A typically superb overnight analysis of the Israel-Hizbullah war by Ze’ev Schiff in Ha’aretz.
One clear victor in all of this is Hizbullah’s media strategist, with an assist from the Israeli leadership. HIzbullah managed to convince the world that it would win if it survived, a claim helped by early, reckless Israeli statements that it was attempting to destroy Hizbullah. You can’t destroy an organization that has the kind of popular backing based on ethnicity as does Nasrallah’s organization, especially as long as it receives such substantial aid from Iran.
Note that Schiff compares this result to the Yom Kippur War. I think that that is apt. In 1973, militarily, the IDF clearly triumphed; politically, Egypt came out the victor. Hizbullah mastered an expectations game that in my view would be more suitable for 1968 than 2006. Note that Schiff also compares this war to the first Lebanon war: it is not clear to me why there should have been such expectations of crushing Israeli victory now if the IDF couldn’t achieve it the last time.