Every time I think Hamas and Hizballah can get no dumber, I wake up to the news on my radio.
It seems that Hizballah has made a serious miscalculation.
In the United States, just because you and your government give us casus belli, does not mean that we’re going to come kick your teeth in. If it did, we’d have gone into North Korea (open counterfeiting of our currency plus numerous black ops), have put Mexico on notice (loose cannon soldiers engaged in smuggling across the border), have stomped Syria flat in 2004-05 (open smuggling of illegal combatants to a war zone), and be in the middle of preparing to go into Iran (supplying war materiel to our enemies).
However, just because somebody makes an act of war on us, doesn’t mean we have to respond. In fact, we frequently let things pass specifically because it’s more easier and more productive just to let things slide while we engage in diplomatic and covert hammerlocks… or, simply let our enemies continue to stagnate delivering mosquito bites while we progress by leaps and bounds.
Currently this means letting all of those guys prepare to “fight the previous war,” on Iraqi terms… while we are using Iraq as a very successful laboratory on how to crush asymmetric warfare like a bug. The thuglets on the block want to beat their chests about how they’ve recruited thousands of suicide bombers? Let them. The only way they can hurt us is if we bother to care enough to put troops where they can actually get to them.
Hugo Chavez wishes he mattered enough to get us to come after him.
Other nations do not have our luxury of response, and if you give them a sharp elbow, you can expect a sharp elbow back… because to do otherwise is the equivalent of cringing in a maximum-security prison. So when the Israelis pulled out of Gaza, and Hamas got elected, that changed matters entirely from the modus operandi of previous decades. Hamas is now the Palestinian Government, and when a government kidnaps soldiers, that’s an act of war… so the tanks rolled back into Gaza.
And, when Hamas’ allies in Hizballah kidnapped two soldiers… Hizballah having status within the Lebanese government as the de-facto government of its own territory, that is also an act of war. It is the height of wishful thinking to believe that Israel would go after one of its soldiers in Gaza, and yet blink and cringe in the face of Hizballah.
The Nutcases of Lebanon made a serious miscalculation. The border has been ready to explode for months, with overt Iranian support for Hizballah’s military logistics on-scene. Everybody has been holding his breath for when Hizb decides to make a push south. Instead, they gave Israel an opportunity to have the fight happen on a momentum of its own choosing… by engineering a situation in which Israel does not dare not respond.
Hizballah should have known better. Either
- the Nutcases have collectively decided that a bunch of Iranian bunkers equalizes a dogfight under total Israeli air dominance…
- a senior Nutcase really screwed up by authorizing an op he shouldn’t have…
- or some lower-level Nutcase is being roasted slowly over a fire as you read this, while being whipped with concertina wire on the hour.
Hizballah being what it is, amazingly enough, the first two are more likely scenarios.
Kofi Annan can make whatever anti-Israeli statement he wants at the UN. Europe, the US, China, Iran… everybody can say whatever they like. None of it matters one bit, unless they decide to ante in with troops. Fortunately for the rest of the Lebanese, and unfortunately for Syria, Hizballah, Hamas, and Iran, Hizballah’s act of war, like that of Hamas, gives Israel carte blanche to wipe them off the face of the earth.
Because that’s the rules that nations have played under for the past two hundred years, and just because we have the luxury not to engage, does not mean that the rules have suddenly changed across the board.