Sunday, August 13, 2006

Totten In Israel

Michael Totten is in Israel, and took a drive up north, to where the war is active and ongoing. His latest post is full of eyewitness information, pictures, and experiences from being in the midst of a live fire zone with little to no cover. When he headed up, it looked like a cease-fire was on the way. He interviewed IDF Spokesmen Michael Oren and Dan Gordon and got their reaction to the pending cease-fire, as well as their reaction to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's claim that he had won the war, and whether they thought any actual good had come from the conflict. There's a lot worth reading in that conversation. One thing I particularly noted from that interview that I hadn't known before was the extent of Hezbollah's initial incursion into Israel. Gordon makes the statement that most reporters aren't telling what Hezbollah tried to do in that first attack:

“Hardly any journalists have mentioned this,” Dan said. “But at the very beginning of this thing, when Hezbollah captured our soldiers, they also tried to invade, conquer, and hold the town of Metulla along with two other towns. And they were repulsed.”

Of course Hezbollah was repulsed. They’re a guerilla/terrorist army, not infantry.

“We do have one serious asset from this war,” Dan said. “Hassan Nasrallah got his ass kicked. And he knows it.”

“Did he really get his ass kicked?” I said. “The IDF fought Hezbollah to a standstill for more than ten years before. What made you think it would be easy to get rid of them this time?”

“This time it’s different,” Dan said. “This time we’re going in there to kill them. We are not trying to hold on to territory. This is actually working. We are not stuck in the mud. Oh, and here’s another tangible…Hezbollah-occupied Lebanon no longer exists.”

So, they do see some good coming out of it all, from their persective. There's so much to this piece, and things were shifting even as Totten stood there. By the end of the interview he got a call saying the cease-fire was dead, and the ground invasion beginning. The war goes on. Read the rest for yourself. You probably won't get this clear a view of what it's like on the ground there from many other places. After the post, read the comments for even more perspective. Totten's got more to say, as do his readers.