[Marxism] Israel Is Losing This War (Wall Street Journal)

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Wed Aug 2 15:25:16 MDT 2006

David Walters writes:

> The "Israel is losing" crowd on this list, and, among pundits in the
> western
> media (like the WSJ article posted by Walter) I still believe have not
> proven
> their point. It is better to discuss the goals of the Zionist assault, and
> how
> these "goals" have changed.
> The initial goal, as every one agrees, from the perspective of Israel and
> it's
> lone sponsor, was to destroy the military capability of the Hezbollah
> military.
> They screwed up not realizing that the Hezbollah are a serious match for
> the IDF
> on the ground. So, the goal failed and there is some political fall out
> for
> this, but the idea of gelding the Hezbollah to a significant degree is
> certainly possible.


> If Israel can get any international force between it and the Hezbollah,
> they
> will have achieved a victory. They, they can concentrate on destroying
> what's
> left of Gaza and it's inhabitants.
Well, we can agree the jury is still out. It will be interesting to see how
the Israeli ground invasion unfolds.

But so far the Israelis have not achieved the destruction of Hezbollah -
their stated war aim - which is why commentators across the political
spectrum have rightly concluded that "Israel is losing". Its current
offensive to clear a buffer zone in south Lebanon for an international
police force is effectively an attempt to make the best of a failed policy
and to declare a victory which three weeks ago they characterized as a

This much is already apparent: 1) Israel's confidence in its military has
been badly shaken, and its generals now openly concede that destroying a
modern guerrilla force by conventional military means is not possible. 2)
Hezbollah has consolidated itself as a political force in Lebanon, and any
voluntarily agreement on its part to "disarm" would probably simply see its
forces folded into the Lebanese army, where it already has considerable
influence, and 3) The war has demonstrated how missile technology and
tactics, which will continue to develop, now threaten Israeli cities for the
first time, which should affect Israeli state and public opinion after war
passions cool.

It's not enough for Israel to simply restore the status quo which is not
acceptable to it either. The status quo means armed and dangerous militias
on its borders and perpetual instability which damages its political and
economic interests. This is what successive Isreali governments have been
trying to change without success since the rise of the PLO, Hamas, and
Hezbollah. The history of both the Bush and Likud administrations since
shortly after the outbreak of the second intifada has been one of brutally
trying to crush the resistance movements and regimes which support them, but
this has been a failed strategy, which the recent history of Iraq and
current fighting in Lebanon have dramatized. It is done nothing other than
wreak bloody havoc and destruction, which has provoked increased talk of
political solutions at the top. Even Olmert and Rice openly and brazenly
assert the purpose of the latest offensive is to set the table for
"negotiations". But for these to go anywhere, the resistance movements and
Iran would have to be involved, and it is unclear how actively this is being
contemplated at present in US and Israeli inner circles.

In any case, I don't think the trend points the other way -  to the
effective disarmament and final defeat of Hezbollah and the spillover
effects of that in the rest of the Middle East. This is because neither the
US nor Israel have been able to establish the military preconditions for
unilaterally imposing their will. It's unlikely the current Israeli sweep
into Lebanon will do so either, but we'll know more, as you note, in the
next few days and possibly weeks.

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