8/21/06

Hezbollah gives Israel a BLOODY NOSE!

. 8/21/06

It’s been a month and half, and Israel hasn’t been able to eliminate Hezbollah from South Lebanon. Many analysts are of the view that Israel already has lost the war militarily and politically against Hezbollah. The war is said to be plastered with military failures - in the air and on land and the sea. The army that took just six days to rout three big Arab armies in 1967 hasn’t succeeded in overcoming a small so-called ‘terrorist organisation.’ Why? Has the Hezbollah grown stronger during the years or is it that Israeli military has gone weak? How come the most notorious intelligence service of the world could have underestimated a small organisation in possession of anti-ship missiles?

There is a misunderstanding in Israel and the United States that Israel can militarily rid Lebanon of Hezbollah, or the Party of God. In the first place, Hezbollah is not just a militia or a conventional army, but a social and political movement deeply rooted in its society, with a big constituency within the Lebanese Shia community that comprises about 40% of the country’s 4 million people. Hezbollah has a welfare system that provides clinics, day-care centres, schools and jobs to hundreds of thousands of Shia people. So the Shia community, historically disadvantaged and marginalised in Lebanon is given a sense of identity, security and pride by this organisation.

Secondly, Hezbollah is falsely portrayed as a decaying tooth that can easily be plucked out. It has time and again proved to be one of the most pivotal political players on the Lebanese front. More than a million men and women vote for its candidates in elections. It has two ministers in the Lebanese cabinet, 14 seats in Lebanon’s 128-seat parliament and a large base support in Lebanon and the Muslim Shia world. Today, Hezbollah stands taller and more firmer than ever. It has gained enormous prestige in the Middle East, both among Sunnis and Shias. The cruel bombardment of Beirut and of Lebanon was supposed to frighten the Arab nations and the Muslim world into obedience; instead it has convinced them that a few thousand determined fighters can withstand the Israeli army. The result of the present war so far has been frustration. President Bush is frustrated and Ehud Olmert is not only frustrated but furious. It is quite understandable that Bush realises that Israel has failed to ‘deliver the goods.’

Israel was to finish the job in a few days by eliminating the Hezbollah, turn Lebanon over to the US stooges, thus weaken Iran and perhaps also lead the way to ‘regime change’ in Syria and Iran. All this doesn’t seem to be happening, so naturally poor Bush is upset. As far as Olmert is concerned, he had gone to war to prove to the world that he is the ‘real’ successor to Sharon. In Israel, Olmert is prime minister only because Sharon is incapacitated. What better way to prove his toughness? After all, Sharon was the architect of Israeli war on Lebanon in the 1980s. What Olmert forgot was that it was this very war of Sharon that led to the birth of Hezbollah that kept up the pressure on Israel for almost two decades finally forcing it to withdraw from Lebanon.

Since the early 1980s Hezbollah has proved itself on the battlefield against Israeli military might. By 2000, it forced Israel to withdraw under fire from a small strip of land in southern Lebanon. This time, more than a month into fighting, Hezbollah is proving resilient. The current carnage in Lebanon is also weakening pro-Western elements throughout the region. According to Jordan’s King Abdullah II, a key US ally who initially blamed Hezbollah for provoking the crisis, “Arab people see Hezbollah as a hero because it is fighting Israel’s aggression.” Thus it is naïve for President Bush to view Lebanon as just another front in the war on terror. The root causes of the Israeli-Hezbollah confrontation lie in the unresolved Arab-Israeli conflict and stalled peace process. It is also very unrealistic for Israel to think that it can destroy Hezbollah for good.

Israel has to realise that it is fighting a proxy war on behalf of the US. Israel may dominate Washington, but it is having a far tougher time with Lebanon. The deeper Israel advances into Lebanon, the more its troops are exposed to Hezbollah attack. Bombing and shelling won’t defeat Hezbollah, which represents a third of Lebanon’s people and is its de facto army. According to Uri Avnery, an Israeli peace activist, “Olmert and Peretz don’t know what they have unleashed: They are not running the war, the war is running them.” Like President George Bush in Iraq, their generals promised them a cake-walk and instead produced a human, political and military disaster. Israeli operations are edging dangerously close to Syria. Damascus may be reluctantly forced into the war. But that’s fine with Bush who would no doubt like to use Israel as a proxy against Iran’s allies, sparing US casualties before November’s elections.

A UN resolution for ceasefire has been adopted by the Security Council exactly one month after the start of war. Too little and too late. Will Israel comply? The history suggests otherwise. Israel has asked for thirty-six hours. What for? Well, to finally achieve its goal - Occupy and depopulate a 20-mile deep chunk of Lebanon to the Litani River until of course, an international force comes in and subdues of what is left of Hezbollah. But who will really send in their forces and without prior agreement with Hezbollah? Israel claimed that it had a well-prepared strategy to surgically remove Hezbollah from South Lebanon. But all the world witnessed was a punishment of the innocent through bombardment. Israel is simply killing non-combatants to bring about the pressure it hoped would be generated on the Arab and Muslim world, in particular, Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has shown remarkable courage and resilience in the face of Israel’s massive military might. Israeli unabated bombings and excessive military fire have failed to shake the Hezbollah’s confidence to fight for self determination and self preservation. The most striking feature of Hezbollah’s resistance is that it has retaliated though modestly with rocket firing and has succeeded in bleeding Israel to make her taste the bitterness of war. The resolve it has shown in its resistance against the naked Israeli aggression has taken the US and Israel by surprise. Hezbollah has no doubt exploded the myth of Israel’s ‘invincibility.’ The US and Israel need to understand that nations, whose cause is based on justice and righteousness and which are ready to sacrifice for the defence of their motherland can’t be made to capitulate so easily.

Though the response of the Muslim world has been disgraceful. It is time for the Arab and Muslim leaders to wake up and side by such forces.





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1 comments:

Anonymous said...

excellent article...............
but u should hv also talked about the passive attitude of arab regimes to this crisis.this act of them gave a free hand to israel just in the way the clandestine approval of bush{not u.s}did....

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