Thursday, July 13, 2006

Dangers Ahead

From Stratfor.com

...Israeli forces are already in Lebanon. Its special forces are inside identifying targets for airstrikes. We expect numerous air attacks over the next 48 hours, as well as reports of firefights in southern Lebanon. We also expect more rocket attacks on Israel.

It will take several days to mount a full invasion of Lebanon. We would not expect major operations before the weekend at the earliest. If the rocket attacks are taking place, however, Israel might send several brigades to the Litani River almost immediately in order to move the rockets out of range of Haifa. Therefore, we would expect a rapid operation in the next 24-48 hours followed by a larger force later.

At this point, the only thing that can prevent this would be a major intervention by Syria with real guarantees that it would restrain Hezbollah and indications such operations are under way. Syria is the key to a peaceful resolution. Syria must calculate the relative risks, and we expect them to be unwilling to act decisively.

Therefore:

1. Israel cannot tolerate an insurgency on its northern frontier; if there is one, it wants it farther north.

2. It cannot tolerate attacks on Haifa.

3. It cannot endure a crisis of confidence in its military

4. Hezbollah cannot back off of its engagement with Israel.

5. Syria can stop this, but the cost to it stopping it is higher than the cost of letting it go on.

It would appear Israel will invade Lebanon. The global response will be noisy. There will be no substantial international action against Israel. Beirut's tourism and transportation industry, as well as its financial sectors, are very much at risk.

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like the genie is out of the bottle in Lebanon. Israel will attempt to clean out Hezbo rat nests in the south and establish a buffer zone. Lots of Lebanese are going to get screwed. Hezbo started it Israel will attempt to finish it. Likely end up with an ugly occupied southern border zone.Will Syria and Iran be stupid enough to join the fracas? Will mookie Sadr gin up the boys in Sadr City to squeeze the US? The tornado is hitting Lebanon but could reach through Syria, Iraq, and all the way to Tehran before its over.

Anonymous said...

Look at the bright side, at least they'll get rid of Hizbollah for you.

You know, those guys you won't chuck out your own damned selves? God why does everyone always have to do your dirty work for you?

Anonymous said...

Like i said the reward for Israel retreat was more war. Buffer zone will come back.

Dont expect anymore unileratal retirements. And probably the Leftist-Centrist Israeli coalition will be finished . Likud in power after Olmert party desintegrates...

Anonymous said...

Hezbollah wanted escalation, got escalation and now they are whining about the Israeli reactions.

I hold Nasrallah responsible for this. If the Israelis get rid of him, they would be making us a favour.

Thunder Pig said...

Stay safe, and away from probable targets.

Anonymous said...

Lebanon cannot call itself a sovereign nation as long as Hisbollah exists as an armed party. Israel will be doing Lebanon a great favor by rooting out the Hesbollah cancer.

Anonymous said...

If Lebanon cannot keep terrorists from operating from within its borders then this is the result.

Ron said...

The Lebanese government should send an envoy to Israel with the specific request that Israel assist the people of Lebanon in removing terrorists from the nation of Lebanon.

That single act would put the proper face on this entire dust-up - and poke Iran an Syria in the eye where they need to be poked - AND encourage the innocents of both Israel and Lebanon in the best way possible.

Ron (in LA)

Gabriel (Lebanese Australian) said...

I agree with all of you when you say that Hezboallah is a menace and should be removed, but the way in which it is being done is completely wrong. The Israeli's are not punishing Hezbollah they are punishing the Lebanese people and the government who as much as I respect, are not stable and strong enough to remove Hezollah.

The only real way to disarm and remove Hezbollah is to firstly have them return the two soldiers.
Secondly the government must declare their intentions to make peace with Israel on the basis that: Hezbollah will be disarmed (by an external body eg: UN),the border demarcated with Syria, Lebanese troops to be deployed in the south, Israel must leave the Shebba Farms, it provide Lebanon with maps of all mines placed within lebanon, cease in their violations of Lebanese Territory and their must be a prisoner exchange between all Lebanese jailed in israel and all israeli's jailed in Lebanon.

I Know some will say that I am for israel and not lebanon, but what I am is a very proud Lebanese Australian who believes that the only real way for Lebanon to strive, economically and politically is to make peace with its neighbours, the Lebanese can no longer be susceptible to war, bloodshed and lives filled with hatred of their common brother. Both the Lebanese and the Israeli's have a right to free and peaceful lives.

Long Live a PEACEFUL Lebanon and a PEACEFUL Lebanese Population

Anonymous said...

If Israel wanted to punish Lebanese people you can belive they would be much more harsh.
Is Beirut still with Energy or not?

Revenge of Hariri from the House of Saud? Saudis starting to act against Iran? or both?

Saudi Arabia blames Hizbollah in Lebanon crisis
Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:00pm ET
RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia on Thursday blamed "elements" inside Lebanon for the violence with Israel, in unusually frank language directed at guerrilla group Hizbollah and its Iranian backers.

"A distinction must be made between legitimate resistance and uncalculated adventures undertaken by elements inside (Lebanon) and those behind them without recourse to the legal authorities and consulting and coordinating with Arab nations," a statement carried by the official news agency SPA said. (...)


http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=newsOne&storyID=2006-07-13T220037Z_01_L13880815_RTRUKOC_0_US-MIDEAST-LEBANON-SAUDI.xml

Sharku said...

Gabriel (Lebanese Australian)

"The only real way to disarm and remove Hezbollah is to firstly have them return the two soldiers."

That should read the only way to return the two soldiers is to disarm and remove Hezbollah. It will probably be the death of them, but the end goal is the destruction of Hezbollah. You mentioned the UN. What blather, ask the Tutsis, ask the Sudanese,
ask the Muslems and Serbs that were "protected" from each other.

Lebanon has but 3 choices in this:

1) Do nothing and hope that Hezbollah does nothing more to escalate Israeli response. Yeah right, as they are pushed deeper into Lebanon the destruction will follow.

2) Oppose Israel and have the rest of Lebanon look like the south again. All the hard work you have done for the last 20 years. Gone!

2.a) or a bonus, Syria could jump in to "help" a neighbor, and the gains of last year, Gone!

3) Help Israel free yourselves of Hezbollah who have done nothing but bring this grief (and many others) on you.

M. Simon said...

The Israeli attack on Lebanon is only preparation for an assault on Syria.

gabriel,

The terms you offer would have been more than acceptable even a few days ago. At this point I believe Israel will make Lebanon an offer it can not refuse.

As to Shebba Farms. Israel believes that is an issue between it and Syria. It will not be on the table during the current round of very forceful negotiations going on as we speak.

In any case you do not speak for your govrnment (which is very unfortunate).

Anonymous said...

I agree that the choices are dark. The only option is to think what is the less worse option for the medium term. Since the near futur is not bright. And IMHO Lebanon cant live with Heezbollah as a proxy of Iran and Syria forever.

Is better or worse to change the status squo even if the change can bring more grief in short term...

Anonymous said...

The government of Lebanon (or the people) cannot feign surprise that terrorists are in your midst. Hezbollah is a political party in Lebanon.

Lebanon bears some responsibility for the actions of Hezbollah.

Utopia Parkway said...

If the Lebanese cannot dislodge Hezbolla by themselves they should ask for help. Isreal is coming anyway. The Lebanese govt should invite the Israelis to come and disarm Hezbolla. They should help them; point out weapons caches, arrest Hezbolla leaders etc. This is the way the Lebanese can reduce the horror that is coming and work towards a better outcome.

I expect that pigs will fly first, however.

Zee said...

my goodness, you summed it up quite well!

Gabriel (Lebanese Australian) said...

In respoonse to sharku's comments, the way in which you believe my statement should be read is with all due respect impossible, as the process of diarming Hezbollah is one that firstly would take months even years of negociations, secondly would be met with constant resistance from Hezbollah and their supporters and thridly once the theoretical aspect of the disarmerment is dealt with, it could take some years to actually remove and verify the removal of hezbollah's weapons.
Also when i metioned the UN I only meant that as an example not as the actual body which should undertake the disarmerment.
On point 2a) about Syria. They would not intervene even if asked as they along with Iran are just as relevant to the deteriation of the situations as Hezbollah is. In the end Syria would love to see lebanon destoryed both politically, democratically and economically.

I understand that Israel could be a good partner in the disarmerment of Hezbollah, but one must remember the hatred that this group has for israel and also that the israeli's may be attacking lebanon to destory them but they are not only punishing hezbollah, they are punishing all of lebanon. This can be seen through the attacks on the airport which hezbollah don't use, and the attacks on the electricity grid which are already well below a competant standard. One can not assume that this attack on all of Lebanon is helping in the hopeful disarmerment of hezbollah. It may gather frustation aimed at hezbollah but in this process vital infrastructure and the lebanese image is being "blown up." Think about the Arabs and the Europeans who won't invest in Lebanon as they had been doing up until a few days ago.

In response to m.simon's commennts, I still believe that these "demands" would be relevant as there is no reason for Israel to be in a continued battle with Lebanon as it only hurts them just as much as lebanon. The consequences can be seen through the depreciation of their dollar, the physical damage to their land, the death of their own people and the fear of tourists to travel to Israel. With these consequences being mirrored in Lebanon. Also the Israeli government has not asked for any type of negociations, and has said that they hold the lebanese government accountable for the attack as "they have done nothing to stop and disarm hezbollah." this can be proven through this statement:

"We will take all necessary measures to bring an end to the rogue behaviour of a state that does not assume responsibility and put an end to the activities of a major partner in their own government," Israeli cabinet minister Isaac Herzog told Reuters.

By apporaching the Israeli's Lebanon will have taken a step forward and Israel would no longer have the right to claim that lebanon has done nothing in the area of disarming hezbollah which would thus nuffily any justisfiction for the past and or furture attacks on lebanon.
Although I do agree that I do not speak for the Lebanese government, but if the government says nothiong then it is up to the people to gather momentum and tell the government what they want. I thank you for your brackected comment about "that being unfortuante" and I hope that there are more people like you who are willing to speak up for their nation.

Long Live a PEACEFUL Lebanon and a PEACEFUL Lebanese Population

CatoRenasci said...

the process of diarming Hezbollah is one that firstly would take months even years of negociations, secondly would be met with constant resistance from Hezbollah and their supporters and thridly once the theoretical aspect of the disarmerment is dealt with, it could take some years to ac

This is the king of reasoning that has Lebanon in the position it is in today: you cannot harbor terrorists - even if it is because you are too weak to do anything about them - and not expect the nations they terrorize to take action against them and against you in the process.

Unfortunately, Lebanon doesn't the luxury of years to deal with Hezbollah. You can either do it now, or have someone else do it for you. If you wish your sovereignty to be respected, which means to be able to run your affairs as you choose, you have to be able to control what's done from your territory by organized groups, especially those in your government. If you can't control them, you must expect those who have been attacked to treat the attack as an act of war by a sovereign state.

I am very sympathetic to the Lebanese, who used soft power to shame the Syrians out last year. I really want you to have the country you did 40 years ago, when it was the jewel of the Middle East. Your choices now are all bad, you are caught in the middle and you don't like either side. I don't blame you at all for feeling that way. Life is unfair.

So, what to do? The only ones who can make sure Hezbollah is really eradicated from Lebanon are the Lebanese. Oh, you don't have the military strength and will need outside help, but only the Lebanese have the intelligence capablities and knowledge of who's who and who's helping Hezbollah and Syria to enable the outside power who helps you to be effective. So, who to help you? There are probably only three countries with the military capability to do it: Israel - who has the advantage of being close at hand and willing to do it, and the disadvantage of being Israel, the United States - who probably doesn't want to do it, but might be willing to, certainly has the firepower, but has the disdvantage of being the US, and France - whose Foreign Legion is ruthless enough but really doesn't want to do it, has the advantage of historical ties (but mostly with the Maronites) to Lebanon.

Your best bet would be the Israelis, if you can stomach dealing with them. If not, while I really don't much like the French (given the way they behaved over Iraq and Oil-for-food and their general perfidiousness), if the French were willing to do it, and Lebanon was willing to fully - and I mean really fully - cooperate with the French, using the Lebanese Army as well, I think they might well be the next best solution for you. They're Westerners, not the Syrians or Iranians or the Russians, and they're competent, but they aren't the hated Israelis or the Great Satan, the US.

Anonymous said...

tp paraphrase someone else:

"you are either with the terrorists or against them."

Until Lebanon is no longer with them it will, unfortunately, pay the price.

Anonymous said...

disarming Hezbollah -
Hezbollah can only justify itself by violence

Gabriel (Lebanese Australians) said...

In response to CatoRenasci's comments, although I personally detest the entity that is Hezbollah, for many years up until 2000 they were percieved by the Lebanese as a resistance to the Israeli occupation of Lebanon. One must remeber that every nation is different and that while some may percieve a group as terroists others may percieve them as a legitimate armed group depending on the context. As for the past 6 years Lebanon as you may know has been under the tutalage of Syria thus resulting in the continued existance Hezbollah.
It is not until this year that Lebanon has a government who will think rationally and is free of Syrian Influence. So it is only now that we the Lebanese may begin in the process of regaining control of all our territory and armed forces. Which even with the help of other nations will take years especially with the current weakness of Lebanon and the difficult task of finding someone who is right to help. I refer to the disarmerment of the IRA in ireland as justification of my time period of "some years." It was not until 2005 that that they were finally disarmed when the process had acutally started back in the mid-nineties. Even with the powerful government of the UK it still to years for the process to be completely put into action.

I disagree with the way in which Israel is going about the dismantaling of Hezbollah they are punishing us and we are not habouring "terroists," because as i said before the Lebanese were for a long time in supprot of the Hezbollah's cause of reppelling the agreesion of Israel.
My major Problem with this current method of disarmament is that it only kills more people, why can't it be done diplomatically based on the sort of principles I have suggested above. I would love to see Hezbollah removed but not at the expense of innocent lebanese.

In the case of which nations should help in the disarmament of Hezbollah I think the most impartial and competent nations would be Australia and China maybe even a multi-nation taskforce to make it even more impartial and cohesive. Although I do agree that this process must occur.

Anonymous said...

My deepest sympathies to my fellow Lebanese.

Hesbollah must be evicted from Lebonon. They have either choosen to act like spoiled children or are serving masters in Iran and Syria. These actions are unacceptable.

We must demand that our elected leaders do the following:
1) Ask Israel for help in the eviction of Hesbolla.
2) Directly approach the US, UK, Austrlia, Germany, and France for assistance with the eviction.

Hesbolla has outlived any welcome they may have had and like a bad tennant it is time for them to go.

Zoe said...

Oh god...
This is not Lebanon's fault!
All the people who say that Lebanon is helping Hezbo and won't do anything about it - it CAN'T. You need to understand the political state and history of Lebanon. All it has done is eating 'crap' from other countries that bring their problems to Lebanon because they are too coward to fight on their own land.
I'm from Israel and I oppose the force that is being used in Lebanon. It's not your fault.
I'm suffering at the moment from stress and anxiety (I live in north Israel) because of the rockets AND the news of what is going on in Lebanon. 60+ dead, damn it! Stop arguing. People are DYING. Both sides are suffering, mainly Lebanon, so cut the whining about 'but Hezbo is on Lebanon land and wants to kill us all'. Boohoo. You're the one causing damage in the meanwhile. The rockets in Israel are NOTHING compared to the bombing in Lebanon.
Lebanon and Israel need to unite against Hezbo, not to let it destroy us both. Yes, I know how much the army is weak against them. That's why Israel need to stop bombing Lebanon and help to clean what they've done. The attacks on Lebanon are stupid. So stupid. And so horrible. So what if it's 'the stroke that broke the camel's back'? Why do Lebanon need to pay for it?

Be safe, everyone. I love all the people suffering whether on the Lebanonian or Israeli side.