CAPTION TO GO UNDER PHOTO:
Israeli Soldiers at the
Western Wall in Jerusalem
Following the Six Day War
For years to come military tacticians will be debating whether Israel or Hezbollah won the recent border war. Although I am former US Marine, I am no military expert, so I will leave that debate to those more qualified. But it doesn't take an expert to see that Hezbollah won the PR war, hands down. The problem is that Israel has finally learned to fight wars like the United States. And that was her downfall in this conflict.
Israel has never lost a war. God has protected this nation in dozens of conflicts. A tiny nation of six million, surrounded by enemies on all sides, in the natural Israel would have been pushed into the sea. But in the Bible God committed Himself to protect this land, and He has done so. Against huge odds, Israel has triumphed again and again against Islamic nations and groups which refuse to acknowledge that Israel even has a right to exist. Following are some details of a few of those conflicts. (Further information about these wars and others is available through the LINKS below.)
THE SIX DAY WAR. In 1967 Israel was under threat of imminent attack by Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq. When Egypt ordered the UN to move away from the Egyptian-Israeli border and increased its military activity near the border, Israel launched a pre-emptive attack on Egypt's air force. In the first hours of the conflict, Israel managed to destroy two thirds of Egypt's air force, and rendered the rest unusable by destroying their runways. Israel had 50,000 active troops and 197 combat aircraft against the combined Arab strength of Â 280,000 troops and 812 combat aircraft. Although outnumbered more than five to one, Israel crushed the Arabs. Almost 10% of the Arab troops, 21,000 in all, were killed, while Israel suffered 779 casualties. Syria lost half their tanks and almost all of their artillery positioned on the Golan Heights. Over 80% of Egypt's military equipment was destroyed. According to the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, following the Six Day War, the Arab world "...had been humiliated by the lopsided defeat of the Egyptian-Syrian-Jordanian alliance during the Six-Day War."
THE WAR OF ATTRITION. This conflict began with an attack on Israel by Egypt in 1968. "The Israel Defense Force's (IDF) unprecedented victory and the Egyptian army's rout in the 1967 Six-Day War put the Sinai peninsula, up to the eastern bank of the Suez Canal, in Israel's hands. Egypt's army, the most powerful in the Arab world, had not only been thoroughly defeated, but also severely humiliated. A strong feeling of humiliation and a craving for retaliation was present." The result of the War of Attrition was even more humiliation for Egypt. More than 10,000 Egyptians and 3 Soviet pilots were killed. Only367 Israelis died in this conflict.
THE YOM KIPPUR WAR. This war began with a surprise attack (crossing the UN cease-fire lines in the Sinai and Golan Heights) in 1973 against Israel led by Egypt and Syria, with help from Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, Pakistan, and the Palestinians. Israel's small army was up against over a million Muslim troops. Israel had less than half the armament of her attackers. Yet when it was all over, the Arabs had over 50,000 dead and wounded to Israel's 9,000. Israel lost 500 tanks and planes while demolishing over 3,000 of the enemies tanks and planes. And they did all of this in 20 days. Wikipedia notes that this war "...helped convince many in the Arab world that Israel could not be defeated militarily, thereby strengthening peace movements." It's analysts continued, "Reeling from a surprise attack on two fronts with the bulk of its army still unmobilized, and confronted by staggering new battlefield realities, Israel's situation was one that could readily bring strong nations to their knees. Yet, within days, it had regained its footing and within less than two weeks it was threatening both enemy capitals, an achievement having few historical parallels."
OPERATION LITANI. This was a 7 day operation which ran from March 14th to the 21st, 1978. Wykipedia describes it well: "Though it took the form of an Israeli military incursion into Southern Lebanon, Operation Litani was grounded in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict. From 1968 on, the PLO, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and other Palestinian groups established a quasi-state in southern Lebanon, using it as a base for raids on northern Israel. This was exacerbated by a massive influx of PLO militants fleeing a defeat in the Jordanian civil war and regrouping in southern Lebanon. Israel responded with damaging attacks against PLO bases. Violence escalated, eventually culminating in the 1982 Lebanon War and the ejection of the PLO from the country." This conflict resulted in The United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL). This "Interim" force has now been in Lebanon for 28 years.
THE 1982 LEBANON WAR. Since 1968 Palestinian groups in southern Lebanon had been raiding northern Israel and bombarding Israeli towns with Katyusha rockets (does this sound familiar?). The Government of Israel gave a green light for the invasion as a response to these attacks and to the assassination attempt against Israel's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov by Fatah. Syria, along with the PLO, Hezbollah & other Islamic groups were involved in the hostilities against Israel which led to this attack. It is estimated that 17,825 Arabs were killed during this war. Approximately 675 Israeli soldiers were killed.
With these stunning victories and dozens like them in her history, how in the world could Israel have performed so miserably in the recent conflict with Hezbollah? My conclusion is that Isarel has finally learned to fight like the US has fought beginning with Viet Nam: with one eye on the war and the other on the TV set.
Prior to Viet Nam, the US had the same record as Israel had. Neither nation had ever been defeated in a war. But during the Viet Nam conflict, televison became a major factor in warfare. We had always had journalists on battlefields. And there was some film coverage of the Korean conflict. But it was during Viet Nam that TV began to have a major impact on military policy. Instead of concentrating on winningthe war, policy makers began to be concerned about how the war looked!
Anyone with half a brain who watched news reports during that time knows that we could have won that war and been out of Viet Nam in short order. But our national will had been sapped by the yellow "journalism" of the day. We should have bombed Hanoi, which would have ended the war quickly. But decision makers were intimidated by the biased news media, and held back. And so it went on and on and on and on until we quit, leaving hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese, who had trusted us, to be murdered by the North Vietnamese. The US had suffered its first defeat in a war.
We continued that fine tradition in Operation Desert Storm. Bush the First stopped short of taking Baghdad when it was in his grasp. We had blown through Iraq, suffering almost no casualties. The Iraqis were in retreat. All we needed was the will to go on. But by that time the news media had ramped up its attacks on the President, and he decided to leave Saddam in power. Today his son (and all of us) are cleaning up the mess he left behind.
So one cannot blame Israel for copying us. When Hezbollah launched an unprovoked attack on Israel, killing and kidnapping Israeli soldiers, and followed that up with a series of rocket attacks in Israel,Israel responded. But they responded in a weak manner. They feared the media, which when Israel retaliated, cried that her response was "disproportionate."
Let's examine that. The media portrays Hezbollah as a small, ineffective, under-financed group of pitiful peasants. In fact, they are well-armed, virulently anti-Semitic (their leader has repeatedly stated that all Jews deserve to die), and very well financed. China and Russia both supply unlimited arms to Iran, which funnels them through Syria to Hezbollah. Iran gives over a hundred million dollars each year directly to Hezbollah. The terrorist fanatics had over 15,000 deadly rockets, most of which have been launched at Israel in the last month. But no worries, Mate. Syria is in the process of sneaking thousands more over the border as we speak.
Finally, in the last days before the Cease-Fire, Israel realized its mistake and started to become more aggressive. She finally realized that when fighting a merciless, ruthless enemy, you have to throw everything you have at them. But it was too little, and too late. By the time Israel realized that they should have gone into Lebanon with massive force and cleaned out the nest of vipers called Hezbollah once and for all, it was too late. The UN, supported by their allies in the liberal media, had taken over.
Hezbollah has been using the Lebanese people as human shields, hiding among civilians and in schools and mosques like the cowards that they are. Now they'll have new human shields to use: the UN forces that will take over the occupation of southern Lebanon. Most of the nations who have volunteered to be part of the force are Muslim nations, which is ridiculous. Peacekeepers are supposed to be neutral. Only one of these Muslim nations even recognizes Israel's right to exist. More ridiculous, France has volunteered to lead the force. I didn't know they even had an army any more. France, which has made surrender the national sport. France, the only nation in the world with backup lights on their tanks. France, the next Islamic nation, due to its ridiculous immigration policies. France, which has committed only 400 troops to the force, but wants to lead the 15,000 man UN force. This does not bode well for Israel. France along with a bunch of Muslim troops will have neither the courage nor the will to disarm Hezbollah, as UN Resolution 1559 requires.
In last week's column I predicted that the Cease-Fire would not last a week. Officially it is still holding. But in truth it was broken on the first day. On Monday, August 14, there were four attempts by Hezbollah terrorists to engage Israeli troops. Before 24 hours were up, Hezbollah had fired 10 rockets at Israeli positions. The UN can pat itself on the back all it wants regarding this pretend Cease-Fire, but the fact is that there will never be peace until either Israel or Hezbollah ceases to exist. My money is on Israel.
How can Israel redeem itself and protect its people when Hezbollah starts firing the rockets again (as it will do as soon as Iran and Syria rearm it)? Israel must keep her eye on the target - Hezbollah. She should stop looking at polls and the media, and it should stop listening to "international opinion" (whatever that is). The leaders of Israel and the military are responsible for the very lives of its six million citizens. If Israel is to survive, she must clean out the snake pit Lebanon has been allowed to become. She must not stop killing snakes until every Hezbollah terrorist is dead or captured.
The Six Day War
The 1948 Arab-Israeli War
The Yom Kippur War
The War of Attrition
1982 Lebanon War