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14. Aug 2006

Våbenhvile? Et par analyser

Robert Fisk når i The Independent frem til, at den våbenhvile, der er erklæret i forbindelse med den nye FN-resolution kun vil blive startskuddet til den egentlige krig i Libanon - hvilket han begrunder med, at Hizbollah efter offentliggørelsen af resolutionen har optrappet deres angreb på de israelske tropper meget voldsomt, og at de efter våbenhvilens ikrafttræden formentlig vil holde op med at angribe mål i selve Israel og i stedet udelukkende vil koncentrere sig om de israelske tropper i Libanon:
the Israeli army, reeling under the Hizbollah's onslaught of the past 24 hours, is now facing the harshest guerrilla war in its history. And it is a war they may well lose.

In all, at least 39 - possibly 43 - Israeli soldiers have been killed in the past day as Hizbollah guerrillas, still launching missiles into Israel itself, have fought back against Israel's massive land invasion into Lebanon.
Officially, Israel has now accepted the UN ceasefire that calls for an end to all Israeli offensive military operations and Hizbollah attacks, and the Hizbollah have stated that they will abide by the ceasefire - providing no Israeli troops remain inside Lebanon. But 10,000 Israeli soldiers - the Israelis even suggest 30,000, although no one in Beirut takes that seriously - have now entered the country and every one of them is a Hizbollah target.

From this morning, Hizbollah's operations will be directed solely against the invasion force. And the Israelis cannot afford to lose 40 men a day. Unable to shoot down the Israeli F-16 aircraft that have laid waste to much of Lebanon, the Hizbollah have, for years, prayed and longed and waited for the moment when they could attack the Israeli army on the ground.
Det er de allernærmeste dage, der vil vise, om Fisk får ret - hvad det mildest talt er nærliggende at håbe, at han ikke gør.

Hos Lebanese Political Journal læser man om farerne ved at undervurdere Hizbollah, som både Israel og de fleste libanesere helt oplagt har gjort:
I didn't believe Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah when he said Hezbollah has more than 15,000 missiles.

I didn't believe any of the Hezbollah cheerleaders who claimed that Hezbollah soldiers are as good or better than most of the premier special forces units outside of the Western world. I took it as a given that they are the best fighting troops amongst the Arab countries, which is not saying much, but better than Iran, Pakistan, India?

I knew firsthand the professionalism of Hezbollah's soldiers. I knew through a close associate about how quickly out of line Hezbollah members were put in their place. And I knew firsthand the professionalism and capabilities of al Manar staff.

Former UNIFIL spokesman Timur Goksel regularly spoke and speaks about the professionalism of Hezbollah. He notes that they plan, strategize, re-plan, re-strategize, and then do that all over again before they make any decision. They think through the consequences of any military activity from multiple different angles: how it will effect Hezbollah militarily, how it will effect Hezbollah politically, how it will effect Hezbollah members, how Shia Lebanese will respond, how Lebanese public opinion will respond, how Israel will respond, how the West will respond, how Iran and Syria will respond.

I always doubted him. I believed him to a degree, but I thought he was exaggerating, even when we spoke just after the 12 July conflict began.

I was wrong.

After reading through the Israeli blogosphere, especially these two posts, I realize just how much damage Hezbollah has inflicted on Israel.

I was right in my basic understanding of the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel:

1. Israel has the ability to flatten Lebanon and kill everyone in it

2. Hezbollah can cause a few fires, kill a few people. They can inflict little long-term damage on Israel. They can't put a dent in the IDF or Israeli infrastructure. They can't defend Lebanon from the IDF. Lebanon will be destroyed, while Israel is barely scratched.
Hvad det skal ende med er svært at sige, men trods den israelske invasion står Hizbollah formentlig - især på grund af Israels relative nederlag - med en stærkere moral end nogensinde.

Charles Malik fra Lebanese Political Journal konkluderer mere forsigtigt:
Hezbollah has been tremendously hurt. Lebanese politicians seem to have maintained their anti-Syrian stances, and the Arab countries seem to be more firmly anti-Syrian.

There are signs that some good might come out of this situation. But we'll have to wait and see.
Link til analysen hos Lebanese Political Journal.
Link til Robert Fisks artikel i The Independent.