Monday, August 14, 2006

Tet Two, Brute?

Here's what Powerline has to say about the war against Hezbollah in Lebanon so far, and the present ceasefire:

So Hezbollah goes out on top. My guess is that the IDF has had quite a bit of success in killing terrorists, but that will go largely for naught as no one knows about it, and Hezbollah's claims of victory will be deemed credible.

Tet, anyone?

There was a famous comment by an NVA Colonel in Vietnam during the final negotiations of that long ago but still hugely influential war, which I wrote about in this segment of my "A Mind is a Difficult Thing to Change" piece. I offer the quote once again:

"You know you never beat us on the battlefield," I [Harry G. Summers Jr., American negotiator] said to Colonel Tu, my NVA counterpart.

"That may be so," he said, "but it is also irrelevant."

My observation:

Lessons learned from Vietnam: all that is necessary to win a war against the US is to turn domestic public opinion against it, even if you are militarily outclassed, even if you are defeated in every battle. It's a lesson that was not lost on our current opponents.

Nor on Israel's current opponents, as well. Although in the present case I would emphasize "international public opinion" rather than domestic.

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