Monday, August 28, 2006

Pointing Out the Obvious

Commenter Carol Herman points out the obvious:

Israel really has no desires to be in Lebanon. Nada. Not for keeps. While now? Just a few. With plenty of cover from the bumbling UN. And, france. Not a bad outcome after you're finished making your points.

What points? That it got to be more expensive for nasrallah to kidnap two soldiers than it was worth. But nobody's gonna mention something this obvious.
Well at long last we have some one pointing out the obvious, Sheikh Naim Kassem Hizballah's deputy leader.
Sheikh Naim Kassem told Lebanon's leading An-Nahar daily that Hizbullah's "resistance" to Israel would continue, saying "justifications for ending it do not exist."

Kassem said Hizbullah was surprised by the magnitude of Israel's response to the group's capture of IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.

Hizbullah had expected Israel to respond at most with "some limited attacks" and two or three days of bombing, Kassem said.

"We were surprised by the size and strength of the Israeli reaction. We expected that the IDF would bomb areas close to the border for several days and only cause minimal damage," he said. "In the last days [of the war], the enemy exercised military hysteria... The size of the aggression was beyond our expectation."
Well, well, well, a disproportionate response. Obviously a higher price than he was willing to pay. I guess he went to the bazzar expecting a deal. He got a bigger deal than he bargained for.

And still the question is: who won?

Here is what I say:

Israel is camping on Hizballah territory. Hizballah is laying low. Nasserallah is living in basements. Olmert is enjoying the sunshine.

Israel is blowing up Hizballah bunkers these days at their leisure. Hizballah is blowing what? Smoke.

More on bunker busting:
He also mentioned that Golani forces had initiated the move to uncover the bunker after the same battalion, in an earlier operation, had discovered maps specifying certain areas where Hizbullah had planned such tunnels in south Lebanon.

The IDF blasts caused concern among nearby residents, who thought the loud explosions were rocket fire.

The IDF has continued to operate in southern Lebanon since a cease-fire was called two weeks ago, stopping weapons shipments to Hizbullah and killing several armed Hizbullah operatives who posed an immediate threat to IDF forces.
So Israel is destroying Hizballah's equipment without having to take it by force of arms. Seems like a smart strategy. And a nice immediate payoff for intel collected during the war.

Evidently Hizballah has abandoned their fortifications in order to not give them away by coming and going.

So let me lay it out, plain and simple like. The Israeli Army is still operating in Southern Lebanon. Hizbollah is not.

And the winner is............


The Captain is discussing a similar quote by Nasserallah - aproximately "we wuz surprised".


Chas said...

Interseting tecnique .. write out you objectives after the war is over. And wow! guess what! every objective has been acheived!

Seriuosly though, Nasrallah's interview is worthy of some serious consideration. He was not gloating over a "victory" , he was quiet, almost apologetic.
There was good news of the two Israeli soldiers .. at least we know they are still alive and it seems, soon to be released.
He also handed Israel back the one thing it feared most to lose - the deterent effect of its military.
A war that nobody won might yet do more to bring peace to the region than any, real or imagined, victory.



M. Simon said...


Some times it is not possible to figure out the objectives until the fog of war clears.

I thought Tactics, Strategy, Grand Strategy ought to be the proper strategy.

Some at the time said that there was no strategy.

I have come to the conclusion that the strategy was different than the one I imagined. Which is not the same as no strategy as some are still saying.

I cover some of those ideas:

Stalked by the Long Knives

Iran to Enter Cash Flow Jihad Zone

The Bitter Taste of Victory

Cash Flow Jihad Strikes Hamas

A Shorter Aftermath


Why Did Hizbollah Surrender?

Cash Flow Jihad Meets Aftermath

BTW the proper link for chas is:

M. Simon said...

This link actually works:

Lirun said...

i dont think the objective are that crucial.. they may be for politics - in which case - sure reengineering them in retrospect is valuable.. but personally i believe that it's how we move forward that counts the most..

i have often asked myself as an israeli - what makes us able to compete in a global market place and have he highest number of companies listed on the NASDAQ from outside the USA.. money is not enough.. you need a good product..

as israelis we are rough and abrupt.. we lack finesse and commercially we are quite adventurous..

BUT - we have the ability to adapt very quickly to rapidly changing situations..

during the war - the entire country got together to accept northerners seeking refuge.. the electricity company worked around the clock to repair damage by the rockets and infrastructure was constantly renewed and fixed..

we each collected our toys and in my case spent a packet buying new ones for kids who were stuck in shelters for weeks so they wouldnt go mad..

we prepared packages for our soldiers to ensure they were not neglected through the rush of the emergency..

we had trade fairs for our north in the centre of the country so we could become their wartime customers and almost every tv show had a segment advertising how we could help others..

so quickly did we change from a country in a financial boom to a country supporting itself in a war..

so quickly did we adjust and adapt to ensure that we did not crumble..

that very highly developed mutational skill need now be applied going forward at this critical moment..

we cannot waste time analysing and root searching.. we need to cease this opportunity and forge ahead so we can all be declared beneficiaries of this event.. in some strange and weird way.

hoping for peace..


heathlander said...

Neither side completely won. Hizbullah is not disarmed, and as such remains a threat on the northern border.

Israel did not achieve its main objectives - the disarmament of Hizbullah and the return of its two soldiers. It now appears as though there will be a prisoner swap after all.

Hizbullah are far stronger politically than they were before the war. Yes, their military capacity has been significantly reduced (not least because 3,000 of their missiles have already been fired at Israel), but they can always re-arm. Neither the Lebanese Army nor any multinational force can stop that. Hizbullah enjoys the support of the majority of the south Lebanon Shi'ites, and now the majority of the people of Lebanon. This makes it a popular guerilla organisation, and such an organisation cannot be destroyed from outside except by destroying the country itself.

A big loser in this war was international law, which was completely ignored by Israel, Hizbullah and the entire international community (in this case, the main culprits were the US and the UK) who showed that they cared not a jot whether a country they give huge military and diplomatic support to obeys the rule of law.

Other big losers were the people of Lebanon and Israel. The people of Lebanon because over 900,000 of them were displaced, over 1,000 of them were killed, the country's GDP has fallen 10% etc. etc. THe people of Israel because in the long term they are now less secure than previously.

The truth is that the only way out of Israel's very real security problems is a negotiated. Peace with both the Palestinians and Syria is possible, which would leave Israel with peaceful borders on all sides except the north, and without Syria Hizbullah will be severely weakened.

Anonymous said...


What's on the agenda are the fates of the 3 kidnapped soldiers.

And, while people tend to clue into the voices they want to hear; so the complaints against Olmert seemed overwhelming; there are facts that belie this as true.

In other words, most reservists went home. Many inside the IDF are praising Olmert and Peretz. And, the sore losers were looking out for their own rise. In other words, Bibi still sits with his minyan. Ain't going anywhere.

And, Mazuz seems to be the only one who can ruin careers. Over spit.

Given the fact that egypt still celebrates its "victory" in 1973; you have to wonder and exclaim! GEE! Look what the arabs settle for!

meanwhile, Israel would like to unload its jails and send back arabs to their families. They're not about to do much harm. Or those that would? Probably won't be on the busses leaving the station. (As the Israelis are getting a better grip on those who don't do mischief. And, those genetically engineered to ONLY do mischief. But, here, again? Who knows? Maybe they go back as plants? And, get watched?)

Israel wants its kidnapped soldiers HOME. How patient is Olmert? And, what are his choices, ahead? I really think as each day passes, his stock goes up. Israelis know where there real enemies are!

Chas said...

Thank-you for fixing my link (I am such a clutz with computers)

I still think it is disingenuous to attach coherent strategic thinking to a war after the fact, when it was obviuosly not there at the time. Rather like the conveniently timed retrospective list of objectives.

I tend to believe the war was pretty much what it appeared to be .. a mess.

My main hope is that some good can come of it.

M. Simon said...

I didn't change my view of proper strategy.

What I did change was my view on how and how well that strategy was carried out.

Proper strategy:
1. hold Hizballah south of the Litani.
2. take the Litani
3. take the Bekaa

It looks like Israel accomplished those objectives.

My hope was that #3 would bring Syria in to the war. That did not happen. Instead Syria is getting Hizballah refugees from Lebanon. A strain, but not a knock out blow.

Lots of good has come from the war.

UNSCR 1559 is being implimented. And 1701 as well. A better situation for Lebanon than before the war.

Anonymous said...


Dear M. Simon,

I am deep into Liddell-Hart's book; and I'm also evaluating what just happened in Israel. Where Olmert, himself, stepped forward to be a foil.

Yes, some Jewish soldiers were without food and water. But you know? Of course you know! The UN was signalling every single troop movement to nasrallah/hezbollah. And, they were EXPECTING an IDF killing field.

It's a marvel of how fast the IDF was, to realize they could take the gambit. And, head into the Ziegfried line.

Or Olmert and Peretz could act like fools. So that the right and the left EXTORTIONISTS would come at them for portfolios. Except the flaw in the reasoning? Caroline Glick isn't getting more readers. The majority of Israelis who enjoy laughing at a putz. Or two. Also aren't forming big crowds to take the government down. To the contrary, grand strategy of Bibi hit another brick wall.

While it's true. Everything the IDF was telegraphed to nasrallah. While what happened with the jabbing and retreating. DONE AT TOP SPEED, confused the enemy. WHile, yes, a few boychickles were without water, or candy. Or food. And, the people who could have supplied it were INSIDE BUNKERS.

To fix this? You need new bunkers built up north, with GIANT KITCHENS. So that in the future, for months on end, people can live inside them. And, feed the troops who come and wait for orders. While fighting terrorists does not have to kill troops on the Ziegfried line.

Israel did not need a 6 day war! With property taken from lebanon, up its ying-yang. Then you get into 30 year fights; where they don't even want to take it back, exactly. But the arabs sceam to the high heavens that they're "occupied."

Like Bell Barth's best line. "The hardest thing for a woman to do is SCREAM "it hurts. It hurts." On the honeymoon night of her second marriage. While her bridegroom has tied is ankles to the bedpost, OR HE'D FALL IN!

Please sometimes you have to do strategy ON THE FLY.

Yes, a lot of troops showed up. But the IDF was dealing with bunkers, built before the eyes of the UN! Over a 6 year period. And, they were disguised so well; they weren't recognized for what they were until you were practically standing above them. (Or you had maps.) Early on in the recognizance runs, what the SPECIAL FORCES TEAMS RETRIEVED; they got ahold of the bunker plans.

And, the IDF did manage to get out the launchers of the BIG missiles. BIG missiles are 3 stories tall. And, their launchers are 9 feet long. So, here, there was also success.

IF IT WASN'T POLITICS AS USUAL, where I think the public is catching on, I wouldn't keep coming back to the obvious. But Mazuz (a likudnik), wants to disgrace Olmert out of office. You don't think the rape charges against Katzav are bogus? How come? You never heard a 19 year old scream? While she couldn't hold an aspirin between her thighs if her life depended on it? The woman was blackmailing the man. And, Mazuz is just like Patrick Fitzgerald. Pretty good at doing harm in the short run.

But Olmert KNEW that his t'zuris would blow over.

In the long run there will be added information to the Green Helmet Guy; which was the press in cahoots with the arabs. And, the UN. Over its head in duplicity. But whatever they thought they were watching; the strategy didn't pan out for them.

For strategy to work it doesn't fool your enemy. Nasrallah got fooled.

And, Olmert never lifted a finger to do what the saudis wanted. Too bad for those gonifs. Let Bush do his own dirty work. It's not as if America lacks soldiers. Oh. And, "stra-ged-ya."

Again, there were some Jewish kids who went without decent food for a week. And, they were forced to figure out how to get water. But it paid off. Because nasrallah kept watching the food trucks. And, Olmert fooled him! Believe it or not.

M. Simon said...


I think the Saudis were in on the deal. Quid pro quo.

We will stay out of the war. Blame Hizballah. Get a fatwa or two issued. Keep our friends (such as they are) out of it.

What did Israel have to do?

Leave Saudi real estate in Lebanon untouched. Make South Lebanon untenable for Hizballah.

Note that the Saudi check book is open wider than Iran's and they have real money in the bank. Which America still lets them move.

There is a lot of distressed real estate in Lebanon. And you know the old rule: don't buy until there is blood in the streets.

Anonymous said...


Always a pleasure to talk to you, M. Simon. And, you raise a good point.

After a war torn area settles down the INVESTMENT MONEY comes in. Hasn't arrived yet in Iraq, though. That place is as crazy as ever. (Yes, the Kurds do well. They also had two legs up. ONE: They could grow when Saddam wasn't able to fly anything up into the air. And, TWO: They don't allow arabs into their territory.) But it's still a pickle. Turkey's a valuable ally. The Kurds are way too ambitious for their own good. (And, this is also true of the Shi'a.)

The most immediate lessons will come when the Shi'a (across the crescent, realize they've been had.)

And, nasrallah's refused to admit how many dead he's chalked up. PLUS, if he hands families money for their dead, it has a counter-effect on their martyrdom. (Similar problems beset the Catholic Church, too. Where the Church owned everything. And, labor was cheap. But why digress?)

Israel did okay. Today, up at DEBKA it seems the Palestinians are trying to gear up to the levels of rocketry that nasrallah had. I have no idea who is bankrolling this. Perhaps, the Saudis? I think the europeans, for the most part, are through with them.)

But having tunnels and rockets are one thing.

Lebanon can't use what's left, now. Because next time out they don't have nasrallah sitting there as a separate entity without a country. (And, the Shi'a, previously the garbage collectors, are finding that some lebanese are unwilling to let them back at the table.) What table? Ah. I think nasrallah got 28 seats in a 132 seat parliament? Something like that. Because Christians and Druze threw in support. FOR THE MONEY.) But nasrallah hasn't got all that much to show for himself. And, at some point the 2 kidnapped soldiers have to be returned.

What could get Israelis all worked up again? And, Olmert either drives FULL THROTTLE, FOOT TO THE FLOOR ON THE GAS PEDAL; is that the soliders have been harmed. Whether there are french in the way, or not. Won't matter. Because Southern Lebanon is rubble. The next attack would touch the "finer stuff you've identified as Saudi." So we shall see? If the Saudis are bankers or losers? Either way. Israel isn't going to diddle.

And, new paper isn't going to be coming out soon, from the UN, either. Personally, I think when Gillerman reaches for the pen in his pocket, he'll clear the room as if the horses farted. Nobody's gonna want to touch anything the Jews are willing to sign. So, in a sense, a lot of good came out of #1701.

To say nothing of the pleasure of watching that school marm, Condi, jump the shark. (But that's just me.) I know Obama is gonna land on the donkey presidential veep slot. I just don't see why a sane GOP would counter with their own black. Competence would be better. And,competence connected to a sense of humor would be best.)

Can the gazoo inmates erupt? Sure. But after they slam out their first rocket; the rocket scientists from the other side, will create a level of beachfront property unseen before. But the slice in gazoo will be shorter. And, all the tunnels to egyt will be spritzing water.

I'm not too worried with Olmert. He's been around the block for about 50 years. And, grass doesn't grow on his behind. He's well aware of Israeli politics. Where it's like a clown shop. How many ministers can you fit in a Volvo? And, how many careers get ruined when they're stupid enough to try sticking their hands up your behind? It's not like playing doctor. You don't get anywhere, when you call out "bend over."

The IDF learned some new tricks on this last adventure. And, among the dead, not just those who died for nasrallah; but the reputations of the MSM. Which also stinks, now, from squalor.

Give God a chance. He's doing wonders sorting out the stinkers from the pests. He's got a MIGHTY ARM. And, he's never ever let his dream get squelched. Alooo-akbar is a piker, by comparison.

And, you can ask the Pope. Filling pews isn't easy after wars. Even now. There are plenty of mosques filled with deranged lunatics. And, others who just fake it.