Despite the Bush Administration's hypocritical demands on Israel to appease the enemy, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has opted instead to escalate Israel's necessary offensive against Hezbollah terrorists.
Just days ago, Israel's security cabinet approved a measure that would have sent an additional 40,000 troops into Lebanon to finish a job that began 31 days ago. But at the very last minute, pressure from the Bush Administration forced Israel to halt an operation that was already underway, thereby imperiling the lives of Israeli soldiers. According to one senior Israeli officer, the spineless decision making process cost the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) lives.
"A military force always needs to be on the offensive, pushing forward, and keeping the enemy on its toes," he said. "When you sit still for too long, you turn into a target and you begin to get hit again and again."
President Bush, however, has sworn himself to a diplomatic resolution to a war that he should not be negotiating over. While unyielding in his own War on Terror, where Israeli lives are at stake, the president appears overly eager to discuss alternatives.
Since delaying Israel's offensive, more than 15 Israeli soldiers have been killed and many more have been wounded.
Today, PM Olmert gave the green light to the IDF to expand the ground invasion in accordance with the original security cabinet plan. Said one high ranking defense official, "We gave the diplomatic process a chance, it failed and now we will achieve our goals militarily."
The aim of the IDF operation is to reach the Litani river by week's end. Another 4-6 weeks will be needed to eradicate Hezbollah from the region. Still, the president's latest manifestation as a weak-kneed appeaser of terrorists cannot be overstressed. Israel faces a brutal enemy on its northern border, whose ties to the rogue regimes of Iran and Syria makes this war a must-win for Israel and, by extension, the United States. That the president has lost sight of this fact leaves one to question his supposed resoluteness in confronting terror where ever it may exist.
More importantly, should Israel agree to a cease-fire, or, more accurately, a postponement of hostilities, the safety of the Jewish state will be jeopardized. In the eyes of the Arab/Islamist world, the once invincible Israeli military will have been defeated by a group of terrorists, leading many to question their own "truces" with the Jewish state. By far, Iran would reap the most benefit from a postponement of hostilities. The Islamic Republic's unrestrained belligerence toward Israel has already proven to be a winning recipe among both radical elements and commoners in the Middle East. Add to that a Hezbollah victory, and Iran's stock will most surely soar.
Israel must secure a decisive victory in the coming weeks. I supported Israel's offensive when it first began, and I continue to support it today. However, by entering into this war, Israel took a big gamble. Israel cannot just win this war, but rather they must crush their opponent beyond any doubt. Anything less will be viewed as a victory for Hezbollah while only imperiling Israel in the immediate future.Powered by Sidelines