FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

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:

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

Weekend Edition
April 19, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What Will It Take For Trump to Get His Due?
Roy Eidelson
Is the American Psychological Association Addicted to Militarism and War?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Time is Blind, Man is Stupid
Joshua Frank
Top 20 Mueller Report “Findings”
Rob Urie
Why Russiagate Will Never Go Away
Paul Street
Stephen Moore Gets Something Right: It’s Capitalism vs. Democracy
Russell Mokhiber
Why Boeing and Its Executives Should be Prosecuted for Manslaughter
T.J. Coles
The Battle for Latin America: How the U.S. Helped Destroy the “Pink Tide”
Ron Jacobs
Ho Chi Minh City: Nguyen Thai Binh Street
Dean Baker
Fun Fictions in Economics
David Rosen
Trump’s One-Dimensional Gender Identity
Kenn Orphan
Notre Dame: We Have Always Belonged to Her
Robert Hunziker
The Blue Ocean Event and Collapsing Ecosystems
Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr.
Paddy Wagon
Brett Wilkins
Jimmy Carter: US ‘Most Warlike Nation in History of the World’
John W. Whitehead
From Jesus Christ to Julian Assange: When Dissidents Become Enemies of the State
Nick Pemberton
To Never Forget or Never Remember
Stephen Cooper
My Unforgettable College Stabbings
Louis Proyect
A Leftist Rejoinder to the “Capitalist Miracle”
Louisa Willcox
Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic and the Need for a New Approach to Managing Wildlife
Brian Cloughley
Britain Shakes a Futile Fist and Germany Behaves Sensibly
Jessicah Pierre
A Revolutionary Idea to Close the Racial Wealth Divide
George Burchett
Revolutionary Journalism
Dan Bacher
U.S. Senate Confirms Oil Lobbyist David Bernhardt as Interior Secretary
Nicky Reid
The Strange Success of Russiagate
Chris Gilbert
Defending Venezuela: Two Approaches
Todd Larsen
The Planetary Cost of Amazon’s Convenience
Kelly Martin
How the White House is Spinning Earth Day
Nino Pagliccia
Cuba and Venezuela: Killing Two Birds With a Stone
Matthew Stevenson
Pacific Odyssey: Guadalcanal and Bloody Ridge, Solomon Islands
David Kattenburg
Trudeau’s Long Winter
Gary Olson
A Few Comments on the recent PBS Series: Reconstruction: America After the Civil War
Ellen Lindeen
What Does it Mean to Teach Peace?
Adewale Maye and Eileen Appelbaum
Paid Family and Medical Leave: a Bargain Even Low-Wage Workers Can Afford
Ramzy Baroud
War Versus Peace: Israel Has Decided and So Should We
Ann Garrison
Vets for Peace to Barbara Lee: Support Manning and Assange
Thomas Knapp
The Mueller Report Changed my Mind on Term Limits
Jill Richardson
Why is Going Green So Hard? Because the System Isn’t
Mallika Khanna
The Greenwashing of Earth Day
Arshad Khan
Do the Harmless Pangolins Have to Become Extinct?
Paul Armentano
Pushing Marijuana Legalization Across the Finish Line
B. R. Gowani
Surreal Realities: Pelosi, Maneka Gandhi, Pompeo, Trump
Paul Buhle
Using the Law to Build a Socialist Society
David Yearsley
Call Saul
Elliot Sperber
Ecology Over Economy 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail