Russian General: Israel wanted an excuse to start hostilities
I asked General Makhmut Gareyev, president of the Military Sciences Academy, for an interview to hear his view on the tactics and operational skills of the two sides in the recent Israeli-Lebanese conflict.
But at the very beginning of our conversation, he said that he would prefer to start with the political aspects of the recent war.
"War cannot be separated from politics," he said. "That would not be a serious discussion. Tactics and operational skills come second to the political tasks facing the troops."
This is what the general said about the causes of the war: "The capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hizbollah at the Lebanese border was merely an excuse to start hostilities. The Israeli Mossad intelligence service, which is universally acknowledged as number one, has rescued its citizens from captivity even in Africa. It would have had no problem finding them in Lebanon. But this was not the goal. They just wanted an excuse. Israel was obviously conspiring together with the United States. No doubt the goal was to provoke Syria and Iran and drag them into the war. The U.S. and Israel would then have had a real opportunity to strike at 'obstinate' Damascus and Tehran, at the uranium-enrichment plants in Iran. Preventing the implementation of this scenario was a major victory for the world community.
"True, Israel's situation is understandable. Being next to unruly Hizbollah, which is ready to fire missiles at its territory and kill its people**, creates a problem, and Israel's concern is well grounded. But I think that Israel should fight Hizbollah with precision strikes, proper intelligence and troop landings. Nobody will ever be able to justify massive bombings and the deaths of old people, children and civilians in general.
"On the other hand, if we accept Israeli logic and try to justify its actions (which cannot be fully justified), it means that we should have bombed Iraq when our diplomats were seized in Baghdad. This would have been the easiest thing to do - bomb Baghdad, destroy oil fields and bridges... Or take London, which gives shelter to Zakayev and other Chechen militants. Should London be bombed because of that? If this logic were followed, the world would turn upside down. Decision-making should be more appropriate to the situation. Read more
db: **Hizbollah forces hadn't killed any Israeli civilians for more than a decade prior to the latest conflict. Neither were Hizbollah the first to do so in this war.