It is arrogant to say nothing of hypocritical for the World Terrorist Media hereafter known as the WTM to expect people in the age of information to believe that every single casualty on the Lebanon side of the battle between Israel and Hezbollah is a civilian.
Yet that is what we are told with virtually every new report from the region, with nearly nothing said about Hezbollah casualties. This is the invincible Hezbollah according to far too many commentators, the Hezbollah that can never be defeated, never be destroyed, only weakened for a time, thus requiring some form of negotiated settlement.
For starters, it can safely be deduced that the bulk of the casualties coming on the Lebanon side, children aside, are Hezbollah fighters or supporters. When they pushed "droves" of fighters into the battle for a border town on July 24th, and ultimately lost to the Israelis, you can bet there were massive Hezbollah casualties regardless of what the WTM said about it. And you can just as safely bet that if there were any real civilians among those wounded and dead they were there because the all-benevolent Hezbollah forced them to stay in harm's way so the "fighters" had someone to hide behind.
Casualties aside, there remains the issue of the invincibility of Hezbollah. I don't know where the WTM got all those military experts posing as TV reporters, but the near constant refrain you hear from them, and other unassailable experts on the Middle East, is that Hezbollah can never be eliminated.
Based on a number of reports the strength of Hezbollah is placed at something less than 20,000 including the leadership core of less than 1,000, another 7,000 or so mainline troops and 10,000 or so "reservists." For some reason, in a world that has seen casualties of military and para-military organizations exceed one-million in each of numerous engagements over the past seven decades, it makes no sense to aver that 20,000 or less can't be defeated and eliminated.
For example, let's take a look at the communist terrorists who slaughtered tens of thousands of South Vietnamese civilians in a reign of terror that began during World War II and ended in 1969. First they were called the Viet Minh and then during the American involvement from 1959 to 1969, the last year when they had real influence, they were the Viet Cong.
They had hard core political cadres backed by full-time guerilla armies, and a network of part-time reservists who worked their day jobs and stayed home until needed, then switched to fighters. At the height of their power in late 1967 and early 1968 they had roughly 70,000 fighters plus a significantly smaller number of political operatives. They were successful initially against ill prepared and trained South Vietnamese units, but could never mount a successful operation against the Americans after 1965, the onset of the major American buildup.
They made a huge blunder in the Tet Offensive of 1968 when they came out of hiding and, backed by regular North Vietnamese Army communist units, attacked American and South Vietnamese positions and units across all of South Vietnam.
In a matter of weeks the Viet Cong lost an estimated 35,000 fighters killed, not counting the NVA. That is fully one half of their army destroyed, and does not include others taken out of action due to wounds. Much like Hezbollah they had anticipated a huge outpouring of support from the South Vietnamese civilians to augment their attacks, figuring that Vietnamese of all political persuasions wanted foreigners off their soil.
But when they launched the Tet Offensive, the civilians the Viet Cong had been terrorizing for decades stayed home. It was a clear and historic lesson that terrorized populaces will not fight on the side of those who terrorize them when given an option.
The Viet Cong made sporadic and feeble attempts to regain their previous stature through 1968, including a series of attacks in May and June of that year dubbed "mini-Tet" by American troops. They were spectacularly unsuccessful, and in February 1969 the Viet Cong launched a second, last-ditch, desperate, all-out attack again, similar to the debacle of a year earlier with exactly the same results.
When the second Tet Offensive ended, the Viet Cong were gone. They were non-existent as a military force, with only political operatives remaining.
Enter the Phoenix Program, the oft-discussed, and usually misunderstood operation by American and South Vietnamese forces to eliminate the Viet Cong political structure. The Phoenix Program had one goal, to eliminate the Viet Cong political structure. It was not as has often been touted, a murder campaign. Rather its purpose was to identify and apprehend Viet Cong political cadre and eliminate them from the Vietnamese countryside.
There were deaths, many caused by South Vietnamese exacting revenge on the Viet Cong for past murders and torture inflicted on the civilian population. The left claims that it was a failed murder and torture operation. Others, who were much closer to its actual operations, say it was a spectacularly successful operation.
Regardless of your point of view, it is a fact that the elimination of the Viet Cong fighting units as well as the political units was not only possible, but was accomplished. Hezbollah is far smaller than the Viet Cong and to say that Hezbollah can't be eliminated is naive, uninformed, and manipulative.
Hezbollah can be eliminated, and I would bet that those who want the world to believe otherwise have a far different agenda than the one they market in the WTM.
Invincible? Give the Israeli Army about three weeks of unrestricted war against these terrorists and we'll take another look.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006