Monday, July 19, 2010

Hizballah Prepares for War Based on Using Civilians as Shields

By Barry Rubin

The Israeli army has released for the first time sensitive intelligence data on how Hizballah is digging into southern Lebanon. The deliberate strategy is to store weapons and put defense positions right next to civilian houses. In the event of a war, Israel will have to choose between giving Hizballah a tremendous advantage or killing civilians.

Or as a Lebanese person remarked privately, "Hizballah is painting a big fat target on all the Shi'a down there."

This strategy is the fruit of the world reaction to the 2008-2009 war in the Gaza Strip when Hamas was rewarded for using civilians as human shields. Despite the care Israel took to avoid damaging civilian property or endangering civilian lives, there was a strong anti-Israel response. Given that behavior, others will no doubt follow this approach in future, thus leading to more suffering for civilians and stronger radical totalitarian movements, which will also oppress people where they hold power.

Remember this material when Hizballah sets off the next war and the inevitable media and other complaints against Israel begin: These condemnations will be based on--and will, in turn---reinforce a cynical and vicious deliberate effort by terrorist groups.

By the way, remember how the UN promised Israel in 2006 to keep Hizballah out of southern Lebanon with a reinforced UNIFIL force? What a joke. Hizballah does whatever it wants and no one interferes.

In the Strategic World Cup that's Hizballah 1, World 0. It's also a big zero for international guarantees to Israel. Remember that as well when you next hear that Israel "defies" the "international community" and refuses to put its survival into the hands of others who make big promises and then break them.

By making these points I am not suggesting there will be a war between Israel and Hizballah in the near future, certainly not this year. It is quite possible that Iran wants to hold Hizballah in reserve to use only if Israel attacks Iranian nuclear facilities. At any rate, Hizballah is too busy taking over Lebanon to want a war for the next year or possibly two.

You can read about the intelligence data on southern Lebanon here and here. Iran has also named a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officer named Hossein Mahadavi to be a liaison and perhaps in part commander of Hizballah.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.