Aug 15, 2006

What Bush and Olmert had planned for Lebanon

Seymour Hersh, the pulitzer prize winning, investigative journalist, has his column up at The New Yorker.. Its entitled : Watching Lebanon". It basically supports the Consortium article I referenced a few posts ago that the Shrub and Olmert planned to attack Lebanon way before the two soldiers were kidnapped. Hersh's writeup is far more intricate and long, going to extremes to set up the not-so-funny punch line that Israel was only waiting for the "next" Hezbollah "incident" to start this shit a rockin and rollin. A sliver for your enjoyment, which is quite far into the article for those that want to cut to the chase:

"Earlier this summer, before the Hezbollah kidnappings, the U.S. government consultant said, several Israeli officials visited Washington, separately, “to get a green light for the bombing operation and to find out how much the United States would bear.” The consultant added, “Israel began with Cheney. It wanted to be sure that it had his support and the support of his office and the Middle East desk of the National Security Council.” After that, “persuading Bush was never a problem, and Condi Rice was on board,” the consultant said".

Playing God isn't one of Georgie's strong suits. Acclerating the atmosphere of hate and discontent while playing the victim has been an Israeli hallmark for decades. I realize that the Muslim's aren't guilt-free of that activity either. But they aren't the super power in the region. The Hezbollah terrorists use bullshit tactics and, given they are terrorists, they rely on fear more than firepower. The Muslim extremists do not fight a traditional military war.

But that doesn't allow Israel and the Shrub's administration to sit down and plan an attack of Lebanon. I am sorry but it just fucking doesn't. It doesn't give them the right to blow the living shit out of Lebanon's infrastructure, fuel depots and airports not to mention making 1.5 Million people homeless that had no part in the terrorist activities.

Ah, but the war with Lebanon didn't go as planned, as witnessed by this snip from Hersh's column:

"In the early discussions with American officials, I was told by the Middle East expert and the government consultant, the Israelis repeatedly pointed to the war in Kosovo as an example of what Israel would try to achieve. The NATO forces commanded by U.S. Army General Wesley Clark methodically bombed and strafed not only military targets but tunnels, bridges, and roads, in Kosovo and elsewhere in Serbia, for seventy-eight days before forcing Serbian forces to withdraw from Kosovo. “Israel studied the Kosovo war as its role model,” the government consultant said. “The Israelis told Condi Rice, ‘You did it in about seventy days, but we need half of that—thirty-five days.’ ”

Um..Its been 34 days since this war started. It bears repeating that Olmert, like the Shrub, Cheney and Rover has no prior military experience.

The final paragraph is quite telling. The article is a good read but have some time to spend if your not a speed reader. Its a great lesson in modern warfare when it comes to terrorists and big-balled, heavily armed Nations. It has plenty of sources for all the information. Hersh is a very reputable journalist. Here is the finale:

"Even those who continue to support Israel’s war against Hezbollah agree that it is failing to achieve one of its main goals—to rally the Lebanese against Hezbollah. “Strategic bombing has been a failed military concept for ninety years, and yet air forces all over the world keep on doing it,” John Arquilla, a defense analyst at the Naval Postgraduate School, told me. Arquilla has been campaigning for more than a decade, with growing success, to change the way America fights terrorism. “The warfare of today is not mass on mass,” he said. “You have to hunt like a network to defeat a network. Israel focussed on bombing against Hezbollah, and, when that did not work, it became more aggressive on the ground. The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result.”

But the thing is, for me, that these leaders, making the decisions that affect the entire region, if not the world are very bad at what they do and it rolls off their backs. Their teflon suits keep them safe and warm. People will always find ways to support this type of response to groups they do not like. No one likes Hezbollah. But we need to find another way to deal with them besides being the bully on the playground. War might be good business for corporations, but its not for the people that live beneath the bombs and never did anything but live their lives and go about their business of living. Call bullshit on the whole thing and sit down and talk it out..what do you have to lose? You already blew your wad, and look what it got ya gents...

And in that vein, I give you a quote from todays story in the Independant. It's about the failure of the "war" on Lebanon, from the POV of Israel's Knesset, which had a huge bitchfest Monday aimed at the war and Olmert: "While refraining from a direct personal attack on Mr Olmert, Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the right- wing Likud opposition, lost little time in declaring "there were many failures, failures in identifying the threat, failures in preparing to meet the threat, failures in the management of the war, failures in the management of the home front."-sucks to be Olmert I would say.

Cross-posted at Progressive Blog Wire


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