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August 18, 2006

Mullahstan LebStyle

Filed under: Global Jihad, Islam, Mellemøsten, Terror — limewoody @ 2:10 pm

From Haaretz: 

Thursday was supposedly a historic day in Lebanon. For the first time in 30
years, the Lebanese Army deployed south of the Litani River. This time, too,
as was expected, the civilians threw rice at yet another military force.

But, as the leading Lebanese officer on the scene read out the unit’s
orders, the real picture emerged: “The army will deploy on the wounded
Lebanese land alongside the men of the resistance.”

In other words: The Lebanese Army has no plans to drive Hezbollah out of the
South or to confront them.
Lebanon’s president and commander in chief of the army, Emile Lahoud, made
it clear on Wednesday that Hezbollah would not be disarmed, not even in the
area south of the Litani River. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah may have
promised that his men will not carry their arms openly but they could
rebuild their bunkers and fill them up with rockets in preparation for the
next confrontation in the future.

Meanwhile, the deployment of the multinational force is being delayed, and
France is in no rush to send many soldiers. UN Security Council Resolution
1701, passed a week ago, is already on the path to becoming meaningless.
While the Americans are declaring that the new forces in southern Lebanon
will not allow Hezbollah to resume their positions along the border,
Nasrallah is proving them wrong. His forces are patroling without hindrance
in the villages of southern Lebanon (some of them not having left during the
fighting); they are recording the Israel Defense Forces activities, and are
giving interviews, while armed, to Arab television stations.

These developments are worrisome to the other religious groups in Lebanon
that fear an Iranian-Syrian takeover in the South. Walid Jumblatt, Sa’ad
al-Din Hariri and others sharply criticized Syrian President Bashar Assad
for his efforts to intervene in domestic Lebanese politics. But as far as
they are concerned, the real threat stems from Hezbollah’s plans to
reconstruct southern Lebanon, using billions of Iranian dollars that are
meant to further establish the organization in the country by pushing aside
the government organs.

It is not surprising therefore that there are celebrations in Tehran:
Thursday, a public transport company there announced a day of free travel in
the Iranian capital to celebrate Hezbollah’s victory over Israel. In the
wake of the Israeli invasion, it turns out that the regime of the Ayatollahs
is on the verge of witnessing the realization of its dream for a “mini-Iran”
in southern Lebanon.

It turns out that the political and military echelons in Israel were no less
concerned than Hezbollah over the war of perceptions. Ministers recall that
Olmert’s aides joked about the possibility that he would make a victory
speech in Bint Jbail, the site of Nasrallah’s speech on Israel’s spider web
in May 2000. The Shin Bet security service’s VIP protection detail would
have never authorized this, but the mere fact that it was discussed is an
indication of how surrealistic the conversations became among decision
makers.

The IDF carried out three operations in Bint Jbail during the war, and did
not conquer it because of its sprawling urban character. The public are not
alone in not understanding the army’s plans; the officers are hard pressed
to comprehend them too.

During the war, Olmert bypassed Defense Minister Amir Peretz on a number of
occasions and worked directly with Chief of Staff Dan Halutz. While
relations became frayed, no one in the cabinet or the General Staff
challenged their decisions.

Since the passing of the favorable resolution, Israel is having to withdraw
from the territory it has occupied, following heavy losses; but Hezbollah
continues to hold the ground and maintain that it won.

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