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Gophers by TKO: Lessons from Lebanon

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:34 PM
Original message
Gophers by TKO: Lessons from Lebanon
The War Nerd tends to exaggerate, nevertheless, he makes some good points about the recent unpleasantness.

---

The funniest bit is the way desperate suckers are trying to spin total defeat of the IDF into some kind of victory. What's impressed me is that no Israelis are saying that. All the Israeli commentators I've read have faced up to the fact that they got hosed. It's the Americans, totally out of touch with reality and desperate to stay that way, who are finding lame excuses for the IDF, like "Hezbollah didn't really WIN, since they didn't wipe out Israel."

The best answer to that comes from an Israeli columnist I read, who said, "If a lightweight boxer fights a heavyweight and gets a draw, the lightweight won." Except I'm not sure it was even a draw. I think Hezbollah flat-out won, not just in PR/Propaganda terms but by anybody's standards. They're in total control of the field of battle, Southern Lebanon -- I hope none of you are dumb enough to think that this "International Peacekeeping Force" is going to actually try to disarm Hezbollah after the Israelis couldn't do it by force of arms. And I'll throw y'all a little curve by arguing that Hezbollah may even have had a smaller casualty count than the IDF. I can't prove it, and I'm not sure, but because Hezbollah fought smart and played defense most of the time, they may actually have had fewer KIA than the 118 the IDF is admitting.

The IDF isn't even claiming to have killed more than about 500 Hezzies, and that in itself is shocking. It means that the kill ratio, conventional army to guerrillas, is less than five to one. It should be ten to one at least. The Israeli Air Force tried to fudge those stats by blasting a lot of Lebanese civvies, about 900 or so, but that was just dumb, and it's probably going to cost the IDF C-in-C, Dan Halutz, his job.

Halutz is exactly the kind of idiot who'd feel at home with guys like Cheney: he's all tough talk and no performance. Halutz was a fighter pilot who got famous for sound bytes about how he loved dropping 1,000-lb bombs on the Pals, and he tried to run the war against Hezbollah the same way: by "shock and awe," blowing up apartment buildings and bridges, scaring the grandmas. Didn't work. The Shi'ites are way, way tougher than the Pals, always have been.

Exile.RU
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maalak Donating Member (184 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. what charming imagery your author uses....

from the proceeding paragraph to your excerpt:

You know what "Mainstreaming" is, don't you? That's when they put retards in schools for normal people. And that's what the Mainstream Media is: a bunch of retards who don't know a damn thing about contemporary war, don't even want to know.

looking at the damage and casualties, i don't see how Hezbollah's "victory" was anything but one of propaganda. and even then, a key requirement of the cease-fire is that Hezbollah be disarmed...

...and ultimately if Hezbollah isn't disarmed, then this is a loss for everybody.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Charming he is not.
He does seems to have some humility:

Q. What are war nerds?

A. Just what it sounds like, nerds who are into war. People like me, normal Americans, fat and alone and stuck in a stupid white-collar slave job. We get off on reading about war because we hate our lives. I admitted all that in my first column for the eXile.ru, just so nobody'd write in trying to be Sigmund Freud about how it's all sexual frustration....


http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/000898.html
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Marrak Donating Member (332 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. This is interesting:
"The funniest bit is the way desperate suckers are trying to spin total defeat of the IDF into some kind of victory. What's impressed me is that no Israelis are saying that."

Is that true?
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Clearly false.
Olmert, Halutz, and Peretz are all saying it was a smashing success. Dayan smiles on them as we speak.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. But Which Eye Is He Looking On Them With, Sir, As He Smiles?
The critical element here was time. Camp out long enough above the gophers, the gophers will die in their holes, inevitably as water flows downhill. The Israelis forfeited much too much time by their air campaign, and cut the time they could spend even further by its apparent character.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. The jaundiced one, I would think.
Your points are well taken; I expect that Dayan, had he been in charge, and had he seen fit to pursue the matter, would have proceeded more as you suggest. The strategic bombing campaign was indeed folly. How much seige warfare would have improved the outcome is speculative, but at least it is a sensible plan. The drawback is that it does tend to drag on. Perhaps we will get a test of that approach soon.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:58 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. "were not sure"....
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 03:12 AM by pelsar
wars out here are "funny things'...when you win flat out (as in 67)....you might find yourself loosing long term (westbank/gaza). Win, but not by much (as in 73) and you win yourself a peace treaty with egypt.

In pure military terms it wasnt much of a success, true the Air Force did "great", and the infantry move forward, took villages, the artillary gets great marks, the tanks however had a tough time with the anti tank missles as they did in 73 and handling the supply lines

It wasnt the "rollover" as in Lebanon I, or in 67, it was more like the problem of 73.

However, its long terms effects is yet to be seen, so it maybe a political win, with a "happier more satisfied israeli/Lebaneses populations, with an IDF and political echelon that is a bit more modest...and perhaps smarter in terms of intelligence and more inventive in terms of tactics

or it can be a disaster for israel, stay tuned, same time, next year.
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Bob3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Hezbollah is still in the field
for a guerrilla force that's all they need to do - they fought the IDF to a standstill to the point were the IDF tried stunts like commando raids to have some success to put in the newspapers.. The damage to Beirut and to lebanon's infrastructure isn't going to hurt their ability to resupply, if anything that's increased the support they have in lebanon. They will be able to make good their casulties better than the IDF will.

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IntiRaymi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:58 AM
Response to Original message
8. What I wonder about is Hezbollah's sustainability.
They fought well, and they held off the most powerful military in the region. But can they withstand the long term?
I am not sure they can, since armies move on their stomachs, and resupplying something like Hezbollah has to be a logistical nightmare. This makes me think that Hezbollah's game will now be to keep the conflict low intensity, so as to not deplete existing stocks, as well as to continue the process of turning the entire border with Israel into an impenetrable mess.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. An excellent question, but it should be applied to the IDF too.
I don't think anyone knows the answer out here in TV land.
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