David Warren, writing at Real Clear Politics, provides what may be the best short critique of Israel's actions in Lebanon. The stops and starts have delivered a mixed message.
One moment Prime Minister Olmert says Israel is prepared for a battle to the death, the next he starts talking about creating a border security zone only two kilometres wide —— which would be as if the Germans attacked the Maginot line, but not France.
There is speculation, still, that the Israelis are pulling a huge ruse —— exaggerating their difficulties to build Hezbollah's false confidence, before delivering the crushing blow. I can't believe this. The Israeli political class consists almost entirely of big—mouths, and you can't keep a secret among them [....]
The problem, for Israel as for the West, is not just Hezbollah, or Hamas, but all future Islamist terror brigades. Every pulled punch against Hezbollah and Hamas is an inspiration to Iran, and to aspiring Muslim "martyrs" everywhere, to raise new brigades, and find new methods of instilling fear in us, until we crack and run [....]
Egypt and Jordan did not come to terms with the state of Israel, in 1979, because they suddenly developed a soft spot for Zionism. They did so when they realized they couldn't budge Israel, let alone drive her into the sea. Peace came when they gave up trying.
Richard Baehr 7 30 06