Is the Israeli army really so lethal?
By Yvonne Ridley
Milli Gazette Online
UNLIKE many Middle East military analysts, I think it is a wee bit premature to hail the victory of the heroic Lebanese resistance fighters.
The Hizb'Allah boys haven't half given the Israeli squaddies a good kicking but maybe, just maybe, the Zionists fought like a bunch of arthritic grannies deliberately.
Let's say, for instance, that the fourth largest army in the world, which specialises in using its weapons on women and children, threw in the towel on purpose. By failing to nail Hizb'Allah in the first few days they were able to continue their genocidal bombing campaign right up until the final seconds before ceasefire ... as a result more than 1000 innocent civilians died and one million Lebanese were made homeless.
Now if the Israeli Army was as lethal as we are all led to believe, then the invasion of Lebanon should have been over in a matter of days as precision targetting using bunker busting bombs from the US would have taken out all of Hizb'Allah's artillery positions. And if they had used Surface to Air Missiles (SAMS) with any degree of efficiency would that not have knocked out the home made rockets that were fired on northern Israel?
Of course if their mission was accomplished in a matter of days there would have been no need to continue blitzing Lebanon in such a genocidal fashion, and there is no way the army would have needed to penetrate Lebanon right up to the Litani River.
It's just a thought.
Of course I would love to say that the Israeli soldiers really are a bunch of ninnies who couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag!
And that isn't as daft as it sounds either. Not when you consider the heroic resistance of the Palestinian people ... bits of kids armed with nothing more than stones have kept the Zionist war machine at bay for years and the Intifada has certainly had an impact on neutering the machismo bullies of the Israeli Army.
So I guess if the Palestinian shabaab aren't intimidated, then the Israeli squaddies certainly wouldn't scare off the Hizb'Allah boys, and I suppose it is easy to see why this band of resistance fighters could easily psychologically freak out their uniformed, Jewish cousins.
One British soldier told me recently: "When you hear gunfire you keep your head down and that's what you are trained to do, so it can really psyche you out when the Hizb'Allah and other Muslim fighters run towards the line of fire or explosions. They're just crazy and it is unnerving when your enemy doesn't fear death. It doesn't matter how undisciplined or poorly trained they are - no one from a Western army wants to face that sort of enemy!"
Well quite, but at the same time I'm still not convinced Hizb'Allah really did out manoevre the Israeli Army physically and psychologically.
I suppose some of you might think well, who is she to discuss such military matters?
Well, a long time ago, I spent five years working (part-time) as a media commentator/writer promoting the British Army. Part of my job was to study NATO, identify military hardware as well as write and talk authoritively about the world's most professional army ... I'm not being boastful, just giving you the facts. Before I achieved the rank of Captain in the Territorial Army, I had to go through exactly the same sort of training that any professional British soldier would go through, take part in NATO exercises and play war games. So while I might not have the authority of a Field Marshal, I can give an informed opinion.
And the first thing I would like to point out is that one of the most sophisiticated fighting machines in the world had failed to dent Hizb'Allah's comparitively modest army after more than 30 days of fighting, shelling, bombing etc. I hate myself for writing this - but I simply do not believe the Israeli Army is so incompetent. The facts just don't stack up.
Since its inception, the Zionist Army has battered its counterparts in Egypt, Syria and Jordan in days not weeks. And, as I said before, it has also dealt with civilians in a brutal and uncivilised way. In fact one story which I can now write about for the first time highlights the cowardice typical of some of the men who make up part of the rank and file of the Israeli Army. The incident I am referring to threatened to spill over into a massive diplomatic spat, and happened in Jerusalem five or so years ago when a senior British Army officer wtinessed some soldiers punching and kicking a frail, Palestinian woman from his hotel room. The British Army hero ran down to the hotel lobby and outside into the street where the old woman had fallen helplessly to the ground ... still being kicked and punched by the Israeli soldiers. To their shock and surprise, he intervened and called them a bunch of cowards. He was then arrested and detained when he tried to help the elderly victim to her feet. After a few hours of manic behind-the-scenes diplomatic manoevres, he was finally released and nothing more was said.
So, as you can see I am not a great admirer of the Israeli Army, or their cowardly soldiers and nor do I think they deserve the high international reputation they have accrued over the years since the inception of the Zionist State. But I do not, for one minute, think Hizb'Allah are inferior in bravery or derring do. The unrelenting aerial bombardment, supported by Apache helicopter shelling together with artillery attacks should, on paper anyway, have brought Hizb'Allah to its knees.
So what sort of victory can Israel claim? Well it can go into its favorite mode ... that of victim of terror. It occupied land all the way to the Litani River and is now trying to appear most reasonable by withdrawing from the area to allow UN forces to take up positions.
Hizb'Allah is more or less intact giving the Israeli Army justification for using force again whenever it wants, citing defense as a reason for launching pre-emptive strikes in the face of terror.
I simply can not believe, with all the spy satellite equipment at its finger tips, the Israeli Army was clueless about Hizb'Allah's activities reinforcing bunkers and developing a sophisticated underground defense system over the last few years in preparation. And what about Mossad? The vile intelligence wing which uses bribery, torture, extortion, sex and drugs to recruit Arab collaborators? Am I expected to believe that while this method has brought in thousands of vulnerable Palestinians to become fifth columnists, Mossad could not attract a single Hizb'Allah spy to spill the beans on all its underground tunnels or covert activities?
Israel has wanted us to believe for years that it is on the verge of being driven into the sea. And while it is well known that the Arab world will continue to exist forever regardless of how many defeats its armies suffer, we were always led to believe that just one defeat could wipe Israel off the map.
Well Israel has come perilously close to suffering an out and out defeat which, cynics might say, will make it much easier to continue thrusting the begging bowl infront of the United States while using the axiom that "Israel cannot allow itself a defeat on the battlefield." I can just hear the Zionist whispers now as the Pentagon and White House officials are asked to give more support: "Remember Lebanon? Remember how we were nearly wiped off the face of the map, nearly driven into the sea but a badly armed militia? Who would act as your watchdog in the region if we disappear? What will happen the our nuclear and chemical weapons if they fall into the wrong hands?"
The Zionist state's insatiable appetite for US dollars, arms and more aid will increase on the grounds that it needs much, much more from its American allies to repel military threats.
As I said before, I really hope I am wrong and that the Israeli Army has been genuinely humiliated by the heroic resistance displayed by a bunch of poorly armed guerilla fighters.