So who is the new Goliath?
Eighteen days of relentless and exhaustive pounding by Israeli warships and fighter jets almost to a point where a significant chunk of Beirut and other parts of Lebanon have been totally flattened if not obliterated. Israel’s desperation and even its resort to the use of non conventional weapons (according to some news sources), was to annihilate and incapacitate Hezbollah in a short space of time.
Hezbollah however, remained defiant and totally blasé a times celebrating their eminent victory promising hidden surprises along the way; there’s was the advantage of the unknown.
The Israelis it seems had underestimated their adversaries’ capability; Hezbollah was no longer the militia that the Israelis had briefly skirmished with in the 80’s. They have evolved into a force beyond anyone’s expectations, but into what exactly?
The haunting question remains: What are Hezbollah’s capabilities?
The first show of ignorance by the Israelis took place at the start of the war when Hezbollah launched its surface-to-sea missiles at the Israeli warship that had shrewdly positioned itself a stone throw away from the Lebanese shores. An act of psychological defiance, that backfired on the Israelis who clearly did not expect Hezbollah to possess such capability. To further add salt to the wound, Hezbollah executed this operation to coincide with Nasrallah’s live speech on television whereupon he called to the Lebanese in Beirut to watch the smoke plume from the distressed warship from their balconies; a dramatic turn of events that shocked Israel and forced it to evaluate its gathered intelligence or the lack of it.
At the same time, condemnations and protests rang from all corners of the planet demanding an immediate stop to Israel’s invasion, but the U.S declined to intervene blatantly in favour of Israel’s actions to irradiate the ‘terrorists’ in Lebanon. The cries of the civilians fell on deaf ears, their plight swept under the carpet by the very self elected ‘shepherds’ of humanity. As the war progressed Nasrallah repeated his threats of the surprises that lay ahead and the second was delivered the day before yesterday.
On the 28th July, Hezbollah fired longer range rockets ‘Khaybar-1’ toward the town of Afula, 44 miles southeast of Haifa. Each rocket was carrying 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of explosives — nearly five-times the explosives in the standard Hezbollah Katyusha. This incursion was yet the farthest reached by Hezbollah and presented a far bigger threat to the Israelis than originally anticipated. Suddenly the silent voices spoke: for the first time Bush and Blair called upon an immediate Middle East cease fire. Hezbollah has a new, powerful missile and Israel is now under a new threat.
A few days prior to the launch of Khaybar-1 America authorised the supply of bunker buster bombs to Israel. These were supplied by plane that made an ‘unauthorised’ and debatable stop in Scotland.
How ironic that these two should decide to intervene and call for a cessation to the violence when Israel had found itself at a sudden ‘disadvantage’. In any case, why should we be surprised? America talks of global justice, yet shows unfathomable support to Israel regardless of its policies or actions in the Middle East.
One day in the future there may come a time when the Americans will say they were wrong to have supported Israel so blindly, exactly as they did with Saddam Hussein. I just hope it will not be too late, there is a new force in the making but it may not be Israel this time and it might just be beyond anyone’s control.