The canary croaks -- JR Dunn
JR Dunn, writing in today's American Thinker, thinks Israel has thrown away a historic opportunity and may have already sown the seeds of its own destruction as a result. He enumerates the mistakes. I'm afraid I agree. Sobering reading.
The American Thinker
Make no mistake – Israel’s July 29th retreat from the village of Bin Jibeil marks the most serious defeat of Western arms to date in the War on Terror.
Whatever occurs from this point on, the retreat (And it is a retreat; there is no other way to spin it. It is not a strategic withdrawal, it is not a redeployment, it is not a retrograde advance. The Israelis left and the Hezbollah are still there. That is called a ‘retreat’.) marks the end of this campaign, a fact only underlined by Israel’s decision to suspend its airstrikes after the Qana raid, which apparently killed a large number of civilians. There is little or no chance of any meaningful resumption of operations from this point on. This war is over, and Hezbollah has won. The Israeli incursion into Lebanon opened as a classic isolate-and-destroy operation. Southern Lebanon, the high seat of Hezbollah, was cut off by a quick and flawless set of air strikes destroying major highways and bridges. The connection to reinforcements and resupply from Syria was effectively severed, as was the alternate resupply route through Beirut airport. Hezbollah was limited to a small and crowded area with little room for maneuver. Israeli artillery and air began preparing the battlespace for exploitation by ground forces, a coup de main which would destroy bases, missile stores and launch sites, and cripple Hezbollah as any kind of fighting force.
With the Sunni Arabs providing guarded approval and the U.S. holding back interference from the UN and Europe, Israel was provided with an unprecedented opportunity to remove, permanently and completely, a strategic threat from its northern flank while changing the balance of forces of the remaining frontline states. Such an opportunity is not likely to recur for years, and will probably never recur in its current state of perfection.
Even at the beginning of last week, it seemed that the Israelis were poised to move. But then something happened. Politicians being so good at covering their tracks, we’ll probably never know the precise details. But the final responsibility lies with Prime Minister Ehud Ohlmert. Ohlmert is the Israeli version of a hack politician, with a lengthy record of jumping from party to party as opportunity offered. He filled a number of minor cabinet positions of the health and minority affairs type without even the trace of distinction such seats offer. Ohlmert’s record is full of bluster against the Palestinians and Arab opposition with little in the way of action to back it up. His current position as head of government is an accident of history, due almost entirely to Ariel Sharon’s poor health. Sharon’s apparently bungled medical treatment well turn out to be one of the more tragic accidents of recent history in the Middle East.