In the middle of the Lebanon War II I made these comments.
A bad ceasefire resolution is worse then no ceasefire
By Ted Belman (First posted on Aug 04/’06)
The prosecution of this war by Olmert’s left leaning government has been a disaster. It has been and is based on the desire to avoid another occupation. There is a belief among the left, undeterred by events, that occupation is the problem. This belief led to the signing of the disastrous Oslo Accords, the retreat from Lebanon in 2000 and the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. And finally it motivates Olmert’s convergence plan.
It is a consequence of this belief that Olmert at first prosecuted an air war only, then allowed for pinpoint incursions only with a withdrawal immediately after, then allowed for a buffer of one kilometer which still was only to consist of a no man’s land without occupation. This has finally given way to multiple incursions without immediate withdrawals, first only to the extent of five kilometers and now to the Litani River but only temporarily because the buffer of choice is still five kilometers in width.
In a previous article I wrote
Olmert is dedicated to avoiding an occupation rather then to achieving victory. Six years ago Barak ended the occupation which was causing bad PR and 12 Israeli lives per year. Now six year later, Israel is paying the price for that retreat both in terms of bad PR and in terms of lives lost. The lives lost will soon exceed the lives which would have been lost had Israel stayed (6 times 12). This war did more to worsen Israelâ€™s reputation then the occupation did. The financial cost of this war far exceeds the cost of the occupation had it continued.
Yet the idea that the occupation is the problem and not the solution, persists.
Olmert and the IDF say that this war is about reestablishing our deterrence. Had we stayed, it would not have been necessary.
So what will Olmert say after the ceasefire and withdrawal when the rockets keep falling.
Olmert took control of the war, much to the chagrin of the military, ostensible for political purposes. Yet his choices couldn’t have done more harm to Israel politically. Israel has lost the high ground in a war that should have been a no-brainer.
Where will this all end? Olmert is hoping for a ceasefire to be imposed even though he says that the IDF will remain until relieved by an international force. Such a force may never materialize or if it does it will only serve to prevent Israel from fighting Hezballah and will not protect Israel from Hezballah.
A bad ceasefire resolution is worse then no ceasefire. Israel should make ready to reject an unsatisfactory ceasefire and to go it alone.
Under no conditions should Israel allow Hezballah to win any concessions. They would simply validate its resistance. Israel should say “no” to an exchange of prisoners other then the prisoners captured subsequent to the kidnapping of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev and should say “no” to the retreat from Sheeba Farms.
As part of a long term plan, Israel should cause all Lebanese south of the Litani River to move north of it. Most have already done so. The purpose being three fold;
1) Israel will be able to remain in occupation up to the Litani River without being attacked on the ground,
2) it will end the Katusha’s being fired at Israel and
3) it will keep the pressure on Lebanon to sign a permanent peace agreement.
If Jordan and Egypt can do it why not Lebanon. As with Egypt this would be a land for peace deal.
Finally Israel should continue attacking Hezballah and prevent any missiles from entering Lebanon. It should also insist on a peace agreement.