We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]


Anyone care to put some their predicted over/under for the Hez/Israeli truce on the record? Personally, I think I will go with six days.

Hez has already announced its intention to violate the ceasefire by refusing to disarm.

I find it interesting that Hez and the Lebanese government are already conspiring to violate the requirement that Hez disarm, as apparently all Hez will be required to do is refrain from displaying its weapons (with, of course, the knowledge and tacit consent of the French and the UN responsible for policing the cease-fire).

The longer this goes on, the more it is apparent that the Lebanese government is the creature of Hez, and the more justified the Israeli attacks on non-Hez assets appear to be. While I was willing to view the Lebanese generally as victims of Hez in July, by mid-August they look a lot more like co-conspirators.

With the fundamental condition of the ceasefire – the eviction and disarmament of Hez – already withering on the vine, I would say that Olmert blinked, gave Hez not only the hudna it needed to survive but a strategic victory over Israeli arms, and has guaranteed that the Israeli soldiers who died in this offensive died for nothing.

22 comments to Over/under

  • lucklucky

    I think Iran will restrain them to not spend amno now . That can change if there is an “existential” reason. I think we will have war earlier if Lebanese or UNIFIL start to stop ressuply via Syria effectivelly, thing i dont believe.
    Of course if Iran nukes issue start to boil they are one of the sticks.

  • lucklucky

    I still expect the usual refugee group that setup tents near an UNIFIL post and then a week later someone from it fires the odd rocket to Israel.

  • lucklucky

    Concerning Lebanese cumplicity:

    TWELVE trucks crossed the Syrian border into Lebanon and rumbled south. When they were stopped at a checkpoint a few days later, the Lebanese Armed Forces found the trucks were brimming with ammunition and weapons, including Katyusha rockets that have been raining down on Israel since July 12.
    What happened next, in this little-reported incident in late January, goes to the heart of the conflict between Israel and Lebanon. The convoy was waved on and travelled unhindered to its final destination: Hezbollah terrorists in southern Lebanon.

    The Lebanese army said the transportation and storage of ammunition belonged to the “resistance”. Once inside Lebanon it was subject to a ministerial policy statement of the Lebanese Government, which considers the “resistance” to be legitimate.

    “As the Government of Lebanon has confirmed, the Lebanese Armed Forces has thus not been authorised to prevent further movement of the ammunitions, which had been a common practice for more than 15 years,” UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a letter to the Security Council in April. “Hezbollah publicly confirmed that the arms were destined for the group.”


  • Jso

    A few more hours.

  • TD

    Lebanon hs already stated that they will not disarm HIzbollah and will permit them to keep their weapons.

    Violation. The more interesting question is what will Israel do about it?

    Peretz wants to open negotiations with Assad, so I think we already know the answer to that question.

    These really are dangerous times.

  • O/U 45 days — Israel is on the hook now to see if U.N. forces can disarm Hezbollah. Of course we all know they can’t, but barring any outright invasion, Olmert will see this stage through.

  • Chairwoman

    What exactly were they ‘resisting’ as the IDF left Lebanese soil six years ago?

  • Joshua

    What exactly were they ‘resisting’ as the IDF left Lebanese soil six years ago?

    Oh, you know – the Shaaba Farms. 12sq. mi. or so of land that nobody thought belonged to Lebanon until Hezbollah needed an excuse to keep shooting.

    Hezbollah does have one legitimate gripe, though. They argue that Israel should release maps showing the locations of remaining landmines in Lebanon. I tend to agree – though I certainly don’t blame Israel for waiting until Hezbollah is disarmed to release them.

  • Mark

    Another question is what is the over/under on how soon Netanyahu is Prime Minister.

    The Israelis can mitigate some of their damaged reputation in the Arab world by swiftly electing a hard-liner.

    After this debacle, if even the Israelis facing a constant existential threat stick their heads in the sand, and want to be liked rather than feared in the Arab/Muslim world, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the West.

  • TD

    Interesting take on this blog – that it’s all part of a final move on Iran.


  • Richard Thomas

    It always seemed obvious to me that Israel went along with the cease-fire because they knew that Hez would never keep to it and at least they would have that bit of UN foolishness out of the way. However, I don’t know enough about the situation to assert that I am right and since no one else here seemed to be suggesting it, I assumed I was just guessing wrong.


  • At my blog I reckoned on a week – probably no later than Aug 22

  • still_anon


    Despite the article’s headline, Hezbollah fired the rockets. They didn’t cross the border into Israel, but that doesn’t exclude the possibility that they were being fired at IDF troops inside Lebanon.

    Are we counting that as a ceasefire violation? If not, why not?

  • Jacob

    “Sheik Nasrallah sounded much like a governor responding to a disaster when he said, “So far, the initial count available to us on completely demolished houses exceeds 15,000 residential units.

    Well, he might boast of victory, but how many housing units did he destroy in Israel ? 100 ? 150 ?
    Of course he knows that suffering 15000 destroyed houses isn’t a very big victory. He’ll be more careful in the future I beleive, despite his rethoric.

  • He’ll be more careful in the future I beleive, despite his rethoric.

    Why? Its a propaganda victory. Its not like he is either accountable to or cares about the Lebanese civilians who have been killed or had their homes destroyed. Hell, if he plays his cards right, he can probably even turn some Lebanese who were hostile or indifferent to Hez into supporters, by deluding them into thinking Hez is defending them from Israel rather than shoving them into the firing line.

    From his perspective, its all upside, and no downside.

  • Nick M

    I’m with R C Dean on this. Hez have offered help to rebuild homes in Lebanon. The more they rebuild and the more displaced folk they give a years rent to the better for them in terms of propaganda. The financial cost is completely irrelevant because Iran is footing the bill. Hez is basically saying to Israel that the more damage you do, the more help we can give. And they can actually act on that because they have a practically bottomless pit (within the context) of Iranian cash.

    The longer this goes on the more I think there will be no possible solution without smashing Syria and/or Iran to kibbles and bits. The Israeli’s should have gone the whole hog (admittedly not an especially kosher move) and remodeled Damascus.

    If they had Nasrallah and baby Assads head’s on pikes in Tel Aviv I wonder if President Armanidinnerjacket would be sounding quite as ebullient.

  • Jacob

    “…would be sounding quite as ebullient. …”

    Don’t be impressed by how he sounds. These are just words…. of course they would claim victory….
    I beleive Nasrallah isn’t too happy about the 15,000 destroyed homes, and hundreds of dead. All belonging to HIS community, to his, men (the shiites).
    Don’t be misled by appearances… I believe we’ll see a long period of quiet … especially as Israel is demoralized and has no desire to reopen this inconclusive war and insist militarily on the implementation of the UN resolution. Indeed such insistence would be pointless, as the UN is irrelevant…

  • We do know a few things….

    The Israeli public seems to have more of a will to fight than their politicians this time. I don’t think they’ve lost that feeling yet.

    Hez needs time to rearm and milk their part of the 80/20 share of “victory”.

    The LA will do nothing to disarm Hez, and the UN will send reluctant forces with no mandate to south Lebanon.

    This kind of proxy warfare is bread and butter for countries like Iran and Syria…all the advantages of stirring things up with none of the pain.

    Both sides know this is only a lull.

    As for the over/under. I would say about 30 days after the first Multi-national troops show up. I figure the scenario like this:

    LA in first, LA working hand in hand with Hez preparing the ground. As soon as the UN troopies show up they’ll be given ‘strategic’ locations to camp. Not too long after, Hez will start shooting over their heads at Israel again…but this time Israel will be blocked by larger groups of UN troops (effectively human shields). If anything, they’ll have to go around them to get at Hez. I wouln’t expect the UN to shoot at either side.

  • jb

    Interesting matters . . .

    Israeli soldiers are not “captured” . . . they are “kidnapped” . . . convenient for propaganda.

    They are “kidnapped” WITHIN Lebanon . . .


    Then Israel does its classic 100 for 1 revenge tactics, and gets its ass creamed.

    And we should be all aroused and wring our hands?

    Yeah . . . let the IDF defend its borders instead of crossing the borders of others and a whole lot less of this bullshit would occur.

    Imagine Mexico doing what Israel did. Oh, sorry, that’s ok with the Bush Boys, too.

    Set the alarm for 7am and hope the world wakes up.


  • Jacob

    jb: They are “kidnapped” WITHIN Lebanon . . .

    Are you crazy or what ?

    They were kidnapped WITHIN ISRAEL. That’s the whole problem ….

  • Paul Marks

    jb may be a victim of the media.

    The mainstream media have a habit of saying that such and such people were taken “on the Israeli border with……..”.

    So it does not matter (to the public) that a soldier is taken a long way away from Gaza or that two others are taken way outside Lebanon – it is stated as “on the border”.

    Hell, as the “West Bank” is (at the narrowest point) only a few miles from the Med, an Israeli could be swiming in the sea and still be taken “on the border” as far as the media were concerned.

    Build an underground passage – come up where you are not expected, grap someone. Job done.

    And the media will say “on the border” – and jb will think “those wicked Jews were in someone else’s country again”.

    As for the agreement.

    The Hez were rearming from the second the airstrikes stopped (remind anyone of Vietnam).

    The Israelis sent in commandos to try and stop the breach of the agreement this morning – and were denouced for “breaking the agreement” (which had been torn up, by the Hez, from the first second).

  • Not quite six days.


    Of course, a “ceasefire” which demands that one side disarm is rather absurd. That’s not a ceasefire, it’s a surrender.

    And speaking of absurdities:

    “The longer this goes on, the more it is apparent that the Lebanese government is the creature of Hez, and the more justified the Israeli attacks on non-Hez assets appear to be.”

    By that ridiculous standard the US government is a creature of the Mahdi Army