Date: Sun, Apr 27, 2008 at 5:31 PM
Subject: Hizbollah builds up covert army for a new assault against Israel -- The Observer, Guardian
This is a useful set of revelations about what is happening with and inside Hizbollah, particularly in Southern Lebanon. It is a classic illustration of what Hizbollah leaders are doing which reinforces the age-old adage that conventional military formations can never defeat a determined and skillful guerrilla resistance. American officialdom still has yet to learn that age-old lesson. They have never seriously absorbed the lessons of how in 1785 onward the guerrilla forces loosely under the command of General Washington eventually overcame and defeated the Red Coats. In the eyes of the official British establishment of that day the American rebels were terrorists, if only because they would not fight by the rules of then-conventional warfare. Have a look at the battles of Concord and Lexington, Bunker Hill, or Trenton by the emaciated forces out of Valley Forge.
QUOTED EXCERPT: . . . an Observer investigation has discovered that this covert organisation is quietly but steadily replacing its dead and redoubling its recruitment efforts in anticipation of a new, and even more brutal, conflict.
Hizbollah has embarked on a major expansion of its fighting capability and is now sending hundreds, if not thousands, of young men into intensive training camps in Lebanon, Syria and Iran to ready itself for war with Israel. . . . But what is becoming more obvious, even as Hizbollah tries to hide it, is that the group has embarked on an unprecedented build-up of men, equipment and bunker-building in preparation for the war that almost everyone - Lebanese and Israeli - considers inevitable. 'The villages in the south are empty of men,' said one international official. 'They are all gone, training in Bekaa, Syria and Iran.' A trip by The Observer through villages in the Hizbollah heartland confirmed a conspicuous lack of fighting-age men. . . . Losses aside, before 2006 most observers also widely overestimated the size of the military group. Some analysts put it as high as 5,000 men with more than 10,000 reservists, including its allied Amal - meaning Hope - militia supporting them. 'Ridiculous,' says the Hizbollah member. 'Before 2006 there were not more than 1,000 professional fighters, guys who manned bunkers and conducted operations full-time. The rest are trained and armed but lead ordinary lives unless called upon.' . . . The US military study described Hizbollah's military wing as 'completely decentralised'. END QUOTE