Israel’s war in Labanon”I prefer the most unfair peace to the most righteous war.” Cicero”
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” Plato”
Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.” Thomas Jefferson
| NEW YORK | RUPEE NEWS | July 30th, 2008 | Moin Ansari | The Israeli forces were defeated in Lebanon and have not returned because the entire country was booby trapped. When the Israeli tanks rolled across the Lebanese check-post the roads and bridges began to explode and Israeli soldiers ran into mines. What are the lessons learned from a war which had technology and arms arrayed on one side and sprit and good planning on the other side. Israel had planned the war for years. It had surveyed every inch of territory from the sky andfrom the ground. Israel had a vast network of spies on the ground and had many Christians and the Druze that supported the invasion and Israel’s interests. However she was unable to achieve the results that she wanted–a halt to Hizbullah attacks and a stop to the power of Hizbullah.
Kenneth Besig summarized the feelings of the frustrated Israelis in the Jerusalem Post:
“Fewer than 5,000 poorly-armed Hezbollah terrorists stood off the mighty IDF for over a month. An Islamic terrorist gang with no tanks, no artillery, no fighter jets, no attack helicopters, and just a few RPG’s and rifles held to a standstill nearly 30,000 crack IDF troops with the finest tanks, the best artillery, the fastest and most advanced fighter-jets and attack helicopters in the world. And they can still empty our northern communities with their rockets whenever they want. If that is not a victory, then the word has no meaning.”
An American-Israeli-India invasion of Pakistani territory will face similar results. The US has a good idea of the territory and has satellites and drones that can figure out the terrain. Indian spies and Israeli technology help the war effort. However neither the combined I of NATO nor the technological superiority of American equipment has been able to eliminate the Taliban from Afghanistan.
Eli Yishai, Vice Prime Minister of Israel , sums up the Israeli administration:
“We cannot be bleeding hearts while our citizens are being hurt. If Lebanese citizens pay the price, they will rise up against Hezbollah. I have proposed that we damage infrastructure and flatten villages because Hezbollah personnel must know they are not immune. We should make it clear to them that all residents in villages from which firepower is launched at IDF soldiers will be warned and required to leave their homes in 48 hours. And later these villages will be bombed from the air. That policy would have assured that Lebanese citizens would not permit Hezbollah to live next to them.” (from Haaretz)”
A similar thinking permeats the American Think Tanks. The day the invasion of the Tribal areas formally begins, the difference between the government of Pakistan and those fighting NATO will disappear. Foreign fighters which number 9000 now will increase to twenty times that amount, and money will begin flowing in to the area from across the globe.The day of the invasion, hundreds of sorties of American and Israeli planes will fly over the mountains and throw Daisy cutters at will.
The day after cameras will be prevented from filming the thousands of civilian casualties. The next day and for weeks the same routine will be repeated. The refugees will stream to distant cities in Karachi and other places– in Kashmir and Iran.
The fighters will stream in from Arabia, iran, Central Asia, Kashmir and all over Pakistan. Food, clothing and shelter will be provided to the refugees in typical Pakistan manner-open heartedness.The rebuttal will begin slowly. A few ships torpedoed in the Gulf oF Hurmuz. Then attacks on American and indian interests all over the world. The slow wave will not retaliate in a frenzy. Rather it will be a tsunami after an earthquake.
“Western militaries are in active state of denial concerning the limitations of precision weapons.” Speaking of the then-IDF Chief of Staff General Dan Halutz — Israel’s first and possibly, last Chief of Staff drawn from the Air Force — Levine Halutz encouraged the civilian leaders to believe that Israel could launch a precision air andartillery offensive without getting dragged into a broad ground offensive. … the failure of Halutz and the General Staff to appraise the enemy’s abilities: correctly at the outbreak of the war stemmed not from incorrect intelligence or analysis, but from a willed denial of the limitations of the IDF’s precision weapons.In how many valleys of Afghanistan is the same sad lesson being taught?
In how many towns of Diyala province in Iraq, or streets in Sadr City? William S. Lind
The Israeli setbacks in the July War of 2006, then, represents a paradigm shift not something that can be pinned on careless errors in decision-making. Unlike the Arab armies in the past, the Hizbullah had fought a people’s war.
It neutralized Israel’s technological superiority by deploying its mobile, elusive, disciplined and skilled guerilla detachments not a centralized, conventional army to fight the Israelis.The Hizbullahfights in small groups, it is evasive, it is secretive, it owns its terrain, it trains, it has high morale, and it enjoys complete popular support amongst Lebanon’s Shi’ites. It can launch thousands of low-tech rockets which rendered sophisticated anti-missile defenses useless. It has also acquired andlearned to use withgreat effectiveness anti-tank missiles that make Israel’s most advanced tanks vulnerable.
They have successfully targeted even Israeli warships.If the Hizbullah can extend these advantages, if it can add shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to its arsenal and bring down a few Israeli helicopters and jets, Israel could quickly lose its unchallenged control over Lebanese skies. Israel’s daily and wanton violations of Lebanese airspace would also come to an end.The Hizbullahoffers Israel a new kind of asymmetric warfare: it combines low-tech guerillatactics with sophisticated missile andcommunications technology.
Understandably, the Israelis find these Hizbullah achievements hard to digest. What the world witnessed in Lebanon in July 2006 were events that contain the potential for shifting the balance of power in the Middle East. Earlier, the Iraqi insurgents had demonstrated that they can make an occupation even by the world’s greatest power very costly. Now, the Hizbullah had shown that a disciplined guerillaforce, with access to advanced missiles, can repel the most powerful invading army.S. AlamAccording to Uri Avnery, the Israeli peacnik. The facts speak for themselves:On the 32nd day of the war, Hizbullah is still standing andfighting. That by itself is a stunning feat: a small guerrilla organization, witha few thousand fighters, is standing up to one of the strongest armies in the world andhas not been broken after a month of “pulverizing”. Since 1948, the armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan have repeatedly been beaten in wars that were much shorter.
As I have already said: if a light-weight boxer is fighting a heavy-weight champion and is still standing in the 12th round, the victory is his – whatever the count of points says.In the test of results – the only one that counts in war – the strategic and tactical command of Hizbullah is decidedly better than that of our own army. All along, our army’s strategy has been primitive, brutal and unsophisticated.Clearly, Hizbullahhas prepared well for this war – while the Israeli command has prepared for a quite different war.On the level of individual fighters, Hizbullah are not inferior to our soldiers, neither in bravery nor in initiative. (Uri Avneryargues says that one invaluable lesson which Israel must learn from its defeat in Lebanon is that there is no military solution, whether in regard to Lebanon, the Palestinians or Syria)The myth of pyrrhic victories: Hidden story of Israeli defeats… Israel’s full-scale war against Hizbullah’s small guerilla force of some 3000 fighters had lasted for 33 days, without giving the Israelis the satisfaction of claiming victory.[6
On July 12 2006, Israel had started a full-scale war against Lebanon, convinced that it could destroy Hizbullah or greatly diminish its military force within a few days anddo it with air power alone. Israel's decision to end the war 33 days later, even as Hizbullah kept up its barrage of Katyusha rockets into Israel, was a dark chapter in Israel's military history. Israel's military might had been neutralized by a seemingly Lilliputian adversary. S Alam
Some background on why Pakistan would even think about defending itself. Did Musharraf only delay the inevitable in 2001?
- Pakistan is the next targeted Muslim Domino: Does the Obsequious Zardari and the on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again Tubelight called Nawaz Sharif realize the dangers.
- Democaracy as a tool against Muslims.
The first lessen of the Second Lebanon War is that wishful thinking concerning the capabilities of precision weapon systems overpowered the General Staff' s analytical abilities.... Faith in advanced air and artillery systems as magical "game-changing" systems absolved the General Staff from the need to consider what capabilities (such as distributed and hardened facilities) the enemy possessed, and led the IDF into a strategic trap it had recognized in advance. William S. Lind
Has the invasion of Pakistan already begun? If one counts the drone attacks, the answer is yes. The US invasion of Pakistan starts! Another Green Domino is being destabilized and now needs to be pacified with American boots. The Pakistani reaction will be vocal and bloody!. It is very clear about Indian intelligence: "‘the aim of RAW is to keep internal disturbances flaring up and the ISI preoccupied so that Pakistan can lend no worthwhile resistance to Indian designs in the region."
In July 2006, agility and cunning favored the Hizbullah. Consider the victories that Israel failed to score against this tiny but agile foe: it failed to destroy or jam Hizbullah’s communications network; to knock out Hizbullah’s television and radio stations; to kill or capture Hassan Nasrallah; or to dent Hizbullah’s ability to launch Katyusha rockets into Israel. Hizbullah was firing Katyusha rockets at the rate of 100 a day during July, doubled this rate in early August, and, in the last few hours before the ceasefire came into effect, fired 250 rockets. On the day of the ceasefire, the Hizbullah still had 14,000 rockets in its arsenal, enough to continue the war for another three months.Contrary to Israeli denials, the daily barrage of Katyusha rockets took a heavy toll on the Israeli economy.
Altogether, a quarter of the 4000 rockets Hizbullah launched during the war hit urban areas: they “paralyzed the whole of northern Israel, its main port, refineries, and many other strategic installations. Over one million Israelis lived in bomb shelters and about 300,000 temporarily left their homes and sought refuge in the south.” For a change, the Hizbullah had brought the war to Israel.Moreover, the Hizbullah scored several clear victories over Israel’s military.
According to an IDF Report Card published in the Jerusalem Post, Israel had deployed some 400 Merkava MK-4 tanks its safest and deadliest tank in Lebanon: 40 of these were hit by Hizbullah’s anti-tank weapons, 20 of them were destroyed, and 30 tank crewmen were killed. According to a report published by The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, “Hizbullah’s success with antitank weapons during the July War reflects many years spent training on these weapons as well as a good plan to use these weapons once the battle began.”Hizbullah’sinfantry or ‘village units’ deployed along the border to slow down the advance of Israeli ground forces “made the IDF pay for every inch of ground that it took. At the same time, crucially, Hizbullahdictated the rules of how the war was to be fought.” It is worth noting that the fighters Hizbullah deployed in southern Lebanon were not its best.
“One of the war’s ironies,” Andrew Axum writes, “is that many of Hizballah’s best and most skilled fighters never saw action, lying in wait along the LitaniRiver with the expectation that the IDF assault would be much deeper and arrive much faster than it did.”The Hizbullah scored its most impressive military victory in the area of intelligence. Israel’s electronic warfare systems are amongst the most advanced in the world; they are war-tested anddeveloped in cooperation with the United States. Indeed, the Israeli commanders were certain at the outset of the war of their ability to jam Hizbullah communications. They were wrong. Hizbullah’s command and control system remained operational throughout the war; they evaded Israeli jamming devices by using fiber optic lines instead of relying on wireless signals.The Hizbullah had blocked the Barak anti-missile system on Israeli ships; hacked into Israeli battlefield communications in order to monitor Israeli tank movements; and, they monitored cell phone conversations in Hebrew between Israeli reservists and their families.
They intercepted Israeli military communications on battlefield casualties and announced them on their media network. They successfully employed decoys to hide the location of hundreds of bunkers they had built in southern Lebanon to store weapons and shelter their fighters. As a world leader in weapons technology andcommunications, Israel had held a decisive advantage in electronic warfare in its wars with Arab armies. In July 2006, the Hizbullah had neutralized this advantage. S. Alam
US India nuclear strategy will thwart South Asian peace
FAILURE and DEFEAT IN AFGHANISTAN, PAYBACK FOR PAKISTAN: “Character assassination” of Musharraf to “Assassination of Bhutto” and pre-planned riots in Sindh are a desperate attempt to hide the debacle in Afghansitan and save the Mayor of Kabul and Destabilize Pakistan.Mars and Venus: Pretzel answers to Jalaibi questionsUS-Pakistan Strategic Partnership Statement “full of sound and fury signifying nothing”US-Pakistan relations: Despite rhetoric-Still transactional
THE PAKISTANI RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF THREATS: Mountbatten, Nehru, Indira, Kruschev, Johnson, Carter, Kissinger (Nixon), Gobachov, Clinton, Armitage (Bush), Karzia (Bush and Vajpayee/Sing) have all threatened Pakistan: The Pakistanis are used to it…so what else is new?!! Pakistan’s Nuclear Program should be seen in the backdrop of these threats.Espionage, euphemistically called the second oldest profession of the world finds a mention in the Indian Vedas, one of the most – if not the most – ancient of the human texts. References to espionage are also discernible in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Greece and China.
SUN TZU: The Chinese sage Sun Tzu is considered by European scholars to be the first to study and analyse the whole question of espionage on scientific lines, and to set it down in a text book Ping Fa, The Art of War. This view is, however, not substantiated by cogent facts since there is ample proof of the greater antiquity and soundness of the system of Secret Services enunciated by the early Indians. Pakistan, Nepal, China, and Bangaladesh are RAW’s enemies.Chan Akya:
Your neighbor is your natural enemy state. The neighbor of your neighbor is your friend”if the end could be achieved by non-military method, even by methods of intrigue, duplicity and fraud, he would not advocate an armed conflict”. Chan AkyaSun Tzu says, “supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemies resistance without fighting” Here we can extrapolate again from the Winograd Commission’s finding: the RMA’s (REvolutionary Military Strategy) hi-tech systems are indeed magically “game changing.” But the game they change is the budget game, not war.
The RMA has given the Pentagon such magical results as bomber aircraft that cost more per unit than the Navy’s ships (the B-2), three fighters for one billion dollars (the F-22), and the most magical system of all, the Army’s Future Contract System, a system no one can describe but costs more than any program in any other service. Boy, that’s magic! Even the Wizard of Id must be jealous. William S. LInd
GWOT: Map of possible war with Iran Iraq Afghanistan Pakistan”]
It appears that the weapons gap that had opened up in recent decades between Western powers and the weaker, technologically backward nations may be closing. How rapidly this happens will depend on the willingness of Russia, China, North Korea, Iran with other countries getting ready to join them to make these weapons available to movements of resistance. Alternatively, if these countries hesitate, the arms smugglers will step in to provide this service. Once anti-tank, anti-ship and shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles can be bought on the world’s illicit arms markets as readily as AK-47s, this will begin to alter the fortunes of resistance movements battling great powers.
In the late nineteenth century, the advanced Western nations had opened a lethal weapons gap with their automatic weapons: this gave them a quick, nearly costless colonization of Africa and Southeast Asia. When that gap began to close in the interwar period, it gave an impetus to resistance movements in Indonesia, Vietnam, Kenya and Algeria. Already weakened from fighting their own fratricidal wars, the Western colonial powers retreated: and the Third World was born.
Will the twenty-first century herald the dawn of another era of gains for movements of resistance across Asia, Africa and Latin America?S. Alam
Does Pakistan have a plan similar to Hizballah’s plan? Chinese Sun Tzu vs Indian Chanakya-Kautilya statecraft.
The Israeli military offensive of July 2006 had failed because Israel was fighting a war that did not play to its advantages in size and technology. Israel had finally met its match a foe that was prepared to fight, that knew how to fight on its own terms, a foe that was elusive and cunning, skilled and daring, ready to adapt its methods to neutralize Israel’s technical superiority, that controlled its terrain, and, most importantly, was backed by Iran and Syria. For the first time in its history, an Israeli invasion had been reversed by a cunning guerilla resistance. S. Alam
When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
And the women come out to cut up your remains,
Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
And go to your God like a soldier.”Rudyard Kipling author of “Wite Man’s Burden”
Without fanfare, but with dedication, discipline, skill, and cunning, the Hizbullah leaders assembled an arsenal of low-tech rockets as well as more advanced missiles; they built secret bunkers; they laid out defensible communications; they acquired capabilities in electronic warfare; they used drones and eaves-dropping equipment to gather information; they placed spies inside Israel; they studied their enemy; and, most importantly, they had planned and trained, while maintaining the highest secrecy. In a word, the small bands of Arab guerillas in southern Lebanon were prepared and ready.S. Alam
Indian intelligence: “‘the aim of RAW is to keep internal disturbances flaring up and the ISIpreoccupied so that Pakistan can lend no worthwhile resistance to Indian designs in the region.” Its not just Pakistan. Nepal and Sri Lanka also face the same challenges.
The Hezbollah resistance has shown that the IDF (or American forces) can be engaged in a protracted no-win warfare, and real damage can be inflicted on its soldiers and hardware, including its sophisticated ships. The IDF (or American forces) appears to have been designed for sprint wars, and not for marathon wars. Hezbollah’s determined guerillas with no tanks, aircrafts, navy ships, guided armaments, or surveillance satellites have bamboozled the IDF’s (or American forces) well armed troops, supposedly the best in the world. A similar guerilla force in Iraq, which refuses to go away, reinforces the guerilla determination to fight hard. Gone is the thesis that well-equipped armed forces can defeat “terrorist cells” only if more force is used more frequently and more brutally. Ali Khan Counterpunch
- CFR: US attack on FATA would make enemies of 165 million friendly Pakistanis
- Anatomy of Indian Intelligence Services and Alliances
- RAW facts on South Asia- India fails to occupy countries.
- LTTE was created by India
- Indian sponsored Tamil terror in Sri Lanka continues unabated
- Lanka: Indian LTTE terrorists use youth as cannon fodder
- Lanka Letter: RAW THE RASCAL by Prem Raj in Columbo
- Pakistan Sri Lanka growing military alliance
- Growing Pakistan Sri Lanka ties
- US India nuclear strategy will thwart South Asian peace
Israel executed its long-planned offensive against Hizbullah on July 12, 2006, using the excuse of a border skirmish to launch a full-scale and devastating war against Lebanon. They launched massive air and artillery strikes against Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure targeting Beirut and sites as far northas the port city of Tripoli. Israeli ground forces crossed the Lebanese border the same day, andcontinued to expandtheir ground invasion in stages throughout the war. During the 33-day war, the Israeli air force flew more than 15,000 sorties and struck 7000 targets in Lebanon; the Israeli navy imposed a blockade on Lebanon, and bombed 2,500 Lebanese targets; and, all told, the Israelis destroyed 15,000 homes, 900 commercial buildings, 400 miles of roads, 80 bridges, and Lebanon’s international airport. Lebanon’s human toll at the end of the war consisted of 845 dead, including 743 civilians, 34 soldiers and 68 Hizbullah guerillas. In addition, close to a million Lebanese were forced to flee their homes. The intent of these genocidal attacks was to turn the Lebanese against the Hizbullah. The Israelis failed in this objective too.S. Alam
Pakistan to USA: “We are unclear about your intentions and you must know if you do not trust us we trust you even less”. Many Neocons in the establishment still believe that there is a military solution in Afghanistan and the only thing standing between them and “Mission Accomplished” in Kabul is the renegade agents of the ISI or Musharraf’s “duplicity.” This assessment has led many to continue the “character assassination” of Mr. Musharraf and maligning Pakistan for all evils in the world has become a science and an art. The KHAD, RAW directed suicide bombers that stream into Pakistan are a desperate attempt by Mr. Karzai and Kabul to threaten Pakistan and somehow loosen the stranglehold of the Paskhtuns that they have on Kabul.
Osama Bin Laden has repeatedly stated his hope that the US will get sucked inot a ruinous debilitating conflict in Pakistan. A US atack on Pakistan will eliminate all differences and all Pakistanis may come together.
“But now some of them are campaigning for intervention in Pakistan to fight the Islamic extremism Bush policy itself daily fosters. This is their madness at its peak. Pakistan is no Iraq, bled for a decade by sanctions before invasion. Nor is it even Iran, hobbled by limited sanctions grudgingly imposed by the world as a result of U.S. arm-twisting. It’s a country of 165 million people twice the size of California, bordering India, China and Iran as well as Afghanistan. Its military is the seventh largest in the world, and of course, possesses nuclear weapons. The top brass, while secular and often western-educated, has strong links to Islamists. Among the masses, admiration for Osama bin Laden is high.Gary Leupp Counterpunch
- Americans are from Mars. Pakistanis are from Venus.
- “The Forgotten War” for ingrates! Abused allies for Pakistanis
There is no military solution to Afghanistan. The Pashtuns have to be given power in Afghanistan. OBL could have been eliminate by concerted “Police Action“. The Taliban at the time were ready to give up Mr. Bin Laden. The wholesale bombing of the land has only resulted in further fracture of the country and the emergence of the Narco-terrorist culture that now envelopes the land between the Indus (Darya e Sindh) and the Oxus (Amu Darya). Comprehending the consequences of the “Do More” chorus.
“For all this, we have to thank George W. Bush. Was his administration unaware of the fact that Islamist militants driven from Afghanistan would receive a welcome across the border?”Gary Leupp Counterpunch
In the aftermath of the 9/11 commission, the Senate Report and the Butler Report in Britain, one wonders how the British could have ruled the world? Such a dramatic degeneration of genes in the past 100 years surely has long term problems for the world?
“I’m inclined to think Bush may have really thought he could get away with his invasion of Afghanistan (and then Iraq) without producing all this blowback. I’m less inclined to think that the bulk of the neocons(recognizing some differences among them) were so naïve. Frankly, I don’t think they care that much. They’re willing to generate infinite “create chaos” in the Muslim world, repeating on Fox News with their affected learnedness, smug impatience with conventional wisdom, and general contempt for the “reality mode” that things are going well in the “war on terror.” That the U.S. needs to courageously, heroically take further action, such as an attack on Iran, or strikes against targets in Pakistan, to produce more chaos.” Gary Leupp Counterpunch
Seven years later we are aghast. We find out that the CIA and a MI6 that had no clue about an imploding USSR, was totally incapacitated in stopping India andPakistan from acquiring of Nuclear Weapons, was totally wrong about the Iraqi impotence with reference to weapons of mass destruction; and was unable to predict or halt 9/11 and other Al-Qaida activities in the world
“Did Bush, or the neocons surrounding him andwhispering in his ears, expect that the entire Afghan people would be grateful for the U.S. bombing, occupation, restoration of the Northern Alliance and installation of a powerless puppet in Kabul? That the neighboring Pakistanis would share their joy and appreciation for the American presence? That the Taliban would just disappear? That Pakistan’s military and Inter-Service Intelligence (having helped create the Taliban andmaintaining warm ties withit, but forced to sever ties with it lest—as the Americans threatened—they be “bombed back to the Stone Age”) would following their about-face eagerly make war on these former allies and coreligionists?” Gary Leupp Counterpunch
Pakistan needs a massive injection of employment creating industries in FATA, and NWFP. Pakistan needs a massive injection of funds to build dams, freeways and new cities. A South Korea type of Pakistan will contain and stabilize Afghanistan and the region
Pakistan is the next targeted Muslim Domino: Does the Obsequious Zardari and the on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again Tubelight called Nawaz Sharif realize the dangers. Democaracy as a tool against Muslims.
Has the invasion of Pakistan already begun? The US invasion of Pakistan starts! Another Green Domino is being destabilized and now needs to be pacified with American boots. The Pakistani reaction will be vocal and bloody!.
Israel’s Labanon war
On July 12th 2006, Israel invaded Lebanon. The official casus belli were the killings of three members of the Israeli Army by Hezbollah in Israel and the capture of two others. In actuality Israel prepared for the war in advance and waited for the opportunity to present itself in order to justify an attack. Motives such as these keep coming up for both sides in the border area between the two countries. Critic Noam Chomsky recountsa few of the incidents: ‘IDF kidnapping of civilians on June 24, Hamas capture of a soldier the next day, then the huge U.S.-Israeli escalation of attacks on Gaza… then the kidnapping of soldiers by Hezbollah, then the U.S.-Israeli destruction of most of Lebanon, justified by the pretense of outrage over kidnapping, which – to repeat – is demonstrated, conclusively, to be cynical fraud’. While the war was still going on, Israel changed the code name by which military operations were being carried out from Operation Just Cause to Operation Change of Direction.
In March of 2007 Israeli Prime Minister Olmert admittedto the Winograd Commission that approximately three months before the Lebanon War he gave his permissionfor the operation by accepting a plan from his then-chief of staff Dan Halutz. Shortly after the kidnapping and in the midst of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, Halutz sold off his shares, and in so doing avoided the losses that occurred when the market fell by tenpercent as a result of the war that followed. Olmert made his admission to the commission in order to demonstrate that the dramatic loss of the war was not due to ill preparedness .
In reality, the Lebanon War was even better planned than Prime Minister Olmert would admit to the commission. In January of 2006, four days after succeeding a comatose Ariel Sharon, Olmert held an initial conversation on a war against Lebanon. But it might be correct to look back even further. The war was ‘in a sense’ already being planned back in 2000, right after Israel withdrew troops from Lebanon after being there for 18 years, says Professor Gerald Steinbergof Israel’s Bar-Ilan University. According to Steinberg, a war of about three weeks had been devised by 2004, after which it was simulated and rehearsed. The actual Lebanon War ended up lasting 34 days, resulting in 159 deaths on the Israeli side and 1125 deaths on the Lebanese side, of which hundredswere children. America was made aware of Israeli plans to attack Lebanon. American and other diplomats, journalists and thinktankswere notified approximately one year prior to the war with the help of a PowerPoint presentation, given by a senior Israeli army officer, writes the San Fransisco Chronicle. The meetings in which the plans for war were discussed in detail were held off the record and on the condition that the identity of the officer be kept secret.
After the war questions arise whether British Prime Minister Tony Blair was aware of Israeli plans and whether he might not have attempted more in order to avoid bloodshed. Journalist John Kampfner writesunder the headline Blood on his hands: ‘I am told that the Israelis informed George W. Bush in advance of their plans to ‘destroy’ Hezbollah by bombing villages in southern Lebanon. The Americans duly informed the British. So Blair knew’. Kampfner’s information is confirmed by an anonymous source from the English Daily Mail which was quoted in August of 2006 and said that Tony Blair was informed of developments concerning Lebanon by the U.S. At the same time the newspaper quotes another source, this one by first and last name – John Pike, director of Global Security: ‘Has the U.S. given Israel a green light to attack Hezbollah and push its troops into southern Lebanon? Yes, of course it has’. According to Pike there is an agreement between Israel and the U.S. that Iranian nuclear plants would eventually have to be bombed – ‘probably next year’ – to stop the development of a nuclear weapon. Pike feels that once that happens, Iran will order Hezbollah to attack Israel.
To him this explains the attack on Lebanon in July of 2006. Pike believes that there was a secret agreement between the U.S. and Israel that at some point before the attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities, Hezbollah had to be disarmed and that as soon as a pretext became available, Israel should use force. Just as in the case of Iran, Israeli interests run parallel to those of the United States. This also appears to be the case in a 2003 reportfrom the reputable Jane’s Intelligence Digest that the U.S. was weighing an attack on Hezbollah. And in 2008 a plan was revealedthat was not only considered, but was also approved and carried out. Approved by President Bush and realized by his Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice – a plan to arm the Palestinian party Fatah. The goal was to provoke a Palestinian civil war in which the democratically elected Hamas would be toppled. The result was the complete control of Hamas over the Gaza Strip.
The armies of both Israel and Hezbollah were criticized in a report by Human Rights Watch for intentionally killing civilians. During the fighting, Israel dropped up to a million cluster bombs, probably acquired from the world’s biggest producer of this type of explosive, as well as the one that provides Israel with billions of dollars in military aid – the United States. ‘We already had a major landmine problem from previous Israeli invasions, but this is far worse’, says Chris Clark of the UN Mine Action Coordination Center, standing before a map filled with flags indicating bomb sites. Cluster bombs were first used by the Nazis and are permitted under international law. In January of 2008 the United States resists proposals for stricter laws relating to cluster bombs and said that the explosives aren’t bad as long as they are used responsibly.
In June Defense Secretary Robert Gates states that by 2018 the military will no longer use cluster weapons with a failure rate greater than 1 percent. In the interim period the US will deplete its existing stockpiles of cluster munitions with a greater than 1 percent dud rate by exporting them to foreign governments that agree not to use them starting in 2018. In the bombing of Lebanon, Israel may have made use – as it has done for decades – of American intelligence. In the area of psychological warfare, upwards of 700,000 automated voice mails weredelivered to Lebanese citizens in andaround the time of the war, and 17 million leaflets were dropped above Lebanon during 47 missions, some of which for example depicted Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah as a snake or a scorpion. Israel also interrupted a Hezbollah TV channel in order to show a dead Hezbollah fighter, accompanied by the message that there will be many more such bodies to come. After the war was over, the Beirut advertising agency Idea Creation launched a $100,000 ad campaign at Hezbollah’s behest called Divine Victory, delivering the message of a military victory over Israel .
A Middle East expert familiar with the mindset of both the Israeli and American governments saysin August of 2006 to journalist Seymour Hersh that the White House had several reasons for supporting the Israeli attack. The most important was Iran. Another source, the neoconservative Middle East expert Meyrav Wurmser, confims this by saying that the main argument by the White House for supporting Israel was that the war ‘would damage and weaken Hezbollah so that it would pose less of a threat to Israel in the event of an attack on Iran’. Wurmser is employed by the conservative thinktank Hudson Institute and is the wife of David Wurmser, who up until mid-2007 was the Middle East advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney. According to Meyrav Wurmser some of her colleagues are unhappy over what Israel did: ‘The thought in America was that Israel should fight against the real enemy, the one backing Hizbullah. It was obvious that it is impossible to fight directly against Iran , but the thought was that its strategic and important ally Syria should be hit. [...] The neocons are responsible for the fact that Israel got a lot of time and space [for the execution of the war]‘. Wurmser feels that an attack on Syria would have been a harsh blow to Iran. The great dissatisfaction in the White House – Wurmser even calls it ‘anger’ at Israel – over the loss of the war is focused on the fact that Israel didn’t take the fight to Syria. On 6 September 2007 Israël attacked Syria: Operation Orchard.