Israel is Winning

Winning is, at its heart, achieving your objectives. There are lots of nice things that can happen or not happen at the same time, but the objectives are what matter. Right now, I see Israel’s objectives as this:

  • Destroy Hezbollah as an effective terror force
  • Remove the northern border as a front that has to be defended with large troop units, freeing those forces up to concentrate on Gaza and the West Bank

Winning Lebanese opinion is not an objective. It would be nice if Lebanon liked Israel, but it isn’t something that Israel needs to survive. In fact, it would probably be so expensive that it would not be worth having. Israel has written Lebanon off as an ally. They have had 15 years as a “democracy” and six years of cease-fire to do something. In that time they have done nothing. There can be no more waiting.

Stopping the rocket attacks is not an objective. In fact, I would say that Israel desperately wants to rocket attacks to continue. Everything Israel does suggests this. “Amatuers talk tactics; professionals talk logistics.” Israel has cut Hezbollah off from rocket resupply. That was the point of bombing the airport and seaport, and why Israel is destroying vehicles coming from Syria to Lebanon. No new rockets.

The problem Israel is faced with at that point, then, is the rockets that are already in Lebanon. Israel could stop the rocket attacks. It would be trivial for them to destroy all the launchers. Instead, they have destroyed some of the launchers. These things are WW2 technology that fires a missile which is easily tracked on anti-artillery radar, and the Israelis have such good radar that we base our technology on thiers. Once you have the track, it is trivial to trace it back to its ballistic origin. (That’s the whole point of anti-artillery radar.) Israel knows exactly where every launcher is as soon as it fires. They choose to destroy the ones that can hit vital Israeli infrastructure, and leave the ones that can only cause minor damage. Israel is even warning people not to go to the areas that Hezbollah can still hit from the launchers that remain.

Look at the numbers. How many Israelis have been killed by these rocket attacks? Zero. None. How many injuries do we have after over 2000 rockets? About 1700 people, mostly panic attacks? We get back to logistics. A Katshuya rocket has about 50 pounds of high explosives in the warhead. Israel thinks they have about 2000 of them left. That a half a ton of explosives. If Israel removes Hezbollah’s ability to fire them (ineffectively) into Israeli territory, Hezbollah will retask those explosives. Into roadside bombs. Into backpack bombs. Into suicide vests. Into methods of delivery that are horribly, terribly effective. Right now, Hezbollah is wasting all of those explosives, and Israel is not going to stop them.

Sun Tsu wrote:

19. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

20. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.

Israel is no worse off than when they began. Hezbollah thinks that they are hurting Israeli, when in fact they are hitting only what Israel allows them to hit (seeming near when far away). They seem to be unable to stop the rocket attacks, when in fact they are directing them by removing the dangerous launchers and leaving the rest (using the force but seeming inactive.) They are holding out northern Israel as a bait, and when Hezbollah has run out of rockets, and when Syria and Iran are no longer willing to risk aiding them (and they are very close) Israel will crush them.


  1. Mexigogue says:

    This strategy reminds me of Ali in the George Foreman fight. He layed on the ropes and covered up his face for 8 rounds, allowing George to wail away at the body. Ali had done so much work on his abs that he was able to take the punishment to the body. 6 zillion punches later Ali started boxing and KNOCKED FOREMAN THE FUGGOUT leaving Howard Cosell to shout “FOREMAN GOES DOWN LIKE A TREE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING!”

  2. Mexigogue says:

    oh yeah, forgot: Foreman had wasted all his energy (missles) going at the body so he was too spent to fight effectively.

  3. […] So says Phelps: Winning Lebanese opinion is not an objective. It would be nice if Lebanon liked Israel, but it isn’t something that Israel needs to survive. In fact, it would probably be so expensive that it would not be worth having. Israel has written Lebanon off as an ally. They have had 15 years as a “democracy” and six years of cease-fire to do something. In that time they have done nothing. There can be no more waiting. […]

  4. Citizen Quasar says:

    The objective is to stop people from attacking Israel. Israel, using the very same anti-artillery radar that you describe, could easily seize and destroy every rocket laucher, kill the Hezbollah troops operating them, and locate and destroy all the arms caches. Israel can easily hand the Arabs’ asses to them just like they always do.

    Instead, Israel decides to target grain silos in Tripoli, apartments in downtown Beruit, and water treatment facilities. The real objective is to cause fear and chaos so that this may be expanded into wider war.

    Yet, I would expect such an explanation as yours from you Phelps.

  5. Phelps says:

    So did you even read the part about retasking explosives? Are you aware that 90% of roadside bombs are simply artillery shells or missile warheads with a rigged up detonator?

    Did you even read the words I wrote?

  6. Citizen Quasar says:

    Yes…and yes. Did you read the part about bombing grain silos in Tripoli, apartments in Beruit, and water treatment facilities?

    While I disagree with such a tactic since I believe that Israel, with the 4th largest military on Earth, could cordon off south Lebanon and round up the unused munitions, there is still no excuse for destroying the entire infrastructure of Lebanon.

    Granted that you may be correct, your explanation does not address such things as bombing grain silos, apartment building, water treatment facilities, power plants, ambulances, and UN observation posts.

    So: I am going to award myself the point due to your forfeit.

  7. Phelps says:

    So far, your entire statement is a non sequitor. Was it a grain silo holding grain, or was it holding rockets? A grain silo, being notoriously hard to demolish, would be a very good incognito ammo dump. (The ones out by the old coal electric plant took a professional demo company 18 attempts to demolish.)

    The apartments in Beruit? Like these apartments? Power plants? That’s military infrastructure, baby. UN observation points? These UN observation points? It sounds like you are close to Gibsoning out. Go ahead and let us know how much you really hate Jews.

  8. Citizen Quasar says:

    Oh well; fuck. I just don’t know who to believe anymore. And I guess that you are aware of Pallywood too. I return my point which I “liberated” earlier. Now I consider the score even. It’s your blog so that gives you an extra point. You are ahead.

    No. Wait:

    Nope. I changed my mind because of the timing in your first link. Those ppl are responding after Israel already decimated Lebanon.

    Your second link reminds me of one of David Ferrie’s suicide letters.

    And: Above all, please produce some documentable intelligence that Hezbollah was hiding munitions in the grain silo in Tripoli. Surely THIS would be a big media show and a propaganda coup.

    Your argument once again collapses; on this last point alone. Eh?

  9. Phelps says:

    Produce some credible evidence that Israel, with malice and forethought, targeted a grain silo for destruction for the purpose of exacting collective punishment on the People of Lebanon. You are the one alleging war crimes, you bear the burden of proof.

  10. Citizen Quasar says:

    “One evening this week I looked out of my apartment window in the Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh and saw an Israeli shell exploding on top of the grain silo at Beirut port.�


    Now I suppose you are going to say that Israel accidentally made a (21st century high-tech weaponry) bad shot. I consider this unlikely yet plausible. And I can see where you are going with this. You would have me believe that every attack on civillians that cannot be militarily justified is a “bad shot� and an excusable act of war.

  11. Phelps says:

    I do not dispute that they hit a grain silo. I dispute that:

    1) the silo they hit was an illegitimate military target (no evidence that it wasn’t, and Hezbollah has a history of “retasking” commercial and residential sites to military purposes

    2) that it was deliberately targeted (since it was AT THE PORT, which is a legitimate military target), and that

    3) it was part of a scheme to enact collective punishment (a defined term in the Geneva Conventions.)

    I would have you believe that “every attack on civillians that cannot be militarily justified is a “bad shotâ€? and an excusable act of war”? You would have me believe that every target destroyed that was at one time nominally civilian is a war crime. (As long as it was blown up by a Jooooooooo.)

  12. Citizen Quasar says:

    First, I am NOT anti-semitic. I don’t give a rat’s ass what religion or ethnic group a person is. I think all religions are equally retarded and ethnicity is merely an attribute of cultural mores that a person grew up among.

    As for our present debate: I consider Hezbollah a ragtag fighting force and think that Israel could squash them like a bug without devestating the entire nation of Lebanon.

    You have some valid points yet I believe that Israel could conduct a much more humane war.

  13. Phelps says:

    How can you advocate a “more humane war” on one side while calling terrorists a “fighting force?” Was the KKK a “fighting force?” How about Kehmer Rouge? Is it just a matter of numbers? How many in the Manson Family would it have taken to go from “mindless murderers” to “fighting force?”

    When I see moral relativism run amok like that, there are only two answers: you have a deep seated hatred or dehumanization of one side (i.e. anti-semitism) or you have substituted opinion fed to you by someone in the first group for rational thought.

    You have one side where a force is using civilians as a shield and avoiding targetting the military and instead targeting civlians intentionally and overtly, and another that adhering the laws of land warfare and still taking heat for the cynical abuse of the Geneva privileges on the other side. The fact that you are complaining about the second force needing to fight a “more humane war” is absurd.

  14. Citizen Quasar says:

    In WWII the Germans fired V-1s at civillian targets and used civillians as shields. They were a fighting force. Hezbollah is a fighting force.

    Yes, it IS a matter of numbers. When a society must use its military, instead of it’s police, to protect it’s citizens, it may be described as warfare rather than crime. There is no “moral relativism” bull shit. That’s a lame brained cop out.

    When Hezbollah fires a rocket at Israeli civillians, it is called an act of terror. When Israel drops a 500 lb bomb on downtown Beruit, it is NOT called an act of terror. You would have me believe that the Israeli’s most accurate targeting device is the Norden Bombsite.

    Now that most of Beruit looks like the surface of the moon when viewed from space, one would THINK that the Hezbollah rocket assault would be showing some signs of abating. Yet this is not so. Israel is spendng its odnance blasting away at Labanon’s infrastructure rather than destroying rcoket launchers.

    Oh yeah; I forgot! Israel is unable to locate the Katyusha rocket stockpiles so they are waiting for Hezbollah to fire them all. I wonder if it has ever occurred to the Israelis that the rockets might be stored near the rocket launchers AND that dropping a few 500 lb bombs on and around the lauchers might solve the problem.

  15. Phelps says:

    Okay, dingbat, look at the photos from that bastion of Zionism, the NYT. Note what isn’t blown up in the photo. Schools and mosques. Israel is following the rules of warfare. Do you believe for a second that if Hezbollah could narrow its rocket attacks down to schools and synagogues they would hesistate for a second?

    And I love how you seem to think that you either have WW2 saturation bombing or inch-close precision laser guided GPS homed tachyon propelled supersmartbombs. Even “precision” weapons cause damage around them when they contain 500lbs of explosives.

  16. Citizen Quasar says:

    Ok. I will concede that those aerial photographs show a good prosecution of the war. Now, what does the rest of Beruit look like?

  17. Citizen Quasar says:

    ” Do you believe for a second that if Hezbollah could narrow its rocket attacks down to schools and synagogues they would hesistate for a second?”

    Just so there is no misunderstanding, I agree with you about Hezbollah aiming at civillians. I am disgusted by Hezbollah and hope Israel kills every last man-jack one of them. I just believe Israel is causing a lot of unnecessary collateral damage.

  18. Mexigogue says:

    Take out the bridges and blow up every grain silo until every falafal sandwich is full of shrapnel. I don’t like violence, that’s why whenever someone starts it you should return it a hundredfold until the violence option becomes unthinkable. That way the next time somebody says “Hey, you know what would be really funny, if we kidnap some enemey soldiers” that guy will get hit with a cap by his superior officer kind of like the Skipper used to do to Gilligan. The best deterrent to war is to make it really sting.

  19. Citizen Quasar says:

    ‘Pilots are always being told they will be judged on results, but if the results are hundreds of dead civilians while Hizbollah is still able to fire all these rockets, then something is very wrong.’

    Link to article:,,1838437,00.html

  20. Toddk says:

    I’d be interest in knowing how many of those killed civilians were really ‘civilians’ considering for s.o.p. for hezzies is to blend into the population. Not to mention the inflation of casualty reports like from Qana, it went from 60 to now 28, and now Houla which was at 40 is now at 1!!!

    Hezbollah is not a “rag tag” force. It isn’t first rate either but you don’t have to be first rate to survive if you’re willing to put real civilians between you and your enemy. (especially when their enemy isn’t lacking in humanity as they are. 😉 )

  21. Toddk says:

    Geez, I need to type slower or proofread before posting. 🙂

  22. guy in the UNLV Jacket says:

    I just looked at the ariel pictures from the NYT and Israel bomber the color out of Lebanon. That place went from OZ to Kansas in like 19 days. Strong technology indeed