If the current Israeli campaign in Lebanon looks familiar it should. It is the same Likud/neocon strategy that has brought us 58 years of war in Israel, chaos in Iraq and what now appears to be an inevitable loss in Afghanistan.
In The New York Post yesterday a supporter of Israel, Ralph Peters, thinks that Israel is going to lose this battle using a plan that looks like something Donald Rumsfeld and Bill Kristol could have cooked up.
ISRAEL is losing this war. For a lifelong Israel supporter, that's a painful thing to write. But it's true. And the situation's worsening each day.Yes, "Israel tried to make war halfway, and only made a mess". Does that sound familiar? Right out of the Donald Rumsfeld playbook. What Mr Peters doesn't discuss is the insanity of destroying the infrastructure of Lebanon. Failed states are breeding grounds for insurgency and terrorism. If you are truly interested in peace and stability you don't create failed states on your border. That is exactly what Israel has done. And of course it's exactly what it's been doing for 58 years.
Israel tried to make war halfway, and only made a mess. Let's review where the situation stands:
* By trying to spare Israeli lives through the use of airpower and long-range artillery fire instead of ground troops, the IDF played into Hezbollah's hands. The terrorists could claim that Israel feared them. Meanwhile, Israeli targeting proved shockingly sloppy, failing to ravage Hezbollah, while hitting civilians - to the international media's delight.
* The IDF is readying a reinforced brigade of armor and 3,000 to 5,000 troops for a "limited incursion" into southern Lebanon. Won't work. Not enough troops. And Hezbollah's had time to get locked and loaded. This is going to be messy - any half-hearted Israeli effort will fall short.
* Famed for its penetration, Israeli intelligence failed this time. It didn't detect the new weapons Iran and Syria had provided to Hezbollah, from anti-ship missiles to longer-range rockets. And, after years of spying, it couldn't find Hezbollah.
This brings us to the ultimate insanity of the Likud/neocon playbook which has never worked but that is tried over and over again leaving death and destruction in it's wake. Christopher Allbritton explains:
Why, oh, why do people with access to really big bombs continue to think they can change people’s loyalties by dropping those big bombs on their homes and families?
Israel’s strategy in Lebanon is pretty clear now: Make the pain of “supporting” or “harboring” Hizbullah so great that the Lebanese will deal with the group. That was also the idea behind the attack on Gaza and Hamas as well as the so-called Bush Doctrine — the U.S. will make no distinction between the terrorists and those who harbor them. It’s also the hot air for the trial balloon often floated in D.C. regarding regime change in Iran: Bomb the mullahs and watch the pro-American youth embrace the Pax Americana!
At this point we should ask the question do the Likudniks in Israel and the neocons in the US actually want peace? At the Libertarian Cato Institute Gene Healy thinks not.
For the neoconservatives, it’s not about Israel. It’s about war. War is a bracing tonic for the national spirit and in all its forms it presents opportunities for national greatness.That explains the American side of this insanity but what about Israel. Does Israel actually require an external threat as part of it's 2500 year old cultural heritage?
For whatever the reason it is clear that the world will remain a very dangerous place as long as the Likud and the neocons continue to pour gasoline on all of the fires in the world. People like Bill Kristol, Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman are insane, dangerous madmen.