Israel cannot afford another “tie” like the War in Lebanon, with its loss in deterrence AND international credibility. As troops mass on the Gaza border, the next 24 hours may “make or break” the effort to eradicate the Hamas missiles. If Israel is going to enter Gaza there is no more time to “consider” its NOW or NEVER, because in 20 days US support for Israel will most probably dry UP. Ralph Peters talked about his worries in today’s NY Post“
From earlier briefings in Israel, I know the IDF takes an almost absurd degree of care in its targeting. The questioning doesn’t stop with “Is that the right building?” it then asks, “What should be our angle of attack to ensure any rubble falls into the street, not atop the primary school next door?….. Hitting a terrorist hideout in an apartment building, for example, an F-16 would be armed with the smallest warhead that could do the job. If the terrorists are tucked into rooms on the fourth floor, targeting officers evaluate which window the guided missile should go through to kill the terrorists, while minimizing harm to civilians living below.
Any [fair] military veteran can tell that the Israelis are taking enormous care to spare civilians. Given the number of airstrikes thus far and the hundreds of tons of bombs dropped, it remains remarkable that so few innocents have been injured in such a dense urban environment.
But….Fighting terrorists effectively means going in on the ground – and sooner is better than later. You can’t impress fanatics into surrendering. You have to kill them. Nothing else works.
Ordinarily, Israeli leaders would only need to ponder battlefield costs and counter international pro-terror propaganda. But the rise of President-elect Obama complicates matters gravely….
…For now, Israel must worry that a major ground offensive against Hamas would be halted halfway by the withdrawal of US support, both diplomatic and practical.
…..Our president-elect needed to make a clear, prompt statement in support of Israel. He didn’t. If I were an Israeli leader, I’d be worried, too.
Obama’s notorious for avoiding firm stands that might alienate any important constituency. But you can’t have it both ways in the Middle East. He needs to stand up in support of Israel. Now.
Either way Israel CANNOT AFFORD A REPEAT OF THE 2006 LEBANON WAR.Bibi Netanyahu summed up the damage to Israel from that conflict:
“…. ‘This is the first time in Israeli war history that a war in which we were involved ended without our clear victory… as our enemies saw as well.’ This is something we cannot afford. We gave total backing to the government to achieve its aims and remove the threat. We thought, then, that there was someone we could count on. But in actuality, there was no leadership. The government failed twice – in its performance, and in its reading of the situation. The government was deeply entrenched in its conception of unilateral withdrawals – a policy that failed. In the north it failed, and in the south it is failing. This policy did not advance the peace that we all want; peace cannot be achieved via one-sided moves, but with dialogue with those of our enemy who want to end war. The time has now come to make the necessary changes and corrections. We must restore our deterrence and self-respect.” Source.
With Ehud Olmert still in power as Prime Minister aided by foreign minsister Tizpi Lipni, both of who failed in Lebanon thirty months ago, teamed with Ehud Barack, who’s unilatiral withdrawal from Lebanon caused the that war, I have little trust in the Jewish State’s present leadership. The fear is that he will, as usual, succumb to growing pressure from the EU and the UN and a NEW president of the US who is NOT pro-Israel and order the IDF to stand down before it has finished the job. This will leave Hamas to humiliate Israel as Hizbullah did before.
First of all, if you launch a war, it must be an all out war with a permanent outcome – namely the complete and utter defeat of the enemy. Ties are seen as victories by the underdog. Total war is the only war that should be fought. Any thing less than a full victory will lead future disasters, as Olmert’s ineffectual handling of the Second Lebanon War proved.
Keep your eye on the next 24 hours the future of Israel may depend on it.