Quotes of the Day

“Hezbollah stuffs all manner of nasty pieces of metal into their rockets so they can maximize the number of civilians they kill.”

Michael Totten

“The [UN ceasefire] resolution represents a near-total victory for Hizbullah and its state sponsors Iran and Syria, and an unprecedented defeat for Israel and its ally the United States.”

Caroline Glick.

“Can anyone tell me what the hell the Israeli government is thinking?”

Perry de Havilland

26 thoughts on “Quotes of the Day”

  1. I suspect that the Israeli government is pushing new troops, including paras into South Lebanon for a reason. And that might be the little point about not being allowed offensive actions as from Monday, only defensive ones. Just a thought.

  2. I think the Israeli government feels enormous pressure from Hezbollah’s highly successful propaganda offensive. Given the Leftward lean of the current government, they will be more sensitive to “world opinion” `

    On the other hand, they may have just called the Hez’s bluff by agreeing to an immediate ceasefire if the Lebanese and the UN would control and disarm the Hez. This could put the ball completely back on the Hez’s side and they could get the blame (or would in a normal conflict) for the rest of the war.

  3. Shannon, you give those in government too much credit. No, they are no giants. They were given a month, a whole month to disarm the military wing of Hezbollah – and what have they done? Olmert is finished, but the price people of Israel had paid for his government incompetency…and Islamists everywhere is celebrating now; they absolutly take it as their victory.

    Helen, to put Israel in the position of defence rather than offence is not a smart move.

  4. Depends on what you are defending, Tatyana. I just don’t think we need to be singing dirges yet. It ain’t over, not by a long chalk, no matter what the UN says. And that goes for all sides, not just Hezbollah.

  5. That picture of Condeleeza Rice voting for the UN resolution really bugged me. It’s one of those things where we know its useless, but we’re giving it the legitimacy of our Secretary of State.

  6. Lex, I agree. One should always pay attention to thoughtful observers who disagree with the crowd. OTOH, sometimes the crowd is right. Only time will tell which hypothesis is valid here.

  7. It’s one of those things where we know its useless, but we’re giving it the legitimacy of our Secretary of State.

    You think so? The agreement has a poison pill that Hizballah won’t swallow because, well, because it is poison. Remember that good diplomacy is the art of slipping the knife into the opponents back while greeting them as a fine old friend. The current pro-Syrian, Hizballah supporting Lebanese government is now on the spot. So I think it is a good thing you aren’t playing this high stakes international p*ker game for the team. This game is being played by Bolton and Rice, who have the nerve, coolness, and brains to pull it off, thank G*d. Israel has been a difficult pupil but may yet be pulled kicking and screaming to success.

  8. “This game is being played by Bolton and Rice, who have the nerve, coolness, and brains to pull it off”

    Ah, but look at the arena. Personally, I think the UN should be disbanded.

  9. Maybe it will be like in a movie. All kinds of unexpected good things will result from something that looks like ineptitude, vacillation and fear. I sure hope so. But there is no reason that Israel should have to play any subtle games with Bolton and Rice and the UN. Israel should have used unremitting, unapologetic and overwhelming violence against Hezbollah, without regard to the Hezbollah human shields who would die in the process, until all of Hezbollah’s arms caches were destroyed and all members of Hezbollah had been killed.

    Then there would be no need to talk about anything. The UN and Rice and Bolton could all talk to each other.

    Unless I see something shocking to change my mind, this is a shattering defeat for Israel, America and the West. If I was a jihadi I would be ecstatic right now.

    For the first time in my life, I now think that the Israelis, collectively, no longer have the will to keep their country.

  10. For the first time in my life, I now think that the Israelis, collectively, no longer have the will to keep their country.

    I don’t think that’s correct. The Israeli public overwhelmingly supports all-out military operations to destroy Hezbollah. The problem has been the feckless Israeli leadership, whose poor performance was not easily forseeable. There’s a good chance now that Olmert and his defense and foreign ministers will be replaced. Think of Britain in early 1940. A major battle may have been lost but the war is far from over.

  11. This is the UN’s last hurrah. When its ineffectuality is proven once again, neither Israel nor the US will need to treat it with any respect. It is a time waster. The next war will begin when the Hezbos fail to accede to the guidelines of the resolution as Israel decides. I agree that the next round may need Netanyahu’s leadership rather than Olmert’s.

  12. Why no Lebanon flag on the Chicagoboyz site? They’re a new democracy and Lebanon really gets hurt by all this terrorism.

    Also, is the Israel flag slightly smaller because Israel is such a New Jersey-sized country?

  13. Lebanon has been a nominal democracy, though not a very successful one, for decades. The countries whose flags we display are successful, open, democratic societies that share many institutional values, are under attack by Islamists and are fighting back.

    I downloaded the flags from the Web and scaled them to the same height. I don’t know if their relative lengths are accurate.

  14. “An empty bag can’t stand straight,” is a Franklin axiom & it applies to weak countries as well as weak & debt-ridden men. The sympathy here is for allies in the fight against terrorism. Lebanon is not in this fight: it didn’t disarm terrorists let alone prosecute them, terrorists are in their cabinet not their jails. They have allowed themselves to be used (as both Lebanese & Hez leaders count all Lebanese deaths as “civilians”) for both propaganda and as a staging ground.

    I understand & share Chel’s sense that many Lebanese wish this were not so, but it is. And most of us wish the Cedar Revolution had not turned out as it has. But you can’t play both sides in a game like this.

  15. Where was the Lebanese army while Hezbollah was arming and sending missiles into Israel? It is very hard to keep the enthusiasm with which the cedar revolution was greeted by all of us. Ginny is right – the government became part of the propaganda war, as did much of the media and, I am sorry to say, the Red Cross.

  16. Re. Ginny and Helen’s comments about the Lebanese: the same kind of problem exsists for Muslims as too with respect to the subgroup of Islamic facists. Through both weakness (for whatever reason) and willfullness the larger group will tolerate and eventually endure hardships and suffer for what their powerful subgroup will do.

    As usual, “the great example”, WWII offers the example of the German people as a whole with respect to the Nazis. I have read that some suspect the “German character” in light of 20th century history. Chances are pretty good the flaws of Islam will become even more infamous than those in years to come.

  17. I don’t think any degree of democratic progress will be possible in Lebanon until Hezbollah is defeated. Until then Hezbollah is the de facto government and Lebanese democrats are marked men. If the current situation holds for a while, I suspect we will begin to see opposition figures leaving the country, if not assassinations. The current move toward diplomatic rapprochement between Egypt and Iran is the first indication of how much the regional power balance has shifted away from our side.

  18. Given that some of the Hez leaders said they were going to start killing Lebanese leaders as soon as the Israelis left, it isn’t like Jonathan is Nostradamus. So, in the face of those threats, the current leaders tell us it is “unacceptable” to expect them to do what the Israelis couldn’t.

    Well, if that is how they view policing their own country, then we outsiders can only see them as sufficiently comfortable with the status quo. The Hez flagz are flying across Lebanon as the Israelis pull out; the Lebanese government does nothing.

    I can’t speak for Jonathan, but I suspect if the Lebanese army (by some miracle) rooted out, arrested or killed, all the terrorists – or at least enough to make a real difference – their flag would be up there.

    Krauthammer is pointing out that if we let Lebanon fall, it will be a greater disaster for Lebanon and peace in the ME than for Israel.

  19. The Lebanese army has already announced that it has not the slightest intention of disarming Hezbollah (one of the crucial items in the UN resolution). To be fair, the French say the same thing. My own suspicion is that the country will dissolve into another civil war. There can be no stable and even remotely democratic Lebanon until Hezbollah is destroyed as a fighting force. The cease-fire has prevented that temporarily and has ensured another war in a couple of months. But while Israel and Hezbollah slug it out, Lebanon is nowhere to be seen.

    I don’t know that a tentative rapprochement between Egypt and Iran is as significant as all that. These curious dances go on all the time.

  20. There is no Lebanon. There are factions in a geographic area called Lebanon. The Lebanese Army is an ill-equipped and inept force. It has no capability to disarm Hezbollah. Hezbollah has fought the most successful conventional war against Israel that any arab army has ever fought. Hezbollah’s defeat of Israel in face-to-face ground combat is the most important fact in Israel history after the founding of the country. Hezbollah is the most formidable Arab military power there is. People who have been paying attention have known this for years. There can be no Lebanon as long as Hezbollah exists.

  21. I hate to disagree with someone so much more knowledgeable than myself on military matters as Lex but Hezbollah did not fight a conventional war. It was a guerrilla war fought from among civilians, the hardest of all for a conventional army to counter. Nor is it entirely clear that Hezbollah has really won. Information from Lebanon indicates that their losses were worse than even Israel has announced and it is not so easy to replace those people immediately. They have not got back their bases in southern Lebanon and won’t until the so-called Lebanese army takes over. This is little more than a short breather in the war. But whoever won, we know for certain that Lebanon lost. Again.

  22. I don’t really disagree with Helen, but what she writes is incomplete. There was a conventional element to what Hezbollah was doing. They were fighting a defensive ground campaign against Israeli infantyr and armor. And they were remarkably effective, causing the Israelis to lose men, slowing the Israelis down, not crumbling in the face of Israeli assault. They were very sophisticated in their use of combined arms. They would use infantry small arms to engage the Israelis, then use ATGMs (anti-tank guided missiles) firing from positions behind their infantry positions. They used the sophisticated Russian-made ATGMs cleverly, to destroy buildings where the Israeli infantry were firing from. They were also clever in their use of the ATGMs against Israeli armor. The Israeli Merkava heavy tank is virtually invulnerable to attack with these weapons, so a direct hit on the tank was not advisable. However, the Israeli tank commanders typically stand in the turret hatch, and the Hezbollah operators fired their ATGMs to impact the top of the tank, to kill the tank commander. Also, the Hezbollah had many people who knew Hebrew and were using this to their advantage. The level of skill, training, tactical acumen and steadiness in fighting displayed by Hezbollan in conventional combat against the IDF is something entirely beyond what Israel has ever faced from an Arab army. 8668648

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