Saturday, July 23, 2016

Conflict of Interest

I don't buy this author's defense of the 2006 Israeli campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon (the Second Lebanon War). He ran that pooch-screwing operation, after all.

Amir Peretz, the Israeli defense minister in 2006, writes:

The Second Lebanon War ended with a feeling of disappointment in Israel, but as time passed and the dust settled the achievements become more obvious and significant.

In historical perspective the Second Lebanon War created a deterrence against Hezbollah, but also gave an unequivocal message to other terrorist organizations, especially Hamas.

Seriously? The war taught a lesson to Hamas in Gaza?

Israel has gone to war with Hamas three times since the 2006 war with Hezbollah! Just what lesson did Hamas learn? That fighting Israel is no big deal to survive and that friendly civilian casualties are a feature rather than a bug to support your own regime?

As for Hezbollah, as I noted here, how shellacked were they from the 2006 war given that they intervened in the Syrian Civil War and have been fighting and dying in large numbers for Assad for years now?

Israel did not pound Hezbollah into passivity. Israel is lucky that Hezbollah is otherwise distracted with the Syrian Civil War and doesn't want a second front.

In the end, the author hides his sad war record by reducing the 2006 war to nothing but a symbol of all wars:

At the end of the day, there are no good wars. The Israeli leadership’s task is to create new political opportunities, as Israel tries with moderate Arab countries in the Middle East. When it comes to extremist enemies like Hezbollah, Israel should maintain its redlines, but also work together with the international community in order to prevent the next war and provide this troubled region with the possibility of a brighter future.

That's nonsense. At the end of the day, there are victories and defeats in war. The Israeli military leadership's task is to win them when they must be fought, and Peretz failed to provide a meaningful victory, winning on points only.

Sheer Israeli power advantages bulldozed their way to a nominal victory over Hezbollah that failed to build deterrence against future wars because Hezbollah gained the satisfaction of enduring the bombardment and holding off the half-hearted ground assault that Israel belatedly mounted.

Hamas has gone three more rounds with Israel since 2006. And Hezbollah is ready for another round but is otherwise occupied in Syria--with no credit to the 2006 war--preventing them from joining the party.

The man has a lot of nerve defending his war policy. He screwed the pooch and now he's putting lipstick on the dog to seem like something better.