July 14, 2006
|The Few And The Many||Media Palestine/Middle East|
You can read blogging from Lebanon, here. A recent post concludes with these words:
Lebanon is a hostage and all the Lebanese people are a pawn in the hands of the few.
One of the striking things about the Lebanon coverage here in the US is the extent to which it suggests that Hezbollah is somehow on a par with the IDF. CNN has even gone so far as to constantly mention the few Israeli casualties while largely ignoring the scores of Lebanese civilian casualties. (The US version of CNN, that is. The International version is more balanced, which should tell you something: CNN knows the facts but is tailoring the message to the audience.)
Hezbollah is not Lebanon, but it is the people of Lebanon who are being made to pay. Never mind that collective punishment is a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention. (But of course collective punishment is what the Palestinians have been facing for years.)
Hezbollah is no match for the IDF, but it's also not clear how Israel can defeat them. This is the conundrum of fourth generation war: how do you defeat a loosely-knit non-state enemy that is swimming in a sea of non-combatant civilians. It's what's defeating the US in Iraq. Billmon:
Hezbollah may have found the sweet spot in Fourth Generation War: It isn't a state and doesn't carry the political or defensive burdens of one, but it controls enough territory, commands enough popular loyalty and has enough allies to mount some fairly sophisticated military operations, using both conventional and nonconventional weapons. It's powerful enough to be successful — and be seen as successful — but not so powerful that state actors like Israel can fight it on equal terms. We may be looking at the New Model Army of the 21st century.
Israel, like the US in Iraq, may have started something it cannot finish — except by withdrawing.
The Weekly Standard has a great post on this topic I think you will find interesting:
Israel's "PR Problem The WorldwideStandard.com (Posted by Daniel McKivergan on July 14, 2006 09:31 AM )
The Washington Post's David Ignatius informs us today that the U.S. and Israel have a “public opinion” problem. We’re further told that America needs to be an “honest broker” between Israel, a democracy, and the tyrant states and terrorist groups that surround it. But, as Charles Krauthammer writes in his excellent Post column today, Israel’s “PR” problem, in the eyes of many, begins with its very existence.
Posted by: Gregory Kelly at July 15, 2006 07:10 AM