WHAT INFRASTRUCTURE WHERE?...

WHAT INFRASTRUCTURE WHERE? It's worth noting that Israel's target choices are a bit trickier to evaluate than Matt lets on. While it's true that "they're not just attacking armed Hezbollah personnel; they're dropping bombs on offices in urban areas with all the attendant devastation that entails," it's not true that they're just hitting the Chase Western on the corner of Jihad St. and 14th. Most of the rockets are being launched from shell civilian and urban residences, and it's neither new nor unexpected that Hezbollah's infrastructure is tucked away in the most civilian-heavy portions of the country. As always, these groups like to ensure that any destruction of their property will force the maximum in collateral damages and thus do the most to turn public sentiment against the attackers. Savvy strategizing, to be sure, but rather ruthless.

That said, it's rather hard to discern what Israel is actually attempting here. They seem to have rebuffed Tony Blair and Kofi Annan's proposal of an international peace-keeping force, and all are aware that Hezbollah can't actually be bombed out of existence, so the lack of an obvious endgame is peculiar. It may be that they're trying to bring down such hellfire and brimstone that the Lebanese population lacks any appetite for future provocations on Hezbollah's part, but that point would seem to have been reached days ago. On the other hand, it's worth noting that Bush appears to have a resolution strategy that's all his own.

--Ezra Klein

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