state with a monopoly on the mechanisms of statehood. It’s really sad, as both peoples deserve better; but too true that those with the most extreme views are often the ones who dominate the majority if the majority don’t have the will to act in their own interests.

  2. I take it there are a few benefits the U.S. could reap from this? What I’m wondering, though, is if Israel’s crusade succeeds or fails, do we lose? What elements could negatively effect us? ‘I only know that I know nothing,’ in the words of Plato.

  3. The situation of Hamas being a shadowy government within the legitimate government of Lebanon and the utter chaos of Palestine (Gaza & the W. Bank) illustrates the hazard of not having a unified state with a monopoly on the mechanisms of statehood. Ooch – some facts: Lebanon – Hisbollah – Shia local Lebanese resistance founded as an answer to Israel’s occupation of Lebanon in 1982. Shia in Lebanon: 45% of population, mostly south Lebanon. Hisbollah seats in the Lebanese parliament: 35 out of 128, but in coalition with Shia party Amir(?) a majority maker. Two Hezbollah folks are ministers in the government – that’s not much of a shadow governemnt, but established part of the Lebanese governement. Palestine – Hammas – Sunni local resistance. Did get majority in last parliament election – i.e. quite a unified entity to talk to if someone would bother to do so. Aside: mixing these two up, Shia Lebanese and Palestinian Sunni, is throwing away a lot of available options. They both do not have much in common. Smart folks could play one against the other. Hammas does not like the Shia forces in ME. They will take their money, thank you, but they will not take orders. Hizbollah is local organisation. They are sole national Shia Lebanese – that is their only cause. They will not fight for Syria or Iran. They take the money, thank you, but will not take orders.