July 23, 2006

REALITY'S A STUBBORN MISTRESS:

CAN ISRAEL WIN? (RALPH PETERS, July 22, 2006, NY Post)

ISRAEL is losing this war. For a lifelong Israel supporter, that's a painful thing to write. But it's true. And the situation's worsening each day.

A U.S. government official put it to me this way: "Israel's got the clock, but Hezbollah's got the time." The sands of the hourglass favor the terrorists - every day they hold out and drop more rockets on Israel, Hezbollah scores a propaganda win.

All Hezbollah has to do to achieve victory is not to lose completely. But for Israel to emerge the acknowledged winner, it has to shatter Hezbollah. Yet Israeli miscalculations have left Hezbollah alive and kicking.

Israel has to pull itself together now, to send in ground troops in sufficient numbers, with fierce resolve to do what must be done: Root out Hezbollah fighters and kill them. This means Israel will suffer painful casualties - more today than if the Israeli Defense Force had gone in full blast at this fight's beginning.

The situation is grave. A perceived Hezbollah win will be a massive victory for terror, as well as a triumph for Iran and Syria.


Israel Will Accept a Disarmed Hezbollah (Robin Wright, 7/23/06, Washington Post)
The United States, Israel, the United Nations and the European Union have reluctantly concluded that despite punishing military attacks, Hezbollah is likely to survive as a political player in Lebanon, and Israel now says it is willing to accept the organization if it sheds its military wing and abandons extremism, according to several key officials.

"To the extent that it remains a political group, it will be acceptable to Israel," Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon said yesterday in the strongest sign to date that the Israelis are rethinking the scope and ultimate goals of the campaign. "A political group means a party that is engaged in the political system in Lebanon, but without terrorism capabilities and fighting capabilities. That will be acceptable to Israel."

In a bid to contain Hezbollah, the United States is hoping to persuade Arab allies over the next week -- Saudi Arabia in talks today and Egypt and Jordan at an emergency meeting Wednesday in Rome -- to get Syria to stop arming, funding and facilitating Hezbollah's military operations, U.S. officials said.


The hawks have been wrong about this episode from day one, egging Israel on in a futile offensive--the useful and winnable war is in Syria.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 23, 2006 12:30 AM
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