[On Hizbullah's cross-border raid on July 12, which netted two Israeli soldiers.] The aim was to trade them for three Lebanese prisoners - a decades-long practice in the Mideast, which Israel and Hizbullah had conducted as recently as 2004 - but it came just two weeks after Hamas militants abducted an Israeli soldier. Hizbullah officials have admitted surprise at the ferocity of the Israeli response.So the aim by Hizbullah was to caputre Israeli soldiers to exchange them for Lebanese people in prison in Israel. It was done before. It could have been done again. Or even better, the whole affair could have been avoided, if the Israelis would have called it a day and released their prisoners (Why is the world not crying about these people?).
"Hassan Nasrallah is not a good strategist, but he is a man of wisdom: He knows what's right or what's wrong," says Nizar Abdel-Kader, a retired Lebanese general and military columnist.
"[But] don't judge the man based on this strategic mistake," says General Abdel-Kader. "Because he did not foresee that the Israelis were waiting for him ... to free their war machine against Lebanon."
"They are a very calculating group; they're not crazy."
But the Israelis wanted war. Now that Ariel Sharon is out of the door, the hardliners try to gain political profile. And what better than to start a war and show your strength?
The sheikh behind Hizbullah | csmonitor.com