Sunday, August 13, 2006

Dancing in the Dark

Condoleezza told us on CNN Larry King Live a few days ago that Lebanon is better off today, because the Syrians have left. Oddly, she is either still dutifully reading old Israel talking points or the lady has lost her marbles.

Lebanese infrastructure, and urban areas have been wrecked by Israeli aerial bombardment – many villages in Southern Lebanon reduced to rubble. Devastation inflicted: over 900 dead Lebanese civilians, fishing fleets destroyed, Lebanese farmers loading produce splattered in a parking lot, and Arab children crushed in bombed buildings. Twenty-five percent per cent of the Lebanese population is in refugee status, so Condoleezza's hopelessly deluded outlook is starkly obvious to the whole world and dangerously continues to undermine US credibility. Perhaps Mademoiselle Secretary should just sit stoically at the piano and play Drifting and Dreaming – less damage to the US that way... Even our old pal the Saudi Foreign Affairs minister blasted Condoleezza's recent foolish neocon comments on the birth of a new Middle East through chaos...

Additional to IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) air forces’ SHOCK and AWE, commando attacks deep on a Lebanese territory on hospital and housing projects to destroy Hezobollah leadership has certainly killed people; whether or not the Hezbollah leadership was killed or just civilians during these raids is an open question. IDF progress on the ground seems painfully slow as the ground forces try to depend on artillery and air strikes to solve tactical problems. They bomb critical terrain features over and over, but fail to occupy them... IDF has to get out of the villages and off the roads to close with Hezbollah or the rockets will continue to rain – IDF vexation is obvious as it desperately turns to more unrestrained aerial bombardment of civilian targets. Israel propagandists tell the world how they intentionally avoid civilians in their operations – it is not true. On the contrary, the IDF claims it drops bombs on suspected rocket launch sites or Hezbollah logistic nets or transport, but without remorse. It consistently smashes infrastructure, ports, road nets and bridges – indiscriminately killing civilians by the hundreds in the process. Over-wrought Israeli flaks who over populate US TV, concerned that support for Israel is slipping in the US, keep saying MISSION ACCOMPLISHED SOON, but still no white flags from Hezbollah and Katyushas stream into Israel.

Battle of Stalingrad in Russia WWII demonstrated that the more rubble the Germans produced from bombardments of the city, the more the disturbed terrain provided greater cover and concealment for the Russian soldiers; who, in the end defeated and captured a 500,000 man German army at its gates. Lebanon is not Stalingrad by a long shot, but rubble is rubble and its careless production by Israel has unintended consequences both tactically and strategically.

Bombing transport networks will cripple Hezbollah logistic patterns, but not destroy them. Ask American commanders in Iraq and Vietnam about their experience with interdiction of covert enemy supply routes.

Apart from Condoleezza's airhead flourishes, also on the diplomatic front there finally appears to be the birth of a new resolution to create a ceasefire in Lebanon, sponsored by the US and France. French talked to Syria. US talked to Israel. Nobody talked to Hezbollah. Oh sure, somebody talked to the Lebanese government, but by now you should have noticed that it does not run Lebanon; even with AAA capability, the Lebanese Army cannot even shoot down the Israeli drones that that call in fire regularly on Beirut – even primitive Afghan tribesman can do that.

Unless convinced otherwise, I remain certain that the Christian leadership of the Lebanese Army is promoted on the basis of the girth of the individual officers. There is also the fact 30-40% rank and file of the Lebanese Army is Shiite which certainly complicates its replacement of the Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon. Lebanese government is prepared to call up 15,000 troops for duty in the South... What the hell have the troops been doing until now? There always has been a historic love affair between the Lebanese Christians and Israelis. Remember Sabra and Shatila Refugee Camp massacre in Beirut of Palestinians in the 80s? Ariel Sharon would remember, if he were conscious... Keep in mind the US Marines got themselves in trouble in Beirut when the US decided along with Israel to support the Christian militias in the 80s.

Hezbollah has announced that there will be no ceasefire deal unless every Israeli soldier departs Lebanon. Folks, now that is a deal breaker. Since most of the Hezbollah armaments have MADE IN IRAQ/SYRIA stamped on them, might be good idea to bring the Iranian ayatollahs and Syrian Beshar into the negotiation tent. It will make the Israelis squeal, but so what.

Afraid the old fixes the US has used in the Middle East are over-taken by events. Generous foreign aid packages to moderate Arab states with outraged citizens, and permitting choice picks by Israel from the US weapons bazaar without real cost, just will not work this time around. GW Bush's strategically stupid invasion of Iraq, cheered on by Israel, has empowered Iran. Now, buttressed by a Shiite majority in Iraq, it has become a new fanatic player in the region. This was dramatized vividly in Baghdad a few days ago by thousands of pro-Hezbollah Shiite demonstrators who burned US and Israeli flags and proclaimed DEATH TO THE US – DEATH TO ISRAEL. Condoleezza was asked about this clearly watershed event last Sunday on MEET THE PRESS. Like some detached twit, she replied that Iraq is a young democracy and needs time to work things out – meanwhile in Iraq this past July, the US had 44 KIA and spent another 6 billion dollars on the war. Colonel Robert E Bartos RET


Blogger Shortino said...

Recently discovered your blog. I am 50 and an E- 7/Army Reserves who completed a year of duty in Iraq training the "new' Iraqi Army. What a joke. Don't think we will ever win over there, actually I don't think that is our leadership's intention.
Keep up the great work.


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