Billmon: Spot-on analysis

Twelve days in, and even Ralph Peters thinks the Israelis are losing:

"Israel is losing this war. For a lifelong Israel supporter, that's a painful thing to write. But it's true. And the situation's worsening each day."


it's clear from many other sources that things aren't going so well with Operation Midwife:

The Israeli Army -- which dashed across the Sinai in two days in 1967, and surrounded an entire Egyptian army in 1973, has spent the past three days trying to secure Maroun al-Ras, a village about 500 meters inside Lebanon.
Securing that modest objective (and it may not be secure even yet) has cost the Israelis at least 20 soldiers KIA.

The number of rockets falling on northern Israel has been reduced only minimally, if at all, and Israeli civilians are still dying, despite 11 days of bombing and round-the-clock Israeli air cover over southern Lebanon.

U.S. military sources say that IDF claims to have destroyed a significant percentage of Hizbollah's missiles are significantly "overstated."

Jane's Weekly reports that Hizbollah has emulated the Viet Cong and honeycombed the border area with underground tunnels and command posts that are virtually impervious to artillery fire and the Israeli Air Force's existing stock of bombs. (It looks like those "precision" munitions the Pentagon is rushing to the front may be bunker busters.)


It hardly matters at this point. The main thing is that yet another bold neocon gambit seems to have fallen flat on its face -- leaving the realist cleaning crew to sweep up the pieces.

The problem is that a cease fire agreement that doesn't result in the complete, verifiable disarming of Hizbollah (which hardly seems likely at this point) would give a truly enormous boost to the group's status and prestige. It would amount to a virtual recognition of Hizbollah as a sovereign entity. (A prisoner swap to retrieve the two Israeli POWs would give it an even bigger boost.) A cease fire deal without disarmament would also leave Israel vulnerable to the group's rockets, if and when a bigger war with Iran and/or Syria breaks out.

To read a complete version of this concise entry, click here.

Big up yo'self Billmon!