It is the second day of the so-called ceasefire between Israeli troops and Hezbollah (Lebanese Resistance).

George Bush says the “terrorists” have been defeated; Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vows to “hunt down Hezbollah leaders”.

The truth is more complex.

The Israeli-American plan at the root of the foiled invasion was to humiliate Iran and Syria; but these two “rogue” states remain untouched as Hezbollah’s reputation is exalted throughout the Arab world and in particular among the Lebanese.

Robert Fisk writes:

“You have to be down here with the Hizbollah amid this terrifying destruction – way south of the Litani River, in the territory from which Israel once vowed to expell them – to realise the nature of the past month of war and of its enormous political significance to the Middle East. Israel’s mighty army has already retreated from the neighbouring village of Ghandoutiya after losing 40 men in just over 36 hours of fighting. It has not even managed to penetrate the smashed town of Khiam where the Hizbollah were celebrating yesterday afternoon. In Srifa, I stood with Hizbollah men looking at the empty roads to the south and could see all the way to Israel… This is not the way the war was supposed to have ended for Israel.”

But the war, of course has not ended; what we have now is merely an intermission.

Hezbollah is entrenched in its southern Lebanese villages as never before.

The Lebanese army is set to send 15,000 troops to the border area around the end of this week but Defence Minister Elias Murr said:

“The army is not going south to strip Hizbollah of weapons and do the work the Israelis did not”.

As thousands of refugees return south down the coast road from Beirut to their smashed villages and broken homes, many flying Hezbollah flags from their cars and displaying pictures of Hezbollah leader Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on their windscreens, Hezbollah fighters are distributing “victory” flags, along with leaflets warning parents of the dangers to their children from the tons of unexploded ordnance littering the countryside.

They are returning to rebuild their homes and their lives, with the help of Hezbollah: Nasrallah has said that the organisation will pay a year’s rent and other costs to help the owners of 15,000 detroyed houses and that his fighters will immediately begin repairing homes and infrastructure.

In 1967 the Israelis defeated all the Arab countries in 6 days but here, in a month, using devastating firepower, they could not defeat the resistance.

Robert Fisk: Desert of trapped corpses testifies to Israel’s failure  

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