Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Defeating the IDF

Defeating the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is emerging as a credible possibility. For decades, the IDF’s invincibility has haunted Arab governments, their armed forces, and resistance groups in general. The invincibility doctrine has also demoralized the Muslim world, forcing them to accept Israel’s military excesses, including the inhumane treatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories, as fait accompli. The current war in Lebanon, though brutal for civilians, is in the process of shattering the IDF’s real and imagined invincibility. The IDF’s perceived vulnerability would in the future invite pestering and relentless guerilla warfare against Israel’s territorial integrity. Even friendly Muslim governments, such as Jordan and Egypt, would be less willing to fully cooperate with Israel in supporting the war on terror. These groups would form a new “coalition of the willing” to engage the IDF. Already, Hamas, Hezbollah, and al-Qaeda have joined their rhetoric to fight the IDF in unison

The war with Hezbollah is exposing the IDF’s distinct weaknesses that undermine its status as an unconquerable military. The IDF is failing in its intelligence, targets, tactics, and strategies. The proof of the failure is in the indiscriminate destruction scattered on the ground. The crime scene, as they say, tells the story. Since the IDF is well-connected with the United States, its military supplies are unlikely to dwindle in the near future. In the Lebanon war, however, the IDF has destroyed dozens of buildings and killed hundreds of civilians but achieved nothing of strategic importance. The Hezbollah rockets continue to fall on Haifa. The IDF seems helpless to stop them.

The Hezbollah resistance has shown that the IDF can be engaged in a protracted no-win warfare, and real damage can be inflicted on its soldiers and hardware, including its sophisticated ships. The IDF appears to have been designed for sprint wars, and not for marathon wars. Hezbollah’s determined guerillas with no tanks, aircrafts, navy ships, guided armaments, or surveillance satellites have bamboozled the IDF’s well armed troops, supposedly the best in the world. A similar guerilla force in Iraq, which refuses to go away, reinforces the guerilla determination to fight hard. Gone is the thesis that well-equipped armed forces can defeat “terrorist cells” only if more force is used more frequently and more brutally.

The Hezbollah initiative, even if it is flattened in due time, would encourage the proliferation of other guerilla groups in the region to engage the IDF at other points on the long and seamless Israeli-Arab border. At the present time, no guerilla groups have surfaced in Jordan, Egypt, and Syria ready to engage the IDF across the border. This will change, as new groups draw enraged inspiration from the cages of Palestine and the ruins of Lebanon. And if Iran or Syria is attacked, the guerilla movement would find its quickening impetus. The suppressive measures that Arab national armies have so far imposed on guerilla groups would be removed since the public opinion, the so-called Arab street, would not allow national armies to crush homegrown groups challenging the IDF. The ambiguous but strategically lethal entente between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government would be writ large in the entire Middle East. It would serve as the future model for engaging the IDF.

This model would take roots because almost all Muslim countries in the neighborhood and even beyond share a secret desire to weaken the IDF. They were not sure if that could be done. In the past decades, the IDF has defeated the combined armed forces of several Arab states in matter of days. Outstanding Israeli occupations serve as reminders of the IDF’s iron hand. Gaza and the West Bank are perpetually under the IDF boots. Syria cannot retrieve the Golan Heights from the IDF, and Lebanon is helpless to undo the IDF occupation of the Sheeba Farms. The IDF demolished Iraq’s nuclear power generator like a sitting duck. Per Dick Cheney, the IDF might incinerate Iran’s nuclear facilities as well. Even Jordan and Egypt, which have no territorial claims against Israel, have little reason to root for the IDF. For these disgruntled nations, the Hezbollah has furnished an opening of possibilities, including the possibility of defeating the IDF.

The IDF knows that the stakes are high. That is why Israel has persuaded the US to block any attempts to halt fighting for a while. Ironically, however, even the Hezbollah is in no rush to beg for a ceasefire, since a long war benefits guerillas and not the IDF. In quick punches, the IDF plans on annihilating the Hezbollah. It wants to do in Lebanon what the US forces could not do Iraq. The IDF wants a big victory. The annihilation of Hezbollah must be so visible, believes the IDF, that the entire world could see the fate of “terrorists.” If the war continues, the IDF is likely to intensify its bombardment and the attendant destruction in both Gaza and Lebanon. If the war stops, the emboldened Hezbollah would become even stronger in the years to come.

Meanwhile, the IDF’s strategy of total incineration of “terrorists” is creating public outcry throughout the world. For years, commentators, journalists, lawyers, and politicians have advanced the argument that terrorists are morally worthless because they kill innocent civilians. On the basis of this argument, a universal call is made to wipe out all terrorists. This argument is now pointing toward the IDF. The merciless killings of civilians in Gaza and Lebanon, the extensive annihilation of utility plants, apartment buildings, roads, and the bombardment of stand alone UN posts, all these reckless and confused military undertakings have forced the viewers across the world to draw parallels between terrorists and the IDF. Even the label of anti-Semitism has not prevented UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egland, who has previously served as the Secretary General of the Norwegian Red Cross, from saying that the IDF is violating the laws of war, i.e., the IDF has committed war crimes.

Ali Khan is a professor of law at Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas. He can be reached at: ali.khan@washburn.edu.

 

 

 

More articles by:
October 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Middle East, Not Russia, Will Prove Trump’s Downfall
Ipek S. Burnett
The Assault on The New Colossus: Trump’s Threat to Close the U.S.-Mexican Border
Mary Troy Johnston
The War on Terror is the Reign of Terror
Maximilian Werner
The Rhetoric and Reality of Death by Grizzly
David Macaray
Teamsters, Hells Angels, and Self-Determination
Jeffrey Sommers
“No People, Big Problem”: Democracy and Its Discontents In Latvia
Dean Baker
Looking for the Next Crisis: the Not Very Scary World of CLOs
Binoy Kampmark
Leaking for Change: ASIO, Jakarta, and Australia’s Jerusalem Problem
Chris Wright
The Necessity of “Lesser-Evil” Voting
Muhammad Othman
Daunting Challenge for Activists: The Cook Customer “Connection”
Don Fitz
A Debate for Auditor: What the Papers Wouldn’t Say
October 22, 2018
Henry Giroux
Neoliberalism in the Age of Pedagogical Terrorism
Melvin Goodman
Washington’s Latest Cold War Maneuver: Pulling Out of the INF
David Mattson
Basket of Deplorables Revisited: Grizzly Bears at the Mercy of Wyoming
Michelle Renee Matisons
Hurricane War Zone Further Immiserates Florida Panhandle, Panama City
Tom Gill
A Storm is Brewing in Europe: Italy and Its Public Finances Are at the Center of It
Suyapa Portillo Villeda
An Illegitimate, US-Backed Regime is Fueling the Honduran Refugee Crisis
Christopher Brauchli
The Liars’ Bench
Gary Leupp
Will Trump Split the World by Endorsing a Bold-Faced Lie?
Michael Howard
The New York Times’ Animal Cruelty Fetish
Alice Slater
Time Out for Nukes!
Geoff Dutton
Yes, Virginia, There are Conspiracies—I Think
Daniel Warner
Davos in the Desert: To Attend or Not, That is Not the Question
Priti Gulati Cox – Stan Cox
Mothers of Exiles: For Many, the Child-Separation Ordeal May Never End
Manuel E. Yepe
Pence v. China: Cold War 2.0 May Have Just Begun
Raouf Halaby
Of Pith Helmets and Sartorial Colonialism
Dan Carey
Aspirational Goals  
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail