A Deeper Occupation Will Only Increase The Problems!

Since Israeli ground troops began fighting in Lebanon I have been saying they would eventually push as far into Lebanon as the Litani river, contradicted consistently by Israeli statements regarding their official aim in the conflict.  Vindication came yesterday.

By Liam Bailey

The official Israeli line at the start of the ground invasion was, widespread air-strikes and a limited incursion to root out Hezbollah weapons and fighters, then creating a 1.2 mile buffer zone inside Lebanon, which was extended to 4 miles shortly after 1.2 was reached, when 4 was reached and the strategy clearly wasn’t diminishing Hezbollah’s capability to attack Israel, the new offensive creating a buffer zone between Israel’s border and the Litani river was authorised by the Israeli defence cabinet yesterday.  Hezbollah’s leader has warned that Israel will be faced with a “monumental battle” the occupied zone will become an Israeli “graveyard”.  Eli Yishai, one of the cabinet members who voted on the offensive said: “The assessment is it will last 30 days. I think it is wrong to make this assessment. I think it will take a lot longer,” also hinting that the Israeli cabinet expected a ceasefire to be imposed before the operation was completed. 

All reports coming from the UN contradict the Israeli expectations.  At the start of this conflict the U.S called for Lebanon to mobilise its army south to take control of the border region from Hezbollah, now the peace-process is on the brink of collapse because the U.S won’t agree to pressure for an immediate Israeli withdrawal based on the offer from Lebanon’s Prime Minister of the Lebanese army calling up 15,000 reservists and entering the South to police any ceasefire the UN can achieve, an offer Hezbollah would also favour according to the comments of their leader on Arab TV yesterday.  The U.S continuing to back the Israeli line, that the offensive will continue until a substantial international force enter the area means the conflict still no looks no closer to a ceasefire, or a “cessation of hostilities”.

After the initial announcement of the Israeli defence cabinets decision, statements by Prime Minister Olmert put the new offensive on hold till the weekend to allow more time for diplomatic efforts, but said the offensive would be brought forward if Hezbollah launched a massive attack on Israel, unrelenting U.S support for the Israel continually moving the goalposts on its conditions for withdrawal and ending the offensive, a ceasefire is still as far away as ever. Today Israeli troops took control of predominantly Christian Marjayoun, a strategic base for the new offensive, and looking over the Litani valley a known Hezbollah rocket site, proving the announcement of delaying the new offensive as another symbolic gesture by Olmert, like the 48 hour ceasefire that barely lasted an hour.

Israel authorised the new offensive, almost immediately expanding the 10,000 troop offensive, Hezbollah are already fighting the occupation, the battle has started.  Olmert can’t stop it with talk, unless what he says starts the Israeli withdrawal.  Withdrawal is Israel’s best option, but the duration of this offensive means even withdrawal won’t bring peace, nor will an international force, this battle will go on until Hezbollah is defeated.  The aim of the new expanded operation is to push Hezbollah back behind the Litani river, almost 20-miles from the Israeli border, but whatever security (occupied) zone Israel create, will, to Hezbollah become Israel by default and the Israeli military will continually have to fight  and go deeper into Lebanon until Hezbollah is defeated, which may take years and end with Lebanon totally occupied by Israeli forces, as growing numbers of Lebanese civilians are compelled by the mounting civilian death toll and deepening invasion, to fight alongside the militia. 

As well as their knowledge of the terrain and organisation, Hezbollah’s growing numbers are also responsible for Israel’s failure to diminish their capabilities to attack Israel and resist the occupation.  Israel lost 15 soldiers on Wednesday, Israel’s bloodiest day of the conflict after a month of suspected heavy bombardment of Hezbollah positions and a twenty day ground invasion specifically targeting the militia.  Hezbollah also fired 170 rockets into Israel Wednesday, as Hezbollah will continue to fight Israeli forces, even after they reach the Litani and having already fired rockets 45 miles into Israel, I am now predicting that the Israeli offensive won’t stop at the Litani river, where it stops nobody knows, I definitely don’t predict a ceasefire anytime soon.

End. 

I am still working on the analytical essay I promised, it’s a whopper but I had to get this in today.

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