CBS's Schieffer Forwards Idea Israel in Lebanon Just Like 'Mistake' U.S. Made in Iraq

CBS anchor Bob Schieffer on Friday night forwarded the idea that the Israeli situation in Lebanon matches the U.S. miscalculation in Iraq. “Despite this heavy bombing that Hezbollah's been getting from the Israelis,” Schieffer told reporter David Martin, “they continue to attack and some critics are saying the Israelis may have made the same mistake that the United States made in Iraq, and that is underestimated what they were up against.” Martin didn't address Schieffer's comparison of the Israel-Hezbollah war with the Iraq war, but he did confirm that “Pentagon officials say both U.S. and Israeli intelligence have underestimated the strength, capabilities, and resilience of Hezbollah.” (Transcript follows)

The exchange, on the July 28 CBS Evening News, from just after Schieffer talked with Lara Logan in Israel:
Bob Schieffer: “We want to bring in our national security correspondent David Martin now at the Pentagon. David, despite this heavy bombing that Hezbollah's been getting from the Israelis, they continue to attack and some critics are saying the Israelis may have made the same mistake that the United States made in Iraq, and that is underestimated what they were up against. What about that?”

David Martin, at the Pentagon: “Well Bob, Israel has made so little progress in destroying Hezbollah, that some U.S. intelligence analysts are now saying the attempt to create a buffer zone in southern Lebanon has actually bogged down. 'It doesn't appear they've been able to claim the territory they want to claim,' one intelligence official said. And despite a number of massive air strikes on suspected command bunkers, Israel has been unable to locate and eliminate Hezbollah's leadership. Not only does Sheik Nasrallah keep showing up on television, but Hezbollah fighters still appear to be following the orders of senior commanders. Pentagon officials say both U.S. and Israeli intelligence have underestimated the strength, capabilities, and resilience of Hezbollah, beginning with the missile attack on this Israeli warship in the opening days of the war...”
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center