Oh Lord, Israel Is Following Senator Aiken's Advice!
"The best policy is to declare victory and go home." So said George Aiken (1892-1984), a Republican politician from Vermont, with respect to the Vietnam War. Israel appears to have adopted Senator Aiken's policy with respect to its (provoked) attack on Lebanon. Pray that peace follows. But don't count on it.
"The best policy is to declare victory and go home." So said George Aiken (1892-1984), a Republican politician from Vermont, with respect to the Vietnam War.
Israel appears to have adopted Senator Aiken's policy with respect to its (provoked) attack on Lebanon.
Pray that peace follows.
But don't count on it.
Much of America's mainstream media revels in reviling the American military and American intelligence for any mistake or imperfection. Imagine what they would do with the Israel-Hezbollah War if reviling Israel that way did not come across as anti-Semitic.
Reality: the war was bad, not good, for Israel, and in this case bad news for Israel, America's ally, is bad news for America and America's hope to bring democracy to the Middle East. To be sure, Israel was trying to destroy Hezbollah, not the fragile Lebanese democracy, but it miscalculated, badly, and greatly helped the Islamo-fascist terrorists, sadly.
The aura of invincibility of the Israeli Defense Forces and the impression that Mossad knew anything worth knowing (key armor for Israeli in a hostile environment) are not what they used to be.
In 1967, Israel won the Six Day War. Egypt's ruler, Gamal Abdul Nassar, was menacing Israel, but his air force was on the ground, so it's unlikely he really was about to attack. Israel knew that an air force on the ground is an air force that can be quickly eliminated, so it used its great air force to eliminate the Egyptian air force. The Sinai peninsula is a vast desert. Command of the sky over a desert is a major military advantage. So the Israeli forces chased the Egyptian army across the desert. "Walk Like an Egyptian" is the name of a U.S. number-one hit by The Bangles in 1986. In 1967, the Egyptian army was running, not walking, and west, not east.
In Lebanon, Hezbollah chose to fight instead of flee (even though it apparently miscalculated the Israeli reaction), and Israel did not appreciate how well prepared Hezbollah was. Obviously. Israel spent nearly a month trying to eliminate the Hezbollah threat the relatively easy way. Hezbollah does not have an air force, but it had bunkers, weapons, and civilians and United Nations observers to discourage Israel from taking a carpet bombing approach.
Israel made the decision to treat the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers and killing of more as a cause for war. Ideally, Mossad should have known what that war would involve and it obviously did not.
Worse, Israeli's goal was to eliminate Hezbollah (at least as a threat to Israel) and Israel calculated that destroying much of the Lebanese infrastructure would help. BIG MISTAKE! Unfortunately, Israel did for Hezbollah what Hezbollah could not do for itself: make Hezbollah much more attractive to the rest of the people of Lebanon.
Israel initially was unaware and therefore unprepared to do what needed to be done militarily in Lebanon to eliminate the Hezbollah threat.
Israel tried to do the job essentially in the air and on the cheap.
And more than a month later, the Israeli government (which may fall soon) was trying to sell the "We won, so we're leaving" line so reminiscent of senator Aiken's proposed solution to the problem of Vietnam.
It is hard to believe that Israelis really count the month+ long war with Hezbollah as a victory.
There's no doubt that Hezbollah and its unbloodied backers, Iran and Syria, do. Iran continues to develop nuclear weapons, as the world is distracted by the Hezbollah brouhaha.
Israel's most brilliant military successes came during the last quarter of the twentieth century: (1) the bombing of Saddam Hussein's nuclear facilities and (2) the Entebbe raid that freed all the hostages, with one notable casualty (the leader of the raid and brother of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahoo).
To reclaim its rep, will Israel take out Iran's nuclear facilities? Or just hope that Iran's fanatical rulers don't really mean what they say. (After Hitler, it's unlikely Jews will underestimate their avowed enemies again.)
Israel did send the United Nations observers a message: don't let a Hezbollah combatant stand near you. (One can understand the Israeli frustration. The United Nations observers had been there for a generation, and they utterly failed to stop Hezbollah from preparing to fight effectively in southern Lebanon.)
No matter how much lipstick is put on the pig, Israel's war with Hezbollah was a blunder. If Israel was not prepared to do the job of eliminating the Hezbollah threat, it should not have entered Lebanon. It is worse off, not better off, and better focus on improving its condition instead of pretending it just won yet again.
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.