8-16-2006 Think symmetrically

I wasn‘t going to play on the internet today, but the following e-mail was worth responding to.

From the e-mail inbox Just wrote to ask a quick question:

Given the current "resolution" to the Israel-Lebanon Conflict, have you at all reconsidered the use of force as a method of reducing threats in the Middle East?

According to a recent poll in Haaretz, not even most Israelis (only 20%) beleive that Hezbollah was or is in, using your words "Big, Big Trouble" (i.e. lost the war) (see http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/749604.html). In fact, support for Hezbollah among Lebanese as of July 29th, was higher than ever at 87%, including 80% among christians and 89% among Sunni Muslims, who under normal circumstances should be opposed to a radically Shia group (see http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0728/p06s01-wome.html).

It seems as well that Hezbollah appeared to be more efficient fighters, killing twice as many Israeli soldiers as Israeli civilians (118 to 39) with relatively imprecise Soviet rockets, where as Israel, even using its own conservative Lebanese civilian death totals, killed nearly twice as many Lebanese civilians as Hezbollah militants (692 to approx 400) while using its smart weapons with pinpoint accuracy (AP story at http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/world/4117327.html).

And this time you cant even blame the softie Europeans for stopping Israel from "finishing the job", as even John "10 stories off the UN building wouldn't make a bit of difference" Bolton not only supported, but helped write UN resolution 1701.

It also appears that, though the detection and prevention has thankfully improved, the motives for Muslims to strike again are still strong, even in the most Western of countries, as evidenced by the UK airline bombing plot. The situation in Iraq, in terms of Iraqi and US deaths shows no signs of slowing, and in the past month Taliban soldiers temporarily took control of Afghan cities.

As a fellow American concerned with stopping terrorism, and recognizing the danger Hezbollah and other extremist groups like them pose in the region, I am deeply troubled with these reoccurances and am not convinced with the further efficacy of Western force to stem Islamic terrorism. Do you think its time to relegate the use of military force to the list of others that you claim are failed strategies, or do you beleive as President Bush that we should continue to "stay the course?"

Fair question.

Do you think its time to relegate the use of military force to the list of others that you claim are failed strategies, or do you beleive as President Bush that we should continue to "stay the course?"

Well, we face an avowed and bloodthirsty enemy that cannot be negotiated with. An enemy that is both faceless and stateless. That is to say, we know which states harbor and abet terrorism, but we clearly lack the will to bring them to their knees by whatever means necessary.

For instance, I think we all fully expect to a see a city in the west vaporized by way of a terrorist’s nuke when Iran finally manages to go nuclear. At least, I am assuming that you recognize that Iran funds much of the terrorists’ worldwide pursuits. Yet, any mention of stopping them by way of military force is met with complete revulsion by 50% of our population. We can’t talk them out of it, and we can’t boycott them out of it; so what’s left at our disposal?

The Israeli opinion polls mean little or nothing in the grand scheme of things, except that they may suggest that the top political dog may be in big, big trouble. When the decision to go was made, the Israeli Defense Forces requested invasion ground forces numbering 40,000. They were allowed a scant 8,000 to tackle bunkers hardened by 20 years worth of Iranian training and funding, and state-of-the-art anti-tank weaponry…not antiquated Soviet weapons. After the initial going on the ground was obviously tougher than initially expected, tacit approval for 30,000 IDF troops was given. And that was two days before the ceasefire went into effect.

As to the Sunni-Shiia tensions, they always instantly dissolve just as soon as the latest call to sack all of Israel is given. If, that’s if the ceasefire holds and there are no Israelis to slaughter for any length of time, those two groups will get right back to hating each other twofold.

About the only thing Hezbollah was efficient at was getting themselves and their plentiful Iranian military advisors killed. Their forces were estimated to be around 2,500 before the hostilities broke out, and they suffered 600 killed in action, as well as an equal amount wounded in action. And those are the conservative estimates. In a nutshell, while Israel goofed by not invading with overwhelming force, they still managed to seriously degrade Hezbollah’s operational capabilities.

And when you consider their strategic position, Hezbollah is the clear loser, hands down. It has now lost it strongholds along the Israeli border from which instantaneous attacks into Israel could be launched. And as far as sizing Israeli’s force structure is concerned, this 34-day dust-up was a complete waste of their time, their men and Iran’s millions. Basically, Hezbollah got pushed to the breaking point by only a fraction of what Israel could have thrown at them, and may well yet at some future date. Now, Hezbollah is looking at having a force of possibly 30,000 peacekeepers between themselves and the Israeli border. And trust me, the pressure will be on the UN to make this still assembling force enforce the peace, rather than standing idly by watching rape, murder and pillaging go on as most peacekeeping missions have amounted to in the most recent past. When you consider that Hezbollah’s stated goal is the destruction of Israel, they just made things a lot harder on themselves if they’re sticking with that same objective. Plus, Israel has been given the go-ahead to bomb any inbound trucks from Syrian soil that are suspected of attempting to re-supply Hezbollah. In military terminology, what Hezbollah got themselves was a sub-optimal strategic outcome. And for what? For two prisoners? This was a huge blunder on their parts. And yet, we debate who won.

And don’t go giving those Europeans too much credit for being hardened too fast. If Hezbollah gets sick and tired of having that buffer zone between them and the Israeli homeland, the attacks on the peacekeepers will surely follow. And then we’ll see just how resolute the host countries of the murdered peacekeepers truly are.

It’s obvious you don’t like John Bolton. And since Bush appointed him, he’s got to be evil and cruel and incompetent, right? The people being forced to deal with four decades worth of all but ignored terrorism on the march are obviously getting everything grossly wrong. Oh, but those Clinton appointees were all above reproach and undeniable geniuses. Typical.

First there was resolution 1559 which was not enforced. Now we’ve got 1701 to replace it. Boy, that UN. They sure know how to keep the peace, don’t they?

I’m not entirely sure why the U.S. pushed so hard for the ceasefire, but I know one thing: Israel was clearly able to size Hezbollah’s force structure during the fighting, and it was quite revealing. Night-vision capabilities, sophisticated ant-tank weapons and a command-and-control capability the likes of which no “militia” has ever possessed. If the ceasefire doesn’t hold and the fighting resumes to any great degree, you can fully expect Israel to unleash an overwhelming force with noticeably devastating affects. Unlike a month ago, they now know what to expect.

Yeah, “the motives for Muslims to strike again are still strong,” just like they were at Munich back in 1972. Personally, I don’t give a rat’s ass what sorry-assed motivation they’ve got today. If any of their unending sets of demands are met, they will simply present the next set. And the next. And then the next after that. When someone is shooting at you, you shoot back and worry about what motivates them later. And we are currently being shot at from a multitude of sources. As are and will be any other country that dares to defy the edicts of the religious madmen. And when those trying to kill you are more than willing to get bloody, then it’s time to get bloody. As much as we’d all like to, I don’t see us avoiding the bloodletting.

And to “failed strategies” I must ask, what strategies? Appeasement? Dragging terrorists into court and affording them every right? Fighting terrorism by way of law enforcement alone where one slip-up results in yet another horrific cataclysm?

Stay the course? The terrorists are certainly going to stay the course. They are not going away until they’re made to go away. And what you’ll learn after you get rid of the dreaded George Bush is that his eventual successor will be forced to stay the course as well. This is not going to end because of anything we do on some future election day, and it’s not going to end if we promise, as official policy, to make nice like. We’re at a pivotal point in history, and we either rise to the challenge or we don’t.

Prepare yourself for the inevitability of going to war with Iran. Iran is busily preparing for it. In fact, Admadinejad has even mockingly invited it. The US military is doing likewise. And Israel is currently having two of it’s three German-built submarines retrofitted so as to be able to sail much, much farther, and launch even bigger missiles. Missiles, by the way, that can carry nuclear payloads. They have upgraded their AWACS capabilities, as well as their ability to refuel airborne fighter jets. Hezbollah was but a small skirmish in comparison to what Israel is currently readying themselves for.

It’s not that anybody wants to stay the course, to make war indefinitely. It’s just that the folks that have aligned themselves against us know no other way. And when I’m being presented with ‘Kill or be killed,’ I’ll vote for self-preservation every single time. What I want from my commander in chief is a totally symmetrical response to brazen attacks from abroad, as well as any perceived threats backed by solid intelligence. And as far as Iraq is concerned, Saddam huffed and puffed one too many times in the post-911 world, so he brought it on all by himself.

Think symmetrically.

Them’s my thoughts.

I got me four days off in a row. Block party weekend is officially ON!!!