What The President May Have Been Thinking
Here are four theories that could explain why the administration allied with France to stop Israel taking down Hizbollah.
Theory 1: They believe their resolution will work
For the US/French resolution to work needs the minimally equipped half-Shia Lebanese army, supported by 15,000 French conscript blue helmets to perform better than the Israeli army. That’s not going to happen.
Instead there’ll be some messy fighting followed by an uneasy peace as Hizbollah rebuilds itself, then a new Hizbollah attack and another war.
So this theory is not credible.
Theory 2: Olmert asked the US to pass the resolution
Olmert is strange – in the middle of a war caused by two attacks from land Israel ceded in exchange for peace, he was promoting handing the West Bank to the Palestinians in exchange for peace!
One can therefore theorize that he’s a total nut & wanted to discredit Israel’s military by forcing it to fight unsuccessfully in Lebanon. By that logic, he’d have persuaded the President to throttle back US re-supply, so sandbagging the IDF.
This is a lousy theory, since leaving Hezbollah standing on the battlefield boosts Iran and probably kills the the Iraqi democracy the US has spent so much blood and treasure to create.
Theory 3: The US bowed to threats
Maybe the Saudis threatened to double the price of oil, or the Mullahs to nuke the US financial system.
This is slightly plausible – the President has given in to other anti-US lobbies, notably the open borders crowd.
If the theory is right, expect further threats and other resolutions against US allies. Perhaps a US/Pakistan one mandating a ceasefire between NATO and the Taliban in Afghanistan, or a US/Iran one forcing a ceasefire between MI5 and Brit Muslims. Just kidding (I hope).
Theory 4. Israel's key weapons systems failed and it asked the President to buy time to fix them
This is still in the conspiracy theory category, but it’s a bit more credible than the other three.
Israel oddly left most of its troops and armor sitting facing Syria across the Golan, leaving a few thousand regulars to fight Hizbollah door to door.
A much better solution would have been to hit the Syrians hard, and roll them up the border with Lebanon. That would have flanked Hizbollah, cut their supply lines, and probably put an end to Assad. This is very much the Israeli style – the IDF executed similar flanking attacks in 1967 and 1973.
The only thing stopping this was the Syrian Scuds, said to have nerve gas warheads which could have killed thousands in Tel Aviv. But Israel’s BMD is claimed to be easily capable of stopping Scuds. Maybe that’s not true - I can think of several possible failure modes, in particular if the Syrians launched volleys.
The other oddity is the IAF’s failure to take out Hizbollah’s Katyusha launchers. Locating and killing rocket batteries on launch has been easy for years, but maybe Israel had a big equipment failure.
In such circumstances Israel would have to buy time to fix the problems, and then take down Syria & Hezbollah.
If any of these theories proves true, the President did right. Otherwise not.