Monday, August 14, 2006

Who Won? Not Israel

After a month of bloody conflict, both sides claim victory after the beginning of the ceasefire:
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, facing challenges from rivals at home, told parliament that the offensive had changed the strategic balance in the region, ending the "state within a state" run by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. He said most of the guerrilla group's arsenal of weapons was destroyed.

Hezbollah's fiery leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, meanwhile, went on Hezbollah's al-Manar Television to declare a "strategic, historic victory" against Israel — a declaration that prompted celebratory gunfire across the Lebanese capital. "We came out victorious in a war in which big Arab armies were defeated (before)," the bearded, black-turbaned cleric said in a taped speech.
Unfortunately, and I hate to say it, but the terrorist leader is more correct than the Israeli leader.

Hezbollah is still armed. They are still a fighting force. They will benefit from the lull in the fighting -- restocking, rethinking and repositioning. The UN forces will do absolutely nothing. Syria and Iran are stronger. Likewise their big suppliers: Russia and China.

This should be the end of the Olmert administration. He will go down as the one who lost the first Israeli war.

1 comment:

Reach Upward said...

I agree that Israel did not emerge victorious from this conflict (see here. But I'm not sure Israelis will boot Olmert. This generation of Israelis does not view security the same way their fathers and grandfathers did. Note the ambivalence on display during the most recent election. The only strong hawk, Netanyahu performed very poorly, despite his well-publicized message of strong security.

Today's Israelis don't know what to do. They've tried to appease everyone, but to no avail. They're tired of the continual struggle. They may not boot Olmert because they aren't sure that anything else will be better.