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Without Military Merit

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See this page for links to articles on OpEdNEws that articulate both sides on the issues in the middle east. It is the goal of OpEdNews to air opinions from both sides to stretch the envelope of discussion and communication. Hate statements are not accepted. Discussions of issues and new ideas for solutions are encouraged. .
The Israeli war cabinet voted to increase the size and ferocity of its ground incursion into Lebanon today. A news report also said that Hezbollah has now fired some 3,333 rockets into Israel.

Mr. Bernard Lewis, professor emeritus at Princeton, wrote in the Wall Street Journal this week, "Against Israel, the target is small enough to attempt obliteration by direct bombardment."

Several things are staggering about the situation in Lebanon and Israel. First, one wonders how a terrorist group could have so many tools of a national army? And how can Hezbollah be putting up such fierce resistance to the legendary Israeli Defense Force?

Fouad Siniora, the prime minister of Lebanon, issued a tearful plea for peace. But Israel says the fighting must continue until the long-term security of Israel can be assured. Israel is telling us, through what is now rightly to be called an invasion, that the situation that existed before this war has not yet changed sufficiently to stop the fighting.

A few observations:

--The kind of short range unguided rockets being used by Hezbollah have virtually no military merit. The accuracy of these rockets make them essentially terror tools, not well suited to breaking up Israeli tank operations.

--Lebanon lost control of its sovereignty, either or purpose or by neglect. To allow an armed fighting force, Hezbollah, to operate with impunity within its borders, Lebanon gave control of its national destiny to a minority mob. Lebanon is now reaping the crop sown by terrorism.

--Somebody is arming terrorists and aiding and abetting the forces arrayed against the U.S., Britain and Israel. We know from news reports that Iran and Syria are considered to be prime suspects. But a lot of Hezbollah's weapons came originally from Russia and China so one wonders how much assistance is provided to terrorists from those two mighty giants.

--The United Nations has demonstrated a profound inability to reach an agreement and stop the bloodshed. Four weeks after the start of hostilities it is still not clear that a peacekeeping force can be assembled with the requisite strength to give confidence to Israel that Hezbollah will not still hold a knife to Israel's throat at the end of the fighting.

--We're starting to prefer Human Rights Watch over Kofi Annan's U.N. Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said of the civilian carnage in Lebanon and Israel, "Kofi Annan rightly recognizes the need to investigate the impact of this conflict on civilians, but that investigation won't start by itself. The U.N. should waste no time in sending experts to look at the terrible toll of civilian deaths in Lebanon and northern Israel."

--Human Rights Watch had equal condemnation for Hezbollah and Israel. But the Israeli air force uses U.S. equipment and processes than this means great care is taken to limit collateral damage. Israel has no motivation to drive up civilian deaths even while Hezbollah is using unguided missile on the Israeli people. Having worked with Israel military forces we have seen the great care they take to limit civilian deaths and injuries.

--To put this in a nutshell, Israel is using a conventional military force to find and kill people lobbing unguided rockets into their civilian population; a kind of asymmetric
warfare of the most heinous sort.

--The news media in many parts of the globe are showing a decidedly anti-Israeli view of this war. By only showing Lebanese women and children suffering, and no Israelis, one can only come to the conclusion that Israel is doing all the killing. TV reports in Russia and France are making this war look like Israeli blood lust. One gets the impression an innocent 14 year old girl (Lebanon) is getting raped.

--The French seem unable to recognize that Israel sees the fighting as essential to the very existence of Israel. Asked whether French-US tensions were rising, McCormack would only say: "we are always happy to work with our French colleagues."

That sounds like diplomatic code for "we are in the same room with the French but can't agree to a blessed thing."

And Kofi Annan met with a "rap star" at UN headquarters today.

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John E. Carey is the former president of International Defense Consultants, Inc.
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