The good folks at NRO have a symposium on who won the war. The consensus seems to be that Hezbollah came out on top. Jerusalem writer Caroline Glick wrote:

Hezbollah is the big winner of the resolution because it adopts almost every Hezbollah demand. Hezbollah will not be disarmed. An arms embargo will not be instituted against it. Its unsupportable claim to Lebanese sovereignty over the Shebaa Farms on the Golan Heights has received international recognition. It is not going to be forced to release the Israeli soldiers it holds as hostages. As Hassan Nasrallah put it, “Yipee, we won. But we still have more demands so better watch out in Haifa!”

Syria is a winner because the resolution made no mention of the fact that Syria is Hezbollah’s logistical base. By ignoring Syria’s central role in the war, the resolution effectively gave its blessing to continued Syrian aggression against Israel (and U.S. forces in Iraq) through terrorist proxy armies.

Iran is the greatest winner of the Security Council’s ceasefire sweepstakes. Iran, which was the architect of the entire war, did not even receive a mention in the resolution. It is already using this victory to force the Arab world to accept its leadership. The Iranian foreign minister’s visit Sunday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was a clear sign that its stock is sky high. Iran has not had full diplomatic relations with Egypt since 1979.

Others have a different take. Tigerhawk takes a contrary position:

Now, let’s talk real estate. Near as I can make out, the IDF is parked in Southern Lebanon. About a month ago, that was Hezbollah’s real estate; no IDF. They left in 2000, right? Now they’re back. Cease fire or no cease fire, the IDF and its hardware are all over Southern Lebanon.

Northern Israel, however, hasn’t a trace of Hezbollah personnel on it, just poorly aimed rocketry. No significant infrastructure damage, no military damage, no strategic damage. If Hezbollah is serious about taking out 8 million Israelis, they’ve got a ways to go. Nice allies they’ve got in Syria and Iran too. Nice that they weighed in with all of the firepower they had to offer — not much, hmmm? Do we even need to catalog the infrastructure losses in Lebanon?

The ever reliable Debkafile reports that Iran was not pleased by the outcome. They conclude:

From the Iranian viewpoint, Israel succeeded in seriously degrading Hizballah’s capabilities. It was also able to throw the Lebanese Shiite militia to the wolves; the West is now in a position to force Nasrallah and his men to quit southern Lebanon and disarm. The West shut its eyes when he flouted the Resolution 1559 order for the disarmament of all Lebanese militias. But that game is over. The Americans will use Resolution 1701 as an effect weapon to squeeze Iran, denied of its second-front deterrence, on its nuclear program.

Tehran hopes to pre-empt the American move by torpedoing the Lebanon ceasefire and preventing the termination of hostilities at all costs.

Let’s turn to a historical precedent that shows one cannot always determine the winner the day after hostilities cease.

We all know that the defeat of the Spanish Amada in 1588 was a great victory for the English. Yet, the English did not know that they had won a decisive victory until months after the battle. About 100 large Spanish ships survived the battle and the English did not know where they were and whether they would attack again. Rather than sail back to Spain through the English channel, the Spanish fleet had headed North, hoping to round Scotland and return to Spain via the Irish sea. Unfortunately for the Spanish, their fleet ran into fearsome storms and most were lost. It wasn’t until the English began receiving reports of the wreckage of Spanish ships washing up on the coast that they began to understand the true extent of Spanish losses and the magnitude of their victory.

So it is with this month-long war. Actually, in the grand scheme of things, it was a battle. The war that Islamic fascists are waging on the West is far from over. We won’t know who won this battle for a long time. We don’t even know if its over. What we do know is that Israel is back in force in Southern Lebanon and what’s left of Hezbollah’s border resources are trapped. If the war flares up again, Israel will be in the box seat. The key factor will be the impact on Iran. The war was started to divert attention from the Mad Mullah’s nuke program. On that count Iran may have lost.

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