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Tough lessons for Israeli armour ( maybe a good reason to quit

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wakeme2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-15-06 02:34 PM
Original message
Tough lessons for Israeli armour ( maybe a good reason to quit
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4794829.stm


Tough lessons for Israeli armour
By Jonathan Marcus
BBC diplomatic correspondent

Israeli Merkava battle tank
Tank crews have provided a significant number of casualties

One of the major military surprises of the fighting in Lebanon has been the apparent vulnerability of Israeli armour to Hezbollah anti-tank rockets.

No detailed figures are available and it is clear that many more tanks may have been hit than actually destroyed.

But a significant proportion of Israeli casualties have been among tank crews.

Hezbollah has also used its anti-armour weapons to bring down buildings around sheltering Israeli troops, again causing multiple casualties.

..more at link....

Sounds like the Israeli army was being beating to me.
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Fredda Weinberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-15-06 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. Last time I look, casualties did not equal defeat
We'll have to wait to see if Israel achieved her objectives: freeing the IDF soldiers and stopping the shelling from South Lebanon. In the meantime, her engineers will adapt and improve.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. History shows that numbers trump everything
Regardless of the technological superiority or man-for-man military superiority, numbers win. Israel is arguably the best military on earth, but swamped with human waves, they may fare no better than Saddam did against the Iranians.

The Sherman tank was called the ronson lighter because it lit up every time. The tactical paradigm against the Panther tank was that five Shermans were needed against one Panther. We had that many, and it worked. Now that our recklessness has inflamed virtually all of the Muslim world, we and our allies are due to reap the evil harvest.

By any measure, Israel got its nose bloodied in this knee-jerk mistake. The Hezbollah fighters lost many fighters, but they caused many casualties and didn't give much ground.

What should Israel have done in a situation like this? I can't really say that they overreacted; what does one do when one's citizens are captured?

The chilling reality of this is that the best military on earth couldn't dislodge an unofficial group of military irregulars. This emboldens a nobody like Bashar Assad to puff up and demand the return of the Golan Heights. (Truly, he is as much of a hereditary nobody as George W. Bush, who also thirsts to upstage his daddy.)

It didn't work. The assault was a failure. Even if the IDF was able to inflict casualties at a 10:1 or better ratio, it doesn't matter: numbers count. Israel's enemies outnumber them by much more than this.

Numbers win, and Israel is shockingly outnumbered. Now that this sloppy episode is over for the moment, the ample adversaries see an opening.

Backing back a bit and looking at the strategic situation, it's obvious: we're hanging out on a limb. Supplying our troops in Iraq can only come through a few avenues: Turkey (which has such a bee in its bonnet about the Kurds that it won't let us supply through there any more than it did when it wouldn't allow us transit in March '03), the Persian Gulf (which can EASILY be cut off if the Iranians get serious), through Jordan (which simply doesn't have the road infrastructure to fill the need) and Saudi Arabia (which is a powder keg that's also without infrastructure). At this point, virtually everything comes through the Persian Gulf. Not fun.

This was a huge mistake that will embolden many.



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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-15-06 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. Bad karma for targeting UN Crews and observers....
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Dhalgren Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-15-06 02:59 PM
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3. Israel in Lebanon is exactly like the US in Iraq.
There is no reason to assume the IDF will learn anything...
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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-15-06 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
4. it's obvious they took a bad beating
I bet that the interviews and the pictures of retreating soldiers and their bitter comments you can see on European TV are not shown in the US.
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primative1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-15-06 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. US Television?
Are you not in the states ???
Well ... the TV coverage here would have been a treat for you ... if you were a beginner student in what journalists should avoid when trying not to appear overly biased.
I was particularly impressed at how one day when the Beirut bombing was in its full fever, how our wonderful press kept its balanced perspective by keeping up a picture of a Toyota with a broken windshield that had fallen victim to Hezzbollah rockets. That picture dominated the TV coverage for most of the day ... "Israel Under Attack" to the soundtrack of "miltary analysts and talking heads...
TV here in the states is a lot like reading a book, books being better than film because they leave so much unshown and open to the imagination.
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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-15-06 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. so they don't show pictures of the devastated South Lebanon...
which looks more like Hiroshima after the bomb, of harbours devastated by the oil slick, of people in hospitals, entire collapsed buildings, dead cattle, dead dogs and cats, hospitals with holes in the roof, of Israeli tanks hit "live" by anti-tank weapons with Israeli crews "all black and smoldering" jumping out, no pictures of wounded and crying Israeli soldiers, no Israeli soldiers saying "we met hell out there", no Lebanese casualties in hospitals (type 5 years old female Hizbollah fighter with missing legs)... OK I get the picture

I saw a heart breakening scene today. They were accompanying a guy returning to his family in the south, saying that he was worrying about his elderly parents that hadn't wanted to leave. He went into the house and then came out, fell to the ground crying. They were dead. The interpreter explained that they had survived the shelling but died of starvation. Then came a Hezbollah guy and threw everybody out.

I mean this shooting doesn't come from Al Jazeera, it come from European national TV teams, in this case a French one...
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primative1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-15-06 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. To be fair ...
My television viewing has dropped off considerably these past few years. We are in a stage of rapid media consolidation. But to be fair it is possible that some of these images have been shown. With which network would you suggest I give a try?

http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/Jews-In-The-Medi...
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IChing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-15-06 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Of Course not, the MSM would not allow that
Americans could get feeds on the internet from european news other than the BBC
are not wanting to hear any information other than in their own tongue or media
choose not to and are mistrusting of it.
Unfortunate because many interviews are in english then translated for the native viewer.
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theanarch Donating Member (523 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-15-06 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
9. the proper way to assess victory or defeat is to measure...
Edited on Tue Aug-15-06 09:40 PM by theanarch
...pre-war expectations with the results actually achieved; and by this standard, Israel got its ass handed to it on a silver platter.

Did they secure the release of captured soldiers? No, and won't, until they negotiate a prisoner exchange, which Hezbollah offered before the first shot was fired.

Did they secure northern Israel from future rocket attacks? No, and won't, because Hezbollah still controls the ground, and has ample supplies of Katusha's left.

Did they compel, through the use of terror bombing, the Lebanese population (and government) to turn against Hezbollah and help the IDF fight them? No, and quite the opposite--Hezbollah's standing among Lebanese (and Arabs in general) is now at heroic to near-mythic proportions, and more legitimized than ever. (This also answers the question of Israel destroying Hezbollah as both a military and political organization, which was another upper-tier priority of the war.)

Yes, Israel committed one of the worst war crimes/against humanity of this century (right up there with Rwanda genocide and the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq)--and we still have 93 more years to go till the next one, and in the end, suffered the most humiliating defeat in its history--not just diplomaticly and politically, but militarily and economically as well...and all they have to show for their orgy of violence is creating another generation of Lebanese (and others) who will go to their graves having prayed every day that someone will do to Israel what Israel did to them.

In this context, causalities and equipment loss is immaterial to the determination of who won and who lost.
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