So here we are: Two Wednesday's ago Israel started trying to bomb Hezbollah into submission. Of course, they don't say that's what they are doing, but words like weaken, degrade, disarm, disrupt, dismantle, take out the leaders, are all synonyms.
In two weeks, civilians on both sides have paid the price. Lebanese Internal Security Forces said 398 have been killed in Lebanon, including Hezbollah fighters; 50 people have been killed in Israel, including 19 civilians, according to the Israeli military. Today alone, Hezbollah fired 151 rockets at Israel, the highest number since this all began, and nine soldiers were killed battle, the highest number so far.
At first, Israeli leaders told us the battle was going well, that they would need a few days to finish the task. We are still told it it's going well, only now they say they'll need a few weeks.
Meantime, Israeli soldiers and officers have started dying in combat, fierce hand-to-hand combat in little villages like Maroun Al-Ras and Bint Jbeil. In an interview with an Arab newspaper, Hezbollah Chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah popped-up to mock Israel, saying Israel celebrates the capture of tiny Maroon Al-Ras as if it were the fall of Stalingrad.
Standing on the Israeli side of the border, staring at Maroon Al-Ras, Brigadier General Alon Friedman tells me he respects his enemy.
"Definitely," he says. "Hezbollah give us a good military challenge, as an army, as the enemy. They have a program, they have a concept which they are carrying out. But as I said earlier, our army has good means. We have studied this organization for a long time. We know where we are going and therefore we have the program which is succeeding."
But now into the third week of war, the Katyusha rockets keep coming, even though Brigadier General Friedman told me Hezbollah is being pushed back: "We are taking them out of their positions and this causes the fire to be less focused, less accurate. He has to move north and fires less deep into Israel, and slowly we are moving them to where we want them."
Too slowly for some here. Already, the armchair generals are questioning the wisdom of Israel's military tactics: Should there have been more air power? A wider bombing campaign? Should the ground forces have gone in sooner? Should they seize, hold, even occupy land?
Hard to tell. The only thing we do know is that when the world's top diplomats gathered in Rome today, where all eyes were on the possibility of a ceasefire, Israel was given more time to bomb Hezbollah ... into submission?