Part I: " Know thy enemy"…. Sun Tzu
Virtually the whole waterfall of Hasbara studies, many handsomely paid for by various Israel lobby funders, conclude that the next Hezbollah-Israel war will be nothing like the 2006 July War. In addition, pro-Israel authors routinely skew their research to reassure their paymasters that Hezbollah will lose to the spruced-up, better-equipped and trained Israeli soldiers, and that their defeat will not only shatter Hezbollah, but destroy Syria and Iran’s political power base and fundamentally change the political scene in Beirut.
This, they confidently predict, will lead to a pro-American and Israel-tolerant realignment of political parties and even achieve the long-sought Lebanon-Israel “peace treaty.” Some “Lobby papers” conclude that the next battle will deliver changes as far away as Iran, and destroy Hamas.
Designed to bolster the increasingly dubious Israeli public opinion, some Israeli think tanks claim that the massive US taxpayer-funded therapy program for returning 2006 Israeli troops has succeeded in lowering the rates of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and has lowered the percentage of “shell shock” disability cases in Israel — no mention of the skyrocketing rates of PTSD among US troops returning from various deployments in the Middle East, which are skyrocketing, and American family complaints that needed medical help is being denied due to Pentagon budget “priorities.” A Rand study in 2008 estimated the total number of American service members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan who returned with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), or “had their bell rung” to use the terminology employed by some staff in Ward E7 at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington, is more than 320,000.
Today the figure is thought to be near 350,000. Only a small percentage are being properly treated according to the Department of Veterans Affairs and Bethesda medical staff, both of which admit they are not equipped to handle them—most severely maimed for life. Increasingly, some family members are becoming bitter and complaining about budget cuts. One mother recently complained to Congressman Steny Hoyer, a veteran not of the US military but of more than a dozen US taxpayer-paid trips to Israel, that “Israel always comes first and we pay for treatment and therapy for their soldiers and we sent our boys and girls to Iraq and Afghanistan because they told us to.” As reported by Ray McGovern, writing in Counterpunch recently, “Just this past week at Fort Hood, Texas, four decorated veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan took their own lives, adding to the 14 other suicides this year at Fort Hood alone.”
Timur Goskel, former advisor to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), is dismissive of many of these “Research Papers” and their almost-without-exception Zionist authors: “They don’t know the other side of the story. They don’t know what is happening here in Lebanon or what is Hezbollah doing or what is Hezbollah capable of. They will likely be shocked when they find out. They guess from newspapers and whatever, and Hezbollah is not the organization you can read about in newspapers accurately. They don’t talk too much,” Goskel added.
Some of the Israeli Lobby think tank predictions may indeed materialize, but the history of Hezbollah and Israel on the battlefield and other factors, ignored by pro-Israel “scholars” who either aren’t aware of them, or don’t want to risk their sinecures by mentioning unpleasant facts to their employers, suggest that Israel will lose its next aggression against Lebanon. It is clear that Hezbollah has been studying its enemy.
Scorecard: Four Hezbollah conflicts with Israeli forces
The June 1982 Israeli invasion is not included in this brief consideration because Hezbollah was not fully organized and in fact its birth was partially the result of the 1982 “Peace for Galilee” aggression that slaughtered nearly 20,000 Lebanese civilians and Palestinian refugees as well as setting the stage for the Sabra-Shatila Massacre. On August 30, 1982, Israel did achieve its goal of expelling most of its PLO nemesis but catastrophically failed in its main objective of ending Lebanese resistance activity. As a PLO replacement Hezbollah quickly became a far stronger and more sophisticated adversary. Many fighters who eventually joined Hezbollah but who fought in 1982 with the PLO or with a variety of affiliated militia inflicted much damage on Israeli forces during numerous mountain battles and at Khaldeh on the coast south of Beirut.
1985: Hezbollah pushes their Zionist enemy out of the mountain areas
Between 1978 and 1985, Zionist forces occupied approximately 1/3 of Lebanon, including 801 towns and villages. The newly forming Hezbollah never stopped its resistance attacks. An important Hezbollah political victory against Israel was achieved on March 5, 1984, when its work to achieve the Lebanese Council of Ministers cancellation of the U.S.-Israel created May 17, 1983 agreement that would have yielded significant Lebanese sovereignty and territory to Israel. Another was the expulsion of foreign “peacekeeping forces” that increasingly attacked the civilian population of Lebanon on behalf of Israel and its local allies.
During this period, Hezbollah and its allies surprised and hit Israeli forces hard all over the mountains and valleys, and on January 14, 1985, Israel began withdrawing from 168 villages, being 55% of South Lebanon or 11% of Lebanon, including Sidon, Tyre, Nabatieh, and parts of the Western Bekaa.
The July 1993 Aggression—so called “Operation Accountability”
Israeli Chief of Staff Ehud Barak, told the Lebanese government on July 31, 1993, “Disarm Hezbollah or watch Israeli do it.” He said about the same thing to the Obama administration on September 30, 2010 at the Pentagon.
Despite, 1,224 bombing attacks, according to UNIFIL data, and firing more than 30,000 artillery shells and rockets, Hezbollah retaliated with what AFP on July 25, 1993 called, “A hell of a shelling last[ing] 10 hours without a pause.”
For seven days, resistance forces conducted at least 30 operations along the Blue line, targeting Zionist forces and their Lebanese surrogates. The US and Israel, shocked that the CIA-Mossad intelligence estimates that Hezbollah had only 500 rockets and that this supply would be depleted in three days, decided to call for a cease-fire. The “July Accord” took effect at 6 p.m. on July 31, 1993, and Israel withdrew and stood down, failing to achieve any of its objectives, which, frankly, are always the same: Disarm the Resistance, break Hezbollah’s relationships with the Lebanese public, and force the Lebanese government to dismantle the Resistance. On August 19, 1993 Israel’s PM Rabin told his cabinet: “I regret saying this, but Hezbollah has defeated us.”
The April 1996 Aggression–the so-called “Grapes of Wrath”
This aggression started on April 11, 1996 with bombing attacks in Baalbeck, down south in Tyre at the Lebanese army base, and, for the first time since 1982, attacks on Dahiyeh in South Beirut. Israel bombed a wider area than in 1993 over a period of 16 days.
This invasion became known among some in South Lebanon as the “Four Massacres aggression”: Suhmor on April 12; the bombing of the Al-Mansouri ambulance on April 13; Nabatieh on Day 7; and the Qana massacre on the same day, when 118 civilians were slaughtered and 127 injured. Hundreds of thousands were displaced, with 7,000 homes completely or partially destroyed. Total civilian casualties exceeded 250.