Friday, August 11, 2006

The Retreat from Vienna

After nearly a month of flailing about, Israel is trusting the tender mercies of the UN to deliver them from the thugs of Hizbollah. A ceasefire has been agreed to in the UN Security Council:

At the heart of the resolution are two elements: It seeks an immediate halt to the fighting that began July 12 when Hezbollah militants kidnapped two Israeli troops along the Blue Line, the U.N.-demarcated border separating Israel; and it spells out a series of steps that would lead to a permanent cease-fire and long-term solution.

That would be done by creating a new buffer zone in south Lebanon "free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and UNIFIL" — the acronym of the U.N. force deployed in the region since 1978. The force now has 2,000 troops; the resolution would expand it to a maximum of 15,000.

Certainly, I am relieved that a point of tension that could be exploited by Iran inside Iraq amongst Shias sympathetic to the plight of Lebanon's Shias has been ended.

But we bought Israel almost four weeks of time and they blew it trying to defeat several thousand terrorists and light infantry on the cheap. Our effort was for nought.

In 1973 the Israelis needed 18 days to mobilize and defeat the combined militaries of Syria and Egypt. This time the Israelis were unfocused, intent on winning with air power alone, then used minimal ground force in a shallow frontal assault that was just a low-level war of attrition, and then gathered forces for a big push that lasted all of half a day or so before pulling back. They could have had longer if they hadn't misused their air power in a misguided strategic campaign that compelled Sunni Arab states to cancel their support for Israel's fight against Shia terrorists.

The Israelis certainly hurt Hizbollah, but Hizbollah is undefeated.

But don't worry. A new and improved UNIFIL (Now With Spine!) will be on the scene. We shall see.

Israel had best get ready for round two. Well, the next government of Israel anyway.

Hizbollah certainly will be getting ready.