Andrew Exum in The National:
Israeli officials, led by defense minister and Labour Party leader Ehud Barak, have been talking since the summer about the “disproportionate” punishment they intend to inflict on Lebanon in the event of another war. News reports suggest that the Israeli Defense Forces are training for a large-scale ground campaign backed by punishing air and artillery strikes. “In the last war, we made a distinction between Hizbollah targets and Lebanese national targets,” a senior IDF general told The Jerusalem Post last month, adding that “there is no longer a reason to make this distinction.”
The head of the IDF’s Northern Command, Gadi Eisenkot, left no doubt about Israel’s aims when he told an Israeli paper that the army had devised a “Dahiyeh Doctrine” – in which Israel would level large swathes of the mostly-Shiite southern suburbs of Beirut, where Hizbollah maintains many of their offices and enjoys overwhelming support from the local population.
“We will wield disproportionate power against every village from which shots are fired on Israel, and cause immense damage and destruction. From our perspective, these are military bases,” he said. “This isn’t a suggestion. This is a plan that has already been authorised.”