OxBlog

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

# Posted 8:39 AM by Patrick Porter  

AIRPOWER AND STRATEGY: In the audit over Israel's recent campaign in Lebanon, the Economist reports that (unnamed) decision-makers made tenuous assumptions about the psychological impact of bombing on the Lebanese population:

One clear failure was the inability to understand how the Lebanese would feel about being attacked. Current and former army officers say that there was a hope that the first few days of air strikes would focus domestic anger on Hizbullah and force it to back down. Instead, the anger was focused on Israel, which responded by ratcheting up its campaign step by step.'

Its not clear from this report who precisely made this political miscalculation.

Like many of us, Lebanese civilians tend to blame the attacks they are subjected to on those who are attacking them. Instead of first blaming others who might have more indirect culpability.

This is not to deny that bombing can have powerful effects, but to suggest that it doesn't necessarily divide the enemy regime or movement from the wider concentric circles of the general population.

Its an example worth remembering in other debates that are being had right now.
(4) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments:
"Like many of us, Lebanese civilians tend to blame the attacks they are subjected to on those who are attacking them. Instead of first blaming others who might have more indirect culpability."

Uh, aren't they supposed to ask themselves "Why do they hate us" and then mend their ways?
 
One could of course say the same thing about the Israelis.
 
I suspect that part of the problem revolved around the fact that, Islamist or not, Hizbollah is viewed by many Lebanese as a lebanese resistance movement above anything else, one that is a truer representation of their country's worthiness and capability than their govt and armed forces. So asking them to blame Hizbollah for anything is probably a bit fanciful when the majority of them have a blind spot for that group and it's activities. And asking someone who's kid has just been blown to smithereens by an Israeli artillery shell to engage in a bit of 2nd order analysis is also probably asking a bit too much. Human nature, innit?
 
So the Lebanese should blame Hizbullah for the attacks- not Israel... Clever.. I wonder how come they never came up with that one themselves? But to do that they would have to be as brilliant as Israeli war strategies, wouldn't they now?
 
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