World Says Israel Lost, Bush Disagrees

Although Israel conceded the failures of the month-long Lebanon war and its defeat made international headlines, only US President George Bush believes the Lebanese resistance has lost.

World Says Israel Lost, Bush Disagrees

"Hizbullah attacked Israel. Hizbullah started the crisis. And Hizbullah suffered a defeat," Bush told reporters in remarks after day-long meetings with his top national security and foreign policy aides, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, August 15.

Hizbullah, he added, "has got a fantastic propaganda machine and they're claiming victories."But how can you claim victory when at one time you were a state within a state, safe within southern Lebanon, and now you're going to be replaced with a Lebanese Army and an international force?" The UN Security Council resolution 1701 that ended hostilities calls for the deployment of the Lebanese army in south Lebanon but does not set the disarming of Hizbullah, a long-time American-Israeli demand, as a perquisite for the ceasefire.

Bush's remarks came a few hours after Olmert told Knesset Israel would investigate the "errors" of the war and that he assumes the "overall responsibility" for the military operation. The US drew diatribe from international human rights groups like Human Rights Watch for sending laser-guided and cluster bombs to Israel during its war on Lebanon.

Veteran American journalist Syemour Hersh revealed on Sunday, August 13, in his new investigative report that Israel had devised a plan for attacking Hizbullah and shared it with Bush administration officials well before the resistance group took prisoner two Israeli soldiers.


The Israeli military failures in Lebanon made international headlines on Tuesday. "Israel's Verdict: We Lost the War," said the Independent's lead story. "Olmert Accepts Blame for 'Failings'" and "Olmert Admits Tactical Deficiencies" read the headlines of The Washington Post and The New York Times. Israeli experts and analysts said that the war on Lebanon has proved a fiasco and left doubt hanging over the political career of Olmert and the future his nascent Kadima party.

The Lebanese Hizbullah resistance group has proved a foe to be reckoned with, inflicting heavy losses on the armed-to-the-teeth Israeli army. Except for Israel's ongoing conflict with the Palestinians, Israel suffered heavier civilian casualties in the Lebanon conflict than in any fighting since it was established at the rubble of Palestine in 1948.

At least 123 Israeli soldiers have been killed and thousands others wounded in fierce battle with well-trained and armed Hizbullah fighters. Hizbullah also shot down at least four Apache helicopters and destroyed one warship, a fast-speed patrol in addition to around 124 of Israel's pride Merkava tanks, each costing 4.4 million dollars.

At least twelve armored vehicle and personnel carriers have also been damaged during the war, according to a tally prepared by based on Israeli media and official reports.

Disappointed Israelis

Olmert's failure admission in a stormy Knesset session came in the face of poll figures showing a majority of the Israeli public believing that none or only a very small part of the goals of the war had been achieved. A Globes Smith poll showed that 52 per cent of electors believed the Israeli army had been unsuccessful in its Lebanon offensive as opposed to 44 percent who believed it did well.

"The polls showing that Israelis do not believe Israel is winning the war won't impress Bush," Israel's leading Haaretz newspaper commented in its editorial. It said that both Bush and Olmert are "united now in a dreadful situation familiar to Bush and new to Olmert: favorable ratings barely scraping 40 percent." Israeli opposition leader and former premier Benjamin Netanyahu had harsh words for Olmert on Monday. "There were many failures, failures in identifying the threat, failures in preparing to meet the threat, failures in the management of the war, failures in the management of the home front." 


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16