TCS Daily


How Do You Stop Rockets From a Hijacked State?

By Austin Bay - July 20, 2006 12:00 AM

How do you stop rockets fired from a hijacked state?

That's a complex question, but Israel must answer, or risk suffering the most drastic of consequences -- its own demise.

Appreciating the thorny, multi-dimensional difficulties Israel confronts -- from bitter house-to-house battles to the highest levels of international diplomacy -- begins with a basic understanding of the Katyusha rocket Hezbollah fires at Haifa and other Israeli cities.

I should say Katyusha-type, for the rocket Hezbollah employs out-ranges Russia's World War II Katyushas and the improved models Moscow later aimed at NATO ground units in Western Europe.

Even the updated versions are "dumb" -- unguided "barrage" or "area weapons." The dumb-but-deadly rockets are not fired at specific targets, unless "Haifa" and "Tel Aviv" are considered specific targets.

When fired from positions in southern Lebanon or Gaza, extended-range Katyushas threaten anywhere from 60 to 70 percent of Israel's population. Every Israeli citizen may soon be a bull's-eye -- Hezbollah leaders boast of striking "beyond, beyond Haifa." Indeed, there are indications that longer-range rockets are being employed. NATO handbooks once referred to these rockets as "FROG-type" -- Free Rocket Over Ground. Some can carry chemical warheads.

As range increases, these unguided rockets "scatter" over a wider and wider surface area. In the case of northern Israel, Hezbollah is clearly targeting predominantly civilian zones. Hezbollah's attacks on Haifa -- especially compared to Israeli attacks in Gaza and Lebanon, which typically utilize modern precision weapons -- are quite indiscriminate.

But then Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrullah, and the mad mullahs of Iran who arm, finance and guide him, believe the whole of Israel is a target, one Iran indicates it will hit some day with another area weapon: a city-busting nuclear warhead.

In the past week, 1,400 rockets have hit Israeli cities, most from firing positions inside Lebanon.

But now for the layer of complexity: Hezbollah hides these weapons among apartment houses and in villages, nesting rockets in Lebanese neighborhoods.

Hezbollah controls these neighborhoods -- not the Lebanese government.

In other words, Israel suffers rocket attacks from a Lebanon that "is not quite Lebanon" in a truly sovereign sense. The rockets, of course, come from "somewhere," but Hezbollah's "somewhere" is a political limbo in terms of maps with definitive geo-political boundaries. Lebanon is a peculiar form of failed state. It's not the madhouse of Somalia or the impoverished dreg of Zimbabwe, rather, Lebanon is a hijacked state.

Lebanon's status as a hijacked state will continue so long as the Lebanese government cannot control Hezbollah -- and control means disarm and demobilize.

So Hezbollah attacks Israel with ever-more-powerful, longer-range rockets, then hides behind the diplomatic facade of the greater Lebanese nation state.

Iran and Syria -- the powers behind Hezbollah -- then appeal to the United Nations (a product of the Westphalian "nation-state" system) to condemn Israel for attacking Lebanon -- when Israel is attacking Hezbollah, which "is and is not Lebanon."

Thus terrorists and terror-empowering nations, like Iran and Syria, abuse the nation-state system -- or exploit a "dangerous hole" in the system.

Everybody's got to be somewhere, but maps and UN seats and press bureaus don't make an effective nation state; they are the trappings of state-dom.

Weaknesses in the Westphalian system exist, in part because it has never been a complete system. (The Westphalian system evolved from the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) and the series of peace settlements that ended the Thirty Years' War in Europe.) Westphalia's "nation-state" system has always faced "gaps" (anarchic regions) and "failed states" (which are often collapsing tribal empires with the trappings of modernity, not the institutions).

Israel says disarming Hezbollah is one of its objectives. But to truly achieve that goal -- to stop the rockets, in any permanent way -- means ending Iran's and Syria's ability to hijack Lebanese neighborhoods.

And that means holding Iran and Syria responsible for hijacking Lebanon and supporting Hezbollah's rain of rocket terror. Holding Iran and Syria responsible may well mean taking the war to Tehran and Damascus.

Austin Bay is a TCS Daily contributing writer and nationally syndicated columnist.

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21 Comments

good article
But it doesn't really tell us anything we didn't (or shouldn't) know. Lebanon is in turmoil and has been for 30 years (thanks largely to the PLO and other terrorist groups). It seemed things were getting better and the place had just began working back to self-rule when Hezbollah escallated it's terror actions.

Now Israel is busy bombing it back to rubble. This is really sad, especially in the once beautiful city of Beruit.

Hyperbolic Trash
That is what I call this article. Whoever this Austin Bay is, he needs to get his facts straigth. The BBC reported nearly 1000 rockets fired into the terrorist state of Israel. And, i seriously doubt Iran is planning to nuke Israel, especially since todays WSJ says they only want a cold war.

You ignore rhetoric at your own peril
The world ignored Hitler's rhetoric and believe his negotiators, only to find the truth was the Rhetoric. The same with Khomeni in Iran in 1979.

The U.S. ignored Osama Bin Laden's rhetoric, afterall he helped oust the Russians from Afghanistan. Even when his group did attack Americans it was "oh, well he really can't do anything". Then came 9/11.

We should have listened to the rhetoric and acted when we had the chance.

I say we take Iran at their word and do something before the mushroom cloud rises over Tel Aviv.

Dismantling Hezbollah
One way to stop rockets from a hijacked state is to eliminate the hijackers. To achieve this end, Israel will likely launch a ground invasion of southern Lebanon soon…to destroy as much of Hezbollah as possible. This plan may be effective, or it may lead to a wider war. There is another alternative that should be considered by the US, Israel and others. This alternative would involve establishing the authority of the elected Lebanese government with the help of a multi-national force (if necessary). It would proceed as follows:
1) The President of Lebanon demands that Hezbollah immediately cease hostilities and disarm. He gives them 7 days to comply. If they fail to comply, they will be considered criminals and subject to prosecution.
2) Israel agrees to postpone an invasion and halt the current air attacks for the seven day period.
3) If Hezbollah does not comply and allow full control of the southern sector of Lebanon by Lebanese forces, Lebanon will formally ask and receive help from a multi-national coalition (not including Israel) to forcibly disarm and dissolve Hezbollah.

The current Hezbollah-Israeli conflict could lead to a wider war, including Syria, Iran and possibly others. On the other hand, if the conflict can be defined as an internal matter between the Lebanese government and an unlawful militant group, the likelihood of regional war is diminished. Eventually, Israel and Lebanon could reach an amicable political settlement. But at the moment the Lebanese government needs help from those countries who believe that the dismantling of Hezbollah (and the like) is what the war against terror is all about.

not bad except…
It is high time the world quit excluding Israel in these dealings. No one knows better the enemy they face and they should be kept publically in the loop; as advisors at the least.

Sam 1232 = Sam.. Samir?
Hey 'samir', do the world a favor: don't reproduce.

You, being the brain-dead moron you clearly are, would only do irreparable harm to any children unfortunate enough to have you as a parent. Unless, of course, your only intent in having children would be for the purpose of strapping bombs onto them and sending them to blow up cafes and bus stops.

2 possible approaches
1) The technology play- spend money to interdict the rockets as they are fired, or before they leave the launcher.
2) Find the parents- Consider the suppliers of Hezbolla (Sp?) the same as Hezbolla (Sp?) and retaliate against the sources directly and bypass their proxies. There isn't a risk of starting a war because their already is one being conducted against Israel. Israel has already shown they can kick anyone's ass in that region due to their more advanced system so none of the muslim countries would actually try that in the open again.

Katyusha-type rockets hit their mark every time.
As these are political weapons , they do their work every time.
I think we have to ask ourselves what causes terrorist like the IRA to come to the table. Can we make these groups come to the table with the same methods?

another idea
It looks like hizb is not exactly a secret society, they know who some of them are like the members of the Leb. gov plus two ministers of it. They also know who some of the others are. So if the Isrealis could find all those guys years ago that were guilty of the munich massage, then eliminate them, I propose that they also have their hit squads eliminate everyone even vaguely associated with the hizb. But wait, if you think that proposal in un-PC, wait till you here the next part of my plan. We know that, like a lot of primitive peoples, arabs like to value male children more than females, and like to think their lives continue on thru their sons. Because of this fact, I propose that they not only take out everybody associated with Hizb, but also all of their know male relatives that can be found! I realize some of the wimpy western liberals out there will consider this 'disproportionate".

The Hyberbolic Trash is YOUR Words, Sam
What you wrote is a clearly prejudicial atrocity (and a sorry excuse for a truly tasteless joke).

Israel should at long last wipe the floor with groups like the human shield-using Hezbollah.

And you, Sam, need to get your thumb out of your mouth (or is it somewhere else?) and grow up.

Eliminating the hijackers
Aye, 'tis a noble sentiment. However "the enemy" is a couple of million civilians under a political leadership, with only perhaps a thousand seasoned fighters in the field. Historically, such an enemy proves impossible to eliminate.

How easy was it for us to eliminate Bin Laden in the mountains along the Afghan border? Israel will have the same problem.

Well crafted political solutions with enforcement clauses may well be the best approach for our children to take. My thinking is another generation will pass before we get to that point.

Re the danger of a wider war, Israel is well known to not want to destabilize the Assad government-- for fear this mild mannered dictator-lite might likely be replaced by someone more formidable. So we may see some brandishing of swords, but I think no bombs or invasions.

The wild card will be the secular, coastal Lebanese. If they side with Hezbollah or side with Israel (both kind of unlikely) they will determine the outcome.

Enter the blue helmets, with their perfect track record of solving all problems.

Failed Nation-State System
Indeed, the system of nation states is failed. In this case, Lebanon should not be entitled to certain aspects of sovereignty that properly constituted states are entitled to.

Also there needs to be a clear set of criteria about what a properly constituted nation state is. Only those that meet the criteria can join the nation state club.

Those that do no meet the criteria are entitled to no protection. They can be considered outlaw regimes.

All good ideas --- but
The Lebanese government is deciding to ally itself with Hezbollah. To me this just proves that the nation is a failed state.

ABD

I see you haven't forgotten the lessons you learned fighting for the Germans
Why don't you tell us again why, when the Germans took over your country, you joined up with the Germans and helped them hunt down the Resistence? Were those wimpy liberals you were trying to kill?

whimpy liberals?
Maybe you are mistaking me for someone else. When the ***** took over my country, I didn't 'join-up', but rather was enslaved by them; quite different. In any case, the guys we not just tried to, but did kill many of were actually communists, so it was OK anyway. I guess if you're forced to do something you otherwise would anyway then not so bad. There were no allied forces in that area of eastern euope. But my fighting days are over cus i'm an old man, now it's up to strong young men to fight the islamo-facists; we can expect weak post-modern liberal pacifists to contribute. We can only expect them to side with the enemy as per normal for them. Maybe you too.

So: you worked for Hitler's government killing your fellow citizens
But it was ok, because many of the people you were killing (who were resisting the Germans) were communists.

Now you're offering your ideas about killing not just enemies but relatives of enemies and if someone says, that sounds a little like what the SS used to do, you brush it off.

> But my fighting days are over cus i'm an old man

But if you were younger, you'd be ready to do Hitler's bidding again. Thank you for sharing.

sharing
Guess I didn't explain myself right again. I wasn't a nazi, and if I may quote Indiana Jones: "*****, I hate those guys". But I did indeed think it was OK, just as Americans did, to think it was OK to kill commies. So did you get that? I'm pro american, anti-nazi and commie, and also anti-islamo-fascism.

you explained yourself perfectly:
The germans invade, the communists resisted the GErmans, y ou helped the Geramsn kill communists, you'd do it again in a minute.

>just as Americans did, to think it was OK to kill commies.

Sorry. These were your fellow citizens who were resisting the Germans, something you were afraid to do, Instead of killing Germans, you were killing your fellow citizens. No wonder you can't go home.

And you were a coward
Hitler's men told you what to do. Instead of resisting, you put on their uniform and did it, and killed your fellow countrymen. now you label the people you killed communistes and brag about it. What you do is label yourself "coward" and "traitor" and "quisling."

fighting commies
OK, it sounds like you two commentators were pro-communists and I can accept that since I know that so many americans were 'useful idiots' for them. So you mean it would have been more honourable to join the communist partisans instead of killing them? That would mean that I would have two bad elements to join. In fact I didn't have a choice, i was enslaved, and would have been killed immediately if i tried to resist. BTW, I didn't even wear a uniform, our unit mostly wore stuff like sheepskin and leather coats in those mountains.

coward?
So it sounds like gulliever wanted me to die for a cause he believed in, but not that I blieved in; communism. But then again liberals seem to always be like that, they want us to contribute to THEIR causes. And I don't mean to brag about having killed communist but I.....wait a minute, yes I am pround to have contributed to killing communists, and if america had just joined in there would have been no soviet union anymore, no commies in China, n.Korea, vietnam war, cuba, etc. Jeez i do feel pround.

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