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|So, Will It Be Called Hizbulla-stan? Or Hizbull-anon?|
And, will it have its own seat at the U.N., or will it remain behind the Lebanese delegate simply pulling the strings?
That is my main concern following the news that Israel has agreed to a 48-hour cessation of air operations, this within two days of the cabinet refusing to commit to a greater ground offensive.
From the beginning, this has looked a lot like an inexperienced Israeli war cabinet was not interested in actually winning this war--if this move is what it appears to be, that appearance will be solidified.
Look, I have zero military experience, so take my assessment for what that's worth. But if we learned anything from our Iraq experience, it should have been that nothing effective happens without boots on the ground killing the bad guys one at a time. Air power has its uses, but the continuing launch of missiles into Israel demonstrates the long-term futility of that approach. Couple that with Sheik Nasrallah's ability to remain alive, and I wonder about the accomplishment of strategic objectives. And, as America was way too slow to learn, the longer the battle continues, the more effective the enemy is at manipulating public opinion against us. Regardless of how we see the delay of almost 8 hours between the bombing of a building that had been used as a launching point for Hizbullah missiles, and the collapse of said building, killing 58 women and children, the only thing that matters is the opinion of the Arab world (which I am comfortable throwing the U.N into)--and the Arab world's opinion has settled.
The next step of "successful" diplomacy will be the creation of a "buffer zone" between Lebanon and Israel. But we know Hizbullah has missiles that can reach beyond Haifa--so we know that it is possible for Hizbullah to continue launching terrorist strikes at Israel from behind the skirts of the buffering force, like the school yard bully continuing to throw rocks after the schoolmarm has stepped in to stop the fight. And in the meantime, Israel will be prevented from doing anything about it by the same schoolmarm.
Suicide, one small cut at a time.
And, by the way, just for the record, the collapse of a building 8 hours after it was struck DOES NOT pass the smell test (if the World Trade Centers collapsed in three hours, what are the odds that this building in Canaan stayed up for 8 hours?). The continuing presence of women and children in a building after it has been (apparently) severely damaged, DOES NOT pass the smell test. Whether by firing from the proximity of a civilian structure, or by failing to evacuate civilians from said structure, or by storing its own explosives inside said building, or by some heretofore unknown act which may have directly caused the collapse of the building and the deaths of the civilians, responsibility for the tragedy in Canaan belongs to Hizbullah. And as long as Saniora keeps thanking Hizbullah for defending Lebanon, then the responsibility belongs to the entire government of Lebanon.