TCS Daily


More Than Hezbollah Can Chew?

By Ralph Kinney Bennett - July 17, 2006 12:00 AM

The Israeli dismantling of Iran's expeditionary force in Lebanon -- Hezbollah -- began in earnest over the weekend.

Hezbollah played its big card when it carried out the carefully planned kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers.

Now it's Israel's turn.

The bombing of the Beirut International Airport was brilliant. It had heretofore been used routinely to bring in weapons and supplies for Hezbollah and to move forces. It was the main "bridge" between Syria and Iran and its client "army." With the airport down and a naval blockade in place the IDF is able to concentrate on anything that moves on the ground in the Bekka Valley and throughout Lebanon. They have already interdicted the bridges and road system and are now able to use their electronic intelligence (ELINT) assets to watch for any movement off the roads and under the cover of darkness.

It will be interesting over the next few days to see how many large ground-to-ground missiles Hezbollah can fire. Some stores of these missiles have already been destroyed in air strikes and the movement and preparation of these missiles to fire is difficult to hide. Now we will have a firmer sense of just how many missiles Hezbollah has beyond the small rockets which are in effect relatively inaccurate artillery shells.

Hezbollah's Chief, Hassan Nasrallah, who is known as a pompous blowhard even on the Arab "Street," which has always been culturally predisposed to histrionic posturing, is now on the run and may have to decamp to Damascus for relative safety.

If he can get there.

His armed forces, despite all their goose-stepping parade marches and RPG-rattling, will prove to have a lot of "Iraq Republican Guard" hollowness to them. Unfortunately, a lot of gullible, poor, Lebanese kids who have been conned and whipped into a hateful frenzy by Nasrallah and his lieutenants, will lose their lives when they come up against IDF training and firepower. There may be a lucky shot from a shoulder-fired SAM here and there, and there will probably be a lot of mines or improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as everyone now likes to call them. But pitched battles with the IDF, which Hezbollah propaganda seems to thirst for, will be nasty, brutish and short.

This is not to say Hezbollah will be eliminated, but that it will be forced back into its old cowardly and treacherous pattern of routine, discrete terrorism.

Israel has made some real tactical mistakes recently, mistakes they cannot afford to make when living as they do in a constant state of war. The kidnapping of the soldiers near the Lebanon border probably should never have happened. Nor should that warship have been off its guard when the missile attack came. But there will not be many mistakes now. While press headlines have seemed to concentrate on civilians killed by Israeli strikes in Lebanon, the fact is that these attacks are cutting deep into the flesh and muscle of Hezbollah.

The question now is how many missiles and how much other weaponry Hezbollah has managed to stockpile (often hidden in places with civilian population for cover) before embarking on this venture. It will not be easy to bring in more supplies from the big boys in Damascus and Tehran.

Will Syria jump in? How? With its army? Not with its air force (which Israel humiliated and destroyed in 1982). Israel has been taking pictures and gauging the Syrian armed forces for a long time now. It knows things about them that even the Syrians don't know. And what the Syrians do know must make they feel very uneasy. You would not want to be going into action in a Syrian tank, for instance, knowing what everybody now knows about precision guided munitions.

How about Iran? Not in a direct military way. It isn't ready and it cannot afford to suffer the destruction its armed forces would have to absorb. Neither its long range missile nor air forces can deliver enough bang unless they resorted to chemical weapons, which would result in... However, since in Iran we are dealing with a leader who is every bit as crazy as that Pyongyang midget with the high-heeled shoes, we have to say, "Who knows?"

The world terror war will continue. But Hezbollah's reputation is in for a big deflation, and this chance for the Islamofascists to try yet again to live up to their own military fantasies will go down in flames.

Perhaps Nasrallah's hope is to "bog down" the IDF in a war of attrition in Southern Lebanon to help is Hamas brothers in Gaza. In any case, when the dust clears, and it will, Hezbollah will be back to its squalid, pathetic tactics of the suicide bombers and assassination teams. Thus the struggle between freedom and mind-imprisoning hatred will grind on.

Ralph Kinney Bennett is a TCS Daily contributing editor.

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25 Comments

Iran and Syria calling the shots
These thugs finance and supply the terrorists in Lebannon and maintain the facade of an independent state. The use of a Chinese manufactured CS701 against an Israeli gunboat only demonstrates that Iran has its troops there.

One hopes that Israel will not only clean out Lebannon and the Bekka Valley but take out the Iranian paymasters and their nuclear sites. One laughs when one sees call for restraint by the Israelis.

Efficiency is needed.
Napalm bombs would be more effective on these cowards. Fire is a most fierce and devastating weapon.

The Target...
Israel's attacks seem to have killed mostly innocent civilians thus far, including small children visiting from Canada.

Where I come from, we have a word for the sensless killing of innocent civilians in order to advance a military or political objective.

Senseless?
Is it senseless to attempt to stop the daily barrage of rockets that are falling on your country from across the border? Is it senseless to respond vigorously to incursions across the border that kill and kidnap members of your military?

The IDF is not targetting civilians. Time and again this charge is made and time and again the fact that Hezbollah, Hamas, and Fatah use civilians as shields is overlooked. Not to mention that the MSM has a decidedly anti-Israeli slant.

The inadventant casualties of the IDF are exactly that, inadvertant. The rockets and suicide bombers are specifically aimed at civilians.

Think first, then write. Also, provide the source of the Canadians who were killed. First I have heard of them and I have been watching this pretty closely.

Nice frisking
Excellent take down sir.

Senseless...
I would point out that the recent barrages of rockets have been in response to the Israeli air raids, not the cause of them.

Remember, the ostensive cause of the air raids was the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers. That's what 'prompted' the attacks.

Of course we now know how utterly facile that excuse was; the air raids were intended to prompte just the sort of conflict now taking place.

As for the use of civilians as shields: the last time I looked, Hezbollah was not running the Beirut International Airport. So the citizens at the airport were manifestly not human shields.

Moreover, no evidence has been adduced to show that the other civilian casualties were human shields. Hezbollah encampments are almost entirely in southern Lebanon. And yet Israel bombed non-military targets throughout Beirut.

Finally, it seems clear that the Canadian family visiting friends were not being used as shields. Yet, four children were killed by reckless and indifferent Israeli air fire. http://tinyurl.com/hmmhn

For somebody who has been "watching this pretty closely" you are remarkably uninformed. Maybe you just forgot about the Lebanese casualties - especially as no Hezbollah seem to be among the dozens and dozens dead.



Conspiracy time!
>"I would point out that the recent barrages of rockets have been in response to the Israeli air raids, not the cause of them."

So those rockets flying out of Gaza didn't come until after the air raids? Have you even read anything about this before the kidnapping? You are way out of touch.

>"Of course we now know how utterly facile that excuse was; the air raids were intended to prompte just the sort of conflict now taking place."

Please do tell me how we know this? Are the Israelis a part of a deeper conspiracy? If so, please let the rest of us in on it. I am sure giving up territory in exchange for... nothing was also a part of this evil Zionist plot.

>"As for the use of civilians as shields: the last time I looked, Hezbollah was not running the Beirut International Airport. So the citizens at the airport were manifestly not human shields."

The airport is how materials were being supplied to Hezbollah as well as allowing its leaders to leave as well as the captives. Sound military strategy.

>"Moreover, no evidence has been adduced to show that the other civilian casualties were human shields. Hezbollah encampments are almost entirely in southern Lebanon. And yet Israel bombed non-military targets throughout Beirut."

Hezbollah is not in Beirut? That will come as a shocker to all those Hezbollah members who live there. Or perhaps you forgot the huge demonstration of Hizbollah members and supporters who flooded the streets of Beirut in support for Syrian occupation? I see you have forgotten. This is mere conjecture on your part.

Hezbollah, along with Hamas and similiar organizations, quite well known to place weapons and materials within civilian housing. You see, when you blow one up you can call them "martyrs" and the MSM will send their images around the world to show the evil of the Jews.

Besides, it seems that you have absolutely no idea what constitutes a military target.

>"Finally, it seems clear that the Canadian family visiting friends were not being used as shields. Yet, four children were killed by reckless and indifferent Israeli air fire. http://tinyurl.com/hmmhn"

Nothing in that article states what those Canadians were doing there. I don't know why you say it is clear when it is not. Actually I do since it seems you read much into a report. I don't know if their relatives were Hezbollah militants, I don't know if they were next door to Hezbollah militants and I am not about to assume that the IDF just fired off a missile for the hell of it.

I also see that you fail to highlight the Jewish Canadians who are hiding in bomb shelters as Hezbollah fires off its Iranian rockets that are specifically directed at civilian populations. I guess those Canadians aren't as important.

>"For somebody who has been "watching this pretty closely" you are remarkably uninformed. Maybe you just forgot about the Lebanese casualties - especially as no Hezbollah seem to be among the dozens and dozens dead."

Please tell me what a Hezbollah uniform looks like. Or perhaps they have a Hezbollah tattoo on their foreheads? I suppose it doesn't occur to you that Hezbollah is not going to provide an accurate number to show the Israelis how decimated they are although you seem quite happy with their reporting.

I understand that wars kill innocents. I also understand that wars are sometimes required. Perhaps you have also forgotten that Israel pulled out of Lebanon and that Israel gave back land and that, in both cases, got nothing in return but rockets and death.

It is clear that you believe I am uninformed because I have not used your ability to see fault only on the Israeli side of this issue. You seem to be lacking in knowledge of the history and the players as well as having no understanding of right and wrong. I can see why you hold such delusions.

Hmmmm
Where I come from, we have a word for people like you, Downs. That word is "ignorant". Do you know WHY civilians die when terrorists are targeted? Because those cowards hide themselves and their weapons amongst women and children, that's why. Why do they do that? Because self-righteous fools like you then whine about the resulting "innocent" deaths.

Of course, it is the civilians who have supported both Hamas and Hezbollah, so whether they are really "innocent" is an issue as well (if I vote in terrorists as my nation's leaders, I am as guilty as the terrorists).

Israel is doing far more to avoid civilian deaths than the terrorists, who are INTENTIONALLY TARGETING Israeli civilians (and, in fact, did so before Israel fired a shot). But the terrorists have clearly done their job well, as least for fools like Downes, who foolishly blames the victim here.

Thank God neither the US nor Israel are ruled by the likes of Downes.

-Bob

This is pure non-sensical rhetoric
1. Hezbollah has been lobbing rockets into Israel for years. The attacks had intensified in recent months. This was not in response to israeli air raids. At least get your facts straight.

2. The final straw was an armed incursion into Israel and the killing and kidnapping of IDF soldiers; this is no excuse but an undeniable fact.

3. "This is just stupid - "Moreover, no evidence has been adduced to show that the other civilian casualties were human shields. Hezbollah encampments are almost entirely in southern Lebanon. And yet Israel bombed non-military targets throughout Beirut.
Finally, it seems clear that the Canadian family visiting friends were not being used as shields. Yet, four children were killed by reckless and indifferent Israeli air fire."

Of course the terrorist are hiding among the civilian population all over the country, that is no secret. Prove to me that no Hezbollah are among the dead. Your words sound especially wacko in light of the Israeli strike against one of the leaders of Hezbollah. In light of this much publicized attack, how can you even consider that the other strikes were not aimed at Hezbollah targets?

Man, you are as full of sh it at they come. Go back into your spider-hole.

Point taken and proven
With your comment, "And yet Israel bombed non-military targets throughout Beirut", proves the point you dispute in that you, like the western media, ignore the fact that it is common hizbullah practice to attack non military sites like resturants, shopping malls, theaters and, let's not forget, school busses full of children.

And speaking of "facile excuses", you really ought not apologize for the actions of these barbarians. Regardless of your evident distaste for Jews and Israel it is still a fact that Islam is the only religion extant that offers death as an alternative to conversion.

Facile excuses for terrorists
Very nice frisking. How anyone justifies and defends terrorists is beyond me.

re: downes roy bean et al
Don't worry guys, this downes like roy bean are just the pathetic 5th columnists who seem like they work for the hizbalah chamber of commerce or whatever. they don't even think there is any war on terror, but that it's just an american plot to steal oil in....whoops, forgot, the US hasn't stole oil anywhere. Here's another angle though, when they find land mines in lebanon, some of which will kill israelis, the left wingers won't condemn the use of land mines as they usually do. They'll also justify it as they justify all the rockets the terrorists are lobbying into israel.

I don't know about this downes guy, but old bean is a true-liberal
He sees the Arabs as the down-trodden who have never been given a chance; especially the Palestinians. I don't think he likes what the terrorists do, but he thinks everyone should just live together over there in peace and harmony.

He thinks the Israelis are the most wrong because they actually thought the land the U.N. gave them was their country to rule and do what they wanted with. According to Bean, the Jews stole the land and have been mean to the poor Palestinians every since. Everything the Palestinians, or any other Arabs, do is just retaliation for the Jews stealing the land and they should just accept that and try to make nice with their neighbors. Never mind they are lobbing rockets at the Jews, never mind that they have an agenda that includes killing all Jews in the Middle-East.

The Arabs were wronged and have the right of first claim on the land. Forget a 3,500-5,000 year Jewish presence in the area, that doesn't count because most of them were killed or run off the land several hundred years ago.

Now, doesn't understanding roy's position make you feel sorry for the poor innocent Palestinians?

I ask...
If it is a war for oil, then why is OPEC setting the prices to this day, and why are my gas prices still over $3/gal?

If everyone, repub, lib and dem combined, want the USA to reduce its dependance on foreign oil, then why won't the libz and dems allow us to do any more offshore and ANWR drilling?

Drilling off the Pacific coastline.....
could easily sustain 3-5 new refineries which would all be out of the way of any hurricanes. Can we start building them anytime soon? Refining more oil would make it possible to make more available to our markets and than drive the price down. OOPS! The oil industry would not like that option.
Start building.

Canadians in Lebanon ....by northernguy
Just a little update on the eight members of the Canadian family killed in Lebanon while on vacation.


The family in question had been in a small town in southern lebanon for at least several months. This town is near the Israel border. Since at least last January it has been the source of dozens and dozens of kaytusha rockets into Israel. No one living in the town could be unaware of this fact. The family would have known that their town was being used as a base for hezbollah to attack Israel. They undoubtedly would have known personally some of the participants in various attacks that took place over the months that they lived there.
Yet they still stayed there.


When the most recent attack took place which was a mortar attack in conjunction with an ambush that killed eight of the Israeli military response team as well as the capture of two Israeli soldiers the family still chose to stay in the same small town hezbollah base on the border with Israel. When the Israeli government said that they were going to respond with force the family still didn't leave. Even when hezbollah continued to fire rockets into Israel from their very own town they still chose to stay there. Did the rockets actually come from their house? Who knows? Did they come from the house next door? Who knows? Did they come from a mile or two away? Who knows? Who cares? They made their choice and they have to live (or die) with it.



I should point out that two of their immediate family members still live in Canada. One of them told the media that he got notice of the death of his family members on his cell phone in Canada while he was at a protest rally. And what was the protest rally about? Well it wasn't denouncing hezbollah for attacking across a border with rockets aimed at civilian populations. It wasn't even a rally calling for restraint on both sides. It was a pro hezbollah rally denouncing Israel.



The other member of the immediate family spoke at a memorial service for the family held in Canada today. She denounced Israel and expressed her deep admiration and support for hezbollah claiming amongst other things that hezbollah was the true spirit and the real defender of the Lebanese people.


Whatever the _Canadian_ family was doing there they certainly weren't innocents caught out of their element while on a two week vacation.


They came from the town. They knew the town. They had been in the town for months. They knew what the town was doing. They stayed there while the town was doing it. The town is and always has been identified as a hezbollah town and base and is proud of the designation. The family at least acquiesced in the towns actions if they did not actually actively participate in them. The immediate members of the family who survived who are here in Canada are publicly actively supporting hezbollah and are trying to get others to do so as well.



There are always innocent victims in any full scale military engagement. This family is not in that category. They may be victims but they sure aren't innocent!



I would be interested in comments from other board members about the situation facing the tens of thousands of nationals of each of several nations who are now demanding that they be spirited out of the area by their respcective governments.


Are all those Americans who went to Lebanon for a vacation simply ignorant fools or are they to some degree complicit? I have heard Americans in Lebanon giving interviews by phone to American media who say they were there for a vacation because of the beaches and the night life and now are upset because the the American embassy isn't responding to their felt needs fast enough.



I mean these American tourists know that the largest party in the Lebanonese government publicly claims credit for killing a couple of hundred U.S. marines not more than a couple of miles away from where they are partying. Even if they don't know that they surely know that these same people (hezbollah) are currently and for some time have been killing American tourists in Israel less than a hundred miles away from the beaches that they are sunning themselves on.



How much obligation is there for the American government to send in the cavalry to rescue these so called innocents? Should the timetable be set by the tourists? By the media? Should the American effort from four thousand miles away be compared to that of countries four hundred miles away? Should the American govt. exercise extreme caution considering they have already lost hundreds of their military to the same forces currently operating in the immediate area? Should the American govt. negotiate with hezbollah to come in under under a white flag at a time and place of hezbollah's choosing? Should the Marines come in with a muscular force prepared to do what ever it takes to extract the crowds wanting extraction? If employing a hostile extraction under the current circumstances does the phrase _collateral damage_ have any meaning?




In short what are the options? What are the so called innocent tourists entitled to expect in the way of sacrifice from the American military and taxpayer?


northernguy

This is worse than terrorism
This entire situation starting with the Hamas provocations was engineered by Iran.

Well said, however.
I'm a Canadian Jew, relatives in Israel, I apologize for the loss of 8 Canadian citizens, I know all of Israel feels this, possible unnecessary loss. My fear is, Sadam had bio-war, dirty bombs that were hidden in Syria when the International community, came to inspect. Sadam used them on the Kerds in 86-88, then stock-piled. Now Syria has these weapons to give to Hezbellah, boi-bomb, will escalate the problem to a global level, Israel will be encourage to use nukes, when Hezbolla uses a dirty bomb, that's my fear.

Facile excuses...
Well you can defend/justify terrorists if you have Downes Syndrome...

Wow Mr Smith good one
That was witty.

Someone needs to forward this article to Prof. Bainbridge!
So much for the 'just war theory' critique!

What we have here is a terrorist organization trying to pose as a military force, backed up by the leading terrorist regimes. Hezbollah is the proxy for the cowards in Damascus and Tehran, and Israel is showing these tinpot dictators what it could do to them, if it got a chance. I greatly doubt that Tehran wanted this fight to start, however, as it would give Israel the perfect opportunity to take out the Iranian nuclear program in the same way they did the Iraqi one back in the 80's. Isn't it interesting that suddenly Tehran was willing to consider the European proposals for technology transfer after the shooting started in South Lebanon? Unfortunately, the longer this goes on, and the more cowardly the Europeans appear in their desire to appease the 'arab street', the less likely it will be that Tehran will follow through. Let's face it; the Israeli Air Force is the only thing standing between the Free World and Iranian nuclear bombs. The sooner we figure that out and give them a real 'green light', the better off we all will be. Talk about Just War Theory! One demolished Iranian nuclear reprocessing facility versus a entire city of 'infidels'!

northernguy, I have no doubt that some of these 'Americans' are Hezbollah
I have no doubt that some of these 'Americans' caught in Lebanon are Hezbollah members, if not supporters. The US should be very careful about screening these people, but I doubt, given government efficiency, that they have been, so there are probably MANY MORE Hezbollah in the US now than before. I'm sure a good number were innocuous students or tourists, but I don't feel a lot of sympathy for those who went there, with it's history. I have a friend who was just there in July, but she is living in Cairo now, where her husband is directing an Egyptian TV show! And they are Jewish! Personally, I think she and her husband are nuts, and I pray for their safety every day. At least their children are old enough that they didn't have to take them! People do foolish things, and I think going to Lebanon fits into that category.

Generations of deceit.
As long as the Egyptians, Saudi's etc., teaching their elementary school children, with books that do not recognize Israel and are called the occupierers of Jerusalem. As long as they teach their children historical, cultural, religious, lies about others, where truth is dismissed, breeding themselves into governments for the purpose of future hatred.. Hezbolla has been breeding the last 23 years in S.Lebennon, to create voters, to get gov't seats, to change to Shari law, and to copy the Iranian Khomeni model. World domination is in their scope, they can see the finish line, and are sprinting forward. Yesterday's speech by Bush is accurate, realistic and truthfull. I'm not a Republican, or a Bush fan, Bush is right this time, his insight is correct. We are all in for a rough ride, Freedom is being attacked once more. Stand up now, or kneel before the Army of Allah, I perfer to Stand and Fight!

Yes, your right!
Problem could have been solved had a Clinton allowed General Swartzkoff, to go straight into Bagdad, after chasing Sadom out of Kuwait. Swartzkoff said, "we go now, we are here, we are ready, let's go for it. If we don't we will be back here in 4 more years, so let's get them now." Clinton said no, he was gun shy, no military experience, off to England instead of Nam. And so Swartzkoff retired. Had the General had his way, Lebannon would have been spared. Now we have to work twice as hard, the potential consequences, are devastating.

Nice story, wrong president
It was Bush Sr. who was the president then, not Clinton. 1991 Gulf War. But the effect is right on, ol' Stormin' Norman should have been taken seriously.

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