Thursday, August 10, 2006

Israel suspends advance as UN reaches breakthrough. Generals rage.

Israel has suspended any major push in it's ground war in Lebanon due to a ceasefire talks breakthrough at the UN. The proposal, agreed to in principal by both France and the US, calls for a progressive Israeli withdrawal with the Lebanese army backed by UN forces redeploying in areas as the IDF pulls out of them.

Israeli Generals are said to be furious
, demanding the opportunity to keep fighting and achieve 'a significant military achievement'. Haaretz, the respected Israeli daily, hawkish up till now, has harshly criticized Olmert and called for his resignation over the Lebanon campaign's 'humiliating defeat'.

The most dangerous result from the whole misguided affair has been the death of the myth of overwhelming Israeli military supremacy over any Arab forces. The whole Middle East has seen that despite massive saturation bombing and apparent callous disregard for civilian casualties by the IAF and IDF, Hezbollah never stopped firing rockets into Israel. This is a worst case scenario for a campaign with ambitious goals and no real exit strategy.

Expect major political shake-ups in Israel and reverberations from this to continue for decades throughout the Middle East.

4 comments:

Meaghan Walker-Williams said...

After watching the UN Security Counsel live, I kinda expected this. It really seemed to me that both Lebannon and Israel were genuinely trying to find a means to put a stop the violence and bloodshed and both sides (that I saw speaking) struck me as sincere in that capacity.

bigcitylib said...

The generals bunged this one up pretty badly too. Nice they now have someone to blame for a war they were unable to win.

Incidentally, I'm not sure puncturing the myth of Israeli military superiority is a bad thing. If finding themselves in a position of weakness means the Israelies have to negotiate a bit harder with the Palestinians and get out of the West Bank a bit quicker, then this will do more to ease their way in the region than any number of military victories.

Cliff said...

A bad thing from the perspective of Israeli Hawks I meant - although they may now spin it as reinforcement for the 'existential threat' narrative.

The blame the appeasers thing could also end up being an excuse for any and all failures of the mission - check out the excellent Harpers piece Stabbed in the Back

This is a meme we can expect to hear over Lebanon - and about Iraq and Afghanistan as well.

FurGaia said...

Different story here. Israel apparently is saying 'No deal' ...

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