Origins of the Lebanon war

The Winograd Commission clears up the propaganda myth that Israel was ill prepared for the July War and that it was a quick response to a kidnapping.  Olmerts testimony shows, that at least, several months of planning had taken place and the whole attack was premeditated.  Israel was infact waiting for an excuse to launch their planned war rather than preparing a response to a kidnap as Olmert claims.  Amir Peretz, Israels war minister, had the following to say “Is there anyone who really believes that the capture of the two soldiers in the north was the reason that led to the war? There was an accumulation of the incidents before the war which led us to be very cautious to more serious threats. If we did not confront them, we would have found ourselves, after several years, in front of harsh mounting threats and more dangerous than we have discovered.”[1]  The message to the Lebanese seems to be if you think about building a deterant to Israeli aggression it will be seen as a threat to Israeli hegemony and will have to be dealt with.  In this case Israel was planning a strike on Iran and wanted to weaken a key ally, Hezbollah, by removing its long range missile capacity,  Seymour Hershes article is a good place to learn more [2]
The following is sourced from The Fanonite [3]

Origins of the Lebanon War

March 8th, 2007

Although Seymour Hersh had already revealed that the Lebanon War was preceded by a whole year of planning, some among the “moderate” Arabs had a hard time digesting this. So here is Ha’aretz on the Winograd Commission’s findings in its investigations of last years invasion of Lebanon:

Olmert has told the Winograd Commission that his decision to respond to the abduction of soldiers with a broad military operation was made as early as March 2006, four months before last summer’s Lebanon war broke out.

The Guardian adds that Olmert’s testimony ”contradicted the impression at the time that Israel was provoked into a battle for which it was ill-prepared.”

Unless our “moderate” Arab friends believe in Olmert’s clairvoyance, no further proof should be necessary that Israel’s aggression was premedictated.

The report adds:

Olmert claimed he had held more meetings on the situation in Lebanon than any of his recent predecessors. The first meeting was held on January 8, 2006…Further meetings were held in March, April, May and July, after Corporal Gilad Shalit was abducted to the Gaza Strip…

In a meeting in March, Olmert asked the army commanders whether operational plans existed for such a possibility, and they said yes. He asked to see the plans, and they asked why. He responded that he did not want to make a snap decision in the case of an abduction, and preferred to decide at that moment.

The Commission ask Olmert why he decided “to carry out a large-scale ground operation in Lebanon, 48 hours before the cease-fire, in which 33 soldiers were killed”.

Olmert said he had wanted to influence UN Security Council deliberations so that the draft resolution 1701, calling for a cease-fire, would be amended in Israel’s favor.

Olmert said that the morning he made the move, he had received a draft reflecting the French-Lebanese stance, which did not suit Israel. The expanded operation was aimed at pressuring the Security Council members, he said.

When Chicken-Hawks Fall

According to Israeli commentators “Olmert and Amir Peretz, the defence minister, took the opportunity of the kidnapping [sic] to show they could manage a war in spite of their limited military experience.”

Very clever, them two. Their strategy must have sent their popularity through the roof. 

In an opinion poll published this week, only 3% of Israeli voters said they would back Mr Olmert in an election, while 72% said he should resign.

American Response to the War

We all know that US used its diplomatic muscle to delay a ceasefire, and rushed cache’s of weapons to Lebanon via UK during the war. Here is what is less known:

He said that as early as the first day of the war, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke with Olmert and asked that Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora not be undermined. Israel understood this to mean that Lebanese infrastructure should not be destroyed, even though the IDF had originally planned otherwise.

Conal Urquhart’s usual substandard reports continue to reproduce official Israeli lingo, e.g. the soldier’s being “abducted” or “kidnapped”. However this time, he ventures at least one bold statement.

Many suggested that the army had become accustomed to fighting the ill-equipped Palestinians and was not prepared for Hizbullah’s expertise.

Yes, the Israeli army is a juggernaut, so long as it is confronted with stone-throwing pre-teens.


Other links

Report: Interim findings of Lebanon war won’t deal with personal failures – Haaretz – Israel News

Officers slam PM for planning war but not preparing IDF – Haaretz – Israel News



Bias BBC Middle East crisis: Facts and figures

BBC facts and figures from  the Lebanon conflict.  Seems like blatant propaganda to me.

Notice the percentage for Lebanon is of the TOTAL POPULATION displaced. Whereas when we look at israel its the percentage of the NORTH TOTAL POPULATION. So we have two percentage figures which at a glace make it look like there was a bigger factor of population displacement in Israel 50% compared to a Lebanese 25%. If this isn’t BLATANT manipulation of statistics i don’t know what is….

With a total population of 7,100,000 the figures should be 7% Israelis displaced 25% Lebanese displaced.

Read More