Tuesday, August 22, 2006

If Hezbollah won, what does a loss look like?

(I) Fuck with your soul like ether
(Will) Teach you the king you know who
(Not) "God's son" across the belly
(Lose) I prove you lost already

As usual, whenever Israel takes any action to defend its own borders (who gives flying fuck about "proportional" response, people? This is war. Should would we have given the Nazis a second chance in the battle for Berlin?) the anti-semites (including our own moron MP's) a chance to slag the Brews.

Now, I don't know how you define a military victory, but a loss looks like this:
- Your home territory was overrun and is occupied by the enemy
- Your base of operations was destroyed
- Your losses are about 500% higher than the enemy's
- Your battle against an enemy has a triggered possibly more wars against you when you have just been severely weakened
- Your base of civilian support has been alienated
- Your enemy has fight capability while you have been neutralized
- You are under political pressure to disarm

What kind of ridiculously low bar for victory does Hezbollah have? Can you imagine if they lost?

Let's get some perspective:
Nasrallah's concept of deterring Israel with his arsenal of rockets failed miserably. The Israeli rear remained resilient after 4,000 Katyushas were launched at the north of Israel, and the Israeli government and army had the willpower to strike back, even when Nasrallah used the Lebanese as a human shield. Contrary to his bravado, his organization suffered a heavy blow, with a quarter of his fighters killed and his infrastructure badly damaged.

Nasrallah's claim to be the savior of the Shiites in Lebanon was shattered. In recent years he had shifted his focus away from fighting Israel and toward empowering the Shiite community, which has for decades been discriminated against and underrepresented in the Lebanese political system. He had managed to build an impressive system of social services and education, parallel to the state's system. Yet because of his rash provocation, many of his accomplishments are now heaps of rubble. His lieutenants hasten to shower Iranian petro-dollars on the Shiites whose houses were demolished, but it remains to be seen whether these people will continue to back him.

Another pillar of Nasrallah's strategy, that of Lebanon's lack of state accountability, also collapsed. In the 1970s and 1980s, Yasser Arafat used the weakness of the Lebanese government to build a Palestinian mini-state in Lebanon. This was ended by Ariel Sharon in 1982. Nasrallah tried the same approach, but Lebanon today is different.

Only a year ago, in the Cedar Revolution, the Lebanese kicked out the Syrians, and today - thanks to Nasrallah - they are sending the state's troops down south, together with an augmented UN force. Gone are the good old days of Beirut's impotence. So much so that the Lebanese defense minister threatened that if a Hezbollah militant launched a missile at Israel, he would be harshly punished as an "agent of Israel" because such an irresponsible act would surely trigger an Israeli reprisal.

In the Arab world, Nasrallah's stock has also dropped. His pretension to be a leader both of Shiites and of Sunnis has been ridiculed. Sheik Safar al- Hawali, a top Saudi Sunni cleric, said in a religious edict that Hezbollah, which translates as "the party of God," was actually "the party of the devil."

As for the leaders of the pro-West Arab states, they have expressed their dismay at the destabilizing fiasco initiated by Nasrallah, and chose not to invite Syria's foreign minister, a supporter of Nasrallah's, to their recent meeting in Cairo.

Israel is going bomb the smile right off Nasrallah's face.

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