I wrote a couple of comments tonight on the JPost website – excellent newspaper. From this I feel enough to write a short article here.
Israel is about to listen to a report from the Knesset’s FAD Committee on the 2nd Lebanon war and the “peaceniks” and second hand Marxian defeatists will shortly be howling outrage. Why? Because the committee has kept to a sound military tradition of rationally analysing the events of the war and looking for what could be improved.
The war was badly handled on the strategic front and I would expect the then top brass of the IDF and the Cabinet to have forgotten that in all matters war, one should keep in mind Guderian’s motto, “Klotzen, nicht klerken”.
Israel should have mobilised for full war, calling up reserves, invaded as far as Beirut and spent time rooting out the Hizbollah strongholds, reserves and political infrastructure. The shock of a coordinated ground-air invasion would have unnerved Nasrallah, stunned Syria, Egypt and Iran and restored Israel to the state of feared respect that brought peace with Egypt and Jordan. The destruction of Hizbollah’s state-within-a-state would have been a blessing for Lebanon in the long run, hindered Iranian and Syrian interference in the country and bolstered Lebanese, not Arab nationalism. The next step would have been to have retaken the Gaza Strip in a similar operation, no more than two weeks after completion of the fighting in the north and have broken Hamas’ hold over that territory.
Israel must remember that in some sense, every war and military action taken must be undertaken in the knowledge that her very survival is at stake. There are few friends for Jews in the world, let alone Jews with land and guns. The BBC and its affiliates will continue in the medium future to paint every religious Jew as a potential extremist, lusting to steal land and shoot babies (blood libel, anyone?), while the Islamic world hate them for so many reasons.
A critical aspect of modern war, which the US and British militaries have learnt to a degree, and the IDF is only just beginning to cotton onto, is media control. Bomb the Hizbollah tv crews – they are declared enemies, not non-combatants, kill the terrorists spiritual leaders, be ruthless, because of a war of survival is not one to be bound by the ridiculousness of legal ethics.