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buzwardo
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« Reply #300 on: July 21, 2006, 01:41:10 PM »

A Strange War
Israel is at last being given an opportunity to unload on jihadists.

By Victor Davis Hanson

Sum up the declarations of Hezbollah?s leaders, Syrian diplomats, Iranian nuts, West Bank terrorists, and Arab commentators ? and this latest Middle East war seems one of the strangest in a long history of strange conflicts. For example, have we ever witnessed a conflict in which one of the belligerents ? Iran ? that shipped thousands of rockets into Lebanon, and promises that it will soon destroy Israel, vehemently denies that its own missile technicians are on the ground in the Bekka Valley. Wouldn?t it wish to brag of such solidarity?

Or why, after boasting of the new targets that his lethal missiles will hit in Israel, does Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah (?We are ready for it ? war, war on every level?) now harp that Israel is hitting too deep into Lebanon? Don?t enemies expect one another to hit deep? Isn?t that what ?war on every level? is all about?

Meanwhile, why do the G-8 or the United Nations even talk of putting more peacekeeping troops into southern Lebanon, when in the past such rent-a-cops and uniformed bystanders have never stopped hostilities? Does anyone remember that it was Hezbollah who blew up French and American troops who last tried to provide ?stability? between the warring parties?

Why do not Iran and Syria ? or for that matter other Arab states ? now attack Israel to join the terrorists that they have armed? Surely the two-front attack by Hamas and Hezbollah could be helped by at least one conventional Islamic military. After promising us all year that he was going to ?wipe out? Israel, is not this the moment for Mr. Ahmadinejad to strike?

And why ? when Hezbollah rockets are hidden in apartment basements, then brought out of private homes to target civilians in Israel ? would terrorists who exist to murder noncombatants complain that some ?civilians? have been hit? Would not they prefer to lionize ?martyrs? who helped to store their arms?

We can answer these absurdities by summing up the war very briefly. Iran and Syria feel the noose tightening around their necks ? especially the ring of democracies in nearby Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, and perhaps Lebanon. Even the toothless U.N. finally is forced to focus on Iranian nukes and Syrian murder plots. And neither Syria can overturn the Lebanese government nor can Iran the Iraqi democracy. Instead, both are afraid that their rhetoric may soon earn some hard bombing, since their ?air defenses? are hardly defenses at all.

So they tell Hamas and Hezbollah to tap their missile caches, kidnap a few soldiers, and generally try to turn the world?s attention to the collateral damage inflicted on ?refugees? by a stirred-up Zionist enemy.

For their part, the terrorist killers hope to kidnap, ransom, and send off missiles, and then, when caught and hit, play the usual victim card of racism, colonialism, Zionism, and about every other -ism that they think will win a bailout from some guilt-ridden, terrorist-frightened, Jew-hating, or otherwise oil-hungry Western nation.

The only difference from the usual scripted Middle East war is that this time, privately at least, most of the West, and perhaps some in the Arab world as well, want Israel to wipe out Hezbollah, and perhaps hit Syria or Iran. The terrorists and their sponsors know this, and rage accordingly when their military impotence is revealed to a global audience ? especially after no reprieve is forthcoming to save their ?pride? and ?honor.?

After all, for every one Israeli Hezbollah kills, they lose ten. You are not winning when ?victory? is assessed in terms of a single hit on an Israeli warship. Their ace-in-the-hole strategy ? emblematic of the entire pathetic Islamist way of war ? is that they can disrupt the good Western life of their enemies that they are both attracted to and thus also hate. But, as Israel has shown, a Western public can be quite willing to endure shelling if it knows that such strikes will lead to a devastating counter-response.

What should the United States do? If it really cares about human life and future peace, then we should talk ad nauseam about ?restraint? and ?proportionality? while privately assuring Israel the leeway to smash both Hamas and Hezbollah ? and humiliate Syria and Iran, who may well come off very poorly from their longed-for but bizarre war.

Only then will Israel restore some semblance of deterrence and strengthen nascent democratic movements in both Lebanon and even the West Bank. This is the truth that everyone from London to Cairo knows, but dares not speak. So for now, let us pray that the brave pilots and ground commanders of the IDF can teach these primordial tribesmen a lesson that they will not soon forget ? and thus do civilization?s dirty work on the other side of the proverbial Rhine.

In this regard, it is time to stop the silly slurs that American policy in the Middle East is either in shambles or culpable for the present war. In fact, if we keep our cool, the Bush doctrine is working. Both Afghans and Iraqis each day fight and kill Islamist terrorists; neither was doing so before 9/11. Syria and Iran have never been more isolated; neither was isolated when Bill Clinton praised the ?democracy? in Tehran or when an American secretary of State sat on the tarmac in Damascus for hours to pay homage to Syria?s gangsters. Israel is at last being given an opportunity to unload on jihadists; that was impossible during the Arafat fraud that grew out of the Oslo debacle. Europe is waking up to the dangers of radical Islamism; in the past, it bragged of its aid and arms sales to terrorist governments from the West Bank to Baghdad.

Some final observations on Hezbollah and Hamas. There is no longer a Soviet deterrent to bail out a failed Arab offensive. There is no longer empathy for poor Islamist ?freedom fighters.? The truth is that it is an open question as to which regime ? Iran or Syria ? is the greater international pariah. After a recent trip to the Middle East, I noticed that the unfortunate prejudicial stares given to a passenger with an Iranian passport were surpassed only by those accorded another on his way to Damascus.

So after 9/11, the London bombings, the Madrid murders, the French riots, the Beslan atrocities, the killings in India, the Danish cartoon debacle, Theo Van Gogh, and the daily arrests of Islamic terrorists trying to blow up, behead, or shoot innocent people around the globe, the world is sick of the jihadist ilk. And for all the efforts of the BBC, Reuters, Western academics, and the horde of appeasers and apologists that usually bail these terrorist killers out when their rhetoric finally outruns their muscle, this time they can?t.

Instead, a disgusted world secretly wants these terrorists to get what they deserve. And who knows: This time they just might.

 ?  Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is the author, most recently, of A War Like No Other. How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.



National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MmE1ODk2ZDQwNWFjNzZhNmFjMTBkNDQ2N2ZmMjQ5MmM=
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buzwardo
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« Reply #301 on: July 21, 2006, 04:06:52 PM »

Onward

By David Warren

Traditionally, at this point in her response to terror attacks, the world diplomatic community persuades Israel to agree a ceasefire, and the terrorists are saved to fight another day. This is what happened in 1982. The Israelis were in a position to annihilate Yasser Arafat's PLO, whom they had surrounded in Beirut. Instead, they agreed to let them escape to Tunisia. The rest is history: recurring again and again.

Kofi Annan is trying to do the same thing over: to save Hezbollah (this time) with a ceasefire, by promising Israel that a large force of international "peacekeepers" will take their place. But a U.N. force is no likelier to disarm Hezbollah than the Lebanese army was (when Lebanon agreed to disarm Hezbollah, most recently in 2004). After a brief lull in the shooting, and a chance to regroup and rebuild, Hezbollah would be back at Israel's throat.

The Israelis know this, now, from hard experience. There is overwhelming popular support for the course Prime Minister Olmert has set out. The Israelis will not be taking advice, from such as Russia and France. The Americans, even the State Department under Condoleezza Rice, show signs of having seriously absorbed their own lessons from recent history. John Bolton is sitting squarely in the Security Council, prepared to veto every effort to force the Israelis to desist. This time -- with or without the world's permission -- the Israelis are going to finish the job.

This is evident from events in Lebanon, through the last week. The Israeli air force has been doing classic battlefield prep, along the lines of the allied Operation Hail Mary against the Iraqis occupying Kuwait in 1991. You will recall Gen. Colin Powell's memorable phrase: "First we're going to cut them off, then we're going to kill them." The Israeli air strikes on Lebanese airports, harbours, roads and bridges is the "cut them off" part. The "kill them" part is coming.

There have been four call-ups of Israeli reserves. This is never done for show in Israel. Reserves are systematically replacing regulars in West Bank positions; regulars from there and elsewhere are assembling for the trudge north.

It will not be a walkover, as the Israelis know. They will take plenty of casualties. Hezbollah have had years to dig in deep, and the Iranians and Syrians have been very generous in arming and training them. The Israeli command is aware of at least 600 underground missile caches, each one of which will be well-defended. Nearly 200 of those contain missiles capable of hitting Tel Aviv.

The air strikes have only been able to hit launching pads at surface level. The array of Hezbollah anti-tank defences just inside Lebanon's southern border is formidable. The Israelis won't be crossing it for small stakes. Some time in the next few days, the serious fighting will begin.

That none of Hezbollah's longest-range missiles have been used yet (despite Hezbollah boasts and threats), is an indication that Iranian permission is not forthcoming. For the use of such powerful Iranian ordnance against Israeli population centres, even if shot from Lebanese territory, would bring Israeli retaliation against Iran itself. And it is fairly clear from the diplomatic gestures they have been making, and the purely defensive postures the Syrian military has been assuming, that both countries want out of the line of fire.

My sense is that the ayatollahs are already resigning themselves to the loss of Hezbollah, and don't wish to lose Syria, too. The Israeli air force alone is capable of triggering a regime change in Damascus, by decapitating Syria's Alawite leadership. Moreover, an Iran that itself attacks Israel is -- I should think in the certain knowledge of its leaders -- an Iran that will be attacked by the United States.

And so, to the long-term (though obviously not the short-term) benefit of Lebanon, the war will be confined to Lebanon (and Gaza). The long-term benefit is that Hezbollah prevents the emergence of a Lebanon free of Syrian interference, and therefore of Israeli threats. Even some of the Shia realize that Lebanon would be better off, without a private militia much larger than the country's armed forces. Lebanon has a prosperous future in alliance with Israel and the United States. It has no other prosperous future. The idea appears to be seeping into the Lebanese ruling classes. Even the once radical Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt, seems to get this.

For Israel, there is no turning back. It is a categorical imperative: for if the Israeli military isn't facing Hezbollah and Hamas, then Israel's civilians have to face them.

In a strange way, perhaps a way he anticipated, Ariel Sharon's bold decision to remove the Jewish settlements from Gaza, and turn the territory over to Palestinian self-government, clinched the issue. If the subsequent rocket attacks from Gaza, then Lebanon, could be predicted by me, they would have been predicted by him.


http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/07/onward.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #302 on: July 21, 2006, 05:55:23 PM »

Red Alert: The Battle Joined
The ground war has begun. Several Israeli brigades now appear to be operating between the Lebanese border and the Litani River. According to reports, Hezbollah forces are dispersed in multiple bunker complexes and are launching rockets from these and other locations.

Hezbollah's strategy appears to be threefold. First, force Israel into costly attacks against prepared fortifications. Second, draw Israeli troops as deeply into Lebanon as possible, forcing them to fight on extended supply lines. Third, move into an Iraqi-style insurgency from which Israel -- out of fear of a resumption of rocket attacks -- cannot withdraw, but which the Israelis also cannot endure because of extended long-term casualties. This appears to have been a carefully planned strategy, built around a threat to Israeli cities that Israel can't afford. The war has begun at Hezbollah's time and choosing.

Israel is caught between three strategic imperatives. First, it must end the threat to Israeli cities, which must involve the destruction of Hezbollah's launch capabilities south of the Litani River. Second, it must try to destroy Hezbollah's infrastructure, which means it must move into the Bekaa Valley and as far as the southern suburbs of Beirut. Third, it must do so in such a way that it is not dragged into a long-term, unsustainable occupation against a capable insurgency.

Hezbollah has implemented its strategy by turning southern Lebanon into a military stronghold, consisting of well-designed bunkers that serve both as fire bases and launch facilities for rockets. The militants appear to be armed with anti-tank weapons and probably anti-aircraft weapons, some of which appear to be of American origin, raising the question of how they were acquired. Hezbollah wants to draw Israel into protracted fighting in this area in order to inflict maximum casualties and to change the psychological equation for both military and political reasons.

Israelis historically do not like to fight positional warfare. Their tendency has been to bypass fortified areas, pushing the fight to the rear in order to disrupt logistics, isolate fortifications and wait for capitulation. This has worked in the past. It is not clear that it will work here. The great unknown is the resilience of Hezbollah's fighters. To this point, there is no reason to doubt it. Israel could be fighting the most resilient and well-motivated opposition force in its history. But the truth is that neither Israel nor Hezbollah really knows what performance will be like under pressure.

Simply occupying the border-Litani area will not achieve any of Israel's strategic goals. Hezbollah still would be able to use rockets against Israel. And even if, for Hezbollah, this area is lost, its capabilities in the Bekaa Valley and southern Beirut will remain intact. Therefore, a battle that focuses solely on the south is not an option for Israel, unless the Israelis feel a defeat here will sap Hezbollah's will to resist. We doubt this to be the case.

The key to the campaign is to understand that Hezbollah has made its strategic decisions. It will not be fighting a mobile war. Israel has lost the strategic initiative: It must fight when Hezbollah has chosen and deal with Hezbollah's challenge. However, given this, Israel does have an operational choice. It can move in a sequential fashion, dealing first with southern Lebanon and then with other issues. It can bypass southern Lebanon and move into the rear areas, returning to southern Lebanon when it is ready. It can attempt to deal with southern Lebanon in detail, while mounting mobile operations in the Bekaa Valley, in the coastal regions and toward south Beirut, or both at the same time.

There are resource and logistical issues involved. Moving simultaneously on all three fronts will put substantial strains on Israel's logistical capability. An encirclement westward on the north side of the Litani, followed by a move toward Beirut while the southern side of the Litani is not secured, poses a serious challenge in re-supply. Moving into the Bekaa means leaving a flank open to the Syrians. We doubt Syria will hit that flank, but then, we don't have to live with the consequences of an intelligence failure. Israel will be sending a lot of force on that line if it chooses that method. Again, since many roads in south Lebanon will not be secure, that limits logistics.

Israel is caught on the horns of a dilemma. Hezbollah has created a situation in which Israel must fight the kind of war it likes the least -- attritional, tactical operations against prepared forces -- or go to the war it prefers, mobile operations, with logistical constraints that make these operations more difficult and dangerous. Moreover, if it does this, it increases the time during which Israeli cities remain under threat. Given clear failures in appreciating Hezbollah's capabilities, Israel must take seriously the possibility that Hezbollah has longer-ranged, anti-personnel rockets that it will use while under attack.

Israel has been trying to break the back of Hezbollah resistance in the south through air attack, special operations and probing attacks. This clearly hasn't worked thus far. That does not mean it won't work, as Israel applies more force to the problem and starts to master the architecture of Hezbollah's tactical and operational structure; however, Israel can't count on a rapid resolution of that problem.

The Israelis have by now thought the problem through. They don't like operational compromises -- preferring highly focused solutions at the center of gravity of an enemy. Hezbollah has tried to deny Israel a center of gravity and may have succeeded, forcing Israel into a compromise position. Repeated assaults against prepared positions are simply not something the Israelis can do, because they cannot afford casualties. They always have preferred mobile encirclement or attacks at the center of gravity of a defensive position. But at this moment, viewed from the outside, this is not an option.

An extended engagement in southern Lebanon is the least likely path, in our opinion. More likely -- and this is a guess -- is a five-part strategy:

1. Insert airmobile and airborne forces north of the Litani to seal the rear of Hezbollah forces in southern Lebanon. Apply air power and engineering forces to reduce the fortifications, and infantry to attack forces not in fortified positions. Bottle them up, and systematically reduce the force with limited exposure to the attackers.

2. Secure roads along the eastern flank for an armored thrust deep into the Bekaa Valley to engage the main Hezbollah force and infrastructure there. This would involve a move from Qiryat Shimona north into the Bekaa, bypassing the Litani to the west, and would probably require sending airmobile and special forces to secure the high ground. It also would leave the right flank exposed to Syria.

3. Use air power and special forces to undermine Hezbollah capabilities in the southern Beirut area. The Israelis would consider a move into this area after roads through southern Lebanon are cleared and Bekaa relatively secured, moving into the area, only if absolutely necessary, on two axes of attack.

4. Having defeated Hezbollah in detail, withdraw under a political settlement shifting defense responsibility to the Lebanese government.

5. Do all of this while the United States is still able to provide top cover against diplomatic initiatives that will create an increasingly difficult international environment.

There can be many variations on this theme, but these elements are inevitable:

1. Hezbollah cannot be defeated without entering the Bekaa Valley, at the very least.

2. At some point, resistance in southern Lebanon must be dealt with, regardless of the cost.

3. Rocket attacks against northern Israel and even Tel Aviv must be accepted while the campaign unfolds.

4. The real challenge will come when Israel tries to withdraw.

No. 4 is the real challenge. Destruction of Hezbollah's infrastructure does not mean annihilation of the force. If Israel withdraws, Hezbollah or a successor organization will regroup. If Israel remains, it can wind up in the position the United States is in Iraq. This is exactly what Hezbollah wants. So, Israel can buy time, or Israel can occupy and pay the cost. One or the other.

The other solution is to shift the occupational burden to another power that is motivated to prevent the re-emergence of an anti-Israeli military force -- as that is what Hezbollah has become. The Lebanese government is the only possible alternative, but not a particularly capable one, reflecting the deep rifts in Lebanon.

Israel has one other choice, which is to extend the campaign to defeat Syria as well. Israel can do this, but the successor regime to Syrian President Bashar al Assad likely would be much worse for Israel than al Assad has been. Israel can imagine occupying Syria; it can't do it. Syria is too big and the Arabs have learned from the Iraqis how to deal with an occupation. Israel cannot live with a successor to al Assad and it cannot take control of Syria. It will have to live with al Assad. And that means an occupation of Lebanon would always be hostage to Syrian support for insurgents.

Hezbollah has dealt Israel a difficult hand. It has thought through the battle problem as well as the political dimension carefully. Somewhere in this, there has been either an Israeli intelligence failure or a political failure to listen to intelligence. Hezbollah's capabilities have posed a problem for Israel that allowed Hezbollah to start a war at a time and in a way of its choosing. The inquest will come later in Israel. And Hezbollah will likely be shattered regardless of its planning. The correlation of forces does not favor it. But if it forces Israel not only to defeat its main force but also to occupy, Hezbollah will have achieved its goals.
Send questions or comments on this article to analysis@stratfor.com.
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Bowser
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WW3
« Reply #303 on: July 21, 2006, 06:48:54 PM »

Extrapolating your righteous duty to deveop your fighting qualities into support for a mass market global military war is evidence in my opinion that your fighting nature is not completely  grounded in morality and that your watcher is asleep or wearing blinkers.

 Let's hope that the war does not extend to the Phillipines.


  smiley

Growl

Bowser
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ppulatie
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WW3
« Reply #304 on: July 21, 2006, 08:29:37 PM »

Bowser,

I am trying to understand what you expect or are suggesting. I take it that you disagree with not just Iraq but also with what Israel is doing in Lebanon. What would you suggest to be done?

I don't do MA so I do not understand the watcher bit, nor the morality bit. All war is immoral from the standpoint of death and destruction, but some wars are moral in nature to stop the same. A la Thomas Aquinas.
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buzwardo
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« Reply #305 on: July 21, 2006, 10:16:41 PM »

Quote from: Bowser
Extrapolating your righteous duty to deveop (sic) your fighting qualities into support for a mass market global military war is evidence in my opinion that your fighting nature is not completely  grounded in morality and that your watcher is asleep or wearing blinkers.


Jeepers that sounds bad. What does it mean when you combine mass market global military extrapolations with non-sequiturs and pompous gibberish?

Snipe away if that's what floats your boat, but how 'bout trying to make a semblance of sense along the way? And if you take that advice I'll go pick up a lotto ticket as I've yet to encounter a troll interested in informed debate.
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xtremekali
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WW3
« Reply #306 on: July 22, 2006, 03:09:41 PM »

Back to Story - Help
Israel seizes Hizbollah base: army By Lin Noueihed
 40 minutes ago
 


Israel ousted Hizbollah guerrillas from a stronghold just inside Lebanon on Saturday after several days of fierce fighting, the army said, as it bombarded targets across the south of the country.

Ground forces commander Major-General Benny Gantz said Israeli soldiers took the hilltop village of Maroun al-Ras, where six Israeli commandos have been killed this week, inflicting dozens of casualties on Hizbollah.

Israel said it planned no full-scale invasion of Lebanon for now, but warned villagers near the border to leave.

In the town of Marjayoun, about five miles from the border, cars packed with people waving white flags fled north fearing Israel will step up an 11-day-old war which has killed 351 people, mostly civilians.

There was no immediate comment from the Shi'ite Muslim guerrilla group, which had said in an earlier statement its fighters had inflicted casualties on the Israeli side.

An Israeli army spokesman had said troops backed by around a dozen tanks and armored vehicles had been fighting in Maroun al-Ras, about two km (one mile) inside Lebanese territory, and found Hizbollah bunkers and weapons stores.

He said Israel might widen its military action, but was still looking at "limited operations." "We're not talking about massive forces going inside at this point."

Resisting growing calls for a ceasefire, the United States stressed the need to tackle what it sees as the root cause of the conflict -- Hizbollah's armed presence on Israel's border and the role of its allies, Syria and Iran.

"Resolving the crisis demands confronting the terrorist group that launched the attacks and the nations that support it," U.S President George W. Bush said on Saturday, a day before Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was to head to Israel.

Israeli forces had urged residents of 14 villages in south Lebanon to leave by 4 p.m. (1300 GMT) ahead of more air raids.

TROOP BUILD UP

Israel has built up its forces at the border and called up 3,000 reserves. Defense Minister Amir Peretz has spoken of a possible land offensive to halt rocket attacks that have killed 15 Israeli civilians in the past 11 days.

But Israel is wary of mounting another invasion, only six years after it ended a costly 22-year occupation of the south. Already, 19 soldiers have been killed in the latest conflict.

Israeli air raids hit transmission stations used by several Lebanese television channels and a mobile telephone mast north of Beirut, cutting mobile phone services in northern Lebanon.

The official in charge of the station transmitting LBC programs was killed, the channel said. A nun at a nearby church said two French nationals were also lightly wounded.

Israel's army said it hit a Hizbollah radio and TV transmitter and an antenna for frequencies "used by Hizbollah." Hizbollah's al-Manar television was still broadcasting after the strikes.

Israeli medics and the army said at least 10 Hizbollah rockets hit towns in northern Israel, wounding 10 people.

Across south Lebanon, families piled into cars and trucks -- flying white sheets they hoped would ward off attack -- and clogged roads north after Israel warned residents to flee for safety beyond the Litani river, about 12 miles from the border.

But witnesses said an Israeli air strike hit one of the few remaining crossings over the river early on Saturday.

The war started when Hizbollah captured two soldiers and killed eight in a July 12 raid into Israel, which had already launched an offensive in the Gaza Strip to try to recover another soldier seized by Palestinian militants on June 25.

Washington supports proposals for an expanded international force on the Israel-Lebanon border but details were not fixed, a senior U.S. official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. A 2,000-strong U.N. force monitors the border at present.

Amid growing concern about the plight of civilians in Lebanon, Israel said it would ease humanitarian access.

U.N. relief agencies have called for safe passage to take in food and medical supplies. An estimated half million people have fled their homes.

Foreigners have also flooded out of the country. Ships and aircraft worked through the night scooping more tired and scared people from Lebanon and taking them to Cyprus and Turkey.

(Additional reporting by Jerusalem, Nicosia, Washington bureaux)
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For those who fight for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know
captainccs
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« Reply #307 on: July 22, 2006, 03:38:07 PM »

Report: U.S. rushes precision-guided bombs to Israel

By Reuters

The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

Citing U.S. officials who spoke on Friday on condition of anonymity, the Times said the decision to ship the weapons quickly came after relatively little debate within the administration, and noted in its report that its disclosure threatens to anger Arab governments and others who could perceive Washington as aiding Israel in the manner that Iran has armed Hezbollah.

The munitions are actually part of a multimillion-dollar arms-sale package approved last year which Israel is able to tap when it needs to, the officials told the Times. But some military officers said the request for expedited delivery was unusual and indicated that Israel has many targets it plans to hit in Lebanon.

The arms shipment has not been announced publicly. The officials who described the administration's decision to rush the munitions included employees of two government agencies, one of whom described the shipment as just one example of a broad array of armaments that the United States has long provided Israel, the Times said.

Pentagon and military officials declined to describe in detail the size and contents of the shipment to Israel, the newspaper said, and they would not say whether the munitions were being shipped by cargo aircraft or some other means. But one U.S. official said the shipment should not be compared to the kind of an "emergency resupply" of dwindling Israeli stockpiles that was provided during the Yom Kippur War, according to the Times report.

A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington told the Times: "We have been using precision-guided munitions in order to neutralize the military capabilities of Hezbollah and to minimize harm to civilians. As a rule, however, we do not comment on Israel's defense acquisitions."

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/741392.html
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Denny Schlesinger
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« Reply #308 on: July 22, 2006, 05:42:29 PM »

Quote from: buzwardo
Quote from: Bowser
Extrapolating your righteous duty to deveop (sic) your fighting qualities into support for a mass market global military war is evidence in my opinion that your fighting nature is not completely  grounded in morality and that your watcher is asleep or wearing blinkers.


Jeepers that sounds bad. What does it mean when you combine mass market global military extrapolations with non-sequiturs and pompous gibberish?

Snipe away if that's what floats your boat, but how 'bout trying to make a semblance of sense along the way? And if you take that advice I'll go pick up a lotto ticket as I've yet to encounter a troll interested in informed debate.



Looks like you missed the 'higher consciousness' goal of the Dog Brothers

I am not a troll, I practice Balintawak and am expressing my sincere opinion. . .  

I fail to find a non sequiteur in my post, please explain why you suggested that there is one.

.
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captainccs
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« Reply #309 on: July 22, 2006, 05:52:40 PM »

What is a "mass market global military war" anyway?  smiley

Do you consider Israel's current defensive action a "mass market global military war?"

I don't think so, it is a legitimate self defense action.

For the record, I'm not a practitioner of martial arts.
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Denny Schlesinger
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« Reply #310 on: July 22, 2006, 07:15:04 PM »

What is Balintawak?

And what do you believe in regards to Iraq and Israel with Lebanon? It will clarify things for us here.

A higher consciousness when it comes to the War on Terror means nothing to me. Unless it is the recognition that we are in the fight of our live and for our lives.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #311 on: July 23, 2006, 01:08:55 AM »

A very long piece written in 2002.

=================================

 




IN THE PARTY OF GOD
by JEFFREY GOLDBERG
Are terrorists in Lebanon preparing for a larger war?
Issue of 2002-10-14 and 21
Posted 2002-10-07

 

1?THE MEETING



The village of Ras al-Ein, which is situated in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, falls under the overlapping control of the Syrian Army, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah, or Party of God. The village is seedy and brown, and is decorated with posters of martyrs and potentates?Ayatollah Khomeini is especially popular?and with billboards that celebrate bloodshed and sacrifice.

I visited Ras al-Ein this summer to interview the leader of a Hezbollah faction, a man named Hussayn al-Mussawi, who, twenty years ago, was involved in kidnapping Americans. Many of those kidnapped were held in Ras al-Ein; they were kept blindfolded, and chained to beds and radiators. It is thought that Ras al-Ein is where William Buckley, the Beirut station chief of the Central Intelligence Agency, was held for a time before he was killed by Hezbollah, in 1985.

When I arrived, it was midday; the air was still and the heat smothering, and the streets were mostly empty. A man was selling ice cream in a park at the center of town. Slides and swing sets, their paint peeling, dot the park; in the middle is a pond covered by a skin of algae. Several women and children were there. The women wore gray chadors, and their heads were covered by scarves, pinned high and tight under the left ear, so that no strand of hair could escape.

Like the rest of the town, the park was crowded with ferocious Hezbollah art. One poster showed an American flag whose field of stars had been replaced by a single Star of David. Another portrayed the Dome of the Rock, the Muslim shrine in Jerusalem, cupped in the bony hand of a figure with a grotesquely hooked nose. A third poster, extolling the bravery of Shiite martyrs, showed a Muslim fighter standing on a pile of dead soldiers whose uniforms were marked with Stars of David. The yellow flag of Hezbollah could be seen everywhere; across the top is a quotation from the Koran, from which Hezbollah took its name?"Verily the party of God shall be victorious"?and at the center is an AK-47 in silhouette, in the hand of the Shiite martyr Husayn, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. In the background is a depiction of the globe, suggesting Hezbollah's role in the worldwide umma, or community of Muslims. Along the bottom of the Hezbollah flag is written "The Islamic Revolution in Lebanon." I did not see the red-green-and-white flag of Lebanon anywhere in Ras al-Ein.

I had taken a taxi from Ashrafieh, the prosperous Christian neighborhood in Beirut, to Ras al-Ein, a two-hour trip over potholed roads and through a modest number of roadblocks. The soft Mediterranean air soon gave way to the dry-bones heat of the Bekaa. The taxi-driver, an elderly Christian, had been hesitant about the trip (Lebanon's Christian minority is fearful of Shiite gunmen), but he smoothly negotiated the passage through two Syrian Army checkpoints. At one, a sergeant of about thirty, who carried a side arm and wore a round helmet covered in black mesh, inspected my American passport, handed it back to me, and said, enigmatically, "Osama bin Laden."

We had by then reached the outskirts of Baalbek, the main Bekaa town. Baalbek is famous for three well-preserved Roman temples, of Jupiter, Venus, and Bacchus. (A statue of Hafez al-Assad, the late dictator of Syria and the father of the current dictator, stands at the entrance to the town.) The temples, which are enormous?the two main temples are larger than the Parthenon?are the site of an annual international cultural festival that draws the ?lite of Beirut, and Lebanese officials like to point to it as proof of Lebanon's normalcy. This year, the festival featured a performance of Michael Flatley's "Lord of the Dance." Ras al-Ein is a couple of miles from the temples, and we soon arrived at the Nawras Restaurant, next to the park, where I was to meet Mussawi. I sat at a table outside, with a view of the street. Two men nearby were smoking hookahs. I ordered a Pepsi and waited.



Shiism arose as a protest movement, whose followers believed that Islam should be ruled by descendants of the Prophet Muhammad's cousin Ali, and not by the caliphs who seized control after the Prophet's death. The roots of Shiite anger lie in the martyrdom of Ali's son Husayn, who died in battle against the Caliph Yezid in what is today southern Iraq. (I have heard both Shiites from southern Iraq and Iranian Shiites refer to their enemy Saddam Hussein as a modern-day Yezid.) At times, Shiism has been a quietist movement; Shiites built houses of mourn-ing and study, called Husaynias, where they recalled the glory of Husayn's martyrdom.

In Lebanon in the nineteen-sixties, the Shiites began to be drawn to the outside world. Some joined revolutionary Palestinian movements; others fell into the orbit of a populist cleric, Musa Sadr, who founded a group called the Movement of the Deprived and, later, the Shiite Amal militia. Hezbollah was formed, in 1982, by a group of young, dispossessed Shiites who coalesced around a cleric and poet named Muhammad Hussayn Fadlallah. They were impelled by a number of disparate forces, including the oppression of their community in Lebanon by the country's Sunni and Christian ?lites, and the rapture they felt in 1979 as Iran came under the power of "pure" Islam. A crucial event, though, was Israel's invasion of Lebanon in June of 1982.

Fatah, which is part of the Palestine Liberation Organization, had been firing Katyusha rockets into northern Israel from Lebanon, where it had its main base, and Prime Minister Menachem Begin, on the advice of his defense minister, Ariel Sharon, ordered Israeli forces into Lebanon. The stated purpose was to conquer what had come to be known as Fatahland, the strip of South Lebanon under Yasir Arafat's control, and to evict the P.L.O.'s forces. Sharon, though, had grander designs: to secure a friendly Christian government in Beirut and to destroy the P.L.O. It was not so much the invasion that inspired the Shiites, who were happy to see the South free of Arafat and Fatah. The Shiites took up arms when they realized that Sharon, like Arafat, had no intention of leaving Lebanon.

Hezbollah, with bases in the Bekaa and in Beirut's southern suburbs, quickly became the most successful terrorist organization in modern history. It has served as a role model for terror groups around the world; Magnus Ranstorp, the director of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, at the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland, says that Al Qaeda learned the value of choreographed violence from Hezbollah. The organization virtually invented the multipronged terror attack when, early on the morning of October 23, 1983, it synchronized the suicide bombings, in Beirut, of the United States Marine barracks and an apartment building housing a contingent of French peacekeepers. Those attacks occurred just twenty seconds apart; a third part of the plan, to destroy the compound of the Italian peacekeeping contingent, is said to have been jettisoned when the planners learned that the Italians were sleeping in tents, not in a high-rise building.



Until September 11th of last year, Hezbollah had murdered more Americans than any other terrorist group?two hundred and forty-one in the Marine-barracks attack alone. Through terror tactics, Hezbollah forced the American and French governments to withdraw their peacekeeping forces from Lebanon. And, two years ago, it became the first military force, guerrilla or otherwise, to drive Israel out of Arab territory when Prime Minister Ehud Barak withdrew his forces from South Lebanon.

Using various names, including the Islamic Jihad Organization and the Organization of the Oppressed on Earth, Hezbollah remained underground until 1985, when it published a manifesto condemning the West, and proclaiming, "Every one of us is a fighting soldier when a call for jihad arises and each one of us carries out his mission in battle on the basis of his legal obligations. For Allah is behind us supporting and protecting us while instilling fear in the hearts of our enemies."

Another phase began in earnest in 1991, when, at the close of Lebanon's sixteen-year civil war, the country's many militias agreed to disarm. Nominally, Lebanon is governed from Beirut by an administration whose senior portfolios have been carefully divided among the country's various religious factions?Maronite and Greek Orthodox Christians, Sunnis and Shiites and Druze. But in fact Lebanon is under the control of Syria; and the Syrians, with encouragement from Iran, have allowed Hezbollah to maintain its arsenal, and even to expand it, in the interest of fighting Israel as Syria's proxy. The Syrians also allowed Hezbollah to control the Shiite ghettos of southern Beirut, much of the Bekaa Valley, and most of South Lebanon, along the border with Israel.

Hezbollah's current leader, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, is as important a figure in Lebanon as the country's ruling politicians and the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad. Hezbollah officials run for office in Lebanon and win?the group now holds eleven seats in the hundred-and-twenty-eight-seat Lebanese parliament. But within Hezbollah there is little pretense of fealty to the President of Lebanon, ?mile Lahoud, who is a Christian, and certainly none to the Prime Minister, Rafiq Hariri, who is a Sunni Muslim. The only portraits one sees in Hezbollah offices are of Khomeini and of Ayatollah Khamenei, the current ruler of Iran.

Hezbollah has an annual budget of more than a hundred million dollars, which is supplied by the Iranian government directly and by a complex system of finance cells scattered around the world, from Bangkok and Paraguay to Michigan and North Carolina. Like Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah operates successfully in public spheres that are closed off to most terrorist groups. It runs a vast and effective social-services network. It publishes newspapers and magazines and owns a satellite television station that is said to be watched by ten million people a day in the Middle East and Europe. The station, called Al Manar, or the Lighthouse, broadcasts anti-American programming, but its main purpose is to encourage Palestinians to become suicide bombers.



Along with this public work, Hez bollah continues to increase its terrorist and guerrilla capabilities. Magnus Ranstorp says that Hezbollah can be active on four tracks simultaneously?the political, the social, the guerrilla, and the terrorist?because its leaders are "masters of long-term strategic subversion." The organization's Special Security Apparatus operates in Europe, North and South America, and East Asia. According to both American and Israeli intelligence officials, the group maintains floating "day camps" for terrorist training throughout the Bekaa Valley; many of the camps are said to be just outside Baalbek. In some of them, the instructors are supplied by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iran's Ministry of Intelligence. In the past twenty years, terrorists from such disparate organizations as the Basque separatist group ETA, the Red Brigades, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, and the Irish Republican Army have been trained in these camps.

A main focus today appears to be the training of specifically anti-Israel militants in the science of constructing so-called "mega-bombs," devices that can bring down office towers and other large structures. The explosion of a mega-bomb is the sort of event that could lead to a major Middle East war. In fact, such attacks have been tried: in April, a plot to bomb the Azrieli Towers, two of Tel Aviv's tallest buildings, was foiled by Israeli security services; in May, a bomb exploded beneath a tanker truck at a fuel depot near Tel Aviv, but did not set off a larger explosion, as planned. Had these operations been successful, hundreds, if not thousands, of Israelis would have died. Salah Shehada, a Hamas leader in Gaza, is said by Israel to have been planning a co?rdinated attack on five buildings in Tel Aviv. (In July, an Israeli warplane dropped a one-ton bomb on the building where Shehada lived; he was killed, along with at least fourteen others, including nine children.)

Gal Luft, an Israeli reserve lieutenant colonel and an expert on counterterrorism, told me that Hezbollah's role in these plans is unknown. "Hezbollah has experience with bulk explosives," Luft said. "You can make the case that the Hezbollah provides inspiration and advice and technical support, but I wouldn't rule out its own cells trying this." Luft said that it is only a matter of time before a "mega-attack" succeeds.

Hezbollah agents have infiltrated the West Bank and Gaza, and Arab communities inside Israel, helping Hamas and Islamic Jihad and attempting to set up their own cells; many Palestinians revere Hezbollah for achieving in South Lebanon what the Palestinians have failed to achieve in the occupied territories. In the past year, Hezbollah has also been stockpiling rockets for potential use against Israel. These rockets, most of which are from Iran, are said to be moved by truck from Syria, through the Bekaa Valley, and then on to Hezbollah forces in South Lebanon.

Hezbollah has not been suspected of overt anti-American actions since 1996, when the Khobar Towers, in Saudi Arabia, were attacked, but, according to intelligence officials, its operatives, with the help and cover of Iranian diplomats, have been making surveillance tapes of American diplomatic installations in South America, Southeast Asia, and Europe. These tapes, along with maps and other tools, are said to be kept in well-organized clandestine libraries.

In recent days, top American officials have suggested that Hezbollah?and its state sponsors?may soon find themselves targeted in the Bush Administration's war on terror. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage recently called Hezbollah the "A-team" of terrorism and Al Qaeda the "B-team." The C.I.A. has lost at least seven officers to Hezbollah terrorism, including William Buckley. Sam Wyman, a retired C.I.A. official, who recommended Buckley for the job in Beirut, told me that "those who work the terrorism problem writ large, and those who are working the Hezbollah problem writ small, know that this is an account that has not been closed." The chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Bob Graham, of Florida, says he wants the Administration's war on terrorism to focus not on Iraq but on Hezbollah, its Bekaa Valley camps, and its state sponsors in Iran and Syria. "We should tell the Syrians that we expect them to shut down the Bekaa Valley camps within x number of days, and, if they don't, we are reserving the right to shut them down ourselves," Graham said last month.



After drinking a third Pepsi, I watched a Land Cruiser pull up to the restaurant and deliver a stiff and unhappy-looking man with a well-kept beard. The man sat down silently across from me. Three men, one of whom wore a leather jacket, despite the terrific heat, stood quietly by the Land Cruiser.

The bearded man was not Hussayn al-Mussawi, whom I had hoped to meet. He said that his name was Muhammad, that he was an aide to Mussawi, and that he had been sent to assess my intentions. I was here, I said, to examine the claim that Hezbollah had transformed itself into a mainstream Lebanese political party.

I said that I also wanted to gauge the group's feelings about America, and look for any sign that its implacable opposition to the existence of Israel had changed.

"Are you going to ask about past events?" Muhammad asked. I indicated that I would.

When he pressed me further, I admitted that I was curious about one person in particular, a Hezbollah security operative named Imad Mugniyah. Mugniyah, who began his career in the nineteen-seventies in Arafat's bodyguard unit, is the man whom the United States holds responsible for most of Hezbollah's anti-American attacks, including the Marine-barracks bombing and the 1985 hijacking of a T.W.A. flight, during which a U.S. Navy diver was executed. He is also suspected of involvement in the attack on the Khobar Towers, in which nineteen American servicemen were killed.

Last year, the U.S. government placed Mugniyah on the list of its twenty-two most wanted terrorists, along with two of his colleagues, Ali Atwa and Hassan Izz-al-Din. (Atwa and Izz-al-Din are wanted specifically in connection with the hijacking of the T.W.A. flight in 1985.) The very mention of Mugniyah's name is a sensitive issue in Lebanon and Syria, which have refused to carry out repeated American requests?one was delivered recently by Senator Graham?to shut down Hezbollah's security apparatus, and assist in the capture of Mugniyah. Lebanon's Prime Minister Hariri became agitated when, in a conversation this summer, I asked why his government has refused to help find Mugniyah and his accomplices. "They're not here! They're not here!" Hariri said. "I've told the Americans a hundred times, they're not here!"

Seated in the Nawras Restaurant in Ras al-Ein, across from a man who called himself Muhammad, I said yes, Imad Mugniyah would figure in my story. At that, Muhammad rose, looked at me dismissively, and left the restaurant without a word.



II?THE GOAL



The chief spokesman for Hezbollah is a narrow-shouldered, self-contained man of about forty named Hassan Ezzeddin, who dresses in the style of an Iranian diplomat: trim beard, dark jacket, white shirt, no tie. His office is on a low floor of an apartment building in the southern suburbs of Beirut, which are called the Dahiya. Hezbollah has five main offices there, and all are in apartment buildings, which helps to create a shield between the bureaucracy and Israeli fighter jets and bombers that periodically fly overhead. The shabby offices are sparsely furnished; apparently, the idea is to be able to dismantle them in half an hour or less, in case of an Israeli attack.

The eight members of Hezbollah's ruling council are said to meet in the Dahiya once a week. Lebanese police officers are stationed at a handful of intersections, but they don't stray from their posts. The buildings housing Hezbollah's offices are protected by gunmen dressed in black, and plainclothes Hezbollah agents patrol the streets. Once, while walking to an appointment, I took out a disposable camera and began to take pictures of posters celebrating the deaths of Hezbollah "martyrs." Within thirty seconds, two Hezbollah men confronted me. They ordered me to put my camera away and then followed me to my meeting.

The Shiite stronghold in the southern suburbs of the city is only a twenty-minute drive from the Virgin Mega-store in downtown Beirut, but it might as well be part of Tehran. Ayatollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Khamenei stare down from the walls, and the Western fashions ubiquitous in East Beirut are forbidden; many women wear the full chador. The suburbs are the most densely packed of Beirut's neighborhoods, with seven- and eight-story apartment buildings, many of them jerry-built, jammed against one another along congested streets and narrow alleys. The main businesses in the Dahiya are believed to be chop shops, where stolen automobiles and computers are taken apart and sold.

I was introduced to Ezzeddin by Hussain Naboulsi, and he translated our conversation. Naboulsi is in charge of Hezbollah's Web site. He spent some time in America, and incorporates American slang unself-consciously into his speech. He is young and gregarious, but he grew evasive when the subject of his background came up. "We lived in Brooklyn, and I was going to go to the University of Texas, but then we moved to Canada. . . ." He trailed off.

Ezzeddin said that anti-Americanism is no longer the focus of his party's actions. Hezbollah, he said, holds no brief against the American people; it is opposed only to the policies of the American government, principally its "unlimited" support for Israel. Like all Hezbollah's public figures, Ezzeddin is proud of the victory over Israel in South Lebanon, two years ago, and he spoke at length about the reasons for Hezbollah's success. He quoted a statement of Hezbollah's leader, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, made shortly after the Israeli withdrawal: "I tell you: this 'Israel' that owns nuclear weapons and the strongest air force in this region is more fragile than a spiderweb." Ezzeddin explained that Ehud Barak pulled out his troops because the soldiers?and their mothers?feared death. This isn't true for Muslims, he said. "Life doesn't end when you die. To us, there is real life after death. Reaching the afterlife is the goal of life. Once you have in mind the goal of dying, you stop fearing the Jews."



After Israel withdrew from south ern Lebanon, many experts on the Middle East assumed that Hezbollah would focus on social services and on domestic politics, in order to bring about a peaceful transformation of Lebanon into an Islamic republic. Even before the Israeli pullout, a leading scholar of Hezbollah, Augustus Richard Norton, of Boston University, wrote a paper entitled "Hezbollah: From Radicalism to Pragmatism?" In his paper, Norton said that in discussions with Hezbollah officials he had got the impression that the group "has no appetite to launch a military campaign across the Israeli border, should Israel withdraw from the South."

But Hezbollah is, at its core, a jihadist organization, and its leaders have never tried to disguise their ultimate goal: building an Islamic republic in Lebanon and liberating Jerusalem from the Jews. Immediately after the withdrawal, Hezbollah announced that Israel was still occupying a tiny slice of Lebanese land called Shebaa Farms. The United Nations ruled that Shebaa Farms was not part of Lebanon but belonged to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, and thus was a matter for Israeli-Syrian negotiations. Hezbollah disagreed, and, with Syria's acquiescence, has continued to launch frequent attacks on Israeli outposts in Shebaa.

Ezzeddin seemed to concede that the Hezbollah campaign to rid Shebaa of Israeli troops is a pretext for something larger. "If they go from Shebaa, we will not stop fighting them," he told me. "Our goal is to liberate the 1948 borders of Palestine," he added, referring to the year of Israel's founding. The Jews who survive this war of liberation, Ezzeddin said, "can go back to Germany, or wherever they came from." He added, however, that the Jews who lived in Palestine before 1948 will be "allowed to live as a minority and they will be cared for by the Muslim majority." Sayyid Nasrallah himself told a conference held in Tehran last year that "we all have an extraordinary historic opportunity to finish off the entire cancerous Zionist project."

The balance of forces on Israel's northern border suggests that Hezbollah's ambitions are unrealizable. Its fighters number in the low thousands, at most; the Israeli Air Force is among the most powerful in the world. But the pullout from Lebanon heightened Hezbollah's self-regard, its contempt for Jews, and its desire for total victory. "Everyone told us, 'You're crazy, what are you doing, you can't defeat Israel,' " Ezzeddin said. "But we have shown that the Jews are not invincible. We dealt the Jews a serious blow, and we will continue to deal the Jews serious blows."



The withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon, after eighteen years, closed a disastrous chapter in Israeli military history. The conflict destroyed the government of Menachem Begin, and Begin himself; he lived out his final days as a recluse. An Israeli commission held Ariel Sharon, his defense minister, "indirectly responsible" for the massacre by pro-Israeli Christian militiamen of approximately eight hundred Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, in Beirut, in 1982. The Lebanon invasion seemed to have ended Sharon's career. By the time the troops left, more than nine hundred Israeli soldiers had been killed in Lebanon. The withdrawal was badly managed and chaotic. The Army abandoned equipment, and also deserted its Christian allies, a militia called the South Lebanon Army.

In one of the Israeli Army's final acts, sappers tried to bring down the twelfth-century Beaufort Castle, a fortress that sits high over the upper Galilee. The castle had served as a platform for P.L.O. rocket attacks on Israeli towns and farms before Sharon's invasion, and, in the final days of the occupation, the Army was hoping to deny the Palestinians the shelter of its battlements. The Israelis succeeded only in part. The walls did not crumble, and the Hezbollah flag now flies from the highest tower.

I visited Beaufort on a brilliantly hot day this summer, and the only people around were a handful of Hezbollah fighters, a group of Beirutis on a day-long excursion through the South, and two Iranian tourists, with cheap cameras hanging from their necks. One of the Hezbollah guerrillas, a pimply man in his early twenties named Na'im, showed me around. We picked our way across half-collapsed battlements, among thorn bushes and patches of purple and yellow wildflowers, to the remains of the outer rampart, which overlooks a steep drop to the floor of the Litani River valley. Na'im wore bluejeans and a redand-green plaid shirt. He carried a rifle, which he used as a walking stick. He told me that the castle dated back to the Islamic conquest of the Holy Land. In fact, Beaufort was built by the Crusaders, but in Na'im's version the castle began as a Muslim fortress. "Saladin used this to defeat the Crusaders," he said, in a rehearsed manner. "Hezbollah will use it to defeat the Jews."

From where we stood, we had a clear view into the Israeli town of Metulla, with its red-roofed, whitewashed houses, small hotels, and orchards. "The Jews are sons of pigs and apes," Na'im said. We walked down the crumbling rampart, past a dry cistern, and up a ridge to the high tower, where the Hezbollah flag waved in the wind.

From Beaufort, I headed to the village of Kfar Kila, and the border, where the Fatima Gate is situated. During the occupation, Israel called it the Good Fence; it was the entrance to Metulla for Lebanese workers. The Good Fence has been sealed, and is now famous as the place where Palestinians and Lebanese throw rocks at Israeli soldiers.

I saw, on my drive down, the digging of what appeared to be anti-tank trenches, but, though the South may be a future battlefield, it is also a museum of past glory. Of the four or five main Islamic fundamentalist terror organizations in the Middle East, Hezbollah has by far the most sophisticated public-relations operation, and it has turned the South into an open-air celebration of its success against Israel. The experience of driving there is similar in some ways to driving through Gettysburg, or Antietam; roadside signs and billboards describe in great detail the battles and unit formations associated with a particular place. One multicolored sign, in both Arabic and English, reads:

On Oct. 19, 1988 at1:25 p.m. a martyr car that was body trapped with 500 kilogram of highly exploding materials transformed two Israeli troops into masses of fire and limbs, in one of the severe kicks that the Israeli army had received in Lebanon.

Most of the signs place the word "Israel" in quotation marks, to underscore the country's illegitimacy, and every sign includes a fact box: the number of "Israelis" killed and wounded at the location, and the "Date of Ignominious Departure" of "Israeli" forces. The historical markers also carry quotations from Israeli leaders praising the fighting abilities of Hezbollah's martyrs. One sign reads, "Zionists comments: 'Hezbollah's secret weapon is their self-innovation and their ability to produce bombs that are simple but effective.' " The attribution beneath the quote is "Former 'Israeli' Prime Minister Ihud Barak."

According to Israeli security sources, the Israelis have never been able to infiltrate Hezbollah as they have the P.L.O. One intelligence official told me that Hezbollah leaders have so far been immune to the three inducements that often lure Palestinians to the Israeli side. In Hebrew, they are called the three "K"s: kesef, or money; kavod, respect; and kussit, a crude sexual term for a woman.

The centerpiece of Hezbollah's propaganda effort in the South is the former Al-Khiam prison, a rambling stone-and-concrete complex of interconnected buildings, a few miles from the border, where I stopped on the way to Kfar Kila. For fifteen years, the prison was run by Israel's proxy force in Lebanon, the South Lebanon Army, with the assistance of the Shabak, the Israeli equivalent of the F.B.I. Prisoners in Al-Khiam?which held almost two hundred at any given time?were allegedly subjected to electric-shock torture and a variety of deprivations. The jail has been preserved just as it was on the day the Israelis left. There are still Israeli Army-issue sleeping bags in the cells. Hezbollah has added a gift shop, which sells Hezbollah key chains and flags and cassettes of martial Hezbollah music; a cafeteria; and signs on the walls of various rooms that describe, in Hezbollah's terms, the use of the rooms. "A Room for Investigation and Torturing by Electricity," reads one. "A Room for the Boss of Whippers." "A Room for Investigation with the Help of the Traitors." And "The Hall of Torturing-Burying-Kicking-Beating-Applying Electricity-Pouring Hot Water-Placing a Dog Beside." A busload of tourists, residents of a Palestinian refugee camp outside Beirut, were clearly in awe of the place, treating the cells as if they were reliquaries and congratulating the Hezbollah employees.

Like me, the tourists were headed for the border at Kfar Kila, where one can walk right up to the electrified fence, and where Israeli cameras feed real-time pictures to a series of fortified observation stations just south of the line. An Israeli bunker sits about fifty feet in from the fence?one man told me that the Israeli soldiers never show their faces?and the Palestinians took turns taking pictures and yelling curses. I drove a short distance to a Hezbollah position that faces a massive concrete Israeli fortress called Tziporen. The tour bus, headed for the same place, stopped on the way at an overlook, and the Palestinians got out. On the Israeli side, on a track that ran parallel to the Lebanese road, was a Humvee and three Israeli soldiers. They were protecting a group of workers who were repairing a section of the road. The Israelis were no more than forty feet away, on the lower part of the slope. The experience for the Palestinians?and for a group of Kuwaitis who arrived by car?was something like a grizzly sighting in a national park. "Yahud!" one Kuwaiti said, dumbfounded. "Jews!" His friends produced video cameras and began filming. The Israeli soldiers waved; the Arabs did not. A few began cursing the soldiers and, once it was decided that the workers were Israeli Arabs, cursed them, too. "Ana bidi'ani kak!" one Palestinian yelled at the soldiers?"I want to fuck you up." "Jasus"?"spy"?another called out. An argument broke out on the ridge, and the Palestinians decided that it was not right to curse the Arab workers, who were only earning a living in oppressive circumstances. Apologies were offered, and what was by now a cavalcade moved forward, to the Hezbollah position opposite the Israeli fortress.

Tziporen, the fortress, overlooks the mausoleum of a Jewish sage named Rav Ashi, who was the redactor of the Babylonian Talmud, and who died in 427. The modest mausoleum sits half in Lebanon and half in Israel. Barbed wire runs atop it, and, with the help of a southerly breeze, the Hezbollah flag planted on the Lebanese side of the mausoleum flapped into Israel. The fighters at the Hezbollah position warned us not to get too close to the fence; the Israelis might fire. Rock throwing from a comfortable distance was encouraged, and the Palestinians aimed for the roof of the fort. On weekends, when the crowds are thicker, villagers drive in tractors full of rocks to supply the tourists.

Because it was too risky to approach the fence, it was impossible to read a large billboard planted three feet north of the line. It faced south into Israel, carrying what was obviously a message for the Israelis alone. The border is, of course, sealed, so it was a month before I got a clear look at the billboard. It read, in Hebrew, "Sharon?Don't Forget Your Soldiers Are Still in Lebanon." The message was written under a photograph of a Hezbollah guerrilla holding, by the hair, the severed head of an Israeli commando.



III?THE SUICIDE CHANNEL



The true propaganda engine of Hezbollah is the Al Manar satellite television station. Unlike most of Hezbollah's public offices, the studios of Al Manar are not shoddily built or cheaply decorated. The station's five-story headquarters building in the Dahiya, at the end of a short side street, is surrounded by taller apartment buildings. Guards carrying rifles patrol its perimeter, but, inside, Al Manar has a corporate atmosphere. The lobby is glass and marble, and behind the reception desk a pleasant young man answers the telephone. He sits beneath a portrait of Abbas al-Mussawi, the previous Hezbollah leader, who was assassinated ten years ago by Israel. At the reception desk, women whose dress is deemed immodest can borrow a chador.

Al Manar's news director is Hassan Fadlallah, who is in his early thirties and is a member of the same clan as Muhammad Hussayn Fadlallah, the Hezbollah spiritual leader. Fadlallah, a studious-looking man who had several days' stubble on his face, is working on a Ph.D. in education. He apologized for his poor English. A waiter brought us orange juice and tea.

I began by asking him to compare Al Manar and the most famous Arabic satellite channel, Al Jazeera. "Neutrality like that of Al Jazeera is out of the question for us," Fadlallah said. "We cover only the victim, not the aggressor. CNN is the Zionist news network, Al Jazeera is neutral, and Al Manar takes the side of the Palestinians."

Fadlallah paused for a moment, and said he would like to amend his comment on CNN. "We were very happy with Ted Turner," he said. "We were so happy that he was getting closer to the truth." He was referring to recent comments by Turner, the founder of CNN, who talked about suicide bombers and the Israeli Army and then said, "So who are the terrorists? I would make a case that both sides are involved in terrorism." Turner was criticized harshly in the American press and by supporters of Israel, and later said that he regretted "any implication that I believe the actions taken by Israel to protect its people are equal to terrorism." Fadlallah claimed that Turner revised his statement because "the Jews threatened his life." He said Al Manar's opposition to neutrality means that, unlike Al Jazeera, his station would never feature interviews or comments by Israeli officials. "We're not looking to interview Sharon," Fadlallah said. "We want to get close to him in order to kill him."

Al Manar would not rule out broadcasting comments from non-Israeli Jews. "There would be one or two we would put on our shows. For example, we would like to have Noam Chomsky." Fadlallah suggested, half jokingly, that I appear on a question-and-answer show. (Later, another Al Manar official suggested that I answer questions about what he termed "the true meaning of the Talmud.")

Fadlallah said that one of Al Manar's goals is to set in context the role of Jews in world affairs. Anti-Semitism, he said, was banned from the station, but he was considering a program on "scholars who dissent on the issue of the Holocaust," which would include the work of the French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy. "There are contradictions," Fadlallah said. "Many Europeans believe that the Holocaust was a myth invented so that the Jews could get compensation. Everyone knows how the Jews punish people who seek the truth about the Holocaust."

It would be a mistake, Fadlallah went on, to focus solely on Al Manar's antiIsrael programs. "We have news programming, kids' shows, game shows, political news, and culture." At the same time, he said, Al Manar is "trying to keep the people in the mood of suffering," and most of the station's daily schedule, including its game shows and children's programming, tends to center on Israel. A program called "The Spider's House" explores what Hezbollah sees as Israel's weaknesses; "In Spite of the Wounds" portrays as heroes men who were wounded fighting Israel in South Lebanon. On a game show entitled "The Viewer Is the Witness," contestants guess the names of prominent Israeli politicians and military figures, who are played by Lebanese actors. Al Manar also has a weekly program called "Terrorists."

Avi Jorisch, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a pro-Israel think tank, who is writing a book about Al Manar, has visited the station and watched several hundred hours of its programming. The show "Terrorists," he told me, airs vintage footage of what it terms "Zionist crimes," which include, by Hezbollah's definition, any Israeli action, offensive or defensive. According to Jorisch, Al Manar, with its estimated ten million viewers, is not as popular in the Arab world as Al Jazeera, although he noted that Arab viewership is not audited. He said that his Lebanese sources credit Al Manar as the second most popular station among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. (Al Manar can be received in the United States via satellite.)

Al Manar regularly airs raw footage of violence in the occupied territories, and it will break into its programming with what one Al Manar official called "patriotic music videos" to announce Palestinian attacks and applaud the killing of Israelis. When I visited the station, the videos were being produced in a basement editing room by a young man named Firas Mansour. Al Manar has modern equipment, and the day I was there Mansour, who was in charge of mixing the videos, was working on a Windows-based editing suite. Mansour is in his late twenties, and he was dressed in hip-hop style. His hair was gelled, and he wore a gold chain, a heavy silver bracelet, and a goatee. He spoke colloquial American English. I asked him where he learned it. "Boston," he said.

Mansour showed me some recent footage from the West Bank, of Israeli soldiers firing on Palestinians. Accompanying the video was a Hezbollah fighting song. "What I'm doing is synchronizing the gunshots to form the downbeat of the song," he told me. "This is my technique. I thought of it." He had come up with a title: "I'm going to call it 'Death to Israel.' " Mansour said that he can produce two or three videos on a good day. "What I do is, first, I try to feel the music. Then I find the pictures to go along with it." He pulled up another video, this one almost ready to air. "Try and see if you could figure out the theme of this one," he said.

The video began with Israeli soldiers firing on Palestinians. Then the screen filled with pictures of Palestinians carrying the wounded to ambulances, followed by an angry funeral scene. Suddenly, the scene shifted to Israelis under fire. An Israeli soldier was on the ground, rocking back and forth, next to a burning jeep; this was followed by scenes of Jewish funerals, with coffins draped in the Israeli flag being lowered into graves.

Mansour pressed a button, and the images disappeared from the screen. "The idea is that even if the Jews are killing us we can still kill them. That we derive our power from blood. It's saying, 'Get ready to blow yourselves up, because this is the only way to liberate Palestine.' '' The video, he said, would be shown after the next attack in Israel. He said he was thinking of calling it "We Will Kill All the Jews." I suggested that these videos would encourage the recruitment of suicide bombers among the Palestinians. "Exactly," he replied.



The anti-Semitism of the Middle East groups that oppose Israel's right to exist often seems instrumental?anti-Jewish stereotypes are another weapon in the anti-Israeli armamentarium. The rhetoric is repellent, but in the past it did not quite touch the malignancy of genocidal anti-Semitism. The language has changed, however. In April, in a sermon delivered in the Gaza Strip, Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi, a Palestinian Authority imam, said, "Oh, Allah, accept our martyrs in the highest Heaven. Oh, Allah, show the Jews a black day. Oh, Allah, annihilate the Jews and their supporters." (The translation was made by the Middle East Media Research Institute.) In Saudi Arabia, where anti-Semitism permeates the newspapers and the mosques, the imam of the Al Harram mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Abd al-Rahman alSudais, recently declared, "Read history and you will understand that the Jews of yesterday are the evil forefathers of the even more evil Jews of today: infidels, falsifiers of words, calf worshippers, prophet murderers, deniers of prophecies . . . the scum of the human race, accursed by Allah." Hezbollah has been at the vanguard of this shift toward frank anti-Semitism, and its leaders frequently resort to epidemiological metaphors in describing the role of Jews in world affairs. Ibrahim Mussawi, the urbane and scholarly-seeming director of English-language news at Al Manar, called Jews "a lesion on the forehead of history." A biochemist named Hussein Haj Hassan, a Hezbollah official who represents Baalbek in the Lebanese parliament, told me that he is not anti-Semitic, but he has noticed that the Jews are a pan-national group "that functions in a way that lets them act as parasites in the nations that have given them shelter."

The Middle East scholar Martin Kramer, a biographer of Sayyid Muhammad Fadlallah, told me that he has sensed a shift in hard-line Shiite thinking in the past twenty years. In the first burst of revolution in Iran, the United States was cast by Ayatollah Khomeini and his allies as the "Great Satan." Israel occupied the role of "Little Satan." This has been reversed, Kramer said. Today, Shiite authorities in Lebanon view America as one more tool of the Jews, who have achieved covert world domination. President Mohammad Khatami of Iran, who is often described as a reformer, last year called Israel "a parasite in the heart of the Muslim world."

There are bitter feelings, to be sure, about Israel's invasion of Lebanon, about Israel's treatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories, about the Israeli Air Force's not infrequent patrols in the skies over Beirut. But even some cosmopolitan Beirutis I met, Christians as well as Muslims, seemed surprisingly open to anti-Jewish propaganda?for instance, that the World Trade Center was destroyed by Jews.



A young Shiite scholar named Amal Saad-Ghorayeb has advanced what in Lebanon is a controversial argument: that Hezbollah is not merely anti-Israel but deeply, theologically anti-Jewish. Her new book, "Hezbollah: Politics & Religion," dissects the anti-Jewish roots of Hezbollah ideology. Hezbollah, she argues, believes that Jews, by the nature of Judaism, possess fatal character flaws.

I met Saad-Ghorayeb one afternoon in a caf? near the Lebanese American University, where she is an assistant professor. She was wearing an orange spaghetti-strap tank top, a knee-length skirt, and silver hoop earrings. She is thirty years old and married, and has a four-year-old daughter. Her father, Abdo Saad, is a prominent Shiite pollster; her mother is Christian.

Saad-Ghorayeb calls Israel "an aberration, a colonialist state that embraces its victimhood in order to displace another people." Yet her opposition to anti-Semitism seemed sincere, as when she described the anti-Jewish feeling that underlies Hezbollah's ideology. "There is a real antipathy to Jews as Jews," she said. "It is exacerbated by Zionism, but it existed before Zionism." She observed that Hezbollah, like many other Arab groups, is in the thrall of a belief system that she called "moral utilitarianism." Hezbollah, in other words, will find the religious justification for an act as long as the act is useful. "For the Arabs, the end often justifies the means, even if the means are dubious," she said. "If it works, it's moral."

In her book, she argues that Hezbollah's Koranic reading of Jewish history has led its leaders to believe that Jewish theology is evil. She criticizes the scholar Bernard Lewis for downplaying the depth of traditional Islamic antiJudaism, especially when compared with Christian anti-Semitism. "Lewis commits the . . . grave error of depicting traditional Islam as more tolerant of Jews . . . thereby implying that Zionism was the cause of Arab-Islamic anti-Semitism," she writes.

Saad-Ghorayeb is hesitant to label Hezbollah's outlook anti-Semitism, however. She prefers the term "antiJudaism," since in her terms anti-Semitism is a race-based hatred, while anti-Judaism is religion-based. Hezbollah, she says, tries to mask its antiJudaism for "public-relations reasons," but she argues that a study of its language, spoken and written, reveals an underlying truth. She quoted from a speech delivered by Hassan Nasrallah, in which he said, "If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli." To Saad-Ghorayeb, this statement "provides moral justification and ideological justification for dehumanizing the Jews." In this view, she went on, "the Israeli Jew becomes a legitimate target for extermination. And it also legitimatizes attacks on non-Israeli Jews."

Larry Johnson, a former counterterrorism official in the Clinton State Department, once told me, "There's a fundamental view here of the Jew as subhuman. Hezbollah is the direct ideological heir of the Nazis." Saad-Ghorayeb disagrees. Nasrallah may skirt the line between racialist anti-Semitism and theological anti-Judaism, she said, but she argued that mainstream Hezbollah ideology provides the Jews with an obvious way to repair themselves in God's eyes: by converting to Islam.



IV?"THE LOGIC OF WAR"



One day near the end of my stay in Lebanon, I visited Sayyid Fadlallah, Hezbollah's spiritual leader, at his home in the Dahiya. Fadlallah, who is sixty-seven, is a surpassingly important figure in Shiism, inside and outside Lebanon. As many as twenty thousand people pray with him each Friday at a cavernous mosque near his home. He is a squat man with a white beard, and wears the black turban of the sayyid, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. Fadlallah has long denied any official role in Hezbollah. Some experts take him at his word; others believe that he is dissembling. However, intellectually Fadlallah has taken an independent course, and people close to him told me that he privately scorns Hezbollah's most important patron, Ayatollah Khamenei, as a mediocre thinker and cleric.

Several attempts have been made to assassinate Fadlallah. He believes that the C.I.A., working with Saudi Arabia, tried to kill him by setting off a bomb near his apartment building in 1985, an event cited in Bob Woodward's book "Veil: The Secret Wars of the C.I.A. 1981-1987," which, Fadlallah told me, he has read carefully and repeatedly. His offices are well guarded by men who have apparently been assigned to him by Hezbollah. My briefcase was taken from me for ten minutes and thoroughly searched by the guards. A man carrying a pistol sat in on our interview, along with three translators: Fadlallah's; mine (a Christian woman from East Beirut, who had been required to wear a chador for the occasion); and Abdo Saad, Amal Saad-Ghorayeb's father, who had arranged the interview.

Fadlallah entered the meeting room slowly and deliberately. He sat in a plush chair, the rest of us on couches near him. The room was lit with fluorescent light; as always, a picture of Khomeini stared down from the wall.

Fadlallah framed the core issues in political, not religious, terms. "The Israelis believe that after three thousand years they came back to Palestine," he said. "But can the American Indian come back to America after all this time? Can the Celts go back to Britain?" He said that he has no objection to Jewish statehood, but not at the expense of Palestinians. "The problem between Muslims and Jews has to do with security issues."

Like many Muslim clerics, he holds romantic, condescending, and contradictory views of the historic relationship between Jews and Muslims. He is aware that for hundreds of years, while Jews were persecuted and ostracized in Christian Europe, they were granted the status of protected inferiors by the caliphs, and subjected only to infrequent pogroms. Yet, despite his assertion that the dispute between Jews and Muslims was political, he made the theological observation that the Jews "never recognized Islam as a true religion." I asked him if he agreed with this passage from the Koran: "Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans." Yes, he said. "The Jews don't consider Islam to be a religion."

I tried to turn the conversation to Islamic beliefs?in particular, the rationale for suicide attacks. In the early nineteen-eighties, Fadlallah was accused of blessing the suicide bomber who destroyed the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, a charge that he heatedly denied to me. He pointed out that he was among the first Islamic clerics to condemn the September 11th attacks, though he blamed American foreign policy for creating the atmosphere that led to them. He has, however, endorsed attacks on Israeli civilians. Suicide, he said, is not an absolute value. It is an option left to a people who are without options, and so the act is no longer considered suicide but martyrdom in the name of self-defense. "This is part of the logic of war," he said.

On the killing of Israeli civilians, Fadlallah said, "In a state of war, it is permissible for Palestinians to kill Jews. When there is peace, this is not permissible." He does not believe in a peaceful settlement between two states, one Palestinian, the other Israeli; rather, he favors the disappearance of Israel.

I thought about Saad-Ghorayeb's argument that many in Hezbollah consider all Jews guilty of conspiring against Islam, and I asked Fadlallah if it was permissible to kill Jews beyond the borders of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Hezbollah and its Iranian sponsors are considered by the governments of Israel, the United States, and Argentina to be responsible for the single deadliest anti-Semitic attack since the end of the Second World War: the suicide truck-bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, in 1994, which left more than a hundred people dead. As in the case of other accusations of terrorism, Hezbollah and Iran say that they were not involved in the attack. "We are against the killing of Jews outside Palestine," Fadlallah said. "Unless they transfer the war outside Palestine." When I asked if they had, Fadlallah raised an eyebrow, and let the question go unanswered.



Major General Benny Gantz is the chief of the Israeli Army's Northern Command, which is responsible for defending Israel from Hezbollah and Syria and any other threats from the north. Until recently, Gantz was the commander of Israeli forces in the West Bank.

When we met this summer, at an airbase outside Tel Aviv, he seemed pleased to have left behind the moral and strategic ambiguities of service in the West Bank. Gantz is forty-three, tall, lean, and cynical. Much of his career has been spent dealing with the Lebanon question. Before serving in the West Bank, he was the top Israeli officer in Lebanon in the days leading up to the withdrawal. A helicopter was waiting to carry him north to the border after our meeting. Gantz is almost certain that he will soon wage war against Hezbollah and Syria. "I'll be surprised if we don't see this fight," he said.

The Israelis believe that in South Lebanon Hezbollah has more than eight thousand rockets, weapons that are far more sophisticated than any previously seen in the group's arsenal. They include the Iranian-made Fajr-5 rocket, which has a range of up to forty-five miles, meaning that Israel's industrial heartland, in the area south of Haifa, falls within Hezbollah's reach. One intelligence official put it this way: "It's not tenable for us to have a jihadist organization on our border with the capability of destroying Israel's main oil refinery."

Hezbollah officials told me that they possessed no rockets whatsoever. But one reporter who has covered Hezbollah and the South for several years said he believes that Hezbollah has established a "balance of terror" along the border. The reporter, Nicholas Blanford, of the Beirut English-language newspaper the Daily Star, said that he is "pretty certain" that Hezbollah has "extensive weaponry down there, stashed away." He added, "Their refrain is, we're ready for all eventualities."

Blanford, who has good sources in the Hezbollah leadership, said, "They seem to be convinced that sooner or later there's going to be an Israeli-Arab conflict. In the long term, Israel cannot put up with this threat from Hezbollah." It seems clear that in ordinary times Israel would already have moved against Hezbollah. But these are not ordinary times. Intelligence officials told me that Israel cannot act pre?mptively against Hezbollah while America is trying to shore up Arab support for, or acquiescence in, a campaign to overthrow Saddam Hussein. To do otherwise would be to risk angering the Bush Administration, which needs Israel to show restraint. One Israeli Army officer I spoke to put it bluntly: "The day after the American attack, we can move."

Both Israel and the United States believe that, at the outset of an American campaign against Saddam, Iraq will fire missiles at Israel?perhaps with chemical or biological payloads?in order to provoke an Israeli conventional, or even nuclear, response. But Hezbollah, which is better situated than Iraq to do damage to Israel, might do Saddam's work itself, forcing Israel to retaliate, and crippling the American effort against an Arab state. Hezbollah is not known to possess unconventional payloads for its missiles, though its state sponsors, Iran and Syria, maintain extensive biological- and chemical-weapons programs.

If Hezbollah wants to provoke Israel, it has other options. Early this year, it tried to smuggle fifty tons of heavy Iranian weapons?including mines, mortars, and missiles?to the Palestinian Authority aboard a ship called the Karine A. The Israeli Navy seized the ship in the Red Sea. Intelligence officials believe that the operation was under the control of a deputy of Imad Mugniyah, the Hezbollah security operative. According to a story in the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat, King Abdullah of Jordan told American officials that Iran was behind attempts to launch at least seventeen rockets at Israeli targets from Jordanian territory. Hezbollah, meanwhile, is working with Palestinian groups, including Islamic Jihad, which, like Hezbollah, is sponsored by Iran, and which, like Hezbollah, is searching for the means to deliver a serious blow to Israel.



There is no affection for Saddam Hussein among the ruling mullahs in Iran, which lost a vicious war to Iraq in the nineteen-eighties, with hundreds of thousands of Iranians dead; or in the office of President Bashar al-Assad, in Syria. But some American analysts think that both regimes are alarmed by the prospect of Saddam's overthrow. Dennis Ross, the Clinton Administration's Middle East envoy, told me that American success against Iraq would legitimatize American-led "regime change" in the Middle East. It would also leave Iran surrounded by pro-American governments, in Kabul, Baghdad, and Istanbul. "They see encirclement," Ross said. "This explains the incredible flow of weaponry to Hezbollah after Israel left Lebanon."

Ross said that Bashar al-Assad's interest in forestalling an American attack on Iraq by igniting an Arab-Israeli war is more subtle, but still present. "Bashar realizes that if we go ahead and do this in Iraq he runs an enormous risk" by continuing to support terrorist organizations. The State Department lists Syria as a sponsor of terror. Ross also believes that Bashar, unlike his late father, is not thoughtful enough to grasp the cost of a war with Israel. "He still thinks that Israel will stay within certain boundaries," Ross said. "He needs to hear from us that, if he provokes a war, don't expect us to come to your rescue. He's playing with fire." Indeed, in April this year the Bush Administration had to intervene with Syria to halt Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israel.

General Gantz told me that if Hezbollah uses rockets against Israel his forces will be hunting Syrians as well as Lebanese Shiites. Lebanon may be the battlefield, he said, but the twenty thousand Syrian soldiers in Lebanon will be fair targets. "Israel doesn't have to deal with Hezbollah as Hezbollah," he continued. "This is the Hezbollah tail wagging the Syrian dog. As far as I'm concerned, Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese and Syrian forces. Syria will pay the price. I'm not saying when or where. But it will be severe."

The Syrian Army, which used to have the Soviet Union as its patron, is no match for Israel, Gantz said. "I think the Syrians can create a few problems for us. But it's very hard to see in what way they're better than us. I just don't know how Bashar is going to rebuild his army after this. Assad, the father, was a smart guy. He knew how to walk a tightrope. His son is trying to dance on it."



In conversations with people in Beirut, and especially in the Christian areas to the city's north, I found great anxiety about an Israeli counterstrike against Lebanon. Hezbollah understands that the Lebanese have grown used to peace, and that they fear an Israeli attack; many Lebanese would hold Hezbollah responsible for the devastation caused by an Israeli attack. Among some of Lebanon's religious groups, particularly the Maronite Christians and the Druze, there is a feeling that the Syrians have overstayed their welcome in the country. These groups fear Hezbollah, too, but they do not express it; after all, Hezbollah is the only militia that is still armed, long after the end of the civil war.

Israel's foreign minister, Shimon Peres, mentioned these constraints when I spoke to him recently. "Hezbollah must not appear to be the destroyer of Lebanon," he said. Peres noted, however, that Hezbollah is an organization devoted to jihad, not to logic. "These are religious people. With the religious you can hardly negotiate. They think they have supreme permission to kill people and go to war. This is their nature."

When I met with Prime Minister Hariri, he alluded to some of these worries. Hariri, a Sunni, is a billionaire builder who made most of his money in Saudi Arabia. We spoke in a building that he constructed in Beirut, with his own money, to serve as his "palace"; it seems to be modelled on a Ritz-Carlton hotel. Hariri has tense relations with Hezbollah, which has accused him of trying to thwart development in poor Shiite areas. Hariri understands that Israel will make the Lebanese people suffer for any attacks that are launched from Lebanese territory. He loathes and fears Ariel Sharon, and said to me that Sharon was "no different" from Hitler in his belief "in racial purity." The people of southern Lebanon do not want the Israelis provoked, Hariri said. "Look around the South," he said. "Look at all the building."

In recent weeks, the borderland has become even more unstable. An Israeli soldier was killed last month when Hezbollah fired on an Israeli outpost in Shebaa; and the Lebanese government, with the endorsement of Hezbollah, announced plans to divert water that would otherwise be carried by the Hatsbani River into Israel. Israel has said that it will not allow Lebanon to curtail its water supply. General Gantz assumes that internal political considerations will not trump its desire for jihad. As he prepared to board his helicopter and fly to the border, he said, "I was the last officer to leave Lebanon, and maybe I'll be the first one to return."

(This is the first part of a two-part article.)



 




IN THE PARTY OF GOD
by JEFFREY GOLDBERG
Hezbollah sets up operations in South America and the United States.
Issue of 2002-10-28
Posted 2002-10-21

 


The patrol boat, a Boston Whaler, was worn at its edges, and it was pocked with bullet holes along its starboard side. It had a four-man crew, officers of the Brazilian Federal Police. They carried AK-47s and side arms, and they wore jeans, sunglasses, and bulletproof vests, which made them sweat. The patrol chief steered the boat into the middle of the Paran? River?half a mile wide, muddy, and sluggish. He opened up the boat's two Suzuki engines, and as we moved north the outskirts of the Brazilian city of Foz do Igua?u came into view on the right; on the opposite side was the Paraguayan jungle, where smoke from cooking fires rose above the tree line. The chief, who was worried about snipers, kept the boat moving fast. He pointed to a series of chutes, dug out from the banks on the Paraguayan side, down which drug smugglers move bales of marijuana to the river.

A decaying iron bridge, the International Friendship Bridge, connects Foz do Igua?u to its Paraguayan sister city, Ciudad del Este, the City of the East. Ciudad del Este is at the heart of the zone known as the Triple Frontier, the point where Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina meet, which has served for nearly thirty years as a hospitable base of operations for smugglers, counterfeiters, and tax dodgers. The Triple Frontier has earned its reputation as one of the most lawless places in the world. Now, it is believed, the Frontier is also the center of Middle Eastern terrorism in South America.
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Bowser
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Posts: 21


WW3
« Reply #312 on: July 23, 2006, 03:10:05 AM »

Quote from: ppulatie
What is Balintawak?

And what do you believe in regards to Iraq and Israel with Lebanon? It will clarify things for us here.

A higher consciousness when it comes to the War on Terror means nothing to me. Unless it is the recognition that we are in the fight of our live and for our lives.


Hi Ppulatie,

I practice Balintawak Escrima as taught by Bobby Taboada:

 http://www.worldbalintawak.com/vidclips.html

 http://www.worldbalintawak.com

Regarding Higher consciousness, it is the goal of the Dog brothers is it not?

Regarding the war on terror, I believe that the best way to fight it is quite simply by fearing nothing.


.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #313 on: July 23, 2006, 08:10:29 AM »

B;

Fearing nothing, specifically what do you suggest should be our course of action?  What should Israel's course of action be?

All:
 
I see that the extreme length of my post last night overwhelmed things.  Here's Part Two.




IN THE PARTY OF GOD
by JEFFREY GOLDBERG
Hezbollah sets up operations in South America and the United States.
Issue of 2002-10-28
Posted 2002-10-21

 


The patrol boat, a Boston Whaler, was worn at its edges, and it was pocked with bullet holes along its starboard side. It had a four-man crew, officers of the Brazilian Federal Police. They carried AK-47s and side arms, and they wore jeans, sunglasses, and bulletproof vests, which made them sweat. The patrol chief steered the boat into the middle of the Paran? River?half a mile wide, muddy, and sluggish. He opened up the boat's two Suzuki engines, and as we moved north the outskirts of the Brazilian city of Foz do Igua?u came into view on the right; on the opposite side was the Paraguayan jungle, where smoke from cooking fires rose above the tree line. The chief, who was worried about snipers, kept the boat moving fast. He pointed to a series of chutes, dug out from the banks on the Paraguayan side, down which drug smugglers move bales of marijuana to the river.

A decaying iron bridge, the International Friendship Bridge, connects Foz do Igua?u to its Paraguayan sister city, Ciudad del Este, the City of the East. Ciudad del Este is at the heart of the zone known as the Triple Frontier, the point where Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina meet, which has served for nearly thirty years as a hospitable base of operations for smugglers, counterfeiters, and tax dodgers. The Triple Frontier has earned its reputation as one of the most lawless places in the world. Now, it is believed, the Frontier is also the center of Middle Eastern terrorism in South America.

From the boat, we could see that the traffic above us on the bridge was at a standstill. Between twenty and twenty-five thousand people cross the bridge each day, Brazilian police officials said. Pedestrians, many carrying huge packages, follow a narrow walkway that runs along the bridge's outer edge; motorcyclists maneuver among trucks and buses. From the river, one sees only a jumble of towers clustered near the edge of Ciudad del Este, and the men on the patrol looked that way with distaste. "It's filthy and disgusting," the chief said. "Everything there is illegal." And the local police? The men smiled, and the chief said, "They do what they do, and we do what we do."

The chief explained that the underworld of Ciudad del Este is dominated by Asian and Middle Eastern mobsters. Many of them prefer to float contraband across the river rather than use the bridge, but the men caught smuggling are invariably poor Paraguayans. As he spoke, we passed, on the Paraguayan shore, a group of shirtless men, who stared at the boat. "They're just waiting for us to leave the river," the chief said. "Then they'll start across." The sun by now was setting, and the police seldom patrol at night. It would be too dangerous, the chief said.

The men on the boat were all residents of Foz do Igua?u?Foz, as it is usually called?an orderly city that employs street sweepers and traffic police. I asked them if they ever visited Ciudad del Este. One said that he used to go for the shopping. Much of Ciudad del Este is built around vast, canyonlike shopping malls. The better malls sell legitimately acquired products at discounted prices, and the rougher ones specialize in stolen and pirated goods.

Roughly two hundred thousand people live in the Ciudad del Este region, including a substantial minority of Arab Muslims; in the Triple Frontier zone, there may be as many as thirty thousand. According to intelligence officials in the region and in Washington, this Muslim community has in its midst a hard core of terrorists, many of them associated with Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite group backed by the Iranian government; some with Hamas, the Palestinian fundamentalist group; and some with Al Qaeda. It is, over all, a community under the influence of extreme Islamic beliefs; intelligence officials told me that some of the Triple Frontier Arabs held celebrations on September 11th of last year and also on the anniversary this year. These officials said that Hezbollah runs weekend training camps on farms cut out of the rain forest of the Triple Frontier. In at least one of these camps, in the remote jungle terrain near Foz do Igua?u, young adults get weapons training and children are indoctrinated in Hezbollah ideology?a mixture of anti-American and anti-Jewish views inspired by Ayatollah Khomeini.

In the Triple Frontier, Hezbollah raises money from legitimate businesses but, more frequently, from illicit activities, ranging from drug smuggling to the pirating of compact disks. Unlike the other radical Islamic groups in the Triple Frontier, Hezbollah, it is said, has the capability to commit acts of terror.



A billboard advertising the services of the Kamikaze Tour Company stands near the Foz do Igua?u entrance to the International Friendship Bridge. It is faster to walk the half-mile span than to drive, and so I joined a line of Guaran? Indians and Brazilian traders who had assembled one morning under a sign on the Foz side that read, "You Are the Strong Ones, Not the Drugs." A Brazilian police helicopter circled overhead.

In Ciudad del Este, there is an immediate sense of heat and claustrophobic closeness. The streets, jammed with people and worked by watch sellers and money changers, give way to alleys, and the alleys open up onto strips of badly built shops. The smallest shops, some barely six feet by six feet, are called lojas, and are crammed with in-line skates and cellular telephones and pharmaceuticals?almost anything that could fall off a truck. Guaran? women sit on the ground, drinking mat? through metal straws. The sidewalks are dense with stands selling sunglasses and perfume, and with tables of pornographic videos. Marijuana is sold openly; so are pirated CDs. The music of Eminem came from one shop; from another, there were sounds familiar to me from South Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley?martial Hezbollah music. I bought a cassette recording of the speeches of Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader.

In a shop called Caza y Pesca Monday, or the Monday Hunting and Fishing Store, the owner offered to sell me an AK-47 rifle for three hundred and seventy dollars. For an extra thirty dollars, he said, he could have it smuggled to my hotel in Brazil. I asked whether it was possible to acquire explosives. He said it would be more difficult, though not impossible. The cost of smuggling them would be significantly more than thirty dollars.

A few blocks from the center of town, the Mosque of the Prophet Muhammad occupies the first three floors of an unfinished fourteen-story apartment house. The building is painted green and white and topped by an oversized crescent and star, the symbols of Islam. When I arrived, the mosque was opening for afternoon prayers, and I was introduced to Muhammad Youssef Abdallah, who owns the building and built the mosque. Abdallah, a short, round, voluble man in his fifties, is an immigrant from a village in South Lebanon, near the Israeli border.

He told me that he came to the Triple Frontier more than twenty years ago, in a wave of Lebanese immigrants who had discovered a part of South America that welcomed international traders. Like most Lebanese businessmen in Ciudad del Este, he lives in the more orderly climate of Foz do Igua?u. He also has a farm outside Foz. For many years, he said, he owned one of the malls in Ciudad del Este, but now he devotes his time to the propagation of the faith. He invited me into his office, on the second floor of the mosque. On the wall was a portrait of Sayyid Muhammad Hussayn Fadlallah, the spiritual leader of Hezbollah; on a shelf was a gun.

I told Abdallah that, a month earlier, I had interviewed Fadlallah in his home in the southern suburbs of Beirut, the Hezbollah stronghold. He asked if I knew his cousin, Hani Abdallah, Fadlallah's spokesman, and seemed pleased when I said yes. In 1994, according to Paraguayan intelligence officials, Fadlallah travelled undercover to Ciudad del Este, on an Iranian passport, in order to bless the mosque. Abdallah was quick to say that Fadlallah plays no official role in the work of Hezbollah?that he is merely a spiritual adviser to poor Shiites throughout the world. Fadlallah and his followers said much the same thing when we met in Lebanon.

Abdallah, who has never been charged with any wrongdoing, was circumspect in describing his activities. "If you touch on Hezbollah, you get a shock," he told me, and added that charges sometimes levelled in the press against the Muslims of the Triple Frontier are untrue. "We are not involved in terrorism," he said. Many of the Muslims who once worshipped in the mosque are afraid to visit now, he said, believing that it is under surveillance by Israel and the United States. Abdallah insisted that he himself had no connection to Hezbollah, but he conceded that, like other Lebanese businessmen, he had given money to the group. "Five years ago, people were expected to give twenty per cent of their income," he said.

I asked him what he meant by "expected."

"Right, expected," he replied. A look of helplessness crossed his face. "What are people supposed to do?" he asked.

Abdallah would not elaborate, but, according to South American investigators and two Lebanese who once worked in the Triple Frontier, such donations were made under duress. At the beginning of each month, they said, a Hezbollah official named Sobhi Fayad or one of his associates would visit shops owned by Lebanese immigrants?Shiites, but also Sunni Muslims and Christians. The shop owner would be handed a certificate thanking him for the support he had provided to various Hezbollah-run charitable groups. A dollar amount would be written on each certificate?a South American investigator showed me one with the figure ten thousand dollars?and the shop owner would be expected to pay that sum. After that, the certificate would be put in his shopwindow?and no more "donations" would be sought for the remainder of the month. Otherwise, the shop owner would be warned, and then his relatives in Lebanon would be warned, that if they didn't comply Hezbollah would spread rumors about them. "People would be told that they are spies for Israel," one South American investigator told me. Some were beaten. "It's a very effective system," the investigator said.

The Fayad operation was expert in laundering money. According to intelligence documents provided to me by regional investigators, Hezbollah has used traders from India to move money from Paraguay to the Middle East. The documents referred to an Indian named Rajkumar Naraindas Sabnani, who does business in the Triple Frontier and in Hong Kong; investigators allege that he arranged to ship goods to Paraguay, receiving payment far in excess of their value. After subtracting his own fee and paying for the actual goods, Sabnani wired the surplus to banks in the United States or in Lebanon. Sabnani is believed to be currently in Hong Kong.

Abdallah, the founder of the Prophet Muhammad mosque, says that people in the Triple Frontier are giving less these days, because the region's economy is in very poor shape. But investigators in South America and experts on the group nevertheless believe that the amount raised in South America over the years is in the tens of millions of dollars; according to one Paraguayan official, two years ago Hezbollah raised twelve million dollars in the Triple Frontier. Hezbollah's annual budget is more than a hundred million dollars, provided by the Iranian government directly and by an international network of fund-raisers.

Besides Sobhi Fayad, several other figures in the Triple Frontier's Arab community play important roles in raising money for Hezbollah. One of the most notorious is a fugitive: Ali Khalil Mehri, a man considered by Paraguayan authorities to be a leading distributor of pirated compact disks. According to Paraguayan investigators, Mehri left for S?o Paulo, Brazil, then moved on to Europe and, finally, to Lebanon, where he is today. Sobhi Fayad is in jail in Asunci?n, the Paraguayan capital, awaiting trial on tax charges and on charges of associating with a criminal organization. Paraguay has no anti-terror law, and so it is not illegal to donate money to terrorist groups, as it is in the United States. "It's exactly the same as Al Capone," one investigator told me. "You have to get them on tax evasion."

In the days following September 11th of last year, the Paraguayans arrested twenty-three people in the region of Ciudad del Este and in southern Paraguay on suspicion of involvement with Hezbollah or other organizations. But Carlos Altemburger, the chief of the Paraguayan Secretariat for the Prevention and Investigation of Terrorism, told me that most of these detainees have been released and many have left the country. Even though the Paraguayan government is considered among the most corrupt in South America, the terrorism secretariat is thought by American officials to be free of corruption. Altemburger told me that he would like the government to impose strict controls on the border region, which would make it more difficult for Hezbollah members who live in Brazil to travel so freely into Paraguay. His requests, he said diplomatically, are still being weighed by the government.



The openness of the borders in the Triple Frontier, as much as its free-for-all ethos, makes the region particularly inviting for terrorists. (When I ran into a bureaucratic problem entering Paraguay, I was advised to sneak in by riding a motorcycle with Brazilian plates, and wearing a helmet to disguise my face. It worked perfectly.) The open borders provide politicians and senior law-enforcement officials of the three nations with a ready excuse for the presence of terrorists in cities under their nominal control.

Joaquim Mesquita, the chief of the Brazilian Federal Police in Foz do Igua?u, dismissed the idea that his third of the Triple Frontier was a haven for terrorists. "We have a marijuana problem, and cigarette smuggling," he said. But, he continued, "we don't have any concrete evidence that this is a terrorist region." In Asunci?n, I met with the interior minister, a former chief of the national police named V?ctor Hermoza. "Most of the Arabs live on the Brazil side, I should point out," Hermoza said, and added, "Anyway, the Arabs are all moving to Chile."

Hermoza, who has an open, friendly face, insists that his country is doing everything it can to aid the American war on terror. In fact, he said, with a suggestion of pride, he takes his orders from American diplomats. "The national police cannot do anything without the American Embassy," he said. "We rely on their intelligence."

We met in his office at the Interior Ministry, in downtown Asunci?n. Paraguay is small and poor, and perhaps best known for the longtime rule of Alfredo Stroessner, who made the country a hideout for Nazi fugitives, including Josef Mengele. Crime is rising, and the economy has been badly hurt by the collapses in Brazil and Argentina. Some Paraguayans have taken to spray-painting walls with the slogan "Stroessner Vuelve!," or "Stroessner Will Return!" Stroessner was deposed in 1989, and now, at the age of eighty-nine, lives in exile in Brazil.

Hermoza, who began his career during Stroessner's regime, suggests that the country is no different from its neighbors. "There's corruption in all three of the countries" that share the Triple Frontier, he said. "Even America has corruption. That's why you have internalaffairs departments in your police."

I asked Hermoza why the Interior Ministry didn't institute more stringent border controls. He listened to the story of my own illegal crossing, and said, "You're probably going to have to pay an extra fee at the airport." He did not seem bothered by the fact that a foreigner could sneak into his country by hiding inside a motorcycle helmet, but he said that he had raised the question of bridge security with local officials recently when he visited Ciudad del Este. "They showed me why they couldn't do it," he said. "They started to check cars, and within four or five minutes there was a line that was as long as the bridge." Economic considerations would outweigh security needs for the time being.



Like Hezbollah, Al Qaeda does considerable fund-raising in Ciudad del Este, investigators told me, and they named the Al Qaeda point men as Ali Nizar Dahroug and his uncle. Ali Dahroug is in jail in Ciudad del Este awaiting trial on tax-evasion charges; his uncle is a fugitive. The Dahrougs came to the attention of local investigators when the uncle's name was found in an address book belonging to the highest-ranking Al Qaeda official to be captured so far by the United States, Abu Zubaydah. According to investigators and intelligence files, Ali Dahroug owned a small perfume shop in Ciudad del Este. The entire enterprise was worth no more than two thousand dollars, so investigators were startled to learn that he was wiring as much as eighty thousand dollars each month to banks in the United States, the Middle East, and Europe. Hamas's chief fund-raiser in the Triple Frontier is Ayman Ghotme, who collected funds for the Holy Land Foundation, a Texas-based organization that sent money to Hamas but was closed down by American officials after September 11th. Ghotme lives in S?o Paulo, according to investigators. But the dominant terror group in the region is Hezbollah, and its ability to carry out terror operations in South America, investigators say, is due to one man: Imad Mugniyah.

Until September 11th of last year, Mugniyah was considered by American officials to be the world's most dangerous terrorist, and many terrorism experts still believe this to be true. For a decade, the American and Israeli governments have made repeated attempts to capture or kill him. The Israeli Air Force, which frequently dispatches fighter jets across Lebanon, has equipped many of its airplanes with advanced signal intelligence "packages," and it uses these to track his whereabouts. Several years ago, the Israelis killed Mugniyah's brother, and allegedly set a trap for Mugniyah at the funeral, but he didn't appear. Some believe that he has had plastic surgery, and that, in recent years, he has not moved beyond Lebanon and Iran, for fear of capture. Sources told me that Mugniyah will not even travel through the Beirut airport, believing that paramilitary officers commanded by the C.I.A.'s Counterterrorist Center have the airport under permanent surveillance.

Mugniyah's operation?known as the external security apparatus?is Hezbollah's most lethal weapon. It is commonly believed that Mugniyah is behind nearly every major act of terrorism that has been staged by Hezbollah during the last two decades; he is thought to have agents not only in South America but in Europe, Southeast Asia, West Africa, and even the United States. His operatives in the Triple Frontier include Assad Ahmad Barakat, an important fund-raiser for Hezbollah. (Paraguayan police discovered a letter in which Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, thanked Barakat for his efforts on behalf of children orphaned when their fathers became suicide bombers.) Terrorism experts say that Ali Kassam, who runs a Shiite religious center in Foz, is a close contact of Mugniyah's as well, and so is a sheikh named Bilal Mohsen Wehbi, a Lebanese who was trained in Iran, and who reports to the Iranian Cultural Affairs Ministry. The Ministry often provides diplomatic cover for both Hezbollah operatives and Iranian intelligence agents. It is believed that Mugniyah takes orders from the office of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, but that he reports to a man named Ghassem Soleimani, the chief of a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps called Al Quds, or the Jerusalem Force?the arm of the Iranian government responsible for sponsoring terror attacks on Israeli targets.

Mugniyah is believed to have established European cells; in the nineteen-eighties, he recruited operatives in France and Germany. In South America, his reach goes beyond the Triple Frontier. A cell in Incarnaci?n, a city south of Ciudad del Este, was run until recently by a man named Karim Diab; a regional investigator said that Diab has been sent to Angola to start a Hezbollah cell there.



Unlike Osama bin Laden, Mugniyah does not give interviews or issue statements on the Arab satellite channel Al Jazeera. There are only two known photographs of Mugniyah, and even these have been called into question. He is believed to have been born in the Lebanese village of Tir Dibba, near Tyre, on July 12, 1962, into a prominent family; his father, Sheikh Muhammad Jawad Mugniyah, is thought to have been a Shiite scholar. According to Robert Baer, an ex-C.I.A. officer who spent a good part of his career tracking Mugniyah, even the basic details of his childhood are unknown to intelligence services. "Mugniyah systematically had all traces of himself removed," Baer says. "He erased himself. He had his records removed from high school, and his passport application was stolen. There are no civil records in Lebanon with his name in them."

By his middle teens, Mugniyah was a gun-carrying foot soldier in the Lebanese civil war, which began in 1975. He received his early training not with his fellow-Shiites, who were then unarmed and not very radicalized, but with Yasir Arafat and the Fatah movement of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Until 1982, when Arafat was expelled from Lebanon as a result of the Israeli invasion, his power was concentrated in South Lebanon, along the border with Israel, much as Hezbollah's is today. Fatah maintained training camps not only for Palestinians but for members of other, international terror groups as well. Many of the Iranian Shiites who later overthrew the Shah were trained there.

Mugniyah became a member of Arafat's personal bodyguard unit, Force 17. (It still exists in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.) In the early nineteen-eighties, after the P.L.O.'s departure from Lebanon, Mugniyah became a bodyguard for Sayyid Muhammad Fadlallah, Hezbollah's spiritual leader. Then, suddenly, according to Baer and another intelligence source, Mugniyah appeared, along with Hassan Nasrallah, as a central figure in the Islamic Jihad Organization, one of the names under which Hezbollah operated when, in the early eighties, it was still a clandestine group. The first major act of terrorism attributed to Mugniyah was the April, 1983, bombing of the United States Embassy in Beirut. Sixty-three people died, including six C.I.A. officers. It is believed that Mugniyah was involved in the simultaneous bombings, six months later, of the Marine barracks in Beirut, in which two hundred and forty-one died, and the French military barracks, a short distance away, in which fifty-eight died. Mugniyah is also thought to have been behind much of the hostage-taking in Lebanon in the mid-eighties, and some reports claim that he was personally involved in the torture of William Buckley, the C.I.A. Beirut station chief, who died in Hezbollah captivity. He has also been tied to the Khobar Towers bombing, in Saudi Arabia, six years ago, in which nineteen American servicemen were killed.

In 1985, two of Mugniyah's men hijacked a T.W.A. airplane, a Boeing 727, on a scheduled run between Athens and Rome. Almost immediately after seizing control, the hijackers, Hassan Izz-al-Din and Muhammad Ali Hamadi, began searching the plane for American servicemen. They soon discovered a group of Navy divers and a thirty-eight-year-old Army Reserve major named Kurt Carlson.

The hijackers were demanding the release of Shiite prisoners in Kuwait and more than seven hundred Shiite prisoners in Israel. Their behavior was erratic; they forced the plane to land in Beirut, then go to Algiers, and then fly back to Beirut. In Beirut, Izz-al-Din and Hamadi executed one of the divers, Robert Stethem, and dumped his body on the airport tarmac.

Carlson today lives in Rockford, Illinois; he is a builder, a friendly, small-boned man, who talks easily about his experience. On the tarmac in Algiers, Carlson said, Hamadi would preach the virtues of the Shiite revolution in Iran from the cockpit window to whoever happened to be listening below. "Every time Hamadi said the name Khomeini, Izz-al-Din would kick me in the back," Carlson said. Carlson was beaten steadily for several days, and his beatings intensified when the hijackers' demands for fuel weren't met. "They kept yelling, 'One American must die, one American must die,' " he said.

At one point, Carlson was dragged into the cockpit. "All of a sudden, I felt a blow, and I heard the captain yelling, 'They're beating and killing Americans! I need fuel!' Meanwhile, Hamadi was screaming in Arabic. He was hitting me with a steel pipe. When he got tired of hitting me with a pipe, he would drop-kick me two or three times. I wasn't making any sound, but I realized that the captain had kept the mike open, and that he wanted me to make sounds, to convince the tower to get us fuel. So I started grunting."

After the plane flew to Beirut the second time, American intelligence officials believe, Mugniyah boarded it; his fingerprints were reportedly identified in one of the bathrooms. American hostages were taken from the plane and dispersed around Beirut. Carlson, along with four of the surviving Navy divers, was put in the custody of the Shiite Amal militia, a less extreme radical group. The hostages were held in a basement, where they were subjected to mock executions and were fed intermittently.

"One day, we were told we had to speak to a visitor from Hezbollah," Carlson recalled. "They took us into another room. There was a bunch of guys there. One was a short guy with a beard. He just looked at us. The Amal guys who were our guards kept close to us. I felt like they were trying to protect us. This guy started asking us questions. Where we're from, what unit. All of a sudden, he let loose with a tirade. He spoke some English. I remember that his eyes were like glass. You could feel the hate coming out of him. He started screaming about the Israelis, how they're supported by the U.S. The Israelis were so bad they wouldn't consent to Red Cross visits to the Shiite prisoners. He was just screaming.

"One of the divers, Stuart Dahl, answered him," Carlson went on. "He said, 'If you believe in the rights of prisoners, you'll let the Red Cross see us.' This guy, the one who was screaming, just about fell over. He didn't expect anyone to answer him. They started talking among themselves, the Hezbollah guys. Now, there was the guy just behind the one who was screaming. I hadn't noticed him before. All of the Hezbollah guys turned to him. They spoke, and then he led them out of the room. I believe that that man was Imad Mugniyah." After seventeen days, Carlson and the remaining four Americans were freed.



Argentine police believe that Hezbollah worked in concert with its Iranian sponsors to bomb the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992, an attack that killed twenty-nine people. Investigators suspect that Mugniyah may have visited the Triple Frontier two years later, when Hezbollah allegedly planned the suicide bombing of the Argentine-Jewish Mutual Association, or Jewish community center, known by its Spanish acronym, AMIA. The attack on the AMIA building, the deadliest anti-Semitic attack since the end of the Second World War, killed eighty-five people. The bombing profoundly disturbed Jewish communities throughout Latin America, and forced Jewish leaders to turn their synagogues and community centers into virtual fortresses. There are approximately two hundred thousand Jews in Argentina?it is South America's largest Jewish community?and today, spurred by the worst economic crisis in the country's history, many are leaving for Israel.

Twenty men have been on trial since late September of last year on charges related to the bombing, but these men?all of them Argentines?are considered by investigators to be secondary players in the attack. Alberto Nisman, one of the prosecutors, believes that the bombing succeeded in part because of lax oversight by the Paraguayan and Brazilian governments; Argentine officials believe that key participants in the attack entered Argentina through the Triple Frontier. V?ctor Hermoza, the Paraguayan interior minister, was skeptical. "The bomb could have been built anywhere," he said, adding that he does not believe that Hezbollah maintains terror cells in Paraguay. But Hezbollah is so deeply rooted in the Triple Frontier that, one Paraguayan official said, he believes that the bomb was almost certainly built in the area of Ciudad del Este. "It's impossible to believe that it wasn't," he said. "People were absolutely free here to do whatever they wanted."

Argentine officials have openly accused Iran of involvement in the bombing, and they have accused Hezbollah of carrying it out (the court has identified the man believed to be the suicide bomber but his name has not yet been released). Four of the defendants are police officers, who are accused of collaborating with the bombers. Charges that the police force in Argentina harbors officers with anti-Semitic tendencies have circulated for years.

The trial is being held in an Art Deco-style theatre in the basement of a courthouse near the harbor of Buenos Aires. Heavy mauve drapes cover the walls, and bulletproof glass separates the spectators from the defendants. On the day that I visited, early this year, the building was watched by snipers in flak jackets and police on horseback. In the courtroom, a survivor of the bombing was describing what had happened when a white Renault van holding a six-hundred-pound bomb was driven into the seven-story AMIA building?and the explosion sheared off its front.



Earlier this year, it was disclosed that a man calling himself Abdolghassem Mesbahi, who claimed to be an Iranian intelligence official, had told investigators that former President Carlos Sa?l Menem of Argentina maintained close relations with Iran and took a ten-million-dollar bribe to cover up Iran's involvement in the bombing. Menem, who is of Syrian descent, has denied the charge. He hopes to run again for President.

Lawyers for the Jewish community have used Mesbahi's testimony, along with information gathered in Argentina and abroad, to construct a time line of activities leading up to the bombing. The head lawyer, Marta Nercellas, described to me a plot that was set in motion at 4:30 P.M. on August 14, 1993, in a Tehran office belonging to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence. According to the time line, the Ministry, with the involvement of the minister, Ali Fallahian, asked a team made up of Lebanese Hezbollah operatives and its own agents, many of whom worked under diplomatic cover, to plan the attack.

An important figure in the plot, according to Nercellas and other investigators, was Mohsen Rabbani, an Iranian who was appointed to the Buenos Aires Embassy as a cultural attach? just a few months before the bombing. Rabbani, who was barred from Argentina after evidence of his involvement began to emerge, is believed to have been a few blocks away from the AMIA building in the minutes before the attack.

Alberto Nisman hopes that information will come out during testimony that will allow Argentine authorities to pursue the actual conspirators, including Rabbani. But Nisman says that he is focussed on the man who they think orchestrated the bombing: Imad Mugniyah. Standing outside the courtroom during a recess, Nisman said, "Mugniyah would be the ultimate. That is our target."

Not only Mugniyah has eluded capture; so have his associates. Hamadi, the T.W.A. hijacker believed by Carlson to have shot Robert Stethem, was captured several years ago in Germany, and he is now in prison there, but Izz-al-Din is, like Mugniyah, thought to be in either Lebanon or Iran.

The United States has come close to arresting Mugniyah at least twice. In 1985, American intelligence learned that Mugniyah was in Paris. According to Duane Clarridge, a former chief of the C.I.A.'s Counterterrorist Center, the French refused to help, apparently because they were negotiating with Mugniyah for the release of French hostages in Lebanon. Several years later, American officials informed the Saudi government that Mugniyah was due to arrive in Saudi Arabia; in an effort to keep the United States from acting against Mugniyah on Saudi soil, the Saudis refused to let the plane land.

When I spoke to Hezbollah officials in Beirut, they denied knowing anything about Mugniyah; Hezbollah's allies call him a figment of the Israeli-influenced American imagination. Only one person in the Hezbollah orbit acknowledged even having heard of Mugniyah: the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a man named Ramadan Abdallah Shallah. Palestinian Islamic Jihad is closely allied with Hezbollah; both are on the payroll of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

In Damascus in February, I asked Shallah about Mugniyah and Hezbollah. Shallah is not unschooled in public relations. (Before becoming the leader of Islamic Jihad, he served as an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa.) He laughed when I asked about Mugniyah's current role in Hezbollah. "That's a name from history," he said, before summarily ending the conversation.

The Prime Minister of Lebanon, Rafiq Hariri, told me that Mugniyah was not in his country. But in Lebanon it is rumored that Mugniyah sits on the eight-member ruling council of Hezbollah and that he is active under various names, including Jawad Nour-al-Din. Intelligence officials, while unsure?or unwilling to talk?about Mugniyah's day-to-day operations, believe that he is in charge of Hezbollah's worldwide network of cells. They also say that in recent years he has paid more attention to operations inside Israel. For instance, in 1996 a man whose passport identified him as Andrew Jonathan Neumann nearly killed himself when a bomb he was preparing in an East Jerusalem hotel detonated prematurely. Neumann, Israeli investigators learned, was a Lebanese Shiite named Hussein Mohammad Mikdad, who told the Israelis that he had been sent to Israel by Mugniyah to blow up a civilian airliner.

Mugniyah's name came up early this year during the Karine-A affair, in which a ship loaded with Iranian weapons intended for the Palestinian Authority was intercepted by Israel in the Red Sea. Intelligence officials believe that Mugniyah helped organize the shipment, which suggests that he has maintained contacts with Yasir Arafat, his original employer.

Terrorism experts say that Mugniyah's organization is hard to penetrate because it is in certain ways a family business. Many of the men under his command?there are thought to be several hundred?are from one of three Lebanese Shiite clans, one of which is his, and another that of a brother-in-law, Mustafa Badr-adeen. The men are trained in camps in the Bekaa Valley and Iran; intelligence sources told me that Mugniyah, in co?peration with Iran's Ministry of Intelligence, also has a base on the Iranian shore of the Caspian Sea, where his men are trained in SEAL-style operations. Although Mugniyah has concentrated on anti-Jewish activities, he is believed to have the capability to strike at America; his agents have conducted video surveillance of possible American targets in South America and Southeast Asia, and he is suspected of having established links with Al Qaeda. According to the testimony of Ali Mohamed, a former U.S. soldier who conspired in the Al Qaeda bombings of the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and who trained Osama bin Laden's security detail, Mugniyah met with bin Laden in Sudan in the mid-nineteen-nineties to discuss joint strategy. "Hezbollah provided explosives training for Al Qaeda and Al Jihad," he said. "Iran supplied Egyptian Islamic Jihad with weapons. Iran also used Hezbollah to supply explosives that were disguised to look like rocks."

Bush Administration officials have suggested that the United States will strike at Hezbollah in what some are calling "Phase Three" of the war on terror, and there is pressure within the government to settle accounts with Mugniyah. Any action taken against him, however, would almost certainly bring a Hezbollah response. After Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage declared, in September, that Hezbollah would eventually become an American target, the group's chief spokesman, Hassan Ezzeddin, issued a statement on Nasrallah's behalf. "The American administration will be held accountable for any offensive against Lebanon," the statement read, "and we emphasize that we are in full readiness to confront any eventuality and defend our people."

But others believe that Hezbollah might attack American interests regardless of American actions in Lebanon. "Any number of things could provoke Hezbollah," Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at the RAND Corporation, says. For example, Iran could activate Hezbollah terror cells to carry out attacks. The Iranians might do this, Hoffman and others say, if they felt threatened by America's anti-terror campaign. "We see our role as bringing stability, and in situations like Lebanon stability rewards the status quo," he told me. "Stability is anathema to a revolutionary movement like Hezbollah."

One intelligence official suggested that Iran sees Mugniyah's overseas network as a kind of life insurance. "If Iran becomes the focus of Phase Three, it could send a message to the U.S. that it is not like Iraq, that it has the means to strike us at home, with a network of cells that it placed here a long time ago," he said. "The Iranians wouldn't take credit for blowing up a McDonald's, but we would know, and they would know we know."



It is not unusual for the JR Tobacco warehouse in Statesville, North Carolina, to sell cigarettes in great quantities. Federal law allows a person to buy up to two hundred and ninety-nine cartons of cigarettes at one time, and few people in North Carolina, a tobacco-growing state, object. Still, in the mid-nineteen-nineties, when a group of olive-skinned men began visiting JR Tobacco, carrying shopping bags filled with cash and walking out with two hundred and ninety-nine cartons each, Bob Fromme, an off-duty detective with the Iredell County Sheriff's Office who was working as a security guard at the warehouse, found it worthy of note.

"I thought they were Mexicans at first," Fromme told me. "There was a group of six of them who would come in on a regular basis. They would go through the store, get the cigarettes, one guy would stand at the register, and each person would then get two hundred and ninety-nine cartons. The one guy would just keep paying for all of them." Fromme said he realized that these men were not speaking Spanish: "I knew soon enough that it was Arabic."

On his own time, Fromme began following the men, and trying to interest law-enforcement agencies in what he thought was a gang of cigarette smugglers. "I called the State Attorney General's office and told them what we had, but they didn't want the case," Fromme said. "The State Bureau of Investigation didn't want it, either."

But the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms opened an investigation, and brought Fromme into it. "In the spring of 1999, we were set to go, with searches and warrants and indictments," Fromme said. "Then the F.B.I. came and said, 'We're working these guys from a different angle. Give us everything you've got. We can't tell you what we're doing.' "

Fromme and the A.T.F. investigators soon learned what the F.B.I. knew: that the smugglers, led by a Lebanese immigrant, Mohamad Youssef Hammoud, were members of a Hezbollah cell in Charlotte, North Carolina, that in the course of a year and a half sold $7.9 million worth of cigarettes illegally in Michigan and sent some of the profits to Hezbollah in Lebanon. About a year after the F.B.I. entered the picture, ten members of the ring were arrested on racketeering charges. Eight of the ten pleaded guilty before going to trial; in June, a federal jury found Hammoud guilty of providing aid to a terrorist organization.

According to Kenneth Bell, the lead prosecutor, the case was built this way: Mohamad Hammoud ran a prayer meeting every Thursday?a meeting attended by Said Harb, a longtime friend of a man named Mohamad Hassan Dbouk. Dbouk was receiving instructions from Hassan Hilu Laqis, a Hezbollah official based in Lebanon, who was in charge of Hezbollah's North American procurement operation. A fax intercepted by Canadian intelligence suggested that Dbouk worked for Imad Mugniyah. In the fax, Dbouk "is assuring Laqis that he is doing everything he can" for Hezbollah, Bell told me. "At one point, he says that he is willing to do anything?and he says, 'I mean anything'?for someone they refer to as 'the father.' I believe 'the father' is a reference to Mugniyah." Dbouk was indicted in the North Carolina case, but he is now thought to be in Lebanon.

According to the indictment, Hezbollah officials in Lebanon asked the cell members in North America to buy such items as computers, night-vision equipment, mine-detection devices, global-positioning devices, and advanced aircraft-analysis software. Bell said he did not know how much of the equipment requested by Hezbollah was shipped to Lebanon. Wiretaps revealed that Hezbollah members discussed buying life-insurance policies for operatives who "might in a short period of time go for a 'walk' and 'never come back,' " the indictment reads.

The North Carolina operation is not the only Hezbollah cell to have been discovered in the United States. Asa Hutchinson, the director of the Drug Enforcement Administration, told me recently that his agents discovered a drug-trafficking ring in the Midwest that was sending some of its proceeds to Hezbollah.

There is no proof that the cells are capable of violent acts. But investigators in North Carolina found anti-American propaganda among the belongings of several of the cell members. "I believe that the structure was in place to carry out a command," the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, Bob Conrad, says. Among the items investigators found when they broke up the Charlotte group was a series of photographs taken in Washington, D.C. In one of them, a member of the cell stands in front of the Washington Monument, smiling. In another, two members are posing in front of the White House.

(This is the second part of a two-part article.)
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ppulatie
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« Reply #314 on: July 23, 2006, 12:09:20 PM »

Bowser,

It is great to seek a higher plane, but one cannot lose focus upon the reality of events around them.

Fear nothing?  That sounds like a slogan from the 60's. Those who fear nothing make mistakes killing themsleves and others.

Would you say fear nothing to a person in Israel right now? Or in Lebanon? Or to a New Yorker on 9-12?

Honr the threat...and fear it. Especially when it involves Islamic Fascists.
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« Reply #315 on: July 23, 2006, 12:59:10 PM »

Bowser claims:

Quote
Looks like you missed the 'higher consciousness' goal of the Dog Brothers


When you make hard contact, I'll seek higher consciousness. Nothing you've posted suggests that is likely to occur.

Quote
I fail to find a non sequiteur in my post, please explain why you suggested that there is one.


I find the link between "your righteous duty to ?deveop? your fighting abilities" and "mass market global military war," whatever that is, to be tenuous at best. Though I understand it's de rigueur in certain, to my mind lazy, intellectual circles to cite Madison Avenue, Hollywood, "cultural imperialism," et al when indicting America, slinging together terms like "mass market global military war" has more to do with disjointed jingoism than with any sort of meaningful analysis or discussion.

Bottom line is that I fail to understand what your ends are here. If you are looking to sway people your rhetoric needs work.
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xtremekali
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« Reply #316 on: July 23, 2006, 02:37:54 PM »

Bowser,

I would assume if someone invaded your small piece of land in NZ then you would do whatever it took to defend it.

Don't you believe that Israel also has the right to self defense?

Please excuse my ignorance but what is a "watcher"?

Myke Willis
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Hunker Down With History

By Richard Cohen
Tuesday, July 18, 2006; A19



The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself.

This is why the Israeli-Arab war, now transformed into the Israeli-Muslim war (Iran is not an Arab state), persists and widens. It is why the conflict mutates and festers. It is why Israel is now fighting an organization, Hezbollah, that did not exist 30 years ago and why Hezbollah is being supported by a nation, Iran, that was once a tacit ally of Israel's. The underlying, subterranean hatred of the Jewish state in the Islamic world just keeps bubbling to the surface. The leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and some other Arab countries may condemn Hezbollah, but I doubt the proverbial man in their street shares that view.

There is no point in condemning Hezbollah. Zealots are not amenable to reason. And there's not much point, either, in condemning Hamas. It is a fetid, anti-Semitic outfit whose organizing principle is hatred of Israel. There is, though, a point in cautioning Israel to exercise restraint -- not for the sake of its enemies but for itself. Whatever happens, Israel must not use its military might to win back what it has already chosen to lose: the buffer zone in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip itself.

Hard-line critics of Ariel Sharon, the now-comatose Israeli leader who initiated the pullout from Gaza, always said this would happen: Gaza would become a terrorist haven. They said that the moderate Palestinian Authority would not be able to control the militants and that Gaza would be used to fire rockets into Israel and to launch terrorist raids. This is precisely what has happened.

It is also true, as some critics warned, that Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon was seen by its enemies -- and claimed by Hezbollah -- as a defeat for the mighty Jewish state. Hezbollah took credit for this, as well it should. Its persistent attacks bled Israel. In the end, Israel got out and the United Nations promised it a secure border. The Lebanese army would see to that. (And the check is in the mail.)

All that the critics warned has come true. But worse than what is happening now would be a retaking of those territories. That would put Israel smack back to where it was, subjugating a restless, angry population and having the world look on as it committed the inevitable sins of an occupying power. The smart choice is to pull back to defensible -- but hardly impervious -- borders. That includes getting out of most of the West Bank -- and waiting (and hoping) that history will get distracted and move on to something else. This will take some time, and in the meantime terrorism and rocket attacks will continue.

In his forthcoming book, "The War of the World," the admirably readable British historian Niall Ferguson devotes considerable space to the horrific history of the Jews in 19th- and 20th-century Europe. Never mind the Holocaust. In 1905 there were pogroms in 660 different places in Russia, and more than 800 Jews were killed -- all this in a period of less than two weeks. This was the reality of life for many of Europe's Jews.

Little wonder so many of them emigrated to the United States, Canada, Argentina or South Africa. Little wonder others embraced the dream of Zionism and went to Palestine, first a colony of Turkey and later of Britain. They were in effect running for their lives. Most of those who remained -- 97.5 percent of Poland's Jews, for instance -- were murdered in the Holocaust.

Another gifted British historian, Tony Judt, wraps up his recent book "Postwar" with an epilogue on how the sine qua non of the modern civilized state is recognition of the Holocaust. Much of the Islamic world, notably Iran under its Holocaust-denying president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stands outside that circle, refusing to make even a little space for the Jews of Europe and, later, those from the Islamic world. They see Israel not as a mistake but as a crime. Until they change their view, the longest war of the 20th century will persist deep into the 21st. It is best for Israel to hunker down.

cohenr@washpost.com
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captainccs
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« Reply #317 on: July 23, 2006, 02:57:46 PM »

Quote from: Bowser
Regarding the war on terror, I believe that the best way to fight it is quite simply by fearing nothing.

Been there, done that, didn't work.

Quote from: George Santayana
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

For almost 2000 years starting with the destruction of the temple Jews feared nothing. They took what the world had to dish out believing that god would protect and provide. But in the 1900s they got tired of this attitude because it was not producing visible beneficial results. The young rebelled against their elders in the Warsaw ghetto.  Against overwhelming odds they took on the NAZI army of extermination. That worked better, they now have a state to call their own and they are not going to roll over and die for some mythical appeasing "higher consciousness" that seems to exist only in the minds of their adversaries.

Quote from: George Santayana
There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.

Katyusha rockets raining down from the heavens is not enjoyable therefore we have to stop it from happening.
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« Reply #318 on: July 23, 2006, 03:36:15 PM »

Quote from: Richard Cohen
[Israel] is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself.

By Cohen's measure, America was also a mistake, the native Americans took quite a toll on the colonials. The Washington Post would not exist if the American Founding Fathers had taken Cohen's advice and gone back where they came from. Where does that leave Cohen's view of history?
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xtremekali
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« Reply #319 on: July 23, 2006, 04:22:10 PM »

Captianccs,

I hope you are not suggesting that the Israeli's use genicide as a tactic against their Arab neighbors.  Like the Anglo's used against the native tribes of the America's.

Myke
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ppulatie
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« Reply #320 on: July 23, 2006, 06:30:48 PM »

I think that Captainccs was just trying to show the faulty thinking of Cohen.
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« Reply #321 on: July 23, 2006, 07:07:57 PM »

Quote from: ppulatie
I think that Captainccs was just trying to show the faulty thinking of Cohen.

Thank you for clearing that up for Myke "xtremekali."
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« Reply #322 on: July 23, 2006, 07:29:42 PM »

Quote from: xtremekali
Captianccs,

I hope you are not suggesting that the Israeli's use genicide as a tactic against their Arab neighbors.  Like the Anglo's used against the native tribes of the America's.

Myke

I don't think the colonials "used genocide against the native tribes of the Americas" but I don't care to argue the point at this time. I just wanted to show that Cohen misunderstands or misrepresents history as a way to attack Israel. Israel is not a mistake.
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« Reply #323 on: July 23, 2006, 09:14:05 PM »

Captianccs,

I have no problem with Israel.  All for their right to self defense.  But when you bring up the treatment of how the Anglos treated the native tribes.  Then I will speak up.  When you talk about genocide and the stealing of land then the Anglos are experts.

Take it from Shis Inde.

Myke (Pastme-oma)
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« Reply #324 on: July 23, 2006, 09:58:59 PM »

Quote from: captainccs
Quote from: Bowser
Regarding the war on terror, I believe that the best way to fight it is quite simply by fearing nothing.


Been there, done that, didn't work.

 
.[/quote]

It works for me, so I am sticking to it.. . .  doesn't prevent actual fighting either. . .  just prevents fear, which helps with everything, that's why i said it's the best way, it's kind of prior to everything else. . . at least that's my way of seeing it. No fear makes terrorism impossible by definition !

 Cheesy
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« Reply #325 on: July 23, 2006, 10:01:34 PM »

Quote from: xtremekali
But when you bring up the treatment of how the Anglos treated the native tribes.  Then I will speak up.  When you talk about genocide and the stealing of land then the Anglos are experts.

Take it from Shis Inde.

Myke (Pastme-oma)

Yes, I see that you do speak up and you have every right to do so. What I don't understand is what it has to do with anything I said. I said that Cohen is mistaken about history and I used America an example. I could have used any other piece of land conquered by invaders. England, for example, invaded by just about everybody from Romans to Danes. I could have used Spain invaded by Moors, I could have used Mesopotamia invaded by Turks, I could have used Hungary invaded by Huns, I could have used Russia invaded by Vikings. But it just so happens that Mr. Cohen works in Washington for the Washington Post so it made sense to stick to close quarters.

From the piece I deduce that Mr. Cohen is attacking Israel based on a flawed view of history or possibly by a willful misrepresentation of history and making that statement was my only objective.  Although, as I said earlier, you have very right to bash Anglos if that is your preference, I fail to see what it has to do with my post.

What is "Shis Inde?"

What is "Pastme-oma?"
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« Reply #326 on: July 23, 2006, 10:08:18 PM »

Quote from: xtremekali
Bowser,

I would assume if someone invaded your small piece of land in NZ then you would do whatever it took to defend it.

Don't you believe that Israel also has the right to self defense?

Please excuse my ignorance but what is a "watcher"?

Myke Willis

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Correct xtremekali. . .  I would defend it, ideally without fear. Note however that they would have to actually invade, I will not fight in their territory.

Of course Israelis have the right to self defence, but not sure if Israel has the right to take war outside its territory

Crafty Dog speaks of the watcher. . . activating the watcher as you enter the adrenal state . . . it's a higher consciousness, one's higher self. . . . I would like to hear from Crafty Dog on the subject, I am sure that he has a lot to share after more than 140 Dog Brothers fights.

 smiley
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« Reply #327 on: July 23, 2006, 10:40:38 PM »

Quote from: Bowser
Of course Israelis have the right to self defence, but not sure if Israel has the right to take war outside its territory

By this reasoning, the Allies should not have bombed and invaded Japan or Germany in WWII, they should have just stayed in their own territory until Japan and Germany got tired of invading. Does not sound practical to me. Sad

Quote from: Bowser
No fear makes terrorism impossible by definition !  

If I'm fearless, then no Katyusha rocket can fall on my house? Defies logic. huh
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« Reply #328 on: July 23, 2006, 11:07:12 PM »

Quote from: captainccs
Quote from: Bowser
Of course Israelis have the right to self defence, but not sure if Israel has the right to take war outside its territory


By this reasoning, the Allies should not have bombed and invaded Japan or Germany in WWII, they should have just stayed in their own territory until Japan and Germany got tired of invading. Does not sound practical to me. Sad


I said that i am not sure. . .  that's what I meant. . .  I can only speak with absolute certainty regarding my own territory and tactics.


Quote
Quote from: Bowser
No fear makes terrorism impossible by definition !  

If I'm fearless, then no Katyusha rocket can fall on my house? Defies logic. huh

It can but it is less likely to. . . . fear attracts that which is feared

.
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« Reply #329 on: July 24, 2006, 08:33:55 AM »

Captiancss,

Shis Inde is the correct name of the tribe called Apache.

Pastme-oma is my native name.

Myke
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« Reply #330 on: July 24, 2006, 11:15:22 AM »

Let Israel Take Off the Gloves
Author:  Max Boot, Senior Fellow for National Security Studies


July 19, 2006
Los Angeles Times

A lot has been written in recent years about stateless terrorism. The events of the last few weeks show, to the contrary, that some of the world?s most malignant terrorist groups continue to rely on state support. Hamas runs its own quasi-state?the Palestinian Authority. Hezbollah is a state-within-a-state in Lebanon. And lurking behind both are the real troublemakers: Iran and Syria.

The current crisis exposes the inadequacy of American policy toward this new axis of evil. The problem is not, as so many have it, that President Bush?s ?cowboy diplomacy? has unsettled the region?s vaunted stability. It is that Bush hasn?t been enough of a cowboy.

Working with France, the U.S. succeeded last year in forcing Syrian troops out of Lebanon, thus allowing free elections to be held. But Lebanese democracy will remain hollow until Hezbollah disarms in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559, something that no one has been willing to enforce?until now.

The U.S. should have done more to stop Syria from supporting not only the terrorists targeting Israel but those targeting U.S. troops in Iraq. Syrian strongman Bashar Assad appeared to be down for the count when a U.N. investigation found evidence linking his regime to the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. But Bush let him get up off the mat. Senior U.S. officials keep proclaiming that Syria?s support for terrorism is unacceptable, but by not doing more to stop it, they have tacitly accepted it.

The same is true of Iran. The mullahs continue to develop nuclear weapons and smuggle explosives into Iraq, and our only response has been talk and more talk. Perhaps this is a prelude to eventual military action, but in the meantime the administration should have done more to aid internal foes of the mullahocracy. It has taken until no?five years into the Bush presidency?for the U.S. to commit any serious money ($66 million) for Iranian democracy promotion, and the State Department has blocked efforts on Capitol Hill to spend even more.

The Jewish state is now paying the price for American inaction. The Katyusha, Kassam and Fajr rockets raining down on Israel are either made by Iran or with Iranian assistance. The same is true of the C-802 cruise missile that hit an Israeli warship. Syria facilitates the delivery of these weapons and provides a haven for Hamas political head Khaled Meshaal. The Iranians and Syrians are as culpable for the aggression against Israel as if they had been pulling the triggers themselves?which, for all we know, they may have been.

And world leaders such as Vladimir V. Putin (he of the scorched-earth policy in Chechnya) have the chutzpah to criticize Israel for its ?disproportionate? response? What would a proportionate Israeli response to the snatching of its soldiers and the bombardment of its soil look like? Should Israel kidnap low-level Hamas and Hezbollah operatives? Those organizations wouldn?t mind in the slightest; they want as many martyrs as possible.

The real problem is that Israel?s response has been all too proportional. So far it has only gone after Hamas and Hezbollah. (Some collateral damage is inevitable because these groups hide among civilians.) Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is showing superhuman restraint by not, at the very least, ?accidentally? bombing the Syrian and Iranian embassies in Beirut, which serve as Hezbollah liaison offices.

It?s hard to know what accounts for this Israeli restraint, for which, of course, it gets no thanks. It may just be a matter of time before the gloves come off. Or Olmert may be afraid of upsetting the regional status quo. The American neocon agenda of regime change is not one that finds favor with most Israelis (ironic, considering how often the rest of the world has denounced neocons as Mossad agents). The Israeli attitude toward neighboring dictators is ?better the devil you know.? That may make sense with Jordan and Egypt, which have made peace with Israel, but not with Syria, which serves as a vital conduit between Tehran and Hamas and Hezbollah.

Iran may be too far away for much Israeli retaliation beyond a single strike on its nuclear weapons complex. (Now wouldn?t be a bad time.) But Syria is weak and next door. To secure its borders, Israel needs to hit the Assad regime. Hard. If it does, it will be doing Washington?s dirty work. Our best response is exactly what Bush has done so far?reject premature calls for a cease-fire and let Israel finish the job.

This article appears in full on CFR.org by permission of its original publisher. It was originally available here
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« Reply #331 on: July 24, 2006, 03:22:11 PM »

Hezbollah negotiator rejects peace proposal
Rice holds tense meetings with parliament speaker in surprise Beirut visit
The Associated Press


Updated: 2:22 p.m. CT July 24, 2006
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Lebanon?s parliament speaker, Hezbollah?s de facto negotiator, rejected proposals brought by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday, insisting a cease-fire must precede any talks about resolving Hezbollah?s presence in the south, an official close to the speaker said.

An official close to parliament speaker Nabih Berri said his talks with Rice failed to ?reach an agreement because Rice insisted on one full package to end the fighting.?

The package included a cease-fire, simultaneous with the deployment of the Lebanese army and an international force in south Lebanon and the removal of Hezbollah weapons from a buffer zone extending 30 kilometers from the Israeli border, said the official. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were private.

Berri rejected the package, proposing instead a two-phased plan. First would come a cease-fire and negotiations for a prisoner swap. Then an inter-Lebanese dialogue would work out a solution to the situation in south Lebanon, said the official.

Root cause of violence
The United States has insisted that no cease-fire can take place without dealing with what it calls the root cause of the violence ? Hezbollah?s domination of the south along the Israeli border. Israel has rejected any halt in the fighting until two soldiers captured by the guerrillas are freed and the guerrillas are forced back.

The U.S. has said an international force might be necessary to help the Lebanese army move into the south. The central government has long refused to send the army in, insisting Hezbollah is a legitimate force and fearing that doing so would tear apart the country because of the guerrillas?s strength.

In her surprise visit to a battered Beirut, Rice met for about 45 minutes with Berri, an ally of Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and considered friendly to Syria, which held political and military sway in Lebanon for decades before pulling out troops last year.

Berri is an influential figure in Lebanon?s complicated and factionalized political structure. Although the United States considers Hezbollah a terrorist group and has no dealings with it, Rice has met with Berri before. She could use her discussions with him to send an indirect message to Hezbollah, and to try applying pressure on Syria.

?Backwards 50 years?
Rice also met with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, who told her that his government is looking to ?put an end to the war that is being inflicted on Lebanon.? Bush administration officials have so far said that a cease-fire would be premature unless it addresses the threat Hezbollah fighters pose to Israel.

Rice?s talks with Prime Minister Fuad Saniora appeared to have been tense. Saniora told Rice that Israel?s bombardment was taking his country ?backwards 50 years? and also called for a ?swift cease-fire,? the prime minister?s office said.

In a sign of the differences between the United States and Lebanon, Saniora presented his own package for a permanent solution that contained long-standing Lebanese complaints that must be addressed before ?Lebanese authority can be spread over all areas,? his office said.


It included a call for a ?swift cease-fire.? Then would come an over-all solution guaranteeing the return of Lebanese prisoners held by Israel, Israel?s withdrawal from the Chebaa Farms ? a tiny border region that Lebanon claims ? and the provision of minefields lain in south Lebanon during its 18-year occupation of the region.

Rice?s five-hour visit, which opened her trip to the Middle East, marked the first high-level U.S. diplomatic mission to the area since fighting erupted 13 days ago. Her stay was marked by tight security as motorcades whisked her through a pummeled capital city, passing cross streets that were blocked off by armed Lebanese security forces.

?Thank you for your courage and steadfastness,? Rice told Saniora after he greeted her with a kiss on both cheeks.

Rice arrived in Israel late Monday as darkness fell. She planned to meet with her Israeli counterpart, foreign minister Tzipi Livni.


Blair: ?Enormous diplomatic efforts?
In Washington, meanwhile, the White House announced that President Bush has ordered helicopters and ships to Lebanon to provide humanitarian aid. Presidential spokesman Tony Snow said Rice discussed the assistance with Lebanese officials during her visit would announce the U.S. commitment later in the day as she continued on to Israel.

Rice and Saniora shook hands across a conference table on which there were two flags, one Lebanese and one American. Half a dozen other diplomats sat around the table.

Though south Beirut has been heavily targeted by Israel because it is home to Hezbollah leaders, there have been no bombings in the city since Sunday afternoon. Reporters with Rice heard no explosions during their brief stay.

Rice said President Bush wanted her to make Lebanon the first stop on her trip to the region, which has been embroiled in combat between Israel and Hezbollah since July 12. It was her third visit to Lebanon and was intended to make a show of support and concern for both the Saniora government and the Lebanese people, administration officials said.

Meanwhile, Britain hopes a peace plan will emerge for Lebanon within days that could lead to a cessation of hostilities, Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Monday.

?There have been as you might expect over the past few days enormous diplomatic efforts to get us to the point where I hope at some point within the next few days we can say very clearly what our plan is to bring about an immediate cessation of hostilities,? Blair said during a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in London.

Rice also met with members of the Lebanese parliament who have been staunch opponents of Syria?s influence in Lebanon. She was also scheduled to travel to Israel and to Rome, where she expected to meet with officials of European and moderate Arab governments.

Saniora and other Lebanese officials have been pushing Rice to call for an immediate cease-fire, something the Bush administration has resisted on grounds that it would not address the root causes of hostilities ? Hezbollah?s domination of south Lebanon.

?We all want to urgently end the fighting. We have absolutely the same goal,? Rice told reporters traveling with her.

Stringent security
Rice?s mission took a dramatic turn with her surprise arrival here under stringent security. Under heavy guard, Rice flew by helicopter over the Mediterranean from Cyprus. Her motorcade sped through Beirut on the way to her meeting with Saniora.

R. Nicholas Burns, U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, said Monday that Rice will seek to use ?our influence to see if there can be a cessation of hostilities.?

However, he told CBS? ?The Early Show,? any cease-fire would have to be long-lasting and involve a removal of Hezbollah rockets on the Israeli-Lebanese border and a return of Israeli soldiers taken captive.

En route to the region, Rice discussed the role of Syria, which the U.S. considers one of the world?s state sponsors of terror. In recent weeks, the Bush administration has blamed it, along with Iran, for stoking the recent violence in the Middle East by encouraging the Lebanese Hezbollah militia to attack northern Israel.

Rice pointed out that there are existing channels for talking with Syrian leaders about resolving the Middle East crisis when they?re ready to talk.

Diplomacy from all sides
Egypt and Saudi Arabia are working to entice Syria to end support for Hezbollah, a move that is central to resolving the conflict in Lebanon and unhitching Damascus from its alliance with Iran, the Shiite Muslim guerrillas? other main backer.

Arab diplomats in Cairo said the United States had signaled a willingness to re-engage Syria through Washington?s encouragement of the Egyptians and Saudis to lean on Damascus to stop backing Hezbollah.

In a brazen raid into Israel on July 12, Hezbollah killed eight and captured two Israeli soldiers, provoking Israel?s biggest military campaign against Lebanon in 24 years. The fighting has left hundreds of civilians dead, mostly in Lebanon.

? 2006 The Associated Press.
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« Reply #332 on: July 24, 2006, 05:07:21 PM »

I am in the Bay Area at the moment interviewing a Filipino master and will probably return home on Wednesday.  I will try to comment by Thursday.

CD
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« Reply #333 on: July 24, 2006, 06:05:53 PM »

Why don't they sue Hezbollah in Lebanon?  cheesy


Arab-American Group Sues U.S. For Slow Lebanon Evacuation rolleyes
Monday, July 24, 2006

WASHINGTON  ? A leading Arab-American advocacy group has sued the U.S. government, claiming that it failed to protect American citizens from the fighting in Lebanon.

The lawsuit, filed Monday on behalf of about 30 American citizens by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, alleges that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld did not take all possible steps to secure the safety and well being of U.S. citizens when fighting erupted between Israel and Hezbollah guerillas.

The committee is asking the U.S. District Court in Detroit to order the U.S. government to request a cease fire and to stop shipments of weapons or any other military support to Israel during the evacuation of U.S. citizens from Lebanon.

"We just feel the U.S. government has put its citizens at risk by supplying missiles when many U.S. citizens are still there," said Nabih Ayad, lead lawyer for the committee and the citizens who were all in Lebanon. Ayad said a few included in the lawsuit are still trying to leave the country.

"We're not trying to interfere with the war, we just want to protect our U.S. citizens and try to bring them back," Ayad said.

U.S. Consul William Gill said most Americans who wanted to leave Lebanon had done so by Sunday and U.S. evacuation efforts were nearly complete. He also urged anyone considering leaving to make up their minds quickly as fighting between Israel and Lebanon-based Hezbollah guerrillas showed no sign of waning.

About 12,000 Americans have been evacuated from Lebanon, officials said. Some 25,000 U.S. citizens were believed to be in Lebanon at the start of hostilities.


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,205348,00.html
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« Reply #334 on: July 24, 2006, 08:08:18 PM »

Jul. 23, 2006 14:20 | Updated Jul. 23, 2006 17:53
Iran: Israel doomed to 'destruction'
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
TEHERAN

Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, declared Sunday that Israel had "pushed the button of its own destruction" by launching its military campaign against the Iranian-backed Hizbullah in Lebanon.

Ahmadinejad didn't elaborate, but suggested Islamic nations and others could somehow isolate Israel and its main backers led by the United States. On Saturday, the chairman of Iran's armed forced joint chiefs, Maj.-Gen. Sayyed Hassan Firuzabadi, said Iran would never join the current Middle East fighting.

Ahmadinejad's latest salvo against Israel came as the 12-day-old hostilities in Lebanon continued. The hard-line president drew international condemnation last year after publicly calling for Israel to be wiped out and calling the Holocaust a "myth."

Iran helped create the anti-Israel Hizbullah movement in the early 1980s and is among its main supplier of arms and funds. But Teheran has denied Israeli claims it is sent Hizbullah long-range missiles that have reached Haifa and other points in northern Israel since the battles broke out nearly two weeks ago following a cross-border Hizbullah raid that captured two Israeli soldiers.

"Britain and the United States are accomplices of the Zionist regime in its crimes in Lebanon and Palestine," said Ahmadinejad.

He said "the people of the region will respond" unless Israel and its allies apologize for their policies.

"Arrogant powers have set up a base for themselves to threaten and plunder nations in the region," said Ahmadinejad. "But today, the occupier regime (Israel) - whose philosophy is based on threats, massacre and invasion - has reached its finishing line."

Last week, Ahmadinejad sent a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel that contained statements about Israel and the Holocaust that are "not acceptable," said German officials.

Germany has sharply criticized Ahmadinejad's anti-Israel statements.

In Teheran, the government has sanctioned billboards showing Hizbullah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and a message that it is the duty of Muslims to "wipe out" Israel. Officials also organized a demonstration in the southern city of Shiraz by Iran's small Jewish community calling for Israel's destruction and praising Hizbullah.
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« Reply #335 on: July 25, 2006, 07:39:46 AM »

Hi All,

I got this email from my cousin who is currently working for an NGO in Kabul. Found it interesting thought I would share. I removed her and her boyfriends name.


Dear Friends and Family,
 
Greetings from Kabul. To be honest it's getting a little scary. Aside from the occasional suicide bombing in Kabul, last week Karzai decided to reinstate the  Department for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice - which existed during the Taliban time. This department was responsible for ensuring that Afghans we're living as "good Muslims", and went to great lengths to ensure they lived accordingly. Well 2 days ago, some people from the Department (this isn't confirmed but it's what everyone is suspecting) went to one of the restaurants that were serving alcohol and beat up and arrested the owner, and destroyed all the alcohol in sight. now no restaurants are allowed to serve alcohol, even to non-Muslims. Needless to say people will be flocking to the liquor stores this weekend to stock up. i was going to go, but S***** said not to because you never know who is watching you. Yeah, it's a little scary right now. The department also issued letters to restaurants prohibiting men and women from sitting together in public. It doesn't matter if they are expatriates or not.  How is any of this progress?
 
Apparently Karzai did it to gain tribal support, especially in the south, which btw is a full on war. It's so crazy down there. NGOs have either pulled out or put their programs on hold. And what makes me really angry is that many of our donors are withdrawing funding from our programme areas and diverting aid funding to provinces like Helmand and Kandahar. Not to say that these provinces don't need aid, but how can you deliver aid when you're busy dodging bullets?! There is absolutely no security down there. It makes absolutely no sense to me. And what is going to happen to the provinces that were once receiving aid and aren't any more.
 
On top of that a lot of donor funding is going into "Good Governance" initiatives, which mostly consists of establishing democratic institutions at the village level. This would be fine, but what many donors don't understand is that you just can't fund governance activities. I mean, now you've got this democratically elected village body. You've given them basically literacy and numeracy skills, and maybe some training in village planning. But if we don't support this structure with additional funds for development projects then what are these institutions supposed to do? They don't have money to do anything let alone operate. And what this does is just breed discontent in the village that development money isn't helping relieve any of the poverty. It's so frustrating I tell you.
 
Anyway, I'm sorry I needed to vent.
 
Hope everyone is well.
 
-S
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« Reply #336 on: July 26, 2006, 11:56:24 PM »

Hezbollah: Party Of Cowards
Posted 7/25/2006

Global War On Terror: After the standard condemnation of Israel for defending itself, the U.N. humanitarian chief rightly attacked Hezbollah for its "cowardly blending" among civilians. Where have we seen this before?
Speaking to reporters at Cyprus' Larnaca Airport on Monday after a visit to Lebanon to coordinate international relief efforts, Jan Egeland issued the standard denunciation of Israel for using "disproportionate" force and for violating "international humanitarian law."

But he said something else, something that indicates that even the East River elites are beginning to recognize the calling card of terrorists ? the use of civilians and even entire nations as human shields.

"Consistently, from the Hezbollah heartland, my message was that Hezbollah must stop this cowardly blending . . . among women and children," he said. "I heard they were proud because they lost very few fighters and that it was the civilians who bore the brunt of this. I don't think anyone should be proud of having many more children and women dead than armed men."

Members of Hezbollah, like the terrorist groups in Iraq, do not follow the rules of war. They do not wear uniforms to distinguish themselves from the civilian population. They routinely store their weapons in civilian homes and fire them from civilian neighborhoods. Then they scurry back to their hiding places.

Like the Nazi V-1 and V-2 rockets of World War II, Hezbollah's rockets and missiles are not aimed at military targets, but at the heart of cities and towns. They and their warheads are designed to indiscriminately kill and maim civilians.

As Middle East expert Kenneth Timmerman notes on Newsmax.com, the Katyusha rockets Hezbollah is raining down on northern Israeli towns, including the port city of Haifa, are different from the ones that the Soviets fired during World War II. Those carried standard explosive warheads.

Hezbollah's Syrian-made 220 mm version is stuffed with 40,000 ball bearings packed into a warhead containing 88 pounds of explosives. A longer-range version, the Chinese-made Raed, has also been supplied to Hezbollah by Iran.

The bearings are expelled at lethal velocity when the missile hits its target. Anyone within a 50-yard radius will be seriously wounded or maimed.

"This kind of rocket gives no one a chance," said Haifa's police chief, Nir Meriash. "I found a woman lying in the street with one of her legs beside her, detached from her body."

At least a half-dozen of the larger Iranian-made Fajr-3 rockets have hit the Haifa area, including the deadly July 16 strike that killed eight railway workers in a train maintenance depot. These carry a 100-pound warhead and, according to Meriash, "are meant to kill civilians."

Hezbollah is no different from the car bombers in Iraq, those who blew themselves up at weddings in Jordan, who bombed Bombay, Madrid and London, or who attacked us on 9-11. They just wreak their carnage at longer range.

Then again, they may be worse, for in addition to targeting civilians indiscriminately, they also use civilians, their homes and their neighborhoods to hide behind.

Civilians are casualties in every war, but arguably the Israelis are at least trying to hit military targets or the infrastructure that supports Hezbollah.
The problem is that Hezbollah has woven itself into the very fabric of Lebanon, masquerading as a political party much as the Nazis did in Germany. The terrorists have in fact converted an entire nation into a human shield.

http://www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArticles.asp?artsec=20&artnum=1&issue=20060725
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« Reply #337 on: July 27, 2006, 12:02:03 AM »

Cowardly Blending



Cox & Forkum editorial cartoons
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« Reply #338 on: July 27, 2006, 12:16:01 PM »

BelmontClub blog has an interesting speculation on what is happening in Lebanon. He brings out one point the I had actually picked up on and expands upon its meaning. That is the point about how Hezbollah is now fighting a war of attrition with Israel. Fighting to keep ground. Not a guerrilla war that such movements excel at and should fight.  This bodes well for Israel.




http://fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com/2006/07/pulp-fiction.html

Thursday, July 27, 2006
Pulp Fiction

I am going to write a completely speculative piece on the fighting in Lebanon. It's born of a need to make sense of events which on the face of it are incomprehensible, though by so doing the post detaches itself from verifiable fact. The reader is warned. Read on if you wish for entertainment but beware that what follows is hypothesis, there aren't even going to be hyperlinks for reference.

The first question that must be answered in divining IDF intentions in Lebanon is what the center of gravity of the Hezbollah is, because that is what the IDF must be aiming to destroy. The two obvious ones are Hezbollah's ability to influence the Lebanese government and the motor of that influence -- the military force that Hezbollah maintains in the south. A step down we can ask, what is the most important component of Hezbollah's power in the south? Again the answer is easy. It is the Hezbollah cadres themselves. Hezbollah's most precious possession isn't Katyushas, long-range rockets, night vision goggles or antitank missiles or electronic equipment. It is the trained core of its military force. Equipment can be replaced but Hezbollah's cadres represent an expensive, almost irreplaceable investment. In them resides the organizational knowledge of Nasrallah's organization. It embodies man-decades of operational experience against Israel. Rockets can be replaced. The stars of Hezbollah's operational force are less expendable.

From this observation I'm going to say that despite the received wisdom of the newspapers to the contrary, the fighting at Maroun al-Ras and Bint Jbeil have been and continue to be an unmitigated defeat for the Hezbollah. The Hezbollah are doing the single most stupid thing imaginable for a guerilla organization. They are fighting to keep territory. Oh, I know that this will be justified in terms of "inflicting casualties" on the Israelis. But the Hez are probably losing 10 for every Israeli lost. A bad bargain for Israel you say? No. A bad bargain for Hezbollah to trade their terrorist elite for highly trained but nevertheless conventional infantry. Guerillas should trade 1 for 10, not 10 for 1.

Reduced to its essentials, the IDF strategy may be ridiculously simple: fix the Hezbollah force in Southern Lebanon while detaching its command structure from the field by simultaneously striking Beirut. One of the great mysteries, upon which newpaper accounts shed no light, is why the IDF should so furiously pulverize Hezbollah's enclaves in southern Beirut, blockade the port and disable the airport. The object isn't to shut down Lebanon. It is to momentarily disorient the Hezbollah headquarters in Beirut, so that in a moment of absentmindedness, the Hezbollah forces in Southern Lebanon will do what comes most naturally: commit themselves against the IDF.

I should add that, although it sounds underhanded, the IDF may have cleverly used their warning to evacuate the Hezbollahland villages to great effect. Nothing so absorbs the energy of states and protostates like Hezbollah than the need to relocate tens of thousands of their supporters while fighting the IDF. Hezbollah's fighters in Southern Lebanon have three tasks they've willy-nilly accepted: to keep the IDF at bay, evacuate their supporters and stay in contact with Nasrallah in Beirut. They will fail in two out of three. What they should have done while they had the chance was run but now it is probably too late. The Hez are fighting the IDF; and moving rockets northward as they can in the belief that these militarily useless weapons are somehow important; relocating their supporters and fighting a diplomatic war at one and the same time. And all this with their offices bombed out. It creates a window of opportunity.

Prestidigitation is defined as "skill in performing magic or conjuring tricks with the hands". From the very beginning the IDF has kept the Hezbollah guessing about its true intentions. Nasrallah made the cardinal mistake of projecting his own estimate by believing that Israel would respond to his abduction of IDF soldiers with a limited cross border raid of their own. The IDF responded by smashing his Beirut headquarters and fixing the Hezbollah main force in the south. Nasrallah, Iran and Syria made a second error in believing that Israel, perhaps reinforced by the diplomaic mummery which encouraged the illusion, would be forced to accept a ceasefire within a fortnight only to discover that neither the international force was forthcoming (no one had the troops to put on the ground) nor would the Bush administration waver in its support for Israel. In reality Israel has been forced to accept nothing. No ceasefire is in sight. And now there is word that the Israeli cabinet is meeting to decide whether to expand its operation further north. Not a ceasefire but a further advance.

The next chimera being dangled before Nasrallah is the idea that Israel is only aiming to establish some buffer zone of about 15 miles in width. It's the conventional wisdom and maybe Nasrallah hopes it's true. But already doubt is apparently creeping into his soul. Sixty or more Lebanese have reportedly been arrested as Israeli spies in Beirut. The Hezbollah see them everywhere. Although subsequently denied, there were reports that Nasrallah had sought refuge in the Iranian embassy. In the meantime Ahmadinehjad and Assad are ceaselessly calling for ceasefires. Everywhere the word "ceasefire" is heard. But never from Israel. Maybe somewhere in his mind Nasrallah's realized that the IDF isn't after some buffer zone: they are after him and his cadre. His cadre they already have: they are fighting to keep real estate they are doomed to lose. Nasrallah himself they may have by and by.  But there may be worse to come. Whether accidental or not, the IDF attack on Kiyam raises the specter that it will operate eastward against the Bekaa valley and perhaps eventually against the Beirut-Damascus highway. That would cut off supplies from Syria to his men in the south and to his command element in Damascus. Then where would Nasrallah's influence over Lebanese politics be? And how should he fare against his former adversaries in the recently concluded Civil War? With the onus of all the ruination he has visited upon Lebanon upon him and his forces in stuck in a southern front against the IDF he may find it hard to cut the swath he once did in government circles.

I warned the reader that this post would be pure speculation. No one should treat it seriously. Good night everybody.
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« Reply #339 on: July 28, 2006, 05:55:30 PM »

The Missiles of 27 Rajab
By Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu
FrontPageMagazine.com | July 28, 2006


This year, we are told, the Muslim commemorations associated with their calendar date 27 Rajab will occur on August 22. On this a most celebratory date in the Islamic calendar, best-selling author and Islamic scholar Robert Spencer reminds that the Prophet Muhammed made his ascension into heaven from the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, an event known as the Miraj. ?[T]he Night Journey has become firmly embedded in the Islamic consciousness,? Spencer notes, ?such that Muslims today celebrate it as one of the central events of Muhammad?s life.? And now, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has selected that as an auspicious date to create a light over the skies of Jerusalem such as the world has never seen since the Miraj.


If as the president of the Reform Party in Syria, Farid Ghadry claims, ?Ahmadinejad is planning an illumination of the night sky over Jerusalem to rival the one that greeted the Prophet of Islam on his journey,? then it is difficult to imagine anything other than a full-scale Iranian nuclear attack. As Spencer continues, ?a nuclear attack on Jerusalem or even an all-out conventional assault against Israel by Iran would be consistent with Ahmadinejad?s oft-repeated denials of Israel?s right to exist and recent predictions that its demise was at hand.? These observations are the latest from a growing list of ominous portents from Iranian and Syrian leaders too horrific to ignore.



Assuming the worst case ? a default mental mode for military planners ? what ought we to expect to happen the next several weeks? A possible scenario can be constructed based on events of recent weeks and months, although the groundwork for this action has taken years to develop. Let us try to outline what Ahmadinejad and his surrogates in Syria and inside Hezbollah might have on their minds.



To begin we review what we know for certain: 1) Iran has been focused on acquisition of nuclear weapons, working for years with the AQ Khan group and North Korea; 2) Iran has for all intents and purposes declared war on Israel and America (though the U.S. has not understood Iran?s commitment), outlining its war policy as one of utter extermination; 3) Iran has worked unceasingly with North Korean scientists and engineers to improve missile technology, resulting in several models of varying ranges and payloads, and with highly improved mobility over SCUDs; 4) Iran has used surrogate movements and states to support clandestinely attacks on Israel and America (the latter inside Iraq); 5) Iran has positioned large numbers of technologically advanced weapons and the troops from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to assist inside Lebanon and Syria.



We have confirmed that Iran was a sponsor and participant in North Korea?s early July 2006 missile tests, and have shown rather convincingly that the real testing was the ability to deploy rapidly missile units, each capable of firing several weapons independently. The capstone of the test was that multiple missiles fired on schedule, each simulating many, and that the tests were frighteningly successful. Equally important was that the public misunderstood the real purpose of the tests and vastly underestimated the value derived from them.



If we were investigating this as a possible murder case we?d look for motive, weapon, and opportunity. Motive is easy. Ahmadinejad want to wipe Israel and America off the map. How do we know? Because he told us, repeatedly, in great detail, and with utmost sincerity. Weapons? We are looking at a slate of which we?re told intelligence analysts were unaware. While this is doubtful, it may be factual that analysts were cautious about numbers of missiles and rockets deployed and the willingness of the Hezbollah enemy to employ them. Those doubts ought to be resolved as hundreds of rockets rain down on Israel and increasingly capable weapons are discovered. Opportunity? Made to order, on order. It was an Ahmadinejad-created opportunity, a directed Hezbollah attack on Israel designed to bring in America and allies. It?s all happening, per Iranian plan, and its right there for us to see.



In a July 27 NY Sun op-ed, premier radio talk show host John Bachelor addresses the opportunity issue. The behavior of Syria, Bachelor notes ?is meant to provoke Israel and pull America directly into the fighting.? Syria, as Bachelor points out, issued an unacceptable ultimatum to the U.S. ?Knowing that America cannot agree?.Syria and its sponsor, Iran, are preparing for the next stage of the escalation.? That next stage he affirms is a ?shooting war.? To what point? This is where the weapons come into the picture.



Ahmadinejad has an apocalyptic future vision. Unlike previous nuclear opponents, Soviet Russia and China, for example, for whom a policy of mutually assured destruction was a suitable deterrent, the Iranian leader and his mullocracy lust for as much violence as possible. He openly calls for massive destruction in Israel, Europe, and America, and welcome any and all retaliation as the necessary precursor to activate the mysterious 12 Imam. The suspended-life Imam, buried beneath the Shia Mosque of the Golden Dome, Samara in Iraq, will return to this world as the Madhi, the Caliph to lead hordes of Muslims to global victory, only if preceded with sufficient violence. Ahmadinejad believes this just as certainly as Adolph Hitler believed in his Thousand Year Reich and the superiority of the Aryan race. And in a manner similar to his mentor Hitler, Ahmadinejad is willing to sacrifice his life to achieve his ultimate goal.



Consequently Iran has accelerated nuclear weapons development (or purchase) and missile technology. It has a broad array of weapons including several classes of missiles. Some like the Farj Class, as Michael Krauss and Peter Pham note in Foundation for the Defense of Democracy this July, were built ?with Chinese and North Korean assistance,? and are capable of slinging a 200 pound warhead between 25 and 45 miles. ?Israeli intelligence estimates that several hundred Fajr rockets have been delivered so far,? they say. These can go further and carry more than the generic ?Katyushas.? Ken Timmerman notes that the Fajrs carry a 110 pound warhead, but what makes them so fearsome is ?the tiny ball bearings packed inside? designed as a terror weapon to kill and maim civilians.



Additionally, the Iranians have smuggled several of the Zelzal Class into Lebanon for Hezbollah use. These are heftier weapons, also known as Shehab Class missiles, derived from the North Korean Nodong Class, built with Iranian financial backing. These can fly up to 1600 kilometers carrying a payload of almost a ton. Even with conventional loads these are formidable terror weapons. Bachelor notes that these missiles are ?on their mobile launchers, under Iranian rocket crews? parked in Syria waiting the order to attack. Once given the green light crews will ?push over the border crossings, park about 15 meters inside Lebanon, and launch on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.?



Reinforcing the threat, Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah leader, warned that ?deeper? attacks would be forthcoming. The Israelis, Bachelor says, have accounted for more than 36 such missiles inside Lebanon. They?ve already killed some, but how may more wait across the Syrian border? Dozens? Hundreds? Using the tactics just rehearsed in North Korea suppose Syria, backed to the hilt by Iran, having provoked an Israeli or American strike which provides them sufficient excuse, then floods across the border. Many specially trained battalions with scores of Zelzals and smaller payload missiles dispersed among them will lead. It is probably that many of the weapons and units are already pre-positioned.



These Zelzal missiles if properly dispersed and simultaneously launched ? if, in other words, the tactical model developed by the Soviets, taught to the Iranians, and just practiced in front of the world in North Korea is followed ? we could expect that existing Israeli missile defense systems would be overwhelmed. Radars would pick scores, perhaps hundreds of missiles launched from a very short distance away all converging on Israeli cities. It would be impossible for upgraded Patriot or any other deployed system to get them all. The leakers would certainly penetrate. Are they going to carry conventional explosives, a serious enough threat by itself, or will these be the ones that carry the dirty warheads, the small fission devices, or the VX nerve gas? Is this the ?day or rejoicing? that Ahmadinejad threatens? Does anyone really want to wait until mid August when this attack is launched to learn?



In this scenario inaction is not appropriate. Nor is the reprehensible laundry list of appeasement initiatives drafted by State Department Arabists acceptable. The options for a diplomatic solution have already expired. State has played its hand, and sterner leadership must take charge. Both Syria and Iran must be faced squarely and confronted with the consequences of their actions before they can attack. Iran is clearly attempting to use an attack on Israel to build momentum for an overthrow of that country combined with a defeat of America in Iraq. Rather than wait defensively America must strike Iran, taking out leadership, nuclear, and missile targets. Simultaneously every Iranian revolutionary group must be supported and turned loose to foment revolution inside Iran.



Syria has to be taken out immediately. Leadership targets - regime, Hezbollah, and Iranian - must be attacked and friendly forces put into the border area for missile suppression. U.S. units watching Syria?s back door can strike and raid, thereby collapsing Syrian resistance. Israeli forces need to continue to press Hezbollah terrorists inside Lebanon to keep them off balance. It is critically important that America and Israel supported by whatever allies have the courage to assist, take the fight immediately to the perpetrators. By waiting for a first-strike we are put in a position of playing a retaliation game after we have already endured unacceptable losses in population and perception. Once America and Israel are seen as weak enough to defeat, then the international jackals will all join in for the kill. This is what our enemies hope to accomplish.



How realistic is this plan politically? Probably not very, and that is what is going to be a major setback, possibly one from which it will be extraordinarily difficult to recover. Complicating American reaction to these events is the paralyzing idea prevalent among many Americans that by solving Iraq our troubles in the region are over. This na?ve perception is clouding America?s grasp of the scope, breadth, and reality of the threat. We face a crisis of major proportions. Hesitation may be fatal.
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« Reply #340 on: July 28, 2006, 06:02:39 PM »

An 'e-mail from Nasrallah'

By Tom Segev

A man named Nasrallah whom I don't know sent me an e-mail this week. I thought that he was from Beirut. So I asked, naturally, and with no little hope, if there were a connection. As often happens in dialogues with our neighbors - this was the wrong question to ask. He has no connection to that Nasrallah, he replied, probably in a slightly reproachful tone.

The man in question is Yousry Nasrallah, the Egyptian film director. Recently he had directed the film "Bab al-Shams" ("The Gate of the Sun"), based on the book by Elias Khoury. Nasrallah forwarded to me a public appeal from Beirut, composed by Lebanese theater director Roger Assaf. He's one of the best there is in that country, Nasrallah wrote.

Along with the pope, the French president, the German chancellor and, of course, Israel, Assaf denounced the alliance between Syria and Iran, which has nothing at all to do with the true interest of Lebanon and has brought disaster upon it. His language is poetic. He writes about his dreams of a better world - one in which the children of Israel won't grow up amid the spirit of hatred and nationalist-militarist hysteria, one in which Palestinian and Lebanese children won't grow up amid the spirit of vengeance. He and his friends live in the spirit of Plato and Gandhi and Albert Camus and other humanist philosophers and intellectuals, he said.

Yousry Nasrallah sent me a second e-mail in which he explained the background to Assaf"s letter: "In July 2006, there are people (maybe I should use the past tense) who are neither with Iran, nor with Syria, nor with Hezbollah, nor with Israel. People who do not want to be used by either of these powers as human shields or targets. People who have tried these past few years to build a new Lebanon that is free from all this."

He sounds like a few people I know in Haifa.

The news of the deterioration this week in Ariel Sharon's condition caught many Israelis by surprise: Oh, yeah, Ariel Sharon. His illness spared him what would have been a terribly embarrassing confrontation with his failures: the growing power of Hezbollah in Lebanon, right under his nose; and the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections and the firing of Qassams at the south. The man who in his last days earned the admiration of the entire world, as if he were a great statesman and architect of peace, now appears to have been one of the worst prime ministers Israel ever had, maybe even worse than Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak.

If it weren't for the current war in Lebanon, this week everyone would almost certainly have been talking about the withdrawal from Gaza, on its first anniversary, and the summary isn't very positive: Instead of the areas of the settlements evacuated by Israel being put to use for the welfare of the Palestinians, they were taken over by the Qassam gangs. The Israel Defense Forces intensified the means of oppression and Gaza is on the verge of a humanitarian disaster. A further withdrawal in the West Bank, in an effort to make good on the promises made by Ehud Olmert and Amir Peretz, doesn't appear possible right now.

Did all this have to happen? Maybe not. In this sense, the withdrawal from Gaza is similar to the Oslo Accords: a missed opportunity. Had the withdrawal been carried out in the context of an agreement with the Palestinians, rather than as a unilateral "disengagement," or had free passage been allowed meanwhile between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank - perhaps everything would have been different. In any event, the Gush Katif settlements were a reckless adventure and their dismantling has not caused a national trauma. But after almost a year of Qassam fire, a giant "We told you so" is hanging over the public discourse.

The forced evacuation of thousands of Israelis, which was executed without too much difficulty, threatens to lay the groundwork for an eventual expulsion of masses of Palestinians, too. The bombardment of Beirut and the instigation of mass flight by inhabitants of south Lebanon are turning the harming of civilians into a matter of routine. This is the legacy of Ariel Sharon: The fate of human beings always interested him less than military considerations.

If he could still speak today, one wonders whether Sharon would admit that he erred. Maybe not. So few politicians are capable of that. I would like to show Sharon Errol Morris' film, "The Fog of War" (2003), about Robert S. McNamara and tape his reaction. It's a movie that is well worth watching again, especially this week.

One night, during World War II, the Americans bombarded Tokyo, causing about 100,000 residents to be burned alive in their homes. Countless civilians were killed in other Japanese cities, all before the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. No, this wasn't proportional to the war objectives of the United States, says McNamara, the former U.S. secretary of defense.

A graduate of Harvard, McNamara was the president of the Ford Motor Company where, among other things, he introduced seatbelts in cars. He joined the Kennedy administration as secretary of defense and stayed on in the Johnson administration. Toward the end of 1967, McNamara realized that the war in Vietnam was lost and he proposed to Johnson that the United States stop its bombardments of cities in North Vietnam. Johnson reacted angrily and McNamara ended up leaving to take charge of the World Bank. Four years and about 60,000 dead later, he gazes into Errol Morris' camera and, with the wisdom of hindsight, says simply: We made a mistake. He bears part of the blame for this terrible failure and is doing his best to impart to the world the lessons that he learned. He came up with 11 lessons in all, including the importance of intelligence, before and during the course of the war, and the need to get into the mind of the enemy and to understand him.

McNamara says the United States didn't understand the motivations of North Vietnam and that the latter did not understand those of the United States: North Vietnam was not a pawn in the hands of the Communist Bloc, as the Americans believed - and America did not aspire to rule Vietnam as a colonial power, as the Vietnamese believed. McNamara warns of the tendency to assume that rational thinking will halt acts of madness: The three protagonists in the Cuban missile crisis - Nikita Krushchev, Fidel Castro and John F. Kennedy - were all rational people. A review of the historic documentation shows that all three were prepared to go all the way - to nuclear war, that is.

The seventh lesson that McNamara offers to history is the most important of all: Very often, heads of states and armies do not really see what they think they see. They see what they expect to see, what they want to see, what's convenient for them to see. McNamara suggests that leaders take a second look at their assumptions at the moment of reckoning: Not only can intelligence be faulty, the basic conceptions guiding them may also be flawed. The communist threat that stood at the center of the Western world's thinking turned out years later to be an optical illusion. Today the Western world believes in the Islamic threat. The rhetoric accompanying the war in Lebanon sounds in part like it was borrowed from the Vietnam War.

What will happen to small nations if we abandon Vietnam to communism? - that was the question frequently posed by President Johnson. And McNamara spoke of the "domino effect": If South Vietnam falls to the communists, all of East Asia will follow suit. He wasn't lying. He sincerely believed that. Looking back, he offers his own definition of the phrase "the fog of war": an unclear vision of reality.

Politicians like to pat themselves on the back for the inner conviction that guides them, and for their determination to do what they deem to be right. McNamara advocates a more important quality: skepticism. The skepticism that eventually saved America from itself was born in the media there.

The film "The Fog of War," which earned an Oscar for its creator, is available for rental at local video libraries.

A diplomatic dispute erupted a little while ago between the State of Israel and the kingdom of Great Britain, and this week it was resolved before the IDF would have, very regretfully, been compelled to bombard London. Interior Minister Roni Bar-On told the tale in the Knesset.

Her Majesty's ambassador had protested a sign put up by the Jerusalem Municipality marking the 60th anniversary of the bombing of the King David Hotel. The British wanted the sign removed. Negotiations began. The sign that veterans of the Irgun underground had wanted to erect said that the British were warned ahead of time but, "despite this, for reasons known only to them, the British did not evacuate the hotel." In other words - the British are to blame. The original sign listed the identity of the 92 victims, who included Jews and Arabs and others. The new sign that was put up this week says only: "The hotel was not evacuated." According to the sign, the losses caused were "very regrettable," i.e., the intention was to carry out an attack without casualties.

In the English version that was on the original sign, the stronger term "dismay" was added. Dismay that the British didn't evacuate the hotel. On the new sign - that additional word is gone.

There are other differences. Here is a good topic for a study of Israelis' attitudes to terror attacks. A bit of this came up in the Knesset discussion, too.

Reuven Rivlin (Likud) complained that Israel had given into the Brits' demands: "In wake of this letter, will they be able to come with other letters? For example, that the daughter of one of the Irgun leaders can't serve as foreign minister? Or will the appointment or election of Menachem Begin as prime minister of Israel for two terms in a row be retroactively nullified? Will (Israel) Eldad's son be unable to serve as a Knesset member? These are questions that just need to be asked. After all, we're talking about the blowing up of the command center that was the symbol of the British Mandate in Palestine that prevented the immigration of the uprooted from the fields of the burning of our people in Europe."

Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism), on the other hand, protested the whole idea of honoring the attack on the hotel: "I really don't understand what this celebration is all about ... We're acting like the goyim [gentiles]. Blood was spilled. Dozens of people were killed. What's to celebrate?"

The interior minister brought the discussion to a close with these timely words from the Passover Haggadah: "In every generation there are those who rise up against us and seek to destroy us. But the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hands."


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/743696.html
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Denny Schlesinger
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« Reply #341 on: July 28, 2006, 07:38:33 PM »

One of the main goals of martial arts should be the prevention of world wars through the expression of warlike instincts in a harmless way.

 Higher consciousness through harder contact prevents war. . .  if you are indulging in harder contact while supporting war then you have not achieved higher consciousness and should re evaluate your martial activities.

 smiley
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #342 on: July 28, 2006, 07:42:09 PM »

B:

Martial Arts begins with the consciousness that we are worthy of defending.

=============

The Terror Ahead, by Gabriel Schoenfeld
Commentary November 2003

ON DAY 18 of the war in Iraq, a single United States Air Force B-1 bomber attacked a residence in the north of Baghdad where Saddam Hussein was believed to be hiding. The effects were dramatic. Explosions not only demolished the structure entirely but left a gigantic crater of jumbled steel and debris 60 feet deep and 150 feet wide. This devastation was caused by four conventional bombs, each weighing 2,000 pounds. They are by no means the heaviest bombs in the U.S. arsenal. The Air Force?s ?Daisy Cutter? weighs in at 15,000 pounds and can dig a much deeper and wider area of destruction.


But these devices, fearsome though they may be, are trivial in their effects compared with a nuclear weapon. If the destructive power of each of the bombs dropped in Baghdad was roughly equivalent to 1,000 pounds of TNT (trinitrotoluene), a nuclear bomb fueled by a single pound of a fissionable element like uranium or plutonium would release the explosive equivalent of approximately sixteen million pounds (eight kilotons). Over the course of the nuclear age, devices in the megaton range (millions of tons of TNT) have been developed and tested.


The tremendous force of a nuclear blast causes correspondingly greater destruction, including from its sheer heat. Whereas a conventional explosion generates temperatures nearing 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit, a nuclear detonation unleashes heat in the millions of degrees, which is then dispersed with terrible effect. In the initial phase, all of the material of the bomb itself?the nuclear fuel, the metal casing, the triggering device?is converted instantaneously into an intensely compressed vapor. Within less than a millionth of a second, this vapor expands into a highly luminous mass of burning air and nuclear material that ascends on its own far up into the atmosphere, reaching widths as large as thousands of feet across.

On the surface of the earth, the fireball vaporizes whatever solid materials abut the explosion, including soil and rock, which then fuse with the radioactive elements of the bomb itself and are borne aloft, gradually returning to earth as fallout: highly lethal radioactive particles ranging in width from the size of a grain of fine sand to small marbles. The rapidly expanding gas of the explosion also gives off a shock wave, a wall of air that continues to move away from the explosive center well after the fireball has disappeared. The wave generates winds exceeding several hundred miles an hour at the epicenter of the explosion and can cause destruction for miles around.

Finally, nuclear weapons yield radiation, including highly penetrating gamma rays that remain lethal over a considerable distance. The rays from a one-megaton explosion can extend approximately two miles; at one mile from ground zero, one would need a concrete barrier four-feet thick to afford protection from them?on the unlikely assumption one could survive the blast?s other, more violent effects.

Nuclear weapons have been used in anger only twice: first at Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and then three days later, when the Japanese still refused to capitulate, at Nagasaki. In all, the immediate death toll from the two attacks was approximately 150,000, with many more tens of thousands left gravely injured. Whatever one?s view of President Truman?s decision to employ the bomb against Japan, no one then or later would dispute that these are the most dreadful weapons ever devised.

Which is why, ever since their invention, a mainstay of American policy has been to prevent a surprise attack with them on our soil. During the cold war, one main leg of this effort was the policy of deterrence, aimed at convincing our principal adversary, the USSR, that a nuclear strike on the U.S. would be met by an even more devastating counterattack that would wipe the USSR from the map. The policy worked, and now that the Soviet empire is no more, we are engaged in a largely cooperative relationship with its nuclear- and non-nuclear-armed successor states.

A second leg of our effort was, and still is, aimed at keeping nuclear weapons from falling into the wrong hands. Until relatively recently, this policy too has largely been a success. Here, technology was long on our side. So considerable were the costs and expertise required to create nuclear weapons that, in the first decades after World War II, only highly developed countries?the USSR, China, England, and France (and, by the late 1960?s, perhaps Israel)?succeeded in developing them on their own. But with the passage of years, the spread of civilian nuclear technology?especially nuclear power plants?and the emergence of a global cadre of nuclear engineers and physicists steadily reduced the obstacles to building such weapons. The essentials of bomb design are today widely understood, and key technologies can either be fabricated indigenously or purchased on open or black and gray markets. Only the nuclear fuel itself?plutonium or highly enriched uranium?remains exceedingly difficult to acquire, although countries with civilian nuclear-power programs can create it on their own.

The U.S. has employed a variety of diplomatic instruments to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. The primary tool?the ?cornerstone of U.S. nuclear nonproliferation policies,? according to a ranking Bush administration official?is the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). This multilateral agreement became international law in 1970 and has by now been signed by some 187 nations?all the nations of the world save three: India, Pakistan, and Israel.*

Along with lofty-sounding provisions calling for peace, the elimination of all nuclear weapons from the planet, and a number of other general goals, the NPT includes a number of specific measures. In particular, it obligates those signatories who do not already have nuclear weapons to remain in that condition, and to accept regular inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to verify that any civilian nuclear resources are under ?safeguard? and are not being covertly diverted to military ends.

In some respects, the NPT has worked extremely well. Thanks to IAEA inspections, the U.S. government and the world community have access to a wealth of highly detailed information about the civilian nuclear programs of countries around the globe, including countries hostile to the United States. The NPT regime has also played a vital role in preserving the nuclear-free status of regional rivals like Argentina and Brazil, to name two countries that in the 1970?s and 80?s were veering into a nuclear-arms race. Perhaps the treaty?s most remarkable achievement was to have fostered the denuclearization of South Africa; as F. W. de Klerk, that country?s former president, would confess, South Africa had surreptitiously developed a small nuclear arsenal, but then dismantled and destroyed it in order to accede to the agreement in 1991.

Such accomplishments have led supporters of the NPT to insist, in the words of the Bush administration, that the ?global nuclear nonproliferation regime remains strong.? But the global nuclear nonproliferation regime is not strong. It has been in serious and growing difficulty for years, and is now virtually in tatters. The story of its decline is full of the most worrisome implications for the future course of world politics. It is also a case study in the pitfalls of relying on multilateral arms-control agreements to protect critical U.S. interests.

IN RECENT years, the NPT regime has faced serious challenge from four countries, and flunked each test. In the case of only one of them?Iraq?has the crisis been definitively resolved, but at the cost of two major wars. Other dangers remain very much upon us, and they are both terrible to contemplate and difficult to avoid.


The history of Iraq?s nuclear program exemplifies what has gone wrong. Iraq ratified the NPT in 1969 under Saddam Hussein, but the country?s signature was an act of deceit. From the outset, the Iraqi dictator was seeking to acquire nuclear weapons; by the mid-1970?s, assisted by avid European suppliers, he had an active program under way. By 1981, Iraqi scientists were on the verge of gaining access to a plentiful source of nuclear fuel from their new reactor at Osirak, a turn-key facility provided by France. Then, on June 7, 1981, Israel, fearing a nuclear-armed Saddam in its neighborhood, destroyed the facility in a precision air-strike that shocked the world.

Iraq responded to this setback by reconstituting its secret program, dispersing facilities widely and placing key technology in hardened shelters. Although the program?s existence was widely suspected, IAEA inspectors came and went without uncovering evidence that radioactive materials were either being diverted from civilian reactors or being acquired by other means. Only in 1991, in the aftermath of the first Gulf war, did the scope and scale of Iraq?s prewar efforts become evident.

Yet even in defeat, and even after having signed surrender terms pledging to disclose all information about the illicit program, Saddam Hussein?s government continued to engage in denial and deception. At first it stated flatly that it had ?no industrial and support facilities related to any form of atomic-energy use which have to be declared.? When this statement was rebutted with incontrovertible facts by the IAEA, the regime acknowledged a handful of sites but still failed to disclose the lion?s share of its activity. Only after the IAEA initiated special on-site inspections did Iraq begin to release significant information, even then omitting important details and either blocking IAEA access to key sites or hurriedly removing nuclear-related equipment from locations that inspectors were likely to visit. The full scope of the Iraqi effort become evident only when the IAEA stumbled on a trove of classified documents.

Under the noses of IAEA inspectors, those documents revealed, the Iraqis had constructed what Hans Blix, then the head of the agency, ruefully admitted was a ?vast unknown, undeclared uranium-enrichment program in the billion-dollar range,? constituting an essential part of ?an advanced nuclear-weapons development program.? Among other things, Iraq was in possession of some 400 tons of previously undisclosed radioactive materials, including six grams of clandestinely produced plutonium and more than 35 kilograms of highly enriched uranium?not yet bomb-grade material but of ?high strategic value.? Iraq had also acquired a large number of calutrons for enriching uranium; these electro-magnetic devices, used by the U.S. in constructing its first atomic bombs but subsequently abandoned in favor of more efficient means, were extremely well suited for a clandestine program like Iraq?s.

It seems that, at the time of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Baghdad had been only months away from acquiring a workable nuclear device. Had Saddam Hussein been a little more patient, he could have had a nuclear-equipped military before embarking on that aggressive adventure. Standing up to him in those circumstances would have presented incalculably greater risks to Washington and its hesitant allies in Europe.

Nor, in the aftermath of the first Gulf war, did Iraq cease its activity. A great deal of information came to light in 1995 with the defection to Jordan of Hussein Kamel, Saddam Hussein?s son-in-law, who revealed a well-funded and continuing program to mount a nuclear warhead on an intermediate-range ballistic missile as well as efforts to turn highly enriched uranium into fuel for a nuclear bomb. Once again, these efforts were proceeding in the face of special IAEA and UNSCOM inspections mandated by the UN Security Council and far more intrusive than the ones for a normal country under the NPT.

What happened to Iraq?s nuclear program after the mid-decade revelations, and especially after 1998 when Saddam Hussein halted all cooperation with the UN inspectors and they withdrew from the country, is unclear. As is well known, Washington based its case for the second Gulf war in part on intelligence pointing to a continuing covert Iraqi effort to acquire nuclear weapons, including the highly controversial sixteen words in President Bush?s State of the Union Address about Iraq?s alleged effort to purchase uranium yellowcake from the African country of Niger. But in the aftermath of our victory, the search for evidence of this program has thus far come up dry. Did the Iraqi dictator order the program transferred to new and as yet undiscovered locations, or was it dismantled and destroyed? We do not yet have the answer.

IF IRAQ represents one kind of failure for the NPT, Pakistan represents another?not so much of the treaty itself as of U.S. policy. The salient fact here is that Pakistan has refused to sign the pact, and is not subject to its strictures.


The Pakistani nuclear program, like Iraq?s, is decades old. It began in earnest after the loss of East Pakistan?now Bangladesh?to India in the war of 1971, a defeat that impelled Pakistan to develop an ?Islamic bomb? (in the phrase employed at the time by prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) to counter India?s Hindu one. The fuel for this Islamic bomb was initially to come from a reprocessing facility provided by France in 1974, although the French and other Western suppliers withdrew as Pakistani intentions became clear. In stepped the Chinese, who in the intervening decades have provided Pakistan with technicians, highly enriched uranium, key components of enrichment facilities, and a heavy-water reactor for the production of plutonium and tritium, as well as designs for a relatively sophisticated and readily deliverable 25-kiloton-yield weapon.

Lacking recourse to the machinery of the NPT, the U.S. has responded to this Pakistani program with an assortment of carrots and sticks, pledging financial and military assistance if Pakistan would desist, threatening a series of sanctions, some of them mandated by Congress, if it pressed ahead. But the sanctions have been waived at every turn, for the simple reason that Pakistan has been a pivotal player in U.S. foreign policy as a frontline state both in the Soviet-Afghan war that began in 1979 and in the war against al Qaeda and the Taliban that began in October 2001. In any case, the sanctions were unlikely to have deflected Pakistan from a strategic goal it has perceived as vital to its national existence.

Already by the mid-1990?s, Pakistan was widely believed to have obtained a small stockpile of nuclear weapons, as well as the missiles for delivering them. Its status as a nuclear power was confirmed when it conducted five underground tests on May 28, 1998. By any yardstick, this date deserves to be remembered as a watershed in international affairs, marking the first time that a certifiable basket-case of a country became an officially-declared nuclear power.

Since its birth as a nation in 1947, Pakistan?s government has been regularly toppled by military coups. A major segment of the population is in the grip of radical Islam, and some leading nuclear scientists have close ties to the most fanatical Muslims of Afghanistan and al Qaeda. The country is locked in a conflict with India over the status of Kashmir that periodically threatens to become the first nuclear flashpoint since World War II. To complete the picture, Pakistan is so desperately poor that it has been paying for its military programs by barter.

Its most important partner in this arrangement happens to be North Korea. In exchange for North Korean missiles that can carry a nuclear payload, Pakistan has provided Pyongyang with gas centrifuges, a key technology for processing uranium into bomb-grade material. The U.S. response to this illicit trade has been a mild slap on the wrist: this past April, Washington imposed a two-year ban on any American dealings with the research laboratory where Pakistan?s nuclear weapons are designed and fabricated.

IF PAKISTAN is a stick of dynamite, North Korea is a stick of dynamite with a lit fuse. The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), run today by the mad Communist dictator Kim Jong Il, became a signatory of the NPT in 1985. But from the outset it declined to permit the IAEA to verify its initial accounting of nuclear materials, or to monitor more than a single one of its reactors. As the charade continued in the 1990?s, the Clinton administration engaged in an intense but ultimately fruitless effort to persuade the North to abandon its nuclear ambitions, encouraging it to sign a supplementary agreement?the Yongbyon Agreed Framework, brokered by former President Jimmy Carter?that promised generous foreign aid in exchange for forbearance. North Korea grudgingly accepted the aid but, as we now know, declined to show any forbearance.?


The most dramatic chapter of this saga opened last October, when for no discernible reason Pyongyang suddenly revealed that, in violation of both the NPT and Yongbyon, it was operating an active nuclear-weapons program all along. By December it had ratcheted up the pressure, declaring the Yongbyon agreement null and void and renouncing the NPT in the bargain. On New Year?s eve, all IAEA personnel were expelled from the country. In April, Pyongyang declared that it already possessed nuclear weapons and was in the midst of manufacturing more, having reprocessed the fuel from 8,000 control rods at one of its ?civilian? reactors. In August, it announced that it might shortly commence test-firing nuclear weapons, something it has not yet openly done (although one of Pakistan?s nuclear tests may actually have been of a North Korean device).

The North Korean regime is Stalinist to the core?and then some. Thanks to a calcified, centrally-planned economy, large portions of the country suffer from famine. Amid the general destitution, Kim Jong Il has sponsored a personality cult whose symbols and slogans are ubiquitous. His subjects speak of him with the mandatory appellation ?Dear Leader? and wear a badge of his likeness on their lapels. The North Korean regime has engaged in bizarre kidnapping plots (of South Korean actors and actresses, to jump-start an indigenous film industry; of girls off beaches in Japan, to be employed as teachers of Japanese language and manners in a school for spies). Pyongyang has also engaged in terrorism. Among other violent deeds, it blew up a South Korean airliner in 1987, killing all 115 aboard.

It is this demented and venomous regime that boasts of having nuclear weapons at its disposal. According to the CIA, in addition to the one or two bombs already in its possession, the North has been ?constructing a plant that could produce enough weapons-grade uranium for two or more nuclear weapons per year when fully operational?which could be as soon as mid-decade.? According to another government study, Pyongyang has also been at work on two very large ?electrical-generating? stations that, upon completion, will produce sufficient spent nuclear fuel to yield 200 kilograms of plutonium, enough to manufacture approximately 30 nuclear weapons a year.

Compounding the peril is the fact that North Korea has been vigorously developing intermediate- and long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. It has already successfully tested intermediate-range missiles that can strike all of Japan, points far beyond in Asia and the Pacific, and?with a reduced payload?the west coast of the United States. In September, U.S. officials reported a new model in the works with a range of 9,400 miles, a capability that would place every city in the United States under its shadow.

Not only is North Korea steadily adding missiles to its own arsenal, it is exporting them to other unsavory regimes around the world. With its ample supplies of uranium and uranium-enrichment equipment, it has threatened to export nuclear materials as well. Not only does North Korea ?pose a serious and immediate challenge to the nuclear non-proliferation regime,? in the words of Mohamed ElBaradei, the current head of the IAEA; it poses an even more serious and immediate challenge to the peace and security of the world.

AMONG THE countries trading with North Korea is Iran, a country likewise governed by violent fanatics, of the Islamic rather than the Marxist-Leninist stripe. Iran joined the NPT at the treaty?s inception. It was then still under the rule of the shah, who had started an ambitious civilian-nuclear program and possibly some weapons-related research as well. But IAEA inspectors were finally invited to visit the country?s facilities only in 1992, thirteen years after the shah was deposed by the Islamic revolution. The ayatollahs appear to have calculated that, being limited to officially designated sites, the IAEA would be unable to find evidence of their secret program. If so, their calculation proved correct, for the IAEA regularly certified Iran to be in compliance with the treaty?s strictures?until it became unmistakably apparent that it had been in violation all along.


Earlier this year, in the face of detailed media reports, Iran admitted to the IAEA that it had been constructing two hitherto secret plants: one to enrich uranium and another to produce heavy water, an essential ingredient in developing plutonium. The Iranians also acknowledged having imported nearly two metric tons of uranium from China in 1991, which, in a major breach of the NPT, they stored in a facility not subject to IAEA supervision. In late August and again in late September, IAEA inspections turned up traces of uranium on equipment in supposedly non-nuclear facilities, leading the agency to conclude that an illicit enrichment program was under way. Commented ElBaradei: ?This worries us greatly.?


Iran is an oil-rich country. It has no need for an ambitious civilian nuclear-energy industry. The fact that it has been vigorously developing one was a red flag that the ayatollahs did not deign to conceal. To augment the menace, Iran is ?the most active state sponsor of terrorism? in the world, according to the U.S. Department of State. Tehran has carried out a series of kidnappings and assassinations in Europe. It has funded and provided training and arms to a variety of Palestinian terrorist organizations, including Hizballah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and factions within Yasir Arafat?s PLO. It was almost certainly behind the bombings in Argentina of the Israeli embassy in March 1992, killing 29, and the Jewish community center in July 1994, killing 86. It is thought to have had a hand in the June 1996 bombing of the al-Khobar barracks in Saudi Arabia that took the lives of nineteen U.S. soldiers. It has ties with al Qaeda and, in the wake of September 11, may have given shelter to some of its leading operatives. The list goes on and on.

To augment the menace even more, Iran has also been building missiles at a feverish pace. In July it successfully tested the Shehab-3 (a variant of the No Dong missile first provided to it by North Korea), with a range of 930 miles and capable of carrying a small nuclear warhead. Iranian engineers are similarly moving forward with the Shehab-4 and Shehab-5, with ranges of 1,240 and 3,100 miles respectively. Brigadier General Safavi, who heads Iran?s Revolutionary Guard Corps, declared not long ago that ?Iranian missiles can cause irreparable damage to either Israel or the United States.? This is partly bluster. Israel indeed lies within range of Iranian missiles. The United States does not?not yet.

PERHAPS BECAUSE the attention of our policymakers has been diverted elsewhere, perhaps because our military resources are stretched thin in Afghanistan and Iraq, perhaps because the options are all so unattractive, perhaps because the issues are so dire, the twin challenge presented by North Korea and Iran has met with an even more muted American response than has the challenge posed by Pakistan.


In Asia, the U.S. has been engaged in desultory six-way talks with North Korea and its neighbors. The idea is to bring pressure to bear on Pyongyang, especially from China and Russia, while also holding out the prospect of still more aid if North Korea dismantles its program in a verifiable way. It would be something of a miracle if the talks were to succeed; this approach has been tried in the past and failed.

Under the Yongbyon framework, the Clinton administration plied North Korea with huge shipments of oil. It also promised two proliferation-resistant light-water nuclear reactors if Pyongyang would only promise to stop developing the bomb. In a magnanimous gesture during Clinton?s final year in office, Madeleine Albright became the first American cabinet member ever to visit Communist Pyongyang?following which, noting ?important progress? in talks about missile exports, the administration eased longstanding sanctions against the North under the Trading with the Enemy Act, the Defense Production Act, and the Export Administration Act. But there was no ?important progress?: North Korea did not limit its missile exports or do anything else, except, presumably, absorb a lesson or two about American credulity. In the end, one may hope that it will turn out to be an incorrect lesson; but if, today, the North Koreans make preposterous demands and feign outrage when we do not yield, at least we have some inkling why.

The American reaction to developments in Iran has been even quieter. Once again, we have attempted to work in concert with neighbors and, especially, the IAEA to pressure the ayatollahs to adhere to their obligations under the NPT or face the disapprobation of the UN Security Council. The IAEA is also seeking Iran?s signature on a supplementary protocol that would make the country more ?transparent? to inspectors. The success of these initiatives may be judged by the fact that Ayatollah Khatami, Iran?s ?moderate? president, has pledged continued fealty to the NPT even as his regime blatantly breaches its provisions. Other influential clerics, including Ayatollah Jannati, head of the Guardian Council and closely aligned with Iran?s ?hardline? supreme leader, Ayatollah Kha?menei, have urged that the government shun the ?extra humiliation? of the new protocol and follow the path of North Korea by withdrawing from the NPT altogether.

HOW NORTH KOREA and Iran will conduct themselves in the months to come is a matter of speculation. Many different behaviors are possible, ranging from delaying tactics to phony concessions to threats of aggression. But, the immediate future aside, the predicament we are in is as unmistakable as is our apparent determination to ignore or deny it.


The NPT regime is radically flawed. Three countries whose facilities have been under its safeguards have managed either to develop nuclear weapons or to come perilously close to it. This has occurred because the NPT exhibits almost all the classical problems of arms-control agreements as Washington has pursued them. Elaborate mechanisms are put in place that seem to ensure the achievement of desirable objectives. Yet, in the absence of airtight verification procedures, the only countries thereby restrained are the law-abiding ones who are not themselves a menace. In the meantime, determined cheaters like Iraq, Iran, and North Korea make use of loopholes to pursue their objectives. Though the NPT appeared to work well in its early years, when the relevant technology was more difficult to acquire, now it serves mostly as a cover for would-be proliferators, offering assurances to the world that everything is fine and encouraging Washington to slumber when it needs most to be alert.

The NPT also exhibits structural defects specific unto itself. IAEA inspectors, of whom there are only several hundred responsible for policing approximately 1,000 nuclear facilities around the world, can barely do their job as it is. They are spread even thinner by the need to devote the same amount of attention to wholly innocuous programs in countries like Canada as they do to suspicious ones in countries like Iran. At the same time, IAEA officials lack the freedom to conduct unfettered inspections of any site they choose; they can only visit sites declared (by the signatory nation) to be under the IAEA?s ?safeguard.? And even if they were granted more sweeping rights, the idea that they could find undeclared facilities on their own in a country attempting to conceal them is a delusion. Finally, a glaring loophole in the treaty exempts states from declaring a nuclear installation until 180 days before introducing radioactive material into it; this is precisely the escape mechanism that Iran has exploited to build the uranium and plutonium facilities it has only now disclosed.

In theory the NPT could be strengthened by closing its loopholes and mandating intrusive inspections of sites selected by the inspectors themselves. But the political obstacles would be formidable, and the countries of greatest concern would almost certainly demur. Even if there were universal agreement about amending the NPT, moreover, it would remain only as strong as the will of its strongest members to enforce it. Thus far, with the exception of the decisive action taken on two occasions by the United States against Iraq, that will has been absent. One should note, of course, that even here, Iraqi breaches of the NPT were not a casus belli cited by the U.S. before either Gulf war.

As for Pakistan, as a non-member state, it would of course not be directly touched by any changes to the NPT. For the moment, unlike Pyongyang and Tehran, the government of Pakistan does still seem capable of making rational choices. But if that situation were to change, and radical Islamists were to ascend to power, the prospect that Pakistani nuclear weapons might be transferred to the remnants of al Qaeda or to other Islamic terrorists would be intolerable. Both India and the United States would feel under tremendous pressure to disarm Islamabad, a step that in the logic of things would quite possibly require a nuclear first strike.

U.S. influence on the future course of Pakistani politics is quite limited. Where the U.S. might play an active role right now is in making it utterly clear to our ostensible ally that unless it ceases to export its nuclear know-how and materials to rogue states, it will be made to pay a very stiff price. Similar efforts might also be made to rein in or punish other exporters of nuclear material, including not only Pakistan and North Korea but also Russia, China, and France.

THE RADICAL insufficiency of the NPT confirms once again the wisdom of deploying a missile-defense shield. This project, widely ridiculed when it was first proposed by Ronald Reagan in the 1980?s, has become an urgent national imperative. The U.S. needs a strategic system to defend its own skies, and portable ship- or air-borne theater systems to defend its allies.


But even if we could deploy an impermeable missile shield tomorrow (and no missile shield is likely to be impermeable), there are other ways than missiles to deliver nuclear weapons. Such weapons can be packed into shipping containers and brought into American ports, or smuggled across our borders wrapped inside, say, a bale of marijuana. Countering this particular facet of the threat defensively is virtually impossible?a fact that points toward yet another urgent imperative.

In the National Security Strategy he unveiled at West Point in June 2002, President Bush enunciated a doctrine of preemption. Certain kinds of international challenges, he said, must be forcibly answered before the evidence of danger is presented to us in the shape of a mushroom cloud. The United States, Bush declared,


can no longer solely rely on a reactive posture as we have in the past. The inability to deter a potential attacker, the immediacy of today?s threats, and the magnitude of the potential harm that could be caused by our adversaries? choice of weapons, do not permit that option. We cannot let our enemies strike first.
This was precisely Israel?s thinking when it destroyed Iraq?s reactor at Osirak in 1981. At the time, Israel?s action was condemned by all the countries of the world, including the United States. In its unanimous resolution, the UN Security Council asserted that Iraq was a member in good standing of the NPT, had ?accepted [IAEA] safeguards on its nuclear activities, and . . . these safeguards have been satisfactorily applied to date.? It went on to denounce Israel?s raid as a ?danger to international peace.?

We can now see things as they are?that is, just as the government of Israel saw them in 1981. In the aftermath of September 11, fanatical anti-American regimes like those ruling Iran and North Korea cannot be permitted to obtain weapons that can be easily hidden and used without warning to destroy entire cities in an instant. If peaceful means of persuasion have been exhausted, it is incumbent on us to consider, coolly, other means.

Unfortunately, military action is not likely to be as simple as it was for Israel at Osirak?not that that operation was in the least simple. Rehearsed for months by the Israeli air force, it required up-to-date intelligence, superb airmanship, and total surprise to succeed. It also had to be done within a narrow window of time, before the reactor went critical; otherwise, there was a real possibility of radiological contamination over a large area.

In both North Korea and Iran, the radioactive elements are already in place and hence some level of contamination would be likely in a preemptive strike. There are other major difficulties as well. Although Iran is without question the easier country to hit, the locations of its nuclear facilities being well-known and within range of American warships and bases, the sites there are nevertheless widely dispersed, guarded by air-defense systems, and in some cases built underground and protected by heavy layers of reinforced concrete. A successful strike would need to be broad-based and sustained and include very heavy bunker-busting weapons.

As for Iran?s ability to retaliate, that is limited but not insignificant. Though it has attempted to modernize its forces in the aftermath of its war with Iraq, the pace has been slowed by a general shortage of cash. That shortage, indeed, is one reason Tehran has confined itself to a narrow buildup, focusing on the acquisition of unconventional weapons?not only nuclear but also chemical and biological?and the shells and missiles to deliver them. It has also invested in its navy, with the idea of being able to choke off Western supplies of oil by obstructing the Persian Gulf. Its final point of leverage lies in its command of terrorist forces like Hizballah in Lebanon and elsewhere, which in a crisis could be used to divert Western arms.

In a worst case, a preemptive strike against Iran might lead to a medium-sized conflagration involving unconventional weapons. Nevertheless, given Iran?s overwhelming weakness, this contest would be one in which the U.S. and its allies would rapidly prevail. That in itself holds out a faint ray of hope?namely, that the very threat of a preemptive strike, especially if it is preceded by a visible military buildup and an ultimatum, might possibly persuade the ayatollahs to stand down and relinquish their nuclear ambitions.

North Korea is a much trickier problem. Some facilities are buried deep inside mountains and cannot be readily attacked and destroyed from the air. Others we may not know about at all. The regime itself is highly secretive, and unless the U.S. had reliable and timely intelligence about the whereabouts of Kim Jong Il and his top lieutenants, exceptional luck would be required to decapitate it by means of a conventional blow. Even if we did get lucky, there would still be the possibility of a North Korean response.

Not only does the North appear to have deliverable nuclear weapons, it also has one of the world?s largest armies, comprising 1.2 million soldiers, some 70 percent of whom are positioned in and around the 12,000 underground bunkers near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas. These forces are armed with approximately 10,000 artillery pieces and over 800 missiles capable of reaching South Korea and some of its neighbors. In addition, they are equipped with 2,500 multiple-rocket launchers capable of firing (by a conservative estimate) 500,000 shells an hour to a range of 33 miles. The city of Seoul, situated 24 miles from the DMZ and with a population of more than ten million, could be devastated within hours.

That is the bad news. The better news is that North Korea is not ten or even six feet tall. Its military equipment consists of aging Soviet and Chinese stocks that qualitatively are vastly inferior to both the U.S. and South Korean militaries. Its army is large to the point of bloat; significant numbers of conscripts are engaged in forced-labor projects that have little or no military significance. The populace from which these troops are drawn is hungry and downtrodden, and many soldiers are undoubtedly hungry as well. It is an open question whether, if push came to war, North Korea?s military would disintegrate on its own, and with it the Communist regime.

IN THE final analysis, we cannot know with any certainty how such preemptive actions would play out. We can be certain only of this: as the danger looms closer, the divas of peace at any price will begin their predictable serenades. It is ?vital,? says Jimmy Carter, ?that some accommodation? be reached with Pyongyang, a regime that ?feels increasingly threatened by being branded an ?axis of evil? member.? The New York Times, for its part, editorializes that ?diplomacy is the only acceptable alternative,? just as it editorialized back in 1995 when, lauding the ?accommodation? with North Korea achieved by the same Jimmy Carter, it urged the Clinton administration to strike a similar ?bargain? with the ayatollahs in Tehran.


Curiously enough, even the notoriously cautious Clintonites may, at the time, have had doubts about the efficacy of this course of inaction where North Korea was concerned. In fact, if a recent article by then-Secretary of Defense William B. Perry and Assistant Secretary of Defense Ashton J. Carter is to be believed, the administration seriously weighed a preemptive attack on the North?s weapons-producing site at Yongbyon. The Clinton team, Perry and Carter write,

readied a detailed plan to attack the Yongbyon facility with precision-guided bombs. We were highly confident that it could be destroyed without causing a meltdown that would release radioactivity into the air. The plutonium would be entombed, and the special buildings nearby designed to reprocess the reactor fuel into bomb material would also be leveled.
To be sure, there was the worry of a ?spasmodic? North Korean response that would cost the lives of thousands of U.S. troops, tens of thousands of South Korean troops, and an untold number of civilians. Nevertheless, Perry and Carter conclude, ?we believed that the nuclear program on which North Korea was embarked was even more dangerous, and [we] were prepared to risk a war to stop it.? Indeed, it was only when Jimmy Carter stepped in to ?solve? the problem through his brand of personal diplomacy that the plan for preemptive war was dropped.**

Needless to say, the North Korean problem was not solved and a crucial decade has been lost. Today, while our forces are engaged in a major open-ended operation in Iraq, a minor open-ended operation in Afghanistan, and a global war against al Qaeda, we are quietly sliding into the gravest crisis of this kind since Nikita Khrushchev placed nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba. Two crazy states?both charter members of what President Bush has rightly called the ?axis of evil,? both openly flouting an international treaty to which they are party, both perpetrators of acts of international terrorism, both animated by a blistering hatred for America and the West?are bent on acquiring weapons of unthinkable destructive power. The CIA, as it admits in its own statements, does not know what it needs to know about either country, except that North Korea almost certainly possesses two or more fully operational bombs and could have as many as ten within months, while Iran is at most several years away from acquiring the bomb unless it purchases one or more tomorrow or next week or next month from Pyongyang.

Whatever the constraints on our resources, the challenge is unmistakable and cannot be dodged. The price of action is likely to be high, very high; the price of inaction is likely to be much higher. Courtesy of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, we have already had to relearn the lesson of Pearl Harbor in a second and more terrible form. In the age of terrorism and nuclear weapons, we cannot afford to relearn it a third time and a fourth.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* The Washington Post, October 20, 2002. Perry and Carter may be engaged here in historical revisionism, designed to make timorousness look like toughness. In open testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1995, Perry stated flatly that he and his advisers only considered destroying North Korea?s nuclear installations but did not advocate this to the President. Instead, they recommended the imposition of sanctions, plus a military build-up in case the sanctions provoked a North Korean first strike.

===================


Gaddafi says Libya came close to building bomb

Reuters
Monday, July 24, 2006; 3:05 PM



TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, whose country abandoned weapons of mass destruction programs in 2003, said that at one stage Libya had come close to building a nuclear bomb, the Libyan news agency reported on Monday.

It was the first time any Libyan official has confirmed that the north African country of more than five million had been trying to build a nuclear bomb.

"It is true that Libya came close to building a nuclear bomb. This is no longer a secret ... as everything was laid bare by the International Atomic (Energy) Agency for everyone to see," the agency quoted Gaddafi as saying on Sunday in a speech to Libyan engineers.

"The programs and equipment (to build a nuclear bomb) are known," he added.

Gaddafi, who was speaking mainly about the need for economic self-reliance, referred to Libya's efforts to gain the bomb as one of several examples of Libyans being successful in challenging endeavors. He gave no further details.

The main point of Gaddafi's speech was to say that he wanted to limit the role of foreigners in the economy to ensure as much of the country's wealth as possible stayed at home.

In December 2003 Libya said it was abandoning its weapons of mass destruction programs and would allow in international weapons inspectors.

The move was the most startling of several by Libya that helped the OPEC oil producer repair relations with the West after decades of estrangement.

The U.S. government said in May that it would restore formal ties with Tripoli and take Libya off the list of countries deemed state sponsors of terrorism.

Gaddafi, elaborating on a long-standing explanation for his abandonment of confrontation with the West, said the time for spending large amounts of money on supporting political movements overseas was now over.

Although the support was a "must" at the time, it was clear that the effort had used up large amounts of resources.

"All revolutionaries used to come to the (Libyan) revolution for help. Revolutionaries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, sought our help, even the IRA (Irish Republican Army)," he said.

"I put a stop to this because we spent a great deal of money on the military side, not only in terms of construction."

He said Libya had taken part in a "battle" for Arab nationalism, but this era was now over.

"There were hopes and aspirations to have a strong nationalist entity of which we would be a part, expanding from Iraq to Morocco, for example. This no longer valid," he said. "Arabs would be one nation ... Unfortunately this has failed and that era ended and a new era began."

"We have to learn lessons."

====================

Pakistan nuclear expansion raises US concerns By Carol Giacomo and Andrea Shalal-Esa
Mon Jul 24, 6:31 PM ET



Pakistan is building a new nuclear reactor that could produce enough plutonium for 40 to 50 nuclear weapons a year in what would be a major expansion of its nuclear program and could prompt an intensified arms race in South Asia, a report said Monday.

But U.S. officials and congressional aides, who confirmed the Pakistani plan, said it was unlikely to derail a nuclear cooperation accord with India or the sale of U.S.-made F-16 jets to Islamabad.

News of the planned new Pakistani facility was confirmed as the U.S. Congress faced targets for action this week on both an Indian cooperation accord and the F-16s deal.

"We have been aware of these plans, and we discourage any use of that facility for military purposes such as weapons development," White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters.

He said the administration "discourage(s) expansion and modernization of nuclear weapons programs, both of India and Pakistan," nuclear rivals who refused to sign the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

While U.S. officials knew about the reactor project, congressional aides said Congress was largely unaware until a report in the Washington Post on Monday citing an analysis of satellite photos and other data by the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security.

The analysis concluded Pakistan was building a second larger heavy water reactor at its Khushab complex that could produce enough plutonium for 40 to 50 nuclear weapons a year.

Construction apparently began sometime after March 2000. But the analysis said Pakistan did not appear to be hastening completion, possibly due to shortages of reactor components or weapons production infrastructure.

The administration preferred to keep the project quiet because public disclosure "probably will aggravate concerns in India" as well as on Capitol Hill, one U.S. official said.

Congress this week faces a deadline for acting if it wants to block administration plans to sell Pakistan up to 36 F-16C/D Block 50/52 Falcon fighters built by Lockheed Martin Corp. in a deal potentially worth up to $5 billion.

Some lawmakers are concerned about Pakistan's past nuclear proliferation record and fear the warplane technology could be leaked to China, Pakistan's close ally.

Congress could block the sale by enacting a resolution of disapproval in both houses within 30 days of the June 28 notification date, but such action is rare.

But to survive a presidential veto, the legislation would have to pass both houses with a two-thirds majority.

"The reality ...is that it's very difficult to pass a resolution of disapproval," said Rachel Stohl of the Center for Defense Information.

Added a congressional aide: "There should be no effect on the sale of F-16s (because of the new reactor). So far there seem to be no major obstacles to the sale.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday is to take the first of two key votes on the U.S.-India nuclear deal, which would permit sales of American nuclear fuel and reactors to New Delhi for the first time in 30 years. U.S. officials and congressional aides expect the deal to be approved.

However, Democratic Rep. Edward Markey (news, bio, voting record), an administration critic, said: "The nuclear arms race in South Asia is about to ignite, and ... the Bush Administration is throwing fuel on the fire. If either India or Pakistan starts increasing its nuclear arsenal, the other side will respond in kind; and the Bush Administration's proposed nuclear deal with India is making that much more likely."

He and other lawmakers accused the State Department of withholding until after the vote an embarrassing report which will show Indian entities have sold or received weapons of mass destruction technology from Iran or Syria. A department spokesman said the report would be out "shortly."

(additional reporting by Steve Holland))

=================

  Posted July 28, 2006 06:39 AM July 28, 2006 06:39 AM

Pak has between 25 and 50 N-weapons: Report

Press Trust of India

New York, July 27, 2006|14:23 IST


Pakistan currently has between 25 and 50 nuclear weapons, mostly relatively simple uranium arms with "modest" yields around the size of the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a journal claimed on Thursday.
The Nature magazine's claim followed media reports that satellite photos of Pakistan's Khushab nuclear site have shown what appears to be a partially completed heavy-water reactor capable of a 20-fold increase from its current nuclear capabilities.

Quoting Director of globalsecurity.org, a non-profit group that specialises in image analysis John Pike, Nature says if the new facility is what it seems to be, it would allow Pakistan to build a lot more bombs.

The reactor is "gigantic" and would allow Pakistan to increase its total number of weapons tenfold, he says. Plutonium can be used to construct smaller and more lightweight weapons than uranium.

Most uranium bombs require 15 to 20 kilograms of material, but plutonium weapons can be built with as little as 5 kilograms. That makes it easier to fit plutonium warheads on missiles.

In addition, small plutonium bombs are often used to trigger larger hydrogen weapons.

So the technology, says Pike, is an important step towards developing those bombs, which are thousands of times more powerful than uranium and plutonium weapons.
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Bowser
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WW3
« Reply #343 on: July 28, 2006, 10:39:52 PM »

Quote from: Crafty_Dog
B:

Martial Arts begins with the consciousness that we are worthy of defending.

=============

.



Defence? This war is the equivalent of you coming and attempting to destroy my house and family because your president tells you that you are defending yourself by doing so even though i am innocent of any attack. . . . that's not defence, that's an attack. . . .  calling it defence is just pseudo political double talk. . . . and so apparently is your "higher consciousness through harder contact" claim.

Martial arts are not a pseudo patriotic political excuse to indulge in mechanised killing. . ..  but that's what you are treating them as. . . shame on you.. . . you get no repect from this puppy.

 smiley
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #344 on: July 28, 2006, 10:58:47 PM »

Lacking respect means you lack the requirements of participation here.
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Bowser
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« Reply #345 on: July 29, 2006, 02:23:25 AM »

We don't see a eye to eye at all.

 goodbye

.
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captainccs
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« Reply #346 on: July 29, 2006, 10:29:36 AM »

Interview with Tony Jones - Lateline
Tuesday, 23 August 2005 - 10.40 pm

SUBJECTS: Australian values, Muslim clerics, anti-Americanism, Telstra

TONY JONES:
Peter Costello thanks for joining us.

TREASURER:
Good to be with you, Tony.

TONY JONES:
Now, over the past 24 hours you've been repeating the notion that migrants, evidently Islamic migrants, who don't like Australia, or Australian values, should think of packing up and moving to another country. Is that a fair assessment?

TREASURER:
What I've said is that this is a country, which is founded on a democracy. According to our Constitution, we have a secular state. Our laws are made by the Australian Parliament. If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you. This is not the kind of country where you would feel comfortable if you were opposed to democracy, parliamentary law, independent courts and so I would say to people who don't feel comfortable with those values there might be other countries where they'd feel more comfortable with their own values or beliefs.

TONY JONES:
It sounds like you're inviting Muslims who don't want to integrate to go to another country. Is it as simple as that?

TREASURER:
No. I'm saying if you are thinking of coming to Australia, you ought to know what Australian values are.

TONY JONES:
But what about if you're already here and you don't want to integrate?

TREASURER:
Well, I'll come to that in a moment. But there are some clerics who have been quoted as saying they recognise two laws. They recognise Australian law and Sharia law. There's only one law in Australia, it's the Australian law. For those coming to Australia, I think we ought to be very clear about that. We expect them to recognise only one law and to observe it.

Now, for those who are born in Australia, I'd make the same point. This is a country which has a Constitution. Under its Constitution, the state is secular. Under its constitution, the law is made by the parliament. Under its Constitution, it's enforced by the judiciary. These are Australian values and they're not going to change and we would expect people, when they come to Australia or if they are born in Australia, to respect those values.

TONY JONES:
I take it that if you're a dual citizen and you have the opportunity to leave and you don't like Australian values, you're encouraging them to go away; is that right?

TREASURER:
Well, if you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country which practises it, perhaps then that's a better option.

TONY JONES:
But isn't this the sort of thing you hear in pubs, the meaningless populism you hear on talkback radio? Essentially, the argument is if you don't like it here, you should go back home.

TREASURER:
No. Essentially, the argument is Australia expects its citizens to abide by core beliefs - democracy, the rule of law, the independent judiciary, independent liberty. You see, Tony, when you come to Australia and you go to take out Australian citizenship you either swear on oath or make an affirmation that you respect Australia's democracy and its values. That's what we ask of people that come to Australia and if they don't, then it's very clear that this is not the country - if they can't live with them - whose values they can't share. Well, there might be another country where their values can be shared.

TONY JONES:
Who exactly are you aiming this at? Are you aiming it at young Muslims who don't want to integrate or are you aiming it at clerics like Sheikh Omran or Abu Bakr both from Melbourne?

TREASURER:
I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia, one the Australian law and another the Islamic law, that that is false. It's not the situation in Australia. It's not the situation under our Constitution. There's only one law in Australia. It's the law that's made by the Parliament of Australia and enforced by our courts. There's no second law. There's only one law that applies in Australia and Australia expects its citizens to observe it.

TONY JONES:
But you're not moving to the next stage, as they have in Britain, of actively seeking out clerics who teach what they regard as dangerous philosophy to young Muslims and forcing them to leave the country?

TREASURER:
The only thing I would say - and let me say it again - is we can't be ambivalent about this point. Australia has one law, Australia has a secular state and anybody who teaches to the contrary doesn't know Australia and anybody who can't accept that, can't accept something that is fundamental to the nature of our society.

TONY JONES:
All right. But the situation now, as far as you're concerned, if they are to leave, it should be completely voluntary.

TREASURER:
Well, I'm just saying if they object to a secular state with parliamentary law, there might be other countries where the system of law is more acceptable to them.

TONY JONES:
Alright. Could that situation change? I mean, the voluntary nature of it at least, could you compel people to leave, including radical preachers, if there were a terrorist attack in Australia, as there was in London not so long ago?

TREASURER:
Well, where a person has dual citizenship, Tony, it might be possible to ask them to exercise that other citizenship where they could just as easily exercise a citizenship of another country. That might be a live possibility.

TONY JONES:
You mean to force them to leave?

TREASURER:
Well, you could ask them to exercise another citizenship.

TONY JONES:
But you would only do that if there were a terrorist attack in the aftermath of it. You wouldn't do it, for example, if there were a thwarted terrorist attack as ASIO has told us there has been in this country?

TREASURER:
Well, I am not going into individual circumstances. I just make the point that where people have dual citizenship and they're not comfortable with the way Australia is structured, it may be possible to ask them to exercise their other citizenship.

TONY JONES:
Forcibly?

TREASURER:
Well, as I said, it may be possible to ask them to exercise their other citizenship.

TONY JONES:
Let's move on. You made a speech at the weekend in which you warned that Australia could be hurt by growing anti-Americanism or Australia's interests at least could be hurt by growing anti-Americanism in the world. How could that happen?

TREASURER:
Well, I think there is a lot of anti-Americanism in Australia. It's not just in Australia. It there's anti-Americanism in Europe and other parts of the world and to some degree it may be less in Australia than in countries like France or in parts of the Arab world. But I don't believe we can be complacent about it. It is a real strand of public opinion and I think we ought to engage it and discuss it. The point I'm trying to make is we in Australia have no reason to be anti-American; that where American power has been exercised, such as in the World War II, it was exercised in the defence of Australia, not the attack of Australia. By and large, American power, which is exercised in defence of democracy and in individual liberty, is supportive of Australia in its interests and not a threat to it.

TONY JONES:
You said to Laurie Oakes on Sunday that anti-Americanism can easily morph into anti-Westernism and effectively that could threaten our interests. How could that happen?

TREASURER:
Well, we've seen with some terrorist attacks already that Western places are targets. Not necessarily because there are Australians present, but because in the terrorist mind there are Westerners present, whether they be Americans or Britons or Australians.

TONY JONES:
This is to do with anti-Americanism?

TREASURER:
Well, as I said, anti-Westernism, and terrorists don't particularly distinguish when they're setting off bombs, can hit Australians as much as it can hit Americans or it can hit Britons.

TONY JONES:
But this is anti-Americanism morphing into a broader anti-Western feeling which could affect Australian interests. Is that what you are saying?

TREASURER:
Well, there have been occasions when Australians have been hit by terrorist incidents where people haven't distinguished between whether it's Americans or Britons or Australians. There is a strand of terrorist thinking that says that anybody who is a Westerner is a legitimate target.

TONY JONES:
But the core of it is anti-American from what you are saying? The logic of what you are saying is pretty clear.

TREASURER:
In some terrorist minds, if you're hitting a Westerner, you're hitting a legitimate target. The point I want to make is that because we're Westerners, in the minds of some terrorists we can be targets. So it's in our interests to defend the values of the West and it's in our interests to explain our policy. It's in America's interests to defend its own image and I would urge it to do so and I would also say to Australia's security -

TONY JONES:
You seem to be suggesting that anti-Americanism is in fact a dangerous thing for Australians.

TREASURER:
Well, it is in a security sense because the US is Australia's principal defence partner. When I say there is a danger of anti-Americanism in Australia amongst Australians, what I'm saying is, particularly amongst younger Australians, if they don't understand the events of 1942 when the US was the principal ally defending Australia and without which we wouldn't have been able to defend the islands to our near north, if they don't understand that, they may not understand what the importance of the American alliance is to the defence of Australia and our strategic interests.

TONY JONES:
I don't want to keep coming back to this necessarily, but you've made the point quite clearly that anti-Americanism can morph into anti-Westernism and that threatens our interests. It threatens our interest, does it, because we could, like Americans, as a result of anti-Americanism become terrorist targets?

TREASURER:
We have become terrorist targets because we are perceived to be Western. We've become terrorist targets because we are perceived to stand for a whole lot of values, which in the terrorist mind they oppose. Australians became terrorists in Bali not because of anything Australia did, but because in Bali they were perceived to be Westerners and in a sick terrorist mind that makes you a target.

TONY JONES:
Right. Given that the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq is probably the leading cause of anti-Americanism in the Arab world, does that make us, as an ally of the Americans, a greater target for terrorists?

TREASURER:
I don't think it's the principle cause at all. I think if you want to look for perceived areas of anti-Americanism in the Arab world, it was around a lot before Iraq. It's been around for a very long time, Tony, and most of it, I believe -

TONY JONES:
I'm talking about what's happening right now. We're seeing it even in the lead-up to the Islamic summit we've been having in Canberra. What we are hearing is young Australian Muslims are particularly angry with the American-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.

TREASURER:
No, I couldn't disagree with you more profoundly. There was substantial hostility to the US in the Arab world long before Iraq. Whether it's over perceived injustices to Islam, whether it's over the Palestinian issue, whether it's over support for Israel. Most of these things, and I don't believe justify hostility at all, but it's been there long before Iraq. Let me tell you this, Tony - you are profoundly wrong if you thought hostility to the United States started in 2003. It was around a long before that.

TONY JONES:
I don't believe I said or even suggested that, but let's move on if we can.

TREASURER:
No, no, no. You said the primary cause...

TONY JONES:
At the present moment.

TREASURER:
..of anti-Americanism...

TONY JONES:
At the present moment.

TREASURER:
..in the Arab world was the war in Iraq...

TONY JONES:
At the present moment.

TREASURER:
..and I explained to you, long before the war in Iraq, the attack on the US on the World Trade Centre showed there were great causes of disaffection to America long before Iraq, Tony.

TONY JONES:
That's completely understood, but I did say "at the present moment". Can we move on from foreign affairs and onto your own portfolio. How much revenue did the Government get from its dividends on the Telstra shares last year?

[snip]They talk about Telstra[/snip]

TONY JONES:
Peter Costello, we'll have to leave it there. We thank you very much once again for taking the time to come and talk to us tonight.

TREASURER:
Thanks, Tony.

http://www.treasurer.gov.au/tsr/content/transcripts/2005/123.asp
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Denny Schlesinger
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« Reply #347 on: July 29, 2006, 01:34:55 PM »

This video explains the roots of WWIII, it's a video that we all should watch. The film is supposed to be in theaters next month.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6162397493278181614&hl=en
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Denny Schlesinger
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« Reply #348 on: July 30, 2006, 01:29:15 AM »

Message from the President and Founder
americancongressfortruth.com
Brigitte Gabriel


Welcome and thank you for taking the time to visit our website, American Congress for Truth. Evil prevails when good people do nothing. With the spread of radical Islamic fundamentalism throughout the world, it is important for the people of the western world to know and understand what to expect and what to do about it.



We are faced with a war that has been declared on Christians and Jews in America and the world. Citizens of the most powerful country on earth watched in horror on 9/11, 2001 as a handful of men brought the United States of America to its knees. Wall Street froze, the stock market tumbled, and national air traffic ground to a halt. The West faces a threat more menacing today than the past goals of communist world domination.

We are facing an enemy that uses children as human bombs, mothers as suicide bombers, and men driven by the glory of death and the promise of eternal sexual bliss in heaven. We are fighting an enemy that loves death more than we love life. I am a victim of the Lebanese civil war, which was the first front in the worldwide Jihad of militant Islam against the only Christian country in the Middle East. My family?s home was shelled and destroyed leaving me wounded. I lived underground in a bomb shelter from age 10 to 17 without electricity and very little food. I had to crawl under sniper bullets to a spring to fetch water for my elderly parents. I was betrayed by my country, rescued by my enemy Israel, the Jewish State that is under attack for its existence today.

911 changed most American lives forever, but it struck an especially sensitive chord with me. It reminded me that the entire world is threatened by the same radical Islamic theology that succeeded in annihilating the ?infidels? in Lebanon. That?s why I created American Congress for Truth. ACT was formed in June 2002 to inform, inspire and motivate Jews and Christians throughout society in ways to act and fight for our western ways of life and the values we cherish. Our members include Jews, Arabs and Christians from all background both secular and religious, liberals and conservatives. People who have put their differences aside to combat both anti American and anti Israel propaganda masquerading as anti Imperialism and anti Zionism wherever it exists; in the western media, among the intellectual elite, and on American college Campuses.

So many times in history in the last 100 years, citizens have stood by and done nothing allowing evil to prevail. As America stood up against and defeated communism now it is time to stand up against the terror of religious bigotry and intolerance. I urge you to become an ACT activist and join a growing network of Americans concerned about securing their nation from acts of terrorism. Through American Congress for Truth you can be a voice effecting the future of your community and your nation.

Thank you for your support. You are the heroes who make all our work possible. And I especially thank you for helping me protect the country that has blessed me so much, America, the dream that became my address.

Brigitte Gabriel


http://americancongressfortruth.com/
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Denny Schlesinger
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« Reply #349 on: July 31, 2006, 09:40:17 AM »

July 26, 2006:
The Evolution of Improvised Explosive Devices (back to list)    
International Analysis Alert Level: Severe


World

None

TRC Analysis:
Many insurgents and terrorists around the world are examining and embracing the successful use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) in Iraq (Country Profile) and integrating them into their battle plans. Defeating the IED threat requires a comprehensive approach.

Insurgents in Iraq have made the IED a central component of their overall 'bleed until bankruptcy' strategy. According to CENTCOM, in 2004, there were 5,607 IED attacks; in 2005, there was massive increase of 10,953 IED attacks, as insurgents realized the cost effectiveness of this weapon (source). Overall, IEDs have accounted for 873 of the over 1,600 Coalition fatalities in Iraq since the start of the war (source). This analysis examines how IEDs are constructed and used in Iraq; how the IED fits into the insurgents' overall strategy in Iraq; how the strategy governing the use of IEDs has proliferated to Afghanistan (Country Profile) and other fields of battle; and what the successful use of IEDs in Iraq means for the future national security of the United States (Country Profile).

IEDs were first used in Iraq in the fall of 2003 as the insurgency gathered steam. The devices were smaller and relatively unsophisticated. Early generations of IEDs in Iraq were typically constructed via a single mortar round or 152mm artillery round. Coalition forces soon adapted to these early IEDs by up-armoring their vehicles. However, insurgents responded by developing both more powerful and technically sophisticated devices and a networked web of cells capable of avoiding detection and carrying out attacks.

The IED

From a technical standpoint, IEDs in Iraq have evolved into devices capable of penetrating a 22-ton Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The increase in destructive power of insurgent IEDs is due in part to technical innovations such as stacking multiple heavy artillery rounds or anti-tank mines together. Additionally, insurgents mastered the construction and use of explosively formed projectiles, which can be constructed with readily available threaded pipe. A steel plate is screwed on to one end of the pipe, which is packed with high explosives, and a metal concave cap, which becomes the projectile upon detonation, seals the other end. The August 3, 2005 roadside bombing that killed 14 US Marines (Terrorist Incident) demonstrated the destructive power of explosively formed projectiles.

The IED Network

Technology was not the insurgent's only area of innovation. In an effort to increase efficiency and improve operational security, the Iraq insurgency has organized itself as a series of loosely affiliated groups and operational cells. Many of the IED attack cells are contracted out on an ad-hoc basis to terrorist and insurgent groups operating in Iraq. Moreover, these IEDs cells are organized in a modular manner: each member of the cell fills an organizational function?fundraising, acquiring components, constructing the bomb, choosing a target, concealing the IED, and detonating the device (source). IED cells may work together as a unit, or an individual specialist may organize an attack on an ad hoc basis. Typically, there are no more than 5-10 members in a single IED cell, and US intelligence estimates that there are approximately 100 IED cells operating within Iraq (source). The loosely coupled nature of IED cells to insurgent networks and the networked nature of the IED cells themselves reduced their exposure to attack and disruption from Coalition forces.

Defeating the IED Threat

The insurgents' growing sophistication in both the technology of their devices and the tradecraft used to build and deploy weapons have left the US military with the difficult choice of attempting to defeat the IED itself or the insurgent network responsible for the IED attacks. Both are required. Attacking the individual cells responsible for the construction and detonation of an IED is a temporary, albeit life saving, solution. Even if an individual IED cell is eliminated, there are other cells left to carry out attacks. Moreover, when Coalition forces develop a successful defense against IEDs, insurgents are able to respond with a low-cost countermeasure that can defeat the newly developed defense. This cycle of innovation typically favors the insurgents, as their innovations are less expensive and developed with greater speed than Coalition forces' defense.

One example of this cycle of defensive and offensive innovation can be seen in the insurgents' innovative use of various triggering devices. In response to the insurgents' use of radio signals to detonate an IED remotely, Coalition forces developed a jammer device, the Warlock, that blocked all radio signals within a set range. The Warlock system cost millions of dollars to deploy to the field, and it only worked for a short time until insurgents developed infrared and other wire-triggering devices that used no radio signals and circumvented the Warlock's radio-jamming defense. As a result, the low-cost innovation of new triggers invalidated millions of dollars of research and development. This example helps illustrate how the insurgents' individual tactical innovations fit into their overall strategy of bleeding the Coalition forces' capability and will to fight.

IED Proliferation

The use of IEDs in Iraq and elsewhere is a threat to US national security. Recent evidence demonstrates that the lessons learned from the successful use of IEDs in Iraq are bleeding out to other theaters of battle, Afghanistan in particular, creating a greater threat to US national security. Powerful IED designs proliferate rapidly from one theater to another in part through the Internet. According to Lt. Col Shawn Weed, an Army intelligence officer, "the Internet has changed the nature of warfare. Someone can learn how to build a new bomb, plug the plans into the Internet and share the technology very quickly." IEDs are increasingly used in Afghanistan, as Taliban insurgents (Group Profile) adopt the proven tools and tactics of Iraq's insurgents. Examples of the Taliban's increasingly sophisticated use of IEDs can be found in the April 9, 2006 attack against the Afghani military (Terrorist Incident).

Bomb recipes, generated from the Iraqi battlefront, will continue to proliferate across the Internet to other insurgent and terrorist groups around the world. Insurgents or terrorists in other battlefields will not always use the artillery shell IED design favored in Iraq; rather, homegrown cells adopt a design suitable to their local conditions and appropriate to their desired type of attack. For example, the London bombers constructed a bomb, based in part on a recipe from the Internet (source), and concealed the weapon in a backpack to avoid suspicion. As the disrupted plot against the PATH transit system in New York (Intel Report) and the successful Mumbai rail bombings (Intel Report) have demonstrated, terrorist cells continue to demonstrate preference for the cheap, easy, yet potentially spectacular, IED attack.
By Ned Moran, TRC Staff
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