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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 2-Sep-2019
2-Sep-19 World View -- Israel-Hezbollah-Lebanon border clash fizzles quickly, no repeat of 2006 war

Web Log - September, 2019

2-Sep-19 World View -- Israel-Hezbollah-Lebanon border clash fizzles quickly, no repeat of 2006 war

Israel's drone strike on Beirut targeted Iran's guided missile components

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

Outbreak of hostilities on Lebanon-Israel border called worst since 2006

Israeli soldiers with artillery units near the country’s border with Lebanon (Guardian)
Israeli soldiers with artillery units near the country’s border with Lebanon (Guardian)

Israel's army fired hundreds of artillery shells into southern Lebanon on Sunday, in response to a Hezbollah attack, launching two or three anti-tank missiles into an Israeli military base in northern Israel. There were no casualties on either side.

Analysts are calling the cross-border shelling the worst hostilities between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah since the end of the 2006 war between them.

Israel's army along the Lebanon border has been on high alert all week, since Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah promised retaliation for last week's drone strikes by Israel into targets in Beirut, Lebanon's capital city.

It now appears that neither Hezbollah nor Israel wants a war, and that the exchange of fire was just for show for domestic audiences.

Israel's drone strike on Beirut targeted Iran's guided missile components

In my article two days ago, I quoted a report from Debka saying that the drone attack was was actually a targeted assassination, targeting Iran’s Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who is the Iranian commander that Hezbollah's chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah reports to.

A web site reader has pointed out an alternative narrative that differs from the Debka report. As I often point out, Debka reports are based on Israeli military and intelligence sources, but they sometimes gets things wrong, and apparently Debka may have gotten the Beirut drone attack quite wrong.

According to the report from the Metula News Agency, the drone attacks in Beirut were targeting a particular component, supplied by Iran, for building guided missiles, in particular an eight-ton Iranian propulsion fuel mixer. According to the report (translation):

"The industrial mixer in question was to be used to prepare missile propulsion fuel to improve their performance and increase their accuracy. It was supposed to be part of the Iran-Hezbollah program to modify the tens of thousands of primitive rockets in its possession in order to turn them into precision missiles.

The equipment arrived from Iran was deposited in a storage place between residential buildings to dissuade the Israelis trying to destroy them. Hezbollah planned to take them to a safe place during the current week. ...

These devices are essential to the rocket transformation program, according to the confession of a Shiite militiaman I met on site yesterday (Tuesday) while going to observe the place of the main explosion. If the mixer can be repaired or exchanged within a few weeks, the electronic control unit, packed with expensive components, will not be available for a few months. This, as long as it can be routed from Iran escaping the raids of the Israelis, who obviously know everything that happens here in Syria, Iraq and Iran, and who choose the best time to destroy equipment likely to disturb them."

The Metula report goes on to deny other claims in the Debka report, particularly the claim that one of the drones crashed after a boy threw a rock at it.

If the Metula report is correct, then it must be a major embarrasment to Debka that they got almost every detail of the story completely wrong.

Hezbollah has thousands of unguided rockets, but few guided missiles. Israel has managed so far to thwart every attempt by Iran to supply Hezbollah with guided missiles.

Echoes of the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war

Most journalists are comparing the situation today to the beginning of the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war.

On July 12, 2006, Hezbollah abducted two Israeli soldiers near Israel's border with Lebanon. Israel went into a total panic, and rushed into war within four hours. There was no clear objective. Actually there was no objective at all, and no plan. The stated plans and objectives changed on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. Initially, Israel was going to use only air power. When that failed, they sent in troops.

While Israel was in a generational Crisis era, Lebanon was in a generational Awakening era, and really didn't want to fight a war. I discussed this at length in 2006 war between Israel and Hizbollah. I quoted Lebanese President Émile Geamil Lahoud as saying:

"Believe me, what we get from [Israeli bombers] is nothing compared to [what would happen] if there is an internal conflict [a new civil war] in Lebanon. So our thanks comes when we are united, and we are really united, and the national army is doing its work according to the government, and the resistance [Hizbollah] is respected in the whole Arab world from the population point of view. And very highly respected in Lebanon as well."

The Lebanese feared, above all else, a repeat of something like the 1982 massacre at Sabra and Shatila, and considered that to be a worse possibility than Israeli bombers.

So that explains why Lebanon and Hezbollah didn't want to fight in 2006. But why did Israel go into a state of chaotic panic? This panic is actually explained by the Generational Dynamics "58-Year Hypothesis."

The 58-year Hypothesis says that when some sort of calamitous event occurs, something so horrific that it traumatizes the entire population, adults and children alike, then the population will panic in some way exactly 58 years later. That's because 5-10 year old children at the time of the calamitous event all retire or die or lose power, all at once, 58 years calamitous event, and it's this cohort of people who panic, because they suddenly realize that they'll be gone and the calimitous event could happen again, because they won't be around to prevent it. The calimitous event has to be non-political, and one that was preventable but not prevented, and the panic comes from a fear that it will be unprevented once more.

The 58-year Hypothesis is reasonable, since it approximates the length of the active life of a cohort of people born in a given year, and it's supported by a lot of anecdotal evidence. There have now been so many examples of anecdotal evidence, that it might now be reasonable to call it the "58-Year Law."

In the case we're discussing, 2006 Israeli-Lebanon war occurred 58 years after the 1948 war between Jews and Arabs that followed the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. That actually explains why Israel totally panicked and pursued the war that turned into a disaster for both Lebanon and Israel. There was a cohort of people who were afraid of a major new war between Jews and Arabs, and they acted on those fears.

After the war ended, Lebanon appeared to be descending into chaos. Violence was increasing, and analysts and politicians around the world openly expressed fear of a major civil war in Lebanon between government (anti-Syrian) forces and (pro-Syrian) Hizbollah. This fear was almost universal, among international media, analysts and politicians.

I wrote that the generational analysis of Lebanon had not changed, and that a civil war at that time was impossible. I wrote that there would be a major political battle and that, at some point, "a political winner would be declared -- either the current government or Hizbollah. But there won't be a civil war." That was the generational prediction, and it turned out to be true. Late in 2008, I received the following e-mail message from a web site reader:

"I am very impressed with your site, especially when looking at some of your past predictions. I was trapped in Lebanon during the fighting and everyone was in great fear that a civil war was in progress. You predicted that it would fizzle out, and it did."

That brings us up to today, and Sunday's border clash between Hezbollah and Israel's army.

Numerous journalists have been expressing anxiety that the border clashes would trigger a new war, like the abduction of the two soldiers in 2006. Well first off, the Israelis had learned their lessons from the 2006 war, and were certainly never going to allow themselves to panic again. They were completely crazy in 2006, but less crazy today. And Lebanon is still in a generational Awakening era, so neither side wants a war, and the cross-border shelling fizzled quickly.


Related articles:

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the Generational Dynamics World View News thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (2-Sep-2019) Permanent Link
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