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Hanan Ashrawi, Rashid Khalidi, Shibley Telhami, Juan Cole and Mark Perry respond to President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement.

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What are the consequences of the July 2006 war? (Extracted from my diary, and written on November 24, 2006)

It is a sunny and clear day. I think that it is important to first review the study prepared by Mark Perry and Alistair Crook for the British Forum of Confrontations on the July war between Israel and the Lebanese Resistance of Hezbollah. The study came to the conclusion that Hezbollah won the war and was successful in penetrating the Israeli strategy, its cycle of decision making in the chain of command, intelligence gathering, and military maneuvering.

Though Hassan Nasr Allah, General Secretary of Hezbollah), warned Israel in many public speeches that Hezbollah is about to capture Israeli soldiers in exchange of the release of the Lebanese prisoners, still Israel was taken by complete surprise at the bold attack: mainly Israel supposed that this maneuver will not take place during summer when the Arabs from the Gulf and the Moslem Lebanese Shia emigrants flock to Lebanon for vacation.

The Hezbollah operation was easily carried out. and the later videos demonstrated that fact. The incompetence of the Israeli commander, who failed to follow the military procedures, resulted in two tanks being destroyed in a mine field and many Israeli soldiers died. This unwarranted Israeli military error forced Olmert PM to escalate the confrontation into a full-fledge war, ahead of schedule set for late autumn.

Though the vicious surprised escalation by Israel took Hezbollah by surprise it managed within minutes to mobilize its forces and the rocket officers.  The study estimated that Hezbollah has 600 rocket depots hidden 40 meters deep in mountains south of the Litany River.

The Hezbollah political officers had no knowledge of the locations of the depots for security reasons, even a field commander knew about the location of only three depots within his field of operation.

All the varied Israeli sources of military intelligence failed to accurately locate the rocket sites, as well as locating the leaders of Hezbollah, since not a single one was killed; even Abu Jaafar, the southern military commander of Hezbollah did not die as Israel proclaimed on June 28.

Israel was flabbergasted by the total adherence of the Hezbollah militants by the war truth, 33 days later, a fact that confirmed the effective communication among Hezbollah bases after the methodical Israeli aerial bombardments for over 30 days and nights.

Hezbollah was also very successful in counter thwarting the Israeli espionage operations in Lebanon: it captured 16 spies before the war, many more during the war, and leaked erroneous information to the Israelis about the rocket sites which resulted in civilian casualties and worldwide uproar for the Qana massacre. (The same town that witnessed the massacre of 110 civilians massed in the UN compound in 1996)

Israel lost as many soldiers and officers as Hezbollah did, or about 180. The Hezbollah Nasr brigade in the south, strong of 3,000 fighters, did not need to be replenished neither in fighters or supplies during the whole period of the war.

The cause of continuous wavering of the Israeli military command to start the land invasion was due mainly to the disastrous previous small skirmishes that proved that the Hezbollah fighters were steadfast in holding on to their towns and villages and will not retreat.

When Israel called up the reserves sooner than expected on June 21, the US military strategist surmised that the Israeli army is in great trouble and is no longer doing well as hoped.

On June 21, Ehud Olmert PM urgently demanded from the US ammunition supplies which confirmed that Israel’s air depots have been depleted within the first week of its air strikes, and that Israel is in deep trouble. The environs of the towns of Maroun El Ras and Bent Jbeyl, by the border, did not fall in the hands of Israel for the duration of the war, even after Israel called up an additional 15,000 soldiers and the Golani brigade to dislodge the tenacious fighters.

The Merkava tank was defenseless against the second generation of anti tank missiles used by Hezbollah and which were fabricated in 1973. At the same time, the “Khibar One” rockets which targeted the airbase in Afoula, deep inside Israel, could not be intercepted.

Finally, the US hurriedly worked out a UN truth, at the instigation of Israel on August 10, because the Zionist soldiers, deep in south Lebanon, feared encirclement, total defeat, and surrender.

The consequences of this defeat, as stated by the study, were disastrous to both Israeli image of an undefeated State and the US foreign policies.

First, when US diplomats and politicians tried to be in touch with Jordan, Egypt, or Saudi Arabia after the war they realized that nobody in these pro American States dared respond to their calls;

Second, the US realized that its air superiority in a war against Iran is susceptible to be a failure in order to snatch any quick victory;

Third, the popularity of Hassan Nasr Allah has become overwhelming in all the Arab and Moslem World, a fact that pursuing the accusations of terrorism will ridicule the US administration and sap any remnants of its credibility;

Fourth, the strategy adopted by Hezbollah discredited the complete political affiliation of the Arab regimes with the US policies in order to gain a few irrelevant advantages;

Fifth, the US is already unable to contemplate a coalition of the Arab and Moslem States in anticipation of an invasion of Iran, simply because these States can no longer afford to look as US stooges toward their people;

Sixth, any attempt by Israel to disable the Iranian nuclear plants will instigate a retaliation toward Israel nuclear plants and further weakening of the American presence in the Arab Gulf States as well as the fall of many pro American Arab States in a domino fashion;

Seventh, Israel is going to need, at least 15 years, to rebuild its military and intelligence capabilities in order to regain the image of undefeated army;

Eight, the position of Iran in Iraq has drastically increased and the Shiaa might soon start an offensive against the US and British troops, their previous allies;

Ninth, the position of Syria in Lebanon has strengthened which is a defeat to the French program since it would be impossible from now on to form a government in Lebanon that antagonizes Syria.

The previous consequences of the study are conjectures so far.

Let us review what happened since after the July war.

First, George W. Bush administration was defeated grandly in the House and the Senate. This administration has voiced readiness to consider alternative solutions to the Iraqi quagmire.  This administration will view world politics from a different perspective, except in the Greater Middle East.  It seems that the Bush government is expressing its bitterness in our region. The Bush administration is the cause that the unity governments in Palestine and Lebanon are being postponed weeks after weeks at the detriment of our security and economic development.

Second, Britain has already decided to hand over the civil administration in Basra by the end of the year and has plans to retreat from Iraq altogether; Britain and the European States are vigorously seeking open and direct negotiations with Iran and Syria for a political resolution in Iraq

Third, Pakistan has reached a truth in the provinces bordering Afghanistan and is no longer willing to pursue the US maddening demands to fighting terrorism.

Fourth, Bush is facing serious hurdles meeting with Arab leaders; the Iraqi Prime Minister Maleki is not sincerely willing to meet Bush for the time being after Moktada Sadr threatened to quit the government and the Chamber of deputies if he did because the recent onslaught of the US forces in Sadr City in Bagdad.

Fifth, Saudi Arabia is diversifying its military hardware by purchasing for over $1, 5 billions from Britain and Europe; Vice President Cheney visited Saudi Arabia to pressure it to purchase military hardware from the US.

Sixth, the US is about to transfer its major military bases from Qatar to another Gulf State after Qatar was actively flaunting the US plans in the region and openly voicing its concerns in the UN.

Seven, China has publicly announced that it will continue to aid Pakistan with its nuclear programs; China is implicitly behind the Iranian peaceful nuclear program and that is why the US is feeling impotent in setting up an economic effective embargo or contemplating any military alternative.

Eight, a recent survey by a European agency showed that Israel is considered the worst racist and apartheid State.

Nine, the US and Israel are trying hopelessly to start a civil war in Lebanon by assassinating the Maronite Minister Pierre Gemayel. Jordan King Abdallah is warning of imminent civil wars in Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq; Bush is coming to Amman to met Iraqi Maliki PM and, most probably, to put the final touches to the execution of the civil war in Lebanon.

Ten, the foreign visitors to Lebanon are flocking to the south to witness the complete destruction of 30 towns and villages; they are carrying back video, pictures and interviews with the southern residents after shedding bitter tears at the view of these cataclysmic scenes; hopefully a renewed awareness in the US and Europe of the main task of this mercenary State of Israel will expand.

Eleven, the parliamentary election in Bahrain, 70% of Shiaa, allowed the Shiaa and leftist movement to win big.

Twelve, Israel Olmert PM has finally agreed to a truth with Hamas in order to put a stop to the “Al Kassam” rockets directed to the kibbutz Sedirot closest to Gaza.

Thirteen, Iranian Prime Minister has promised to help the US in Iraq if the US forces vacate completely this country.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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