We know that the IDF will have to stop its activists in Lebanon. We know that our chances of getting back the abducted soldiers are slim to none. We also know that since the beginning of these events the “window of opportunity” began closing. It was a matter of time until the calls by the international community and especially the weaker links â€“ Russia and France â€“ would bring about an end to our ability to operate in the region and retaliate to the “slap in the face” Nasrallah and Hezbollah gave us.
We also need to thank Nasrallah at this point. He gave us the chance to “clean house”, get rid of a festering puss filled boil that is the Hezbollah. For that we thank him. Iran and Syria are countries that are truly behind these recent events but getting started with the foot soldier is a good start. Hey Nasrallah, have you been to the office lately?
We redecorated, hope you like it.
So let’s start at the beginning. A few days before the attack and abduction of the two soldiers on the Northern border, an Iranian diplomat on his way back to Iran diverted his flight to Damascus, Syria. His mission was to arrange for a distraction from the Iranian nuclear issue that was to gain momentum at the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg. As some of you may know that mission was accomplished and that summit in now all about the crisis in the Middle East and less about the Iranian threat. Nice move Ahmadinejad. Nasrallah and Hezbollah was charged with the task of “heating up the northern border”. Also, please note that during all these attacks on Lebanon, Syria has not made a sound or comment.
To be fair, the Israeli army screwed up â€“ it was amateurish at best and everyone knows it. Commanders in the North were as recently as May heard to say that Hezbollah has made no strides forward in recent years. In the press conference General Adam, commander of the Northern front said there was no intelligence warning at the time and their was a stand down just days before the abduction. All this despite the outright announcements of Nasrallah that Hezbollah has the right and duty to kidnap Israeli soldiers and that was the intention in the near future. Right after the abduction he was mockingly laughing and amused at the ease at which the soldiers were kidnapped and at the fumbling behavior of the Israeli Army. He was right to do so â€“ he promised warned and he found us unprepared. Lesson learned.
The army had repeated warning by reserve soldiers in the area complaining about the lack of visual surveillance along certain areas of the border road. Second screw up was the fact that the 2 hummers moving along the border were not covered by artillery as they should have been. Third screw up â€“ the time it took for the army to realize that the soldiers were kidnapped, reportedly as long as an hour and a half before the “Hannibal” (soldier kidnapping protocol) procedure was called.
Finally, the knee jerk military response was reckless at best. The tank following the escape route long after the trail was cold and then running into an ambush killing 4 more soldiers on top of the first 3 killed during the abduction. The Hezbollah sniper
The army is trying to cover all this up using the heat of battle but it won’t work. Announcing an internal investigation by a low level Lieutenant Colonel with aspirations for future advancement is an obvious sham. These cases should be investigated by an external party or a retired full bird colonel with nothing to lose. This will not and should not fly – heads must roll and going all the way to the top of the food chain.
So putting all that aside, we are now in this new situation. Israel left Lebanon in 2000. Lebanon during these last 6 years did nothing to secure and stabilize the region and the border with Israel. Lebanon did however build up Beirut. The “Switzerland” of the Middle East has risen again. Tourism was back and things were looking up financially. BUT, the cancer was left to grow and fester. Hezbollah during these 6 years built up positions, arms and troops and was given free rein by the Lebanese government. The Lebanese government let the Hezbollah into its “veins”. This is the cancer that is now eating Lebanon and destroying the tourism and financial gains made in the last few years. Now of course Lebanon is calling for a cease fire in the region and this is after its been standing by while a terrorist organization has been attacking another country from within its borders. That seems perfectly logical to the Lebanese government. Now there have been voices calling for the replacement of the Prime Minister and the removal of Hezbollah from Lebanon â€“ but these need to be a little louder and be accompanied by actions.
Israel will not enter with ground troops into Lebanon. We’ve been there and it sucks to say the least. That means that we will operate from a distance and what is happening in the last few days is exactly that. Hezbollah has its offices and homes within the civilian population in Beirut. That means that when attacking the Hezbollah there will be civilian causalities regardless of how hard we try to avoid them. The air force has dropped flyers in the recent 24-48 hours warning the civilians to stay away from known South Beirut neighborhoods controlled by Hezbollah.
The international community including the US is calling for Israel’s restraint. Kofi Anan our “impartial and loving” friend at the UN and the European Union are starting to make demands and threaten with financial sanctions. The window is closing.
Hezbollah represents 50% of Shiite Muslims in Lebanon. That means that we can not and will not destroy Hezbollah. We will however make the Lebanese people realize that in order for them to have a good, peaceful life; Israel will need to have the same. They will be held responsible for actions from their territory and they will need to get rid of the “cancer” within.