Wednesday, July 26, 2006
We've been writing a bit about the importance of good threat-making, particularly when you design the threat to deter attack. Then I stumbled across an article that Michael J. Totten wrote about his encounters with Hezbollah at the end of last year. It was widely linked at the time and most righty blog readers probably at least skimmed it, but it is absolutely worth reading again in the context of the present war. Among other gems, there is this:
“Honest to God,” [the Hez press guy] said, “it is against our principles to threaten people.”
But it isn’t. He had threatened me just two days before. Hassan Nasrallah recently said “Death to America was, is and will stay our slogan.” After the invasion of Iraq, he went even further. “Death to America is not a slogan. Death to America is a policy, a strategy and a vision.” What the hell is that if it isn’t a threat?
Got that? "Death to America" is "a policy, a strategy, and a vision" of Hezbollah. Why isn't the United States entitled to take that at face value? If you have no good answer, remind me why we should give a rat's ass that Kofi and some Europeans want us to "rein in" Israel. Practical considerations aside -- and regular readers know that I do not actually cast aside practical considerations -- is there any moral or even legal reason why we could not be shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel in the war against Hezbollah? I can't think of one.
Don't forget to read the whole thing.
CWCID for the Totten link: Solomon's House.
I've been monitoring posts at the frontline blogs but haven't yet seen this question posed:
We've seen a missile that is clearly not of the primitive type Hizb'allah might develop on its own launched successfully at an Israeli vessel. Most of the old and new media acknowledge that it is a signature of Iranian involvement in the current border hostilities in Israel.
We're also hearing that Nasrallah has threatened to extend the reach of his weaponry within Israel, something that non-state actors clearly do not have the funding / standing to accomplish independently.
We're also hearing that the IDF probes have uncovered clear evidence of Iranian support for Hizb'allah in their operations to date in Bint Jubayl.
While it's an accepted premise that Iran is backing Hizb'allah, there is no explicit identification of the one to the other.
At what point should demonstrated and probative evidence of Iranian backing of Hizb'allah in this current offensive be the cause of a concerted coalition-style offensive against Teheran?
Apropros of the general drift of this thread, Ayman al-Zawahri recently squeezed this through his buttcheeks. Money quote:
The Egyptian-born physician said that the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah and Palestinian militants would not be ended with "cease-fires or agreements."
"It is a jihad (holy war) for the sake of God and will last until (our) religion prevails ... from Spain to Iraq," al-Zawahri said. "We will attack everywhere."
I thought you'd appreciate this:
""Seven hundred thousand out of a total Lebanese population of 3.5 million, 20 percent of the population, mostly Shiites, are now being cared for and given refuge by mostly Christian schools, churches, and other humanitarian organizations. This is the story of the Good Samaritan at a mega scale! And to think that this is the outcome of a strategy that meant to rouse anti-Hezbollah feelings among the Lebanese population and government. Talk about a failed strategy! Of course, this has happened so many times before that any thoughtful tactician would have learned the lesson by now, but military muscle is always too hedonistic and narcissistic to listen to the voice of reason and history."
- Dr. Martin Accad, academic dean of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary of Lebanon.
And to think that this is the outcome of a strategy that meant to rouse anti-Hezbollah feelings among the Lebanese population and government.
This is a straw man -- there is no aspect of the Israeli strategy that is designed to do this. If there were, Benjamin Netanyahu would be going bananas, and he is not. The Israeli strategy is to diminish the military capability of Hezbollah.