The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Monday, August 21, 2006

Already the reassessments of Israel's performance in the war against Hizbullah is starting. Edward Luttwak, in today's Jerusalem Post, thinks that the results of the war have been misread. In general, his analysis is that the IDF performed much better than what it is being given credit for. His argument is, in essence, that on the tactical level Israel won. This is undoubtedly true; the IDF destroyed a large portion of Hizbullah assets and personnel, while suffering fairly light casualties. Strategypage drew very similar conclusions a few days ago.
While Hizbollah can declare this a victory, because it fought Israel without being destroyed, this is no more a victory than that of any other Arab force that has faced Israeli troops and failed. Arabs have been trying to destroy Israel for over half a century, and Hizbollah is the latest to fail. But Hizbollah did more than fail, it scared most Moslems in the Middle East, because it demonstrated the power and violence of the Shia Arab minority. Sunni Arabs, and most Arabs are Sunnis, are very much afraid of Shia Moslems, mainly because most Iranians are Shia, not Arab, and intent on dominating the region, like Iran has done so many times in the past. Hizbollah's recent outburst made it clear that Iran, which subsidizes and arms Hizbollah, has armed power that reaches the Mediterranean. This scares Sunni Arabs because a Shia minority also continues to rule Syria (where most of the people are Sunni). The Shia majority in Iraq, which have not dominated Iraq for over three centuries, is now back in control.
I would agree with both those assessments, but as I have written previously, Israel has suffered severe damage to its reputation of invinciblity and ability to cause total destruction to an attacking army.
|| Nudnik 3:00 PM
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