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Israel's war of choice « Previous | |Next »
July 23, 2006

Israel's military response by air, land and sea to what it considered a provocation last week by Hezbollah militants is unfolding according to a plan finalized more than a year ago.


So though George Bush thought that the conflict had broken out because Syria used Hizbullah to create a provocation, the war was a long-planned Israeli war of choice. Will Israel's conventional military superiority e deliver the security it seeks.?To de-fang Hezbollah implies the effective dissolution of the Shi'ite community in southern Lebanon. Yet Hezbollah is likely to survive as a political player in Lebanon and that is something the US and Israeli are going to have to accept.

At the heart of Israeli policymaking today lies a faith in the benefits of unilateral action over diplomatic engagement; in tactical military redeployments over comprehensive military withdrawal, and in conflict "management" over conflict resolution.

The Washington neo-cons still thunder away: what is happening in the Middle East now is an Islamist-Israeli war, part of the wider war between Islamist totalitarianism and liberal democracy and moderate Islam. To fight this war, the US has to confront not just terror networks but the states that sponsor them. Israel is dealing with Hamas and Hezbollah: America should be going after Syria and Iran. Unilateral action by the US - including the threat and use of force - is deemed to be the key to fighting the war against global radical Islamism.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:23 PM | | Comments (2)


The Israeli foreign minister was in the WaPo on the weekend in an interview. Kivni claimed that the Israeli use of force was to help the Lebanese Government control Hezbollah;

What Israel is doing right now is helping the Lebanese Government to control Hezbollah in the future.

She says this is to aid Lebanon in asserting its sovereignty over the entire country.

This neatly sidesteps that Hezbollah representatives got elected. Which suggests the issue isnt that simple in Lebanon. Israel explains this away by;

I believe in democracy ... not only in terms of elections. I believe those that participate in elections should only be those who believe in democratic values. Terrorist organisations should be banned.

That suprises me to. Bombing Lebanese infrastructure into rubble---- not even sparing Beirut's hospitals---does not help the Lebanese government. As usual Israel has sought a conventional military answer to what is, fundamentally, an unconventional political problem.

Hebollah is the largest political party in the Lebanese Parliament, has ministers in the government and strong roots in the Shi'ite community.In his 'The war Hezbollah is really fighting'in Asia Times Kaveh L Afrasiabi says

Far from a "terror group pure and simple" as repeatedly labeled by US government leaders, Hezbollah is a well-entrenched politico-military movement participating in the national life of Lebanon while, simultaneously, acting as a welfare arm of the Lebanese system by providing basic welfare services to its largely underclass mass constituency. Clearly, Hezbollah is not a foreign army, like the Palestinian Liberation Organization, that would be forced to flee the country. Rather, it is a home-grown phenomenon deeply immersed in the fabric of Lebanese society and its collective identity. As a result, both the US and Israeli policy of destroying Hezbollah is doomed to failure, and no matter how severely it is pounded by massive bombs, it will survive and its phoenix will rise from the ashes of Lebanon.

Surely the Lebanese have some say in how their country is run?

Presumably, Israel does not recognize Lebanese sovereignty.