What news from the (Lebanon) war?

Lots of interesting tidbits about the Lebanon war.

First of all, a very well-researched article by Marvin Kalb about how Hezbollah manipulated the media during the Lebanon war. It gets the key point: Israel is running an open society, and so the media could hear all about disputes, problems, etc. Hezbollah is a secret society; the journalists only got to see what Hezbollah wanted them to see. And that was a bunch of peaceful Lebanese getting bombed by the Israelis. They painted an almost entirely false picture of what was going on, but because journalists had no real opportunity to investigate further, they got to completely control media presentation of the war worldwide. Link from , who has some more good discussion. (This article is an excellent read for anyone interested in media manipulation in general – highly recommended!)

However, media manipulation or not, Olmert (Israel’s PM) is in trouble. He commissioned a blue-ribbon panel to analyze Israel’s handling of the war. Their results basically say that the civilian and senior military staff fucked up severely, endangering national security, by doing things like entering a war without a clear strategy, letting Hezbollah get away with all sorts of things, exhibiting insufficient creativity in military operations, etc. It’s very damning, and the Israeli public generally agrees with it: there was a rally tonight in Tel Aviv with 100,000 protesters calling on Olmert to resign.

My prediction: Olmert will make a lot of noise saying how he shouldn’t resign. In a few days, his defense minister will resign (and about time, too — I still have no idea why that half-wit got the minstry of defense). Unless that magically satisfies everyone (it probably won’t) Olmert will have to resign, since if he doesn’t there’s going to be a vote of no confidence, new elections, and his party is going to get creamed. If he does resign, the foreign minister Tzipi Livni will become PM, and she’ll have a few months to desperately try to restore confidence in this government. I’d put her odds of success around 1 in 3. If it fails, there will be elections a few months afterwards, which Likud and Israel Beiteinu are going to do very well in. That probably means that Netanyahu will come back as PM — unless, gods forbid, Israel Beiteinu does really well, and Avigdor Lieberman becomes PM instead.

In all my years, I never thought I would miss Ariel Sharon this much. Where are the old lions when we need them?

Published in: on May 3, 2007 at 13:17  Comments Off on What news from the (Lebanon) war?  
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