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.