Friday, September 05, 2008

A view from the Israeli military's perspective

Paul Wood from the BBC reported on a conference by a top Israeli military official. In contrast to all the fluffy pageantry of peace we are presented with on a daily basis, the view he has presented is sobre, uncomfortable - and real. When comfortable Arabs who can afford to own pretty things tell me, "Israel is here to stay" I know there is little useful in what they have to say. When I read the opening statement of this BBC article, I know the Israelis are serious:

Israelis sometimes say they can lose only one war. They worry that defeat could mean the destruction of their state.

It is also interesting to know that Jordan and Egypt are still considered enemies, which is a wise thing to do considering how quickly things can reverse in both those countries. As for the country's most serious threats, Iran is top of the list but I was surprised to see al-Qaeda on there. It could be there for the Americans; Sharon was quick to try to connect Israel's war against the Palestinian people with America's so-called "War on Terror" and if that is the case then it is not so surprising that he would include it on the list. The 'talks' which are said to be taking place now about a possible Syrian-Israeli peace agreement are dismissed and trivialised. Hezbullah is a mortal enemy of Israel and the fact that Syria continues to arm them whilst holding these talks means that it is not serious. He also called Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) a "chief with no Indians" who could lose the West Bank to Hamas should the Israelis stop supporting him.

The article also confirmed what many people already know, Israel will attack Lebanon again, and this time it will be much worse. This does not mean that they were not trying hard enough last time, only that lessons had now been learnt. While a politician can get away with painting defeat as victory or vice-versa, the army cannot afford such luxuries and when it has been beaten it ignores the lessons to its own peril. Sadly, these 'lessons' mean that the Israelis will just kill more people the next time they attack:

The damage to Lebanon wasn't enough to deter [Hezbollah last time]... when the terrorists become the government, the list of targets is longer

So the Lebanese government, following the purge of a few months back, is now composed of terrorists and Israel has lost its main partner on the inside. It also clearly insinuates that the policy of the Israeli military is that of collective-punishment, illegal under the laws of war and the Geneva conventions.

On another note, he was well aware of the ways that Iran could retaliate should Israel decide to attack and made the prudent observation that Iran can hurt the Americans in Iraq too. Note the cosying up of the Americans to Iran recently. All in all, to read something coming directly from the mouth of someone in the top levels of Israel's military establishment was interesting, but not because it contained anything new.

They are building their forces and are not yet ready to strike.

1 comment:

Lirun said...

u r so smug and yet equally as blind..

yes nothing said was new.. but you are nOt the person who can decide whether or not it is representative..

the BBC is the most classic news service that challenges the israeli stance.. if you dont know this than clearly you dont follow the regional news closely enough..

if you feel comforted now then (a) good for you (b) you have cemented a long held impression of how little you truly know..

ramadan kareem and have a good weekend..