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Shmuel Rosner, Chief US Correspondent for Haaretz took a shot at listing the winners and losers in the war, both nations and people. Never one to think of an original idea when a perfectly good thought is sitting right in front of me begging to be stolen, I have taken the liberty of coming up with my own list of victors and vanquished. Or, if not vanquished, certainly on the ropes.

Give the precarious nature of the cease fire, the ratings on this list may change drastically if hostilities start up again, especially before any meaningful international presence augmenting the UNIFIL force shows up. But as it stands now, here are my thoughts. I have tried to rank the participants with the biggest winners first tailing off to the biggest losers last.



Pathetically, Hizbullah will be seen as a winner despite the fact that they lost 10 fighters for every IDF soldier killed, their infrastructure is a mess, and they’ve been kicked out of their base in southern Lebanon, at least for a while.

Why in Gods name are they a winner then?

The J-Post reports “At least 50 newborn babies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been named after Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah over the past month, sources in the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.”

It makes you wonder how many babies in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, and other Arab countries are also being named for the terrorist leader. And it isn’t just the personality of Nasrallah that excites the Arabs so much. Hizbullah is seen as the most successful Arab army in nearly 1000 years. Young Egyptians marched in Cairo on Saturday waving the Hizbullah flag and carrying pictures of Saladin, the last great Arab conquerer.

It matters not to the Arabs that Hizbullah launched more than 3500 rockets into Israeli towns and villages attempting to murder as many innocents as possible. What matters is that their fighters didn’t run away and that they killed Israelis. All of the above plus it appears that no one is going to be able to disarm them. In the Arab world, that is enough to make Hizbullah the biggest winner in the war.


Finishing a close second are the Iranians who may or may not have started the war but who certainly exploited every propaganda opportunity the conflict offered while making it clear that Hizbullah and Iran are joined at the hip. Their prestige and that of their President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have been enhanced enormously. Despite the fact that most Arabs hate the Iranians, what makes the Iranian victory so worrisome is that the differences between Arabs and Persians seems to have been subsumed by the recognition that Iran’s sponsorship of Hizbullah is the major reason for this victory. Haaretz’ Yoel Marcus said it best: “Neither a political accord nor a military victory will change the situation as long as Iran is around, controlling the height of the flames.”

In effect, Iran has emerged as Terrorist Central – not just for Shia terrorism but for most of the rest of the Muslim world as well. And no, they were not quite there before the war. But you can now expect every Israeli and American hating jihadist from the West Bank to Indonesia showing up at Iran’s door looking for assistance. And given that the mullahs are awash in petrodollars at the moment, they will be only too happy to oblige.


Not quite as big a winner as some others, Syria nevertheless got a shot of much needed prestige for backing Hizbullah.

Humiliated following their retreat from Lebanon and isolated internationally as a result of their suspected complicity in the assassination of ex-Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri of Lebanon, President Assad emerged as a player in the Arab world because the UN came to him hat in hand asking for his help with Hizbullah. His role may not have been decisive, but expect the United States to start talking with Syria again very soon in order to see if they can pry Assad away from the Iranian apron strings he’s attached to.

Assad may be willing given the uneasy nature of his relationship with the radical Shias in Iran. His secular Baathists (Sunni) were forced into this marriage of convenience as a result of a process of elimination. There simply wasn’t anyone else to align Syria with to counter the American military sitting next door in Iraq. Talking to Assad may be a winning strategy for both Assad and the United States.


As many people in Lebanon who look upon him with pride, there are probably almost as many who wish to see him humbled. This doesn’t mean that the Israelis come up smelling like roses, not by a long shot. But Nasrallah’s personal popularity probably didn’t increase very much. And in some quarters, he is now seen as a legitimate threat to the fragile democratic process that has been set back as result of this war.

As the dust settles in Lebanon, there may be a lot of bitterness directed towards Nasrallah by the March 14th Forces. And if the Hizbullah leader starts to throw his weight around by maneuvering for power, there is a chance that the Christians especially would take up arms against him.

Nasrallah is a winner outside of Lebanon but could end up being a loser inside his own country. If he doesn’t abide by the cease fire and refuses to disarm, it could precipitate a crisis in both the government and the streets. In that event, he would be a sure loser.


Who woulda thunk it? If the cease fire holds, there will be much self congratulation and back patting among the world elites who will be able to point to this betrayal of Israel as a singular moment of success in UN history.

The fact that everyone over the age of three who knows better will have to listen to this drivel sickens me. And the fact that the cease fire makes it that much harder to deposit this international outpost of anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism on the garbage heap of history will be seen by historians as another indication of the myopia and pure cynicism of the people of the world in this epoch.

That is, unless the historians are radical, fundamentalist Muslims in which case the UN will be lionized for their foresight and courage.


The who? That’s right, the Arab League comes out a winner in this conflict thanks to the French. The League’s Foreign Ministers came to New York last week and showed France the way to stick it to the Americans. The French abandoned the idea for an independent international force with rules of engagement that would have allowed them to disarm Hizbullah which France was on the verge of agreeing to last weekend for the current plan that adds 15,000 toy soldiers to UNIFIL supplemented by the Lebanese “army.” This will insure that Hizbullah is not disarmed and will be able to resume their attacks on Israel at any time.

The fact that the League was able to find its way to New York probably makes it a winner alone. But by playing messenger for Hizbullah and then having France accede to most of the terrorists demands, the Arab League comes out looking pretty good.



I may have a little different take on how Bush comes out of this than most others but to my mind, the President’s rating here should almost be a “push.”

In the end, he caved in and aligned the United States with what I consider to be a betrayal of the interests of Israel. But I think that was a direct result of his standing fast for 30 days while the entire world ganged up on the United States. By giving Israel a green light for a month, the President lost a lot of influence that we could have wielded at the United Nations. In the end, France abandoned us as did the Arab world (despite their own misgivings about Hizbullah).

Some will ascribe it to stubbornness, but I think it took courage to run interference for an ally as long as he did. For that alone, I hate to put him on the losing side but feel I must as result of what happened in the Security Council.


The Lebanese Prime Minister is a clear loser although he doesn’t come out as badly as some other Lebanese politicians whose days on this earth may be numbered for coming out strongly against Hizbullah for starting the war. He generally got high marks from the Lebanese people for leadership in a poll taken last week. And his appeal to the Arab League for diplomatic assistance did some good.

But his utter weakness in the face of Hizbullah will hurt him in the long run. In fact, his days as Prime Minister may be numbered if Nasrallah has anything to say about it. In the end, Siniora was reduced to being Nasrallah’s messenger boy, giving the terrorist veto power over any cease fire proposals.


By some accounts, Rice was a hindrance to the Israeli war effort. She apparently insisted on the temporary truce following the Qana tragedy and reportedly advised against any massive incursion by the IDF into southern Lebanon. For this, she was widely criticized in the Administration; so much so that her deputy handled the shuttle diplomacy between Beirut and Tel Aviv following Qana and she was marginalized to the point of being banished to the UN to work on the cease fire resolution.

We know how that turned out.

Rice lost prestige in the Administration because she has temporarily lost the trust of the President. And that makes her a big loser.


If you’re talking about the individual and small group performance of the Israeli army, no blame can befall them. But if you want a loser in this war, look no further than Chief of Staff Dan Halutz.

Very late in the game, when it was apparent that there would be post war inquiries regarding the sub-par performance of the army, Halutz cynically sent his Deputy to replace Northern Commander Udi Adam which scrambled his command and made Adam and his staff livid. They felt that Halutz was trying to deflect criticism from himself.

The first IAF man to be Chief of Staff, his reliance on air power to take out the rocket launchers that were pounding northern Israel proved in the end to be a colossal blunder. And He apparently failed to pass along General Adam’s plan for an offensive in the middle of July that was eventually used just prior to the cease fire.

He will not survive in his position much longer.


Olmert was the anti-Midas in this war; everything he touched turned to crap. He was timid, indecisive, and squandered the overwhelming support given to him by the Israeli people with his hesitant prosecution of the war. Everything he did, he did late. From initiating ground operations to calling up reserves, he was always one step behind. And in the meantime, he left his friend George Bush swinging in the international wind, bearing the brunt of his incompetence.

Olmert may survive only because there is no real apparent successor. But if the post war inquiries by the Knesset reveal more stupidity, Kadima may have no choice but to replace him. Or, there’s an outside chance new elections may be called in which case he would almost certainly be supplanted as party leader.


Finishing third as the biggest loser in the war is the United States. Thanks to Israel’s inexplicable lethargy in prosecuting the war, our influence and prestige dribbled away week by week until our only choice in the end was to capitulate to the French and Arabs at the United Nations while trying to change the cease fire resolution at the margins. In this, we were only successful in preventing the UN from ordering a humiliating retreat by the Israelis from Lebanon.


Is Israel any safer than it was a month ago? Is their prestige enhanced? Were they successful in achieving any of their war aims? (It remains to be seen how long Hizbullah is prevented from moving back into their positions in southern Lebanon). Was Hizbullah disarmed? Is there the prospect that anyone will do so? Did they eliminate or even seriously degrade the ability of Hizbullah to fire rockets into northern Israel? Did they get their captured soldiers back?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, I’ve got some good bottom land in Florida you might be interested in buying.


Their country is in ruins. Their politics a mess. The government is being held hostage by a terrorist fanatic who could lead them back into war at any moment (or initiate another ruinous civil war). Their army is a joke. They are being pulled every which way from Sunday by Iran, Syria, the west, the Israelis, and the Arabs. And their prospects for the future are bleak.

I would say that makes Lebanon the biggest loser of all – unless you count those dwindling numbers of us who still believe that defeating Islamism is the most important task facing civilization today.

Anything that makes the terrorists stronger and the rest of us weaker is a huge loss. And at this moment, it’s hard to see where a victory in this war will be coming from.


Karol Sheinin (blogging at Malkins while Michelle is on vacation)can be put in the “gloom” column about the outcome of the war:

It’s interesting to apply this lesson to the Iraq war: if we leave too early, without finishing the job, and the country is once again turned over to thugs and terrorists, how can we tell the families of dead American soldiers that they fought with good reason, that their sacrifice was not in vain, that the cause was noble, but we just couldn’t stomach seeing it through to completion?

Was Osama right? Do we not have the stomach for taking on he and his fanatical cohorts for the long haul?

I can’t believe that. I don’t want to believe it.

But is it true?

By: Rick Moran at 11:59 am
  1. 1
    Sirius Familiaris Said:
    1:00 pm 

    ...unless you count those dwindling numbers of us who still believe that defeating Islamism is the most important task facing civilization today.

    There you go again with the pessism, Rick. I appreciate your realism, but I can assure you that these people will never succeed in making the United States a dhimmi client state.

    Our numbers are not dwindling. Thanks in large part to people like you, Malkin, Roggio, et al, more people are awakening to the fact that the islamofascist threat is far more insidious than the MSM or the federal government would have us believe.

    All too often in the course of this war, we’ve been our own worst enemies. The only way we can be beaten is if we choose to defeat ourselves. Avoiding that outcome may require a reckoning, but it’s a price we must be willing to pay.

    Keep the faith.


    -the Canine Pundit

  2. 2
    B.Poster Said:
    1:20 pm 

    While George W. Bush probably ran interference for Israel longer than any other administration in the past would have run for Israe, I don’t think 30 days was long enough. I never had any doubt that Israel would defeat Hezbollah. The only question I had was would they be given enough time. Unless the cease fire somehouw holds and someone somehow disarms Hezbollah, Israel did not have enough time.

    When terms like “incompentent” are used to describe the Israeli leadership, it implies that defeating this enemy is somehow easy. It is not. From the time this started, I estimated, if everything went absolutely perfect that the IDF would need at least three months and possibly as long as six months to defeat significantly degrade Hezbollah enough to make a significant difference. Of course if Israel wanted to completely destroy the country they could do so in a day and this would be the complete elimination of Hezbollah. At this time, no one wants to do this. Given the war plan that called for precision air strikes followed by a massive ground invasion, if evrything went absolutely perfectly, it would have required at least three months and probably six or longer.

    Right now the Israeli government and the American government have managed to execute the invasion of Lebanon and the broader GWOT, in such as a way as to inflame the anti-war for being to aggressive and to inflame the “hawks” for not being aggressive enough.

    It seems when soldiers were kidnapped Israel could have negotiated for their release. They did not. Israel and to an extent the Americans chose to launch the invasion. This in and of itself is a good idea. Islamic extremists will ultimately have to be defeated on the battlefield. They cannot be negotiated with, however, if we are going to go this route we will need to be committed to see it through to completetion.

    The bottom line is when America and its Coaliton partners invaded Iraq with to few troops we sent the message that we are fundamentally unserious about the GWOT, furthermore, it should have been obvious by June 2003 that we did not have enough troops. When we failed to make the appropiate course corrections and add more troops, this reinforced the message that we are funabmentally unserious about the GWOT.

    I am assuming the Israelis and the Americans consulted before the war with Lebanon. I’m sure the Israelis wanted to know how long the Americans would be willing and able to run diplomatic interference for them. Make no mistake running diplmatic interference for about thirty days was NOT easy, however, short of destroying the entire country, I see no way that thirty days would have been enough time to degrade Hezbollah enough to make enough of a difference to be worth anything. When Israel and the US said they were going to prosecute the GWOT with Lebanon but decided that they were only going to stick it out for about thirty days they reminded the Islamic extremists that we, in the west, are fundamentally unserious about the GWOT. If anyone in the US or Israel really thought, short of destroying the entire country, that the objectives could be fully accomplished in only about thirty days, this the height of hubris.

    This cease fire is unlikely to hold. It is only a matter of time before Hezbollah comes back. When they come back, they will likely be stronger than they were before. I wish I could be more optimistic. If there are two silver linings here, they are Hezbollah may be to cray to quit fighting right now. All they have to do is to sit tight and rearm. Then they can come back but they may be crazy to even do that. Also, eventually the US and the west will become serious about the GWOT. The only question is will it happen before or after the Russians launch a major nuclear attack or will it happen before or after the Islamic extremists destroy a major western city. At some point, we will become serious about this. I just hope and pray it is before we get attacked with WMD.

  3. 3
    Dave Schuler Said:
    2:13 pm 

    I wrote my version of this post on Saturday. We see things similarly with the exception of Olmert. I think whether he’s a winner or loser from this remains to be seen. If, as I suspect, the Israelis come to realize that this was the best deal they could have reasonably expected, Olmert could end up a winner yet.

    In my view the only way that the Israelis could have won this horrible mess was by not playing.

  4. 4
    B.Poster Said:
    2:47 pm 

    Ze’ev writes in the article Rick links to “the arabs are seeing that military might is not a guarantee of success.” This is partially correct. The US did not contribute enough troops to Iraq to have any reasonable hope of quelling the insurgency. As such, all we can do is hope and pray the forces we are training will be up to the task of defending their country and being allied with us.

    The Israelis did not have enough time to have any reasonable hope of being to dgrade Hezbollah enough to make a significant difference. For this, even if all went perfect they would have needed at least three months. If things go less than perfect, as they did here, they would have probably needed at least six months and maybe longer. Western civilization which includes the US and Israel is fundamentally unserious about its security. Those of the greatest generation that have passed on who fought WWII must be spinning in their graves. They have got to be utterly ashamed of all of us. It is high time we got serious about defending what we have been blessed with.

  5. 5
    Drewsmom Said:
    3:13 pm 

    I think the biggest losers are the moonbat dems. They jut refuse to get this, they will end up gettin us all killed if they win in 08 and then there will be nobody left to even count the winners or losers.

  6. 6
    ed Said:
    3:16 pm 


    Troop strength is not the determinant factor in quelling an insurgency. Counter-insurgency experts, such as David Galula, state that the keys to fighting an insurgency do NOT include massive troop strength, and if fact large numbers of troops are frequently counterproductive.
    And by the way, not all W.W. II veterans are in their grave, or spinning. My 82 year old father fought three years in the Pacific Theater (proudly U.S. Army,with Purple Heart and Silver Star) and believes that invading Iraq was “poking a beehive that a smart man would have left alone” and irrelevant to our national security. Or in his inimitable Greatest Generation venacular, “Saddam Hussein had about as much chance of harming the United States as a one legged man in an ass-kicking contest!”

  7. 7
    Fausta Said:
    3:57 pm 

    France abandoned us
    Having watched the France2 evening news for years, I dare say that France couldn’t abandon us, since they’ve never been on our side.
    Whatever posing – and posing it is – they do is to serve their own purposes. We should keep that in mind in any sort of negotiation in which France is included.

  8. 8
    B.Poster Said:
    5:16 pm 


    Other counter insurgency experts have disagreed. Some have said you need troop numbers of 10 to 1 up to 15 to 1. My memory is sketchy here but I remember an interview on Fox News. The person being interviewed was a person who played a prominent role in the invasion of Panama. He had said that enough troops were commited to the invasion so that an “insurgency” had no room to breathe. In other words, every where they turned they would be looking at an American GI with a gun. This interview took place in June 2003. The gentleman was reluctant to criticize the military planning but very briefly during the interview the spin came off. The bottom line is we had no where near the number of troops committed to the theater that it would take to secure the country.

    Also, in a recent interview on the O’reilly factor with Dan Senor formerly of the Coalition Provisional Authority, Mr. O’reilly asked him about the insurgency and the Al Sadr militias. Mr. Senor is genrally all about pro administration spin, however, very briefly the spin came off. Mr. Senor said we lack the resources to deal effectively with the insurgency, the Al Sadr militia, or the other militias. What we are left with is a policy based on hope. We hope that the miliary and police forces we are training will be up to the job. We hope that the now liberated Iraq does not ally itself with Iran against the US. On this note, Iran appears to already have substantial influence within the country. I hate policies that are based on hope. The president should explain the stakes to the American people and commit the resources to get this done properly. Whether we like it or not Iraq and Lebanon have now become the front line in the GWOT. A premature withdrawl from Iraq will be conceding the entire country to the control of Iran. In which case, American national security would be in an even more precarious position that it already is.

    “Poking a beehive that a samrt man would have left alone.” In my post I was not arguing for or against invading Iraq. What I was suggesting is, since we chose to do it, we should commit the resources necessary to give us a reasonable chance of achieving our goals. the proper resouces have never been commited. What I was mainly referring to was our commitment to see a noble endeavor through to its completion. We have lost far fewer people than we did in WWII and the American people have given up far less than they had to sacrifice during WWII. Yet already we are ready to turn tail and run.

    The decision to invade Iraq may not have been a sound one. Personally I would not have done it. I think a better use of those resources would have been to finish the job in Afghanistan, for stronger border security, and to reform our domestic survelience policies, as well as coming up with more sensible imigration policies. We know who the people are who are most likely to commit terrorist acts against us and we know what countries they are from. This should help us to know who we need to watch closely and who we need to stop from immigrating to the US.

    “Saddam Hussein had as much chance of harming the United States as a one legged man in an ass kicking contest.” The question was not did Iraq pose a threat. The question was what was the magnitude of the threat. I’m not familiar with this statement, but it implies that the threat is non existent. Thirty nations who were part of the coalition, Charles Duelfer and David Kay former heads of the ISG, and Congress after looking at the intellegence we had did not buy this theory. Thinking like that statement is the height of hubris. This kind of pride comes before a major fall.

    Compared to the greatest generation many of the people in this generation are spineless wimps. Again, reasonable people can and do question the decision to invade Iraq. As I said, I would not have done it. Since we did, we should have the kind of resolve the greatest generation had to see this through.

    If we don’t have the resolve to see it through, we should immediately withdraw. We must understand that when we withdraw Iran, Russia, China, or some combination of the three will gain control of Iraq. When this happens the threats to American national security will grow exponentially. Also, middle eastern oil will likely be off line or those who hold it will demand terms that are beyond reason. We will have to develop our own resources. This means some animals will have to be inconvenienced. While we are doing this, Americans will have to accept a drastic reduction in their standard of living for the foreseeable future. This will take time and money to develop these resources. We better make sure those borders are secure. We better upgrade the nuclear arsenal and we better make sure we have a working missle defense. In other words, failure in Iraq means failure in the GWOT. Failure in the GWOT means we will have no choice but to withdraw to fortress America. Btw, developing more of our own resources is a good idea any way. This should give us more leverage.

    Perhaps Iraq did not have to become a major front in the GWOT. We chose to invade it and it became a major focus of Islamic Extremists. Mow the question is are we going to suck it up and make the commitment necessary to give us a reasonable chance to achieve a stable, allied, and democratic Iraq or are we going to turn tail and run like cowards. At this point, I would settle for an allied and stable Iraq. At this point it looks due to a combination of hubris and arrogance we are going to turn tail and run.

    A Joe Lieberman supporter summed this thinking up best when she said, “when the bad guys turn up the heat, we beat a hasty retreat.

    Btw, I am appalled that the Israelis or the Americans would have really believed that based on a campaign of prescision air strikes followed by a ground invasion could possibly degrade an enemy as powerful and entrenched as Hezbollah. To do this properly they would have needed at least three months and probably up to six months. To have assumed this is hubris in the extreme. This is similiar to the kind of hubris that led someone to think they could invade Iraq with so few troops.

    Please thank your father for me for his service to our country during WWII. His generation was a generation that has lived through a great depression and through a world war. The people of his generation were people of real courage. This is unlike some people today.

  9. 9
    B.Poster Said:
    5:31 pm 

    The United States and Israel really screwed up here. First Israel assumed that short of completely destroying Lebanon that they could diminsih Hezbollah’s capability enough to mae a significant difference in only about thirty days. This was a gross underestimation on the part of the government and the IDF. Then Israel was slower with the ground portion than it seems they should have been. Now it seems many officials are publicly sniping at one another. This type of public airing of our “dirty laundry” makes us look weak and pathetic before very dangerous enemies.

    Making an error is human. It is forgiveable. The important thing is to make adjustments and learn from our errors. Once it was realized that we underestimated the strength of the enemy, we should have made an adjustment, sucked it up, and mad the decsion to stick with our ally no matter how long it might take. Will this cost us? Yes it would. The economic and other costs could be quite steep. This is where character and determination come in. People with character do what is right regardless of what the cost to themselves may be. Alot of people on the American and the Israeli side, especially the American side, have shown what spineless cowards they really are.

  10. 10
    Johnny Tremaine Said:
    5:54 pm 

    B. Poster, you wrote an intelligent, well-thought argument. The only thing I’ll disagree with you on is your analogy comparing the American public’s attitude towards the current situation in Iraq with the Greatest Generation of World War II.
    The thing is, the war against the Axis powers had the entire country mobilized for war. Every able young man was drafted into service; as a consequence everbody was closely related to a young man on the front lines. In addition: women mobilized to replace the missing men in the factories and workshops, which themselves churned out the literal machinery for war; civilians sacrificed on a daily basis, such as foregoing certain diet staples in order for enough to go around to send to the troops; young children were encouraged to round up scrap metal for use in war-making products; finally, there was the big push to sell and buy war bonds.
    The result being, the public, down to the man, woman and child, had a personal and economic stake in the war.
    The problem you have with a volunteer army, and with the White House’s policy of guns and butter, is that segments of the public could choose to ignore it if they so choose to without any financial or personal consequences.
    In this I would agree with the columnist Thomas Friedman, a pro-Iraq War guy, who criticized the Bush Administration for having a policy of “We’re at war—let’s party!”

  11. 11
    Andy Said:
    6:05 pm 


    Please don’t make the mistake that a high casualty ratio equals victory. That is one lesson we do not need to relearn. The number of casualties one inflicts on the enemy as compared to your own is only one factor in determining victory, and a minor factor when fighting guerillas/insurgents. In fact, very rarely does an insurgent force inflict more casualities than the government or convential force – whether or not they win or lose.

    In the case of Hizbollah, they clearly won because Israel failed to achieve any of its strategic objectives. They lost a lot of fighters, but their leadership, both military and political, are intact and they still have support of the local populace, Syria and Iran. Hezbollah will now work to undermine the UN force (an easy thing to do) and use it as cover to rearm and reorganize.

    B. Poster:

    Our concern in Panama was to quickly neutralize the forces loyal to Noriega and quickly capture him and his senior leadership to prevent them from “taking to the hills.” In that regard, what you heard on Fox was largely correct. However, Noriega was not popular, and without external support, Noriega’s ability to mount much of an insurgency was probably minimal.

  12. 12
    Rick Moran Said:
    6:13 pm 

    “Please don’t make the mistake that a high casualty ratio equals victory. That is one lesson we do not need to relearn.”

    Perhaps I didn’t fill that idea out with some additional facts.

    Hizbullah,unlike a conventional army, has an extremely limited number of trained fighters of the quality that faced the IDF - perhaps as few as 3000 no more than 5000. The number of dead Hiz fighters is open to debate but a round number of 600 would seem if not accurate at least plausible. (IDF says they killed almost 800 – Hiz say “dozens.” Who do you think is closer?)

    My point is simple; you kill 20% of the other guys fighters and if you don’t have victory you have at the least seriously degraded his ability to make war.

    For Nasrallah to claim some kind of “strategic” victory as he did today given those numbers is nothing more than idle boasting.

  13. 13
    B.Poster Said:
    6:19 pm 


    Thanks for your response to my post. I think one of the biggest mistakes that George W. Bush did was after 911 he should have asked the American people to make sacrifices. I ahve long felt that to win the GWOT would require a WWII like mobilization.

    Right now, we seem unwilling to make the kind of sacrifices that will be necessary to get this done. If this continues to be the case, it seems our bes option is “fortress America.”

    Under this option, America will immediately withdraw its troops from the middle east including Iraq and elsewhere around the world. When this happens, Iran, Russia, China, or some combination of the three will take complete control of Iraq. When this happens the threat posed by terrorism, as well as the threats to America’s national security will likely grow exponentially. As such, fortress America better be locked up tight. The military personel who have been withdrawn from around the world will now guard the borders. We will institute a sensible immigration policy. In other words, there will be no Muslim immigrants for a long time. Also, we know who is most likely to commit a terrorist attack and we know what their religous beliefs are. This should help us in domestic survelience. After the withdrawl from the middle east, middle eastern oil will no longer be available or who ever controls it will demand terms that are beyond reason to purchase it. This means we will need to develop more of our own resources. This will take some time and effort. The life style that Americans are accustomed to will be drasticlly reduced for the foreseeable future.

    Another mistake we made was when we pushed for democracy we allowed Islamic extremist parties into the political process. This will plague us for years to come. As part of fortress America, we will need a strong missle defense system that is capable of stopping the nuclear arsenal of
    Russia or any other country. Threats will not go away. After we withdraw, the terrorists will correctly conclude that they defeated the US. This will encourage them to push harder. The fortress needs to be secure.

    For me the ideal policy would be a smart and pro active foreign policy and better border security along with a more sensible immigration policy. Also, “racial profiling” should be used. We know which nationalities terrorists are most likely to come from and we know their approximate ages. If the American people are unwilling to make the sacrifices that are needed to win the GWOT, fortress America is likely the only option. At least this is a policy we can control, as opposed to one that is based strictly on hope.

  14. 14
    Milan Said:
    6:23 pm 

    It’s interesting you quote Shmuel Rosner.For some time he writes quite vitriolic anti-American articles for Haaretz.His major theme is:”It’s all America’s and GWB’s fault-they made us do it”.

  15. 15
    B.Poster Said:
    6:30 pm 


    Thanks for the additional information on Panama. I think Hussein’s main base of popularity was and is in the Sunni areas. From a poll done by the brookings institute, most Iraqis still think it was worth it to remove him. I think had we contributed more troops, especially in the beginning, it would have made a huge difference. Much of what we “know” now, we know in hindsight. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. I think we could still commit the security personnel to quell the insurgency but it does not seem the American people are willing to commit to this right now. I don’t think many people fully understand the stakes. Failure in Iraq probably means cedeing the country to Iran, Russia, China or some combination. Russia and China are the two greatest threats to America in the world today. If either of these countries or China is allowed to gain control of Iraq the threat to American national security will increase exponentially.

  16. 16
    Rick Moran Said:
    6:38 pm 


    All I did was steal his idea. I don’t think I quoted him at all.

  17. 17
    Johnny Tremaine Said:
    6:43 pm 

    B. Poster,

    You’re spot on in regards to a future threat from China. You can show me the fallacy of my thinking, but a personal pet theory of mine is that a big part of any confrontation with Iran, wether it’s via economic sanctions or military action, is viewed by the White House as a type of check-mate against a rising Chinese superpower. Many pundits have already written pieces about the twenty-first century being the Chinese Century, like the 20th was the American Century. I think the moves of the United States in the Middle East is being done in order to ‘manage’ the rise of a superpower competitor, i.e. China.
    Now Russia is a whole other ball of wax. They can produce their own oil, and plenty of it. Dealing with Putin will entail a whole other set of headaches that I’m sure Bush is not eager to take on and will be more than happy to pass on to his successor.

  18. 18
    Conservative Cat Trackbacked With:
    7:18 pm 

    Nasrallah Points the Way to a New Kind of Warfare

    The big story today is the fact that Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is claiming a “strategic and historic” victory in Lebanon. Having proven Hezbollah’s ability to protect Lebanon from an Israeli invasion, he feels it would be a mistake…

  19. 19
    loretsini Said:
    8:19 pm 

    Disconnect from reality (emphasis added):



    The judges deducted 5 points immediately for Billmon’s disconnect from reality. One judge protested that in this kind of competition, the deduction was unfair because the same could be said for every single contestant, the competition being confined to leftist twits with no more grasp of strategy than a marmoset. However this judge summed it up nicely:

    Only a true fool like this dolt (who is worshipped by the ‘progressive’ left) could look at a military operation and say that, because in less than three weeks Hezbollah can still fire off some completely ineffective rocket barrages that have no military impact whatsoever, and because they managed to kill a couple of dozen Israeli soldiers, that the action has been a ‘debacle’ for Israel. Last time I checked, Olmert was still in Israel, and Nasrallah was hiding behind his puppetmasters in Damascus. I guess the fact that he hasn’t been scared all the way to Tehran means that’s a defeat for Israel, too.

    I guess it takes five weeks for the untrue fools.

  20. 20
    Milan Said:
    8:36 pm 

    fair enough(#16).

    But I am reading Israeli press daily and I am very concerned about current level of anti-Americanism.
    There seems to be a popular belief that Israel is acting on behalf United States(one Israeli author even called Israel”vasal of the United States”)
    For example in article “Ending the Neoconservative Nightmare”(printed in Haaretz on August 12,2006) author Daniel Levy writes:
    “...Israel was in need of an early exit strategy but had its diplomatic options narrowed by American weakness and marginalization in the region and found itself ratcheting up aerial and ground operations in ways that largely worked to Hezbollah’s advantage.”
    Yup…it’s all our fault-we made them do it!

    Here few words about those bad “neocons”:
    “This tight-knit group of defence intellectuals were considered somewhat off-beat until they teamed up with hawkish well-connected Republicans like Cheney,Rumsfeld and Gingrich and with emerging powerhouse of Christiam right.Their agenda is an aggressive unilateralist US global supremacy,a radical vision with fixation on the Middle East,obsession with Iraq and affinity to “old Likud”politics of Israel.”
    Bad dudes those”neocons”....But author forgot”the oil” and “Halliburton”...

    “The US press and blogosphere is awash with neocon-inspired calls for idefinite shooting…”
    Those gun crazy Yankees….and our blood thirsty press and blogosphere…

    “An America seeks to reshape the region through an usophisticated mixture of bombs and ballots,devoid of local contextual understanding…”
    Sounds more nuanced than John Kerry…..

    “Israel does have enemies,interests and security imperatives but there is no logic in the country volunteering itself for the frontline of an ideologically misguided and avoidable war of civilizations”
    And I thought that Iranian president wanted to wipe off Israel from the map….I guess that’s avoidable with proper contextual understanding and avoiding bad influence of United States and neocons….

    As far as Evangelical Christians,group that was consistently supportive of Israel author has those words:
    “The largest “pro-Israel” lobby during the crisis was mobilized by Pastor John Hagee and his Christians United For Israel,a believer of Armageddon with all its implications for rather particular end to the Jewish story.This is just asking to become the mother of all dumb,self-defeating and morally abhorent alliances”
    I guess seekers of lost immam have much better plan for Israel then those Evangelical Christians

    To what exted those wildly published views are prevalent among people in Israel I have no idea.But we shouldn’t ignore them….
    And at least for this life-long supporter of Israel they are reason for concern and source of frustration


  21. 21
    B.Poster Said:
    8:37 pm 


    I think you are right about China. Much of American actions are probably done with an eye on China and hopefully on Russia. I find no flaw in your thining about China. My understanding from reading many analysis on China and Russia is they view war with America as inevitable. Of course I hope this does not happen.

    I mention Russia because Russia seems to be the biggest weapons supplier of Iran and Syria. They also have the world’s largest and most advanced nuclear arsenal. They seem to be the enemy behind most of Ameirca’s enemies. I’m not quite sure what they are up to but I view Russia and China as America’s greatest threats, in that order. The alliance with Islamic Extremists may be a simple case of the “enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This seems to be a driving factor in much of international relations. In any event, I don’t think you can defeat Islamic Extremists unless something is done about Russia and China.

    I think diplomatic efforts with Iran and Syria are likely fruitless. Any diplomacy should be directed at Russia and China. If we could get them to withdraw support from the Islamic extremists, I think the terrorist threat becomes much easier to neutralize.

  22. 22
    B.Poster Said:
    9:30 pm 


    Osama and his communist allies are correct. As I’m writing this America and the West do not have the stomach to take on him and his cohorts for the long haul. This can change one of three ways. 1.) The president and the government can forcefully explain the stakes to the Aemrican people. The stakes are failure in the GWOT likely means the end of Western civilization. The very best case scenario is it would merely mean the end of America’s role as a major power. 2.)After the terrorists take out a major western city, the gloves will come off and we will finally be able to fight to win. I suspect, after such an event, Iran and other Islamic extremist nations will not survive long. The only question, in a situation such as this, is what will Russia or China do? These two countries, especially Russia, are capable of militarily defeating the US. A war with Rusia, China, or both of them will not be pretty. The fact that we posess the ability to completely annihilate Iran, Syria, and any other terrorist supporting state and have chosen not to do so speaks volumes about the inherent goddness of our civilition compared to the civilization of Islamic extremism. Islamic extremists would annihilate the US, in a heart beat, if they could do so. Also, Israel could completely annihilate Lebanon, if it wanted to do so, but it has not chosen to. Lebanon would destroy Israel in a heart beat if it could do so. This speaks volumes about the inherent goodness of their civilization compared to their enemies. 3.) Russia, who has a very large and very advanced nuclear arsenal, may be using the terrorists to draw attention away from themselves. Should Russia use the destraction to launch a surprise nuclear attack, this would not be pretty. Assuming we survive, the gloves would finally come off and we would fight to win. I prefer option 1. The president and the government need to explain the stakes and all of the political correct bunk needs to end. If the president and the government will forcefully explain the stakes, we can mobilize and get this done properly with a minimum of casulties on all sides. Unfortunately a frank discussion of the size and scope of the threat is not good for polite company. In other words, it is time to be impolite.

    You mention Lebanon as a loser in this conflict. I disagree. Lebanon is an enemy of Israel. It was even before Hezbollah’s attack. The Israeli response ripped away the facade for anyone who is willing to see to see it. Unfortunately the US has placed so much in this democracy thing that it refuses, at least publically, to see that the Lebanese have elected themselves a terrorist government. It cannot be over emphasized that it does not matter that someone votes. What matters is how they vote. I would suspect that Lebanon, as a whole, views this situation much like Great Britian viewed WWII. Much of British infrastructure was completely destroyed by the end of the war but when it came to an end they rightly saw themselves as the victor. The analogy is not perfect because Britian did not start WWII the way Lebanon started the war with Israel. Even though Lebanon started the war and alot of their infrastructure is in shambles, they probably view themselves as a victor. This especially appears to be so in Shia areas.

    Arguably the biggest mistake we made was when we pushed a democratic process we allowed Islamic extremists to enter the political process. This never should have happened. Mistakes are a part of the human condition and are forgiveable. What matters is what we learn from them. This does not change the fact that allowing groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and Al Sadr to enter a political process is a decision that will plague us for years to come.

    It appears Israel did a great deal of tactical damage to Hezbollah. Frankly. given the slowness in getting to the ground invasion, I’m amazed they did as well as they did. At the beginning, I thought under ideal circumstances Israel would need at least three months to do this job properly. I hope and pray Israel did enough damage to Hezbollah to make enough of a difference to matter. I wish I could say I was more optimistic but it looks like Hezbollah will come back when they are ready for the next round.

    In my opinion no western leader looks good here. Bush caved to soon. He should have known thrity days would not be enough. He should have been able to hold out for at least six months and probably indefintitely. Doing the right thing is seldom going to be easy and it will often times not make us popular. People with true character do what is right even when it is not popular. Israel’s leaderhip should have known that thirty days would not be enough. They should have been prepared to go longer. The American and Israeli leaders should have had a frank discussion about what the costs would be in taking on Lebanon. Rather than subject their people to adverse costs it appears the Aemrican and European leaders caved.

  23. 23
    Andy Said:
    9:49 pm 


    Thanks for replying to my comment.

    To take it further, a loss of 600 fighters or 20% of their force is only a tactical loss. A guerilla force such as Hizbollah can easily absorb that. I’m sure after all the Israeli bombing of Shiite areas that they will have many volunteer replacements.

    Nasrallah can claim strategic victory simply because Hizbollah, at least for the time being, was able to deny Israel a strategic victory. Israel met none of its state war objectives. Nasrallah can claim that his forces fought the Israelis and did not lose. In the Arab mind, that is a victory.

    The future is still uncertain, however, and depending on what happens with this UN fiasco, Hizbollah could still suffer a significant defeat, either politically, militarily, or both. Right now, though, Israeli mistakes have given Hizbollah the upper hand in my opinion.

  24. 24
    DEagle Said:
    10:55 pm 

    What you have posted may be true if you are talking about a political solution and this is caused by the opposition of the world against civilian casualities. It is a shame that NOW the world talks about proportional response…instead of outright victory.

    The only way that we will win this terrorist war is to ignore these political pressures and win the war. If that means destruction of a country that supports the terrorists, so be it. Neither Israel or the US can continue to make a difference between the terrorists and their supporters.

    This may mean a major difference with the UN, but it must be done if the war is to be won. Maybe it is time to bring back the Dresden response for those that hide among civilians.

  25. 25
    B.Poster Said:
    11:06 pm 


    That is exactly what I have been thinking. In my mind I called it the “dresden option.” The US or Israel can do what it currently does, which is prescision strikes against specific targets followed up by a ground invasion, they can use the Dresden response as you call it, or they can go nuclear. As I stated earlier, without a Dresden response or a nuclear response, I don’t think it was realistic to expect Hezbollah to be degraded enough to make a huge difference in only about thirty days.

  26. 26
    Denise Said:
    11:09 pm 

    Israel has a huge problem which the cease-fire does not resolve. One of the bonus features of the DVD for “Cinderella Man” was an interview with the professional boxing trainer who prepped Russell Crowe for his role. He has a wonderful summation of the challenge of boxing: a boxer has to “solve” the problem of his opponent and he has to do so under enormous pressure. Israel did not “solve” the problem of Hezbollah’s troublesome ability to hurl rockets across Israel’s border. This cease-fire merely brings this opening round to a halt, but the outcome of this fight is very much in issue.

  27. 27
    DEagle Said:
    11:36 pm 

    B. Pastor,

    Unfortunately, your are too right! I also believe that it will take a major city destroyed before we become serious about eliminating this threat. We are just in a waiting game it seems….

  28. 28
    Andy Said:
    1:00 am 

    Sorry, but I don’t see how this “Dresden” or nuclear option could work. Hezbollah is not just a terrorist group. It’s also a political party and part of the Lebanese government. If you want to use the “Dresden” option, then you’ll take out all of Lebanon in the process. At the very least, you’d have to kill all the Shiites in Lebanon – not exactly an easy or moral task.

    Although those kinds of tactics have a certain allure, they typically fail. Take a look at Chechnya or the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Nukes weren’t used of course, but both were left in total ruin and the Russians/Soviets still lost. Even the Dresden bombings in WWII did not have any effect on the outcome of the war. The nukes on Japan only hastened the surrender of an already beaten enemy. Such a course of action against Hizbollah would only lead to disaster.

  29. 29
    DEagle Said:
    1:55 am 


    While I understand your constraint, there is no other way in this type of war. Either you take out the coutry supporting terrorist groups, or you do what Israel did and try to target the bad guys. Does not work when half the country supports the non-government entity.

    Those bad guys will continue to praise Allah and declare victory. The rest of the world will stand by and wonder what is happening.

    Your simply have to take out whoever the enemy is (supporters and all) or face defeat in todays battles. I am not necessarily talking about nukes, but overwhelming force against the country supporting the terrorists.

    As sorry as I am that the Lebonese government is destroyed, they brought this upon themselves by their support of the Hezbolloh. They are therefore subject to the results of war just as those that started the conflict. To do otherwise creates the situation that we currently have – Terrorists controlling a State with no consequences.

    The idea that Hezbollah is a political group partially in control of Lebonan means that the whole country suffers. To pretend otherwise defies the idea of a countries actions defines the resultant actions. If it is such a political group, then it is acting with the country’s (State) permission and the resultant reaction is warranted and just regardless of status of other citizens.

  30. 30
    DEagle Said:
    2:09 am 


    I might add that some new strategy must be employed in today’s terrorist world. I’m still not sure what will work, but I know that targeted attacks at groups within a state does not work… so what is the plan?

    I believe that President Bush’s idea that terrorist States must be defeated along with the terrorist cells is the only plan that might work. At least you take away the state support (both monetary and militarily).

    The defeat of this enemy requires both defeat of the States sponsering them and the terrorist cells themselves. Just what is your plan to confront this enemy?

  31. 31
    Gregdn Said:
    6:51 am 

    “how can we tell the families of dead American soldiers that they fought with good reason, that their sacrifice was not in vain, that the cause was noble, but we just couldn’t stomach seeing it through to completion?”

    Seems to me I heard that in 1969, when we’d ‘only’ lost 40,000 men in Vietnam. We went on to ‘donate’ another 18,000 bodies to honor that memory.

  32. 32
    Andy Said:
    10:58 am 


    While targeted attacks may not completely work, I can guarantee that a “total war” approach will fail. Lebanon is a complex, multi-ethnic country. It is not in our strategic interest to wipe Lebanon clean in order to get Hezbollah. Are we to punish the Christians and Druze because the Shiites elected a bunch of thugs? Even if it were possible, even if was a morally acceptable course of action, even if we could minimize the tremendous negative consequences of such an action, it still would not achieve the desired result. We are not Stalinist Russia where we purge not only our enemies, but any potential enemies as well, to ensure compliance. History has shown, with few exceptions, that such tactics do not work unless you’re willing to use the power of the State as Stalin did.

    But let’s not assume that the solution to this problem only lies in the military realm. Ultimately, defeating an insurgency or an established terrorist organization requires more than force, and often force is a small part of the overall strategy. I won’t go into specifics here, but if you google the Army Field Manual on Counterinsurgency and read it, it will give you a good overview of sucessful tactics to defeat these kinds of forces.

    In the case of Hizbollah, they are directly supported by the local Shiite population as well as Syria and Iran. Until that support can be minimized or ended, Hezbollah will not be defeated, plain and simple. Drastic military measures will likely result in strengthening those ties and entrenching Hezbollah further. If Hezbollah suffers a significant military defeat, they will do what all guerilla groups do and disperse and hide in the local population that supports them. Just look at Iraq to see what a difficult nut to crack that would be. Israel has already been down that road in Lebanon and Hezbollah’s creation was a direct result of Israel’s invasion and some of the huge mistakes it made there. Similar to Hezbollah, the IRA also had a political wing. The IRA was never defeated militarily despite many decades of counter-insurgency operations – it finally made the conscious decision to end its terrorist methods for a variety of reasons – not because it was on the ropes militarily.

    Ultimately, the Shiite population in Lebanon must make the conscious decision that supporting Hezbollah is not in their best interest, and the same is true with regard to Iran and Syria. This will be a “long war” and we should not delude ourselves by thinking that short-term military solutions will work. Again, as we can see in Iraq, they don’t work. It took some time, but even our conventional military forces and leadership now realize what must be done to defeat the Iraqi insurgency. We can’t afford to make the same mistakes in dealing with Hezbollah.

  33. 33
    B.Poster Said:
    2:15 pm 


    If we are going to defeat them, then it seems it needs to cost more to the people who are supporting them than the benefits they are getting from supporting them. Right now it has cost Syria and Iran little, if anything, to support the insurgency and the militias in Iraq and it has cost them very little to have Hezbollah fight in Israel. When it begins to cost the Shias of Lebanon and the Shias in Iran more than they are getting in benefits, we may be able to get somewhere with diplomacy. It is a dificult balance to be sure. Deciding how to allocate resources between diplomacy and military actions.

    As long as Hezbollah thinks the goal of destroying Israel is achievable, they will contine the fight. Iraq’s old regime desired regional hegemony. As long as the insurgency believes re establishing the old regime is achieveable, the fighting will continue. If all they wanted was for the US to withdraw, this would be easy. All they have to do is stop shooting and stop planting IEDs. They could still keep all of their weapons. No one will pressure them to get rid of them. Then they could demand that we leave. Even if we wanted to stay, in such a situation, the world pressure on us to withdraw from Iraq would be tremendous.

    The mistakes that have been made in the past are failing to completely defeat the enemy. This allows it to live on to fight another day. Had Israel been allowed to fully defeat the enemy either now or in 1982 the situation would be better. As it is the enemy lives on to fight another day. Diplomacy has a chance, when the enemy understands their goals are not going to be achievable. The concept of compromise seems to be missing from the terrorist lingo. In any event, a compromise with them means they take a portion now and get the rest later. Their goals are first and foremost the destruction of Israel then the establishment of a world wide caliphate. I suggest a greater focus on the military aspect and less focus on diplomacy. Right now diplomacy with them is fruitless.

    Efforts at diplomacy should be directed to Russia and China. If we can get them to withdraw support from the Islamic extremists, they become much easier to neutralize.

    Thankfully we are not yet at the point where a Dresden response in necessary. This is why I suggest more troops for Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the GWOT. Former 911 commissioners have said we have not allocated the necessary resources to Iraq, Afghanistan, or the broader GWOT. Get this done now before more drastic measures become necessary.

    Israel and probably the US made a mistake, if they assumed that Hezbollah could be degraeded enough to make a difference in only one month of fighting. Short of completely destroying Lebanon and assuming every thing went perfectly, Israel would have needed at least three months and probably longer. If there is a silver lining, this is only one round in a long struggle. We need to learn from our mistakes and do better in the next round. Israel’s military was clearly winning the round before the politicians caved. The Arab league and others would not have been trying to get a cease fire, if Hezbollah was winning. During cease fires, this enemy rearms and comes back stronger. The definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing over and over agains expecting to get a different result. Eventually the gloves come off and we fight to win. I just hope and pray the gloves come off in time to prevent another major terrorist attack.

  34. 34
    B.Poster Said:
    2:28 pm 

    The only good reason I know of not to increase the military commitment to the GWOT is Russia and China. Russia is America’s most dangerous enemy. They have a large and extremely advanced nuclear arsenal and they support every terrorist supporting state. In other words, they along with China are the enemies behind our enemies. When the price of oil goes up because of instability, this is only enriching Russia and China. As such, this is playing their game. Diplomacy with Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah is frutiless. Diplomacy with Russia and China to get them to withdraw support from the terrorists could produce positive results.

  35. 35
    Joust The Facts Trackbacked With:
    7:55 pm 

    Furtive Glances – Cease Fire Edition

    I’d better take advantage of the current cessation of hostilitiesedition of Furtive Glances before the whole house of cards falls apart. One of the more thorough and thoughtful bloggers around, Rick Moran of the Right Wing Nut House, will be

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