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Spinning Israel’s “Defeat”

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As Hizbullah fighters fanatically try and hold their ground in the small villages and towns of southern Lebanon, all the while being slaughtered systematically by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), the makings of Israel's "defeat" is being spun unmercifully in some corners of the media and on the left.

To date, more than 50 members of the IDF have been killed in the 25 day war. And while information on the numbers of Hizbullah fighters killed in action has been sketchy to say the least, the IDF estimates put the number at 300 on August 1, almost certainly an inflated estimate but one at least more trustworthy than Hizbullah's laughable figure of 43 given on the same day.

There is every reason to believe that the figure of 300 is closer to being accurate as of today given what's been happening the last 72 hours in southern Lebanon. Wherever Hizbullah fighters have stood toe to toe with the IDF, they have died. The terrorists perform the best in small unit ambushes where they put the Israelis on the defensive. The IDF then must call in helicopters and fighters to pound Hiz positions in order to extract their men.

But in the last few days, the Israelis have attacked in much larger formations, overwhelming the pockets of Hizbullah fighters and causing them to either flee or be killed. The Jersulasem Post reports:

At least ten Hizbullah operatives were killed and three were captured overnight.

Meanwhile, it was released on Sunday that in the past 48 hours, special forces operated south of Tyre. The troops destroyed 3 rocket launchers, a bunker, three weapons warehouses, and three cars used to transport rockets.

Two reserve soldiers were killed in clashes with Hizbullah in southern Lebanon on Saturday. Army forces killed at least 50 Hizbullah guerillas over the weekend, the IDF said.

The raid at Baalbek and the most recent Special Forces op south of Tyre killed dozens more. And given the amount of ordinance expended by the IAF, one has to assume that many Hizbullah fighters have died as the result of bombings.

The point is very simple; Hizbullah fighters are dying in droves, their infrastructure is being smashed to pieces, they are being thrown out of positions in southern Lebanon they've occupied since Israel left in 2000, and conversely, they have failed to inflict significant casualties on the IAF although they do very well killing unarmed civilians by launching barrages of rockets indiscriminately into the towns and villages of northern Israel.

Would someone please explain how Hizbullah is "winning" anything except perhaps the race to have the most martyrs claim those 72 virgins in the afterlife?

Where the Hiz are successful, it is in the battle of perceptions. And in this conflict, the IDF is at a huge disadvantage in that the overwhelming majority of the world's press is openly cheering for Hizbullah to give the Israelis a bloody nose. Tom Gross of the J-Post points to the piss poor job being done by the Israelis in the media war:

Hizbullah and the Palestinians know the value of propaganda. They often fight their media battles by the dirtiest possible means. An expose in these pages on Thursday by former Sunday Telegraph correspondent Tom Gross revealed that Hizbullah officers supervise CNN reports, that a CBS reporter admitted Hizbullah overseers determine what's filmed, that repeated shots of several downed buildings lend Beirut the erroneous image of devastated WWII Dresden, that journalists are threatened, that Hizbullah holds their passports for ransom, that their analyses are skewed to curry favor, and so on.

Not only doesn't Israel engage in significant preemptive damage control, it often seems resigned to lose by default. The axiomatic official Israeli attitude often seems to be that "the world hates us."

It may indeed deny us a fair shake, but there's a difference between giving up a priori and trying to do something about it. To forfeit without a fight is reckless neglect. It can only impact on Israel's image, its standing abroad, and the pressure on international politicians to take unsympathetic positions, and thus directly on Israel's future well-being.

The pathetic nature of Hizbullah's "success" – the fact that they aren't running away in terror or surrendering as other, less fanatical Arab armies have done in the past – says much more about those who are lionizing the terrorists than it does about whether they are "winning" the war in any real sense of the word. Because when the dust settles and hostilities end, Israel will have a buffer zone of one kind of another, Hizbullah will be prevented from re-occupying positions they held for nearly 6 years prior to the war, and given Israeli-American insistence, Nasrallah's fanatics will be disarmed probably by having his militia folded into the Lebanese army.

And this is a Hizbullah "victory?"

Ah, but the Hiz are heroes in the Arab street you say! Nasrallah will be more powerful in Lebanese politics, you crow! As for the former, my aunt Mabel would be popular in the Arab street if she was the beneficiary of the dizzying spin being put on this conflict in the Arab and western press.

As for the latter, someone please give me the crystal ball making that prediction so that I can pick some stocks. No one knows what shape post-war Lebanese politics will take, or what the impact of Nasrallah's bellicosity that started the war and now his intransigence that is prolonging it will have on his standing among the other factions. My guess is that the Future Party of Prime Minister Siniora, Saad Hariri and Walid Jumblatt will do a little anti-Nasrallah spinning of their own in the aftermath of this war. And how that will turn out is anyone's guess.

The western press always seems able to find present or former State Department officials or analysts of one kind or another who will wail on cue about how badly the war has gone for Israel and how the conflict has "empowered" Hizbullah. These doomsayers have made their prognostications based not what has been happening on the battlefield but what they perceive to be Israel's weakness in not vanquishing Hizbullah in 6 days – that being the standard set by the international punditariat for a clear Israeli victory. Anything more and either the IDF is losing its edge or they have met their match on the battlefield in Hizbullah. This is so clearly tommyrot. Just look at a map of Israeli positions today and see that they have trapped Hizbullah's remaining fighters in a kill zone from the border to the Litani River. With roads and bridges impassable, those Hiz fighters are doomed unless they surrender.

Given the fact that Nasrallah has rejected out of hand the provisions in the cease fire resolution that will probably be passed Tuesday or Wednesday, Israel will have a free hand to continue to kill his fighters, bust up his remaining infrastructure, and weaken his organization where it counts – its ability to harm the Jewish state.

Will that matter to those who are busy spinning Israel's inevitable defeat? Probably not. But then, I doubt the Israelis care very much just as long as they can prevent Hizbullah from harming their citizens whenever they feel like it.

Now that smells like victory…

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About RIck Moran

  • Tim

    You should be ashamed of yourself ! a grown man crying like that on the infomation super highway for everyone to see.
    That sure was the longest sob stories i ever heard, poor isreal hey, they do the right thing and everyone says they are acting like the Nazi’s!

  • They’re going to need to kill a hell of a lot more Hezbollah to have a real; victory. I say they should get right to it.


  • The whole thing is a ruse, a created crisis, to invite the disaster of “peacekeeping” troops into the region, hailing Germany as the savior, compliments of the defeatist and corrupt Kadima regime (bought and paid for by Euro-Nazis).

    The German-EU Grows Restless Over Mideast Crisis

    Ehud Olmert Playing with German Fire

    Tony Blair’s Speech Concedes Defeat

  • I love your links, David. I assume the articles were all deleted for racist content?

    BTW, do you spell Crazy with a K?


  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    I know you have an animus against David ben Ariel. Try this on for size. It came into my e-mail box today, courtesy of Aryeh Zelasko…

    By the way, the part that’s in bold is my work. David has it pretty much on the head here, unfortunately. The Germans are going to make Olmert (pronounced by more and more Israelis as ‘ol-merde’) beg to get German troops in Lebanon.

    Monday, August 7, 2006
    Agriculture Minister Shalom Simchon [Labor] blasts government for not being aggressive in Lebanon

    Agriculture Minister Shalom Simchon [Labor] blasts government for not being
    aggressive in Lebanon

    Aaron Lerner Date: 7 August 2006

    Agriculture Minister Shalom Simchon [Labor] severely attacked the Olmert
    Administration this morning in a live interview broadcast on Israel Radio
    for failing to instruct the IDF to be more aggressive in Lebanon. Simchon called for the IDF to be instructed to use its full force to silence the rockets instead of subjecting itself to limitations out of concern for
    human shields. He also called for the IDF to go as far north as necessary to push the [short range?] rockets out of range, noting that almost all of them are being launched in the area between the Litani River and the area now
    under Israeli control. “Do we have to wait for North Tel Aviv to be hit before we take our gloves off”? Simchon asked, saying that it is unacceptable that Hezbollah still enjoys re-supply from Syria. “This is war” “Our security won’t be assured at cocktail parties,” Simchon said, in an apparent jab at VPM Shimon Peres’ activities.

  • guy

    I read this article today and was amazed! i always hear people mis-quoting the koran but these rabbis make jewish law sound like a war manual………

    “The Yesha Rabbis Committee have said Jewish law forbids refusing orders during times of war.”

    ( i take it then if ordered to drop a bomb on a school playground or a block of flats or shoot a kid in the head for throwing stones its OK to do so as the rabbis said it was?)

    “The rabbis added that according to Jewish moral code the IDF has a right to bomb any target from which enemy fire emanates without taking “Christian code” into consideration.”

    ( i take it then the whole of lebanon (men,women and children) are fair game as the Rabbis again assured us that it was!)

    (Efrat Weiss) (08.08.06)

  • Bliffle

    From a strategic viewpoint, the Hezbolah are screwed. They have a finite weapon resource, 10,000 rockets if reports are true, which will be expended in 100 days at the current rate. They cannot resupply from Syria since they are isolated. Their only hope is a hudna, a temporary ceasefire that allows them to re-provision. But the US and Israel are too smart to let that happen, witness the provisional ceasefire proposed by the US and France.

    All the Lebanese who leaped on the Hezbolah bandwagon will be disappointed. Once again the Arab nations and the muslims will be disappointed that their chosen champion fails.

  • syed ali

    antisemitism is the real source to liberate treditional jews from fanatic idealistic zionist criminals ! the real antisemetic of the time is zionists ! this was stated by an australian rabbi gedalyan ! zionist are doing holocoust in lebanon and palestine , no dought the cruality of zionist arrogance war plans against innocent civilian of lebanese is a proof of zionist crominality once again! zionist can fool americans but not muslims ! muslims are the people who rely on science and logic ! nazi hitlor , modern day barbarion bush, so called cia manufactured al-kaida are from zionists master planing ! thats why u.n. sponsered Durban conference declared that” zionism is the monther of entire racisms !”
    i very much please and salute the freedom fighters the lebanon hizbullah its encouraging us about there art of war ! its the first time the arabs who defeated evil of the time in middle east ! i mean imposter isreal invading force ! its understood that, thousands of white, scattered illigal immigirant jews ,are leaving zionist isreal!!! becuase of hizbullah’s brave missiles and rockets hahahahahah!!!,
    hizbullah fighters are very handsome ,wow ! how megnificents are they !they are not like american intoxicated homosex or lespian gays i.e so called american high tech army , no dought all the present documents proofed that american solders including high ranking officers example donald rumafeld the cursed zionist criminal gang leader are unethic !
    hizbullah fighters based on; human principal , morality ethics and field of modern warfare ! the end of this war will be the begining of the decline of zionist isreal ! oh hizbullahs!! we kiss your feet and we sri lankan muslims keep pray for your final step that is liberating jerusalem from the culth and evil of the time it si zionism ,
    the oppressed arabs will establish a new middle east, that is democratic, islamic and republics ! it means all the american and zionist pupet regimes of the middle east will be removed! wipe out zionist state means wipe put entire puppet regimes in middleast ! Lets we too pray like a treditional jewish rabbi gedalyan of australia “OH GOD YOUR PROMISE IS TRUE! BUT WE PRAY NOT A VIOLENT DECLINE OF ZIONIST ISREAL !BUT PEACEFUL ! AMIN !
    we know the british who brought the jews to palestine and belfour declaration , we know america is sponser of todays zionist state’s servival etc ….. thank you

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    I have news for you. Jewish law, as it applies to making war, is a manual that talks about allowing the enemy a chance to surrender, and then if they refuse to, slaughering them – the entire population if the place in is Eretz Yisrael, and just the males if not.

    Ninety percent of the Qur’an is pulled from the Bible and from rabbinic rulings up until ther 6th century. So the concepts of “Jihad” are Jewish rules of war as practiced by a faith that beleives that it alone is valid and seeks over time the conversion of the entire world to its religion.

    The concept of “havlaga” – restraint – is very unJewish. It makes us look great with the Christians but it is not a Jewish doctrine.

  • on this Thread we have some stellar Examples of why the killing has been going on ni the Mid-East forever…

    note comments #3 and #8

    both of these Individuals need a higher level of healthcare for their precarious mental states

    just as an Example..#8 claims the US and Britain are “Gog and Magog”… and we have all heard the “great Satan” bit from certain parts of the world

    if such was True, then don’t you Think that any irritation frmo that part of the world would have been greeted by being turned into radioactive smoking glass by such *evil*?

    that’s not to say England and the U.S. have not done some fucked up shit over the course of History…they have also done some very good stuff too… this applies to ALL the Nations and Peoples involved here… both good and bad, done by people to people…

    Civilization is the process of minimizing the fucked up shit, and maximizing the good stuff…

    any and All that strive to make the World better WITHOUT killing each other should be supported and worked with…

    those that think of ONLY killing..or worse, killing innocent civilians intentionally.. are to be fought against

    side Note to Ruvy… i’m happy to *see* you are well, and getting settled into yor new Home… but you do yourself NO credit giving any kind of Credence to things like comment #3 and it’s factually incorrect and hate filled madness…


  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    Take a tape measure and lay it vertically on a globe going north towards the pole, covering Israel. Then let it overhang some, coming south from the pole.

    If you do that, you wind up in a place that used to be part of Russia – Alaska. Some 200 years ago or more, the Vilna Gaon (genius of Vilna) said that Gog would come from the furthest points north. In those days, that was Russia. That is where the Vilna Gaon said Gog would come from. Today, thanks to a $7,200,000 real estate deal in 1867, it is part of America…

    That doesn’t mean that Russian troops won’t show up here. That possibility is a distinct one. The Russians have been working with Iran, and I do not think it is all about nuclear reactors either. Just as Iran is looking to extend its imperial borders (note the Iranian troops in Lebanon), Russia is looking to extend its own imperial borders.

    Getting American troops here is no great feat though. Just send a large contingent of them from Iraq!

    Shabbat Shalom

  • Ruvy…

    to counter your “tape measure” bit, allow me to remind you of some of our previous discussions involving the OT

    many times, yourself and scholars have pointed out ( such as the Noah flood, not being worldwide) that said scriptural writings are based on the area involved, and NOT the rest of the entire World, which the authors were not even remotely cognizant of, much less familiar with

    now.. what did mid-east Jews know about Russia or Alaska or the NOrth pole and Santa for that matter, when these things were written?

    and if you insist that duue to “divine inspiration” that waht was unKnown to them was revealed, then we go back to the dimensions of the Ark and just how many animals can fit on it as opposed to the biodiversity of, shall we say the australian marsupials, alone?

    you can’t have it both ways

    so, might i suggest you check with what was considered “northernmost” for people of the region at the time in Question when considering the modern day locations for some of these “prophecies”?

    i guess i just can’t escape Logic , or the process of consistent Reasoning… even in these matters metaphysical


  • Dave —

    First i apologize for my english as it is my third language.

    I am a military analysts (non western) and almost all military analysts i have corresponded with internationally in the last 48 hours clearly stated that Israel has been defeated.

    Just some combat facts:

    Litani river is 18 miles from Israel northernborders.

    33 days Israel only held up to 4 miles from the border at certain areas. Special forces hit pass the Litani river, but usually do not hold the ground.

    The battle of Bin Jbail which was retaken by Hizbullah twice is now hailed as “Hizbullahgrad” as the Germans were stopped at Stalingrad in WWII. How far the distance between Bin Jbail and Israel border is 2 miles.

    Estimated lost of Merkava “impregnable” tanks by (documented) is at 37 (with photos, videos). Estimate of number of tanks and other armour vehicle is around 75- 100, 100 being the highest (liberal estimates).

    Estimated lost of aircrafts based on documentations is 4, 2 Apaches,1 Sikorsky and 1 unknown. Some are accidental (still awaiting final reports) and some from direct fire.

    Hizbullah G2G (ground to ground) rockets, consisting of Katsuyas, Fajrs 1-3 (From 25kg to 100kg payloads) capabilities were not diminished. Estimate damage done to rocket capabilities only at 20%. Which means that if 12,000 rockets they had, they still has 10,000. The last night before the ceasefire Hizbullah launched 250+ rockets… 1 million Israelis head for the bomb shelters for the fourth week.

    THe damage to civilian infrastructure did not barely block any logistic support for Hezbollah. It is widely assumed by that Hezbollah has ammo, weapons cache, and food to last for 4 – 6 months. Usually critical resupplying will start when logistics fall below 50% (which we estimate will only happen during the 2nd month of the war.

    Hizbullah, was extremely well prepared for the war.

    Hizbullah’s ground troops are not ragtag soldiers or “Terrorist” groups like Mehdi Militia or the Fallujah Lions. They are well trained, wears combat uniforms, helmets, flak and even bullet proof vests (photo id’d) and combat boots. Equipment includes standard Ak47 Assault rifles, night vision goggles.

    Auxiliary weapon systems inclue Sagger-3 anti tank missiles, wire-guided and according to intellgence sources, laser sighted.

    If you have an estimate of 25,000 troops and 500 armor on the ground with round the clock air superiority and you cannot move more than 2 miles a day you know you are stuck in the mud.

    The stories from Israeli ground troops on how bad their supplies are and confused orders as the guerillas were popping in and out of battlefields and even on previously secured area. During retreat, there were orders even to ransack Lebanese homes for food — that is how bad the logistics was for IDF.

    What Israel should learn now is not spin “victory” but learn through defeat. A thorough tactical analysis and post-mortem on strategic, tactical, and psychological is required and remedies must be made urgently.

    In war analysis, winning is not based on body counts (how many Hizbullah killed, etc). Basketball score counts are not military benchmarks at ALL in deciding outcome of a war.

    Winning a war is about the achievemnents of strategic military objectives.

    Some of us in the international military circles are now calling IDF – “Israeli Defeated Forces”.

    By the way the Israel rushed the adoption of UN Resolution 1701 as a face saving measure.

  • and that last Comment, kiddies, is known in the trade as “dis-information”

    learn to identify it properly, it’ll help later on

    nuff said…


  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    While I don’t agree with all that the commenter at #13 wrote, he is essentially on the mark in calling the gross point that the IDF did not achieve its strategic goals and suffered a military defeat. He did not deal with diplomatic issues or issues of grand strategy. Overall, his recommendations to Israel are sound.

    My questions are about the degradation of HizbAllah assets. My data indicate different results than this analyst’s do.

    But Gonzo, you called bullshit first. Would you care to comment further?

    To you the analyst:

    Where do you write from and are you able to identify your own prefjudices in this conflict so as to give further credibility to your concluions? More importantly, what are your sources for your numbers on the HizbAllah assets?

  • John

    Excuse me? Defeat?

    MilitaryAnalyst is right. If you have such a superiority in both vehicular forces and technology and YOU STILL COULDN’T hold a single village, you are truly in deep shit. Neocon propaganda at its best.