Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Getting Ready for Round 2

The Debka File reports (caveat - half the time they are spectacularly right - half the time they are spectacularly wrong) that Hizbollah is moving every last man it can scrape up to the south. This fits in with other reports I had heard of people streaming south. Who would go south before Hizbollah and Israel had totally disengaged I wondered? So this report makes sense.

...the swelling numbers of returning Hizballah fighters with their families are jamming the roads south – also blocking the deployment of the 15,000-strong Lebanese force ordered by UN SC resolution 1701 to take over the South and disarm Hizballah.

The Hizballah are moving back into their still undamaged bunkers and fortified civilian dwellings opposite the Israeli border.

Therefore, while thousands of displaced people in Israel and Lebanon headed back to their ravaged homes, DEBKAfile’s military sources report trepidation about the durability of the ceasefire which Israel declared Monday morning. Everyone is talking about the inevitability of a second round.
BTW I thought of the title before reading the report. So I guess everyone is talking about it.

The head of UN forces in Lebanon is calling for help
PARIS (AP) -- The head of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon said Monday he wants reinforcements "as soon as possible," and warned that the situation in the Middle East remains fragile.

French Maj. Gen. Alain Pellegrini, who heads the 2,000-member UNIFIL force in southern Lebanon, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the region remains vulnerable to "a provocation, or a stray act, that could undermine everything."

"They need to arrive as quickly as possible," Pellegrini said of the promised new international force for south Lebanon. "But before that, there is something that can be done quickly -- a deployment of the Lebanese army," he added.
I don't see how something that will never happen can be done quickly. Perhaps I lack a French sense of humor.

Hezbollah says it will not disarm or go north. Either one of those possibilities is a requirement for the Lebanese Army to deploy.
Hizbullah announced that it objects to withdrawing from area south of the Litani River and to disarming despite UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

These statements were made by Hizbullah member of the Lebanese Parliament and member of the policy office of the Shiite militia, Hassan Fadlallah in an interview with al-Jazeera.

According to Fadlallah, the terror group refuses to withdraw from areas south of the Litani River due to the fact that its members are residents of south Lebanon. As to the disarmament issue, the organization claims it is not being discussed within or outside the Lebanese government.
No one but Israel wishes to be the instrument of Hezbollah disarmament.

According to Debka Files Iran is none too happy about the results so far from Hizbollah's fabulous fighting machine.
While the damage caused Israel’s military reputation tops Western assessments of the Lebanon war, DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources report an entirely different perception taking hold in ruling circles in Tehran.

After UN Security Council resolution 1701 calling for a truce was carried Friday, Aug. 11, the heads of the regime received two separate evaluations of the situation in Lebanon – one from Iran’s foreign ministry and one from its supreme national security council. Both were bleak: their compilers were concerned that Iran had been manipulatively robbed of its primary deterrent asset ahead of a probable nuclear confrontation with the United States and Israel.

While the foreign ministry report highlighted the negative aspects of the UN resolution, the council’s document complained that Hizballah squandered thousands of rockets – either by firing them into Israel or having them destroyed by the Israeli air force.

The writer of this report is furious over the waste of Iran’s most important military investment in Lebanon merely for the sake of a conflict with Israeli over two kidnapped soldiers.

It took Iran two decades to build up Hizballah’s rocket inventory.

DEBKAfile’s sources estimate that Hizballah’s adventure wiped out most of the vast sum of $4-6 bn the Iranian treasury sunk into building its military strength. The organization was meant to be strong and effective enough to provide Iran with a formidable deterrent to Israel embarking on a military operation to destroy the Islamic regime’s nuclear infrastructure.
This fits in with something I published early in the war. Spoiler Attack

(more to come)

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