Displaced members of a Lebanese family hold posters of Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and celebration banners with Arabic writing reading ‘God’s promise was fulfilled’ as they drive back to their house in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Aug. 14, 2006, with a Lebanese and a Hezbollah flag waving on their car antenna. Hours after a U.N.-brokered cease-fire took hold Monday, thousands of Shiite refugees returned to check on their homes in Beirut’s southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold that was pounded almost daily throughout the month-long Israeli onslaught. Dozens if not hundreds of buildings were destroyed.
President Bush, just hours after a cease-fire took hold Monday, said Hezbollah guerillas had suffered a sound defeat at the hands of Israel in their monthlong Mideast war.
“There’s going to be a new power in the south of Lebanon,” Bush said, referring to plans for the Lebanese government, backed by an international force, to reassert control in the area that has been dominated by Hezbollah fighters.
The president also said the war was part of a broader struggle between freedom and terror, and he blamed Iran and Syria for fomenting the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.
“We can only imagine how much more dangerous this conflict would be if Iran had the nuclear weapon it seeks,” the president said.
Bush said Iran and Syria were the primary sponsors of Hezbollah guerrillas who captured two Israeli soldiers, igniting the battle with Israel. More than 900 people were killed in the fighting, and there was massive destruction in southern Lebanon.
Bush said the “responsibility for this suffering lies with Hezbollah.”
In a respect to the wider global war on terror President Bush MAY be correct. However, alot depends upon the implementation of United Nations Resolution 1701 and the disarming of Hezbollah.
Powerline has Claiming Victory.
I don’t think there is any doubt who will be seen as the victor in the Arab world:
Celebratory gunfire echoed across Beirut’s heavily bombed Shi’ite southern suburbs after Nasrallah spoke on television about 12 hours after a U.N. truce halted 34 days of fighting.
The bottom line is, Hezbollah went the distance and was still standing–firing rockets–at the end. It emerges with its stature enhanced.
John Hinderaker makes his point but there is more to life than a few gunshots in the air and people fllashing a “V” for victory sign, while their homes and businesses lay in ruin. Arab bloviations and boasting will continue but where was Nazrallah at the beginning of the cease-fire? Yes, he was cowering in some hole – hiding from the Israeli Defense Forces.
Ok, let’s look at an altogether different perspective – that of Iran.
While the damage caused Israelâ€™s military reputation tops Western assessments of the Lebanon war, DEBKAfileâ€™s Iranian sources report an entirely different perception taking hold in ruling circles in Tehran.
After UN Security Council resolution 1701 calling for a truce was carried Friday, Aug. 11, the heads of the regime received two separate evaluations of the situation in Lebanon â€“ one from Iranâ€™s foreign ministry and one from its supreme national security council. Both were bleak: their compilers were concerned that Iran had been manipulatively robbed of its primary deterrent asset ahead of a probable nuclear confrontation with the United States and Israel….
From the Iranian viewpoint, Israel succeeded in seriously degrading Hizballahâ€™s capabilities. It was also able to throw the Lebanese Shiite militia to the wolves; the West is now in a position to force Nasrallah and his men to quit southern Lebanon and disarm. The West shut its eyes when he flouted the Resolution 1559 order for the disarmament of all Lebanese militias. But that game is over. The Americans will use Resolution 1701 as an effect weapon to squeeze Iran, denied of its second-front deterrence, on its nuclear program.
Tehran hopes to pre-empt the American move by torpedoing the Lebanon ceasefire and preventing the termination of hostilities at all costs.
So, the real answer who won this war is probably irrelevant, if the Resoultion 1701 is enforced by the United Nations and International peacekeeping force. Israel will be more secure if Hezbollah is disarmed and prohibited any southern Lebanon presence as an armed force.
However, Israel did not win militarily and psychologically the victory goes to the terrorist Hezbollah.
On the other hand, Hezbollah has been militarily degraded and has cost its sponsor clients of Iran and Syria billions of dollars. The Infrastructure necessary to restock Hezbollah easily has been destroyed. In this respect, Israel has won.
Upon reflection, Flap’s opinion on Iran has changed. Attention will be drawn to Iran’s role in fomenting terrorist activity and the rationale why they should NOT possess nuclear weapons. Moreover, Hezbollah will not able to mount a “threat” to Israel should the United States and Israel deicde to militarily take out Iran’s nuclear facilities – or even clamp down on the Iranian economy with strict sanctions.
Who won this war will be debated for weeks. Time will resolve the question. Flap cannot help but think that events in Tehran will somehow affect the outcome of the debate.
A displaced Lebanese boy flashes a V-sign as he rides in a car with his family members as they drive back with their belongings to the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Aug. 14, 2006. Hours after a
U.N.-brokered cease-fire took hold Monday, thousands of Lebanese refugees returned to check on their homes in Beirut’s southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold that was pounded almost daily throughout the
month-long Israeli onslaught. Dozens if not hundreds of buildings were destroyed.