Roger L. Simon

The one-handed war

Another Israeli “massacre” is being reported this morning, this time of “farmers” on the Syrian border, according to Reuters . Will this be Qana II? The media sharks are undoubtedly circling. What we hear at first will not likely be accurate – the casualties in Qana have been officially reduced from a high of 57 to 28 to no great notice – but death in double digits is death in double digits. No matter too after several weeks of war that the number of “civilian” dead on the Lebanese side is still only about a third of those who died on 9/11 – and those occurred in minutes and were deliberate and not collateral. This is supposedly brutal carnage committed by Israel, if we are to believe the press. If we are to analyze realistically, the IDF has done a brilliant job of picking and choosing its targets, perhaps too brilliant.

Israel has been fighting a war against the media from the outset – it is constantly observed under a skeptical or openly hostile microscope. It’s hard to imagine how any military could succeed under such circumstances. The Israelis were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t. That is why Charles Krauthammer is perhaps too harsh in his condemnation of Olmert in today’s WaPo. On the other hand, the Israelis themselves are having second and third thoughts about the prosecution of the war. Of course in most important battles the generals and the leaders are second-guessed. No one really knows what is happening and how it will turn out.

But it strikes me that we are now at a moment that is going to take great courage on the part of the Israelis on both military and diplomatic fronts – and great courage in the latter from the US, because Israel has no choice but to continue in the face of what will undoubtedly be mounting negative public opinion. This is a time for all friends of freedom to hold their noses and pray. It is not the moment for second-guessing. It is a moment for pressing on. And in that regard, as of now, this war has two diplomatic heroes that I can see – and they are both at the UN – Dan Gillerman and John Bolton … two blunt speaking and very bright standup guys.

UPDATE: The report in Jane’s Defence Weekly that Iran plans on providing Hezbollah with surface-to-air missile in the months to come is another reason the terror group absolutely must be smashed.

MORE: Neo-neocon analyzes Israeli public opinion.