Israeli Research Project

Saturday, July 22, 2006
Israel claims that no invasion is occuring so "research project" will have to serve as a meaningful synonym. Victor David Hanson lays out a decent framework for considering the Israeli efforts in such a light and ends his analysis with an observation with which I agree wholeheartedly:
Instead, a disgusted world secretly wants these terrorists to get what they deserve. And who knows: This time they just might.
Aside from a bit of Kofi baable that is receiving the attention which it deserves, remarkably little is being said about Israel's actions. There has been some jabber from the usual suspects on the left, but on the whole there has been nothing that could be construed as meaningful opposition to Israel's actions.

As we watch Israel methodically destroy Hizbollah in Lebanon we should give some consideration as to the probable result of the application of the same methods on a wider scale in Ira[n]/q. My apologies for the error.

UPDATE: Just ran accross an article by Michael Ledeen in which he summarizes the opportunity created by the crisis"
Now is the time to tell our soldiers in Iraq that “hot pursuit” is okay, that the terrorist training camps on both sides of Iraq are legitimate targets, to be attacked in self-defense. Now is the time to tell the Iraqi government to come forward with the abundant evidence of Iranian evil-doing, and that we will support a fight against the mullahs’ foot soldiers in Iraq. These actions will signal the next stage of the war against the terror masters, which is the vigorous support of the pro-democracy forces in Syria and Iran.

It is a wondrous window of opportunity. As so often in our history, it was opened by our enemies. Let’s go for it.

Now, please. It may not open again for quite a while.


chuck said...

As we watch Israel methodically destroy Hizbollah in Lebanon we should give some consideration as to the probable result of the application of the same methods on a wider scale in Iraq.

I don't see the connection here. Where are the bunker fortifications and rocket launchers? And at this point Israel is not concerned with Lebanese politics. Long term there has to be a central power in Lebanon and Israel doesn't want to be it. The military campaign is the easy part of this puzzle.

I think our approach in Iraq probably holds more promise for a permanent settlement: we build up the Iraqi forces, support development of the Iraqi government, and try to control the civil war in Baghdad so it plays out without bringing down the entire country. It is quite possible that Maliki will have more success knocking down the Sadrists and the SCIRI militia than any Lebanese politician will in getting Hizb'ulla under control.

Israel hasn't yet begun to grapple with the long term political problems in Lebanon nor do I think it is in a position to do so. Keeping Syria out and Hizb'ulla disarmed will require Lebanese cooperation and will probably also depend on the US and possibly France. Any ideas? The Lebanese constitution is an ethnic balancing act and it is not clear to me how they are going to put together a strong army able to control the borders and which is loyal to some central concept of Lebanon. Lebanon is multiculturalism run wild and there remains a long road of political development that has to be traveled. Lebanon has just now hit the on ramp. I think Iraq is actually further along.

But we shall see.

CF said...

My spidey sense says a lot is going on under the radar.
(a) why mass all those troops on the border for days losing any element of surprise?
(b) why have the Palis pulled off?,7340,L-3279758,00.html
(c) Why is the international yelping so muted?

Has the Arab world threatened to cut off aid to Palestine if they don't cease? Have they agreed to force a return of the kidnapped soldiers and a 20 mile buffer zone in Lebanon?

Has the Arab League offered Lebanon reconstruction funds only if they help destroy Hezbollah?
Think/..If you were Egypt and Saudi Arabia and Jordan, what better way to defang Iran and Syria, their enemies and the only countries which would benefit if full scale war breaks out.

In sum, I ask a reasonable question: Has sense come to this area of the world?

chuck said...

(a) why mass all those troops on the border for days losing any element of surprise?

What surprise? I think the troops were waiting there for good military reasons, not to mention that it takes some time to mobilize. Remember how long the buildup in Kuwait lasted before the Iraq invasion got underway? Lot's of folks seem to think Israel should have just barreled across the border, but they forget the degraded road network and the fact that tanks are vulnerable unless accompanied by troops to suppress antitank missiles and locate mines. That part goes way back to the lessons of WWII. I've seen it said that if trees had been felled across the roads in the Ardennes and a few other measures taken that the German blitzkrieg in 1940 would not succeeded so spectacularly. In addition, it takes reconnaissance to find out what the situation is and locate points of resistance. Why jump off without preparation? It is not like the future matyrs of Hizb'ullah, socked away in fortified positions, are going to go anywhere. They are sitting ducks once the IDF locates them and figures out how to attack without incurring heavy casualties.

Apart from that, I think you may be onto something. I don't imagine that Condi goes home every evening and watches cartoons, there are probably lots of things going on through back channels. For that matter, I don't think we know what the IDF is up to either, they seem to have been pretty successful in keeping their movements and intentions hidden from the world.

Rick Ballard said...


As usual, I certainly could have been more clear. I was referring to the methodical military preparations - no "shock and awe" rhetoric and an emphasis on "I would not harm thee for the world but thou standest where I am about to shoot." Matched against Nasrullah's bombast I think that Israel is pulling off a PR coup through public rhetoric understatement backed by rather understated action.

I certainly agree that Israel is not concerned with the internal Lebanese political problem. They are simply cleansing a buffer zone for a turnove to a multinational force - after they have negotiated some sort of oversight on the job that the force is intended to perform.

I also agree that Iraq is really the model effort - there are still miles of bloody road ahead but I'm impressed that the Iraqi's aren't doing nearly as much of the standard Arab "fix it" whine that I have been accustomed to hearing.


I think that Rice will be announcing the Saudi (and perhaps other Arab oil states) willingness to underwrite a multinational force dedicated to the enforcement of 1559. I'm hoping for a joint Polish/Turkish force - I think that combo would have the best chance of success.

CF said...

Yes, Rick, something like that PLUS the return of the soldiers. We will know Sunday when she arrives, if we are right. If we are, the troops may movein simply to hold the areas until the multinational force arrives. If not, they will pound the hell out of the place. Everyone but Ahmasmadasahatter is the winner.

Then the Arab states will [ut some conditions on aid to the Palis, Abbas will get the vote to recognize Israel he was trying for before this Hamas stunt, the Arab League will embark on an investment plan to rebuild Lebanon.

Game, Set. Match.

ambisinistral said...

I don't think there is a corrolation between Iraq and Southern Lebenese strategies. They are for wildly different purposes.

I think the Israeli army is doing pin-prick attacks along the southern most border to draw Hezb fighters south.

I would guess the Israeli main axis of attack with end up being north west out of the Golan area. This will cut the road to the Bekka Valley and, since they'll be slightly north of the Litani River, enfilade Hezb's escape route.

I would guess the point of all of this is to prevent Hezb to withdraw their heavy weapons.

Sitting slighly north of the Litani also means they can continue their axis of advance towards either Beruit or the Beka, which forces Hezb (and the Lebanese army) into guessing which potential axis of advance to cover.

If they do that I think they'll have grasped the initiative and will be able to force the Hezb fighters north without their equipment.

Rick Ballard said...

My apologies. I typed Iraq when I intended Iran.

Didn't even see it when Chucked copied it into his comment. I doubt that i will ever be a proof reader.

Peter UK said...

It is probable that the Israelis are counting Hezbollah's guns,to ascertain where the entrances to the tunnels are,after all it isn't neccessary to fight in the tunnels,simply block the entrances.Hence the pinprick attacks,incursions strong enough for force protection,but not so large as to keep heads down.
It will be hell on earth in the tunnel complexes,they are vulnerable to fuel/air weapons and devices which deplete the oxygen,without recourse to flame throwers,gas or phosphorous.
One of the main weapons of Hezbollah has been the MSM,ever willing to publicise "civilian" casualties,in this hellish conflict,Hezbollah will be fighting in their own graves,unseen,unheard and unsung.

terrye said...

I also think there is more going on than we know. I notice the Demcorats are 'demanding" Bush bring peace to the middle east. What a joke.

Peter UK said...

"I notice the Demcorats are 'demanding" Bush bring peace to the middle east. What a joke."

Are they demanding the nuking of Iran?

terrye said...


No, they want us to talk our way to peace.

terrye said...


i have to tell you, I really amnot sure how far I trust Ladeen on Iran.

I think I am getting pundentitis. They always know what everyone else should do.

MeaninglessHotAir said...


I don't think they want to talk their way to peace. I think they want to protest their way to peace. They can put the flowers back on, bring out the old beads, grow their hair long again and it will be such a blast forcing peace on that Republican Daddy in the Whitehouse once more.

Rick Ballard said...


I don't read him much anymore but it was worth it this time because he was actually promoting the use of a bit of force. The balance was wishing but going accross the borders seemed a little new to me.

I would rather see us furnish air support for Iraqis going accross the border but it's a bit too soon for that.

chuck said...


I am still waiting for them to levitate the Pentagon. If they can pull that off I won't worry too much about defense in the future.

Speaking of hair, I am about ready to give up and go for a stylish buzz cut. Might need a hat, though.

Peter UK said...

"They can put the flowers back on, bring out the old beads, grow their hair long again and it will be such a blast forcing peace on that Republican Daddy in the Whitehouse once more."

I for one, am willing to contribute to the air fare to Tehran,providing they wear flowers in their hair when they get there.

Peter UK said...

They are counting the guns