The meme has been that Israel lost. Hezbollah still exists, Israel had to cede control of her fight to the UN (blech), and so on and so on. However, winning or losing is often described in terms of what the parties to the engagement sought to achieve. Hezbollah sought to destroy Israel. Israel sought to prevent Hezbollah from doing that and to get its soldiers back (and, as to that, it has, to date, failed). Tigerhawk takes these facts and spins them counter to the meme:
Since Hezbollah still has weapons, Nasrallah is still in charge and alive, and Hez can still fire rockets at Israel, Hezbollah has won. In comparison, since Israel has been unable to decimate and disarm Hezbollah, kill Nasrallah and suppress Hezbollah rockets, Israel has lost. Hezbollah wins by virtue of a very low bar; Israel loses by virtue of impossibly high expectations.
[There’s some analysis here about end goals and outcomes, which you should read at the source, and then Tigerhawk comes the conclusion.]
I have to admit, I am having a hard time seeing how Israel lost here — as if anyone can actually win a war in 4 weeks. The tortured calculus of the Hezbollah victory evades me. Everybody acknowledges that Israel defeated Egypt and Jordan in 1967 and again in 1973. Why? Well all Israel really had to do was survive. That’s what everybody has forgotten. That’s all Israel needs to do to win. Survive. It’s the other guys who are trying to destroy Israel, not the other way around.
Hat tip: Cheat-Seeking Missiles