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Even more impressive are the strategic fruits of the war. Had Israel been offered the details of the cease-fire arrangement before the war, any government would have approved it willingly. The Lebanese Army will deploy along the border, a large multinational force of about 10,000 soldiers will back it up, Hezbollah will no longer be encamped along the border, and its members will not bear arms openly. Hezbollah's fortifications along the border have been destroyed; about half of its missiles, especially the long-range ones, have been destroyed; support for the organization has diminished; and it is perceived as having brought destruction upon Lebanon. It is for good reason that Nasrallah is now compelled to justify himself.
The claim that Iran initiated the crisis with the aim of diverting world public opinion away from its nuclear program has also been proved baseless. Iran's support for Hezbollah only increases the West's hostility toward it. It is difficult to believe that Tehran gave Hezbollah such massive aid, worth several billions of dollars, only for the purpose of spending it on the abduction of Israeli soldiers. It is more reasonable to assume that Hezbollah was prepared as a reserve, intended to be brought into the fray if Iran itself were attacked.
Originally posted by djohnsto77
If the virtual apology of Hezbollah for starting it by capturing the Israeli soldiers leads to Hezbollah disarming and becoming a true political party only, not a militia, then Israel (and the Lebanese People) won.
Originally posted by xmotex
Politically it's pretty clear that Hezbollah won a victory just by hanging on and being able to hit back at the Israelis.
In every other sense, Lebanon (as opposed to Hezbollah) clearly lost this war: at least 1000 citizens dead, bridges, roads and gas stations destroyed... Israel's policy of collective punishment against the Lebanese didn't actually hurt Hezbollah much, but it sure as hell hurt the Lebanese.