Why Oh Why Are We Ruled by These Morons?
Department of "Huh?"

Ze'ev Shiffrin on How Observing the Laws of War Is Good Strategic Practice

Jus in bello:

A strategic mistake - Haaretz - Israel News : By Ze'ev SchiffIn: Things are getting complicated. The best evidence of this is the decision to drive hundreds of Shi'ites from villages in southern Lebanon merely because Hezbollah hid missiles in them. This would be a strategic mistake. If implemented, it would mark the first time that Israel could justifiably be accused of a disproportionate military response. Israel does not need to take this kind of measure as a defensive move against a terrorist organization. The Israel Defense Forces announced at the start of the campaign that this is not a war against the Lebanese people. But if the mass flight of residents continues, the campaign will be seen as a punishment of the Lebanese, and that is a recipe for hatred....

The military difficulty involved in preventing the launching of short-range missiles gave rise to the idea of encouraging large numbers of civilians to flee northward, toward Beirut, to serve as a source of pressure. The problem was that in many places, the roads were impassable, because the Israel Air Force had bombed a large number of bridges to keep Hezbollah from transporting missiles and reinforcements. Hezbollah, for its part, is trying to prevent a massive flight to the north, using roadblocks and other measures.

The IDF has used this technique before, in Operation Accountability in 1993 and in Operation Grapes of Wrath in 1996. Both campaigns began in the wake of Katyusha attacks against Israeli communities. The large numbers of refugees from villages in the south put a great deal of pressure on the Lebanese government, which immediately appealed to Syria and Iran to tell Hezbollah to hold its fire. Both times, this tactic led to cease-fires, but they did not last long, because the Hezbollah leadership does not really care about the suffering masses and may even believe that such suffering helps their organization by increasing hatred of Israel.

More proof of the increasingly complicated situation in Lebanon can be found in the growing number of calls from various quarters, including right-wing politicians and former senior military officials, for launching a large-scale ground campaign. The senior ranks of the IDF oppose this idea. Even though it is clear that the Air Force alone cannot solve the problem of missiles being fired at Israel, there is no real support for a broad, lengthy ground operation in Lebanon...