Sunday, August 13, 2006

Done blogging about this war. Some things are very clear to me. I'll write them down somewhere and read over them once in a while to see if I was right. Thats the other function of blogs. That is to go back in time and read about the opinions you once held. And though it is easy to go back to 'correct' any blog entry it is a bit harder to lie to yourself that you were right while you are doing it. Its not that I have often been wrong in what I write, its that I feel like an ass writing about some things.

Past couple of weeks I got a small taste of what the Israelis go through every time there is a war. I know several people that are definately in Lebanon and a bunch that may have been called up and sent. Israelis my age would probably directly know a very large number of people in the army or the reserves. Looking for familiar names in lists of dead soldiers is shitty.

I am not going to write about what the state of Israel should or should not do when the fundamental consideration behind many of the policy calculations is how many Israeli soldiers will die. Olmert, Peretz and Halutz will have their day in court, so to speak, without me chiming in.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

This ceasefire is a joke.

Peacekeepers are being deployed but without the ability to shoot, so what exactly is their mandate and what can they really be expected to do?
The Lebanese government is meant to deploy south, and do what?
The Lebanese army is supposed to disarm Hezbollah. However this will have to be done with Hezbollah's acquiescence since the Lebanese army can't do this itself.
The Hezbollah is supposed to withdraw north of the Litani. What the hell does that mean? The Hezbollah is a guerilla force. They take off their uniforms (if they are actually wearing one) and they are civilian residents of the South Lebanese villages.
What is the mechanism for the 'unconditional' release of soldiers?
What happens if Hezbollah refuses to allow additional French/Spanish/Turkish troops to enter South Lebanon?
What happens if Hezbollah decides to launch missiles from north of the Litani?

This ceasefire is like throwing a bucket of water on a burning forrest. You can claim that you are doing something and pat yourself on the back, but the fire will keep burning.

1) The Israelis have another 24 hours to get to the Litani. They are doing this through airlifts and setting up a line on the Litani.

2) Hezbollah will keep fighting 'as long as Israeli soldiers are on Lebanese soil'.

3) The international force is nowhere near being assembled. Getting 15,000 troops organized and to Lebanon will take longer than 7-10 days (Rice's estimate from yesterday)

4) As long as the international force doesn't yet arrived the Israelis will continue operations.

This 'cease-fire' if it ever actually gets implemented will be very, very short with both sides getting ready for round 2. The next round will likely involve the Syrians.