drone or missile?16 Jul 2006
The Israelis are now claiming their warship was hit by a Chinese-developed, Iranian-made cruise missile, not a drone aircraft rigged with a warhead. This may be true or it may be an expedient lie – better to claim you were buggered by the Iranians than by a bunch of militiamen fooling around with model airplanes, particularly when such a claim also serves your larger political interests.
But even if it is true, it doesn’t change the strategic equation. With or without Iranian help, Hezbollah is making mincemeat out of the myth of overwhelming Israeli superiority. How this will ultimately play out remains to be seen, but it certainly raises the stakes, at least for the Israelis.
The driving theme of this conflict so far seems to be that while Israel decimates Lebanese infrastructure, they may have underestimated the capabilities of Hezbollah and Hamas – much as they underestimated the complexity of the situation on the ground in Lebanon the first time around.