February 15, 2008

Obama Imitates Olmert

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has one of the lowest approval ratings in his country’s history thanks to his disastrous prosecution of the July 2006 war in Lebanon against Hezbollah.

Nevertheless, and contrary to Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah’s delusional and arrogant boasts, Hezbollah didn’t win. I toured South Lebanon and the suburbs south of Beirut – Hezbollah’s two major strongholds – after the war. The magnitude of the destruction was stunning. It looked like World War II blew through the place. (Click here and here to see photos.) Nasrallah survived and replenished his arsensal stocks, but, as Israeli military historian Michael Oren put it, “If he has enough victories like this one, he’s dead.”

Israel didn’t win, either. None of Israel’s objectives in Lebanon were accomplished.

The best that can be said of that war is that it was a strategic draw with losses on both sides. Hezbollah absorbed the brunt of the damage.

It should be obvious why Israel didn’t prevail to observers of modern assymetrical warfare and counterinsurgency. Olmert’s plan, such as it was, was doomed to fail from Day One. It may not have been obvious then, but it certainly should be by now.

American General David Petraeus proved counterinsurgency in Arabic countries can work. His surge of troops in Iraq is about a change of tactics more than an increase in numbers, and his tactics so far have surpassed all expectations. The “light footprint” model used during former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s tenure may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but American soldiers and Marines had no chance of defeating insurgents from behind barbed wire garrisons. Only now that the troops have left the relative safety and comfort of their bases and intimately integrated themselves into the Iraqi population are they able to isolate and track down the killers. They do so with help from the locals. They acquired that help because they slowly forged trusting relationships and alliances, and because they protect the civilians from violence.

The Israel Defense Forces did nothing of the sort in Lebanon. Most Lebanese Shias are so hostile to Israel that such a strategy might not work even if David Petraeus himself were in charge of it. Even then it would take years to produce the desired results, just as it has taken several years in Iraq. Israelis have no wish to spend years fighting Hezbollah in Lebanon. International pressure would force them out if they did.

A Petraeus-like strategy wasn’t an option for Olmert. That, however, doesn’t mean we can’t compare the effectiveness of the Olmert and Petraeus strategies.

Read the rest in Commentary Magazine.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at February 15, 2008 10:23 AM
Comments

Perhaps the counter-insurgency as practiced in Iraq wouldn’t be applicable to use in Lebanon, but perhaps it could be used on the West Bank?

Hamas will never make peace, and Abbas is a failure, but perhaps Israel can make peace one-Palistinian-town-at-a-time? Israel already could restrict access to individual towns – If they invested the money, that they would have normally given to Abbas to fund corruption and terrorism, into individual West Bank towns along with a heavy counter-insurgency effort, perhaps they could slowly grow a DMZ along the border?

One problem with trying to make peace with the Palistinians from a top-down effort is that the Palistinians only get to chose between the Corrupt Party and the Murderously Crazy Party. Perhaps an Iraqi-style counter-insurgency effort, which works more from the bottom up, could pacify a town at a time.

Posted by: james Author Profile Page at February 15, 2008 11:30 AM

MJT: None of Israel’s objectives in Lebanon were accomplished.

Well, except for the most important one, which was having quiet on the northern border. And the border has been quiet for many months now, the longest stretch since the 1960s.

I don't understand this relentless desire to lynch Olmert over the war. The poor bastard had to make very quick decisions in a wartime environment. If he had ordered pinpoint strikes, he would be criticized for being soft. If he had sent in a massive ground force, including reservists, to deal with Hizballah, he'd be criticized for sending soldiers to their deaths needlessly.

Israel did achieve their most important goal, only at heavy cost.

Posted by: Edgar Author Profile Page at February 15, 2008 11:39 AM

james: Perhaps the counter-insurgency as practiced in Iraq wouldn’t be applicable to use in Lebanon, but perhaps it could be used on the West Bank?

I think the opposite is true. The Lebanese Shi'ites are not natural enemies as Israel. They only became so when Israel invaded Lebanon and the Iranians and Syrians decided to use them as foot soldiers in their own little game.

If you recall, Israel was initially welcomed by the Shi'ites in the south. But after a few strategic blunders--basically pissing too many of the wrong people off--Israel made enemies of them.

The Palestinians are a completely different story. They are natural enemies of the Israeli Jews because they've lost their land, and with it, any hope of becoming an independent state. Even if they get 100% of the West Bank and Gaza, they'll forever be in Israel's orbit, a dependent satellite with no real power. From a nationalist perspective, they have no reason to cooperate with the Israelis.

But Iraqis have plenty of reasons to play ball. The insurgency was self-destructive from the beginning. The goal was to expel the Americans which, if realized, would have led to civil war and misery for nearly everyone. It's no surprise that many of them decided to reconsider.

Out of the bunch, the Palestinians are the only ones with a good reason to go on fighting forever. And no counterinsurgency tactics will work on them.

Posted by: Edgar Author Profile Page at February 15, 2008 11:57 AM

Michael- Another great article. Kudos. I think it was a great analysis. There is something that I disagree with you about Obama:

Obama is competing in a Democratic primary race. Perhaps if he is elected commander in chief and no longer needs to appease the left-wing of his party he will reverse himself and keep Petraeus right where he is. Reality has a way of imposing itself on presidents. - Michael Trotten

Don't count on it, bud. In my opinion this guy is a true believer that it's American Foreign Policy causing all these Islamic radicals. Compared to the Wicked Witch of the West Hillary Clinton, Obama is head and shoulders above her in motivating exciting crowds. Plus, his supporters are projecting whatever good things that they believe in that he could give the Democrat electorate the cold hard truth about Iraq and they'd still love him. All he has to do is keep saying "I'm for the future and you can't have believe in the future without hope and change and you can't change if you don't have hope and hope will get us all into the future... blah... blah..." An adult thing would be to say "The surge is apparently working thanks to our great servicemen and our Iraqi allies. I've decided to wait till I get into office before we make any drastic changes in Iraq." Making a commitment like that would alleviate so many fears in Americans/Iraqis that want to win in Iraq and dissipate the hopes of the terrorists.

The thing Michael is he knows the truth. Unlike the Clinton Administration that subtly tried to sabotage the transition to the Bush Administration. President Bush has instructed the Pentagon to give full detailed briefings to all viable candidates. Obama knows the truth he just has blinders on.

Posted by: PeteDawg Author Profile Page at February 15, 2008 1:01 PM

PeteDawg,

I think John McCain is running for President of the United States.
I think Hillary Clinton is running for absolute equality for women and to make staying with Bill ten years ago worth the effort.
I think that Barack Obama is seeking to be anointed the Christ. I hope he does not get elected but if he gets elected I pray that he does not get killed in office. Once he stops talking the magic will end and his supporters will find so little behind the curtain. The resulting conspiracy theories will take another generation off the deep end just as the last one was finally dying off.

We don't need a Christ in the oval office. Walking across the Potomac to meetings in the Pentagon is swell, but it does no good if he's a fool when he arrives.

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell Author Profile Page at February 15, 2008 1:16 PM

John McCain is apparently running for Grand Inquisitor. Who knew? (Oh, other than Arizonans. He has now finished selling off the last of his integrity molecules. He's now permanently off my list of remote possibilities.)

MJT -- with all the excitement going on in Syria and Lebanon, with arguably the truly most dangerous terrorist on the globe newly assassinated and all the potential candidates (I favor Nasrallah or 2nd, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, much as I'd love to give Mossad credit), the best you can do is take cheap headline pot-shots at Obama to try to sell a story? You're sounding as obsessed as Patrick and the other uptight righties. Hillary must be thrilled to have the lightning rod off her barn.

Obama isn't looking to be Christ, even if some of his fans seem excessively enraptured. They're young. Me, I'm old, and pessimistic, and if he can re-engage so many Americans in their own political process, if he can cut the post-modern cynical malaise even a little bit, he's doing more for the country by running than any of the three -- ummm, four -- of them can accomplish once elected. If that is resonating like a national ghost harmonic, that says more about the state of the nation than about him.

I believe Huckabee is looking to be annointed. Look how fast the GOP forced Romney and the rest to close ranks to freeze Huckabee out, even though they just hate McCain.

Anyhow, MJT -- this one disappointed me.

Posted by: AZZenny Author Profile Page at February 15, 2008 4:12 PM

AZZenny: MJT — with all the excitement going on in Syria and Lebanon, with arguably the truly most dangerous terrorist on the globe newly assassinated and all the potential candidates (I favor Nasrallah or 2nd, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, much as I'd love to give Mossad credit), the best you can do is take cheap headline pot-shots at Obama to try to sell a story?

I pitched the idea to Commentary before the assassination in Damascus, so I owed them this. I plan to write about that, as well, but wanted to wait for more information so I can write a better piece. Also I'm working on another long Fallujah article for this Web site, not to mention I just wrapped up a book review for the NYT and have a second draft to write for City Journal.

So give me a break, k? I'm busy here, and can't write about everything at the same time.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at February 15, 2008 4:46 PM

Sorry Michael, I do know that your last name is Totten not Trotten. I need to get another prescription ;p

Obama isn't looking to be Christ, even if some of his fans seem excessively enraptured. They're young. Me, I'm old, and pessimistic, and if he can re-engage so many Americans in their own political process, if he can cut the post-modern cynical malaise even a little bit, he's doing more for the country by running than any of the three — ummm, four — of them can accomplish once elected. If that is resonating like a national ghost harmonic, that says more about the state of the nation than about him. - AZZPenny

Spoken like a true liberal... because he's inspired some ignorant clueless people to vote for him overshadows what any of the others could have accomplished. Like say winning the war in Iraq. Nothing like PIZZAZZ over substance. Pathetic... It just proves that the NEA has a lot to pay for it's incompetence. They've should have these idiots retake US History and Government instead of putting the condom on the cucumber.

Posted by: PeteDawg Author Profile Page at February 15, 2008 4:55 PM

Thank goodness for checks and balances but I do worry when one of the candidates now has his own little symbol that is recognizable without any name being attached to it. Very creepy following a car with a "Visualize World Peace," a KPFK and a risng sun symbol bumpersticker.

I keep wondering when the group of advisers centered around Dennis Ross begin to have some effect on Sen. Obama's public pronouncements unless they are already too busy measuring for carpets.

Posted by: Pat Patterson Author Profile Page at February 15, 2008 5:33 PM

Michael -

Obama imitates Olmert in more ways than just what you mention.

Hearing Obama call McCain a "great American hero" and praise his "half-century" of service, reminded me immediately of Olmert's '93 campaign for mayor of Jerusalem against the 82 y/o Teddy Kollek.

Kollek had been mayor for 28 years, and was much beloved even by his political opponents. Olmert ran a successful "time for a change" campaign with the brilliant slogan "Ohavim otcha Teddy - Matzbi'im Olmert" (Love you, Teddy - Voting Olmert).

"Honor McCain but Vote Obama" - coming soon to a tv ad near you...??

Posted by: mld7 Author Profile Page at February 15, 2008 7:40 PM

So give me a break, k? I'm busy here, and can't write about everything at the same time.

:-)

Ok, how about something you've already written?

You mentioned a Fallujah story for City Journal back on the 20th, have they put it up yet?

Posted by: rosignol Author Profile Page at February 16, 2008 3:10 AM

Solid article Michael.

And my two cents: I side with Petedawg and Patrick on this one. Obama's giving me a lot of worry, and he could eliminate it by getting real. I can fight liberal domestic policies as they come. There's no way to fight a President abandoning the Iraqis.

Posted by: Joe Author Profile Page at February 16, 2008 5:54 AM

Before writing off counter-insurgency with the Palestinians, read this:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/125215

(IsraelNN.com) The leaders of the two main Arab family clans in Hevron and of the Jewish community in the city met on Sunday to renew the friendly Jewish-Moslem ties that once existed there.

Sheikh Abu Hader Jaabri and Haj Abu Akram Abu Sneineh, who together represent the majority of the population of Hevron, met with Kiryat Arba Mayor Tzvi Katzover, Hevron Jewish Community spokesman Noam Arnon, IDF Hevron Commander Yehuda Fuchs and others. Arnon later described the meeting, held in Sheikh Jaabri's large and luxurious home, as "warm and hearty, during which the participants declared their wish for peace and security in the City of Patriarchs."

Remember that the Jews of Hebron are routinely described as the most radical, dangerous Jews in the world.

And what were the consequences for the sheikh?

Fatah's Al-Aksa Brigades terrorists hung posters against the sheikhs, including calls to boycott their extensive business interests. In addition, the PA - perceived internationally as a "moderate" element in the region - summoned Sheikh Jaabri for a discussion. It appears that the sheikhs' wide influence in the city, however, tips the scales; the PA released him shortly afterwards, and the posters will apparently soon be removed.

There are pragmatic, influential Palestinian figures who can be reasoned with.

Before he was murdered, Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha said that Iraqis and Americans were too stubborn and proud to understand each other. When it comes to the Israel-Arab situation, stubborness and pride seem to be the order of the day. Yet Sunni militiamen patrol side-by-side with U.S. Marines and soldiers.

The factors that prompted the Sunni tribes to join us are different from those ongoing in the West Bank only in a matter of degree. Attacks on Israel prompt measures that hurt business and make the lives of Palestinians more difficult. Palestinian groups and militias do not tolerate dissent, and often punish it with beatings or even murder. While those groups/militias aren't cooking children or butchering sheikhs and their families, the length of the war with Israel - and the inevitable corresponding length of time they will live in poverty, ruled by Fatah or some similar group - could prompt a re-think in some corners.

Posted by: MattW Author Profile Page at February 16, 2008 7:06 AM

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 02/16/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention updated throughout the day…so check back often.

Posted by: David M Author Profile Page at February 16, 2008 7:39 AM

Rosignol,

City Journal is a quarterly magazine, and the story is for the spring issue. So no, it hasn't been published yet. Late March, I think.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at February 16, 2008 8:22 AM

Great post, MattW. This story has been going on for decades, stretching back to long before the formation of Israel when the notorious Mufti was assassinating Arab moderates in order to consolidate his grip on Palestinian politics. I know there are Arabs who wish to live in peace with Israel - certainly there are many thoughtful ones who realize how beneficial it would be for everyone if the two sides would cooperate instead of fight. But unfortunately it is the violent extremists from the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah who always seem to drive the agenda.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at February 16, 2008 11:04 AM

"Obama's giving me a lot of worry, and he could eliminate it by getting real."

Barack "Barry" Obama is not capable of "getting real." It's just not there. He has never done any serious reading. I am convinced that he has been running for president of the United States ever since his Harvard days. The man has merely put his wet finger in the air to see which way the wind blew. Obama has subconsciously, if not even consciously, chosen to emphasize style over substance.

Posted by: David Thomson Author Profile Page at February 16, 2008 12:36 PM
The "light footprint" model used during former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s tenure may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but American soldiers and Marines had no chance of defeating insurgents from behind barbed wire garrisons.... They do so with help from the locals. They acquired that help because they slowly forged trusting relationships and alliances, and because they protect the civilians from violence.
I know this is the conventional wisdom, but I'm not sure it's entirely accurate. Part of why those alliances exist is that the "light footprint" meant that US forces weren't interfering in the average Iraqi's life, while AQI was heavy-handed to put it mildly. Even the Sunni tribes of Anbar finally had enough. It's clear they don't trust al-Maliki's Shi'a-dominated national government (and that they have little reason to do so), but they've learned that they can trust the Americans.

Were it not for learning the hard way that religious extremists are equally their enemies, whether the local Shi'a, or the imported Salafi, they might not be nearly as receptive to the idea of coexisting with the Shi'a and Kurds in a federation that allows them significant autonomy in the Sunni-majority muhafadhat.

They also had to give up on the idea that they could restore the status quo ante with Sunnis calling the shots for the whole country. The Kurds, Iraqi Shi'a, and Iranians won't let that happen, and it appears that the Sunni tribal sheiks accept that reality. A good case can be made for the idea that it was going to take a few years to learn these lessons, regardless of how the US forces were deployed.

Posted by: The Monster Author Profile Page at February 16, 2008 5:55 PM

"Israel didn’t win, either. None of Israel’s objectives in Lebanon were accomplished."

i would disagree...all warfare..assymetrical or not is about imposing costs and benefits.

Israel was very clear...Hezbollah might want to be to be the "Nationial Champions of Lebanon" but their actions ended up imposing a huge economic cost on the Lebanese people.

One of the fundamenal problems dealing with Hebollah, Hamas and Iran has always been the reluctance of anyone to impost costs on bad behavior.

There are no shortage of places in the world where various "bad actors" get away with poor behavior because no one imposes a cost(Berkely comes to mind).

Imposing a cost changes behavior....lots of Lebanese business people...more than happy to look the way at Hezbollah...had a very bad tourist season.

Listen to the Anbar Awakeing Folks...AlQueda was bad for business.

Imposing eonomic costs works.

Posted by: Soldier's Dad Author Profile Page at February 16, 2008 7:34 PM

The comparison between Obama and Olmert seems awfully strained to me, but I understand it's mostly rhetorical. For one thing, once Obama removes all the troops from Iraq, there's no way he'll go back in, even for targeted strikes. That was just a sop to the other side.

Itamar Rabinowitch wrote an interesting piece regarding the meetings between settlers and Hebron notables.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/954441.html

Basically, it's nice, but doesn't contribute anything towards a political solution.

Posted by: MarkC Author Profile Page at February 17, 2008 12:26 AM

I just read that Ha'aretz piece. He's half-right, in that it doesn't contribute towards a political settlement with the current leadership. But is one really possible now? In the same article, Rabinovitch says that the central gov't (ie, Fatah) is corrupt and weak. Can you - should you - really give up anything to a disparate collection of militias who no-one can say will be around five, ten years from now?

Rabinovitch makes the claim that the Hebron story is good for those who want to maintain the status quo. It is, but it is also encouraging for those who see the status quo as problematic, but giving anything to Fatah as foolish. Abbas is irrelevant, so why not spend a decade building up contacts with local clans, dignitaries and merchants? When Fatah collapses, those people will remain. And rather than pour international aid money in to Fatah for infrastructure and jobs, why not give part of it to them? If it works, there's a pragmatic power base you can work with. If not, well, you haven't made anything worse.

Posted by: MattW Author Profile Page at February 17, 2008 12:46 AM

Edgar;
About the Pals who have a good reason for insurgency because they "lost their land". That's the Big Lie that will keep them running on fumes forever, all right. Prior to the Jewish arrivals and initiatives in creating viable agriculture and industry, there were a few hardscrabble peasant-level Arabs in the area. The population boom that occurred when someone competent began developing the land came later. And the Pals left because the local Arab governments invited them to get out of the way while surging Arab armies swept the region clean of Joooz. Funny how that turned out. Half a century later, the Arabs' refugee camps for the Pals remain, pestholes of misery and resentment. Arab residents of Israel enjoy vastly more prosperity and personal and civic freedom than citizens of their sovereign neighbours, meanwhile.

The only solution is a long-term one, and involves total replacement of the ME's autocracies with competent democratic republics. Coincidentally, that's what Iraq needs, too, to have enduring security and peace. So Iraq and Israel should eventually get together and clean house. Once Iran's insane regime is removed, the rest should be easy.

Posted by: Brian H Author Profile Page at February 17, 2008 10:36 PM

Brian, you forgot to mention that The West Bank was part of Jordan and Gaza was part of Egypt. There was never any "Palestinian land." Israel was saddled with those two unfortunate places after winning the 67 war. Israel offered to give them back and Jordan and Egypt said no.

The Palestinians were terrorizing Jordan (which put them down much more nastily than Israel), and you've seen what Egypt thinks of Gazans moving in. Jordan and Egypt also wanted Israel to have the headache because they could use this as propaganda, which they have been doing successfully ever since. They love the Palestinian cause as long as they don't have to rule them. In fact, Israel is much nicer to the Pals than most of the Arab world.

"...Even if they get 100% of the West Bank and Gaza, they'll forever be in Israel's orbit, a dependent satellite with no real power. From a nationalist perspective, they have no reason to cooperate with the Israelis..."

Edgar, they have every reason to cooperate. Many are highly educated, good businessmen, and expats - if palestine started acting like a real country with rule of law, many would come home. There are already some joint projects and business parterships, have been for years. Israel would love to remove the blockades. They could be Singapore.

Is that insufficiently nationalist? Is that being a sattelite or part of a dynamite economy? Well, do they want to have peace and prosperity and good government, or cut off their nose to spite their face? We know the answer to that one. But I think Palestinian culture would be a lot less dysfuntional if they weren't being used by their fellow Arabs as the tip of the spear.

The real joke is that one of the arguments of the anti-Israel crowd is that Israel's desire to be a nation shows that they aren't universalist and progressive, because nationhood is an atavistic concept. But the same people agitate for a Palestinian nation.

Posted by: Yehudit Author Profile Page at February 18, 2008 12:25 PM

Just to pile on:

“…Even if they get 100% of the West Bank and Gaza, they'll forever be in Israel's orbit, a dependent satellite with no real power. From a nationalist perspective, they have no reason to cooperate with the Israelis…”

If by 'nationalist', you mean those advocating the creation of a Palestinian nation-state, you've got a point.

But if you mean those who have the best wishes for the welfare of the Palestinians, I'm tired of that being defined by Fatah or Hamas. The international recognition of the PLO as the sole legitimate representatives of the Palestinians was a disgrace in many respects, and one of those was letting Yasser Arafat decide what The Palestinian Ideal is.

Posted by: MattW Author Profile Page at February 18, 2008 2:43 PM

Brian H: Prior to the Jewish arrivals and initiatives in creating viable agriculture and industry, there were a few hardscrabble peasant-level Arabs in the area.

Well, I agree that the population was a lot less than it was now. But we're dealing with a much bigger Palestinian population now (or people who call themselves Palestinians, if you prefer). They obviously disagree vehemently with you, to the point they're willing to kill themselves. What we think of their cause is immaterial.

Yehudit: they have every reason to cooperate. Many are highly educated, good businessmen, and expats

Agreed. But look at it this way. The majority of Palestinians support to some extent either Fatah or Hamas, two groups which are deeply involved in terrorism. An educated Palestinian elite exists, but they have very little power.

MattW: The international recognition of the PLO as the sole legitimate representatives of the Palestinians was a disgrace in many respects

Yeah, but they were the only organization with any real legitimacy besides the Islamic movements. I think the Tunisian "old guard" was deeply unpopular with the average Palestinian, but people like Marwan Barghouti (the "young guard") are widely admired and respected.

Anyway, my overall point is that it might take several more generations before Palestinians give up their dreams. The main population Israel has to worry about are the millions of refugees languishing in camps. They've been used as a deadly weapon for many years, and will continue to be used for a long time to come. And even if a Palestinian state is declared tomorrow and they all move there, it still won't be much of a victory for Israel. Palestine won't become Singapore for many years, if ever. My guess is a mini-Iran: a small educated elite and a large, deeply conservative underclass.

Posted by: Edgar Author Profile Page at February 18, 2008 6:14 PM

Israel did loose in that is achieved basically non of it's stated goals in the conflict. What is important is that the Israelis themselves think they lost and that the "Arab street" thinks Israel lost. Often perception is more important than truth.

The fact is Israel was taken by surprise by the fighting ability of Hizb'Allah. They initially didnt feel the need to commit large numbers of troops, by the time they realised they needed to it was already too late. The point was well made that the IDF will never be able to occupy Southern Lebanon in the manner that they had before.

As to Obama, give the buy a break, he might not have much substance to what he says, but if George W could do it, Obama certainly can.

Posted by: Marc Author Profile Page at February 19, 2008 5:45 AM

Michael,

Is it possible that given the higher antipathy towards the US and lower (or none) antipathy towards al-Queda at the beginning of the war, Rumsfeld's light footprint was a good strategy, and then once the local population turned on the insurgency, the surge was a good strategy, but one that wouldn't have worked at earlier points in the war?

Posted by: cb Author Profile Page at February 19, 2008 8:59 AM

The Petreaus counter-insurgency effort seems to work by isolating neighborhoods, or small towns, so you don't have to fight all 23 million or 2.3 million Arabs at once; and then protecting the population from retribution by the bad guys, so that it becomes possible for them to collaborate with the good guys without getting murdered. Then you reward individuals that help you, and allow those that are at least neutral to carry on with their lives, without being forced by the bad guys to join the insurgency. The bad guys that are only in it for the paycheck, or for the excitement, can be brought on board.

The isolation and protection steps could not happen in Lebanon - but could happen in the West Bank. Every time I hear of the Abbas government executing someone for collaborating with Israel, I think what a failure for Israel to not protect a real friend in favor of a supposed relationship with that crook-terrorist.

Posted by: james Author Profile Page at February 19, 2008 11:02 AM
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