Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Why Did Hizbollah Surrender?

By surrendering (giving up the fight) Hizbollah drove Israel out of Lebanon. Had they kept fighting Israel would have stayed and kept fighting too. This is a strange way to win wars. Hizbollah's claim to fame (driving the Israelis out of Lebanon in 2000) was strengthened by its virtual surrender.

Commanders of the Israeli Army are surprised by this behavior.

The IDF, a senior officer said Tuesday, was surprised that Hizbullah was abiding by the cease-fire. "We predicted that Hizbullah wouldn't keep its side of the agreement and that fighting would start again," the officer said.
However, the Israelis are still itching for a fight.
The IDF will have to resume operations in Lebanon if the expanded United Nations force being assembled does not fulfill its obligation to dismantle Hizbullah, an official in the Prime Minister's Office warned on Tuesday.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah reportedly reached a deal allowing Hizbullah to keep its weapons but refrain from exhibiting them in public. Israeli officials called the arrangement a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which passed over the weekend and was approved on Sunday by the cabinet.

"The resolution is clear that Hizbullah needs to be removed from the border area, embargoed and dismantled," the official said. "If the resolution is not implemented, we will have to take action to prevent the rearming of Hizbullah. I don't think backtracking will serve any useful purpose. There has to be pressure on Hizbullah to disarm or there will have to be another round."
One minor point. The requirement for Hizbollah disarmament is actually part of UN Security Council Resolution 1559. Which was included in 1701.

I think Hizbollah was on its last legs as a military force. So they had to give up the fight to remain a viable political force in Lebanon. In fact their surrender has politically strengthened them.
Annan angered Israeli officials when he told Channel 2 on Tuesday that "dismantling Hizbullah is not the direct mandate of the UN," which could only help Lebanon disarm the organization. Annan upset officials further when he said that deploying international forces in Lebanon would take "weeks or months," and not days as expected.

Israeli officials said the IDF would not complete its withdrawal from southern Lebanon until the international force was deployed - even if it took months - to prevent a vacuum in Lebanon that could endanger Israeli civilians. An official in the Prime Minister's Office accused Annan of having an anti-Israel agenda.
No surprise there.

What are Lebanese blogs saying?
And there we go again. Just like how the national dialogue rounds kept on being postponed until all hell broke loose, now we're witnessing a postponement upon postponement of the Cabinet meeting since the Cabinet ministers met last when they agreed to UNSCR 1701, with some reservations (ma3 ba3d al-tahaffouzat). It's becoming clear that "some reservations" is not to be dismissed of, it's what will make and break the Lebanese state's will.

Add the second consecutive postponement of the Cabinet meeting with what Syrian President Assad said today, and you'll start to sense bleakness on the horizons.

President Assad basically claimed Hizbullah victorious and added that some political factions in Lebanon, namely the March 14 coalition, have encouraged Israel to attack Lebanon to disarm Hizbullah and that this coalition is the same one that wanted to sign a peace treaty with Israel back in 17th May of 1982 and so they bear responsibility for their country's destruction. He also said that the Lebanese who want to disarm Hizbullah have failed and their fall is near.
Some of the Lebanese commenters think that the purpose of this stalling is to break the Lebanese Government's will so that Hizbollah can take over. Straight out of Lennin's play book.

Another Lebanese blogger has this to say:
I did not expect SG of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah to be capable of doing it with such ease but he nively gave a basic lesson of politics to the some politicians in Lebanon, during his latest speech yesterday.

His acute analysis of the current "state of the state" is remarkable in terms of its awareness of history (something Lebanese are profoundly in denial of). what he basically said is how can the Khezballah give back their weapons when there is no party to whom they could give their weapons. The Lebanese State? controlled by who? The "majority" that is agitating for disarmament when Israeli soldiers are still performing last-minute murderous operations? Can't these people realize what's at stake here? Giving back Hezbollah's weapons right now is akin to telling Israel "Mission accomplished".
Well yeah. The alternative of course is that Israel will come back to enforce 1559. Olmert badly needs a victory to stay in power. Israeli and Lebanese politcs may very well determine the next moves. Anti-Clausewitz (politics is war by other means) may very well give way to Clausewitz (war is politics by other means).

Update: 16 August '06 1005z

The Ouwet Front, a Lebanese blog has this to say.
...Hezbollah is rushing to reconstruct houses before the government so it can fortify its positions yet again and keep controlling the regions.

Iran is celebrating the victory more than Shiites in Lebanon are, with posters and festivities and speeches and a transport cost-free day for everyone.

I really urge Jumblatt, Geagea and other leaders to attack fiercly Hezbollah, Syria and Iran and if possible start preparing for a second 14th of March, one that ll remove all traces of Syrian and Iranian agents in Lebanon and pave the way for a strong united sovereign Lebanon.
The Front has a number of other interesting posts. Like Bashar el Assad … Fuck Yourself !

Bliss Street Journal thinks Hizbollah will still be a problem for Lebanon. Right now.
Hizbullah will continue to consolidate its "victory" in southern Lebanon, with Hassan Nasrallah's order for the Shi'a to return to their homes as the first step in this process, DebkaFile reports. * As such, Hizbullah becomes the guarantor of its own destiny in southern Lebanon, reacquires its state within a state, and becomes "host" to the following "guests":

- One Lebanese Army, 15,000 members
- One enhanced UNIFIL force without Chapter 7 mandate, 15,000 members
- All non-Shiite residents of southern Lebanon
- Unspecified numbers of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps
- Unspecified numbers of Syrian mukhabarat.

Hassan Nasrallah has the next chapter of this adventure all planned out - the battle may have been tough, but he is still the sheriff in town. The only thing that he has agreed to do as part of any compromise is to be a good host and not visibly show off his weapons to his guests. His fighters are on their way back to acquire and rebuild their former positions that the IDF bulldozed and blew up, and at least given the flow of events of the past two days, Nasrallah appears to be attempting to go back to the status quo ante.
He concludes with:
No need to mention that Lebanon and Hizbullah have already violated U.N. Resolution 1701 even before the ink had dried on the signatures. Israel needs little convincing that its own Fallujah II is a strategic inevitability.
There are links in his text to the Debka Report on the situation. Debka says that Hizbollah will topple the Lebanese Government if it keeps refering to Hizbollah disarmament as required by UNSCR 1559.

Israel says:
In a briefing to members of the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee touring the north, Major General Adam explained the phases in the upcoming IDF withdrawal from Lebanon. According to Adam, troops will start leaving Lebanon in the coming days, with areas being vacated by the army handed over to UN forces, which will in turn hand them over to the Lebanese army.

Adam made it clear that the IDF will not be leaving any territories before international forces assume responsibility over them. However, as noted above, he expressed worries that Hizbullah terrorists would be able to return to southern Lebanon as soldiers in the Lebanese army.
Kofi Annan says it may take months for UN troops to deploy.

This war is not over.

Update: 27 Aug '06 2328z

Captain's Quarters is of the opinion Hizballah lost.


Anonymous said...


Halutz is sweating bullets. He's been caught selling his stock portfolio, hours before starting his limited toss into Lebanon. He has got to go.

Amir Peretz' limited popularity has plummeted to below 30% While 70% of the Israeli public is fighting mad.

Olmert's choices? I think Bibi gets to put the next group of chips down on the table. At some point Olmert's going to be forced to re-arrange his cabinet. Including how he forced to the side, the strongest MK's, as if everything in Israel was political.

Where will blame fall? Halutz increased the fighting power of the air force; but at a terrible expense to the infantry troops.

One reason for the need on Israel's side for the cease fire was to remove and repair the broken tanks from the field.

It was also much too hot. SO a brief respite isn't going to hurt the situation. It also brought nasrallah out of his hidey-hole. And, up for air.

Before Chalutz does his "vamoose," he's already saying that the IDF withdrawal stops, IF Hezbollah is not disarmed.

That means there's no need for missiles to come into Israel; to start things rolling again. Israel will manage to stay put on ground already won.

New resupplies for Southern Lebanon? It's an interesting thing, if you look at the flow of money. Nasrallah's handing out bucket-fulls of cash to those Shi'a whose homes have been ruined. And, he is, of course, rebuilding the torn up roadworks. Again, that costs money.

Kapinski will be faced with choices, too. Since if Olmert has to listen to Bibi, as I said, Bibi will get to control the board. And, there are Kadima MK's, with strong attachments to Bibi. And, no attachment at all to Dahlia Itzik. Who may have given this show away? How so? She met with Bibi in secret last Sunday. No hairs grow on her ass as she maneuvers her way to stay in politics. While Amir Peretz might get tossed to the crowds like a circus clown?

The Knesset is as much a clown show, as anything else.

What's Olmert's strong chip? Bush. And, Rice. Where Bibi wouldn't want to see it tossed into the fire.

What happens on AUgust 21st? Or 22nd? HOw should I know? Besetting all bets on the future, is the reality of probabilities. Probabilities get distributed all over the place. SO all we know about tomorrow is that the sun rises in the East.

Olmert's PM chair sits on a sea of troubles. Floating for now. What's your opinion about over there?

M. Simon said...

Yoni who appears on the Hugh Hewitt show from time to time is trying to start a new political party.

I don't think it will help, but I have offered her my services.

The real problem with Israel is socialism. It destroys the agressive spirit.

Socialism Kills