Friday, July 21, 2006

Good South Lebanon Map As We Wait For An Invasion

Troops are lined up at the border (via Captain's Quarters), Condoleezza Rice won't arrive until next week, and anyway the U.S. isn't interested in slowing Israel down just yet, and it looks like an invasion into Lebanon is coming. Sunrise in Israel is just over three hours from now, so we'll see what happens then.

Ed Morrissey describes what might result from an invasion, but at Boli-Nica, a reminder that there have been prior such invasions without a general conflagration breaking out. But there is no cold war tension to restrain the interested parties. He also discusses just how effective an organization Hezbollah really is. The temptation with Hezbollah is to compare them to other modern Arab armies and terrorist rings, competent only at throwing soldiers at invading tanks, armies that march well but break under serious stress. The bunkers, defenses, and arsenal of Hezbollah suggests they may different. They may also receive support from the Lebanese regular army, swelling their numbers and securing their position in Lebanon. Peace is never so distant as when each warring party thinks victory is near. Hezbollah has no reason to believe that they will fail to rebuff an Israeli invasion.

It's the strength of Hezbollah, the desperation of its supporters, especially Syria, and the absence of a controlling diplomatic structure that threaten to make this invasion incendiary and a larger war inevitable.

The IDF has said their mission in south Lebanon will be limited in scope, but at the same time say the mission will last weeks. It's a little hard to square the two.

I posted some links to maps of Lebanon a few days ago, but none were quite so informative as a map of Gaza I posted shortly after the Israelis commenced operations to suppress Hamas terrorism. Since then, I took some time to develop some better Lebanon maps. UPDATE: Satellite photos here.

First, here's a map of southern Lebanon derived from this PDF showing U.N. peacekeeper positions.

The PDF is quite detailed as far as places and U.N. locations in the south, but it has no topographical value. This map, a portion of which is zoomed below, is smaller but better for that purpose (from Perry-Castaneda).

UPDATE 7:43 pm CDT: The EU refuses to recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, much less as a terrorist pseudo-state, the effective government of southern Lebanon:

"We have not analysed the list of terrorist activities or terrorist organisations in the last period of time and we have no intent in the foreseeable future to look into that again," [EU foreign policy chief Javier] Solana said.


"It would be perceived as blindly following Israel's and the U.S.'s demands," one EU diplomat said. Another official noted it would close off a possible channel of communication.

Hezbollah is an illegal private army that staged an armed assault against an Israeli military patrol, retained two prisoners from that exchange as hostages, and has fired missiles indiscriminately at Jewish cities. If the EU cannot call such an organization a terrorist organization, then it cannot be called on any level a friend of the United States.


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Anonymous said...

I seriously doubt Hizbollah is illegal under Lebanese law. From what I hear, they are part of the legitimate government of Lebanon. Apparently Bush wants this government preserved - "watch out, Israel, be careful now", the Great Decider-in-Chief said.

You are right, however, if you are you referring to Israeli and US laws that you must believe appply to organizations within Lebanon!

Your enemies have no status,just an illegal army - they are blood thirsty monsters for absolutely no reason. God just created them that way! Many fools believe this.

McKreck said...

I say illegal because the military part of Hexbollah is illegal under resoltuin 1559. They were supposed to be disarmed after Israel withdrew. Also, as one of the factions in the Lebanese civil war, they were obliged to disarm when that war was settled. Unlike every other group, they did not.

Quite simply, Hezbollah's army is one that has no right to exist, even if Hezbollah as a political or social movement does.

Anonymous said...

Then, are you saying the continuation of the Hizbollah armed wing is just as illegal as Israel ignoring UN resolutions?

I feel that this is not about freeing the soldiers that were captured, or about the "illegality" of Hizbollah. It is about eliminating Hizbollah as a potential military threat before the US gets rough with Iran.

This is the real deal, I suspect.

This is what the pro-Israeli US government I think has agreed to while the Government of Israel had prepared these war plans well in advance. When better to do this than during an election year in the US?

In any case, hasn't Israel negotiated with Hizbollah on releasing prisoners? The rationale just doesn't add up.