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In 1970 Israeli military moves against Syria saved King Hussein and the moderate pro-American Hashemite monarchy of Jordan. In 1982 American-made Israeli fighters engaged the Syrian air force, shooting down 86 MiGs in one week without a single loss…br> While novice Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert deserves criticism for his wavering leadership and failure to authorize a major ground offensive earlier in the current conflict, it is worth noting that all of the prior examples of Israeli dominance were instances of conventional warfare, whereas the current conflict against Hezbollah is asymmetric.
The United States used superior military power to win quick victories in the conventional phases of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but years later, it is still battling a terrorist insurgency in Iraq and remnants of the Taliban in Afghanistan. If the most powerful military in the world could not eliminate these insurgents in years, why should Israel be expected to destroy Hezbollah (one of the fiercest and most well-funded terrorist groups in the world) in a matter of weeks?
Critics of the American-led war in Iraq say they oppose the war on grounds that Iraq was not a direct threat to the U.S. and that the invasion was unprovoked. That argument is specious with regard to Iraq, but indefensible with regard to the current conflict between Hezbollah and Israel. Hezbollah started the fighting by killing and kidnapping Israeli soldiers and perpetuates it by firing hundreds of rockets into Israeli towns each day. And Hezbollah (as well as its nuclear aspirant sponsor in Tehran) leaves no doubt about its ultimate goal of destroying Israel.
Proponents of a quick ceasefire believe that such an action will spare civilian lives, but they are gravely mistaken. While an immediate end to the current conflict may save lives in the short-term, in the long run it will only put more civilians at risk.
The reason is that by putting a timeline on any Israeli military action, it sends a message to Hezbollah and other terrorist groups that they don’t actually have to defeat Israel (as Arab nations tried and failed to do through conventional warfare), but simply run out the clock. And the most effective way for terrorists to run out the clock is to continue to fire rockets and store weapons among civilians, which will cause Israel to act more tentatively and expedite international calls for a ceasefire.
The Israelis themselves are willing to do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to ensure that Hezbollah cannot threaten their cities again. Last week the Jerusalem Post cited a poll showing that 95 percent of Jewish Israelis approved of Israel’s response to Hezbollah’s initial attack, and 82 percent thought Israel should continue more forcefully.
President Bush has chided critics who have called for a timeline for withdrawal in Iraq by arguing that it would embolden the terrorists. He has instead stressed the need to “stay the course.” It’s time that Israel be allowed to stay the course as well.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?