Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘are we asking the wrong question

May 14, 2007

So, who won? Israel or Hezbollah? Or are we asking the wrong question?

Thomas Friedman has written an article a few days ago claiming that Israel has won the July War tactically, strategically and politically. The Israeli daily Yedeot Ahronot is adopting this position in an attempt to win over the shattered Israeli morale. That Israel had won tactically by destroying extensively and hatefully the headquarters and the military and social installations of Hezbollah and weakening it temporarily is not a big feat given the military imbalance in the kind of air and naval superiority with the full backing of the US and the treachery of the Arab States.  Israel foreign minister Sevy Livney declared that in the first two days the targets in the Israeli intelligence data bank have been exhausted and she urged Olmert to end the war on the third day.  That Olmert felt emboldened to resume the war for another 30 days and accepting a cease fire without effectively reaching the Litany River means that the purpose of the war was modified at the urge of external powers to eradicate the Lebanese Resistance and shatter the image of the invincible Hezbollah.

That Israel had won strategically because its northern borders have been very quiet for seven months is a half truth; the international UN forces are there because Hezbollah allowed its deployment and the borders have been very quiet since Israel withdrawal from the south in May 24, 2000.  The few encroachments were the results of Israeli incursions in Lebanon and Hezbollah reacted only on these infiltrations or attacks within our borders. That Israel had to stop its incursion in Lebanon with all the backing it was enjoying is a fact that its strategy was foiled and severely checked.

That Israel has won politically because the Lebanese army has entered the south is also a half truth because Hezbollah didn’t mind the deployment of the army which saved it from further escalations and unwanted pressures from the UN and the need to focus more on the internal affairs of Lebanon.  The immeasurable popular support from the Arab and Moslem citizens for Hezbollah’s valiant resistance is by no means a political victory for Israel but a severe defeat for the rekindling of the resistance spirit in the Arabs.  The inability of Israel to squelch the second Palestinian “intifada” is rooted in the rejuvenated spirit of resistance in Palestine as well as in Iraq.

Certainly, Hezbollah has been weakened and the Lebanese Seniora’s government has been doing its utmost to capitalize on that fact and dragging Hezbollah in the morass of Lebanon’s political quagmire. The “illegitimate” Lebanese government is deliberately rekindling tough issues that have been agreed on during the round table before the July War and giving them a diabolical twist on the basis that the devil is in the details. The Moderate Arab States (a euphemism for traitors States who encouraged Israel to eradicate Hezbollah) are harnessing their widespread communication media to dissipate the popular support for Hezbollah and labeling it as merely an Iranian stooge and working against the interest of the Arabs who want peace and prosperity with Israel.

Hezbollah must have learned a great deal from this unilateral stand against Israel but there is a most important message that Hezbollah failed to get.  It is extremely dangerous for Hezbollah’s charismatic leader Hassan Nasr Allah to swear on promises (Wa3ad) that are long-term in nature for their realizations and feeling pressured to deliver them almost immediately. For example, the last promise to repair and rebuild what has been destroyed almost instantly and with “pure” money is too impractical and fraught with decisions that extend the capabilities of Hezbollah beyond its limits and weaken it in the process.  The other example was a promise before the war to snatch a few more Israeli soldiers as prisoners in order to liberate the remaining three Lebanese who have been detained for more than 15 years; it is laudable to make such kind of promises but when it is uttered in a “divine” revelation by Nasr Allah himself it becomes very binding and communications with Hezbollah’s allies become tenuous. It is dangerous to rely on Nasr Allah to publicly force decisions, as if emanating from a prophet, and to clarify issues that should be left to the leadership and its allies within the political process.  It is inadmissible for Nasr Allah to appear during religious celebration to deliver political speeches that give the opposite results and reflect images of increased weaknesses for relying on the religious faith and passions of its supporters instead on the rational and deliberate mind that our society is in dire need to overcome a strong enemy.

I believe that people are asking the wrong question.  It is not whether Hezbollah has won the war because just by getting out strong and effective after 33 days of a savage war of eradication with no serious support internally or externally is a striking victory.  The question should be whether the US-Israeli-“Moderate” Arabs States objectives have achieved any tangible results.  Nasr Allah has claimed that not a single objective came out satisfactorily and definitely, tactically, strategically, and politically, in Lebanon or in the Greater Middle East. The response should be focused on refuting his claims, satisfactorily and convincingly.




September 2021

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