[Marxism] re: Israel is losing the war (Wall Street Journal)
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Wed Aug 2 17:40:09 MDT 2006
We should note a couple of articles:
The Debka article, reflected some people who have contacts with Israeli
intelligence, supported Israel's initial cautious approach, and warned
against being pressured by Washington to assume greater risks.
The Wall Street Journal article by a member of the editorial board was a
warning to the Israelis to start fighting more aggressively, invasively,
and more on the ground. This was not a "Zionist" analysis but a US
spetz analysis. Its aim was to push the Israelis toward more and longer
occupation than originally projected, not simply to register the fact
that Israel was "losing." It was pressure on Israel from the US ruling
Now Israel has opted for massive escalation, and for a possible
long-term occupation. The media, as always, is reporting initial
successes including capture of some Hezbollah leaders.
Formally, they still reject occupation of all or part of Lebanon but on
condition that the force that replaces them be committed to disarming
(i.e., crushing) Hezbollah. Obviously, if Israel is unable to defeat
Hezbollah, this is not a diplomatic stance they can maintain. Can they
accomplish the goal without occupying Beirut again and taking on the
Shia neighborhoods the way Sharon's agents went after the Palestinian
Throughout this, Condoleeza Rice has stood by the hardest Israeli line
-- opposing anything short of disarming Hezbollah and identifying a
"sovereign" Lebanon, as a Christian-dominated, NATO-occupied, pro-Israel
and anti-Syria as well as anti-Palestinian Lebanon. The demand that the
incoming "peacekeepers" wage war against Hezbollah in Lebanon is
unrealistic unless Israel has already smashed the organization. The
demand really points to a long period of Israeli war-occupation while
they try to accomplish the task.
How will Syria and Iran respond? How will the broader Arab population
in Lebanon respond? How far can this war go without beginning to bring
them in, if only as alleged privileged sanctuaries and excuses for not
achieving the goal.
My read is that the Bush administration has been strongly urging Israel
to escalate further. There is a traditional way of viewing US-Israel
relations in which Israel takes initiatives entirely on its own, and
Washington gently tries to restrain them. This has never been as true
as presented, which was very clear in the 1982 war
That's not the situation today. Washington is presently pushing Israel
to keep going and escalate. Israel is a central asset for Washington in
the "war on terror- war to reshape the Middle East and South Asia" is
too important. Israel is Washington's key military ally against the
Palestinians and Syrians, and even to some extent against Iran. The
soft signs that have showed up in its military capacity are a threat to
US goals, as much or even more than they are to Israel's..
There really is not much basis to believe that Israel can successfully
defeat Hezbollah and the Muslim Arab population of Lebanon, and the
first weeks of fighting have done nothing to change this fact. I so far
see no broad change in the situation that would produce what was not
produced in 1982 and afterwards, for all the destruction and the modest
level of Israeli casualties (although not by Israeli standards).
It was not the Israeli occupation that stabilized Lebanon for
imperialism but the Syrian occupation after the Israelis had failed to
impose the Christian-ruled Lebanon (perhaps Judaeo-Christian would be
more accurate) that Washington wanted.
If David Walters doesn't want to buy the "Israel is losing" argument, I
can understand his caution while not completely sharing it. It ain't
over till it's over. But iif he is pointing in the opposite direction
with his stress on Israeli goals, military power, and low casualties,
then I have a serious disagreement.
Again and once again, this is a US war -- not primarily an Israeli war
BACKED by the US. This is a completely integral part of the war on
terror, and failure of Israel to accomplish its goals (and also the
goals assigned to it by Washington) will be a blow of gigantic
proportions to the US war overall, including in Iraq.
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