The Hezbo Cong


Or Feyadeen West? Quite a big difference there.

Saddam's informal guerilla force caused havoc along U.S. supply lines in Iraq for a couple weeks, but also managed to get themselves splattered by superior U.S. firepower in spectacular numbers. The Viet Cong, of course, harassed and frustrated U.S. forces in Vietnam for years. Only the overreach of the Tet offense—in which the North conveniently killed off the South's best fighters and potential future rivals—ever, really, neutralized the Cong.

If Israel is fighting Feyadeen-like fanatics in south Lebanon, then yes, a few more weeks should do the trick. But if the IDF faces something like the VC, this conflict will drag on until Hezbollah wants to end it.

Thus far one sign that Hezbollah is a few notches more accomplished than the Feyadeen is its ability to avoid casualties. Guerilla armies need to avoid them both because of their small numbers and the experience gap between veteran fighters and wide-eyed supporters of the cause.

Another more Cong-like attribute of Hezbollah has been its ability to withstand airstrikes. "They really cannot be destroyed from the air. There's really no alternative but to send in ground forces," said Maj. Michael Oren of the Israeli Defense Forces.

Ground forces it is then.