On Friday I asked a top-level Israeli, a former IDF (Israel Defense
Forces) elite unit man and prime-ministerial confidante, whether the
assassination of Hezbollah's Imad Mughniyeh could have been done by a Lebanese
group.He snorted at the preposterous notion. This was "way too sophisticated,"
he said. "This [the car bombing] was a precisely orchestrated international
operation," and this was the "third or fourth or fifth time in a year that
Israel has carried out a military operation in Syria."
When I asked him to repeat that last part he added the word "allegedly." But the message, or at least the boast, was clear. So why is Israel doing this?
The man said of his colleagues:
"There are a lot of [Israeli] military and cabinet people just dying for a
second round with Lebanon. If given the opportunity they'll take it," i.e.
attack Lebanon again, not in spite of "but because of" the perception that their
'06 attack failed.Though the IDF leveled blocks and villages, dropped 4 million
cluster bomblets (some of which are still exploding), and killed some 200
Hezbollah combatants and 1,000 Lebanese civilians (roughly 40 Israeli civilians
were killed by Hezbollah), they apparently departed Lebanon feeling politically
inadequate. The official feeling was that they either did not destroy enough, or
destroy enough of the right people and items, to avoid the embarrassing
perception that they lost to Hezbollah.So to have the option of solving this
problem they've apparently staged a provocative assassination in hopes of
goading Hezbollah into retaliating and providing a pretext for new -- better --
destruction that this time around will "succeed," i.e. soothe hurt Israeli
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Is Israel Thirsting for Another Invasion of Lebanon?
Is more war on the horizon in the Mideast? Read Allan Nairn's full post; key points: