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Seymour Hersh on "Washington's Interests in Israel's War"



Washington’s interests in Israel’s war.

Issue of 2006-08-21 of  THE NEW YORKER

In the days after Hezbollah crossed from Lebanon into Israel, on July
12th, to kidnap two soldiers, triggering an Israeli air attack on
Lebanon and a full-scale war, the Bush Administration seemed strangely
passive. “It’s a moment of clarification,” President George W. Bush said
at the G-8 summit, in St. Petersburg, on July 16th. “It’s now become
clear why we don’t have peace in the Middle East.” He described the
relationship between Hezbollah and its supporters in Iran and Syria as
one of the “root causes of instability,” and subsequently said that it
was up to those countries to end the crisis. Two days later, despite
calls from several governments for the United States to take the lead in
negotiations to end the fighting, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
said that a ceasefire should be put off until “the conditions are

The Bush Administration, however, was closely involved in the planning
of Israel’s retaliatory attacks. President Bush and Vice-President Dick
Cheney were convinced, current and former intelligence and diplomatic
officials told me, that a successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign
against Hezbollah’s heavily fortified underground-missile and
command-and-control complexes in Lebanon could ease Israel’s security
concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential American preëmptive
attack to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations, some of which are also
buried deep underground.

Israeli military and intelligence experts I spoke to emphasized that the
country’s immediate security issues were reason enough to confront
Hezbollah, regardless of what the Bush Administration wanted. Shabtai
Shavit, a national-security adviser to the Knesset who headed the
Mossad, Israel’s foreign-intelligence service, from 1989 to 1996, told
me, “We do what we think is best for us, and if it happens to meet
America’s requirements, that’s just part of a relationship between two
friends. Hezbollah is armed to the teeth and trained in the most
advanced technology of guerrilla warfare. It was just a matter of time.
We had to address it.”
Hezbollah is seen by Israelis as a profound threat—a terrorist
organization, operating on their border, with a military arsenal that,
with help from Iran and Syria, has grown stronger since the Israeli
occupation of southern Lebanon ended, in 2000. Hezbollah’s leader,
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, has said he does not believe that Israel is a
“legal state.” Israeli intelligence estimated at the outset of the air
war that Hezbollah had roughly five hundred medium-range Fajr-3 and
Fajr-5 rockets and a few dozen long-range Zelzal rockets; the Zelzals,
with a range of about two hundred kilometres, could reach Tel Aviv. (One
rocket hit Haifa the day after the kidnappings.) It also has more than
twelve thousand shorter-range rockets. Since the conflict began, more
than three thousand of these have been fired at Israel.

According to a Middle East expert with knowledge of the current thinking
of both the Israeli and the U.S. governments, Israel had devised a plan
for attacking Hezbollah—and shared it with Bush Administration
officials—well before the July 12th kidnappings. “It’s not that the
Israelis had a trap that Hezbollah walked into,” he said, “but there was
a strong feeling in the White House that sooner or later the Israelis
were going to do it.”

The Middle East expert said that the Administration had several reasons
for supporting the Israeli bombing campaign. Within the State
Department, it was seen as a way to strengthen the Lebanese government
so that it could assert its authority over the south of the country,
much of which is controlled by Hezbollah. He went on, “The White House
was more focussed on stripping Hezbollah of its missiles, because, if
there was to be a military option against Iran’s nuclear facilities, it
had to get rid of the weapons that Hezbollah could use in a potential
retaliation at Israel. Bush wanted both. Bush was going after Iran, as
part of the Axis of Evil, and its nuclear sites, and he was interested
in going after Hezbollah as part of his interest in democratization,
with Lebanon as one of the crown jewels of Middle East democracy.”

Administration officials denied that they knew of Israel’s plan for the
air war. The White House did not respond to a detailed list of
questions. In response to a separate request, a National Security
Council spokesman said, “Prior to Hezbollah’s attack on Israel, the
Israeli government gave no official in Washington any reason to believe
that Israel was planning to attack. Even after the July 12th attack, we
did not know what the Israeli plans were.” A Pentagon spokesman said,
“The United States government remains committed to a diplomatic solution
to the problem of Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons program,” and
denied the story, as did a State Department spokesman.

The United States and Israel have shared intelligence and enjoyed close
military coöperation for decades, but early this spring, according to a
former senior intelligence official, high-level planners from the U.S.
Air Force—under pressure from the White House to develop a war plan for
a decisive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities—began consulting
with their counterparts in the Israeli Air Force.

“The big question for our Air Force was how to hit a series of hard
targets in Iran successfully,” the former senior intelligence official
said. “Who is the closest ally of the U.S. Air Force in its planning?
It’s not Congo—it’s Israel. Everybody knows that Iranian engineers have
been advising Hezbollah on tunnels and underground gun emplacements. And
so the Air Force went to the Israelis with some new tactics and said to
them, ‘Let’s concentrate on the bombing and share what we have on Iran
and what you have on Lebanon.’ ” The discussions reached the Joint
Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, he said.
“The Israelis told us it would be a cheap war with many benefits,” a
U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel said. “Why oppose
it? We’ll be able to hunt down and bomb missiles, tunnels, and bunkers
from the air. It would be a demo for Iran.”

A Pentagon consultant said that the Bush White House “has been agitating
for some time to find a reason for a preëmptive blow against Hezbollah.”
He added, “It was our intent to have Hezbollah diminished, and now we
have someone else doing it.” (As this article went to press, the United
Nations Security Council passed a ceasefire resolution, although it was
unclear if it would change the situation on the ground.)

According to Richard Armitage, who served as Deputy Secretary of State
in Bush’s first term—and who, in 2002, said that Hezbollah “may be the A
team of terrorists”—Israel’s campaign in Lebanon, which has faced
unexpected difficulties and widespread criticism, may, in the end, serve
as a warning to the White House about Iran. “If the most dominant
military force in the region—the Israel Defense Forces—can’t pacify a
country like Lebanon, with a population of four million, you should
think carefully about taking that template to Iran, with strategic depth
and a population of seventy million,” Armitage said. “The only thing
that the bombing has achieved so far is to unite the population against
the Israelis.”

Several current and former officials involved in the Middle East told me
that Israel viewed the soldiers’ kidnapping as the opportune moment to
begin its planned military campaign against Hezbollah. “Hezbollah, like
clockwork, was instigating something small every month or two,” the U.S.
government consultant with ties to Israel said. Two weeks earlier, in
late June, members of Hamas, the Palestinian group, had tunnelled under
the barrier separating southern Gaza from Israel and captured an Israeli
soldier. Hamas also had lobbed a series of rockets at Israeli towns near
the border with Gaza. In response, Israel had initiated an extensive
bombing campaign and reoccupied parts of Gaza.

The Pentagon consultant noted that there had also been cross-border
incidents involving Israel and Hezbollah, in both directions, for some
time. “They’ve been sniping at each other,” he said. “Either side could
have pointed to some incident and said ‘We have to go to war with these
guys’—because they were already at war.”

David Siegel, the spokesman at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, said
that the Israeli Air Force had not been seeking a reason to attack
Hezbollah. “We did not plan the campaign. That decision was forced on
us.” There were ongoing alerts that Hezbollah “was pressing to go on the
attack,” Siegel said. “Hezbollah attacks every two or three months,” but
the kidnapping of the soldiers raised the stakes.

In interviews, several Israeli academics, journalists, and retired
military and intelligence officers all made one point: they believed
that the Israeli leadership, and not Washington, had decided that it
would go to war with Hezbollah. Opinion polls showed that a broad
spectrum of Israelis supported that choice. “The neocons in Washington
may be happy, but Israel did not need to be pushed, because Israel has
been wanting to get rid of Hezbollah,” Yossi Melman, a journalist for
the newspaper /Ha’aretz,/ who has written several books about the
Israeli intelligence community, said. “By provoking Israel, Hezbollah
provided that opportunity.”

“We were facing a dilemma,” an Israeli official said. Prime Minister
Ehud Olmert “had to decide whether to go for a local response, which we
always do, or for a comprehensive response—to really take on Hezbollah
once and for all.” Olmert made his decision, the official said, only
after a series of Israeli rescue efforts failed.

The U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel told me,
however, that, from Israel’s perspective, the decision to take strong
action had become inevitable weeks earlier, after the Israeli Army’s
signals intelligence group, known as Unit 8200, picked up bellicose
intercepts in late spring and early summer, involving Hamas, Hezbollah,
and Khaled Meshal, the Hamas leader now living in Damascus.

One intercept was of a meeting in late May of the Hamas political and
military leadership, with Meshal participating by telephone. “Hamas
believed the call from Damascus was scrambled, but Israel had broken the
code,” the consultant said. For almost a year before its victory in the
Palestinian elections in January, Hamas had curtailed its terrorist
activities. In the late May intercepted conversation, the consultant
told me, the Hamas leadership said that “they got no benefit from it,
and were losing standing among the Palestinian population.” The
conclusion, he said, was “ ‘Let’s go back into the terror business and
then try and wrestle concessions from the Israeli government.’ ” The
consultant told me that the U.S. and Israel agreed that if the Hamas
leadership did so, and if Nasrallah backed them up, there should be “a
full-scale response.” In the next several weeks, when Hamas began
digging the tunnel into Israel, the consultant said, Unit 8200 “picked
up signals intelligence involving Hamas, Syria, and Hezbollah, saying,
in essence, that they wanted Hezbollah to ‘warm up’ the north.” In one
intercept, the consultant said, Nasrallah referred to Olmert and Defense
Minister Amir Peretz “as seeming to be weak,” in comparison with the
former Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Barak, who had extensive
military experience, and said “he thought Israel would respond in a
small-scale, local way, as they had in the past.”

Earlier this summer, before the Hezbollah kidnappings, the U.S.
government consultant said, several Israeli officials visited
Washington, separately, “to get a green light for the bombing operation
and to find out how much the United States would bear.” The consultant
added, “Israel began with Cheney. It wanted to be sure that it had his
support and the support of his office and the Middle East desk of the
National Security Council.” After that, “persuading Bush was never a
problem, and Condi Rice was on board,” the consultant said.

The initial plan, as outlined by the Israelis, called for a major
bombing campaign in response to the next Hezbollah provocation,
according to the Middle East expert with knowledge of U.S. and Israeli
thinking. Israel believed that, by targeting Lebanon’s infrastructure,
including highways, fuel depots, and even the civilian runways at the
main Beirut airport, it could persuade Lebanon’s large Christian and
Sunni populations to turn against Hezbollah, according to the former
senior intelligence official. The airport, highways, and bridges, among
other things, have been hit in the bombing campaign. The Israeli Air
Force had flown almost nine thousand missions as of last week. (David
Siegel, the Israeli spokesman, said that Israel had targeted only sites
connected to Hezbollah; the bombing of bridges and roads was meant to
prevent the transport of weapons.)

The Israeli plan, according to the former senior intelligence official,
was “the mirror image of what the United States has been planning for
Iran.” (The initial U.S. Air Force proposals for an air attack to
destroy Iran’s nuclear capacity, which included the option of intense
bombing of civilian infrastructure targets inside Iran, have been
resisted by the top leadership of the Army, the Navy, and the Marine
Corps, according to current and former officials. They argue that the
Air Force plan will not work and will inevitably lead, as in the Israeli
war with Hezbollah, to the insertion of troops on the ground.)

Uzi Arad, who served for more than two decades in the Mossad, told me
that to the best of his knowledge the contacts between the Israeli and
U.S. governments were routine, and that, “in all my meetings and
conversations with government officials, never once did I hear anyone
refer to prior coördination with the United States.” He was troubled by
one issue—the speed with which the Olmert government went to war. “For
the life of me, I’ve never seen a decision to go to war taken so
speedily,” he said. “We usually go through long analyses.”

The key military planner was Lieutenant General Dan Halutz, the I.D.F.
chief of staff, who, during a career in the Israeli Air Force, worked on
contingency planning for an air war with Iran. Olmert, a former mayor of
Jerusalem, and Peretz, a former labor leader, could not match his
experience and expertise.

In the early discussions with American officials, I was told by the
Middle East expert and the government consultant, the Israelis
repeatedly pointed to the war in Kosovo as an example of what Israel
would try to achieve. The NATO forces commanded by U.S. Army General
Wesley Clark methodically bombed and strafed not only military targets
but tunnels, bridges, and roads, in Kosovo and elsewhere in Serbia, for
seventy-eight days before forcing Serbian forces to withdraw from
Kosovo. “Israel studied the Kosovo war as its role model,” the
government consultant said. “The Israelis told Condi Rice, ‘You did it
in about seventy days, but we need half of that—thirty-five days.’ ”

There are, of course, vast differences between Lebanon and Kosovo.
Clark, who retired from the military in 2000 and unsuccessfully ran as a
Democrat for the Presidency in 2004, took issue with the analogy: “If
it’s true that the Israeli campaign is based on the American approach in
Kosovo, then it missed the point. Ours was to use force to obtain a
diplomatic objective—it was not about killing people.” Clark noted in a
2001 book, “Waging Modern War,” that it was the threat of a possible
ground invasion as well as the bombing that forced the Serbs to end the
war. He told me, “In my experience, air campaigns have to be backed,
ultimately, by the will and capability to finish the job on the ground.”

Kosovo has been cited publicly by Israeli officials and journalists
since the war began. On August 6th, Prime Minister Olmert, responding to
European condemnation of the deaths of Lebanese civilians, said, “Where
do they get the right to preach to Israel? European countries attacked
Kosovo and killed ten thousand civilians. Ten thousand! And none of
these countries had to suffer before that from a single rocket. I’m not
saying it was wrong to intervene in Kosovo. But please: don’t preach to
us about the treatment of civilians.” (Human Rights Watch estimated the
number of civilians killed in the NATO bombing to be five hundred; the
Yugoslav government put the number between twelve hundred and five

Cheney’s office supported the Israeli plan, as did Elliott Abrams, a
deputy national-security adviser, according to several former and
current officials. (A spokesman for the N.S.C. denied that Abrams had
done so.) They believed that Israel should move quickly in its air war
against Hezbollah. A former intelligence officer said, “We told Israel,
‘Look, if you guys have to go, we’re behind you all the way. But we
think it should be sooner rather than later—the longer you wait, the
less time we have to evaluate and plan for Iran before Bush gets out of
office.’ ”
Cheney’s point, the former senior intelligence official said, was “What
if the Israelis execute their part of this first, and it’s really
successful? It’d be great. We can learn what to do in Iran by watching
what the Israelis do in Lebanon.”

The Pentagon consultant told me that intelligence about Hezbollah and
Iran is being mishandled by the White House the same way intelligence
had been when, in 2002 and early 2003, the Administration was making the
case that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. “The big complaint now
in the intelligence community is that all of the important stuff is
being sent directly to the top—at the insistence of the White House—and
not being analyzed at all, or scarcely,” he said. “It’s an awful policy
and violates all of the N.S.A.’s strictures, and if you complain about
it you’re out,” he said. “Cheney had a strong hand in this.”

The long-term Administration goal was to help set up a Sunni Arab
coalition—including countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt—that
would join the United States and Europe to pressure the ruling Shiite
mullahs in Iran. “But the thought behind that plan was that Israel would
defeat Hezbollah, not lose to it,” the consultant with close ties to
Israel said. Some officials in Cheney’s office and at the N.S.C. had
become convinced, on the basis of private talks, that those nations
would moderate their public criticism of Israel and blame Hezbollah for
creating the crisis that led to war. Although they did so at first, they
shifted their position in the wake of public protests in their countries
about the Israeli bombing. The White House was clearly disappointed
when, late last month, Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign
minister, came to Washington and, at a meeting with Bush, called for the
President to intervene immediately to end the war. The Washington /Post/
reported that Washington had hoped to enlist moderate Arab states “in an
effort to pressure Syria and Iran to rein in Hezbollah, but the Saudi
move . . . seemed to cloud that initiative.”

The surprising strength of Hezbollah’s resistance, and its continuing
ability to fire rockets into northern Israel in the face of the constant
Israeli bombing, the Middle East expert told me, “is a massive setback
for those in the White House who want to use force in Iran. And those
who argue that the bombing will create internal dissent and revolt in
Iran are also set back.”

Nonetheless, some officers serving with the Joint Chiefs of Staff remain
deeply concerned that the Administration will have a far more positive
assessment of the air campaign than they should, the former senior
intelligence official said. “There is no way that Rumsfeld and Cheney
will draw the right conclusion about this,” he said. “When the smoke
clears, they’ll say it was a success, and they’ll draw reinforcement for
their plan to attack Iran.”

In the White House, especially in the Vice-President’s office, many
officials believe that the military campaign against Hezbollah is
working and should be carried forward. At the same time, the government
consultant said, some policymakers in the Administration have concluded
that the cost of the bombing to Lebanese society is too high. “They are
telling Israel that it’s time to wind down the attacks on infrastructure.”

Similar divisions are emerging in Israel. David Siegel, the Israeli
spokesman, said that his country’s leadership believed, as of early
August, that the air war had been successful, and had destroyed more
than seventy per cent of Hezbollah’s medium- and long-range-missile
launching capacity. “The problem is short-range missiles, without
launchers, that can be shot from civilian areas and homes,” Siegel told
me. “The only way to resolve this is ground operations—which is why
Israel would be forced to expand ground operations if the latest round
of diplomacy doesn’t work.” Last week, however, there was evidence that
the Israeli government was troubled by the progress of the war. In an
unusual move, Major General Moshe Kaplinsky, Halutz’s deputy, was put in
charge of the operation, supplanting Major General Udi Adam. The worry
in Israel is that Nasrallah might escalate the crisis by firing missiles
at Tel Aviv. “There is a big debate over how much damage Israel should
inflict to prevent it,” the consultant said. “If Nasrallah hits Tel
Aviv, what should Israel do? Its goal is to deter more attacks by
telling Nasrallah that it will destroy his country if he doesn’t stop,
and to remind the Arab world that Israel can set it back twenty years.
We’re no longer playing by the same rules.”

A European intelligence officer told me, “The Israelis have been caught
in a psychological trap. In earlier years, they had the belief that they
could solve their problems with toughness. But now, with Islamic
martyrdom, things have changed, and they need different answers. How do
you scare people who love martyrdom?” The problem with trying to
eliminate Hezbollah, the intelligence officer said, is the group’s ties
to the Shiite population in southern Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley, and
Beirut’s southern suburbs, where it operates schools, hospitals, a radio
station, and various charities.

A high-level American military planner told me, “We have a lot of
vulnerability in the region, and we’ve talked about some of the effects
of an Iranian or Hezbollah attack on the Saudi regime and on the oil
infrastructure.” There is special concern inside the Pentagon, he added,
about the oil-producing nations north of the Strait of Hormuz. “We have
to anticipate the unintended consequences,” he told me. “Will we be able
to absorb a barrel of oil at one hundred dollars? There is this almost
comical thinking that you can do it all from the air, even when you’re
up against an irregular enemy with a dug-in capability. You’re not going
to be successful unless you have a ground presence, but the political
leadership never considers the worst case. These guys only want to hear
the best case.”

There is evidence that the Iranians were expecting the war against
Hezbollah. Vali Nasr, an expert on Shiite Muslims and Iran, who is a
fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and also teaches at the Naval
Postgraduate School, in Monterey, California, said, “Every negative
American move against Hezbollah was seen by Iran as part of a larger
campaign against it. And Iran began to prepare for the showdown by
supplying more sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah—anti-ship and
anti-tank missiles—and training its fighters in their use. And now
Hezbollah is testing Iran’s new weapons. Iran sees the Bush
Administration as trying to marginalize its regional role, so it
fomented trouble.”

Nasr, an Iranian-American who recently published a study of the
Sunni-Shiite divide, entitled “The Shia Revival,” also said that the
Iranian leadership believes that Washington’s ultimate political goal is
to get some international force to act as a buffer—to physically
separate Syria and Lebanon in an effort to isolate and disarm Hezbollah,
whose main supply route is through Syria. “Military action cannot bring
about the desired political result,” Nasr said. The popularity of Iran’s
President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a virulent critic of Israel, is greatest
in his own country. If the U.S. were to attack Iran’s nuclear
facilities, Nasr said, “you may end up turning Ahmadinejad into another
Nasrallah—the rock star of the Arab street.”

Donald Rumsfeld, who is one of the Bush Administration’s most outspoken,
and powerful, officials, has said very little publicly about the crisis
in Lebanon. His relative quiet, compared to his aggressive visibility in
the run-up to the Iraq war, has prompted a debate in Washington about
where he stands on the issue.

Some current and former intelligence officials who were interviewed for
this article believe that Rumsfeld disagrees with Bush and Cheney about
the American role in the war between Israel and Hezbollah. The U.S.
government consultant with close ties to Israel said that “there was a
feeling that Rumsfeld was jaded in his approach to the Israeli war.” He
added, “Air power and the use of a few Special Forces had worked in
Afghanistan, and he tried to do it again in Iraq. It was the same idea,
but it didn’t work. He thought that Hezbollah was too dug in and the
Israeli attack plan would not work, and the last thing he wanted was
another war on his shift that would put the American forces in Iraq in
greater jeopardy.”

A Western diplomat said that he understood that Rumsfeld did not know
all the intricacies of the war plan. “He is angry and worried about his
troops” in Iraq, the diplomat said. Rumsfeld served in the White House
during the last year of the war in Vietnam, from which American troops
withdrew in 1975, “and he did not want to see something like this having
an impact in Iraq.” Rumsfeld’s concern, the diplomat added, was that an
expansion of the war into Iran could put the American troops in Iraq at
greater risk of attacks by pro-Iranian Shiite militias.
At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on August 3rd, Rumsfeld was
less than enthusiastic about the war’s implications for the American
troops in Iraq. Asked whether the Administration was mindful of the
war’s impact on Iraq, he testified that, in his meetings with Bush and
Condoleezza Rice, “there is a sensitivity to the desire to not have our
country or our interests or our forces put at greater risk as a result
of what’s taking place between Israel and Hezbollah. . . . There are a
variety of risks that we face in that region, and it’s a difficult and
delicate situation.”

The Pentagon consultant dismissed talk of a split at the top of the
Administration, however, and said simply, “Rummy is on the team. He’d
love to see Hezbollah degraded, but he also is a voice for less bombing
and more innovative Israeli ground operations.” The former senior
intelligence official similarly depicted Rumsfeld as being “delighted
that Israel is our stalking horse.”

There are also questions about the status of Condoleezza Rice. Her
initial support for the Israeli air war against Hezbollah has reportedly
been tempered by dismay at the effects of the attacks on Lebanon. The
Pentagon consultant said that in early August she began privately
“agitating” inside the Administration for permission to begin direct
diplomatic talks with Syria—so far, without much success. Last week, the
/Times/ reported that Rice had directed an Embassy official in Damascus
to meet with the Syrian foreign minister, though the meeting apparently
yielded no results. The /Times/ also reported that Rice viewed herself
as “trying to be not only a peacemaker abroad but also a mediator among
contending parties” within the Administration. The article pointed to a
divide between career diplomats in the State Department and
“conservatives in the government,” including Cheney and Abrams, “who
were pushing for strong American support for Israel.”

The Western diplomat told me his embassy believes that Abrams has
emerged as a key policymaker on Iran, and on the current
Hezbollah-Israeli crisis, and that Rice’s role has been relatively
diminished. Rice did not want to make her most recent diplomatic trip to
the Middle East, the diplomat said. “She only wanted to go if she
thought there was a real chance to get a ceasefire.”

Bush’s strongest supporter in Europe continues to be British Prime
Minister Tony Blair, but many in Blair’s own Foreign Office, as a former
diplomat said, believe that he has “gone out on a particular limb on
this”—especially by accepting Bush’s refusal to seek an immediate and
total ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah. “Blair stands alone on
this,” the former diplomat said. “He knows he’s a lame duck who’s on the
way out, but he buys it”—the Bush policy. “He drinks the White House
Kool-Aid as much as anybody in Washington.” The crisis will really start
at the end of August, the diplomat added, “when the Iranians”—under a
United Nations deadline to stop uranium enrichment—“will say no.”

Even those who continue to support Israel’s war against Hezbollah agree
that it is failing to achieve one of its main goals—to rally the
Lebanese against Hezbollah. “Strategic bombing has been a failed
military concept for ninety years, and yet air forces all over the world
keep on doing it,” John Arquilla, a defense analyst at the Naval
Postgraduate School, told me. Arquilla has been campaigning for more
than a decade, with growing success, to change the way America fights
terrorism. “The warfare of today is not mass on mass,” he said. “You
have to hunt like a network to defeat a network. Israel focussed on
bombing against Hezbollah, and, when that did not work, it became more
aggressive on the ground. The definition of insanity is continuing to do
the same thing and expecting a different result.”

War is God's way of teaching Americans geography. -- Ambrose Bierce
Describing liquids that will not mix with each other, such as oil and water.
When the politicians complain that TV turns the proceedings into a
circus, it should be made clear that the circus was already there, and
that TV has merely demonstrated that not all the performers are well
trained. <>        ---
Edward R. Murrow

Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great
risk. --The Dali Lama

*"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor
to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread."*

-  Anatole France, 1894

What's The Difference Between Roast Beef And Pea Soup? -- Anyone Can
Roast Beef.
            “No more prizes for forecasting the rain,
                              only prizes for building the ark.”

"We will never have peace as long as a mother is willing to see her son
die." -- former Milwaukee school teacher -- Golda Meir
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