Monday, August 14, 2006

Bush Claims Israel Won Lebanon War

President Bush is clearly no Clausewitz:

President Bush, just hours after a cease-fire took hold Monday, said Hezbollah guerrillas had suffered a sound defeat at the hands of Israel in their month long Mideast war...

"Hezbollah attacked Israel, Hezbollah started the crisis, and Hezbollah suffered a defeat in this crisis," the president said. "The reason why is, this is because there's going to be a new power in the south of Lebanon, and that's going to be a Lebanese force with a robust international force to help them seize control of the country."

If this is the caliber of briefing that the president of the United States is getting these days, then the country is in big trouble.

More likely, the briefers have shared the bad news with the president, and he is putting on the best possible public face.

Hezbollah is recognized by everyone in the world to have dealt Israel a severe blow to their military posture as the big kid with the best toys in the neighborhood. Israel was incapable of preventing attacks upon their nation for over a month by a militia which will not be disarmed and will blend back into the towns and villages of South Lebanon to be available for future action.

This equals a political victory for Hezbollah.

Bush pretty much has to kiss Israel's ass at this point, because it is becoming clearer that he had a large role in the disproportional response conducted by the Jewish state in the wake of the awaited pretext.

Amid the political and diplomatic fallout from Israel's faltering invasion of Lebanon, some Israeli officials are privately blaming President George W. Bush for egging Prime Minister Ehud Olmert into the ill-conceived military adventure against the Hezbollah militia in south Lebanon.

Bush conveyed his strong personal support for the military offensive during a White House meeting with Olmert on May 23, according to sources familiar with the thinking of senior Israeli leaders.

May 23, eh? That was some time before the capture of the two Israeli soldiers near Aita al Shaab on the Lebanese border.

As part of Bush's determination to create a "new Middle East" -- one that is more amenable to U.S. policies and desires -- Bush even urged Israel to attack Syria, but the Olmert government refused to go that far, according to Israeli sources.

One source said some Israeli officials thought Bush's attack-Syria idea was "nuts" since much of the world would have seen the bombing campaign as overt aggression.

In an article on July 30, the Jerusalem Post referred to Bush's interest in a wider war involving Syria. Israeli "defense officials told the Post last week that they were receiving indications from the US that America would be interested in seeing Israel attack Syria," the newspaper reported.

With U.S. forces bogged down in Iraq, Bush and his neoconservative advisers saw the inclusion of Israeli forces as crucial for advancing a strategy that would punish Syria for supporting Iraqi insurgents, advance the confrontation with Iran and isolate Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

Strategic setbacks are becoming something of a habit for the Bush administration.

Each time the White House engineers one of their ideologically-inspired fiascos, it is helping to create a world which is less safe for Americans.

These ill-considered moves are not "showing strength", but instead displaying weakness and inviting further problems for the United States in the future.

I will bet that Israel doesn't ask "how high?", the next time the U.S. says "jump."

10 Comments:

Blogger Meatball One said...

Someone really wants to be the President that shakes Jesus' millenial hand. W is gonna have to spend more time in DC putting better efforts into righteously shaking the earth and skies if he wants his bowlegged fantasies to come true. Christ ain't gonna make an entry in Crawford.

8/14/2006 7:11 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

So you think that W intentionally suckered Israel into making their move in S. Lebanon knowing that it could lead to the big one at Har Megiddo?

Sounds feasible. W would finally be rewarding his base.

They are hoping that their support will pay off in the end.

8/14/2006 7:48 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Oh I dunno. One always gets caught up in the chicken and hen dialectic in discussing who pulls whose strings when it comes to Izzy and the U.S.

I just assume there is more coordination than not. What happens on the margins is interesting but not part of the standard MO of this duo. But such me my simplifying assumptions.

But I doubt not that W decides dick and Dick decides what one man can decide.

8/15/2006 10:21 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...

You are doubtlessly correct about the dynamics between the USA and Israel, as well as the relationship between W and his boss.

BTW, did you hear that Gen. Halutz sold his stock portfolio within a few hours of the two soldiers getting captured on the border?

8/15/2006 10:36 AM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

No, but maybe my Google has. Neat-O

8/15/2006 2:20 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

The story can be found here:

When he went to his broker and explained the situation, he was probably advised to "sell."

Being merely a professional military man, he didn't realize that in this case "sell" would mean sell and sell short.

Although he may have figured he was going to be too occupied in subsequent days to properly wield the "buy to cover" button.

8/15/2006 3:14 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Always a good enuff excuse loitering around for the desperate to cling to. I like that one.
Hmm, secrets of state for a derivative pumped buck. Now ain't that a classic among the flag lapel'd chickenfawk patriots.

8/15/2006 4:43 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

I suspect that some of the people at the brokerage/bank may have may some timely trades themselves.

8/15/2006 4:54 PM  
Blogger DrewL said...

I actually wondered how many were shortselling airline stocks before last Thursday. Didn't find out one way or the other, but airline stocks did take a bit of a header.

I remember back to 9/11/01, when shortly thereafter it was revealed that significant short action took place just prior to that fateful day. At the time, most thought it was in-the-know terrorists who were in on the action. Five years later, wouldn't it be interesting to see who those shortsellers actually were? Hmmmmm. I wonder...

8/15/2006 10:21 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

DrewL:

Short interest is reported to the public by the exchanges only once a month. Although the pros get the data, at least on the brokerage level, on a much more timely basis. This is much too valuable data to be given to the unwashed masses any more frequently than on a monthly schedule.

About 9-11 short selling, I suspect that the USG--which obtained the SWIFT interbank data going back several months before the attacks--now knows who bought all those puts and sold short various companies which were effected.

8/16/2006 8:05 AM  

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