Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Battle Israel Did not Win

It is the fight to death before the UN sponsored cease fire agreement takes place in next few hours. May be Israel is able to salvage some prestige during these hours. But is clear, as feared earlier on this blog at the start of this battle (http://21stcenturypolitics.blogspot.com/2006/07/israels-new-war.html), that Israel does not have enough strength to take on Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran all together. It seems that has come true – Israel could not win this battle against Hezbollah and now has to accept the UN meditation without fulfilling her goals.

Getting two kidnapped soldiers back has been one of the stated goals. But the real aim for Israel has been to diminish substantially Hezbollah as a military force, to address the root cause of rockets fired on Israel from North and to create a divide between Lebanese Polity and Hezbollah. Out of these three goals, it is not clear if anything is attained with clarity. That in itself is sufficient to label this Israel campaign as a failure. The only solace Israel can draw is by paying some high cost some damage is done to Hezbollah and Israel has now clear read in terms of militarily what they need to do in future when a battle erupts again with Hezbollah. It is for sure that there will be fight for another day since neither Israel has attained her goals nor Hezbollah want to live Israel in any peace. In a way, it has been aimless war for Hezbollah tactically while the strategic goal of getting further backing in Arab Street is succeeding. If not to the extent Israel expects, but Lebanese public is bound to think about what this battle brought to them? Nothing apart from misery. The battle will surely erupt again in future because it is very difficult for the International Force to wield any real power to stop any mischief by Hezbollah and it is suspicious how much Lebanese Army will be able to disarm Hezbollah. So we are only at a temporary halt.

There will be domestic political repercussions in Israel. ‘Bibi’ will roar back and political life will be much more difficult to Olmert than what it was before the battle. As far as America goes, she gets a breather to go back to the Iraq mess while reminding what her Middle East Policy needs to attain eventually – resolution of Israel Palestine conflict and containment of Hezbollah and Iran.

Umesh Patil
San Jose, CA 95111
August 13, 2006.

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