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RE: Warm Up War

In response to The Warm Up War, Kirk...Yes, we (the West and Israel) will be here again. I would not characterize this as a 'warm up war,' however. It was the 'Bungled War.' Olmert's inconsistencies throughout doomed the campaign to failure and the aversion to casualties - the same aversion that created the Clinton-led Somalia debacle, which also emboldened terrorists (al-Qaeda, in that instance) - netted indecision. This indecision led to the UN 'negotiation path' rather than the 'attack and defeat Hizballah' path.

Note Caroline Glick's concluding words from the same commentary referenced before:

Many sources in Washington told this writer over the weekend that the US decision to seek a cease-fire was the result of Israel's amateurish bungling of the first three weeks of the war. The Bush administration, they argued, was being blamed for the Olmert government's incompetence and so preferred to cut its losses and sue for a cease-fire.

There is no doubt much truth to this assertion. The government's prosecution of this war has been unforgivably inept. At the same time it should be noted that the short-term political gain accrued by the US by forging the cease-fire agreement will come back to haunt the US, Israel and all forces fighting the forces of global jihad in the coming weeks and months.

That today Olmert declares of the UN 'plan,' “Hizbullah will no longer exist as a state within a state,” is too sad to be comical. By what force? Hizballah will not lay down its arms, nor will any command to engage them come from any 'international force' commander.

Hizballah was definitely on the ropes. Israel - under Olmert's leadership - allowed them to survive the bell and recover for the next round.

In Lead, Follow or Get Out of The Way, I suggested that the world (and the UN) "needs to get out of the IDF’s way and allow them to loose the dogs in pursuit of Hizballah." I was wrong. Very wrong.

It was Olmert that needed to get out of the IDF's way. That much is clear. By his design, he has limitted the IDF's ground operation to clear the 18 difficult mile deep swath into Lebanon to a 48-hour sprint. Truly...what can be accomplished with any thoroughness in 48 hours against a determined enemy committed to martyrdom?

Has Olmert not risked (and lost) the lives of IDF soldiers over that 48-hour period to simply hold hilltops and await an as yet undetermined and un-formed international force? An international force that will lack the proper motivation that is inspired when one is fighting for one's own country's survival? Olmert has traded the IDF's motivation for unknown international forces whose primary motivation - from private to colonel - will be simply to survive and go back home. Far down the list will be engaging and disarming Hizballah terrorists on their own turf, paper 'mandate' or none. Their various countries' survival - or even defense - is not at stake. Do the math.

Israelis had a stronger will than their political leader. They will replace him in short order.

The clock that once ticked for Hizballah now ticks for Olmert.

3 Comments

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid" - General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Whether this is a warm-up or a bungled exercise, it has not turned out well. Barry Rubin makes the argument that this ceasefire is "not so bad in theory." This is because the adopted ceasefire does contain some points on Israel's side, such as explicitly blaming Hizballah for starting it (according to Rubin, I haven't read the resolution text myself). But this is rhetorical - Rubin notes that the key elements in the ceasefire mostly depend on implementation, and there is good reason to believe that implemention will not turn out well, including the fact that there is nothing to prevent Iran and Syria from rearming Hizballah and the lack of a credible peacekeeping force.

Time will tell for sure, but the best bet is that the fragile framework put into place will collapse at some point in the medium-term, and hopefully Israel's leadership will handle it better next time.

I have read it. It is up to one's interpretation whether Resolution 1701 blames Hizballah. Cause is left unaddressed in the explicit.

1701 recognizes "Lebanon's" 7-Point proposal, essentially dictated by Hizballah ministers within the Lebanese government. Any questions about President Lahoud's loyalties?

Has anyone paused to wonder what will become of Sa'ad Hariri and/or Walid Jumblatt in the aftermath of this capitulation to Hizballah? And, with that, the fledgeling democracy in Lebanon?

How soon will we begin to refer to Lebanon as the "once-fledgeling democracy"?

For weeks and weeks and weeks, this campaign has been characterized as an Israeli attack upon Lebanon. This frustrates me to no end, as the attack upon the state of Lebanon - that 'once-fledgeling democracy' - has so clearly come from within, via Hassan Nasrallah's Hizballah and fueled by Iran and Syria.

They decided for Lebanon that Israel must be attacked, namely on July 12, 2006, among other dates.

Israel may have been able to hand Lebanon back to Lebanon.

For now, it has been handed over to Hizballah and greater Hizballistan, shrouded in brilliant white paper mandates distributed from afar in Turtle Bay.

In this age of global terrorism and the War on Terror, that no one - NO ONE - has the courage and fortitude to engage Hizballah with the aim to destroy the most heavily armed terrorist group on the planet is nothing short of disconcerting.

There is a darkness that the West finds perpetual reason to avert her eyes from.

Though a fight with Hizballah will be costly and widen and, yes, encourage/inspire terrorist attacks, what does one believe the future holds by appeasing such animals?

Furthermore, is not engaging Hizballah (et al) going to produce an end to terrorist attacks?

At what far greater cost will the West finally feel compelled to acknowledge and engage in the war declared upon us?

Shall we wait until Hizballah, Iran and al-Qaeda are better prepared and not suing for peace at the height of a campaign?

Yes, let's please yield the initiative to them. Let's wait until Iran can back such terrorist adventures with nuclear arms.

Yes. Yes. Surely there is wisdom in such folly.

Somewhere.

If you are in Tehran...

Or Baalbek...

There is a war on, people. A war delcared by those who understand only force. We did not declare it. Look around you and ask if the West would not prefer weekend shopping trips to a war against terrorists.

Our brilliant nuance is only used against us and only because we prefer it...prefer it to engaging the enemy who wishes us killed for the greater glory of religious fulfillment.

Sometimes I feel eerily alone when I say "No."

My neighbors are off getting happy meals and my family members shopping for new cars.

The wolves are circling. Watching. Plotting. So long as they don't bark or howl, no one seems to care and much prefer to leave the ugly for another day and someone else to deal with.

Yet when they do, denial takes over. "He's not a wolf, he just plays one on TV." "You're making a mountain out of a mole hill." "Warmonger."

Let's just be sure not to miss the new season of American Idol.

No.

Enough.