The are no red lines in international relations. When Russia and Germany relied on the red lines of rigid diplomatic triggers, World War I erupted. Politicians must not have a red line; they must manuevre.

Shelling Haifa is not a red line. It is an expected outcome. We knew the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Beka’a had long range missiles. We ducked from disarming the Guards under our nose. We pretended that we were not sure who the missiles will be used against. And so we provoked the expected use.

Two MIAs are not a red line but everyday casualties of war. During the 1963 War of Attritition, we had myriad similar incidents, and they did not spiral into a war. The European politicians who call Israel’s response “disproportionate” are not fools. Anti-Israeli, yes, pro-Arab, yes, but not fools. They know that politics is the art of manuever, not battle. The hysterical Israeli government overreacted to a border skirmish. We should have destroyed specifically Hezbollah installations, like the broadcasting center for Al-Manara, that’s it. Unless of course we want to go for the really effective measure of shooting hostages to get Israeli MIAs back.

By drawing red lines, essentially zero tolerance to losses, Israel is losing the war. Syria and especially Iran do not care about casualties. Peasants beat regular armies when peasants disregard losses. Iranians have a very different mentality from Egyptians. The Nile guys did not want to die in the desert. Enough Iranians are sufficiently indoctrinated to die anywhere. Iraq could not beat Iran even with extended attrition; Israel will surely inflict less damage. Israel is scores of times stronger than Iran, but that matters not a bit. Even if Israel inflicts hundredfold devastation on Iran, the reciprocal damage will devastate Israel. Tolerance to losses matters. And Israel implies zero-tolerance. The strategy is clear: strike the strongest, strike him unprepared. Israel hit the weakest, and let the strongest get ready for war.

The Israeli government concentrates on red lines comfortable for its indecisive mentality. Iran’s nuclear program is the red line, not Hezbollah, insignificant by any military standard. Bulls, I heard, do not see red; they are color-blind.