Adonis Diaries

July 23: War diary in Lebanon

Posted on: September 27, 2008

July 23, 2006

Victor heard on the news last night that the retired military officers who have professions in engineering or medicines to join the army. The news also asked the retired military who were drivers or technicians to sign in.  His wife Raymonde told him that these requirements do not apply to him, so he better forget it.  At lunch, my semi drunk father, (he desisted drinking before lunch on account of experiencing several falls), blurted out that the newspaper stated that all graded officers have to call up and join the closest military units to their residencies.  Dad went on that yesterday Victor’s former unit officer called up and father told the caller that Victor is not in (to avoid that the officer directly talks with Victor).  Victor got upset and started eating fast and absentminded to what was being said and ruminating his anger; then he flared up and demanded why my father did not inform him about the call and all the routine irrelevant crap.

So far, it appears that Israel has managed to gain a bridgehead on the hill of the small town of Maroun Al Rass that has a view to a dozen Lebanese villages and most Israeli colonies; Israel is suffering continuing casualties as it wants to capture this strategic town.  Hezbollah has denied the successive claims of Israel that Maroun El Rass had fallen.  Hezbollah has just announced that the village did not fall yet and that 3 Israeli Merkava tanks have been destroyed and at least 20 Israelis soldiers were killed or injured.

We are still waiting for a land invasion but I sense that if it happens it will be very restricted to a couple of miles along the southern border, unless crazy Bush feels like emulating his clinically dead Sharon all the way.  My hunch is that Israel had no quarrel with Hezbollah and could live with a secure and rational peace on its northern borders.  It is the US that wanted to punish Hezbollah for its suicide attacks on the Marines in 1983 in Beirut and more importantly, to destroy any political cards that Iran may hold in the Middle East that could “destabilize the region” in preparation for the crucial next negotiation on Iran’s nuclear program.

Since Israel was ordered by Bush Junior  to deal a military defeat on Hezbollah then Israel decided to destroy Lebanon’s social and political structure that is basically the arch enemy for the viability of the Israeli social and political structure.  Lebanon’s political structure would never be able to unite on a platform for a serious peace treaty with Israel.  Lebanon economy could compete seriously and hurt Israel’s economy when Lebanon catches on the globalization band wagon for fast and integrated communication.

G.W Bush administration is adamant on a military victory on Hezbollah, even if Israel will pay dearly for such a victory since cheap missiles in “rogue” very angry hands, fundamentalists or nationalists, would wreck havoc on its security and tourism; even if such a victory would destabilize the whole Middle East for an unknown political status; even if oil prices might shout over the roof.

Israel, a mercenary State par excellence, is not in a position to turn down an order from Washington though Israel has enough lobbying power in the internal US political structure to always manage well its negotiation to extracting political advantages in addition for more financial and military support.

Syria is more than ready to satisfy the US demands at this junction, if only a quick cease fire in Lebanon is voted in the UN.  The reason for Syria readiness is that it fears Iran’s wrath and then, clear pressures from Iran to engage Israel militarily, a move that Syria refused for over 30 years after the 1973 peace treaty.  Any threat from Iran to remove its cover from Syria is a much more serious threat for the Syrian regime than any other threats because Iran can deliver directly when others have to search for a proxy to do the job.

It is not in the interest of the US to disintegrate Syria, and most probably the US does not want chaos in Syria, but this is in the offing if the US persists in inflicting a crushing military defeat on Hezbollah, leaving all the neighboring countries, including Israel, weak, exhausted and disoriented to assert a seaming of security.  At this stage, the US will experience the extent of the devastation that real terrorism could inflict on World system stability.

May be the coming ten days will offer us an answer to how crazy and irresponsible the Bush administration is; how weak and puny the Olmert PM administration is in handling the crisis forced upon her.  Most probably, a low level war will continue for an extended time erasing any definite perceived advantage any party thought to achieve. What is almost certain is that this government in Lebanon is not a viable one to steer the society in Lebanon to a stable political environment:  it just did not know how to lead, to read between the lines, to take a firm position and create a sense of affinity toward this beleaguered society.

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September 2008

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