Too little too late

Oceania’s favorite comedy duo, our beloved President and Airstrip One’s regional premier Tony Blair, got together to offer their pathetically inadequate and untimely proposal to handle the current internal crisis raging in Western Eurasia, by proposing an international buffer force in Lebanon.
I’ve already alluded to our complete loss of an honest broker role, having more or less permitted Israel to open fire, damn the consequences. The problem as noted in numerous posts by Billmon is that Israel’s military has fallen pray to the American maladies of becoming bloated on overfunding while fearful of casualties from ground-fighting and hence not as good at it as it once was, while still hubristic in underestimating its opponents. As such, for the first time, it has been Israel who has expressed a willingness for international monitoring and buffer forces… Hizbollah probably is content with the situation on the ground as it is.
Indeed, Israel seems bogged down– taking heavy casualties on the ground, as Hizbollah uses its superior knowledge of the difficult local terrain to inflict casualties, and lobs its large cache of missiles deeper and deeper into Israel. In short… the mighty First World military is bogged down by (seemingly) Third World guerrillas in the Middle East… Remind you of anyone else?
This should never have been allowed to get this far: Bush should never– NEVER– have not scotched, if not outright green-lighted airstrikes on Beirut (and there seems little question that such a decision would have had to be vetted by Washington). The insane and insanely stupid war-hawks here were somehow hoping this would spiral further out of control and Israel would take out Iran for us, all without cost to us!
But this, as usual, misconstrued certain strategic realities on the ground: after a generation of further resentment against the Zionist state and funding, training and proselytizing, Hizbollah has gained in strength; after a generation of improving its middle class lifestyle, while having been free of most existential threats that guided its first decades of existence (Jordan and Egypt having been bought off with American aid money), Israel has softened. Like the United States, it faces the annoyance of terrorism– yes, civilians can be killed at any given moment– but life in toto will go on (unlike, say, prior to the Jordan and Egypt buy-offs, when being run into the sea was actually a possibility, just as being vaporized by Soviet ICBMs was for us).
And the results are playing out on the ground. Like the United States, Israel has an overdependence on its air power, which is a uniquely poor device against so-called fourth-generation warfare, to wit, agile guerrillas. And Israel– like the United States– dare not ever use its nuclear weapons unless a nuclear weapon has been used against it.
And so here we are. The Blair-Bush Project is only announced nearly three weeks into the fighting, with hundreds already dead and thousands wounded and a humanitarian crisis looming. And their announcement, of course, envisions some simplistic sounding solution, as if that were remotely possible… without compelling Israel to cease fire, the only leverage Bush (and Blair) have.
So, we’ll probably have another few days of this; some more people will die, and then the parties will eventually adjust to something resembling status quo ante. And once again, the rocket scientists on “our” side who seem to believe that simplistic labeling of the other side as evil and pummelling civilians with air power and expensive weaponry will solve problems have been proven to be the idiots that they are. And once again, most people will go on voting for those same idiots, because it beats having to think about things.