Weekends at the Corner are usually reserved for the B-team (I know…I know, it’s hard to tell them apart from the A-team. You have to squint…) but that was before the IDF slipped a little something into the NRO Yoo-Hoo™ cooler and suddenly it was war erections a-poppin’!
A barely-contained Ledeen:
Syria, Iran [Michael Ledeen]
John: You have wonderfully made my point by cheering speeches and words instead of actions. There is a real opportunity now. The Lebaneseâ€”even, a couple of hours ago, thousands of Lebanese in Parisâ€”are demonstrating against Hezbollah and Syria and Iran. The Saudis and the Egyptians have publicly criticized Hezbollah, and for the first time in human memory have not blindly condemned Israel.
They are taking a risk here, hoping that we will understand the gravity of the moment and the dimensions of the opportunity. The great opportunity, and indeed the just consequence of the attack against Israel, is to bring down Assad along with destroying Hezbollah. That must be the mission. There are many Syrians who are ready to act, but the first step toward the removal of Assad is for the president and the secretary of state to call for regime change in Syria.
The hard work on the ground belongs to the Israelis, and you are right to say we have done well to support them rhetorically. But we have to after Assad, and we have not done that. Perhaps this is due to my own ignorance; it may be going on behind the scenes (not movie scenes, the real ones). I hope so. But I don’t see it. I don’t see or hear our leaders condemning the Syrians and the Iranians, aside from the original White House statement (in direct conflict with the statement from the State Dept, let’s not forget) holding Syria and Iran responsible. Okay, so they’re responsible. And then?
There has to be a “then.” And it has to be aimed at the total destruction of Hizbollah and the downfall of the regime in Damascus.
Immediately followed by a giddy John Podhoretz:
Like I Say, Michael… [John Podhoretz]
…a wonderful notion, that â€” America helping to take the lead in destroying Hezbollah and taking down the regime in Syria even as we fight a difficult war in Iraq. Wonderful. And science-fictional.
Not to be left behind, Cliff May cancels his weekly Sunday paintball and steambath appointment with Victor Davis I Am Spartacus Hanson to post here:
The more dovish talking heads are calling for more diplomacy in the Middle East. What does that mean? Initiate bilateral talks with Hezbollah? Offer incentives to Assad? Send Condi to Tehran to ask for assistance?
No, the proper role for diplomacy is this: to provide a backchannel between moderate members of the Lebanese government and Israel, so those two parties can begin to plan for an eventual handover of southern Lebanon to Lebanese forces â€“ after Hezbollah has been effectively disarmed by Israeli forces.
Diplomacy also can make it difficult for Europeans and UN officials to object, since the disarming of Hezbollah is demanded by UN Security Council Resolution 1559.
If Israel doesnâ€™t disarm Hezbollah now, no one else will later.
â€œHizballah is in possession of four types of advanced ground-to-ground missiles: Fajr missiles with a range of 100 km, Iran 130 missiles with a range of 90-110 km, Shahin missiles with a range of up to 150 km, and a 355 mm rocket with a 150 km range.â€
â€œThe London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat quoted a senior Iranian army official as saying that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards set up dozens of advanced rocket and missile bases in the Lebanon Valley and along the border with Israel.â€
BTW, you think the Lebanese government was consulted by Hezbollah about having the Iranian Revolutionary Guards operating on Lebanese soil?
More and more, it appears that Israel has determined that its goal is to cripple Hezbollah. If that trick can be managed, it will deliver a blow not only to Hezbollah but also to Syria and Iran and the entire Militant Islamist movement.
It also would produce a huge benefit for the vast majority of Lebanese who do not want their country run by Hezbollah/Syria/Iran and who do know that the Israelis have no wish to remain.
Since disarming Hezbollah is what is called for by the â€œinternational communityâ€ in UN Security Council Resolution 1559, it is hard to see how even the French could call such an action disproportionate.â€
It makes one wonder what the French would regard as a proportionate response. Forming a collaborationist government in Vichy, perhaps?
John at the OP-FOR blog writes that he concurs with my assessment of Israelâ€™s goal and provides a military analysis:
By which time May, who usually posts maybe once a day, was clearly depleted of bodily fluids and began to cramp up, so was sent to the locker room for an aprÃ¨ la guerre rubdown.
Oh, there were also posts from Jonah but everyone ignored him because he’s not supposed to run around and play war with the other guys when his mom forgets to pack his asthma puffer…