The Freeman's Burden:

To defend the principles of human liberty; to educate; to be vigilant against the ever expanding power of the state.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Israel and the fight they cannot win

After more than two weeks of fighting, Israel now appears to be degrading Hezbollah's ability to fire rockets into Israel, but that is a far different benchmark for success in this conflict then those suggested by Prime Minister Olment when the assault began. It was the stated goal of the Israelis to recover two soldiers kidnapped last month and to dismantle Hezbollah in order to prevent them from threatening Israel from Lebanese territory. In these goals, Israel has failed miserably and with them, the democratic West has lost the latest round of the great game of nations to the Islamist world.

Having been given the provocation to attack, the tacit blessings of the moderate Islamic states, and all the running room that the US could afford them, the Israelis blinked. They failed to do what was necessary: execute a massive ground campaign to literally sweep every building in the southern third of Lebanon, followed by a short occupation in order to seed the ground for a NATO stabilization force to establish and maintain a buffer between the two groups while setting about the job of disarming all militias in Lebanon as required under UN resolution and the accords that ended the civil war.

There are a number of reasons that Israel missed the mark and made matters worse with this campaign. Olmert's lack of military experience, little stomach among the public for another occupation, and the pressures of governing in a coalition to name a few. None the less, by failing to finish off Hezbollah, secure a buffer, and address the Syrian and Iranian roles in the situation, Israel (and the US) have shown a lack of commitment to the fight that will come if these Islamist regimes aren't bottled up by the free world standing in lock step. In this case, we have proven unwilling to do that and we have left Israel fighting a battle they can't win against opponents they cannot overcome alone, Syria and Iran.


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