Sunday, August 13, 2006

Eye For an Eye: Inside the New Hizbullah

While the ceasefire is supposed to go into effect on Monday morning, there are giant loopholes in the resolution, including the fact that Israel is only obliged to stop "offensive" operations. Of course, Israel will continue its "defensive" operations meaning that anything it does will be described as defensive.
For its part, Hizballah will strike at occupying Israeli forces, building on its lessons from the 1982-2000 period. Israel will continue to suffer a trickle of deaths, if not more. After a period, the generals will grow frustrated and strike harder, and thereby ignite heavier exchanges. There is a very strong possibility that the next weeks will look very much like the past few weeks, except that Israel may (here the US input is important) reduce its attacks on infrastructure.
As for the international force, don't expect much enthusiasm from troop providing countries for jumping into the fray.
Read carefully, the resolution requires the international troops--UNIFIL plus--to protect civilians. This poses an interesting challenge, since Israel is more likely to strike civilians in Lebanon than Hizballah.
All in all, the U.S.-Israeli war for hegemony has created a difficult mess, and it falls far short of the easy victory that Israelis privately promised to Bush, Cheney and Co. Incidentally, Elliott Abrams, the deputy NSC advisor whose portfolio is the Middle East, has a lot to answer for in promoting this war. He did, to quote Bush in another context, a "heck of a a job".

Eye For an Eye: Inside the New Hizbullah - Newsweek Mideast Crisis -

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