It’s really all over but the lieing. Prime Minister Olmert says
Israel will stay in South Lebanon until "a robust international force"
arrives to dismantle Hezbollah.
Not happening. America doesn’t have the troops. Europe doesn’t have the
will. No other countries have the capacity to disarm a large guerilla
force against the will of the Lebanese people.
This is the main point of failure. Rather than causing Lebanese people to take the Israeli side and dismantle Hezbollah, every report I’ve seen says that even Christian Lebanese now hate Israel more.
Which leaves occupation. How long can Israel occupy south Lebanon? Not
very long. The country has already thrown in its reserves. It can’t
keep those people in the field without damaging the economy. It can’t
keep damaging the economy without degrading its ability to keep people
in the field.
Both sides miscalculated. Hezbollah underestimated the Israeli national
will. But Israel overestimated its own capability. If Syria enters the
fray, or the West Bank explodes (as Gaza has) what can Israel do? What else does it have?
And without that aura of invincibility how can Israel survive?
I think Israelis, including Olmert, know all this. I think they’re
posturing, refusing to admit the obvious. Just as American officials
have been posturing for 3 1/2 years over Iraq. But we’ve got a bigger
economy than they do.
Sure, America may step up its aid and give Israel the money it needs to
keep going. But that makes Israel an American colony. I don’t think
Israelis want that. And right now that’s the best-case scenario.
I don’t have advice. I’m looking for advice. I don’t want Israel
destroyed, but this is the road Israel has chosen and I don’t think it
leads anywhere good.
End of transmission.