Tryout in the Sticks?
Have we got this Lebanon War thing all wrong?
Now it goes without saying that the claimed reasons for all this carnage are absurd on the face of them. But our theories--that I've seen offered anyway--tend to burst into ignominious flame when subjected to the Beam of Reality Sunshine Through The Magnifying Glass of Logic, alas. It doesn't make any fucking sense to do what Israel is doing, on the scale that they're doing it. Protecting their tourism industry? (Yeah, I've seen it suggested)--to reclaim a useful phrase, gimme a break.
However...there's one reason for war that nobody likes to talk about much. It is a logical, if unfortunate, consequence of (1) the keeping of large standing armies, which our Founders warned us about dammit and (2) the rate of technological change over the last, oh, say couple of centuries. Put bluntly, nobody wants to be the Polish Cavalry in the famous photos going up against the German tanks. Very embarrasing. Bad for the military career, doncha know. And oh yes, can lead your country to disastrous defeat if you let your enemies get too far out in front on the technology front. Not just the call-up-Halliburton-for-a-restock-on-the-munitions-then-get-a-cozy-board-seat-afterwards kind of situation. I mean that cavalry-vs-tanks thing.
Too many people have read a couple of "4GW" pages and think they are Army War College graduates and tacticians the caliber of Gen. George Thomas. I am one of those people and I hate to tell the rest of my peeps, but we're not. We've got a little broader perspective than those who get their military knowledge from the History Channel, but that's it. We ain't pros at this stuff.
The Israelis are pros at this stuff, which makes their current joyous leap into the Tar Baby of south Lebanon all the more inexplicable. And why for chrissakes all the bombing around Beirut, from whence no Hezbollah rockets whatever flow?
Maybe, just maybe, that isn't the war they're fighting. From The Beeb:
From mass targeting of mobile phones with voice and text messages to old-fashioned radio broadcasts warning of imminent attacks, Israel is deploying a range of old and new technologies in Lebanon as part of the psychological operations ("psyops") campaign supplementing its military attacks.
Nothing terribly new so far...but read on:
The Israeli newspaper Maariv on Sunday reported the appearance of a website called All 4 Lebanon which offered payment for tip-offs from Lebanese citizens "that could help Israel in the fight against Hezbollah".
According to Maariv, the site, with content in Arabic, English and French, had been set up by Israeli intelligence.
Still nothing that radical. Fake websites are about as rare as squash bugs, used by commercial interests, politicians, and angry MySpace customers. But now we start getting into some very foily terrain:
On Friday, residents of southern Lebanon reported receiving recorded messages on their mobile phones from an unknown caller.
The speaker identified himself as an Israeli and warned people in the area to leave their homes and head north. [snip]
Inquiries by Lebanon's communications ministry revealed that the calls had come from exchanges in Italy and Canada, but had originated in Israel.
And finally we get way, way out past where the tinfoil suffers metal fatigue:
According to an unconfirmed report by Egypt's Middle East News Agency, Israel managed on Sunday "to intercept the satellite transmissions of Hezbollah's al-Manar TV channel for the third successive day, replacing it with Israeli transmissions that reportedly showed Hezbollah command sites and rocket launching pads which Israel claimed it has raided".
Replacing a TV station's picture with output you want the audience to see is more difficult to achieve than jamming.
Put all together like this and we start to see a Test To Destruction of the total information infrastructure.
Might want to look into a breeding stock of carrier pigeons, and a hard-copy book about Morse code and the like. Pleasant dreams to all.