Close Enough to See the Whites of Their Eyes

I’m not exactly sure who Franklin Lamb is, but he seems to have some great sources. Sadly, they are anonymous, but here’s what they say about the situation in Lebanon. As far as taking the word of anonymous sources, it’s definitely not ideal but that hasn’t stopped the Bush Administration and our corporate journalists from selling us a couple of wars that way, now has it?

According to US Senate Intelligence Committee sources, the Bush administration initially green lighted the intended May 11 Israeli ‘demonstration of solidarity’ with the pro-Bush administration militias, some with which Israel has maintained ties since the days of Bashir Gemayal and Ariel Sharon.

In the end, ‘the Bush administration got cold feet’, a Congressional source revealed. So did Israel.

Israel was not willing to proceed with the original Bush Administration idea which was to have Bush attend the May 15 Israel anniversary celebrations following the Israeli attack meant to hit Hezbollah hard, and give Bush the credit for coming to the dangerous region. The message was to be that Bush comes to the rescue ‘on horseback and leads the US Calvary charge straight out of a B western movie where the bugle would sound and flag would be unfurled and the white hat good guys would show their stuff before riding into the sunset and back to Texas, leaving the results to the likely Obama administration to sort out.

The plan involved Israeli air strikes on South and West Beirut in support of forces it was assured would be able to surprise and resist Hezbollah and sustain a powerful offensive for 48 hours.

Highly orchestrated, dramatic fantasy hero narrative, miscellaneous collateral damage to Arabs via air strikes, etc. Yup. That sounds about right. If it weren’t for the big party the Israelis were having later that week, I’m sure they would have gone through with it. But they already paid the caterers. You know how it is. It’s true that if it went well the party would have been even more awesome, but what if something went wrong?

So at the last minute, they blinked.

This week Israel’s Military Intelligence Chief, Major General Amos Yadlin complained to the Israeli daily Haaretz that Hezbollah proved that it was the strongest power in Lebanon… stronger than the Lebanese and it had wanted to take the government it could have done it,’ He said Hezbollah, continued to pose a ’significant’ threat to Israel as its rockets could reach a large part of Israeli territory.’

Yadlin was putting it mildly.

But what Intelligence Chief Yadlin did not reveal to the Israeli public was just how ’significant’ but also ‘immediate’ the Hezbollah threat was on May 11. Nor was he willing to divulge the fact that he received information via US and French channels that if the planned attack on Lebanon’s capitol went forward that Tel Aviv was subject, in the view of the US intelligence community to ‘approximately 600 Hezbollah rockets in the first 24 hours in retaliation and at least that number on the following day’.

The Israeli Intel Chief also declined to reveal that despite Israel’s recent psyche-war camping about various claimed missile shields ‘the State of Israel is perfecting’, that this claim is being ridiculed at the Pentagon. Israel will not achieve an effective shield against the current generation of rockets, even assuming no technological improvements in the current rockets aimed at it, for another 20 years. And that assumes the US will continue to fund their research and development for the hoped for shields’ according to Pentagon, US Senate Intelligence Committee, and very well informed Lebanese sources.

Maybe that’s why this Raytheon technology was on the Bush agenda with the Israelis.

They’re worried about spilling their own precious blood. Good to know.

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