Roger L. Simon

The next step

A number of people have been complaining about the ambivalent conduct of the Israelis in their war against Hezbollah. They are losing, say these people, both on the battlefield and in public opinion. Maybe so….

But maybe not. Today, we saw the smiling face of Ehud Olmert after his meeting with Condi Rice. Ms. Rice agreed once again there could be no cease fire until the Israeli soldieers are freed (in other words, after Hezbollah is destroyed). We learned almost simultaneously that for the first time the Syrian border with Lebanon has been shut down by Israel missiles. Tonight we hear that more IDF tanks are crossing into Southern Lebanon. Where are they headed?

There are several possibilities. Earlier the Central Command left Bint Jbeil and Maroun Al Ras and headed toward Tyre and Sidon. Are these new tanks going to replace them or are they bound elsewhere? Like the Bekaa Valley? We shall soon see. My guess is that Hassam Nasrallah, who, from his hiding place, today called Israel a “temporary nation,” is at the command of a very temporary movement.

UPDATE: Some fascinating analysis by Varifrank.