Friday, July 28, 2006

The Netanyahu barometer and Israel's intentions 

WILLism's Ken McCracken is very unhappy with Israel's strategy of apparent restraint, which he believes is doomed to failure. Maybe, and maybe McCracken is more broadly correct that Ehud Olmert does not understand the stakes involved. I doubt it, though. Why? The lack of criticism from and indeed overt support of Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli right wing. If Netanyahu, who believes that Hezbollah must be excised from the body of Lebanon, were unhappy with the strategy, scope, and duration of this war as planned in Omert's cabinet, we would have heard about it. Whether or not Prime Minister Omert says conciliatory things, we should assume that Israel is going to go after Hezbollah with all hammers and all tongs until Benjamin Netanyahu stops articulating the government's position and starts complaining about it. Watch Netanyahu.


By Blogger Roy Lofquist, at Fri Jul 28, 02:39:00 PM:

Methinks there is a game afoot. Note the apparent praise of HB fighters in comments by Israeli soldiers. Rather than chase guerillas who fade into the general population the Israelis are enticing them into believing that their "Maginot Line" strategy is working.

When the HB commits a larger force to "the front" we will see a classic encirclement hammer and anvil battle enfold. The call up of 30,000 reservists is a costly endeavor at variance with the "limited war" pronouncements of the war cabinet. You are absolutely correct. Watch Bibi.  

By Anonymous hepzeeba, at Fri Jul 28, 03:41:00 PM:

Very shrewd observation, and I agree.

Netanyahu has said several times on CNN that there is no opposition in Israel (noting that he is the opposition leader), and that Israel speaks with one voice. He seems almost preternaturally calm.

I too have noticed the praise lavished on the Hezbollah fighters by Israel--almost from the start of the campaign. This may mean nothing except that the Israelis know their enemy (and vice versa) in ways we never will.  

By Anonymous Dan, at Fri Jul 28, 04:18:00 PM:

Tiger please read this exellent post by Donald Sensing.


I agree 100% with his analysis (which beats Belmont Club). I was a 20 year enlisted mechanic in the US Air Force, and even I know basic war theories like mass of attack, synergy, speed and lethality. Israel is not a battle-hardened military. The previous generation was but this government and current cycle of military is not. They will get better though. Experience will do that.

And contrary to a lot of blubbering you constantly hear, the IDF Air Forces are not the best in the world. The US Air Force is head and shoulders the best. We train with IDF and our pilots get bored fighting them. But they don’t have to be the best, they merely have to keep their high tech equipment in top shape and drop the bombs when the pickle lines up with the target. And they will do that. It’s the war strategy that I fear.

Sensing also talks about the “will to fight” which is a theme I keep talking about on your comments lately. It is crucial, particularly in the barbaric Middle East.

Israel does not yet indicate a clear strategy and there is constant conflicting signals coming out of their administration. This is not to throw the enemy off, it seems to back up the fact they really don’t know what they are doing nor what they want to achieve. We would like to think they have a “grand strategy” and put out statements to feed disinformation, but I think its just not there.

Hezbullah is winning. They hold out a month and they win even if they are shattered militarily.

So to get back to your premise that since the right wingers aren’t sniping yet = they are satisfied with the results, is wishful thinking. Right wingers tend to keep their mouths shut during times of national emergencies unlike the left wingers who would be sniping and stabbing in the back from day one (See US democrats circa 2001 – present)

But if Netanyahu does start acting bellicose, you can better believe that its way worse then anything you can imagine. Because who is to say that he isn’t screaming privately already?


By Anonymous OP, at Tue Aug 01, 06:52:00 PM:

But I think that a militarily shattered Hezbullah is what Israel is after. Not the dramatic total victory, although that would be nice, but a decimation of military might - don't know, but I would take that  

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