Hezbollah is prepared but not seeking new Israel war
From: Gulf Times
Sunday, 6 May, 2007
BEIRUT: Hezbollah guerrillas, the bane of successive Israeli governments, have rearmed since last year’s war in Lebanon but have little interest in provoking a new one, analysts say.
[You'll have to excuse my cynicism here, its not like Israel's enemies have a history of taking advantage of situations and launching surprise attacks.]
Israel has complained about Hezbollah’s re-supply effort, but it too seems unlikely to plunge into any fresh conflict until it has digested the lessons of the previous one.
Israel is also preoccupied with the political firestorm around Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, rebuked by an inquiry for his handling of the war.
Lebanese security and political sources said Hezbollah had amply replenished its rocket arsenal and had received improved anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles from Iran via Syria since a UN-backed truce halted hostilities in August.Why is that Lebanese security and political sources claim that Hezbollah has 'amply' replenished its rocket arsenal, yet we are receiving very few reports by the UN on arms smuggling?
The Beirut government says it has no proof of arms transfers from Syria. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon discussed the issue last month with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who opposes any move to put UN troops on the Syria-Lebanon border.I bet Assad opposes UN troops along the Syrian Border, that would be a rather large dent in the arms trading that Syria is involved with.
This is got to be of major concern, the claim here is that Hezbollah has re equipped itself militarily in six months, when its last effort took 6 years. That's on average 12 times the rate of re armament, 12 times more trucking, transport, logistic's and 12 times more money and most likely an significant increase in the contribution by Iran.
“What the group took six years to achieve (after Israeli troops left Lebanon in 2000), it has achieved in six months,” one political source said of Hezbollah’s military buildup.
I don't think it would be far from the truth , that Iran considers the border of Lebanon and Israel as a 'guarantee ' or security blanket for its clandestine nuclear activities.
A security source, who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said Hezbollah was in better shape than before the war that erupted after it seized two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid on July 12. Now there's a pretty good reason to not even contemplate any peace negotiations. Don't forget the UN mandated that the soldiers would be returned as part of the cease fire. This Arabic News Organisation must have a made a terrible typo, (or rather failed to 'adjust the news feed') they actually state it was a 'cross border' raid.
The Shia guerrillas have had no visible presence in the border region since Lebanese troops and UN peacekeepers took over the area south of the Litani river. But Hezbollah can call up hundreds of villagers with military training if need be.Impossible that another country would be interfering with a UN mandated international force. Where's the world condemnation, where's the French Defense Minister protesting? Iran is actively involved in the supply of munitions and weapons, it is actively engaged in training hundreds of fighters and the UN says... nothing. France says nothing, is Hypocrite a French word? It should be.
Hezbollah has also established a new defence line, with trenches, bunkers and rocket bases just north of the Litani and in the southern part of the Bekaa Valley to the east, the sources said.
They said the group has sent hundreds of fighters, both new recruits and veterans, for training in Iran — more than making up for its war casualties, including 270 or so dead.
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has openly stated that military preparations are under way, couching them as precautions rather than as a prelude to attack.You can't help but notice the glee that Nasrallah is showing whilst the Israeli Public tears apart Olmert. I see this as a major concern.
This week he jubilantly noted the Israeli inquiry’s flaying of Olmert for his conduct of the war, in which Israel failed to destroy Hezbollah or stop it firing rockets across the border.
“Today the climate in the whole of the Zionist entity is that this war was a failure,” Nasrallah said.
Why is it every Western leader who has been involved in recent military action against radical Islamic forces, is now facing the real prospect of being usurped. Yet conversely not one senior fundamentalist leader, or representative faces any kind of political backlash
Many Israelis agree, with two-thirds telling pollsters Olmert should resign. Olmert and Defence Minister Amir Peretz argue that Israel made some gains in the war because UN peacekeepers had replaced Hezbollah fighters on the border.Its fairly apparent gains were made, not the kind of gains that have historically been made by Israel, but I suspect this has more to do with the changing landscape of military engagement, rather than total incompetence by the Israeli leadership.
A UN Security Council resolution in 2004 demanded the disarming of all militias in Lebanon.
Hezbollah, the only faction to keep its weapons after the 1975-90 civil war, says it is an anti-Israel resistance movement, not a militia.Despite Olmert's poor polling, one needs to remember who exactly was the person that called of the IDF from attack the Hezbollah even further when they had the chance to strike a mortal blow.
It wasn't Olmert, it was Peretz, or even Peres the Dov, it was simply Ms Rice on instructions from her boss, who was being put under considerable strain by the Arab countries and world opinion.
Don't forget that Livni was the person who appeared to cave in the most when dealing with US demands. It was absolutely unforgivable that Israel stopped its military actions before the solders were released. This is the real problem that haunts us today. It is the pressure that the Arab league places on the US via the UN voting as a block.
Israel needs to stop allowing the US to absolutely dictate its own agenda.
We are now facing the absolute farce of the US rewarding the Arab League with 'Palestinian demands' as the prize for the Arab League being constructive towards the Iraq problem.
Stating it clearly the US is being BLACKMAILED into a path of action by the Arab Leagues potential threats in Iraq. The Arab league are dictating US foreign policy, and can you guess who is going to be the biggest loser?
We see a similar modus operandi in Lebanon.
A resistance movement that seems to be more motivated at embroiling its own country Lebanon in total civil disruption rather than accept responsibility for the pain and suffering it has caused though its short sighted planning.
Analysts in Lebanon and Israel said Hezbollah was in no mood to go into battle again — unless any US or Israeli assault on Iran’s nuclear installations set off a regional conflict.Gee, do you think this is a thinly disguised warning?....
Yes puts further strength in that Hezbollah are positioning itself as a deterrent to an 'Attack against Nuclear assets' option. The Americans would do far better paying attention to the developing Iranian military tactic of escalating any conflict, to a regional level.
The Iranians aren't stupid, they know the US might just attack Iran, but the US public is not in any way interested in a expanded theatre of war, the US administration knows this, and unfortunately the Iranians do to.
The vulnerability of the US's softer domestic under belly has been exposed in the Iraq conflict, expect the Iranians to capitalise on this in a similar fashion to what they did in Beirut over 20 years ago, with the Marines Barracks Bombing.
"Hezbollah are thumping their chests now because they are trying to get some credit for the mess in Israel,” said Timur Goksel, a former spokesman for UN peacekeepers in Lebanon.The saddest thing about the release of this interim report is that it has actually re emboldened the radical forces of the middle east, they are using Israel's discontent with the War and with Olmert to convince their supporters that they won the war. Nashrallah would have you believe it was a glorious victory.
He said their posture was not aggressive. "They get credit in the Arab world and their own community for challenging Israel in the public domain, but I don’t think they'll go beyond that."
This sets a dangerous precedent , one that other radical groups including Hamas are already trying to emulate.
Hezbollah must consider its own people — Shia civilians who took the brunt of Israeli bombing and now want to rebuild.Nasrallah is convincing his supporters who have suffered collateral damage that it has been all worth it, it seems time and propaganda will allow what otherwise was a defeat turn into a great victory.
A political party as well as an armed group, Hezbollah has also been locked for months in a domestic stalemate that pits the Western-backed government against factions close to Syria.
“Hezbollah is not looking for a new war,” retired Israeli intelligence analyst Matti Steinberg said.“It is aiming to reshape the character of the Lebanese state. It is not looking southward to the border, but inward to Beirut.”
While Hezbollah devotes part of its energies to the Lebanese power struggle, its alliances with Iran and Syria link it to broader conflicts that could lead to a military flare-up.Dont expect the US to attack Iranian Nuclear assets in the short term, dispite some sabre rattling the US public is in no mood for another victory like the Iraq debacle.
"What troubles me is that perhaps the Americans will attack Iran,” Aharon Zeevi-Farkah, a former chief of Israel’s military intelligence, told the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronot. “That would thrust us into a war and the home front is not ready.”
Some Israeli analysts say another conflict is inevitable.
“Israel cannot live with a situation in which Hezbollah is regrouping and rearming,” Efraim Halevy, former chief of the Mossad spy agency, said.
“Hezbollah, for its part, is predicated on the idea of an ultimate confrontation.”- ReutersThe sooner we realize that the recent war in Lebanon was simply the first act the better.
Gulf Tines: Hezbollah is prepared but not seeking new Israel war
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Sunday, 6 May 2007
Posted by Mr Bagel at Sunday, May 06, 2007