Aug 12, 2006

Ein Knochen To Far?

American neoconservatives, who as a group have given pathetically inexpert military advice in our ill-fated endeavor in Iraq, are extending their advertised incompetence to Israel's war in Lebanon.The neo-cons' desire to extend the war to neighboring countries is prompting some of the usual suspects to recommend a more aggressive ground campaign in what they view as America's proxy war against the Islamic Republic.

The major American Jewish newspaper, The Forward, has an article complaining about "backstage generals, sitting in Washington or in New York, trying to manage Israel's war."Staunchly pro-Israel conservatives with close ties to the Bush administration say that Jerusalem is hindering America's global war on terror by failing to wage an all-out war to eliminate Hezbollah.

In interviews with the Forward and in recently published opinion articles, conservatives slammed Israel's reluctance to launch a comprehensive ground-war against the Lebanese Shiite militia. Top Israeli officials -- particularly Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and the military's chief of staff, Dan Halutz -- have been subject to unusually harsh criticism from the pro-Israel right, including prominent neoconservatives.

By not dealing a swift, decisive blow to Hezbollah, these critics say, Israel is eroding its own ability to deter terrorist attacks and undermining efforts by the democratic world to demonstrate that the international community is resolute in its campaign to defeat terrorism."The only way you defeat an organization like Hezbollah is on the ground. So I would have been much more comfortable if the Israelis had called up all of their reserves and gone all out in Lebanon from the first 24 hours," former speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich told the Forward.

Bombing campaigns, Gingrich said, are "counterproductive, because they don't hurt the enemy that much and they weaken you on television."Gingrich has lately appeared dangerously unhinged in his advocacy of "World War III", and shouldn't be taken seriously by anyone.

Comments similar to Gingrich's are reverberating throughout conservative think tanks in Washington, and -- according to some sources and pundits -- are shared by hawks in the Bush administration. Charles Krauthammer, a leading neoconservative commentator, wrote a column insisting that Olmert's "unsteady and uncertain leadership" is threatening the Bush administration's confidence in Israel as a dependable and strategic ally in the war on terror.

Publicly, at least, the administration has not expressed any such criticism of Israel. Some spokesmen have denied sharply the suggestion that Washington has given Israel a "green light" to pursue the campaign against Hezbollah. But in private conversations, sources close to the White House and the Pentagon said, administration hawks have expressed disappointment and frustration about Israel's inability to deal a swift and decisive blow to Hezbollah.

Frustration and impotence seem to be endemic to the administration in many areas of policy these days. This is caused, of course, by unrealistic expectations of success in questionable undertakings.

The "stay the course" approach in Iraq comes from this denial of the facts on the ground. Denial being the operative strategy for the Iraq war, why not apply it to the Lebanon imbroglio?"Some in the administration expected that Hezbollah, which is a fully owned Iranian subsidiary, would be not just bloodied but put in a desperate position," said Ariel Cohen, a Middle East expert at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation. "So far, we are not seeing that."

It is not clear whether these sentiments were communicated to Israel and whether the administration advised or pressured Israel to change its war tactics accordingly. Multiple well-placed sources said that administration officials did convey their puzzlement with the slow pace of the operation.

Charles Krauthammer, who is on record as having screamed for several minutes at a insufficiently warmongering rabbi in his synagogue during a Yom Kippur service, gives a subtle hint to the Israeli government by implicitly threatening their lifeline from the U.S (from the Forward article):Krauthammer, in a scathing August 4 column that ruffled the feathers of many in Washington's pro-Israel community, wrote that because Israel has failed to score a clear victory against Hezbollah, it is missing a "rare opportunity to demonstrate that it can contribute to America's global war against militant Islam" and, in the process, it was triggering serious questions within the administration about Israel's strategic value to America. Olmert's "search for victory on the cheap has jeopardized not just the Lebanon operation but America's confidence in Israel as well," Krauthammer wrote.

The neo-cons, who have no idea of the dynamics of Fourth Generation warfare, are trying again to get the U.S. to bite off more than it can chew by calling for impulsive ventures into dark alleys in the Middle East. That is the motivation of their seemingly ill-timed (and certainly ill-advised) advice to Israel to step up the level of violence.
->-Excerpt Of An Article By Effwit


DrewL said...

Seems to me that the Bush admin. is using Israel as a proxy for destabilizing Hezbollah and giving it a politically expedient opportunity to engage Iran without fallout in domestic opinion polls. No sense spreading the military thinness to the west when all eyes are focused eastward from Baghdad. The only question is, when will the inevitable happen? Before or after the November elections? I'm betting after, depending on the outcome of said elections.

Meatball One said...

Hi Drewl

I had it pegged last year to go down in June. Not that I was necessarily right but my guess is that sometime in early spring an assesment was made whereby the risk to naval assets in the Hormuz area by diesel electric subs and to Israel by Hezzy was ruled to be rather prohibitive to an immediate attack on Iran and the issue went into a tug-o-warish flux between differing parties.

I believe the diesel electric risks have been deemed to be neutralized with new and improved tactics that have been under high priority development for the past 3-4 years.

And now Hizzy has been hit first, denying Hizzy the advantages of a first strike. So what if they have some residual assets left. The mission is still rather neatly accomplshed despite it having exacting higher costs than anticipated. Land grab, UN buffer, first strike degradation, population dispersal/thinning, blaming/linking Iran to fault. Well done, Izzy and OVP.

Izzy has also laid the foundation for carving out and securing its spoil of war - namely territorial annexation, or at least the first important step to securing it. Not to mention the near unreported and devastating purge of the occupied territories.

The UN is being suckered in to guard a vital flank should Iran attempt to retaliate by proxy for an attack against it. Meanwhile, a UN force would put annexed territories in limbo until they can be further secured by pretexts surely to be provided by the hit on Iran.

So when? My revised guess is any time between now-ish and peri-election time. Preferably before, don't ya think?

Meatball One said...

As well, securing the conflagration of the Iraq situation through ramped up US stoking of sectarian strife will provide a convenient pretext with which to pull out our troops.

This will foxily appease bring 'em homers in time for elections while clearing the battle field of our own for the confluence of the Shiite Iraqi zone into the Iranian theater of operations per convenience of massive aerial bombardment. Where we will put those out of theater redeployed troops is best guessed by tacticians and strategists - but going home they ain't. They'll just look like they're bound for home toswing some opinion polls.

Hey, just look at the numbers of Iraqis being racked up as of late by sectarian violence. Negroponte has got his 2 minute warning and its all or nothing now, every trick in the book of conflgration is being used - Iraq is supposed to soon erupt into what will be, at the OVPs convenient call, officialy called a civil war.

The Iraqis will have conveniently failed in capitalizing on our benevolent intentions and thus provide a modicum of face saving cover for the failure of the initial (or at least official) war plan - while also allowing us to conflate the Iraqi shiite zones with the Iranian theater of operations so we can bundle em all together and cleanse big time from the sky.

A tabula rasa strategy needs a big mess to justify it - and secure flanks to contain it. I bet the OVP thinks they can pull it off. But everything Ive read says they can't. But try they will.

Of course, this aint prophecy...this be but a meatballs humblest of gin pickled opinions.