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Old 07-28-2006, 12:59 AM   #481
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Originally posted by AliEnvy


I have no doubts about that whatsoever. However, Iraq has demonstrated the effectiveness of a strong insurgency against the biggest badass military of them all.

Hezbollah was bound to take their shot at it as well and I'm sure Israel was waiting and prepared for even the slightest provocation.

If they have underestimated Hezbollah's capabilities the way the US underestimated Iraq...and so far that seems very possible...then we are headed down a long, very ugly road.
Really? Has the insurgency driven the coalition in Iraq out of the country? Has the insurgency won any battles you can name? Has the insurgency been successful in denying the coalition access to any piece of Iraq? Was the insurgency successful in preventing the elections in Iraq? Was the insurgency successful in preventing the development and passing of a constitution? Has the insurgency successfully prevented the development of Iraq's first true democratically elected government?

Iraq was going to go through a long and difficult nation building process with or without an insurgency. The insurgencies true strength is really only its ability to survive by hiding behind the civilian population. It has made things incredibly difficult and costly, but has not prevented Iraq from progressing foward from where it was in April 2003. As with any nation building anti-insurgency operation, the operation Iraq will take many more years, but in terms of cost, it is far from being the most violent and costly operation the United States or other coalition members have been involved in. The British army lost 5 times as many soldiers in the early 1970s in Northern Ireland than they have lost in Iraq. The United States lost 25 times as many troops in Vietnam.

But Iraq is a very different matter in many ways than Hizbollah and Lebanon. First, its unlikely that Israel is going to invade and take over Lebanon and embark on a nation building anti-insurgency operation as the coalition is doing in Iraq. Certainly, they could do that if they felt it was the only way to insure their security, but its most likely that they will go for a buffer zone in the south devoid of any civilians. Such a buffer zone would remove 98% of the rocket threat to Israel, and prevent the incursions into Israel by Hezbollah fighters. It would also create an environment where Hezbollah would have to fight Israel essentially in the open because there will be no civilian population that it could use to hide behind or blend in with when conducting their operations.

With Hezbollah weakened and Isolated, the international community could attempt negotiations that could possibly lead to the disarmament of Hizbollah, a UN force to occupy the buffer zone created by Israel, and the withdrawal of the IDF from Lebanon. Then the development of the Lebanese government and economy could get under way. Of course, if negotiations fail, Israel can continue to occupy the buffer zone indefinitely, under conditions far more favorable than the occupation of 1982-2000.
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:06 AM   #482
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Originally posted by AliEnvy


The buffer zone is a great idea...but so was ousting Saddam Hussein.

If that can be accomplished without a prolonged occupation and strong insurgency, that is absolutely ideal. But my feeling is that Hezbollah is deliberately sucking Israel futher into a web at its own timing and choosing.






Unable or unwilling? Another big attack by al-Qaida on the west right now (particularly the US) would just create solidarity. Right now the divide and conquer approach is working pretty well for them so they're not going to randomly mess with it. Look beneath the rhetoric.
Divide and conquer approach? Its questionable how much of Al Quada really exist any more, except for the loosely affliated groups. They have been unable to launch any attacks at all on the United States since 9/11. I don't see any evidence that they have been unwilling to attack anyone as they often claim that they are involved in any act of terrorism that happens on the planet as a way of showing they are still a major factor.
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Old 07-28-2006, 02:44 AM   #483
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Rice, wearing a red dress and pearls, was in a sombre mood after her crisis trip to the Middle East and decided to stick to the concert-grade piano skills she mastered at college.
Rice took the stage by storm with a piano recital of a Brahms sonata, titled a Prayer for Peace.
good to see the Bush Administration is pulling out all the stops.
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Old 07-28-2006, 02:55 AM   #484
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Originally posted by AliEnvy


I have no doubts about that whatsoever. However, Iraq has demonstrated the effectiveness of a strong insurgency against the biggest badass military of them all.
No, it has illustrated that the perception of a conflict shapes it not the reality - the US cannot loose militarily in Iraq, it is a virtual impossibility but given the nature of the national mood and the very strong will towards isolationism from a variety of quarters political defeat is quite possible.

The insurgents are much better at killing people in markets and mosques than trying to kill armed soliders.
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Old 07-28-2006, 08:54 AM   #485
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Originally posted by STING2
Really? Has the insurgency driven the coalition in Iraq out of the country? Has the insurgency won any battles you can name? Has the insurgency been successful in denying the coalition access to any piece of Iraq? Was the insurgency successful in preventing the elections in Iraq? Was the insurgency successful in preventing the development and passing of a constitution? Has the insurgency successfully prevented the development of Iraq's first true democratically elected government?
Those might be your measures of success/failure but I don't think really address the goals of the (leaders of the) insurgency...which are basically to keep the area completely unstable with a US occupation to 1) continue recruiting efforts for their "resistence movement", 2) keep the US military stretched and ensure continued strain on the global economy, and 3) to continue to keep the global community (and US for sure) divided over the why's and how's.

From that standpoint, they are doing what they intended so can be considered successful so far.
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Old 07-28-2006, 09:00 AM   #486
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Originally posted by deep



good to see the Bush Administration is pulling out all the stops.
If I was an Israeli, a Palestinian or a Lebanese person, I wouldn't want this administration anywhere near the Middle East. Everything they touch turns to shit.
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Old 07-28-2006, 09:05 AM   #487
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Originally posted by STING2
Divide and conquer approach? Its questionable how much of Al Quada really exist any more, except for the loosely affliated groups. They have been unable to launch any attacks at all on the United States since 9/11. I don't see any evidence that they have been unwilling to attack anyone as they often claim that they are involved in any act of terrorism that happens on the planet as a way of showing they are still a major factor.
Of course there's no evidence that they are unwilling to attack lol. Their strength and true purpose lies in the threat (for now).

For the past 5 years while the world focused on eliminating al Qaida, Hezbollah quietly grew stronger and stronger. Now the opposite will happen...and they've both created it that way.
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Old 07-28-2006, 09:17 AM   #488
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
[No, it has illustrated that the perception of a conflict shapes it not the reality -
Exactly...and as long as it is perceived that the US doesn't have absolute control of what is happening in Iraq, the more momentum can be gained for the "resistence" inside and outside of Iraq.

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The insurgents are much better at killing people in markets and mosques than trying to kill armed soliders.
That's all they need to do to be successful toward their bigger strategy.
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Old 07-28-2006, 10:12 AM   #489
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And what do you think that larger goal is?
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Old 07-28-2006, 10:29 AM   #490
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Originally posted by STING2


Really? Has the insurgency driven the coalition in Iraq out of the country? Has the insurgency won any battles you can name? Has the insurgency been successful in denying the coalition access to any piece of Iraq? Was the insurgency successful in preventing the elections in Iraq? Was the insurgency successful in preventing the development and passing of a constitution? Has the insurgency successfully prevented the development of Iraq's first true democratically elected government?


the insurgency has been successful in making sure that the new government doesn't actually govern anything and in creating an Iraqi Civil War that Colin Powell, David Frum, Peter Galbraith, and many other former neocon cheerleaders all acknwoledge exists. further, the insurgency is funded and fueled by Iran, much like the Viet Cong were funded and fueled by China and Russia. Baghdad will soon likely slide after Basra into the unofficial new Iranian empire. it's another proxy war of attrition, and we've lost again.

here's some interesting analysis:

[q]I spent a total of seven months in Lebanon recently, and I never could quite figure out what prevented the country from flying apart into pieces. It barely held together like unstable chemicals in a nitro glycerin vat. The slightest ripple sent Lebanese scattering from the streets and into their homes. They were far more twitchy than I, in part (I think) because they understood better than I just how precarious their civilized anarchy was. Their country needed several more years of careful nurturing during peace time to fully recover from its status as a carved up failed state.

By bombing all of Lebanon rather than merely the concentrated Hezbollah strongholds, Israel is putting extraordinary pressure on Lebanese society at points of extreme vulnerability. The delicate post-war democratic culture has been brutally replaced, overnight, with a culture of rage and terror and war.

What is happening in the Lebanon is a tragedy for the Lebanese, a horrible - and terrifying - conundrum for the Israelis, and a disaster for US policy in the wider struggle against Islamic extremism. And, oh yes, it is not, unfortunately, going to bring an end to Hezbollah...

“What will become of us?” is the question on everyone’s mind. No one can know what will happen after Israel lifts its siege and the temporary national unity flies apart into pieces. And it will fly apart into pieces. The only question is how far the pieces will fly and how hard they'll land.

http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/001203.html

[/q]


ultimately, it doesn't matter how many tanks and troops the Israeli military has. Israel is a democracy, and Israelis are not prepared (nor should they be) for a prolonged and bloody re-occupation of Lebanon that will not guarantee security and is akin to the Little Dutch Boy putting his finger in the dyke. isn't it clear, at this point, that occupation is simply not a solution. it creates far more problems than it solves. it breeds long-term radicalization while providing only a modicum of short-term security.

it's quite clear that these military actions are simply not going to bring an end to Hezbollah, only an effective, centralized, empowered Lebanese government would be able to do that.
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Old 07-28-2006, 10:50 AM   #491
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‘Consistently, from the Hizbollah heartland, my message was that Hizbollah must stop this cowardly blending… among women and children,’ Mr Egeland said. ‘I heard they were proud because they lost very few fighters and that it was the civilians bearing the brunt of this. I don’t think anyone should be proud of having many more children and women dead than armed men. We need a cessation of hostilities because this is a war where civilians are paying the price,’ said Egeland as he headed to Israel.
http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-1228713,00.html

p.s. to irvine, good to see that you are reading Michael J. Totten, please check out some of his reportage from Iraq and a citation wouldn't be to far amiss - plagarism is not cool
Quote:
I spent a total of seven months in Lebanon recently, and I never could quite figure out what prevented the country from flying apart into pieces. It barely held together like unstable chemicals in a nitro glycerin vat. The slightest ripple sent Lebanese scattering from the streets and into their homes. They were far more twitchy than I, in part (I think) because they understood better than I just how precarious their civilized anarchy was. Their country needed several more years of careful nurturing during peace time to fully recover from its status as a carved up failed state.

By bombing all of Lebanon rather than merely the concentrated Hezbollah strongholds, Israel is putting extraordinary pressure on Lebanese society at points of extreme vulnerability. The delicate post-war democratic culture has been brutally replaced, overnight, with a culture of rage and terror and war. Lebanon isn't Gaza, but nor is it Denmark.
link
A very telling passage in thatlatest article
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Israel and Lebanon (especially Lebanon) will continue to burn as long as Hezbollah exists as a terror miltia freed from the leash of the state. The punishment for taking on Hezbollah is war. The punishment for not taking on Hezbollah is war. Lebanese were doomed to suffer war no matter what. Their liberal democratic project could not withstand the threat from within and the assaults from the east, and it could not stave off another assault from the south. War, as it turned out, was inevitable even if the actual shape of it wasn’t. Peace was not in the cards for Lebanon. Its democracy turned out to be neither a strength nor a weakness. It was irrelevant.

Holding up as a democracy in a dictatorial region isn’t easy. Chalk this up as yet another thing Israel and Lebanon have in common with each other that they don’t have in common with anyone else in the Middle East -- except, perhaps, for the Kurds in Northern Iraq. Unlike Israeli democracy, though, Lebanese democracy may not have the strength to keep breathing. Already some right-wing American "realists" are suggesting Syria return its forces to Lebanon. (Bashar Assad may be as much a foreign policy genius as his late father.) The March 14 Movement, the Cedar Revolution, may be too weak to survive until the region as a whole is transformed. If the Lebanese, the Americans, and the Israelis are not wise in the coming days, weeks, and months it could die the same death as the Prague Spring in the late 1960s, crushed under the treads of Soviet tanks and smothered until the day the world around it had changed.
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Old 07-28-2006, 10:51 AM   #492
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
And what do you think that larger goal is?
Slow, steady and controlled growth of their resistence (terrorist) movement toward the creation of a united, Islamic republic in the region.
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Old 07-28-2006, 11:11 AM   #493
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
[B]http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-1228713,00.html

p.s. to irvine, good to see that you are reading Michael J. Totten, please check out some of his reportage from Iraq and a citation wouldn't be to far amiss - plagarism is not cool


fair enough. we read, we amass facts, we try to provide our own analysis, and we do the best we can in a very shorthand forum that really can't be held to the same standards as academia, especially when things are thrown together in the pauses in a workweek and we blend together what we read with what we already know, but i've gone back and edited the post.
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:00 PM   #494
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BEIRUT, July 27 (Reuters) - Along Lebanon's sandy beaches and rocky headlands runs a belt of black sludge, 10,000 to 30,000 tonnes of oil that spilled into the Mediterranean Sea after Israel bombed a power plant.
Lebanon's Environment Ministry says the oil flooded into the sea when Israeli jets hit storage tanks at the Jiyyeh plant south of Beirut on July 13 and 15, creating an ecological crisis that Lebanon's government has neither the money nor the expertise to deal with.

"We have never seen a spill like this in the history of Lebanon. It is a major catastrophe," Environment Minister Yacoub al-Sarraf told Reuters.
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:26 PM   #495
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^ military necessity.

that fuel could have been used by Hezbollah.
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