Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Is Israel losing the war?

  • Wall Street Journal-This is not to say that itwill lose the war, or that the war was unwinnable to start with. But if it keeps going as it is, Israel is headed for the greatest military humiliation in its history... The conflict with Hezbollah--a 15,000-man militia chiefly armed with World War II-era Katyusha rockets--is now in its 21st day. So far, Israel has nothing to show for its efforts: no enemy territory gained, no enemy leaders killed, no abatement in the missile barrage that has sent a million Israelis from their homes and workplaces...The war began with a string of intelligence failures: Israel had lowered its alert level on the northern border prior to the raid; it did not know that Hezbollah possessed Chinese-made antiship missiles, one of which nearly sank an Israeli missile boat off the coast of Beirut; it was caught off guard by the fierce resistance it encountered in the two Lebanese villages it has so far attempted to capture. Such failures are surprising and discouraging, given that Israel has been tracking and fighting Hezbollah for nearly a quarter-century.

  • NY Times: Renewed Israeli airstrikes and intensified ground operations can offer no lasting solution unless Israel is prepared to undertake another lengthy occupation to prevent resupply and regrouping. The most optimistic Israeli commanders concede it would take at least 10 to 14 more days to locate and destroy Hezbollah’s rockets and command post. The mounting civilian casualty toll that would accompany an Israeli offensive of that length would multiply the huge propaganda gains that Hezbollah, Syria and Iran have already reaped and multiply the damage to Israel and the United States. With the Security Council now preparing to act, Washington needs to call on Israel to accept an extended cease-fire while diplomacy proceeds.