Israel Allowing Hezbollah Attacks for PR?

| Thu Aug. 10, 2006 3:40 AM EDT

Tom Ricks, the Washington Post reporter whose remarkable book, Fiasco, tells you everything you didn't want to know about the Iraq war, tells Howard Kurtz on "Reliable Sources" (via PR Watch)that in Lebanon and just about any other war today, "civilian casualties are part of the battlefield play for both sides." Now Ricks is not a shoot-from-the-hip sort of guy, so this should be taken pretty seriously:

One of the things that is going on, according to some U.S. military analysts, is that Israel purposely has left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they're being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon.

KURTZ: Hold on, you're suggesting that Israel has deliberately allowed Hezbollah to retain some of its fire power, essentially for PR purposes, because having Israeli civilians killed helps them in the public relations war here?

RICKS: Yes, that's what military analysts have told me.

Hmm, using terror attacks to justify drastic military action that also serves other strategic objectives. Rings a bell somehow.