“Final ‘Spasm’ of Violence”

Israeli Cabinet approves Lebanon cease-fire
5 Israelis slain; Hezbollah launches furious barrage; Lebanese Cabinet split

Israeli planes blasted Beirut and ground troops battled Hezbollah in south Lebanon seeking to batter the militant Islamic group in the hours before fighting stopped.

Hezbollah hit back with its heaviest rocket barrage of the war on northern Israel.

The guns were supposed to fall silent at 8 a.m. (1 a.m. EDT) Monday, according to the United Nations, ending a month of combat that has killed more than 900 people.

A couple of things.

First: “More than 900 people” killed in a month? Explain to Murdoc again how that number is so low. Here’s his theory:

  • Hezbollah is intentionally trying to kill Israeli civilians, but they suck.
  • Israeli warplanes, artillery, and ground troops are being far, far, far more careful and accurate that anyone anywhere is giving them credit for.
  • It seems that this 900 figure includes soldiers and terrorists, which makes the low total even more astounding.
  • Weren’t we hearing all about Israeli “disproportion”? Doesn’t this go a long way to disprove disproportion?

Yes, 900 is a lot of people. I’m not cheering for 900 dead people. (Well, I’m cheering for some of them…) If you know anything about military operations or military history you’ll realize that this number is amazingly low for a month of heavy fighting in built-up areas and the bombing of urban targets.

Second: Both sides seem intent upon getting their final licks in before the cease-fire. This is especially important for Israel, as they’re unlikely to have another opportunity to take the fight to the bad guys for a long, long time. They probably know that it’s a virtual certainty that Hezbollah will continue to exist and continue to attack Israel, even with (or maybe because) the United Nations is brokering this deal.

Another few days of this most recent expanded ground offensive would probably reap great rewards, at least in the short term. Since the long term is probably a lost cause with the United Nations involved, they’re going for the short term.

Hezbollah, on the other hand, will lose most of the missiles it currently has stockpiled. Of course, it will begin building a new stockpile immediately, but this inventory is now marked “use it or lose it”. So they’re just firing away.

Finally: It’s entirely possible that one side or both sides will fail to take the cease-fire seriously. We can rest assured that at least a few Hezbollah nutjobs will take some potshots as the opportunity arises, and Israel may interpret that as a break in the agreement. Or one side or the other may simply not cease firing at all.

I have trouble seeing how this cease-fire is in Israel’s best interest, and I have trouble seeing how it’s in America’s best interest. While I’ll be glad to see the fighting stop (if it stops), I’m more than a little skeptical that it will have any lasting and meaningful impact on the situation.

I’d love to be proven wrong.

Comments

  1. If you know anything about military operations or military history…’ OK, well that disqualifies the massive majority of journalists who write these stories and citizens who read them…

  2. Maybe the media should do a re-coverage of the popular war/battle death totals. ie. DDay landings – where incrediable numbers of French civilians were killed. People seem to also recall that there was little for the US to meddle in that war either. If that war was justified – this is nothing, it should technically be classed as a skirmish.

  3. I think the cease fire is intentional bullshit. Israel and the US are blatantly giving Hezbollah a chance to ruin the cease fire. After they do that, no one should get in the way of Hezbollah’s destruction. Of course the world will cry, but will have nothing to cry about when they hear that we gave Hezbollah a chance. Lebanon should be furious that they are being used as the battlefield, but they are strongly influenced by Hezbollah if not being held hostage by Hezbollah. Half of Lebabnon’s forces are shia and support Hezbollah. If Lebanon ever asked its military to act on Hezbollah there would be another civil war. My point is: The table has been set for Hezbollah’s destruction. The question is: Will Iran and Syria go down with Hezbollah? The only thing I hope is that we set a goal to destroy the enemy, not nation build for the bastards. Start spreading fire power instead of democracy.