Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Downward Spiral Continues

Billmon has been essential in keeping track of the horror unfolding in the Middle East (and unfolding in our own minds as we realize what kind of person Bush is). I'll just link and quote:

There is, however, a big risk, which is that Sheikh Nasrallah, the Hizbullah leader, will soon feel compelled by pressure from his own clueless hotheads to unleash the Tel Aviv rockets. This would force Israel to respond with some sort of savage escalation, and since the only available instrument is pure terror bombing [unless Jerusalem wants to take the war to downtown Damascus] the civilian death toll would probably soar even higher.

Welcome to the "new" Middle East -- the geopolitical equivalent of the "new" Coke. The recipe may be different, but it still tastes like blood.

Also, here's a pessimistic analysis from an Israeli military analyst:
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is the figure leading the strategy of changing the situation in Lebanon, not Prime Minister Ehud Olmert or Defense Minister Amir Peretz. She has so far managed to withstand international pressure in favor of a cease-fire, even though this will allow Hezbollah to retain its status as a militia armed by Iran and Syria.

As such, she needs military cards, and unfortunately Israel has not succeeded to date in providing her with any. Besides bringing Hezbollah and Lebanon under fire, all of Israel's military cards at this stage are in the form of two Lebanese villages near the border that have been captured by the IDF.

If the military cards Israel is holding do not improve with the continuation of the fighting, it will result in a diplomatic solution that will leave the Hezbollah rocket arsenal in southern Lebanon in its place. The diplomatic solution will necessarily be a reflection of the military realities on the ground.


Blogger grishnash said...

So, essentially, everyone right now has to rely on the self-restraint of Hizbullah to keep things from spiralling totally out of control. Do I even have to mention how absurd that sounds?

6:02 AM, July 31, 2006  

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