Look, forget who started it
By Evan Derkacz
Posted on July 25, 2006
This one's for all my debating partners over the past week...
If the argument isn't compelling that Israel is undermining its own security (not to mention accruing a hell of a spiritual/moral deficit) by barreling into Lebanon and confirming all of Hezbollah's most vituperative rhetoric by killing civilians and destroying the nation's infrastructure, maybe this will help.
Hezbollah didn't even "start it."
More than a year ago, a senior Israeli army officer began giving PowerPoint presentations, on an off-the-record basis, to U.S. and other diplomats, journalists and think tanks, setting out the plan for the current operation in revealing detail.
In other words: The kidnapped Israeli soldiers was a ruse -- a false pretext.
So now that whoever started it isn't in play, the only remaining argument is: How can Israel allow that kind of weapons buildup on its border? The answer is a difficult one but one thing is for sure: this is no cakewalk. The Israelis are having a hell of a time with Hezbollah, which in turn undermines their perceived supremacy in the neighborhood.
Right now, when the fighting is at its peak, it is necessary to deal with the series of failures that have afflicted the Israel Defense Forces. These failings have not only exposed poor soldiering skills, flawed intelligence and officers' arrogance - but may also affect the way the IDF's enemies come to view it, and influence their decision on whether to embark on war in the future, or to launch their missiles against Israel's home front.
Or try this via Juan Cole:
Israeli Armed Forces effectives returning from the Lebanon’s front, say they are facing an intelligent, well prepared and ruthless guerrilla. The soldiers describe Hezbollah guerrillas hide between civilians and in underground bunkers that are two or three stories deep, evidence that this has been prepared for years. They are hard to beat and show no fear of dying, expressed an Israeli soldier.
As crappy as the Might Makes Right argument is, when your Might isn't even working all that well, you're up the creek as, to quote the Bible, He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. But regardless of whether Israel "wins" this war or not, they will have done massage damage to their security. Again. (Juan Cole)
Evan Derkacz is a New York-based writer and contributor to AlterNet.