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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #50 on: August 06, 2006, 02:43:25 PM »

Rogt:

Does this help?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmnpMXOpaM4&NR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaUftcRJ5wo

CD
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captainccs
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« Reply #51 on: August 06, 2006, 04:07:19 PM »

Reuters admits image of Beirut after IAF strike was doctored

By Assaf Uni, Haaretz Correspondent

The Reuters news agency admitted Sunday that it had published a doctored photograph of Beirut after an Israel Air Force strike on Saturday morning.

In the original image, thin smoke can be seen rising over the Lebanese capital, but in the second photograph, thick, black smoke can be seen billowing over the buildings.

Reuters said that it has fired Adnan Hajj, the Lebanese photographer who submitted the image. The organization also said that it is investigating the incident.

"The photographer has denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image, saying that he was trying to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under," said Moira Whittle, the head of public relations for Reuters.

"This represents a serious breach of Reuters' standards and we shall not be accepting or using pictures taken by him," Whittle said in a statement issued in London.

Hajj worked for Reuters as a non-staff freelance, or contributing photographer, from 1993 until 2003 and again since April 2005.

He was among several photographers from the main international news agencies whose images of a dead child being held up by a rescuer in the village of Qana, south Lebanon, after an Israeli air strike on July 30 have been challenged by blogs critical of the mainstream media's coverage of the Middle East conflict.

Claims that the photograph had been doctored were published on a number of blogs, which rushed to prove that the image had been retouched in using the PhotoShop program.

All photographs taken for Reuters around the world are sent to Singapore, where they undergo certain editorial processes before being distributed to the agency's many clients. On Sunday, Reuters removed the retouched picture from its catalogue and replaced it with the original.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/747018.html


Little Green Football explains the fraud
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Denny Schlesinger
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #52 on: August 06, 2006, 06:17:14 PM »

Here's one to add to my previous post.  Together they paint quite a picture.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM-XeaIn06g&NR
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #53 on: August 06, 2006, 07:53:13 PM »

http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/news_opinion_letters/2006/07/the_weapons_mus.html
Ben Caspit, an Israeli journalist wrote this proposed speech for Prime Minister Olmert:

July 31, 2006
Ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world. I, the Prime Minister of Israel, am speaking to you from Jerusalem in the face of the terrible pictures from Kfar Kana. Any human heart, wherever it is, must sicken and recoil at the sight of such pictures. There are no words of comfort that can mitigate the enormity of this tragedy. Still, I am looking you straight in the eye and telling you that the State of Israel will continue its military campaign in Lebanon.

The Israel Defense Forces will continue to attack targets from which missiles and Katyusha rockets are fired at hospitals, old age homes and kindergartens in Israel. I have instructed the security forces and the IDF to continue to hunt for the Katyusha stockpiles and launch sites from which these savages are bombarding the State of Israel.

We will not hesitate, we will not apologize and we will not back off. If they continue to launch missiles into Israel from Kfar Kana, we will continue to bomb Kfar Kana. Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Here, there and everywhere. The children of Kfar Kana could now be sleeping peacefully in their homes, unmolested, had the agents of the devil not taken over their land and turned the lives of our children into hell.

Ladies and gentlemen, it?s time you understood: the Jewish state will no longer be trampled upon. We will no longer allow anyone to exploit population centers in order to bomb our citizens. No one will be able to hide anymore behind women and children in order to kill our women and children. This anarchy is over. You can condemn us, you can boycott us, you can stop visiting us and, if necessary, we will stop visiting you.

Today I am serving as the voice of six million bombarded Israeli citizens who serve as the voice of six million murdered Jews who were melted down to dust and ashes by savages in Europe. In both cases, those responsible for these evil acts were, and are, barbarians devoid of all humanity, who set themselves one simple goal: to wipe the Jewish race off the face of the earth, as Adolph Hitler said, or to wipe the State of Israel off the map, as Mahmoud Ahmedinjad proclaims.

And you - just as you did not take those words seriously then, you are ignoring them again now. And that, ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world, will not happen again. Never again will we wait for bombs that never came to hit the gas chambers. Never again will we wait for salvation that never arrives. Now we have our own air force. The Jewish people are now capable of standing up to those who seek their destruction - those people will no longer be able to hide behind women and children. They will no longer be able to evade their responsibility.

Every place from which a Katyusha is fired into the State of Israel will be a legitimate target for us to attack. This must be stated clearly and publicly, once and for all. You are welcome to judge us, to ostracize us, to boycott us and to vilify us. But to kill us? Absolutely not.

Four months ago I was elected by hundreds of thousands of citizens to the office of Prime Minister of the government of Israel, on the basis of my plan for unilaterally withdrawing from 90 percent of the areas of Judea and Samaria, the birth place and cradle of the Jewish people; to end most of the occupation and to enable the Palestinian people to turn over a new leaf and to calm things down until conditions are ripe for attaining a permanent settlement between us.

The Prime Minister who preceded me, Ariel Sharon, made a full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip back to the international border, and gave the Palestinians there a chance to build a new reality for themselves. The Prime Minister who preceded him, Ehud Barak, ended the lengthy Israeli presence in Lebanon and pulled the IDF back to the international border, leaving the land of the cedars to flourish, develop and establish its democracy and its economy.

What did the State of Israel get in exchange for all of this? Did we win even one minute of quiet? Was our hand, outstretched in peace, met with a handshake of encouragement? Ehud Barak?s peace initiative at Camp David let loose on us a wave of suicide bombers who smashed and blew to pieces over 1,000 citizens, men, women and children. I don?t remember you being so enraged then. Maybe that happened because we did not allow TV close-ups of the dismembered body parts of the Israeli youngsters at the Dolphinarium? Or of the shattered lives of the people butchered while celebrating the Passover seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya? What can you do - that?s the way we are. We don?t wave body parts at the camera. We grieve quietly.

We do not dance on the roofs at the sight of the bodies of our enemy?s children - we express genuine sorrow and regret. That is the monstrous behavior of our enemies. Now they have risen up against us. Tomorrow they will rise up against you. You are already familiar with the murderous taste of this terror. And you will taste more.

And Ariel Sharon?s withdrawal from Gaza. What did it get us? A barrage of Kassem missiles fired at peaceful settlements and the kidnapping of soldiers. Then too, I don?t recall you reacting with such alarm. And for six years, the withdrawal from Lebanon has drawn the vituperation and crimes of a dangerous, extremist Iranian agent, who took over an entire country in the name of religious fanaticism and is trying to take Israel hostage on his way to Jerusalem - and from there to Paris and London.

An enormous terrorist infrastructure has been established by Iran on our border, threatening our citizens, growing stronger before our very eyes, awaiting the moment when the land of the Ayatollahs becomes a nuclear power in order to bring us to our knees. And make no mistake - we won?t go down alone. You, the leaders of the free and enlightened world, will go down along with us.

So today, here and now, I am putting an end to this parade of hypocrisy. I don?t recall such a wave of reaction in the face of the 100 citizens killed every single day in Iraq. Sunnis kill Shiites who kill Sunnis, and all of them kill Americans - and the world remains silent. And I am hard pressed to recall a similar reaction when the Russians destroyed entire villages and burned down large cities in order to repress the revolt in Chechnya. And when NATO bombed Kosovo for almost three months and crushed the civilian population - then you also kept silent. What is it about us, the Jews, the minority, the persecuted, that arouses this cosmic sense of justice in you? What do we have that all the others don?t?

In a loud clear voice, looking you straight in the eye, I stand before you openly and I will not apologize. I will not capitulate. I will not whine. This is a battle for our freedom. For our humanity. For the right to lead normal lives within our recognized, legitimate borders. It is also your battle. I pray and I believe that now you will understand that. Because if you don?t, you may regret it later, when it?s too late.
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buzwardo
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« Reply #54 on: August 06, 2006, 09:37:57 PM »

Careful Crafty, pointing out people's oratory excesses might be seen as insulting, and it's not nice to insult people. At least that's what I've been told over and over and over again.

The useful idiots Stalin use to snigger about are certainly alive and well. What totally befuddles me is that if the global caliphate many Islamo Fascists advocate ever came to pass, the first ones they'd hang from the soccer goal posts would be the western lunatic lefties currently carrying their water. Perhaps it's time to update Lenin's quote that "we'll hang the last capitalist with a rope he sells us." How does "we'll garrote the last western stooge with the shemagh he wears in greeting" work?
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captainccs
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« Reply #55 on: August 07, 2006, 01:08:51 AM »

This is what Olmert told them:


Olmert chides European leaders for slamming Israel's offensive

By Reuters

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told European leaders to stop preaching to him about civilian war casualties in an interview published on Sunday in the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

Olmert also said it would not be possible to completely destroy Hezbollah and insisted he did not underestimate them.

"Where do they get the right to preach to Israel?" Olmert said when asked about criticism from European capitals of Israeli military operations that have led to a heavy civilian toll.

"European countries attacked Kosovo and killed ten thousand civilians. Ten thousand! And none of these countries had to suffer before that from a single rocket.

Some 10,000 Albanians died in Serbia's 1998-99 counter-insurgency war and there were allegations of random brutality by both sides.

"I'm not saying it was wrong to intervene in Kosovo. But please: Don't preach to us about the treatment of civilians."

Kosovo became a U.N. protectorate in June 1999 after a 78-day NATO bombing campaign forced out Serb security forces accused of atrocities against Albanian civilians during a rebel insurgency by separatist Albanian guerrillas.

In the Welt am Sonntag interview, Olmert was asked if he had underestimated Hezbollah.

"No, we know that they have only fired 3,000 rockets so far and that they have 15,000," he said. "The question is more: If Hezbollah knew what the consequences of their attack would be, would they nevertheless have done it? I don't think so."

Olmert said Hezbollah was being defeated but it was not possible to eradicate a grass-roots guerrilla movement.

"They are beaten but it is not possible to completely destroy them. Israel has nevertheless been more successful than any other country in the battle against a guerrilla organization."


http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/posting.php?mode=reply&t=886
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Denny Schlesinger
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« Reply #56 on: August 07, 2006, 09:53:27 AM »

Geopolitical Diary: A War Measured in Half-Miles
August 07, 2006 09 10  GMT



The war in Lebanon continues. Israel continued to send confusing signals during the weekend, with the Jerusalem Post reporting that the Israelis do not intend to go as far north as the Litani and the Syrians saying they would join the war if the Israelis bomb Syrian territory. The United States and France offered a cease-fire proposal that was rejected by the Lebanese and the Syrians, but not by Hezbollah, and the United Nations proceeded at its own stately and inefficient pace. The war appears to be moving forward at a pace as slow as molasses, as the saying goes.

This view is, in fact, deceptive. The war is going as quickly as it can under the circumstances. Hezbollah is clearly well armed, well motivated and, above all, well dug-in. The Israelis do not plan to take any more casualties than are needed. That means extremely slow going, as strong point after strong point is systematically attacked while the Israelis try to avoid tactical mistakes. That sort of careful, meticulous attack against competent forces takes a long time.

Hezbollah has the advantage of the defense. It also is configured that Hezbollah is, in any reasonable time frame, immune to Israel's favorite mobile tactics. It is not dependent on lines of supply or communication. This is also Hezbollah's disadvantage: It will not be re-supplied or reinforced, nor will it be able to move to the offensive. Israeli firepower and its concentration of force are too great for that. But it is clear that Hezbollah's bunkers are also its launch sites, or that the two are collocated. That means that the Israelis cannot simply ignore the bunkers. They must systematically and in detail destroy them, and do so with minimal exposure to Hezbollah fire.

That is a war that takes a long time. A great deal is happening, but all of it measured tactically and strategically in half-miles, not in dozens of miles. If the Israelis are going to eliminate the threat in southern Lebanon, it must be eliminated in very small steps, which is why the war appears to be at a standstill. But it is at a standstill only from the outside. Inside it is a slow, brutal meat-grinder, and it will take as long as it takes.

But in the end, even if the Israelis do go to the Litani, they will not have solved their strategic problem. As we have discussed, to the point that we are as bored with it as you, the rocket threat does not stop at the Litani. Nor does the existence of Hezbollah depend on south Lebanon alone. In fact, if Hezbollah units are defeated in south Lebanon after weeks of fighting and other units survive in the Bekaa Valley and around Beirut, Hezbollah will have won a singular victory -- having fought and, as a group, survived a battle with the Israelis.

Israel has the force to defeat Hezbollah if it is prepared to expend the time and casualties needed to do so. What the Israelis cannot do -- or more precisely, what Hezbollah has made impossible -- is the kind of rapid victory that it has always been able to claim before. Hezbollah has learned the lessons of the past and is not giving the Israelis the kind of centralized command structure and complex lines of supply needed for sudden victory.

Israel appears to be faced with the choice of a war that could last months or a political settlement with Hezbollah that brings in a peacekeeping force. It can be papered over as a U.N. cease-fire resolution or a U.S.-French proposal or a Confucian paradox. What it comes down to is indirect negotiations between Israel and Hezbollah, an agreement and a cease-fire, which means that Hezbollah retains its military capability.

We assume that what Israel wants to do is to reach a point where Hezbollah will agree to disarm or the Lebanese government agrees to disarm Hezbollah. We doubt that Hezbollah fighters will disarm of their own accord, and we doubt that the Lebanese government can disarm them when the Israelis cannot defeat them. Even if they disarmed, so long as they exist, they can re-arm. Therefore, in the end, it will be a negotiated settlement on terms to be determined.

Or the Israelis will pull a rabbit out of the hat and suddenly crush them. But we suspect that if the Israelis had any rabbits, they would have appeared before now. The Israelis may well choose to fight for as long as it takes and go as deep as needed to destroy Hezbollah. Given time and effort, we suspect Israel can do this. No one seems in a hurry to end the fighting, so this may be what is being considered. But it seems to come down to that or negotiating. And a cease-fire agreement that leaves Hezbollah in place will be a victory for Hezbollah.
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rogt
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« Reply #57 on: August 07, 2006, 03:04:17 PM »

Quote from: buzwardo
What totally befuddles me is that if the global caliphate many Islamo Fascists advocate ever came to pass, the first ones they'd hang from the soccer goal posts would be the western lunatic lefties currently carrying their water.


Not getting back into this debate, but I will say that the "Islamo Fascists" aren't the ones I worry about hanging people from goal posts.
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Howling Dog
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« Reply #58 on: August 07, 2006, 03:20:11 PM »

Rog, I agree!! Hanging is not the norm for the Islamo fascists, I'am pretty sure beheadings is more to their liking. wink
                                        TG
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Howling Dog
milt
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« Reply #59 on: August 07, 2006, 04:13:04 PM »

Quote from: buzwardo
What totally befuddles me is that if the global caliphate many Islamo Fascists advocate ever came to pass,


You bedwetting conservatives sure spend a disproportionate amount of time fretting about these ridiculous "Red Dawn" type takeover scenarios.

Quote
the first ones they'd hang from the soccer goal posts would be the western lunatic lefties currently carrying their water.


Of course they would!  I see that even you agree that the "Islamofascists" have much more in common with the American right wing than the left.

-milt
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milt
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« Reply #60 on: August 07, 2006, 04:17:58 PM »

Quote from: buzwardo
??Islamo Fascist? is a mean thing to say,? might make for a fine mantra, but it?s little more than repetitious twaddle when used as a lone talking point in a larger debate.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamofascism

Criticism of the use of the term

Juan Cole, professor of modern Middle East and South Asian history at the
University of Michigan, argues that the term is offensive and tantamount
to hate speech, because it is a desecration that is profoundly insulting
to Muslims.

    "It is hard to see the difference between the bigotry of
anti-Semitism as an evil and the bigotry that [Michael] Medved displays
toward Islam. It is more offensive than I can say for him to use the word
"Islamo-fascist." Islam is a sacred term to 1.3 billion people in the
world. It enshrines their highest ideals. To combine it with the word
"fascist" in one phrase is a desecration and a form of hate speech. Are
there Muslims who are fascists? Sure. But there is no Islamic fascism,
since "Islam" has to do with the highest ideals of the religion. In the
same way, there have been lots of Christian fascists, but to speak of
Christo-Fascism is just offensive."

Others argue that grouping disparate ideologies into one single idea of
"Islamofascism" may lead to an oversimplification of the root causes of
terrorism.

    "The idea that there is some kind of autonomous "Islamofascism" that
can be crushed, or that the west may defend itself against the terrorists
who threaten it by cultivating that eagerness to kill militant Muslims
which Hitchens urges upon us, is a dangerous delusion. The symptoms that
have led some to apply the label of "Islamofascism" are not reasons to
forget root causes. They are reasons for us to examine even more
carefully what those root causes actually are." He adds "'Saddam, Arafat
and the Saudis hate the Jews and want to see them destroyed' . . . or so
says the right-wing writer Andrew Sullivan. And he has a point. Does the
western left really grasp the extent of anti-Semitism in the Middle East?
But does the right grasp the role of Europeans in creating such hatred?"
Richard Webster, author of A Brief History of Blasphemy: liberalism,
censorship and 'The Satanic Verses' writing in the New Statesman.

According to New York University professor Chris Matthew Sciabarra,
writing about the influence of Sayyid Qutb, "(w)hatever totalitarian
echoes one sees in the Qutbian vision, there are distinctions that
disqualify the usage of the word "Islamofascism" to describe it, or to
describe Islamic fundamentalism in general." See Neofascism and religion.

Others argue that movements characterized as "Islamofascist" are
dissimilar to fascist movements of the past. According to Roxanne Euben,
a professor of political science at Wellesley College,

    "Fascism is nationalistic and Islamicism is hostile to
nationalism. Fundamentalism is a transnational movement that is appealing
to believers of all nations and races across national boundaries. There
is no idea of racial purity as in Nazism. Islamicists have very little
idea of the state. It is a religious movement, while Fascism in Europe
was a secular movement. So if it's not what we really think of as
nationalism, and if it's not really like what we think of as Fascist, why
use these terms?"

Islamists, however, consider the community of Muslims, or Ummah, as a
nation. The use of the term "Islamofascist" by proponents of the War on
Terror has prompted some critics to argue that the term is a typical
example of wartime propaganda.

    "Islamofascism is nothing but an empty propaganda term. And wartime
propaganda is usually, if not always, crafted to produce hysteria, the
destruction of any sense of proportion. Such words, undefined and
unmeasured, are used by people more interested in making us lose our
heads than in keeping their own." - Joseph Sobran, syndicated
columnist.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #61 on: August 07, 2006, 05:13:39 PM »

Gentlemen:

It seems I need to yank the leash here.

As best as I can tell, a lot of people come to read these threads because the material posted and the comments made are found thoughtful, containing intel, observations and a level of analysis not commonly found.

Please post only what intelligent, thoughtful people seeking intelligent, thoughtful conversation will probably find worth their time.  That recent exchange, while common on other forums, does not measure up here.

Rogt, your final post, the one from wikipedia, although I disagree with it, would have been a far better first post for you on this subject.

Forward,
Crafty Dog
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buzwardo
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« Reply #62 on: August 07, 2006, 05:14:49 PM »

Milt avers:

Quote
You bedwetting conservatives sure spend a disproportionate amount of time fretting about these ridiculous "Red Dawn" type takeover scenarios.


I don't fret over it, though some Islamo Fascists certainly advocate it. Alas, clearly the difference is lost on you. As for the "bedwetting conservative" claim, I'm one that would legalize drugs, advocates against a militarized police force, supports abortion rights, I?m agnostic to the point of atheism, and so on. It's something of a point of pride that orthodox airheads on both ends of the political spectrum find me horribly annoying.

Now explain to me again how identifying those who use Islamic scripture to further Fascist ends is the same as hating everyone of a particular heritage or faith. We clearly haven't spent enough time running laps on that track and why contend with meaningful discourse when you can instead lament at length the terms of debate?
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captainccs
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« Reply #63 on: August 07, 2006, 05:38:31 PM »

Not to join in the mud slinging but how is "Islamo-Fascist" any more hate speech that calling people sons of pigs and monkeys and calling nations "The Great Satan?"

But what really interests me is why using the term "Islamo-Faschist" is denounced by people who seem to ignore the hate speech coming from the Islamo-Fascists.

Talking about hate speech, here is an interesting take on it:


When anti-Semitism is a big story ? and when it isn't

By Jeff Jacoby

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Two anti-Semitic incidents occurred on July 28. Both took place on the West Coast; both involved an American venting his hostility to Jews. But only one of them became in the days that followed a big national story about anti-Semitism. The other was treated as a serious but local matter, and drew only modest coverage around the country.

Incident A involved nothing more dangerous than a guy spewing crude anti-Semitic slurs when he was arrested for drunk driving; once sober, he publicly and profusely apologized. Incident B involved a Muslim gunman's premeditated assault on a prominent Jewish institution; his attack left one woman dead and sent five to the hospital, three of them in critical condition.

Which would you say was the bigger story?

Unless you've spent the past week submersed in the Mariana Trench, you know that the intoxicated driver in Incident A was Hollywood's Mel Gibson, who railed at the Los Angeles County police officer who pulled him over about the "(bleeping) Jews" and how "the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Details of Gibson's tirade leaked quickly and the story was soon everywhere. In the first six days after his arrest, the media database Nexis logged 888 stories mentioning "Mel Gibson" and "Jews." And that didn't include the countless websites, talk shows, and smaller publications where the story also played.

By any rational calculus, Incident B was far more significant.

According to police and eyewitness reports, the killer, a 30-year-old named Naveed Haq, forced his way into the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle by holding a gun to the head of a 13-year-old girl. Once inside, Haq announced, "I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel," and opened fire with two semi-automatic pistols. Pam Waechter, 58, died on the spot. Five other women, one of them 20 weeks pregnant, were shot in the abdomen, knee, or arm. When one of the wounded women managed to call 911, Haq took the phone and told the dispatcher: "These are Jews and I'm tired of getting pushed around and our people getting pushed around by the situation in the Middle East."

This was no spur-of-the-moment meltdown. The police say Haq, who holds an engineering degree from Washington State University, had purchased the two guns and waited 10 days before picking them up on July 27. He selected his target by searching online for Jewish sites. And as his declarations make clear, he was impelled to kill by his antipathy toward Jews and his convictions as a Muslim.

At a time when jihadist murder is a global threat, and when some of the most malevolent figures in the Islamic world ? Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah chieftain Hassan Nasrallah, to name just two ? openly incite violence against Americans and Jews, the attack in Seattle should have been a huge story everywhere. Yet after six days, a Nexis search turned up only 236 stories mentioning Haq ? about one-fourth the number devoted to Gibson's drunken outburst. Why the disparity?

No doubt part of the answer is that Gibson is a celebrity, and that "The Passion," his 2004 movie about the crucifixion of Jesus, was criticized by many as a revival of the infamous anti-Semitic motif of Jews and Christ-killers. Gibson, who belongs to a sternly traditionalist Catholic sect, was already suspected of harboring ill will toward Jews. His crude remarks on July 28 confirmed it, and pushed the subject back into the spotlight.

Fair enough. But if previous behavior and religious beliefs explain the burst of interest in the Gibson story, they only deepen the question of why the Seattle bloodshed was played down. After all, Naveed Haq is not the first example of what Daniel Pipes has dubbed "Sudden Jihad Syndrome," in which a seemingly non-violent Muslim erupts in a murderous rampage.

Just this year, for example, Mohammed Taheri-azar, a philosophy and psychology major at the University of North Carolina, deliberately rammed a car into a crowd of students, saying he wanted to "avenge the death of Muslims around the world." Michael Julius Ford opened fire in a Denver warehouse, killing one person and injuring five. "I don't know what happened to him yesterday," his sister Khali told the Denver Post. "He told me that Allah was going to make a choice and it was going to be good and told me people at his job was making fun of his religion."

Other cases in recent years include Hasan Akbar, a sergeant in the 101st Airborne Division, who attacked his fellow soldiers at an American command center in Kuwait with grenades and rifle fire, killing one and wounding 15; Hesham Ali Hadayet, who killed two people when he shot up the El Al ticket counter at the Los Angeles airport in 2002; and Ali Hasan Abu Kamal, who was carrying a note denouncing "Zionists" and others who "must be annihilated & exterminated" when he opened fire on the observation deck of the Empire State Building.

If the Catholic Mel Gibson's nonviolent bigotry is a legitimate subject of media scrutiny, all the more so is the animus that has spurred Muslims like Naveed Haq to jihadist murder. And yet that is a line of inquiry that few seem willing to pursue. "No one wants to propagate bias or jump to conclusions," the New York Sun noted the other day. But how many more Haqs must erupt in a homicidal rage, it asked, before we stop assuming that these are merely random incidents and open our eyes "to the possibility that they are part of a war in which understanding the enemy is a prerequisite for victory?"


http://www.jewishworldreview.com/jeff/jacoby080706.php3
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Denny Schlesinger
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« Reply #64 on: August 07, 2006, 05:49:13 PM »

Woof:

Concerning the point in the Wikipedia piece about fascism being a term for nationalism and therefor inappropriate here because it is a relgious movement:  

This seems to me to be an academic nitpick to me in that in general terms most people understand fascism to mean "Might makes right", but accepting the point for the moment, it remains irrelevant I think because Islam seeks to merge religion and state.

The question remains though Rogt, what term are we to use?  Even the most sanguine estimates have about 10% of the world's Muslims believing in this philosophy (and 2-3x more being sympathetic)  If there are 1 Billion Muslims world wide, this is a movement of 100 million people (and 2-3x as many sympathizers who presumably are willing to look the other way if not give aid and comfort) who believe in targeting civilian infidels as a suitable tactic with any means available including WMD.  It is an extremely grave problem.  For me I reify it by picturing Flight 93 being flown into the nuclear reactor in Three Mile Island PA.   These people declared war on us and the danger is real.  I'm sorry you think my name for them is too mean, but I'm curious:  What name would you give them?

Bringing these links over from a post of mine in the "Dialog with Muslims" thread:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmnpMXOpaM4&NR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM-XeaIn06g&NR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?search=&mode=related&v=19mpJRq11Hg

(These were posted earlier in the thread and addressed specfically to you BTW, but without reply so far)

I make the point that these sure seems to me like the fascisms of the 1930s.  Do you have a different reaction to watching these?  WHAT KIND OF PERSON WOULD BE OFFENDED BY CALLING THIS FASCISM?

You are jewish, yet you doubt that they come for you?  I find this imcomprehensible.


CD
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #65 on: August 07, 2006, 09:55:23 PM »

Returning to the subject of the thread now:

www.stratfor.com
ISRAEL, LEBANON: Hezbollah is nowhere near defeat, Israeli army Brig. Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser said. Kuperwasser said political considerations might have hampered stronger, more effective action against the Lebanese group. Kuperwasser also said complete elimination of Hezbollah rocket-launch sites would not happen soon.
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ppulatie
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« Reply #66 on: August 08, 2006, 11:32:11 AM »

Milt, Rogt,

Re-establishing the Calphiate and uniting the world under Islam is the stated goal of the fundamentalist. How can this be denied? They state it every day.

I don't fear a military takeover. But I do fear the following.

You want to pretty much destory the US? Just hit New York City downtown with one nuke, however it is brought into the country and whatever the size. Many major corporations are headquartered there. Financial markets and banks. Hit the city and the economy is in complete ruins for decades. The corporations are gone. Financial system is gone. The US is in an immediate depression which it may never recover from.

Think that this would not happen? Just remember that NYC has not yet recovered from 9-11. And that was only two buildings and 3000 people dead.

BTW, Rogt. I am still waiting to hear why you do not accept the terrorists at their words when they claim to want to destroy the US, Israel, and take over thw world.  If it were GWB making the same claims, you would be all over that, I am sure.
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buzwardo
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« Reply #67 on: August 08, 2006, 02:00:20 PM »

A horrible truth

I?ve touched upon ?just war? several times in this space, during the last few weeks. I will continue touching it today. The issue is already an urgent one; its significance can only grow in the foreseeable future, as the encounter between fanatical Islam and the West spreads from mere terror incidents to open guerrilla warfare on various fronts.

We see in the Middle East just now, how the conflagration is spreading. Hezbollah enjoyed little support in the Arab world, when it kidnapped two Israeli soldiers, and began firing rockets at an unprecedented rate into northern Israel. The Arabs feared Hezbollah?s aggressive sponsors -- Iran, principally -- even more than they hated Israel. The Saudi and Egyptian governments were among those which actually criticized Hezbollah more sharply, at first.

But the conflict in Lebanon has gone on for nearly a month, and the hatred of Israel comes back to the fore. Both Western and Arab media have had the opportunity to direct rage against Israel, over the deaths of civilians. Neither make an issue of the fact Hezbollah?s whole fighting strategy involves the use of women and children as ?human shields?, or in some cases of which I am aware, as ?live bait? to lure Israeli soldiers into ambushes.

The Israeli military policy is to hold fire against any building in which soldiers believe civilians are sheltering, even if they believe Hezbollah fighters are also present. This policy goes well beyond the Geneva Conventions, which anyway don?t apply to combat with irregular fighters. Moreover, by slowing Israeli progress in destroying Hezbollah, it grants time for pressure against Israel to be built, internationally.

The entirely predictable result of the media effort, to sensationalize ?Israeli atrocities? -- including one at Qana last week that was probably faked -- has been to trigger waves of anti-Semitic rage, across the Muslim world, and on the Left side of the political spectrum throughout the West. (Events, such as the shooting spree in the Seattle Jewish Federation office the Friday before last, do not give sufficient pause. But was that not a natural consequence of anti-Israel incitements?)

As I write, Shia demonstrators are now rioting against Israel in Iraq. Add this to the effect of constant terrorist attacks, on Shia targets, by Sunni ?insurgents? -- supplied, like Hezbollah, by Iran and Syria -- and the prospect of a civil war becomes real. One which can only serve Iran?s interests.

Meanwhile, those of you who missed the Nuremberg rallies, and Herr Hitler's progress through Germany in the 1930s, may now review President Ahmadinejad?s latest speech this week in both video clip and translation at memritv.org. Before a huge crowd, chanting ?Death to Israel?, and then ?Death to America?, he dwells upon various blood-libels against the Jews, mixing these together with a reprise of what the media have been reporting from Lebanon. He boasts of Iran?s nuclear technology, and looks forward to the imminent ?Fire of the Wrath?.

What difference has been made, by Israel?s, and the West?s, ?just war? policies -- with either the enemy, or the media? Every allied accident is presented as purposeful, and where there was no accident, ?collateral damage? is made up. Moreover, the object of Hezbollah?s fight is not to defeat Israel -- it can?t -- but rather to whip up an international ?anti-Zionist? frenzy, and turn it specifically to the advantage of Iran. They ?think globally, but act locally?.

The way Israel is now fighting -- and the U.S. and allies are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan -- must be reconsidered. The enemy is himself quite indifferent to civilian suffering, as he shows by using his own people as pawns. He consciously uses our own, Western, moral reticence against us.

By openly stating that we will, under no circumstances, attack targets where civilians are present, we ?hand the foe a blueprint of our acts, incite him to step over our carefully drawn line, encourage his vice and incur our own defeat.? (I am quoting a priest who has considered the broader implications of the Catholic just war doctrine.)

Even ?just war? acknowledges that, as in medicine, real mercy can sometimes require ruthlessness. We have forgotten this in the West. If we want to save civilians, over the longer run, we must resolve to call the enemy?s bluff. Show him by our actions that hiding behind baby carriages will not save him. For the enemy will only stop using ?human shields? when they cease to serve his purposes.


David Warren

http://www.davidwarrenonline.com/index.php?artID=632
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #68 on: August 08, 2006, 11:32:10 PM »

THE ABDICATION OF LEBANESE LEADERS.
State of Denial
by Michael B?h?
Only at TNR Online
Post date: 08.07.06

[ Editor's Note: This article was originally published by the Metula News Agency, for whom it was translated from the French by Llewellyn Brown, and is reprinted with permission. ]

Beirut , Lebanon

he politicians, journalists and intellectuals of Lebanon have, of late, been experiencing the shock of their lives. They knew full well that Hezbollah had created an independent state in our country, a state including all the ministers and parallel institutions, duplicating those of Lebanon. What they did not know--and are discovering with this war, and what has petrified them with surprise and terror--is the extent of this phagocytosis.

In fact, our country had become an extension of Iran, and our so-called political power also served as a political and military cover for the Islamists of Teheran. We suddenly discovered that Teheran had stocked more than 12,000 missiles, of all types and calibers, on our territory and that they had patiently, systematically, organized a suppletive force, with the help of the Syrians, that took over, day after day, all the rooms in the House of Lebanon. Just imagine it: We stock ground-to-ground missiles, Zilzals, on our territory and the firing of such devices, without our knowledge, has the power to spark a regional strategic conflict and, potentially, bring about the annihilation of Lebanon.

We knew that Iran, by means of Hezbollah, was building a veritable Maginot line in the south, but it was the pictures of Maroun el Ras and Bint Jbail that revealed to us the magnitude of these constructions. This amplitude made us understand several things at once: that we were no longer masters of our destiny; that we do not possess the most basic means necessary to reverse the course of this state of things; and that those who turned our country into an outpost of their Islamic doctrine's combat against Israel did not have the slightest intention of willingly giving up their hold over us.

The national salvation discussions that concerned the application of Resolution 1559, and which included most of the Lebanese political movements, were simply for show. Iran and Syria had not invested billions of dollars on militarizing Lebanon in order to wage their war, simply to give in to the desire of the Lebanese and the international community for them to pack up their hardware and set it up back home.

And then, the indecision, the cowardice, the division and the irresponsible behavior of our leaders are such that they had no effort to make to show their talent. No need to engage a wrestling match with the other political components of the Land of Cedars. The latter showed themselves--and continue to show themselves--to be inconsistent.

Of course, our army, reshaped over the years by the Syrian occupier so it could no longer fulfill its role as protector of the nation, did not have the capacity to tackle the militamen of the Hezbollah. Our army, whom it is more dangerous to call upon--because of the explosive equilibrium that constitutes each of its brigades--than to shut up behind locked doors in its barracks. A force that is still largely loyal to its former foreign masters, to the point of being uncontrollable; to the point of having collaborated with the Iranians to put our coastal radar stations at the disposal of their missiles, that almost sunk an Israeli boat off the shores of Beirut. As for the non-Hezbollah elements in the government, they knew nothing of the existence of land-to-sea missiles on our territory ... that caused the totally justified destruction of all our radar stations by the Hebrews' army. And even then we are getting off lightly in these goings-on.

It is easy now to whine and gripe, and to play the hypocritical role of victims. We know full well how to get others to pity us and to claim that we are never responsible for the horrors that regularly occur on our soil. Of course, that is nothing but rubbish! The Security Council's Resolution 1559--that demanded that our government deploy our army on our sovereign territory, along our international border with Israel and that it disarm all the militia on our land--was voted on September 2, 2004.

We had two years to implement this resolution and thus guarantee a peaceful future to our children, but we did absolutely nothing. Our greatest crime--which was not the only one!--was not that we did not succeed, but that we did not attempt or undertake anything. And that was the fault of none else than the pathetic Lebanese politicians.

Our government, from the very moment the Syrian occupier left, let ships and truckloads of arms pour into our country. Without even bothering to look at their cargo. They jeopardized all chances for the rebirth of our country by confusing the Cedar Revolution with the liberation of Beirut. In reality, we had just received the chance--a sort of unhoped-for moratorium--that allowed us to take the future into our own hands, nothing more.

To think that we were not even capable of agreeing to "hang" ?mile Lahoud--Al-Assad's puppet--on Martyrs' Square and that he is still president of what some insist on calling our republic. ... There is no need to look any further: We are what we are, that is to say, not much.

All those who assume public and communicational responsibilities in this country are responsible for this catastrophe. Except those of my colleagues, journalists, and editors, who are dead, assassinated by the Syrian thugs, because they were clearly less cowardly than those who survived. And Lahoud remained at Baadb?, the president's palace!

And when I speak of a catastrophe, I do not mean the action accomplished by Israel in response to the aggression against its civilians and its army, which was produced from our soil and that we did strictly nothing to avoid, and for which we are consequently responsible. Any avoiding of this responsibility--some people here do not have the minimal notions of international law necessary to understand!--means that Lebanon, as a state, does not exist.

he hypocrisy goes on: Even some editorialists of the respectable L'Orient Le Jour put Hezbollah's savagery and that of the Israelis on a par! Shame! Spinelessness! And who are we in this fable? Poor ad aeternum victims of the ambitions of others?

Politicians either support this insane idea or keep silent. Those we would expect to speak, to save our image, remain silent like the others. And I am precisely alluding to General Aoun, who could have made a move by proclaiming the truth. Even his enemy, Walid Jumblatt, the Druze leader, has proved to be less ... vague.

Lebanon a victim? What a joke!

Before the Israeli attack, Lebanon no longer existed, it was no more than a hologram. In Beirut, innocent citizens like me were forbidden access to certain areas of their own capital. But our police, our army, and our judges were also excluded. That was the case, for example, of Hezbollah's and the Syrians' command zone in the Haret Hreik quarter (in red on the satellite map). A square measuring a kilometer wide, a capital within the capital, permanently guarded by a Horla army, possessing its own institutions, its schools, its cr?ches, its tribunals, its radio, its television and, above all ... its government. A "government" that, alone decided, in the place of the figureheads of the Lebanese government--in which Hezbollah also had its ministers!--to attack a neighboring state, with which we had no substantial or grounded quarrel, and to plunge the United States into a bloody conflict. And if attacking a sovereign nation on its territory, assassinating eight of its soldiers, kidnapping two others and, simultaneously, launching missiles on nine of its towns does not constitute a casus belli, the latter juridical principle will seriously need revising.

Thus almost all of these cowardly politicians, including numerous Shia leaders and religious personalities themselves, are blessing each bomb that falls from a Jewish F-16 turning the insult to our sovereignty that was Haret Hreik, right in the heart of Beirut, into a lunar landscape. Without the Israelis, how could we have received another chance--that we in no way deserve!--to rebuild our country?

Each Irano-Syrian fort that Jerusalem destroys, each Islamic fighter they eliminate, and Lebanon proportionally starts to live again! Once again, the soldiers of Israel are doing our work. Once again, like in 1982, we are watching--cowardly, lying low, despicable, and insulting them to boot--their heroic sacrifice that allows us to keep hoping. To not be swallowed up in the bowels of the earth. Because, of course, by dint of not giving a damn for southern Lebanon, of letting foreigners take hold of the privileges that belong to us, we no longer had the ability to recover our independence and sovereignty. If, at the end of this war, the Lebanese army retakes control over its territory and gets rid of the state within a state--that tried to suffocate the latter--it will only be thanks to the Tsahal [Israeli Defense Force], and that, all these faint-hearted politicians, from the crook Fuad Siniora, to Saad Hariri, the son of Lebanon's plunderer, and general Aoun, all know perfectly well.

As for the destruction caused by the Israelis ... that is another imposture: Look at the satellite map! I have situated, as best I could, but in their correct proportions, the parts of my capital that have been destroyed by Israel. They are Haret Hreik--in its totality--and the dwellings of Hezbollah's leaders, situated in the large Shia suburb of Dayaa (as they spell it) and that I have circled in blue.

In addition to these two zones, Tsahal has exploded a nine-storied building that housed Hezbollah's command, in Beirut's city center, above and slightly to the left (to the north west) of Haret Hreik on the map. It was Nasrallah's "perch" inside the city, whereby he asserted his presence and domination over us. A depot of Syrian arms in the port, two army radars that the Shiite officers had put at Hezbollah's disposal, and a truck suspected of transporting arms, in the Christian quarter of Ashrafieh.

Moreover the road and airport infrastructures were put out of working order : they served to provide Hezbollah with arms and munitions. Apart from that, Tsahal has neither hit nor deteriorated anything, and all those who speak of the "destruction of Beirut" are either liars, Iranians, anti-Semites or absent. Even the houses situated one alley's distance from the targets I mentioned have not been hit, they have not even suffered a scratch; on contemplating these results of this workyou understand the meaning of the concept "surgical strikes" and you can admire the dexterity of the Jewish pilots. Beirut, all the rest of Beirut, 95 percent of Beirut, lives and breathes better than a fortnight ago. All those who have not sided with terrorism know they have strictly nothing to fear from the Israeli planes, on the contrary! One example: Last night the restaurant where I went to eat was jammed full and I had to wait until 9:30 p.m. to get a table. Everyone was smiling, relaxed, but no one filmed them: a strange destruction of Beirut, is it not?

Of course, there are some 500,000 refugees from the south who are experiencing a veritable tragedy and who are not smiling. But Jean Tsadik, who has his eyes fixed on Kfar Kileh, and from whom I have learned to believe each word he says, assures me that practically all the houses of the aforesaid refugees are intact. So they will be able to come back as soon as Hezbollah is vanquished.

The defeat of the Shia fundamentalists of Iranian allegiance is imminent. The figures communicated by Nasrallah's minions and by the Lebanese Red Cross are deceiving: firstly, of the 400 dead declared by Lebanon, only 150 are real collateral civilian victims of the war, the others were militiamen without uniform serving Iran. The photographic report "Les Civils des bilans libanais" made by St?phane Juffa for the Metula News Agency constitutes, to this day, the unique tangible evidence of this gigantic morbid manipulation. Which makes this document eminently important.

Moreover, Hassan Nasrallah's organization has not lost 200 combatants, as Tsahal claims. This figure only concerns the combats taking place on the border and even then the Israelis underestimate it, for a reason that escapes me, by about a hundred militiamen eliminated. The real count of Hezbollah's casualties, that includes those dead in Beirut, the Bekaa Valley, Baalbek and their other camps, rocket and missile launchers and arms and munition depots amounts to 1,100 supplementary Hezbollah militiamen who have definitively ceased to terrorize and humiliate my country.

Like the overwhelming majority of Lebanese, I pray that no one puts an end to the Israeli attack before it finishes shattering the terrorists. I pray that the Hebrew soldiers will penetrate all the hidden recesses of southern Lebanon and will hunt out, in our stead, the vermin that has taken root there. Like the overwhelming majority of Lebanese, I have put the champagne ready in the refrigerator to celebrate the Israeli victory.

But contrary to them--and to paraphrase [French singer] Michel Sardou--I recognize that they are also fighting for our liberty, another battle "where you were not present"! And in the name of my people, I wish to express my infinite gratitude to the relatives of the Israeli victims--civilian and military--whose loved ones have fallen so that I can live standing upright in my identity. They should know that I weep with them.

As for the pathetic clique that thrives at the head of my country, it is time for them to understand that after this war, after our natural allies have rid us of those who are hindering us from rebuilding a nation, a cease-fire or an armistice will not suffice. To ensure the future of Lebanon, it is time to make peace with those we have no reason to go to war against. In fact, only peace will ensure peace. Someone must tell them because in this country we have not learnt what a truism is.

Michael B?h? is a writer for the Metula News Agency.
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buzwardo
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« Reply #69 on: August 10, 2006, 04:40:02 PM »

Not acquainted with this source, but if true it bears close scrutiny.

Analysis: Government and IDF racked by unprecedented leadership crisis
By Jonathan Ariel  August 9, 2006

 
     Relations between the country's political and military leadership are at the lowest point in the country's history, on the verge of a crisis. In addition, there is a growing lack of confidence between Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, the first CoS to hail from the air force, and many of his general staff colleagues from the ground forces, who say he and his "blue clique" [blue being the color of the air force uniform-ed] do not fully appreciate the nature of ground warfare.

According to informed sources, there is an almost total breakdown in trust and confidence between the General Staff and the PM's office. They have described the situation as "even worse than the crises that followed Ben Gurion's decision to disband the Palmach, and Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan's cynical decision to place all the blame for the Yom Kippur fiasco on the IDF's shoulders.

Senior IDF officers have been saying that the PM bears sole responsibility for the current unfavorable military situation, with Hezbollah still holding out after almost a month of fighting.
 
According to these officers, Olmert was presented with an assiduously prepared and detailed operational plan for the defeat and destruction of Hezbollah within 10-14 days, which the IDF has been formulating for the past 2-3 years.

This plan was supposed to have begun with a surprise air onslaught against the Hezbollah high command in Beirut, before they would have had time to relocate to their underground bunkers. This was to have been followed immediately by large scale airborne and seaborne landing operations, in order to get several divisions on the Litani River line, enabling them to outflank Hezbollah's "Maginot line" in southern Lebanon. This would have surprised Hezbollah, which would have had to come out of its fortifications and confront the IDF in the open, in order to avoid being isolated, hunted down and eventually starved into a humiliating submission.

This was exactly what the IDF senior command wanted, as Israeli military doctrine, based on the Wehrmacht's blitzkrieg doctrine, has traditionally been one of rapid mobile warfare, designed to surprise and outflank an enemy.

According to senior military sources, who have been extensively quoted in both the Hebrew media and online publications with close ties to the country's defense establishment, Olmert nixed the second half of the plan, and authorized only air strikes on southern Lebanon, not initially on Beirut.

Although the Premier has yet to admit his decision, let alone provide a satisfactory explanation, it seems that he hoped futilely for a limited war. A prominent wheeler-dealer attorney-negotiator prior to entering politics, he may have thought that he could succeed by the military option of filing a lawsuit as a negotiating ploy, very useful when you represent the rich and powerful, as he always had. Another motive may have been his desire to limit the economic damage by projecting a limited rather than total war to the international financial powers that be.

Whatever his reasons, the bottom line, according to these military sources, is that he castrated the campaign during the crucial first days. The decision to not bomb Beirut immediately enabled Nasrallah to escape, first to his bunker, subsequently to the Iranian embassy in Beirut.

The decision to cancel the landings on the Litani River and authorize a very limited call up of reserves forced the ground forces to fight under very adverse conditions. Instead of outflanking a heavily fortified area with overwhelming forcers, they had to attack from the direction most expected, with insufficient forces. The result, high casualties and modest achievements.

This is the background of yesterday's surprise effective dismissal of OC northern Command Maj. General Udi Adam. According to various media sources, Olmert was incensed at Adam's remarks that he had not been allowed to fight the war that had been planned. Adam allegedly made these remarks in response to criticism against his running of the war, and the results so far achieved.

Olmert's responsibility for inaction goes much further. The US administration had given Israel the green light to attack Syria. A senior military source has confirmed to Israel Insider that Israel did indeed receive a green light from Washington in this regard, but Olmert nixed it.

The scenario was that Syria, no military match for Israel, would face a rapid defeat, forcing it to run to Iran, with which it has a defense pact, to come to aid.

Iran, which would be significantly contained by the defeat of its sole ally in the region, would have found itself maneuvered between a rock and a hard place. If it chose to honor its commitment to Syria, it would face a war with Israel and the US, both with military capabilities far superior to Iran's. If Teheran opted to default on its commitment to Damascus, it would be construed by the entire region, including the restless Iranian population, as a conspicuous show of weakness by the regime. Fascist regimes such as that of the ayatollahs cannot easily afford to show that kind of weakness.

As previously mentioned, Iran's military capabilities are no match for Israel's. Bottom line, all Iran could do is to launch missiles at and hit Israel's cities, and try and carry out terror attacks. If there is one thing history has shown, it is that such methods do not win wars. Israel would undoubtedly suffer both civilian casualties and economic damage, but these would not be that much more than what we are already experiencing. We have already irreversibly lost an entire tourist season. Any Iranian and Syrian missile offensives would be relatively short, as they are further form Israel, and therefore would have to be carried out by longer range missiles. These, by their very nature are much bigger and more complex weapons than Katyushas. They cannot be hidden underground, and require longer launch preparations, increasing their vulnerability to air operations. In addition it is precisely for such kinds of missiles that the Arrow system was developed.

The end result would be some additional economic damage, and probably around 500 civilian casualties. It may sound cold blooded, but Israel can afford such casualties, which would be less than those sustained in previous wars (for the record, in 1948 Israel lost 6,000, 1% of the entire population, and in 1967 and 1973 we lost respectively 1,000 and 3,000 casualties).

The gains, however, would be significant. The Iranian nuclear threat, the most dangerous existential threat Israel has faced since 1948, would be eliminated. It would also change the momentum, which over the past two decades as been with the ayatollahs. This could also have a major impact on the PA, hastening the demise of the Islamist Hamas administration.

Instead, according to military sources, Israel finds itself getting bogged down by a manifestly inferior enemy, due to the limitations placed on the IDF by the political leadership. This has been construed by the enemy as a clear sign that Israel is in the hands of a leadership not up to the task, lacking the required experience, guts and willpower. In the Middle East this is an invitation to court disaster, as witness by Iran's and Syria's increased boldness in significantly upping the ante of their involvement in the war.

Some senior officers have been mentioning the C-word in private conversations. They have been saying that a coup d'etat might be the only way to prevent an outcome in Lebanon that could embolden the Arab world to join forces with Syria and Iran in an all out assault on Israel, given the fact that such a development would be spurred entirely by the Arab and Moslem world's perception of Israel's leadership as weak, craven and vacillating, and therefore ripe for intimidation.

Seeing the once invincible IDF being stalemated by Hezbollah's 3,000 troops is a sure way to radiate an aura of weakness that in the Middle East could precipitate attacks by sharks smelling blood.

http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Politics/9116.htm
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buzwardo
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« Reply #70 on: August 10, 2006, 04:42:53 PM »

Not acquainted with this source, but if true it bears close scrutiny.

Analysis: Government and IDF racked by unprecedented leadership crisis
By Jonathan Ariel  August 9, 2006

 
     Relations between the country's political and military leadership are at the lowest point in the country's history, on the verge of a crisis. In addition, there is a growing lack of confidence between Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, the first CoS to hail from the air force, and many of his general staff colleagues from the ground forces, who say he and his "blue clique" [blue being the color of the air force uniform-ed] do not fully appreciate the nature of ground warfare.

According to informed sources, there is an almost total breakdown in trust and confidence between the General Staff and the PM's office. They have described the situation as "even worse than the crises that followed Ben Gurion's decision to disband the Palmach, and Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan's cynical decision to place all the blame for the Yom Kippur fiasco on the IDF's shoulders.

Senior IDF officers have been saying that the PM bears sole responsibility for the current unfavorable military situation, with Hezbollah still holding out after almost a month of fighting.
 
According to these officers, Olmert was presented with an assiduously prepared and detailed operational plan for the defeat and destruction of Hezbollah within 10-14 days, which the IDF has been formulating for the past 2-3 years.

This plan was supposed to have begun with a surprise air onslaught against the Hezbollah high command in Beirut, before they would have had time to relocate to their underground bunkers. This was to have been followed immediately by large scale airborne and seaborne landing operations, in order to get several divisions on the Litani River line, enabling them to outflank Hezbollah's "Maginot line" in southern Lebanon. This would have surprised Hezbollah, which would have had to come out of its fortifications and confront the IDF in the open, in order to avoid being isolated, hunted down and eventually starved into a humiliating submission.

This was exactly what the IDF senior command wanted, as Israeli military doctrine, based on the Wehrmacht's blitzkrieg doctrine, has traditionally been one of rapid mobile warfare, designed to surprise and outflank an enemy.

According to senior military sources, who have been extensively quoted in both the Hebrew media and online publications with close ties to the country's defense establishment, Olmert nixed the second half of the plan, and authorized only air strikes on southern Lebanon, not initially on Beirut.

Although the Premier has yet to admit his decision, let alone provide a satisfactory explanation, it seems that he hoped futilely for a limited war. A prominent wheeler-dealer attorney-negotiator prior to entering politics, he may have thought that he could succeed by the military option of filing a lawsuit as a negotiating ploy, very useful when you represent the rich and powerful, as he always had. Another motive may have been his desire to limit the economic damage by projecting a limited rather than total war to the international financial powers that be.

Whatever his reasons, the bottom line, according to these military sources, is that he castrated the campaign during the crucial first days. The decision to not bomb Beirut immediately enabled Nasrallah to escape, first to his bunker, subsequently to the Iranian embassy in Beirut.

The decision to cancel the landings on the Litani River and authorize a very limited call up of reserves forced the ground forces to fight under very adverse conditions. Instead of outflanking a heavily fortified area with overwhelming forcers, they had to attack from the direction most expected, with insufficient forces. The result, high casualties and modest achievements.

This is the background of yesterday's surprise effective dismissal of OC northern Command Maj. General Udi Adam. According to various media sources, Olmert was incensed at Adam's remarks that he had not been allowed to fight the war that had been planned. Adam allegedly made these remarks in response to criticism against his running of the war, and the results so far achieved.

Olmert's responsibility for inaction goes much further. The US administration had given Israel the green light to attack Syria. A senior military source has confirmed to Israel Insider that Israel did indeed receive a green light from Washington in this regard, but Olmert nixed it.

The scenario was that Syria, no military match for Israel, would face a rapid defeat, forcing it to run to Iran, with which it has a defense pact, to come to aid.

Iran, which would be significantly contained by the defeat of its sole ally in the region, would have found itself maneuvered between a rock and a hard place. If it chose to honor its commitment to Syria, it would face a war with Israel and the US, both with military capabilities far superior to Iran's. If Teheran opted to default on its commitment to Damascus, it would be construed by the entire region, including the restless Iranian population, as a conspicuous show of weakness by the regime. Fascist regimes such as that of the ayatollahs cannot easily afford to show that kind of weakness.

As previously mentioned, Iran's military capabilities are no match for Israel's. Bottom line, all Iran could do is to launch missiles at and hit Israel's cities, and try and carry out terror attacks. If there is one thing history has shown, it is that such methods do not win wars. Israel would undoubtedly suffer both civilian casualties and economic damage, but these would not be that much more than what we are already experiencing. We have already irreversibly lost an entire tourist season. Any Iranian and Syrian missile offensives would be relatively short, as they are further form Israel, and therefore would have to be carried out by longer range missiles. These, by their very nature are much bigger and more complex weapons than Katyushas. They cannot be hidden underground, and require longer launch preparations, increasing their vulnerability to air operations. In addition it is precisely for such kinds of missiles that the Arrow system was developed.

The end result would be some additional economic damage, and probably around 500 civilian casualties. It may sound cold blooded, but Israel can afford such casualties, which would be less than those sustained in previous wars (for the record, in 1948 Israel lost 6,000, 1% of the entire population, and in 1967 and 1973 we lost respectively 1,000 and 3,000 casualties).

The gains, however, would be significant. The Iranian nuclear threat, the most dangerous existential threat Israel has faced since 1948, would be eliminated. It would also change the momentum, which over the past two decades as been with the ayatollahs. This could also have a major impact on the PA, hastening the demise of the Islamist Hamas administration.

Instead, according to military sources, Israel finds itself getting bogged down by a manifestly inferior enemy, due to the limitations placed on the IDF by the political leadership. This has been construed by the enemy as a clear sign that Israel is in the hands of a leadership not up to the task, lacking the required experience, guts and willpower. In the Middle East this is an invitation to court disaster, as witness by Iran's and Syria's increased boldness in significantly upping the ante of their involvement in the war.

Some senior officers have been mentioning the C-word in private conversations. They have been saying that a coup d'etat might be the only way to prevent an outcome in Lebanon that could embolden the Arab world to join forces with Syria and Iran in an all out assault on Israel, given the fact that such a development would be spurred entirely by the Arab and Moslem world's perception of Israel's leadership as weak, craven and vacillating, and therefore ripe for intimidation.

Seeing the once invincible IDF being stalemated by Hezbollah's 3,000 troops is a sure way to radiate an aura of weakness that in the Middle East could precipitate attacks by sharks smelling blood.

http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Politics/9116.htm
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« Reply #71 on: August 10, 2006, 10:38:20 PM »

Posted by a friend of mine to another mailing list.  I think he puts it a lot better than I did.

--------

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060810/us_nm/security_usa_muslims_dc

To the extent that Bush or his people ever acknowledge publicly the
existence of Christian terrorists who seek to blow up abortion clinics,
kill or harass abortion clinic staff, or commit hate crimes against
gays, do they ever mention that they are Christian?

I mean, if in the unlikely circumstance that Bush was to announce a new
federal program to protect abortion clinics from attack or harassment,
could you imagine him including a line about the dangers of Christian
terrorists, or Christian fascists?  Timothy McVeigh was unabashedly
Christian, in his own mind at least, and a member of the Christian
identity movement, at the time did anyone specifically come out and warn
of the dangers of Christian terrorists?  There was a huge crackdown
across the U.S. after Oklahoma City and the groups that were subjected
to the most attention were generally referred to as "survivalists" or
"right-wing militias" or "neo-Nazi" or whatever.  That is in spite of
the fact that the one thing they had in common is Christianity, or some
perverted version of it.

Sure these terrorists are all Muslim, but if we aren't going to be
honest enough to refer to people like McVeigh, the abortion clinic
bombers and so forth as "Christian terrorists" or "Christian fascists"
then we shouldn't keep throwing the word "Islamic" around to describe
these freaks.  They are to Islam as McVeigh is to Christianity.
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« Reply #72 on: August 11, 2006, 08:48:56 AM »

Asymmetrical warfare or double standard?

Siniora cries during a press conference while denouncing the death of 40 "innocent" Lebanese yet a short time later he recants admitting there were two people killed in the action. But the press has already told the world about this new Jewish atrocity.

Lebanese sources stage the death of children at Qana denouncing the death of 56 "innocent" Lebanese yet the Red Cross only finds 28 bodies in the action. The Lebanese have scored another public relations triumph over the Jewish state based on bald faced lies.

The terrorists have plenty of friends in the western press who, like Ruters, are quite happy to publish doctored images and staged casualties.

But there is no need to go that far afield to find cases of double standard in this struggle. We have a case right here in this thread.

rogt started a discussion with the post:
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=6741#6741

to which I replied with an article from the Associated Press:
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=6742#6742

rogt suggested:
Quote from: rogt
A discussion of people's views on this would be more interesting than a bunch of articles.

Fair enough, this was my reply:
Quote from: captainccs
Quote from: rogt
OK, "elimination of the Zionist regime" can mean a lot of things.  What I want to know is whether these Muslim leaders really mean "exterminate Jews" instead of just replacement of the current Israeli government.
Well, sum it up:

Suicide bombings
Kidnappings
Rocket attacks
Calls for boycotting Israel
Flying into the Twin Towers
The London bombing
The Madrid bombing
The Beirut US Embassy bombing
The Bali bombing
The USS Cole bombing
The Buenos Aires bombing

Does this sound like a love fest of some sort?

Some people just don't want to see reality. What proof do you want? The extermination of Israel?
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=6744#6744

I got no sensible reply to this exposition but a short while later rogt writes:
Quote from: rogt
Posted by a friend of mine to another mailing list.  I think he puts it a lot better than I did.
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=6847#6847




So, what will it be, a bunch of articles by other people when it suits rogt's convenience to cover his admitted lack of debating skills but no such props for people taking a contrary view?

This is a very minor example of the double standard applied to this struggle to the point of being insignificant but it does reveal at close quarters the double standard imposed on Israel and the Jews by her enemies and by her enemies' groupies.



In any case, the post linked by rogt compares apples to elephants. While the purpose of radical Isalm's Jihad is to convert the whole world to Islam and force Sharia law on all, the abortion fighters just want to stop one particular act that they oppose. Agreed, both do it by illegal violence but the goals are so disparate that there is no way to compare the two as rogt's friends suggests. The abortion fighters do not want to replace the American Constitution with Sharia law, they do not want to destroy a whole country and all its citizens which is the stated objective of Islamo Fascist Radical Islam.



Composed by Denny Schlesinger, not by some friend or ghost writer.
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« Reply #73 on: August 11, 2006, 12:51:51 PM »

Not addressing the articles vs. opinions point, as it's basically a flame war.  Articles are fine where they're relevant, but I simply want to avoid a discussion where somebody presents an argument in their own words and somebody follows up with an article as a reply.  As for this or that attack being staged or body count exaggerated, I know nothing about it so I'm not going to comment.

Quote from: captainccs
Asymmetrical warfare or double standard?
Agreed, both do it by illegal violence but the goals are so disparate that there is no way to compare the two as rogt's friends suggests. The abortion fighters do not want to replace the American Constitution with Sharia law, they do not want to destroy a whole country and all its citizens which is the stated objective of Islamo Fascist Radical Islam.


Really?  I think you'd have a hard time finding many "abortion fighters" who wouldn't also like to see prayer in public schools, the teaching of "intelligent design theory" alongside evolution (as if the two stood on more or less equal scientific footing), a ban on stem cell research, a constitutional ban on gay marriage, and a general elimination of church/state separation, i.e. the transformation of the US into an explicitly Christian state.  So I think the comparison is perfectly appropriate.

The point is that if Bush ever used the term "Christian fascists", a lot of Christians would (rightly) feel that he was equating Christianity with Nazism, no matter how many times he said he really meant the extremists.  I've heard a lot of moaning about how American Muslims aren't stepping up to the plate to be translators or whatever to help out in the war on terror.  How psyched would any of us be to aid in an effort to defend people who were trashing our religion and (on the extreme end) calling for our internment or the right to racially profile us?
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« Reply #74 on: August 11, 2006, 09:00:56 PM »

Woof Rogt:

The violent element of the Christian Right is quite small and it seeks to target abortionists.? This is morally and legally quite wrong, but quite different from a world wide movement of at least 100 million that beats women into burkhas, prohibits them from learning to read or to drive a car, cuts off their clitorises, punishes them for being raped, gang rapes them as punishment (yes, this has happened in Pakistan) kills them to defend familiy honor, proudly beheads innocent civiliians and broadcasts the videos thereof, deliberately targets civilians, etc etc etc.

Again I invite you to respond to the hatred on display in those clips I posted above.

BTW, here's something from today's WSJ that shares my perspective:


==========

'Arc of Extremism'

By WILLIAM SHAWCROSS
August 11, 2006; Page A12

LONDON -- It took President Bush to tell the truth to Britain about the alleged massive plot to blow U.S.-bound airliners out of the sky. In his first comment on the apparently foiled attempt, he put it simply: "This was a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists."

He is right, but in the first news reports in Britain yesterday, the words "Islamic" or "Muslim" were hardly mentioned, let alone the dread word "fascist." Instead the common code-words on television were that the 24 men arrested were "British-born" and "of Pakistani origin." No mention of their Islamist ideology. Does the BBC think they might turn out to be from Pakistan's embattled Christian minority? I don't think so.

In Europe, the truth is so terrible that we are in denial. Perhaps it is understandable. We simply do not know how to deal with the fact that we really are threatened by a vast fifth column, that there are thousands of European-born people, in Britain, in France, in Holland, in Denmark -- everywhere -- who wish to destroy us. You see this denial in the coverage of Israel's war against Hezbollah. The deaths in Lebanon are utterly tragic. But if you watched only British television, particularly the BBC, you would be hard-pressed to understand that Israel has been forced into a war for its survival. Last weekend people marched in an anti-Israel march though London carrying banners proclaiming "We are all Hezbollah Now."

As the historian Victor Davis Hanson recently pointed out, there is a moral madness at work here. We refuse to admit there is a pattern to global terrorism. We are terrified of being called "Islamophobic." European papers are frightened to publish cartoons which some Muslims demand we censor, but are happy to portray the Israelis as latter-day Nazis. Not for nothing does Mr. Hanson say that we have forgotten the lessons of 1938.

In a live BBC interview recently I called Hezbollah "Islamofascists." The charming interviewer said nervously, "That's a very controversial description"; I replied that it was merely accurate. She brought the interview to a swift close. But it's not just Hezbollah, of course. The same ideology of hate inspires al Qaeda, the inspiration if not the controller of the British bombers.

In Britain we are actually quite lucky. We have a prime minister who, in my view, has committed many errors at home; but abroad Tony Blair has a clear vision, both moral and pragmatic, of the threat that we face. And for this he is mocked and abused as nothing more than George Bush's "poodle."

In a thoughtful recent speech in Los Angeles, Mr. Blair spoke of fighting an "arc of extremism." That is Islamic extremism, whether it is inspired al Qaeda or by Tehran, whether its footsoldiers are Sunni or Shiite, whether they were born in Britain or southern Lebanon or Iran or Saudi Arabia. As Mr. Blair said, the battle is over the values that are to govern the future of the worlds. "Are they those of tolerance, freedom, respect for difference and diversity or those of reaction, division, hatred?"

"This is war" said Mr. Blair. Alas, it is. Wherever they were born, the men who want to blow up airliners, who want to destroy Israel and, not coincidentally, who want to kill all hope of a decent society in Iraq -- are Islamofascists who are united in hatred of us. The sooner we in Europe understand that, and that they must be defeated, the safer everyone -- Christians, Jews, Muslims, nonbelievers -- will be.

Mr. Shawcross is author of "Allies: Why the West Had to Remove Saddam" (PublicAffairs Press, 2005).


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

All:

I just received a call upon returning from a family trip telling me that Olmert has caved in to a UN Resolution?!?!?!?

Whether this call is true or not, the following piece should shed a lot of light on what has been and will be happening:

-----


Analysis:?
By Jonathan Ariel? August 9, 2006
 
http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Politics/9116.htm
?
Relations between the country's political and military leadership are at the lowest point in the country's history, on the verge of a crisis. In addition, there is a growing lack of confidence between Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, the first CoS to hail from the air force, and many of his general staff colleagues from the ground forces, who say he and his "blue clique" [blue being the color of the air force uniform-ed] do not fully appreciate the nature of ground warfare.

According to informed sources, there is an almost total breakdown in trust and confidence between the General Staff and the PM's office. They have described the situation as "even worse than the crises that followed Ben Gurion's decision to disband the Palmach, and Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan's cynical decision to place all the blame for the Yom Kippur fiasco on the IDF's shoulders.

Senior IDF officers have been saying that the PM bears sole responsibility for the current unfavorable military situation, with Hezbollah still holding out after almost a month of fighting.?
According to these officers, Olmert was presented with an assiduously prepared and detailed operational plan for the defeat and destruction of Hezbollah within 10-14 days, which the IDF has been formulating for the past 2-3 years.

This plan was supposed to have begun with a surprise air onslaught against the Hezbollah high command in Beirut, before they would have had time to relocate to their underground bunkers. This was to have been followed immediately by large scale airborne and seaborne landing operations, in order to get several divisions on the Litani River line, enabling them to outflank Hezbollah's "Maginot line" in southern Lebanon. This would have surprised Hezbollah, which would have had to come out of its fortifications and confront the IDF in the open, in order to avoid being isolated, hunted down and eventually starved into a humiliating submission.

This was exactly what the IDF senior command wanted, as Israeli military doctrine, based on the Wehrmacht's blitzkrieg doctrine, has traditionally been one of rapid mobile warfare, designed to surprise and outflank an enemy.

According to senior military sources, who have been extensively quoted in both the Hebrew media and online publications with close ties to the country's defense establishment, Olmert nixed the second half of the plan, and authorized only air strikes on southern Lebanon, not initially on Beirut.

Although the Premier has yet to admit his decision, let alone provide a satisfactory explanation, it seems that he hoped futilely for a limited war. A prominent wheeler-dealer attorney-negotiator prior to entering politics, he may have thought that he could succeed by the military option of filing a lawsuit as a negotiating ploy, very useful when you represent the rich and powerful, as he always had. Another motive may have been his desire to limit the economic damage by projecting a limited rather than total war to the international financial powers that be.

Whatever his reasons, the bottom line, according to these military sources, is that he castrated the campaign during the crucial first days. The decision to not bomb Beirut immediately enabled Nasrallah to escape, first to his bunker, subsequently to the Iranian embassy in Beirut.

The decision to cancel the landings on the Litani River and authorize a very limited call up of reserves forced the ground forces to fight under very adverse conditions. Instead of outflanking a heavily fortified area with overwhelming forcers, they had to attack from the direction most expected, with insufficient forces. The result, high casualties and modest achievements.

This is the background of yesterday's surprise effective dismissal of OC northern Command Maj. General Udi Adam. According to various media sources, Olmert was incensed at Adam's remarks that he had not been allowed to fight the war that had been planned. Adam allegedly made these remarks in response to criticism against his running of the war, and the results so far achieved.

Olmert's responsibility for inaction goes much further. The US administration had given Israel the green light to attack Syria. A senior military source has confirmed to Israel Insider that Israel did indeed receive a green light from Washington in this regard, but Olmert nixed it.

The scenario was that Syria, no military match for Israel, would face a rapid defeat, forcing it to run to Iran, with which it has a defense pact, to come to aid.

Iran, which would be significantly contained by the defeat of its sole ally in the region, would have found itself maneuvered between a rock and a hard place. If it chose to honor its commitment to Syria, it would face a war with Israel and the US, both with military capabilities far superior to Iran's. If Teheran opted to default on its commitment to Damascus, it would be construed by the entire region, including the restless Iranian population, as a conspicuous show of weakness by the regime. Fascist regimes such as that of the ayatollahs cannot easily afford to show that kind of weakness.

As previously mentioned, Iran's military capabilities are no match for Israel's. Bottom line, all Iran could do is to launch missiles at and hit Israel's cities, and try and carry out terror attacks. If there is one thing history has shown, it is that such methods do not win wars. Israel would undoubtedly suffer both civilian casualties and economic damage, but these would not be that much more than what we are already experiencing. We have already irreversibly lost an entire tourist season. Any Iranian and Syrian missile offensives would be relatively short, as they are further form Israel, and therefore would have to be carried out by longer range missiles. These, by their very nature are much bigger and more complex weapons than Katyushas. They cannot be hidden underground, and require longer launch preparations, increasing their vulnerability to air operations. In addition it is precisely for such kinds of missiles that the Arrow system was developed.

The end result would be some additional economic damage, and probably around 500 civilian casualties. It may sound cold blooded, but Israel can afford such casualties, which would be less than those sustained in previous wars (for the record, in 1948 Israel lost 6,000, 1% of the entire population, and in 1967 and 1973 we lost respectively 1,000 and 3,000 casualties).

The gains, however, would be significant. The Iranian nuclear threat, the most dangerous existential threat Israel has faced since 1948, would be eliminated. It would also change the momentum, which over the past two decades as been with the ayatollahs. This could also have a major impact on the PA, hastening the demise of the Islamist Hamas administration.

Instead, according to military sources, Israel finds itself getting bogged down by a manifestly inferior enemy, due to the limitations placed on the IDF by the political leadership. This has been construed by the enemy as a clear sign that Israel is in the hands of a leadership not up to the task, lacking the required experience, guts and willpower. In the Middle East this is an invitation to court disaster, as witness by Iran's and Syria's increased boldness in significantly upping the ante of their involvement in the war.

Some senior officers have been mentioning the C-word in private conversations. They have been saying that a coup d'etat might be the only way to prevent an outcome in Lebanon that could embolden the Arab world to join forces with Syria and Iran in an all out assault on Israel, given the fact that such a development would be spurred entirely by the Arab and Moslem world's perception of Israel's leadership as weak, craven and vacillating, and therefore ripe for intimidation.

Seeing the once invincible IDF being stalemated by Hezbollah's 3,000 troops is a sure way to radiate an aura of weakness that in the Middle East could precipitate attacks by sharks smelling blood.
 

 
« Last Edit: August 11, 2006, 10:07:12 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #75 on: August 11, 2006, 10:31:03 PM »

I have just listened to Condi Rice and Kofi Annan at the UN and I would not call Olmert's acceptance of the cease-fire "a caving in." Politics is the art of the possible and I think Olmert has been a very fast learner. Just hours before the cease-fire vote, he authorized the IDF to roll into Lebanon at full speed. Lebanon will discuss the cease-fire on Saturday and Israel will do the same on Sunday giving the IDF at last? 48 hours to continue sweeping up Hezbollah.

I think the cease-fire makes sense, at least on paper. Israel can only hope to make a peace treaty with Lebanon if Hezbollah is disarmed and the Lebanese government takes control of their whole country. Clearly the Lebanese army, by itself, cannot do it. This was the proposal that Hezbollah accepted and Israel and the US rejected out of hand. The new agreement calls for a reinforced UN peace keeping force of 15,000 men to back up the 15,000 Lebanese soldiers to be posted to the south of Lebanon.

What needs to be watched is the ability of this combined force to disarm Hezbollah and the commitment of Lebanon's government to disarm Hezbollah and take control of their country.

I wonder how Iran and Syria will react.

The idea that the IDF can easily take on Iran is a stretch. Iran is a long ways off and has no common borders with Israel. Israel could take on Syria if the US took on Iran but the US is already committed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Unless the Europeans wake up to the tragedy that is on their door step, Iran will have a few more months before it faces an attack.

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« Reply #76 on: August 11, 2006, 11:20:10 PM »

Text of U.N. Draft Resolution
Friday, August 11, 2006

UNITED NATIONS???The Security Council,

PP1. Recalling all its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular resolutions 425 (1978), 426 (1978), 520 (1982), 1559 (2004), 1655 (2006) 1680 (2006) and 1697 (2006), as well as the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon, in particular the statements of 18 June 2000 (S/PRST/2000/21), of 19 October 2004 (S/PRST/2004/36), of 4 May 2005 (S/PRST/2005/17) of 23 January 2006 (S/PRST/2006/3) and of 30 July 2006 (S/PRST/2006/35),

PP2. Expressing its utmost concern at the continuing escalation of hostilities in Lebanon and in Israel since Hezbollah's attack on Israel on 12 July 2006, which has already caused hundreds of deaths and injuries on both sides, extensive damage to civilian infrastructure and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons,

PP3. Emphasizing the need for an end of violence, but at the same time emphasizing the need to address urgently the causes that have given rise to the current crisis, including by the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers,

PP4: Mindful of the sensitivity of the issue of prisoners and encouraging the efforts aimed at urgently settling the issue of the Lebanese prisoners detained in Israel,

PP5. Welcoming the efforts of the Lebanese Prime Minister and the commitment of the government of Lebanon, in its seven-point plan, to extend its authority over its territory, through its own legitimate armed forces, such that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon, welcoming also its commitment to a UN force that is supplemented and enhanced in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operation, and bearing in mind its request in this plan for an immediate withdrawal of the Israeli forces from Southern Lebanon,

PP6. Determined to act for this withdrawal to happen at the earliest,

PP7. Taking due note of the proposals made in the seven-point plan regarding the Shebaa farms area,

PP8. Welcoming the unanimous decision by the government of Lebanon on 7 August 2006 to deploy a Lebanese armed force of 15,000 troops in South Lebanon as the Israeli army withdraws behind the Blue Line and to request the assistance of additional forces from UNIFIL as needed, to facilitate the entry of the Lebanese armed forces into the region and to restate its intention to strengthen the Lebanese armed forces with material as needed to enable it to perform its duties,

PP9. Aware of its responsibilities to help secure a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution to the conflict,

PP10. Determining that the situation in Lebanon constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

OP1. Calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations;

OP2. Upon full cessation of hostilities, calls upon the government of Lebanon and UNIFIL as authorized by paragraph 11 to deploy their forces together throughout the South and calls upon the government of Israel, as that deployment begins, to withdraw all of its forces from Southern Lebanon in parallel;

OP3. Emphasizes the importance of the extension of the control of the government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) and resolution 1680 (2006), and of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, for it to exercise its full sovereignty, so that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon;

OP4. Reiterates its strong support for full respect for the Blue Line;

OP5. Also reiterates its strong support, as recalled in all its previous relevant resolutions, for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders, as contemplated by the Israeli-Lebanese General Armistice Agreement of 23 March 1949;

OP6. Calls on the international community to take immediate steps to extend its financial and humanitarian assistance to the Lebanese people, including through facilitating the safe return of displaced persons and, under the authority of the Government of Lebanon, reopening airports and harbours, consistent with paragraphs 14 and 15, and calls on it also to consider further assistance in the future to contribute to the reconstruction and development of Lebanon;

OP7. Affirms that all parties are responsible for ensuring that no action is taken contrary to paragraph 1 that might adversely affect the search for a long-term solution, humanitarian access to civilian populations, including safe passage for humanitarian convoys, or the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons, and calls on all parties to comply with this responsibility and to cooperate with the Security Council;

OP8. Calls for Israel and Lebanon to support a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution based on the following principles and elements:
? full respect for the Blue Line by both parties,
? security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities, including the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani river of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11, deployed in this area,
? full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state,
? no foreign forces in Lebanon without the consent of its government,
? no sales or supply of arms and related materiel to Lebanon except as authorized by its government,
? provision to the United Nations of all remaining maps of land mines in Lebanon in Israel's possession;

OP9. Invites the Secretary General to support efforts to secure as soon as possible agreements in principle from the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel to the principles and elements for a long-term solution as set forth in paragraph 8, and expresses its intention to be actively involved;

OP10. Requests the Secretary General to develop, in liaison with relevant international actors and the concerned parties, proposals to implement the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), including disarmament, and for delineation of the international borders of Lebanon, especially in those areas where the border is disputed or uncertain, including by dealing with the Shebaa farms area, and to present to the Security Council those proposals within thirty days;

OP11. Decides, in order to supplement and enhance the force in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operations, to authorize an increase in the force strength of UNIFIL to a maximum of 15,000 troops, and that the force shall, in addition to carrying out its mandate under resolutions 425 and 426 (1978):
a. Monitor the cessation of hostilities;
b. Accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the South, including along the Blue Line, as Israel withdraws its armed forces from Lebanon as provided in paragraph 2;
c. Coordinate its activities related to paragraph 11 (b) with the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel;
d. Extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons;
e. Assist the Lebanese armed forces in taking steps towards the establishment of the area as referred to in paragraph 8;
f. Assist the government of Lebanon, at its request, to implement paragraph 14;

OP12. Acting in support of a request from the government of Lebanon to deploy an international force to assist it to exercise its authority throughout the territory, authorizes UNIFIL to take all necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind, to resist attempts by forceful means to prevent it from discharging its duties under the mandate of the Security Council, and to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment, ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers, and, without prejudice to the responsibility of the government of Lebanon, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence;

OP13. Requests the Secretary General urgently to put in place measures to ensure UNIFIL is able to carry out the functions envisaged in this resolution, urges Member States to consider making appropriate contributions to UNIFIL and to respond positively to requests for assistance from the Force, and expresses its strong appreciation to those who have contributed to UNIFIL in the past;

OP14. Calls upon the Government of Lebanon to secure its borders and other entry points to prevent the entry in Lebanon without its consent of arms or related materiel and requests UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11 to assist the Government of Lebanon at its request;

OP15. Decides further that all states shall take the necessary measures to prevent, by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft,
(a) the sale or supply to any entity or individual in Lebanon of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, whether or not originating in their territories, and
(b) the provision to any entity or individual in Lebanon of any technical training or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of the items listed in subparagraph (a) above,
except that these prohibitions shall not apply to arms, related material, training or assistance authorized by the Government of Lebanon or by UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11;

OP16. Decides to extend the mandate of UNIFIL until 31 August 2007, and expresses its intention to consider in a later resolution further enhancements to the mandate and other steps to contribute to the implementation of a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution;

OP17. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council within one week on the implementation of this resolution and subsequently on a regular basis;

OP18. Stresses the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions including its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973;

OP19. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
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« Reply #77 on: August 12, 2006, 12:07:38 AM »

Granted there is some subtlety to the resolution (thank you for providing it), but ultimately the IDF was ready to go change the facts on the ground.  The enemy will use acceptance of the resolution to inspire throughout the region (transcending Sunni-Shiite divide?) that they are the strong horse.  Iran will accelerate disruption in Iraq.  Russia will improve Iran's ground missile to air capabilities (contract already signed btw).  Maybe Pak's ISI sold out the UK air plot to distract attention from its new nuke production plant being built that will give it 25-50 nukes a year-- whether it did or did not the Paks are now following a new line after Bush's nuke deal with India-- and the Taliban is bubbling over the border.  What are implications of Pak becomer a nuclear actor again? And what a pefect moment for NK to play its tag team game with Iran.

To lose the opportunity to change the facts on the ground in southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley would have removed Iran's counter threat to any Israeli action against it.  A price has already been paid in civilian deaths.  What is the logic of leaving them now on the field instead of having the military settling that must be had?
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« Reply #78 on: August 12, 2006, 08:29:07 AM »

Also, what if due to recent events Hasrallah becomes PM?  Or, at the very least what if Hez integrates into the Lebanese army?  Israel then has no legal basis to act and Hezballah gets free reign.

Even if this does not significantly happen, if the Israelis are unwilling to take on Hezballah, what rational basis is there for thinking that the French or the UN will?

My initial impression is that this is a grave historic mistake.

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« Reply #79 on: August 12, 2006, 10:32:31 AM »

Crafty:

Never before in its history has Israel been given such wide latitude to destroy a terrorist enemy organization. Israel flubbed the opportunity by not acting decisively from the start. Now its too late, now Israel has to accept the deal cooked up in the UN. I think Rice has done a great job. I hate to think want the deal might have been with Colin Powell still in place.

Pakistan and Iran are American worries, not something Israel can do anything about directly. As for Hasrallah becoming PM, that would not be unusual, the winners of political infighting rise to the top and Hasrallah is the de facto Shia chief in Lebanon. The Shia have been out-breeding, out-fighting, out-terrorizing and out-maneuvering the other ethnic and religious groups in Lebanon. That is a reality on the ground and it has to be accepted and dealt with. Again, if you want to play the blame game, blame Israel for letting it happen but the reality is that back then Israel was either unable or unwilling to do it so now it's the new reality you need to deal with.

I'm an optimist. With luck, Hebollah can remain a minority partner in the Lebanese government but can be disarmed or at least removed from Israel's border. How effective will the French be at this task? Hard to say. Like most colonial powers, they have won some and lost some. The French have a lot of pressure back home to favor Arabs over Israelis so I don't really trust them. In a way this would be a repeat? of the Brits favoring the Arabs over the Jews at the time of the partition of Palestine. But the 800 pound gorilla is on Israel's side so I would not worry about it too much.

The main issue, not just for the Middle East but for the whole world is how you handle the clock. Some people want to turn the clock back: return Israel to the 1948 lines, return Islam to the glory of Muhammad and Saladin. I'm against this kind of thinking because it is entirely futile. We need to keep moving forward, not backward. How about returning Manhattan to the Dutch. Or returning Haiti to the Tainos. Or returning Peru to the Quechuas? Or returning Palestine to the Ottomans, to the Phoenicians or maybe to the Romans or to the Hittites. The only objective reality is the present and we need to move forward from the present. There is no turning back the clock. Turning back the clock implies ethnic cleansing.

Instead of worrying about the current Middle East settlement, you need to worry about Islam out-breeding you in the USA. After they out-breed you they will out-legislate you. You ready for Sharia law yet? Just as Islam requires adherence to their laws, America must require all nationals and resident aliens to adhere to American law, specifically to the Constitution. If they don't, they need to be dealt with swiftly.
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« Reply #80 on: August 12, 2006, 11:18:03 AM »

1)  I don't see why its "too late".

2)  If Nasrallah becomes PM, then under this resolution doesn't Lebanon have the right to import arms, etc from Syria and Iran and have the protection of 15,000 UN troops to complicate Israel's life?
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« Reply #81 on: August 12, 2006, 12:02:09 PM »

1)? I don't see why its "too late".

Because the window of opportunity that the Sunnis gave Israel is gone. Israel squandered it it. if Hezbollah stops the rocket attacks, Israel can go back on the offensive only as the aggressor, not as the defender. If Iran does not allow Hezbollah to cease and desist, then Israel is free to continue military action under the current resolution.

2)? If Nasrallah becomes PM, then under this resolution doesn't Lebanon have the right to import arms, etc from Syria and Iran and have the protection of 15,000 UN troops to complicate Israel's life?

Yes. Now you are stating why the prosecution of this war was such a big goof on Israel's part. I don't want to sound bloodthirsty? but only around 1,000 people have died in 30 days of fighting and the world is calling it a massacre. In Tokyo 100,000 people died in one air raid in less than 24 hours. The Tokyo fire-bombing was two or three orders of magnitude greater butchery than the present war.? Why did Israel start the war with such restraint? To protect its soldiers. Big mistake. The purpose of war is to win, to make the other side pay a price it is not willing and able to pay. If your side is not willing to pay the price for extracting victory then you might as well not go to war at all.

The message has to be, "Don't mess with me. If you do, you'll be sorry. If you don't, we can get along" Hezbollah's perception was that Israel valued life too much to take on Hezbollah and, at the start of the war, they were almost right, Israel did take them on but timorously. It was only after three weeks of floundering that Israel saw the light but by then the window of opportunity was fast closing.

I'm going to quote Churchill again, he seems to be one of the few who gets it right.

"Owing to the neglect of our defences and the mishandling of the German problem in the last five years, we seem to be very near the bleak choice between War and Shame. My feeling is that we shall choose Shame, and then have War thrown in a little later, on even more adverse terms than at present."
Winston Churchill in a letter to Lord Moyne, 1938


Tell me how 2006 Israel is different from 1938 Britain in this respect?

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« Reply #82 on: August 12, 2006, 12:12:06 PM »

Agreed Olmert's vascillations have been a disaster.? To start something you are not willing to finish is the height of foolishness.? That said, Hez is still shooting missiles.? Why not reject the resolution for any and all of the variety of good reasons for doing so and simply allow the IDF to apply its plan?

The Churchill quote is dead on.
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« Reply #83 on: August 12, 2006, 12:48:06 PM »

Why not reject the resolution for any and all of the variety of good reasons for doing so and simply allow the IDF to apply its plan?

The Churchill quote is dead on.

Because it is not necessary to reject it. As long as Hezbollah continues for fire missiles, the IDF can continue to wage war -- something we agree on as the right thing to do -- while all the time claiming the high ground by accepting the UN resolution. I had to chuckle when Kofi Annan had no choice but to say that Hezbollah was the aggressor, that Israel had the right to defend herself and that Israel was in compliance with the UN resolutions. For Kofi that must have been like taking bitter medicine.?

Crafty, I can see you are a fighter, not a diplomat, that you don't have what in Spanish we call "mano izquierda."

For quite some time now I've had the feeling that Olmert and Rice have put on a fantastic show, they have been a fantastic dancing couple. Rice has been firm in her defense of Israel. Rice has been flexible in her dealings with France and Lebanon. Rice has been polite to the UN. Yet, I have a feeling that Rice told Olmert when to launch the latest attack before the UN acted on the latest resolution. The timing was just too perfect.

  • The Israeli government finally wakes up and realizes the need for a real offensive
  • The UN announces a second version of the US-French draft
  • Israel officially puts the offensive on hold for 48 hours while deploying troops on the ground
  • Olmert stops Livini from going to the UN
  • The UN starts deliberating on the draft
  • Olmert launches the offensive before the draft is voted on

Now Israel has the best of both worlds, a meat grinder eating up Hezbollah while accepting the UN resolution because Israel is a peace loving country. I find it brilliant!


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« Reply #84 on: August 12, 2006, 01:47:16 PM »

Special Report: Israel Launches Major Offensive
The confusion of yesterday has been clarified. Israel has moved, in force, into southern Lebanon. Whatever the political crisis was yesterday, Israel has clearly decided to invade southern Lebanon, at the very least. The apparent battle between those who oppose a full invasion and those who support one appears to have been settled in favor of the latter.

After the U.N. cease-fire resolution was approved, Israel Defense Forces' (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz said that operations in Lebanon were expanding, and that he expected to conduct offensive operations there for another week, despite the resolution. Brig. Gen. Alon Friedman, IDF's Northern Command chief of staff, told reporters he expects combat operations to push all the way to the Litani River and other areas that Hezbollah has used to launch rockets into Israel. So far, he said, the political leaders "have not instructed us to stop the operation."

Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz, Halutz and other senior IDF officers visited Northern Command headquarters in Safed late Aug. 11. This meeting appears to have been to approve last-minute changes to the expanded offensive, and to coordinate the initial phase of the attack.

IDF troops began advancing from their staging areas in Israel north and west across south Lebanon toward the Litani River and the Mediterranean. IDF said taking the area would take several days and clearing it could take weeks. The Israeli air force struck Hezbollah positions in the south and other targets all across the country. Power was cut off in Tyre and Sidon, probably to degrade Hezbollah's command, control and communications. Bottom line: Whatever the U.N. Security Council might have intended, the outcome in Israel was an IDF order to disarm Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. At present, there is only air action in the Bekaa Valley.

For IDF ground forces, the fighting has been intense as units have engaged entrenched Hezbollah positions. IDF reports killing 20 Hezbollah fighters Aug. 12, and Hezbollah claims to have destroyed 21 Israeli armored vehicles and killed or wounded a large number of IDF troops. It appears that the IDF westward advance is pushing west from Taibe and Qantara, on an axis about five miles from the Israeli border. In the largest IDF airlift in 30 years, troops were airlifted into battle by some 50 helicopters.

In one of their deepest incursions into southern Lebanon, Israeli commandos supported by air power assaulted the village of Al Ghandourieh, approximately 10 miles southwest of the Israeli-held town of Marjayoun, early Aug. 12, meeting stiff resistance. This area overlooks valleys used by Hezbollah to conceal and launch their rockets, and can be expected to be heavily contested. The IDF advance appears to have disrupted Hezbollah rocket artillery operations, with no rockets launched during the morning and only 30 launched at Qiryat Shemona and Amirim. Hezbollah had been launching an average of 200 artillery rockets into northern Israel per day.

The advance seen thus far is methodical and, in spite of reports, fairly conservative. The Israelis do not seem to be carrying out slashing armored attacks, but are concentrating on combined arms operations to isolate and destroy strong points. It is now clear that, unless another shift takes place among Israeli leadership, the destruction we expected in the south is taking place. This has already diminished rocket fire into Israel, but we remain doubtful that all rocket attacks can be shut down by attacking the south. Further operations remain an option, although that option is uncertain in this political environment.

The issue now is Hezbollah's response. The group clearly knows it will be defeated by IDF in the south. One of its goals is obviously to inflict maximum casualties. Another must be to impose as many delays as possible. Hezbollah has been under sustained air attack for more than a month, so the resilience of its forces is a question mark.

However, broader than this issue is the strategic response of Hezbollah. A defeat in the south would obviously hurt Hezbollah greatly. It would not, however, eliminate Hezbollah's warfighting ability, since we assume it holds reserves in the Beirut area and the Bekaa Valley. The group also claims to have longer-range rockets in its arsenal -- we assume with only conventional warheads, but we don't know that for certain. With Israel committed, two questions arise: First, how far does Israel go? And, second, what is Hezbollah's response?

www.stratfor.com
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« Reply #85 on: August 13, 2006, 05:28:00 PM »

Hezbollah torpedoes Lebanese gov't meeting on disarmament

By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent

A meeting of the Lebanese government on the disarming of Hezbollah south of the Litani River was canceled on Sunday following an announcement by the Shi'ite organization that it was not willing to discuss the subject. Hezbollah informed the government of its stance through the speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, Nabih Beri, who serves as a conduit to the organization.

Beri informed Prime Minister Fuad Siniora of Hezbollah's decision, and Siniora decided to cancel the meeting.

This is the first time in weeks that a rift emerged in the official Lebanese stance. Officially, the government of Lebanon denied reports that any dispute has emerged.

But in an interview to Al Jazeera yesterday, Joe Sarkiss, Lebanon's minister of tourism, said that "the army will not deploy in the south unless there are no arms in the south except those of a legitimate military force and UNIFIL."

A Lebanese government source wrote on the Arab internet site Ilaf that "when it comes to crunch time, Hezbollah is refusing to give up its arms."

The same source said that the Lebanese government had opted to cancel the meeting so that the disputes will not cause a rift between the Shi'ite ministers and the rest.

Last week, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah announced that the organization had reservations regarding the UN resolution, suggesting that the group would find it difficult to meet the cease-fire decision.

On Sunday, Minister Marwan Hamada, one of the bitter opponents of Hezbollah, told the Voice of Lebanon radio station that if Lebanon is interested in liberating southern Lebanon, it would have to be the sole player in the area that is armed.

Meanwhile, analysts in Lebanon believe that the rocket attacks against the Galilee will cease today, as the cease-fire agreement goes into effect.


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/750015.html
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« Reply #86 on: August 14, 2006, 06:03:35 AM »


Comment: An unmitigated disaster

Caroline Glick, THE JERUSALEM POST
Aug. 13, 2006

There is a good reason that Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah has accepted UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which sets the terms for a cease-fire between his jihad army and the State of Israel.
The resolution represents a near-total victory for Hizbullah and its state sponsors Iran and Syria, and an unprecedented defeat for Israel and its ally the United States. This fact is evident both in the text of the resolution and in the very fact that the US decided to sponsor a cease-fire resolution before Israel had dismantled or seriously degraded Hizbullah's military capabilities.
While the resolution was not passed under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter and so does not have the authority of law, in practice it makes it all but impossible for Israel to defend itself against Hizbullah aggression without being exposed to international condemnation on an unprecedented scale.
This is the case first of all because the resolution places responsibility for determining compliance in the hands of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Annan has distinguished himself as a man capable only of condemning Israel for its acts of self-defense while ignoring the fact that in attacking Israel, its enemies are guilty of war crimes. By empowering Annan to evaluate compliance, the resolution all but ensures that Hizbullah will not be forced to disarm and that Israel will be forced to give up the right to defend itself.
The resolution makes absolutely no mention of either Syria or Iran, without whose support Hizbullah could neither exist nor wage an illegal war against Israel. In so ignoring Hizbullah's sponsors, it ignores the regional aspect of the current war and sends the message to these two states that they may continue to equip terrorist armies in Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority and Iraq with the latest weaponry without paying a price for their aggression.
The resolution presents Hizbullah with a clear diplomatic victory by placing their erroneous claim of Lebanese sovereignty over the Shaba Farms, or Mount Dov - a vast area on the Golan Heights that separates the Syrian Golan from the Upper Galilee and is disputed between Israel and Syria - on the negotiating table. In doing so, the resolution rewards Hizbullah's aggression by giving international legitimacy to its demand for territorial aggrandizement via acts of aggression, in contravention of the laws of nations.
Moreover, by allowing Lebanon to make territorial claims on Israel despite the fact that in 2000 the UN determined that Israel had withdrawn to the international border, the resolution sets a catastrophic precedent for the future. Because Lebanon is receiving international support for legally unsupportable territorial demands on Israel, in the future, the Palestinians, Syrians and indeed the Jordanians and Egyptians will feel empowered to employ aggression to gain territorial concessions from the Jewish state even if they previously signed treaties of peace with Israel. The message of the resolution's stand on Shaba Farms is that Israel can never expect for the world to recognize any of its borders as final.
By calling in the same paragraph for the "immediate cessation by Hizbullah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations," the resolution treats as equivalent Hizbullah's illegal aggression against Israel and Israel's legitimate military actions taken in defense of its sovereign territory.
Operational Paragraph 7, which "affirms that all parties are responsible for ensuring that no action is taken contrary to paragraph 1 [which calls for a cessation of hostilities] that might adversely affect the search for a long-term solution, humanitarian access to civilian populations, including safe passage for humanitarian convoys, or the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons," all but bars Israel from taking military action to defend itself in the future. Any steps Israel takes will open it to accusations - by Annan - of breaching this paragraph.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had let it be known that Israel's conditions for a cease-fire included the institution of an arms embargo against Hizbullah. The government also insisted that the international force it wished to have deployed along the border would work to dismantle Hizbullah.
However, paragraph 8 puts both the question of an arms embargo and Hizbullah's dismantlement off to some future date when Israel and Lebanon agree to the terms of a "permanent cease-fire." In addition, it places the power to oversee an arms embargo against Hizbullah in the hands of the Lebanese government, of which Hizbullah is a member.
While the resolution bars Israel from taking measures necessary to defend its territory and citizens, by keeping UNIFIL in Lebanon it ensures that no other force will be empowered to take these necessary actions. Furthermore, paragraph 2 "calls upon the government of Israel, as that deployment [of the Lebanese military and UNIFIL] begins, to withdraw all of its forces from southern Lebanon in parallel. This means that Israel is expected to withdraw before a full deployment of Lebanese and UNIFIL forces is carried out. As a result, a vacuum will be created that will allow Hizbullah to reinforce its positions in south Lebanon.
Finally, the resolution makes no operative call for the release of IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev now being held hostage by Hizbullah. By relegating their fate to a paragraph in the preamble, which then immediately turns to Hizbullah's demand for the release of Lebanese terrorists held in Israeli jails, the resolution all but eliminates any possibility of their returning home.
Aside from the resolution's egregious language, the very fact that the US has sponsored a resolution that leaves Hizbullah intact as a fighting force constitutes a devastating blow to the national security of both Israel and the US, for the following reasons:

It grants the Lebanese government and military unwarranted legitimacy. The resolution treats the Lebanese government and military as credible bodies. However, the Lebanese government is currently under the de facto control of Hizbullah and Syria.
Moreover, the Lebanese army is paying pensions to the families of Hizbullah fighters killed in battle, and its forces have actively assisted Hizbullah in attacking Israel and Israeli military targets.
Indeed, the seven-point declaration issued by the Lebanese government, which the UN resolution applauds, was dictated by Hizbullah, as admitted by Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and Nasrallah last week.

It incites Shi'ite violence in Iraq. From a US perspective, the resolution drastically increases the threat of a radical Shi'ite revolt in Iraq. Hizbullah is intimately tied to Iraqi Shi'ite terrorist Muqtada al-Sadr.
In April 2003, Hizbullah opened offices in southern Iraq and was instrumental in training the Mahdi Army, which Sadr leads. During a demonstration in Baghdad last week, Sadr's followers demanded that he consider them an extension of Hizbullah, and expressed a genuine desire to participate in Hizbullah's war against the US and Israel.
It should be assumed that Hizbullah's presumptive victory in its war against Israel will act as a catalyst for violence by Sadr and his followers against the Iraqi government and coalition forces in the weeks to come. Indeed, the Hizbullah victory will severely weaken moderate Shi'ites in the Maliki government and among the followers of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

It empowers Iran. Iran emerges as the main victor in the current war. Not only was it not condemned for its sponsorship of Hizbullah, it is being rewarded for that sponsorship because it is clear to all parties that Iran was the engine behind this war, and that its side has won.
The UN resolution does not strengthen the US hand in future Security Council deliberations regarding Iran's illicit nuclear weapons program because the states that object to any action against Iran - Russia and China - will continue with their refusal to sign on to any substantive action.
Indeed, Russia's behavior regarding the situation in Lebanon, including the fact that a large percentage of Hizbullah's arsenal of advanced anti-tank missiles was sold by Russia to Syria and Iran, exposes that Moscow's role in the current conflict has been similar to the position taken by the Soviet Union in earlier Middle East wars.
Furthermore, because the resolution strengthens the UN as the arbiter of peace and security in the region, the diplomatic price the US will be forced to pay if it decides to go outside the UN to contend with the Iranian threat has been vastly increased.
Many sources in Washington told this writer over the weekend that the US decision to seek a cease-fire was the result of Israel's amateurish bungling of the first three weeks of the war. The Bush administration, they argued, was being blamed for the Olmert government's incompetence and so preferred to cut its losses and sue for a cease-fire.
There is no doubt much truth to this assertion. The government's prosecution of this war has been unforgivably inept. At the same time it should be noted that the short-term political gain accrued by the US by forging the cease-fire agreement will come back to haunt the US, Israel and all forces fighting the forces of global jihad in the coming weeks and months.
By handing a victory to Hizbullah, the resolution strengthens the belief of millions of supporters of jihad throughout the world that their side is winning and that they should redouble efforts to achieve their objectives of destroying Israel and running the US out of the Middle East.


This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525859901&pagename =JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
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« Reply #87 on: August 14, 2006, 03:19:44 PM »

The Real War ...
?one more time.

By Michael Ledeen

Watching the war in Lebanon and listening to the debate about it, is just like watching the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and its attendant debate. Israelis are demanding the resignation of Olmert, just as Americans are demanding the head of Bush. Israeli military experts, real and self-proclaimed, are explaining how the Lebanon war could have been won, if only the ground campaign had started earlier, or had been more ambitious. American strategists of varying competence are explaining how the Iraq war could have been won, if only there were more boots on the ground, or if only a different strategy had been employed, or if only the Baathist army had been kept intact.
I think it?s nonsense. Both campaigns and both debates suffer from the same narrow focus, the same failure of strategic vision, the same obsession with a single campaign in a single place, when the war itself ? the real war ? is far wider. Our leaders and our pundits are fighting single battles, and, since their strategies are not designed to win the real war, they are doomed to fail. The failure of strategic vision is not unique to politicians, or pundits, or military strategists; it seems common to them all. It is extremely rare to hear an authoritative voice addressing the real war.

The terror masters in Syria and Iran are waging a regional war against us, running from Afghanistan and Iraq to, Gaza, Israel, and Lebanon. Alongside the ground war in the Middle East, they are conducting fifth-column operations against us from Europe to India and on to Indonesia, Australia, and the United States; the plot just dismantled in Great Britain provides the latest evidence.

Israel cannot destroy Hezbollah by fighting in Lebanon alone, just as we cannot provide Iraq and Afghanistan with decent security by fighting only there. The destruction of Hezbollah requires regime change in Damascus. Security in Iraq and Afghanistan requires regime change in Damascus and Tehran. Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq, and Afghanistan are not separate conflicts. They are battlefields in a regional war.

Even if the Israelis had conducted a brilliant campaign that killed every single Hezbollah terrorist in Lebanon, it would only have bought time. The Syrians and Iranians would have restocked, rearmed and resupplied the Hezbollahis, and prepared for the next battle. But if the Assad regime were replaced with a government opposed to terrorism and committed to freedom, Hezbollah would die of logistical starvation, cut off from money, weapons, training facilities, and the crucial support of Syrian and Iranian military and intelligence organizations.

In like manner, even if we continue to win every battle in every region of Iraq and Afghanistan, we will only prolong the fighting. The Iranians and their various allies inside Iraq, from the Baathist remnant to the Sadrists to Hezbollah, Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and other foreign terrorists, would continue to infiltrate the country, buy agents within Iraq, develop new generations of IEDs and smuggle ever more accurate rockets and missiles to use against us and the Iraqi forces of order. They will do the same in Afghanistan. But if the mullahcracy is replaced by a government empowered by the tens of millions of pro-American and pro-democracy people now oppressed by the evil terror masters in Tehran, the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan would be quickly transformed into a manageable operation with the balance of power overwhelmingly on the side of the governments.

The longer we wait, the larger the real war becomes. Iran has been at war with us for 27 years and we have yet to respond. As time passes, and our fecklessness is confirmed, the mullahs? confidence grows. Surely they must believe that their moment has come, that we will never respond, that they can bloody us and force us to retreat. That is the clear lesson of Lebanon, and they are undoubtedly raising the stakes for the next round. The Iranian missiles used against Israeli warships off the coast of Lebanon are now pouring into Somalia, and will be used against our ships in one of the most strategically sensitive areas of the world economy. The clandestine network rolled up in London surely extends to this country, and it is only a matter of time until they get lucky. Just a few weeks ago, the Germans fortunately discovered powerful bombs on their railroads. The French found similar weapons a couple of years ago. The Italians have arrested 40 people, are expelling many others, and have more than a thousand under surveillance.

These are the outlines of future events in the real war. We have a president who, despite his many weaknesses, speaks as if he understands it. But we have a secretary of state who speaks and acts as if she did not, a secretary of defense who has manifestly failed to grasp the true strategic dimensions of our peril, and an intelligence community that is still obsessed with the failed theories of the recent past, notably the nonsense about the unbridgeable Sunni-Shiite conflict. The president has finally begun to speak the truth about Islamic fascists, but he has yet to level with the American people about the magnitude of the real war, and ask them to support a strategy for victory.

That strategy does not, even today, require greatly expanded military action against the terror masters. Our most potent weapon against them remains the rage and courage of their own peoples. We must support those people, we must openly call and work for regime change in Syria and Iran. Heartbreakingly and foolishly, our failure to support revolution makes military action more and more likely. If we do not do the logical and sensible things, if we do not deploy the massive political weapons at our disposal, we will end by doing terrible things. Or, shrinking from the consequences of such action, we will suffer defeat, and the world will be plunged into a darkness the likes of which any civilized person must dread.

Faster, please.

? Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. He is resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute.



National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NDg1ZmVlYzNlODk0ODNmNGYxYzkxNTg2MjI3ODFjZDM=
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buzwardo
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« Reply #88 on: August 14, 2006, 09:23:47 PM »

August 15, 2006   No.1249

Arab Media Accuses Iran and Syria of Direct Involvement in Lebanon War
The war between Israel and Hizbullah has revealed profound disagreement in the Arab world between countries that support Hizbullah and those that oppose it, headed by Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The disagreement was reflected in the Arab media, which published articles supporting Hizbullah along with harsh criticism and accusations against it.

One of the accusations leveled against Hizbullah was that the organization does not serve the interests of the Lebanese people, but acts in the service of Syria and Iran, thereby jeopardizing Arab interests. Many articles argued that Syria and Iran had manufactured the crisis in order to draw world attention away from the Iranian nuclear issue and away from the results of the investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Al-Hariri. It was also claimed that Iran was working to destroy the Arab countries from within by encouraging armed militias to rebel against the Arab regimes.

Supporters of Hizbullah in Syria and Lebanon rejected the claim that Hizbullah was serving Syrian and Iranian agendas. They countered that it is Israel that is acting in the service of the West, which aims to redraw the map of the Middle East.

The following are excerpts from articles published in the Arab media:



Articles in the Arab Press: Hizbullah is Acting in the Service of Iran and Syria


*The Abduction of the Israeli Soldiers was Planned in Advance by Syria and Iran

Lebanese columnist Huda Al-Husseini wrote in the London Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: "These two countries [Syria and Iran] want to leave their troubles behind, and both of them are holding some of the same cards, including Hamas and Hizbullah. Syria wants to break out of its isolation and to wreak havoc [in the region] in order to avoid the consequences of the investigation into the murder of [former Lebanese] prime minister Rafiq Al-Hariri, and Iran wants to avoid giving any response to the European-American proposal [regarding its nuclear program]...

"Iran dispatched the head of its nuclear negotiations team, 'Ali Larijani, [to Europe] in order to postpone the date on which it would have to stop its uranium enrichment activities, and when it heard that the matter would be referred to the Security Council, the abduction of the two Israeli soldiers was carried out... Larijani made a surprise visit to Damascus and consulted with Syrian Vice-President Farouq Al-Shar', after receiving instructions from Tehran to instigate a regional crisis which would draw attention away from Iran. [Larijani] spoke of the need for a war against Israel, and [Farouq Al-Shar'] replied that the occupation justifies resistance [activities] in Lebanon and Palestine... Syria speaks of resistance, even at the cost of Lebanon's destruction, and Iran speaks in the name of all Muslims. Lebanon has [thus] been taken hostage by Hizbullah, Syria and Iran, and Islam [itself] has almost become a hostage to Iran's aspirations... Why must Lebanon always pay the price for the adventurism of local forces that are supported by regional forces?" [1]


*The Timing of the Operation - on the Same Day That Iran's Nuclear Dossier was Referred to the Security Council - Indicates Direct Iranian Involvement

'Abd Al-Rahim 'Ali, director of the Arab Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy in Cairo, wrote in the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram: "When Hizbullah responded to Iran's promptings and to incitement by other regional [forces], it knew that it was starting a war between two unequal forces - [a war] whose full price would be paid by the Lebanese people alone... When [Iran] saw that its [nuclear] dossier would soon be transferred to the Security Council, it decided to use Lebanon, along with Iraq, as a bargaining card to increase the pressure on the Americans. The question is whether the Lebanese people must [really] be subjected to all this destruction for the sake of a campaign in which they have no part. If the abduction of the two Israeli soldiers had been carried out during an Israeli offensive in South Lebanon, or during fighting between [Israel] and Hizbullah, this escapade might have been justifiable. But the timing of the operation was puzzling, and clearly indicates Iranian involvement in the crisis." [2]

Lebanese columnist Fuad Matar wrote in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: "Hizbullah has placed the [Arabs] in a questionable situation, [since its] operation was meant to serve Iran's interests, [as is apparent from its] timing: on the very same day that the five permanent [Security Council] members and Germany referred Iran's nuclear dossier back to the Security Council." [3]


*Our Resources Must Not Be Destroyed in the Service of Foreign Agendas

Tareq Al-Humeid, editor-in-chief of the London Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, wrote: "It is inconceivable that our abilities and resources should be destroyed and eliminated [just] because [some] group has decided to set the region on fire in the service of foreign agendas... Those who wish to fight Israel should bear the consequences [for their own actions] - especially since, in his speeches, Nasrallah presents himself as the ultimate Arab leader and says that he 'is not asking for anyone's help.' The same goes for [Hamas Political Bureau head] Khaled Mash'al. You two [i.e. Nasrallah and Mash'al] should bear responsibility [for the situation you have created] and suffer the consequences yourselves." [4]


*Egyptian Government Daily: "The Next Struggle in the Arab World Will Be... Between Two Axes... The Iranian [Axis] and the American [Axis]"

Muhammad 'Ali Ibrahim, chief editor of the Egyptian government daily Al-Gumhuriyya, wrote: "We are faced with two plans, each more dangerous than the other. The first is the Israeli-American plan which seeks to destroy the Arab countries from without, either through military operations or by means of economic restrictions. The second is the Iranian plan which seeks to destroy the Arab states from within [by using] Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine [as proxies], and by swallowing Iraq, [an aim] which seems to have already been realized... Iran wishes and plans to turn the entire Arab world into a [assortment of] armed militias like Hizbullah.

"The next struggle in the Arab world will be a struggle between two axes or camps - the Iranian [axis] and the American [axis] - and Lebanon seems to be the first instance of a struggle between the two... These two axes are seeking to wage war on their own behalf, or by employing proxies so as to not dirty their own hands. These wars will deepen the rift between the movements and the states [in which they operate], or between the insurgents and the Arab regimes - or, to be explicit, between the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hizbullah [on the one hand] and the Arab governments [on the other]. The proof of [the truth] of my statement is the demonstration at which Sheikh Mahdi 'Akef, the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, called for jihad against Israel. This is an Iranian jihad, which aims to destroy Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan from within by turning them into [a battleground] for various militias, as is occurring in Lebanon..." [5]

Egyptian columnist Hazem 'Abd Al-Rahman wrote in the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram: "[Let me say it] for the thousandth time - all Iran wants is to extend its hegemony over the eastern Arab countries, and it is trying to use Hizbullah as a Trojan horse to achieve this aim. [Hizbullah] is paying [the price] in [sacrificing] the lives of its leaders, activists and supporters, and in the future [it will pay the price] by [sacrificing] the people and resources of Lebanon. Iran, [on the other hand], only reaps the benefit, and Iranian President Ahmadinejad contents himself with making fiery speeches about a new Middle East without Israel." [6]


*Hizbullah's Actions Aim to Strengthen Iran's and Syria's International Status

Ashraf Al-Ajrami, columnist for the PA daily Al-Ayyam, wrote: "It may be said that the Damascus-Tehran axis, which includes Hizbullah and Hamas - who are supporting actors but are playing a primary role - wanted to wreak havoc in the region, and [carried out this plan] in two main arenas - Palestine and Lebanon. [They] used the Palestinians and the Lebanese as pawns in the international game, in order to promote the interests of Tehran and Damascus in their conflict with the U.S. and in order to strengthen their international status..." [7]


*"The Arab Countries Should Have... Disarmed Hizbullah Before [the War]"

Jamal Hashukji, former editor of the Saudi daily Al-Watan, characterized the Saudi objection to Hizbullah's actions as "courageous," but said that it had come too late, since the Arab countries should have worked to disarm Hizbullah in advance [of the war]. "Saudi Arabia," he wrote, "was not the only one who [woke up] too late. So did the other Arab states, which neglected [to do anything about] Hizbullah's special status that has been prevailing for many years, waiting for firm Arab intervention to put an end to it. The U.S. also [woke up] too late, and should be held responsible for generating the present crisis by neglecting the peace process...

"One did not have to be a prophet or a psychic to foresee a [future] crisis in Lebanon... Hizbullah is the primary [side] that had an interest in the recent escalation. Political forces in Lebanon demanded its disarmament even before Israel and America [made this demand]. [So] Hizbullah extended its military life by kidnapping the two [Israeli] soldiers and setting the region on fire. Iran, [for its part], was interested in drawing attention away from its nuclear project. And Syria - angry, anxious, and hurting because of the loss of its hegemony over Lebanon - was interested in drawing attention away from the investigation into the assassination of [former Lebanese] prime minister [Rafiq] Al-Hariri...

"Some Lebanese politicians courageously suggested to disarm Hizbullah, [arguing that], with Lebanon liberated, there was no longer any need for resistance. But [Hizbullah] justified [its status as an armed organization] by claiming that the liberation was not complete as long as Israel still held on to the Shab'a Farms... The Syrians cooperated with this pretext by refusing to submit a document that either recognized the Shab'a Farms as Lebanese... or declared them to be Syrian. [Had they declared the Shab'a Farms to be Syrian], the Shab'a Farms would have become part of the occupied Golan. There would have been a formal announcement [declaring] that Lebanon's sovereignty [over all its territories] had been restored, and that its territories had been fully liberated. Hizbullah would have then given up its arms in a dignified ceremony, and the Lebanese army would have absorbed some of its men and [received] all of its military equipment. The party [i.e. Hizbullah] would have been free to devote itself exclusively to its political function, [namely] serving the Shi'ites in South [Lebanon] who are always complaining about their marginal status in society.

"We all made a mistake by not pressuring Syria to resolve this question [of whether the Shab'a farms are Syrian or Lebanese]... [The entire problem] could have been resolved through an agreement or an understanding involving Iran, Syria and the various interested parties in Lebanon." [8]


*Editor of the Kuwaiti Daily Arab Times: "Hamas and Hizbullah... Represent the Interests of Syria and Iran"

Ahmad Al-Jarallah, editor-in-chief of the Kuwaiti dailies Arab Times and Al-Siyassa, wrote in the Arab Times: "Forgetting the interests of their own countries, Hamas and Hizbullah have gone so far as to represent the interests of Iran and Syria in their countries. These organizations became representatives of Syria and Iran without worrying about the consequences of their action...

"The fact that Hamas and Hizbullah gave the same reason for kidnapping the Israeli soldiers gives us a glimpse of their agenda, which is similar to the agenda of Syria and Iran in their conflict with the United States." [9]


Syria Responds: Israel is the One Who is Fighting Islam in the Service of the West

The Syrians denied that Hizbullah was acting in the service of Syria and Iran, and claimed that Israel is the one acting in the service of the West, which aims to redraw the map of the Middle East. Lebanese President Emile Lahoud endorsed the Syrian position, and told Fox News in an interview that "Hizbullah is Lebanese, and its demands are [made] in the service of Lebanese sovereignty... Its fighters are Lebanese, and its demands are Lebanese, not Syrian or Iranian." [10]


*Syrian Minister: The War in Lebanon is the Arabs' War of Independence Against the West

Syrian Minister of Expatriate Affairs Buthayna Sha'ban wrote in her column in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: "The war in the Middle East is [indeed being fought] through proxies. But it is not Hizbullah which is a proxy, fighting on behalf of Syria and Iran, as some [have claimed] in attempt to mislead the Arabs. Israel is the one which is fighting the Arabs and Muslims on Lebanese soil on behalf of the U.S., Britain and the entire West...

"The first indication [of this] was [the fact that] that the Western countries began simultaneously to evacuate their citizens from Lebanon. Washington, London and Paris sent warships, while Canada, Australia and other countries hired ships in the area in order to speed up the evacuation of their citizens. [They did this] after they decided to give Israel the go-ahead to commit any war crimes it wants to commit in order to stamp out the resistance once and for all...

"This means that the war in Lebanon is not just Lebanon's war of independence, but is the [the independence war] of all the Arab masses, from the [Atlantic] Ocean to the Gulf. [They] must now [wage] their real war of independence in order to prove to various Western forces - which have instructed Israel of wage this war against the Arabs and against Islam - that the Arabs and Muslims are entitled to live in dignity upon their land, and that Israel's terrorist crimes, and the support it receives from the superpowers, will not keep the Arabs from expressing their rage...

"The plan, as [U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza] Rice said, is [to create] a 'new Middle East' in which the Arabs will have no honor, no rights and no voice. Do you accept [this]?... The aim of this political move is to bring the Arab existence in the region to an end, and to turn the Arabs in the region into refugees, exiles or second-rate citizens. Therefore, the outcome of the [present campaign] in the region [will determine] whether the Arabs will be here [in the future] or not." [11]


*This is a New Imperialist War

An article in the Syrian government daily Teshreen claimed that it is the American administration that is making the decisions in this war against Lebanon, while Israel only carries out its instructions: "[Today,] on the 13th day [of the war], it is becoming more and more clear that the American administration is not only a partner to the Israeli aggression, but that it is calling the shots, while the implementing mechanism is strictly Israeli...

"This imperialist war to which Lebanon and the [Muslim] nation are being subjected proves that these new imperialists do not respect the U.N. resolutions or the Convention on Human Rights... Their only goal is to divide our Arab region and carve it up into smaller and smaller [pieces] in order to implement their [plan for a] 'New Middle East'. [Israeli Minister] Shimon Peres announced [this plan] one day, and the American administration then directed Israel to begin the implementation of its first phase. The disturbing question in this context is this: Will the [Muslim] nation wake up [in time] to defend its identity and honor before we all sink?..." [12]


*The War is an American Initiative Meant to Compensate for America's Failure in Iraq

Syrian columnist Muhammad 'Ali Boza wrote in the Syrian government daily Al-Thawra: "[The actions of] targeting Lebanon, changing its face, and redrawing its map are merely another stage in the series of hasty, foolish and reckless actions taken by the neo-conservatives in the U.S. and by their ally Israel with the aim of suborning the region to their authority, defeating it, and breaking its will. It is the Bush administration that is running... this destructive and murderous war, which moves [from one country to another in the Middle East], while Olmert's government supplies the mechanism [for carrying it out]. [In light of] the failure of [the American] strategy in Iraq and its helplessness [there] after so many years... America [has decided] - in order to compensate itself and cover up [its failure]... - to expand the circle of fire and death by aiming all this criminal, blind hatred at Lebanon..." [13]

Columnist 'Adnan 'Ali wrote in the Syrian government daily Al-Thawra: "The repeated statements by U.S. Secretary of State [Condoleeza Rice] about the birth of a new Middle East expose the [real] intentions of those who planned this war against Lebanon and who wanted to [use] it as an opportunity to overthrow the existing paradigms and create a new reality based on America's and Israel's perception of the region... The Americans began at an early stage to spread [the idea] of the new reality that they hoped would emerge [in the region] over the dead bodies of Lebanon and of Hizbullah. They allotted roles to various players - some of them, unfortunately, Arab [players] - with the aim of [creating] a docile Middle East in which there would be no resistance [movement] and no opposition to the American-Israeli plans..." [14]


*"The War... [Proves] That Israel and the U.S. are Behind the Assassination of Al-Hariri"

Another article in the Syrian government daily Al-Thawra said: "The war that is currently waging [in Lebanon], with its declared and undeclared goals, makes us more certain than ever that Israel and the U.S. are the forces behind the assassination of [former Lebanese prime minister] Rafiq Al-Hariri. The assassination was part of an unsuccessful attempt by the U.S. to enforce U.N. Resolution 1559. The aggression [we see] today began because Israel, as it turns out, is the only one who benefits from this resolution and from Al-Hariri's assassination..." [15]

[1] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 15, 2006.

[2] Al-Ahram (Egypt), July 18, 2006.

[3] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 15, 2006.

[4] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 15, 2006.

[5] Al-Gumhuriyya (Egypt), July 27, 2006.

[6] Al-Ahram (Egypt), August 6, 2006.

[7] Al-Ayyam (PA) July 14, 2006.

[8] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), July 18, 2006.

[9] Arab Times (Kuwait), July 15, 2006, http://www.arabtimesonline.com/arabtimes/opinion/view.asp?msgID=1242.

[10] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), August 3, 2006.

[11] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 24, 2006.

[12] Teshreen (Syria) July 25, 2006.

[13] Al-Thawra (Syria), July 27, 2006.

[14] Al-Thawra (Syria) July 27, 2006.

[15] Al-Thawra (Syria) July 27, 2006.

http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SD124906
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #89 on: August 15, 2006, 07:51:33 PM »

Cease-Fire: Shaking Core Beliefs in the Middle East
By George Friedman

An extraordinary thing happened in the Middle East this month. An Israeli army faced an Arab army and did not defeat it -- did not render it incapable of continued resistance. That was the outcome in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982. But it did not happen in 2006. Should this outcome stand, it will represent a geopolitical earthquake in the region -- one that fundamentally shifts expectations and behaviors on all sides.

It is not that Hezbollah defeated the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). It did not. By most measures, it got the worst of the battle. Nevertheless, it has been left standing at the end of the battle. Its forces in the Bekaa Valley and in the Beirut area have been battered, though how severely is not yet clear. Its forces south of the Litani River were badly hurt by the Israeli attack. Nevertheless, the correlation of forces was such that the Israelis should have dealt Hezbollah, at least in southern Lebanon, a devastating blow, such that resistance would have crumbled. IDF did not strike such a blow -- so as the cease-fire took effect, Hezbollah continued to resist, continued to inflict casualties on Israeli troops and continued to fire rockets at Israel. Hezbollah has not been rendered incapable of continued resistance, and that is unprecedented.

In the regional equation, there has been an immutable belief: that, at the end of the day, IDF was capable of imposing a unilateral military solution on any Arab force. Israel might have failed to achieve its political goals in its various wars, but it never failed to impose its will on an enemy force. As a result, all neighboring nations and entities understood there were boundaries that could be crossed only if a country was willing to accept a crushing Israeli response. All neighboring countries -- Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, prior to the collapses of central authority -- understood this and shaped their behavior in view of it. Even when Egypt and Syria initiated war in 1973, it was with an understanding that their war aims had to be limited, that they had to accept the probability of defeat and had to focus on postwar political maneuvers rather than on expectations of victory.

The Egyptians withdrew from conflict and accepted the Sinai as a buffer zone, largely because 1973 convinced them that continued conflict was futile. Jordan, since 1970, has been effectively under the protection of Israel against threats from Syria and internal dangers as well. Syria has not directly challenged the Israelis since 1973, preferring indirect challenges and, not infrequently, accommodation with Israel. The idea of Israel as a regional superpower has been the defining principle.

In this conflict, what Hezbollah has achieved is not so much a defeat of Israel as a demonstration that destruction in detail is not an inevitable outcome of challenging Israel. Hezbollah has showed that it is possible to fight to a point that Israel prefers a cease-fire and political settlement to a military victory followed by political accommodation. Israel might not have lost any particular battle, and a careful analysis of the outcome could prove its course to be reasonable. But the loss of the sense -- and historical reality -- of the inevitability of Israeli military victory is a far more profound defeat for Israel, as this clears the way for other regional powers to recalculate risks.

Hezbollah's Preparations

Hezbollah meticulously prepared for the war by analyzing Israeli strengths and weaknesses. Israel is casualty-averse by dint of demographics. It therefore resorts to force multipliers such as air power and armor, combined with excellent reconnaissance and tactical intelligence. Israel uses mobility to cut lines of supply and air power to shatter centralized command-and-control, leaving enemy forces disorganized, unbalanced and unsupplied.

Hezbollah sought to deny Israel its major advantages. The group created a network of fortifications in southern Lebanon that did not require its fighters to maneuver and expose themselves to Israeli air power. Hezbollah stocked those bunkers so fighters could conduct extended combat without the need for resupply. It devolved command to the unit level, making it impossible for a decapitation strike by Israel to affect the battlefield. It worked in such a way that, while the general idea of the defense architecture was understood by Israeli military intelligence, the kind of detailed intelligence used -- for example, in 1967 -- was denied the Israelis. Hezbollah acquired anti-tank weapons from Syria and Iran that prevented Israeli armor from operating without prior infantry clearing of anti-tank teams. And by doing that, the group forced the Israelis to accept casualties in excess of what could, apparently, be tolerated. In short, it forced the Israelis to fight Hezbollah's type of war, rather than the other way around.

Hezbollah then initiated war at the time and place of its choosing. There has been speculation that Israel planned for such a war. That might be the case, but it is self-evident that, if the Israelis wanted this war, they were not expecting it when it happened. The opening of the war was not marked by the capture of two Israeli soldiers. Rather, it was the persistent and intense bombardment of Israel with missiles -- including attacks against Israel's third-largest city, Haifa -- that compelled the Israelis to fight at a moment when they obviously were unprepared for war, and could not clearly decide either their war aims or strategy. In short, Hezbollah applied a model that was supposed to be Israel's forte: The group prepared meticulously for a war and launched it when the enemy was unprepared for it.

Hezbollah went on the strategic offensive and tactical defensive. It created a situation in which Israeli forces had to move to the operational and tactical offensive at the moment of Hezbollah's highest level of preparedness. Israel could not decline combat, because of the rocket attacks against Haifa, nor was it really ready for war -- particularly psychologically. The Israelis fought when Hezbollah chose and where Hezbollah chose. Their goals were complex, where Hezbollah's were simple. Israel wanted to stop the rockets, break Hezbollah, suffer minimal casualties and maintain its image as an irresistible military force. Hezbollah merely wanted to survive the Israeli attack. The very complexity of Israel's war aims, hastily crafted as they were, represented a failure point.

The Foundations of Israeli Strategy

It is important to think through the reasoning that led to Israeli operations. Israel's actions were based on a principle promulgated by Ariel Sharon at the time of his leadership. Sharon argued that Israel must erect a wall between Israelis and Arabs. His reasoning stemmed from circumstances he faced during Israel's occupation of Lebanon: Counterinsurgency operations impose an unnecessary and unbearable cost in the long run, particularly when designed to protect peripheral interests. The losses may be small in number but, over the long term, they pose severe operational and morale challenges to the occupying force. Therefore, for Sharon, the withdrawal from Lebanon in the 1980s created a paradigm. Israel needed a national security policy that avoided the burden of counterinsurgency operations without first requiring a political settlement. In other words, Israel needed to end counterinsurgency operations by unilaterally ending the occupation and erecting a barrier between Israel and hostile populations.

The important concept in Sharon's thinking was not the notion of impenetrable borders. Rather, the important concept was the idea that Israel could not tolerate counterinsurgency operations because it could not tolerate casualties. Sharon certainly did not mean or think that Israel could not tolerate casualties in the event of a total conventional war, as in 1967 or 1973. There, extreme casualties were both tolerable and required. What he meant was that Israel could tolerate any level of casualties in a war of national survival but, paradoxically, could not tolerate low-level casualties in extended wars that did not directly involve Israel's survival.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was Sharon's protege. Olmert was struggling with the process of disengagement in Gaza and looking toward the same in the West Bank. Lebanon, where Israel learned the costs of long-term occupation, was the last place he wanted to return to in July 2006. In his view, any operation in Lebanon would be tantamount to a return to counterinsurgency warfare and occupation. He did not recognize early on that Hezbollah was not fighting an insurgency, but rather a conventional war of fixed fortifications.

Olmert did a rational cost-benefit analysis. First, if the principle of the Gaza withdrawal was to be followed, the last place the Israelis wanted to be was in Lebanon. Second, though he recognized that the rocket attacks were intolerable in principle, he also knew that, in point of fact, they were relatively ineffective. The number of casualties they were causing, or were likely to cause, would be much lower than those that would be incurred with an invasion and occupation of Lebanon. Olmert, therefore, sought a low-cost solution to the problem of Hezbollah.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz offered an attractive alternative. Advocating what air force officers have advocated since the 1930s, Halutz launched an air campaign designed to destroy Hezbollah. It certainly hurt Hezbollah badly, particularly outside of southern Lebanon, where longer-range rocket launchers were located. However, in the immediate battlefield, limited tactical intelligence and the construction of the bunkers appear to have blunted the air attack. As Israeli troops moved forward across the border, they encountered a well-prepared enemy that undoubtedly was weakened but was not destroyed by the air campaign.

At this point, Olmert had a strategic choice to make. He could mount a multi-divisional invasion of Lebanon, absorb large numbers of casualties and risk being entangled in a new counterinsurgency operation, or he could seek a political settlement. He chose a compromise. After appearing to hesitate, he launched an invasion that seemed to bypass critical Hezbollah positions (isolating them), destroying other positions and then opting for a cease-fire that would transfer responsibility for security to the Lebanese army and a foreign peacekeeping force.

Viewed strictly from the standpoint of cost-benefit analysis, Olmert was probably right. Except that Hezbollah's threat to Israel proper had to be eliminated, Israel had no interests in Lebanon. The cost of destroying Hezbollah's military capability would have been extremely high, since it involved moving into the Bekaa Valley and toward Beirut -- let alone close-quarters infantry combat in the south. And even then, over time, Hezbollah would recover. Since the threat could be eliminated only at a high cost and only for a certain period of time, the casualties required made no sense.

This analysis, however, excluded the political and psychological consequences of leaving an enemy army undefeated on the battlefield. Again, do not overrate what Hezbollah did: The group did not conduct offensive operations; it was not able to conduct maneuver combat; it did not challenge the Israeli air force in the air. All it did was survive and, at the end of the war, retain its ability to threaten Israel with such casualties that Israel declined extended combat. Hezbollah did not defeat Israel on the battlefield. The group merely prevented Israel from defeating it. And that outcome marks a political and psychological triumph for Hezbollah and a massive defeat for Israel.

Implications for the Region

Hezbollah has demonstrated that total Arab defeat is not inevitable -- and with this demonstration, Israel has lost its tremendous psychological advantage. If an operational and tactical defensive need not end in defeat, then there is no reason to assume that, at some point, an Arab offensive operation need not end in defeat. And if the outcome can be a stalemate, there is no reason to assume that it cannot be a victory. If all things are possible, then taking risks against Israel becomes rational.

The outcome of this war creates two political crises.

In Israel, Olmert's decisions will come under serious attack. However correct his cost-benefit analysis might have been, he will be attacked over the political and psychological outcome. The entire legacy of Ariel Sharon -- the doctrine of disengagement -- will now come under attack. If Israel is thrown into political turmoil and indecision, the outcome on the battlefield will have been compounded politically.

There is now also a crisis in Lebanon and in the Muslim world. In Lebanon, Hezbollah has emerged as a massive political force. Even in the multi-confessional society, Hezbollah will be a decisive factor. Syria, marginalized in the region for quite a while, becomes more viable as Hezbollah's patron. Meanwhile, countries like Jordan and Egypt must reexamine their own assumptions about Israel. And in the larger Muslim world, Hezbollah's victory represents a victory for Iran and the Shia. Hezbollah, a Shiite force, has done what others could not do. This will profoundly effect the Shiite position in Iraq -- where the Shia, having first experienced the limits of American power, are now seeing the expanding boundaries of Iranian power.

We would expect Hezbollah, Syria and Iran to move rapidly to exploit what advantage this has given them, before it dissipates. This will increase pressures not only for Israel, but also for the United States, which is engaged in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in a vague confrontation with Iran. For the Israelis and the Americans, restabilizing their interests will be difficult.

Now, some would argue that Israel's possession of weapons of mass destruction negates the consequences of regional perception of weakness. That might be the case, but the fact is that Israel's possession of such weapons did not prevent attacks in 1973, nor were those weapons usable in this case. Consider the distances involved: Israeli forces have been fighting 10 miles from the border. And if Damascus were to be struck with the wind blowing the wrong way, northern Israel would be fried as well. Israel could undertake a nuclear strike against Iran, but the threat posed by Iran is indirect -- since it is far away -- and would not determine the outcome of any regional encounter. Certainly, the possession of nuclear weapons provides Israel a final line from which to threaten enemies -- but by the time that became necessary, the issue already would have shifted massively against Israel. Nuclear weapons have not been used since World War II -- in spite of many apparent opportunities to do so -- because, as a weapon, the utility is more apparent than real. Possession of nuclear weapons can help guarantee regime survival, but not, by itself, military success.

As it stands, logic holds that, given the tenuous nature of the cease-fire, casus belli on Israel's part can be found and the war reinitiated. Given the mood in Israel, logic would dictate the fall of Olmert, his replacement by a war coalition and an attempt to change the outcome. But logic has not applied to Israeli thinking during this war. We have been consistently surprised by the choices Israel has made, and it is not clear whether this is simply Olmert's problem or one that has become embedded in Israel.

What is clear is that, if the current outcome stands, it will mean there has been a tremendous earthquake in the Middle East. It is cheap and easy to talk about historic events. But when a reality that has dominated a region for 58 years is shattered, it is historic. Perhaps this paves the way to new wars. Perhaps Olmert's restraint opens the door for some sort of stable peace. But from where we sit, he was sufficiently aggressive to increase hostility toward Israel without being sufficiently decisive to achieve a desired military outcome.

Hezbollah and Iran hoped for this outcome, though they did not really expect it. They got it. The question on the table now is what they will do with it.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #90 on: August 17, 2006, 07:48:40 PM »

HASSAN NASRALLAH and Ehud Olmert both say they won. But in asymmetrical warfare, the test of victory is asymmetrical too. Israel's prime minister set himself an absurd aim?the complete demolition of Hizbullah's power in Lebanon?and failed to achieve it. The shrewder Mr Nasrallah said victory would consist merely of surviving, and Hizbullah, however battered, did survive. On the last day it was not just standing, it also fired a record 246 rockets into Israel.

Hizbullah being what it is, Mr Nasrallah lost no time claiming that this was ?a strategic, historic victory?; crowds in Tehran chorused that Israel had been ?destroyed?. Did Hizbullah not kill 159 Israelis, including 116 Zionist soldiers? Israel being what it is, Mr Olmert's political foes lost no time denouncing the prime minister's failings as Israelis sank into a collective despond about the disappointing showing of their army and the blunting of their country's long-term deterrent power.

Mr Olmert, echoed by George Bush, says that Israel won because it has transformed Lebanon. Under Security Council Resolution 1701, which brought the fragile ceasefire, Hizbullah is to withdraw north of the Litani river, make way for the Lebanese army plus a strengthened UN force, and disarm. That would, Israel says, put an end to Hizbullah's ?state within state?. And so it would?if it happened. But it may not. Within days of the ceasefire, Mr Nasrallah said it was ?too early? to discuss disarming. Syria's president, Bashar Assad, said so too. And the likelihood of the Lebanese army or a UN force trying to disarm Hizbullah against its will is zero. Two years ago, the UN passed a splendid resolution, 1559, demanding the disarmament of all militias in Lebanon. If Hizbullah did not comply then, why should it do so now, flushed with self-declared victory and with Israel's army still inside Lebanon?

 

Lebanon could lose too

The plain fact is that if Hizbullah is ever to give up its weapons and become just another political party, it will be through the pressure of the other Lebanese, not as a direct result of Israel's war. The diplomacy should therefore not be built on the pretence that Israel won a war it didn't. The more that Israel and America claim otherwise, the less able the caught-in-the-middle Lebanese government of Fouad Siniora will be to extract favours from Mr Nasrallah. A better idea would be to deprive Hizbullah of the pretexts it has invented for keeping up its war. It would be useful, for example, if Israel gave up the Shebaa Farms, the bit of Syrian territory Hizbullah says is Lebanon's, and accepted a prisoner swap.

However, Israel needs to save face too. Mr Olmert has no interest in concessions that reinforce the idea that he led his warrior nation to defeat. Israelis feel they dare not let their country look weak. And now come ominous signs that it does. Mr Assad has started talking again about liberating the Golan Heights. Having previously denied arming Hizbullah, Iran this week started to boast about the weapons it sent. If Israel is to give up Shebaa at such a time it must have something big in return, such as the actual removal of Hizbullah's arms?not just their concealment?in the south at least. Since America is not seen as an honest broker, closing such a deal may well require some new mediator. France? Turkey? Germany? Without an agreement, the war could resume at any moment.

 

When will they ever learn?

If a deal is done, what lesson will Israel take from this war? Probably something along the lines of: more infantry, fewer tanks. Those who preach sagaciously from afar that Israel should learn something bigger?the necessity of making peace instead of relying on force?have not been paying attention.

The hubris that blinded Israel after its great victory of 1967 cleared decades ago. Since the 1980s at least two prime ministers, Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak, gave their all in the search for peace. The first paid with his life and the second with his job. Even the hawkish Ariel Sharon budged. He pulled Israel out of Gaza and knocked the legs from under Israel's settler movement. The trouble for Israel is that in peacemaking, as well as in war, the enemy gets a vote. What the well-meaning protesters who have been marching in Europe in praise of Hizbullah refuse to acknowledge is that today, as in the 1940s, Israel still has some neighbours who continue to deny its very right to exist as a Jewish state.

This is not to say that Israel is blameless. It has made mistakes aplenty down the years. This war was probably just that: a mistake after a provocation and not a plot cooked up either by Israel and America against Iran, or by Iran against Israel and America, as the rival conspiracy theories go. It followed a bigger blunder: Israel's failure after Yasser Arafat's death to work seriously with his moderate successor, Mahmoud Abbas.

But peace does not depend only on Israel. Six years ago Israel withdrew from Lebanon to a border painstakingly demarcated by the UN. Hizbullah fought on anyway. Like Iran, it says its aim is Israel's destruction. Though an authentic political movement with a domestic agenda in Lebanon, it is also blatantly anti-Semitic. Mr Nasrallah once reflected that collecting the Jews in Palestine made them easier to wipe out. Its al-Manar TV station is a beacon of hate: one series purported to show Jews murdering Christian children to use their blood for Passover bread. Whether Hizbullah and Iran seriously propose to destroy Israel is hard to tell, but it is what they keep saying?and they have imitators. The Palestinians' ruling Hamas movement has not yet dared to say out loud that it accepts even the principle of sharing Palestine with a Jewish state.

Following Mr Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza, Mr Olmert hoped to follow his example by uprooting Israeli settlements from much of the West Bank. Hizbullah has now killed stone dead the idea of Israel giving up territory again without cast-iron security assurances. So there will be no leaving any of the West Bank until there is a deal. Israel must find some way to re-engage with the Palestinians. But right now it is not even talking to Hamas?and Hamas, after the Lebanon war, is in danger of subscribing anew to the old illusion that Palestine can be liberated by force. Black days ahead for the Middle East.
===================================

?Victory? for Hizbullah is not quite the same as victory for Lebanon, whatever its divided politicians feel they have to say

?DIVINE Victory?No Trespassing.? So says the message, in English and Arabic, printed on the yellow crime-scene tape that cordons off bomb sites in Haret Hreik, the Beirut suburb that is Hizbullah's firmest stronghold. The speed with which the Shia party, emerging bruised but triumphant in spirit after a month-long war, produced its own jaunty tape for this particular purpose says much about its efficiency. As the shaky ceasefire that started on August 14th took hold, party workers stole a march on the Lebanese government, fanning out across the country to give away victory sweets, clear debris, pull bodies from the rubble, and process claims for compensation from the estimated 15,000 householders who lost their homes to Israel's bombing.

Impressive in peace as in war, Hizbullah's tenacity carries heavy costs, however. The main one is that it is preventing the government of Lebanon from implementing the terms of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which it gratefully accepted in order to bring the fighting to an end. The core of this resolution is that Hizbullah should no longer operate as a military force in southern Lebanon, of which it was undisputed master before the war erupted. In its place, under the resolution and in the imagination at least of Fouad Siniora, Lebanon's prime minister, the official Lebanese army is supposed now to hold sway?assisted by a new international force that will give some bite to the toothless UNIFIL force that has been deployed ineffectually in the south for years.

As a part of the government, Hizbullah too has notionally accepted 1701. But now that the guns are silent and it has declared itself the victor, the organisation is in no hurry to implement its part of the deal. Hassan Nasrallah, the leader who evaded Israel's bombs for a month, is riding high on a region-wide wave of enthusiasm. In a typically soft-spoken but caustic television address, he called his Lebanese critics ?immoral? in their haste to see Hizbullah defanged. ?At this emotionally difficult and fateful time, some individuals speaking with wooden tongues sit behind desks in their air-conditioned offices and talk about these issues,? he said. One could virtually feel Lebanon's other politicians and grandees, none of whom now rivals him in popular standing, squirm.

If Mr Nasrallah refuses to disarm, even in the south, who can make him? He has the support of Iran, his chief armourer, which denounced 1701 as ?a Zionist document?. He also has the support of Syria. Its president, Bashar Assad, made this clear in a speech celebrating Hizbullah's ?victory?. Those Lebanese who were demanding that the group lay down its arms were ?Israeli creations? who wished to provoke civil war, he said in a fire-breathing peroration. The ramshackle Lebanese army is no match for Hizbullah, and the parts of the army recruited from the Shias of south Lebanon would probably refuse to fire on Hizbullah even if they were ordered to. The new international force may have robust rules of engagement, but it will not try to finish Israel's job for it.
 

That leaves Israel. Since the fighting ended, it has withdrawn many of its soldiers from Lebanon. But many remain?and may stay on for months, according to Israel's top general, if Lebanon's government fails to disarm Hizbullah or assert its authority in the south. Israel may also keep up the air and sea blockade that has throttled Lebanon's import-dependent economy. However, beyond its strenuous insistence that the Lebanese government has a duty to honour the agreement it signed, Israel does not seem eager to resume the war. For the present, its soldiers and Hizbullah's remain edgily intermingled in the south. There have been some lethal skirmishes. But neither army seems to relish another round just yet.

The man who is in the toughest predicament of all is Mr Siniora. Lebanon's prime minister is in a fix. Lebanese patriotism obliges him to celebrate Mr Nasrallah's great victory. But most of the coalition government over which he presides wants to seize the opportunity, enshrined in 1701 (and made possible by Israel's deplorable bombs), to turn Lebanon into a normal country, not one in which Iran and Syria maintain the Hizbullah fief. Behind the victory talk, many non-Shia Lebanese are appalled by the cost to Lebanon of Mr Nasrallah's war. They would love to use 1701 as a tool to strip Hizbullah of its arms and power.

Which is precisely why Mr Nasrallah is unlikely to oblige. In the eyes of many Shias, who were until recently Lebanon's most downtrodden sect, military strength is a guarantor of influence against the historically dominant and wealthier Christians and Sunni Muslims. Hizbullah's own leaders hold an even more paranoid worldview, regarding their fighting strength as a buffer that protects not just Lebanese Shias, but Arabs and Muslims at large, from American hegemony.

On paper, Mr Siniora's coalition of Sunni, Druze and right-wing Christian parties commands a strong parliamentary majority. His government, a product of the ?cedar revolution? that resulted last year in the eviction of Syria's army and looked set to recapture Lebanon for the West, enjoys the backing of the oil-rich Arab Gulf states, the United States and Lebanon's former colonial master, France. Yet its street-level power is hardly a match for Hizbullah's. Though pro-government businessmen have pledged to pay for rebuilding bridges across the country, their efforts are likely to be eclipsed by the door-to-door thoroughness of Hizbullah charities, augmented by the deep pockets of Iran.

At best, it seems, Mr Nasrallah will allow the Lebanese army to deploy to the south, aided later perhaps by the new international force. But his consent will be based on an agreement to conceal Hizbullah's weapons, not actually to remove or hand them over. He will pretend to comply with 1701, and the world may pretend to believe him. This fictitious construct may give Israel the cover it needs to withdraw its own army. But all the conditions will exist for a resumption of the war.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2006, 07:54:48 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #91 on: August 27, 2006, 07:24:40 PM »

Prelude to Apocalypse
August 27th, 2006

Contrary to what is now the accepted wisdom in the media, Hezb?allah in its recent offensive against Israel neither ?badly bloodied the Israel Defense Force,? nor ?fought it to a standstill? in Southern Lebanon. In fact, the opposite is the case. By any legitimate measure Hezb?allah was handed a resounding military defeat by the IDF in the recent fighting, and while the cancer that is Hezb?allah was not cured by Israel?s soldiers, it was put into remission.

Hezb?allah is not your father?s terrorist organization. This is not a group of loosely affiliated cells of would-be hijackers or suicide bombers. Hezb?allah is a terrorist army, trained like an army, organized like an army, funded and equipped like an army, with one glaring difference.  The main use of its arsenal was terror aimed at Israel?s civilian population while hiding behind Lebanon?s civilian population. Its intent was to cause maximum civilian casualties amongst both.  This was not by accident. This was by design.

This was Hezb?allah?s war, planned and prepared for six years, funded by close to a billion dollars by Iran, aided by Syria. One of the great benefits to the West to come out of this war (if they choose not to turn a blind eye to it) is the certain knowledge that Hezb?allah is Iran?s terrorist operational arm. It is the terrorist extension of Iran?s expressed foreign policy.

It is not a coincidence that Hezb?allah launched its totally unprovoked attack across Israel?s internationally recognized border, killing and kidnapping Israeli soldiers and dragging Lebanon and Israel into a war which neither one wanted at exactly the moment when the international community had issued its ultimatum to Iran. That ultimatum was: ?Cease your efforts to develop nuclear weapons or face the sanctions of the International Community.? Iran?s response was Hezb?allah?s war.

Even a cursory examination of Hezb?allah?s statements, captured documents, the weapons it procured over six years and instantly deployed, provides an insight into their war aims and the battle plan to achieve those aims. Hezb?allah announced in the clearest possible way that it was its intent to turn Southern Lebanon into a graveyard for the IDF. This was not mere rhetoric. It was their plan.

Hezb?allah?s Sigfried Line

Much has been made, and rightly so, of the arsenal of some 15,000 short, medium and longer range rockets which Hezb?allah stockpiled for its offensive. What has gone largely unmentioned is the equally impressive number of anti-tank weapons Hezb?allah not only acquired but deployed throughout its system of fortresses, strongholds in literally every village in Southern Lebanon.

Hezb?allah?s spin was that it built this Siegfried Line-like series of fortifications to defend Southern Lebanon from an Israeli invasion.  The truth is both Hezb?allah and everyone else in the world knew perfectly well that when Israel left every centimeter of Lebanese soil in 2000, it did so with the intent never to return.  It not only had no designs on Southern Lebanon, it dreaded doing so.

In addition Israel had made a strategic decision to sacrifice whatever advantages the buffer zone of Southern Lebanon offered for the perceived advantages of international legitimacy.  Now, the logic went, should Hezb?allah attack us it will not be an attack against our troops in their country, rather they will be violating Israel?s internationally recognized border and the world will have no choice but to recognize clearly who was the aggressor and who was the victim.

To a degree, that logic prevailed. Especially in the beginning of the conflict, though not (of course) in the U.N. where Israel had so painstakingly sought to achieve the legitimacy the Secretary General so quickly ignored.

In preparing its offensive, both Hezb?allah and Iran knew that Hezb?allah?s terrorist army could never mount a successful ground invasion against Israel.  The advantages they possessed for their offensive lay in their rockets and missiles which could hit Israel?s civilian population and inflict mass casualties, and control of its own terrain and preparation of its own battle field.  The idea was not to fight the IDF in Israel?s territory, but to set a trap for the IDF in Hezb?allah?s carefully prepared and massively fortified Siegfried Line of fortresses, strongholds and offensive positions connected by a series of truly impressive tunnel networks and bunkers meant to withstand and offset Israel?s air advantage.

There was one other indispensable element to their war plan; the centering of their offensive capability against Israel?s civilian population within Lebanon?s civilian population.  Much has been made in the Western press of Hezb?allah?s benign social services function in Lebanon, of the hospitals and schools it has built.

The Press as Hezb?allah?s Tool

Almost no notice, however, has been paid to the large numbers of these hospitals and schools which were built over its military bunkers and rocket launching sites.  This was perhaps both the most cynical and barbaric disregard for innocent civilian lives of all of Hezb?allah?s and Iran?s strategic choices.  It was also the most successful.

The decision was predicated not on its knowledge of its enemy (Israel) but its true genius lay in its knowledge of the press.  The calculus was simple: launch a rocket from within a civilian population; if you kill Jews that?s a victory. If the Jews hit back and in so doing kill Lebanese civilians, that?s a victory. If they don?t hit back because they?re afraid to hit civilians, that?s a victory. Now repeat the process until you kill so many Jews they have to hit back and in so doing kill more Lebanese civilians.  That?s the ultimate victory, because they know that in striking just those chords exactly what music the press will play.

The awful truth, which the Western Press was manipulated to ignore or downplay, was that Iran, through its terrorist operational arm Hezb?allah, had invaded Lebanon from within.  Hezb?allah did not protect Lebanon, they occupied it and they used those Hezb?allah-occupied territories to launch Iran?s offensive in response to the West?s ultimatum to cease development of nuclear weapons.

Hezb?allah?s Military Failure

From a military prospective there can be absolutely no doubt as to the results of Hezb?allah and Iran?s offensive against Israel.  It was a defeat. Every part of their war plan except the manipulation of the media failed.

Hezb?allah expected and planned for a massive charge of Israeli armor into Southern Lebanon.  The amounts and type of anti-tank weapons they acquired and had operationally deployed in their forward positions as well as their secondary and tertiary bands of fortresses and strongholds through Southern Lebanon attest to this fact.

They intended to do in mountainous terrain what Egypt had so effectively done in the Sinai desert in the Yom Kippur war.  In that war, Sinai indeed became a graveyard for Israeli armor.  Hundereds of tanks were destroyed. Whole brigades were decimated in single battles by the Egyptians? highly effective anti-tank missile ambushes.  In that war almost three thousand Israeli soldiers were killed.  That was Hezb?allah?s plan.  It was a good one.  And it failed.

Far from the prevailing impression in the media, the IDF was not ?badly bloodied? nor ?fought to a stand still,? much less ?handed a defeat.?  Just prior to the cease fire, Israel suffered twenty nine tanks hit. Of those, twenty five were back in service within twenty four hours.  Israel suffered one hundred and seventeen soldiers killed in four weeks of combat.  As painful as those individual losses were to their families and to the Israeli collective psyche which views all its soldiers as their biological sons and daughters, those numbers in fact represent the fewest casualties suffered by Israel in any of its major conflicts. In 1948, Israel suffered six thousand killed.  In 1967, in what was regarded as its most decisive victory, Israel lost almost seven hundred killed in six days.  In 1973, Israel lost two thousand seven hundred killed and in the first week of the first war in Lebanon, Israel suffered one hundred seventy six soldiers killed.

Misapprehension of Casualties

Why then the impression of massive Israeli casualties in clear contrast to the actual numbers of those killed?  It is because of the uniquely inverse relationship between the Israeli public and its army.  The Israeli army is a citizen?s army.  It is made up of everyone?s child, everyone?s brother or sister, aunt or uncle.

On its television networks not only the names but the photographs of the fallen and the times and places of each funeral were announced repeatedly.  Scores of reports dealing with individual soldiers and the shattered families they left behind were aired repeatedly.  The nation as a whole mourned the loss of its children quite literally as if they were the sons and daughters of each and every family.

Were I, as an Israeli officer in the Military Spokesperson?s Unit, to have made a statement to the Israeli press about the actual lightness of Israel?s casualties, I would at the least have been relieved of duties, if not also of rank.  Indeed, members of my unit volunteered to a man to go into Lebanon under fire to help retrieve the bodies of four fallen soldiers and make sure that reporters (who by that time were reported to be simply driving into Lebanon) could not broadcast pictures before the families were notified.  We provided an additional covering force as well against Hezb?allah while medics and a Rabbi safeguarded the sanctity of the remains of four kids, younger than my twenty two year old son.  We did so not only not under orders, but in violation of orders, because we were all of us fathers as well as soldiers, and these were not only our comrades in arms, but our sons. We were there to bring them home.

That is the emotion.  But the numbers are different.  They are the lightest casualties suffered by the IDF in all of its wars.  Military historians will spend years deciphering why exactly this was so.  Was Israel?s government and its general staff, by its refusal to commit large numbers of forces for the first three weeks of combat, in fact making a highly intelligent strategic choice?  Possibly.

Three Conclusions

Possibly it was dumb luck or devine intervention.  Either way it meant three things:

1. Hezb?allah?s ambush never happened because Israel didn?t take the bait.  Instead it used air power and then a series of probing raids, primarily by infantry to methodically, slowly identify and root out the enemy positions.

2. It meant that those small numbers of troops deployed into Lebanon in the first weeks of fighting had to do more with less than perhaps any other Israeli fighters in any other war.  Certainly in other wars there were many individual battles in which so much was expected of and accomplished by so few.  But no war comes to mind in which so few soldiers were deployed across an entire front.  They performed brilliantly and with uncommon courage in the face of withering fire from heavily fortified and prepared positions.

These were draft-age soldiers: eighteen and nineteen year olds, commanded on the platoon and company levels by twenty something?s, none of whom had ever faced anything remotely like the combat against Hezb?allah?s terrorist army.  In spite of what many see as the logistical and command failures of their superiors, they performed brilliantly and achieved their objectives.

3. When the vast bulk of Israel?s force was finally deployed, made up primarily of its reservists, these soldiers achieved in forty eight hours what many believe they should have been given weeks to accomplish.  Despite logistical failures, some times fighting without food or water, Israel?s soldiers, regular army and reserves alike, handed Hezb?allah a decisive military defeat.  All of Hezb?allah?s Siegfried Line-like system of fortresses and strongholds, their network of command and control bunkers along Israel?s Northern border were destroyed, abandoned or under the control of the IDF by the end of the hostilities.  Hezb?allah?s mini terrorist state within a state south of the Litani had been dismantled.

Israel?s War Aims Achieved

Its a terrorist capital within a capital in Beirut, its command and control center and infrastructure were in ruins.  In the end it sought and accepted a cease fire resolution in the United Nations which provided the framework for Israel to achieve all of its stated war aims.

This last point is of no minor consequence both in terms of what Israel achieved and failed to achieve in the counter offensive it waged against Hezb?allah.  I can speak to this subject with some degree of expertise since I was one of the people tasked with putting into a simple declarative sentence what the IDF?s mission was as handed down to it by Israel?s democratically elected political leaders.  The sentence defining the IDF?s mission read as follows.

?To bring about the conditions on the ground which will enable the International Community and the government of Lebanon to live up to their obligations under UN resolution 1559, to end the rocket attacks against Israel?s civilian population in the North and to bring about the release of Israel?s kidnapped soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regeve.?

That was the IDF?s stated mission and that is exactly what it did.

Whether as a result of the decisions of its political leadership and general staff, or in spite of them, Israel?s soldiers, sailors and airmen brought about the conditions on the ground which enabled a U.N. Resolution that, on the face of it, provided for the implementation of the majority of UN Resolution 1559, called for the extension of Lebanon?s sovereignty and the deployment of its army along Israel?s border for the first time in thirty years, and called for a fifteen thousand troop strong U.N. force to back up the Lebanese army and help it disarm Hezb?allah, as well as enforce an arms embargo on its terrorist army.

France, in recognition of its special relationship with Lebanon would boldly announce that it would head up such a force with thousands of its troops.  Instead it landed fifty soldiers in rubber dinghies; until shamed by Italy into upping its ante. What of the International Community and the Government of Lebanon, in whom Israel?s political leadership placed so much faith to turn their words into actions?  To use the applicable Yiddish phrase:  gornischt.

Just as the Spanish Civil War was a preview of what European Fascism had in store for the world, so do I believe, that Iran?s offensive against Israel carried out by its Terrorist Army operational arm, was a preview of what Islamofacsism has in store not only for the West but for the moderate regimes of the Middle East, which in case anyone forgot to notice, controls the oil on which the West survives.

What they failed to gain militarily they accomplished through the manipulation of the Western Media, which were their willing dupes and through the ineptitude and weakness, if not down right appeasement of the political leadership of the International community. This has all but guaranteed that this war will be but round one.

The Larger Stakes

The soldiers of the IDF bought their country?s and the International Community?s political leadership a chance to keep the Iranian/Hezb?allah cancer in remission. If that opportunity is squandered, no future Israeli political leadership will dare to limit its war aims again to simply creating conditions on the ground that will enable the International Community not just to protect Israel?s legitimate rights and interests but their own.  When one is faced with an apocalyptic fascist enemy which not only employs a terrorist foreign legion to do its bidding, but seeks to acquire nuclear weapons which it clearly announces will be part of its strategy to wipe you and your country, your family and all your loved ones off the face of the earth, there is no proportional response.

If this indeed was the equivalent of the Spanish Civil War, then the world must know that what followed was one last chance before the abyss. For the Jewish people and the State of Israel, that abyss contains the very Holocaust which Ahmadinijad both denies and vows to complete.  We will not accommodate the International Community by acquiescing to our own destruction.

This situation, however, is not just Israel?s problem. We are but the Little Satan.  America and the West to the Islamofascists are the great Satan.  It would be a simple matter indeed for Iran, in flexing its muscles against America, to dispatch Hezb?allah terrorists to Northern Mexico. There, equipped with little more than the very same rockets used to target Haifa, Hezb?allah could target Los Angeles. Now picture that scenario with even a modest nuclear payload. It would no longer be a question of how we stop terrorists from getting into the United States. With the same rocketry they used against Israeli citizens, Iran?s terrorist army would only need to get into Northern Mexico in order to hit America?s second largest city with a nuclear device. What then would America do? Invade Mexico?

If through appeasement the West fails to take action to prevent the conflagration which looms on the horizon, then let there be no doubt that its flames will engulf us all. For its part, this time Israel must be ready, and it must entrust its fate into no one?s hands but its own.

Dan Gordon is the writer of such films as The Hurricane, Murder in the First, Wyatt Earp, and The Assignment.  He served as a captain in the reserves in the IDF during the recent war.

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captainccs
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« Reply #92 on: August 28, 2006, 12:47:27 AM »

Beirut Dispatch

Tour de Force
by Annia Ciezadlo
Post date: 08.24.06
Issue date: 09.04.06

Who says Lebanon's tourism industry is dead? Come to Beirut these days and you can take a guided tour of Hell, with Hezbollah as your escort. Every day, the Party of God welcomes visitors to Haret Hreik, in the heart of the city's mostly Shia southern suburbs. Once home to Hezbollah's headquarters and Beirut's most densely populated neighborhood, Haret Hreik is now a smoking swath of wreckage. For the thousands of families who used to live here, the devastation is almost unimaginable. But, for Hezbollah, the ruins of this once-bustling neighborhood have become a tourist attraction--and an invaluable propaganda tool.

Hezbollah began offering tours of Haret Hreik during the war, assembling every morning at eleven o'clock. I went on the first of these excursions on July 20, along with the bulk of the international press corps--about 100 correspondents, from well-known TV anchors to grubby freelancers. Longtime Hezbollah spokesman Hussein Naboulsi showed up with his entourage and delivered a running patter of outrage. "On a daily basis, they come here and turn buildings into rubble, as you see," he shouted, in his frantic, high-pitched voice. "This is where we live! If the Israelis dare to confront us face to face, let them do it on the border, not come with jet fighters from high above in the sky, and just hit civilian targets!" He strode off into the wreckage, still shouting, and we scrambled to keep up.

Every once in a while, as we marched through the rubble, a man (never a woman) would pop out of a destroyed building to shout with carefully rehearsed rage. All of these appearances were orchestrated by Hezbollah for our benefit. Al Arabiya, a Saudi-funded satellite channel that many Lebanese view as U.S.-backed propaganda, even merited its own personal heckler. "Where is Al Arabiya?" demanded a short, angry man, flailing his arms in the middle of the street. "I have something to tell them." When a microphone with the station's logo appeared in front of him, he shouted, "The Saudis want this to happen! These missiles were made in USA, made in Saudi Arabia, made in Jordan, made in Egypt!"

A telling omission from this litany of oppressors was the country that had actually fired the missiles: Israel. (The Saudis don't make missiles, after all.) You can always rely on Hezbollah leaders for anti-Israel rhetoric. But, ever since the war ended, they've been less fixated than usual on their neighbor to the south. Instead, they're cultivating hatred for a larger, more world-historic enemy: the United States. By focusing on the Great Satan, Hezbollah can avoid the delicate subject of who, exactly, started this particular war--and promote itself instead as a defender of the Muslim world against U.S. aggression and the West generally.

Today, the sea of mangled concrete that was once Haret Hreik is a surreal fairground, complete with souvenir stands and parades. Backhoes and cranes are busily clearing the roads, dumping detritus onto the mountains of rubble that mark where buildings used to be. Hezbollah has adorned most of these mounds with giant, red-and-white banners bearing English-language slogans like new middle beast, the divine victory, and made in usa (below which, in smaller letters, it says trademark). Of the hundreds of signs in the shattered neighborhood, only a few mention Israel.

Now that the war is over, Haret Hreik is a popular day trip. If Hezbollah's wartime press tours were all about obtaining sympathy from the outside world, the current carnival is about stoking domestic outrage. As the United States wades back into Lebanon, promising $230 million in aid, Hezbollah offers Haret Hreik up as a graphic reminder of how the United States helped destroy their country--and of how Hezbollah is rebuilding it. Hundreds of Lebanese walk through the rubble, some with cameras and video recorders, many of them families with kids. Most have come to inspect the ruins of their homes and businesses. Others, including a few Christian families, are simply here to sightsee.

The main attraction is the headquarters of Al Manar, Hezbollah's satellite TV station. To get to it, you pass through a little tent Hezbollah has set up, with flyers directing people to eight registration centers where the party will reimburse them for their lost homes and possessions. There's even a bouquet of flowers on a little table. Outside the tent, dozens of sightseers--all Lebanese, many wearing dust masks--press up against a metal railing, pointing and taking pictures. The mood is weirdly festive, with some people holding up their children and others snapping photos with the latest cell phones. Between the souvenir stands, the dust masks, the earth-moving equipment, and the solemn air of commemoration, it's a bit like Ground Zero in the year after September 11. The smell is the same, too: chalky and toxic, utterly inescapable. It's the smell of the insides of things--pulverized concrete, plaster, asbestos, burnt plastic, cordite, and acrid chemicals. A few veiled women hold headscarves over their mouths to keep out the dust.

The spot where Al Manar used to be is a mountain of charred cement, topped with the remains of people's lives: children's books, pillows, pieces of chairs, an ancient manual typewriter. The apartment buildings from which all this flotsam fell loom above the rubble, ringing the site of the station. Some were destroyed, but others only had their outer walls sheared away so that you can see into the individual apartments: In one, a TV set totters on the edge of the void, its back facing what used to be a wall; in another, an old lady fills a plastic can with oil.

Jutting rakishly from the wreckage, a billboard-sized banner touts the staying power of Hezbollah's radio station--which, like Al Manar, never went off the air despite numerous Israeli bombings of its offices and transmitters. Al nour radio, it proclaims, a voice stronger than the aggressor. "We've been broadcasting live from here all day, from ten in the morning until three," says Ahmed Naeem, the Hezbollah functionary in charge, with pride. "We had everyone! NGOs, ambassadors, even the Turkish foreign minister." According to Naeem, Abdullah Gul, the foreign minister, said the damage was worse than that from the Turkish earthquake of 1999.

"We prepared for this," explains Naeem. "We never kept a lot of people in the main building, even before the soldiers were kidnapped. We were always prepared for attack without provocation. We have a couple of different studios, and we evacuated all of them."

A handful of middle-age men in spotless suits clamber up the mountain: It's the Beirut Chamber of Commerce, coming for a photo-op. Two days later, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora would visit the bomb site as well. Standing in the ruins, flanked by Shia politicians, he denounced Israel's "barbaric acts against Lebanon." As usual, Siniora was in a tight political spot: As a member of the U.S.-backed Future bloc in parliament, he couldn't very well criticize the United States.

Curious to see where all the colorful bunting comes from, I go in search of Hezbollah's graphics unit. I find the army of artists relaxing under a tent, sitting in plastic chairs, while a team of young men pass out posters. These are the guys in charge of the banners and signs that hang everywhere. They've also designed the bright-red trucker hats that many Hezbollah employees are wearing. In Arabic script, the hats declare: nasr min allah--literally, "Victory from God," but also a play on the name of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. They've been cranking out the Hezbollabilia the whole time, even while the bombs were falling, preparing for their divine victory ever since the war began.

"The slogans--we've been getting them from the war itself," says Ghassan Darwish, one of the graphic designers. "They're the slogans that the Americans and Israelis are using." In his hands, for example, Condoleezza Rice's "New Middle East" becomes the new middle beast, with the word beast splattered across the poster like blood. I ask Darwish why so many of the signs are in English. "It's normal for them to be in several different languages, because there are foreign journalists here, asking questions," he replies.

I ask him how people are reacting to the giant signs. "People knew during the war that these were American bombs falling on us, in Israeli hands," he says. "People were receptive to it--especially made in usa."

Annia Ciezadlo is a Beirut-based writer.


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« Reply #93 on: August 28, 2006, 08:42:24 AM »

Gaza caught in anarchy and thuggery'
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
                              
"When you walk in the streets of Gaza City, you cannot but close your eyes because of what you see there: unimaginable chaos, careless policemen, young men carrying guns and strutting with pride and families receiving condolences for their dead in the middle of the street."

This is how Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority government and a former newspaper editor, described the situation in the Gaza Strip in an article he published on Sunday on some Palestinian news Web sites.

The article, the first of its kind by a senior Hamas official, also questioned the effectiveness of the Kassam rocket attacks and noted that since Israel evacuated the Gaza Strip, the situation there has deteriorated on all levels. It holds the armed groups responsible for the crisis and calls on them to reconsider their tactics and to stop blaming Israel for their mistakes.

"Gaza is suffering under the yoke of anarchy and the swords of thugs," Hamad wrote. "I remember the day when Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip and closed the gates behind. Then, Palestinians across the political spectrum took to the streets to celebrate what many of us regarded as the Israeli defeat or retreat. We heard a lot about a promising future in the Gaza Strip and about turning the area into a trade and industrial zone."

Hamad said the "culture of life" that prevailed in the Strip has since been replaced with a nightmare. "Life became a nightmare and an intolerable burden," he said. "Today I ask myself a daring and frightening question: 'Why did the occupation return to Gaza?' The normal reply: 'The occupation is the reason.'"

Dismissing Israel's responsibility for the growing state of anarchy and lawlessness in the Gaza Strip, Hamad said it was time for the Palestinians to embark on a soul-searching process to see where they erred.

"We're always afraid to talk about our mistakes," he added. "We're used to blaming our mistakes on others. What is the relationship between the chaos, anarchy, lawlessness, indiscriminate murders, theft of land, family rivalries, transgression on public lands and unorganized traffic and the occupation? We are still trapped by the mentality of conspiracy theories - one that has limited our capability to think."

Hamad admitted that the Palestinians have failed in developing the Gaza Strip following the Israeli withdrawal and in imposing law and order. He said about 500 Palestinians have been killed and 3,000 wounded since the Israeli pullout, in addition to the destruction of much of the infrastructure in the area.

By comparison, he said, only three or four Israelis have been killed by the rockets fired from the Gaza Strip over the same period.

"Some will argue that it's not a matter of profit or loss, but that this has an accumulating effect" he said. "This may be true. But isn't there a possibility of decreasing the number of casualties and increasing our gains by using our brains and making the proper calculations away from demagogic statements?"

The Hamas official said that while his government was unable to change the situation, the opposition was sitting on the side and watching and PA President Mahmoud Abbas was as weak as ever.

"We have all been attacked by the bacteria of stupidity," he remarked. "We have lost our sense of direction and we don't know where we're headed."

Addressing the various armed groups in the Gaza Strip, Hamad concluded: "Please have mercy on Gaza. Have mercy on us from your demagogy, chaos, guns, thugs, infighting. Let Gaza breathe a bit. Let it live."


http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525954624&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
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« Reply #94 on: August 28, 2006, 09:42:21 AM »

Media participates in/is duped by Hez fraud again:  http://www.zombietime.com/fraud/ambulance/
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« Reply #95 on: August 29, 2006, 03:38:01 PM »



   
 
 
 What did you do in the war, UNIFIL?
You broadcast Israeli troop movements.
by Lori Lowenthal Marcus
09/04/2006, Volume 011, Issue 47

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DURING THE RECENT month-long war between Hezbollah and Israel, U.N. "peacekeeping" forces made a startling contribution: They openly published daily real-time intelligence, of obvious usefulness to Hezbollah, on the location, equipment, and force structure of Israeli troops in Lebanon.

UNIFIL--the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, a nearly 2,000-man blue-helmet contingent that has been present on the Lebanon-Israel border since 1978--is officially neutral. Yet, throughout the recent war, it posted on its website for all to see precise information about the movements of Israeli Defense Forces soldiers and the nature of their weaponry and materiel, even specifying the placement of IDF safety structures within hours of their construction. New information was sometimes only 30 minutes old when it was posted, and never more than 24 hours old.

Meanwhile, UNIFIL posted not a single item of specific intelligence regarding Hezbollah forces. Statements on the order of Hezbollah "fired rockets in large numbers from various locations" and Hezbollah's rockets "were fired in significantly larger numbers from various locations" are as precise as its coverage of the other side ever got.

This war was fought on cable television and the Internet, and a lot of official information was available in real time. But the specific military intelligence UNIFIL posted could not be had from any non-U.N. source. The Israeli press--always eager to push the envelope--did not publish the details of troop movements and logistics. Neither the European press nor the rest of the world media, though hardly bastions of concern for the safety of Israeli troops, 
provided the IDF intelligence details that UNIFIL did. A search of Israeli government websites failed to turn up the details published to the world each day by the U.N.

Inquiries made of various Israeli military and government representatives and analysts yielded near unanimous agreement that at least some of UNIFIL's postings, in the words of one retired senior military analyst, "could have exposed Israeli soldiers to grave danger." These analysts, including a current high ranking military official, noted that the same intelligence would not have been provided by the U.N. about Israel's enemies.

Sure enough, a review of every single UNIFIL web posting during the war shows that, while UNIFIL was daily revealing the towns where Israeli soldiers were located, the positions from which they were firing, and when and how they had entered Lebanese territory, it never described Hezbollah movements or locations with any specificity whatsoever.

Compare the vague "various locations" language with this UNIFIL posting from July 25:

Yesterday and during last night, the IDF moved significant reinforcements, including a number of tanks, armored personnel carriers, bulldozers and infantry, to the area of Marun Al Ras inside Lebanese territory. The IDF advanced from that area north toward Bint Jubayl, and south towards Yarun.
Or with the posting on July 24, in which UNIFIL revealed that the IDF stationed between Marun Al Ras and Bint Jubayl were "significantly reinforced during the night and this morning with a number of tanks and armored personnel carriers."

This partiality is inconsistent not only with UNIFIL's mission but also with its own stated policies. In a telling incident just a few years back, UNIFIL vigorously insisted on its "neutral ity"--at Israel's expense.
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/622bqwjn.asp
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« Reply #96 on: August 31, 2006, 12:46:20 PM »

Amnesty Int'l redefines 'war crimes'
By ALAN DERSHOWITZ
                                 
The two principal "human rights" organizations are in a race to the bottom to see which group can demonize Israel with the most absurd legal arguments and most blatant factual mis-statements. Until last week, Human Rights Watch enjoyed a prodigious lead, having "found" - contrary to what every newspaper in the world had reported and what everyone saw with their own eyes on television - "no cases in which Hizbullah deliberately used civilians as shields to protect them from retaliatory IDF attack."

Those of us familiar with Amnesty International's nefarious anti-Israel agenda and notoriously "suggestible" investigative methodology wondered how it could possibly match such a breathtaking lie.

But we didn't have to wait long for AI to announce that Israel was guilty of a slew of war crimes for "widespread attacks against public civilian infrastructure, including power plants, bridges, main roads, seaports, and Beirut's international airport."

There are two problems with the Amnesty report and conclusion. First, Amnesty is wrong about the law. Israel committed no war crimes by attacking parts of the civilian infrastructure in Lebanon.

In fact, through restraint, Israel was able to minimize the number of civilian casualties in Lebanon, despite Hizbullah's best efforts to embed itself in population centers and to use civilians as human shields. The total number of innocent Muslim civilians killed by Israeli weapons during a month of ferocious defensive warfare was a fraction of the number of innocent Muslims killed by other Muslims during that same period in Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Algeria, and other areas of Muslim-on-Muslim civil strife. Yet the deaths caused by Muslims received a fraction of the attention devoted to alleged Israeli "crimes."

This lack of concern for Muslims by other Muslims - and the lack of focus by so-called human rights organizations on these deaths - is bigotry, pure and simple.

AMNESTY'S EVIDENCE that Israel's attacks on infrastructure constitute war crimes comes from its own idiosyncratic interpretation of the already-vague word "disproportionate." Unfortunately for Amnesty, no other country in any sort of armed conflict has ever adopted such a narrow definition of the term. Indeed, among the very first military objectives of most modern wars is precisely what Israel did: to disable portions of the opponent's electrical grid and communication network, to destroy bridges and roads, and to do whatever else is necessary to interfere with those parts of the civilian infrastructure that supports the military capability of the enemy.

That's how the American and Britain militaries fought World War II. (In fact, Israel shows far more restraint than Britain did during World War II. Prime Minister Winston Churchill directed the Royal Air Force to bomb the center of towns with the express purpose of killing as many civilians as possible.) Had the Allies been required to fight World War II under the rules of engagement selectively applied to Amnesty International to Israel, our "greatest generation" might have lost that war.

The strategy of destroying some infrastructure was particular imperative against Hizbullah. Israel first had to ensure that its kidnapped soldiers would not be smuggled out of the country (as other soldiers had been and were never returned), then it had to prevent Hizbullah from being re-armed, especially given that Hizbullah damaged a ship using advanced radar technology provided by the Lebanese army and rockets provided by Iran.

Hizbullah was being armed by Syria and Iran - as those countries themselves admitted - and the president, government, and population of Lebanon overwhelmingly supported the militia's indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israeli civilian population centers. The Lebanese army actively supported Hizbullah's military actions. Israel was, in a very real sense, at war with Lebanon itself, and not simply with a renegade faction of militants.

HERE'S HOW law professor David Bernstein answered Amnesty's charge:

The idea that a country at war can't attack the enemy's resupply routes (at least until it has direct evidence that there is a particular military shipment arriving) has nothing to do with human rights or war crimes, and a lot to do with a pacifist attitude that seeks to make war, regardless of the justification for it or the restraint in prosecuting it [at least if it's a Western country doing it], an international "crime."

In other words, if attacking the civilian infrastructure is a war crime, then modern warfare is entirely impermissible, and terrorists have a free hand in attacking democracies and hiding from retaliation among civilians. Terrorists become de facto immune from any consequences for their atrocities.

THE MORE troubling aspect of Amnesty's report is their inattention to Hizbullah. If Israel is guilty of war crimes for targeting civilian infrastructure, imagine how much greater is Hizbullah's moral responsibility for targeting civilians! But Amnesty shows little interest in condemning the terrorist organization that started the conflict, indiscriminately killed both Israeli civilians (directly) and Lebanese civilians (by using them as human shields), and has announced its intention to kill Jews worldwide (already having started by blowing up the Jewish Community Center in Argentina.) Apparently Amnesty has no qualms about Hizbullah six-year war of attrition against Israel following Israel's complete withdrawal from Southern Lebanon.

As has been widely reported, even al-Jazeera expressed surprise at the imbalance in the Amnesty report:

During the four week war Hizbullah fired 3,900 rockets at Israeli towns and cities with the aim of inflicting maximum civilian casualties.

The Israeli government says that 44 Israeli civilians were killed in the bombardments and 1,400 wounded.

AI has not issued a report accusing Hizbullah of war crimes.


Amnesty does not even seem to understand the charges it is making. Take, for example, this paragraph from its report:

Israeli government spokespeople have insisted that they were targeting Hizbullah positions and support facilities, and that damage to civilian infrastructure was incidental or resulted from Hizbullah using the civilian population as a "human shield". However, the pattern and scope of the attacks, as well as the number of civilian casualties and the amount of damage sustained, makes the justification ring hollow.

But the issue of human shields and infrastructure are different. The first relates to civilian casualties; the second concerns property damage. Of course Israel intentionally targeted bridges and roads. It would have been militarily negligent not to have done so under the circumstances. But it did not target innocent civilians. It would have given them no military benefit to do so.

The allegations become even more tenuous, as when Amnesty writes, "a road that can be used for military transport is still primarily civilian in nature." By this reasoning, terrorists could commandeer any structure or road initially constructed for civilian use, and Israel could not touch those bridges or buildings because they were once, and still could be, used by civilians. This is not, and should not be, the law.

Consider another example: "While the use of civilians to shield a combatant from attack is a war crime, under international humanitarian law such use does not release the opposing party from its obligations towards the protection of the civilian population."

Well that's certainly nice sounding. But what does it mean? What would Amnesty suggest a country do in the face of daily rocket attacks launched from civilian populations? Nothing, apparently. The clear implication of Amnesty's arguments is that the only way Israel could have avoided committing "war crimes" would have been if it had taken only such military action that carried with it no risk to civilian shields - that is, to do absolutely nothing.

For Amnesty, "Israeli war crimes" are synonymous with "any military action whatsoever."

The real problem with Amnesty's paper is that its blanket condemnations do not consider the consequences of its arguments. (It doesn't have to; it would never advance these arguments against any country but Israel.)

Amnesty International's conclusions are not based on sound legal arguments. They're certainly not based on compelling moral arguments. They're simply anti-Israel arguments. Amnesty reached a predetermined conclusion - that Israel committed war crimes - and it is marshalling whatever sound-bites it could to support that conclusion.

Amnesty International is not only sacrificing its own credibility when it misstates the law and omits relevant facts in its obsession over Israel. It also harms progressive causes that AI should be championing.

Just last year, for example, Amnesty blamed Palestinian rapes and "honor killings" on - you guessed it - the Israeli occupation. When I pointed out that there was absolutely no statistical evidence to show that domestic violence increased during the occupation, and that Amnesty's report relied exclusively on the conclusory and anecdotal reports of Palestinian NGOs, Amnesty stubbornly repeated that "Israel is implicated in this violence by Palestinian men against Palestinian women."

This episode only underscored AI's predisposition to blame everything on Israel. Even when presented with an ideal opportunity to promote gender equality and feminism in the Arab world, it preferred to take wholly unrelated and absurd shots at Israel.

Amnesty International just can't seem to help itself when it comes to blaming Israel for the evils of the world, but rational observers must not credit the pre-determined conclusions of a once-reputable organization that has destroyed its own credibility by repeatedly applying a double standard to Israel.

The writer is a professor of law at Harvard. His most recent book is Preemption: A Knife That Cuts Both Ways.


http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525974885&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
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« Reply #97 on: September 01, 2006, 02:24:03 PM »

August 30, 2006
The media war against Israel

Early in the recent Lebanon war, the blogosphere revealed the fabrication of images by Reuters, whose reputation is now in shreds among those dwindling numbers in the western mainstream media who still acknowledge there is such a thing as the truth. Since then, the nature and scale of the various frauds perpetrated by the media during that war put those doctored Reuters pictures into the shade. The western media are no longer merely producing questionable professional practices in reporting a war. They are now active participants in it ? and on the wrong side of history.

One of the very few politicians to voice concern at this phenomenon is Australia?s foreign minister Alexander Downer, who said:

What concerns me greatly is the evidence of dishonesty in the reporting out of Lebanon. For example, a Reuters photographer was forced to resign after doctoring images to exaggerate the impact of Israeli air attacks. There were the widely-reported claims that Israel had bombed deliberately a Red Cross ambulance.

In subsequent weeks, the world has discovered those allegations do not stand up to even the most rudimentary scrutiny. After closer study of the images of the damage to the ambulance, it is beyond serious dispute that this episode has all the makings of a hoax. Yet some of the world?s most prestigious media outlets, including some of those represented here today, ran that story as fact - unchallenged, unquestioned. Similarly, there has been the tendency to report every casualty on the Lebanese side of the conflict as if a civilian casualty, when it was indisputable that a great many of those injured or killed in Israeli offensives were armed Hezbollah combatants.

My point is this: in a grown-up society such as our own, the media cannot expect to get away with parading falsehoods as truths, or ignoring salient facts because they happen to be inconvenient to the line of argument - or narrative - that particular journalists, or media organisations, might choose to adopt on any given controversy or issue.

Can anyone imagine the British Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, saying this? Of course not. The level of anti-Israel, anti-American madness has reached such a pitch in Britain that any similar expression of alarm at the manifestly blatant mendacity in the reporting of the Middle East has simply become unthinkable. Yet thanks to the efforts of the blogosphere ? notably Little Green Footballs, Powerline, Zombietime and EU Referendum, we can see that the behaviour of the western media during the Iranian/Syrian/Hezbollah war against Israel has constituted a major, world-wide scandal, and one which has the capacity to derail the efforts of the west to defend itself.

The major incidents of apparent media fraud are these.

* The claim that Israeli aircraft intentionally fired missiles at and struck two Lebanese Red Cross ambulances performing rescue operations, causing huge explosions that injured everyone inside the vehicles. This claim, which gave such incendiary traction to the lie that Israel deliberately targeted civilians, was repeated by ITV News, Time Magazine, the Guardian, Boston Globe, The Age, NBC News, the New York Times and thousands of outlets around the world.

Zombietime, however, convincingly exposed this claim as a fraud. It is worth reading its analysis in full in order properly to grasp both the enormity of the libel and the way it was not only uncritically accepted but gleefully embellished by respected media outlets, whose journalists either didn?t know or care that they were transmitting an outright fabrication. Anyone with even the most cursory knowledge of the kind of missiles used by the Israeli air force would grasp immediately that the hole in the roof of the ambulance whose picture went round the world could not have been caused by such a missile. If a missile had indeed hit it there would have been no roof remaining to inspect; nor would there have remained an ambulance. Yet the rest of the ambulance in the pictures, although damaged, was pretty well intact ? and the allegedly seriously injured ambulance driver not only was pictured with minor injuries, but even these had miraculously disappeared without trace in pictures taken a few days later.

In short, the whole claim was patently risible. As Zombietime revealed, the hole was almost certainly made by an air vent in the roof. It was part of the ambulance. There was no attack on the ambulance. The whole claim was a lie, a hoax, a fraud. Yet this lie has gone round the world, been ?shown? on TV, been embellished by familiar trusted commentators and thus has attained the status of unchallengeable truth. But it is a lie.

Now the Red Cross has rebuked Australian Foreign Minister Downer for relying on an ?unverified? blog for his claim. As Little Green Footballs observes, this was the same Red Cross which ? as LGF previously reported ? once the ?unverified? blog started using those vanishing journalistic attributes such as eyesight and brain activity to state the overwhelmingly obvious, quietly removed from its website the high-resolution image of the ambulance that had allegedly been struck. For if these pictures were indeed a lie, then the Red Cross itself is squarely in the frame for disseminating it.

* The claim that Israel fired a missile which hit a Reuters vehicle and wounded two cameramen. One was a Reuters employee, Fadel Shana; the other, Sabbah Hmaida, was described by Reuters as working for a ?local news website?; although as Little Green Footballs noted, he was also reported variously as working for

1) a local news web site, 2) an Arabic network, 3) Palestinian Media Group, and 4) Dubai TV

? and now Caroline Glick has revealed in the Jerusalem Post that he was actually working for none other than Iran.

But as Powerline has reported here, here, and here, pictures of this Reuters vehicle suggest that it was not hit by anything remotely resembling a missile. There was a modest and rusty gash in the roof and a windscreen that was shattered (although even that is in doubt in another picture). That was it. As with the Red Cross claim, the notion that such damage was consistent with a missile strike is simply ludicrous.

* The claim that the Israelis deliberately perpetrated a massacre of civilians at Kana. Apart from the fact that the initial claimed casualty rate here was subsequently all but halved by the Red Cross (to 28), there is significant evidence that many of the most harrowing pictures of the victims, which did so much to turn public opinion against Israel in this war, were staged. EU Referendum has now assembled a compendium of its considerable investigative efforts over three weeks entitled The Corruption of the Media, which it has submitted to the Press Complaints Commission. Again, the whole thing repays study. In summary, it says:

?many of the incidents recorded in visual form by the media were indeed staged. In fact, we feel we can go further. In our view, the bulk of the relief effort at Khuraybah on 30 July was turned into a perverted propaganda exercise. The site, in effect, became one vast, grotesque film-set on which a macabre drama was played out to a willing and complicit media, which actively co-operated in the production and exploited the results.

EU referendum concludes:

?what we do see from Qana is the sheer scale of the staging - not the occasional picture of the many. The majority seems to have been either posed or staged, or both. Given the large AP team present, this suggests that we are looking at more than just a rogue photographer - the malpractice seems institutionalised as normal practice.

And even more devastatingly:

In defence of the media, if it can be considered thus, one can only postulate that staging scenes such as these is so common a practice, and so deeply embedded in the whole fabric of photo-journalism (and not just locally in the Middle East), that no one at the incident saw anything wrong with what transpired. Either that or, so familiar were they with the techniques used that they simply did not register what was happening. As for the others, in their air-conditioned offices, hundreds and thousands of miles away from the action, did they care one way or the other? After all, Shane Richmond of The Daily Telegraph implied, the greater truth was being served. ?Is the child dead??, he asked. ?Was the child killed by Israeli bombs?? Thus, did he say: ?If so, the picture illustrates the story. If the picture does not alter the truth of the story, we?re not being disingenuous. And the truth of the story is this: Israeli bombs killed several civilians in Qana, many of whom were children.? That is the nearest to an admission we have that it is acceptable to stage photographs.

In short, much of the most incendiary media coverage of this war seems to have been either staged or fabricated. The big question is why the western media would perpetrate such institutionalised mendacity. Many ancillary reasons come to mind. There is the reliance upon corrupted news and picture agencies which employ Arab propagandists as stringers and cameramen. There is the herd mentality of the media which decides collectively what the story is. There is the journalists? fear for their personal safety if they report the truth about terrorist outfits. There is the difficulty of discovering the truth from undemocratic regimes and terrorist organisations. There is the language barrier; there is professional laziness; there is the na?ve inability to acknowledge the depths of human evil and depravity; there is the moral inversion of the left which believes that western truth-tellers automatically tell lies, while third world liars automatically tell the truth.

But the big answer is that the western media transmit the lies of Hezbollah because they want to believe them. And that?s because the Big Lie these media tell ? and have themselves been told ? about Israel and its place in history and in the world today has achieved the status of unchallengeable truth. The plain fact is that western journalists were sent to cover the war being waged against Israel from Lebanon as a war being waged by Israel against Lebanon. And that?s because that?s how editors think of the Middle East: that the whole ghastly mess is driven by Israel?s actions, and that therefore it is only Israel?s aggression which is the story to be covered. Thus history is inverted, half a century of Jewish victimisation is erased from public consciousness, victims are turned into aggressors and genocidal mass murderers turned into victims, and ignorance and prejudice stalk England?s once staunch and stalwart land.

That?s why the fact that hundreds of thousands of refugees from the north of Israel fled to the shelter of strangers in the south; that within one third of Israel, those too poor or old or handicapped or disadvantaged to seek refuge elsewhere were forced to live in shelters for a month in great hardship; that the entire economy of northern Israel was effectively shut down for a month; that thousands of rockets were fired at northern Israel, hundreds every day, many times more than were daily fired at Britain during the Blitz ? that?s why none of this was reported in Britain (where as a result such facts, when now related, are received with open-mouthed astonishment) because journalists were told to ignore it all since that wasn?t the story their editors wanted. Israel?s victimisation simply was not, could not, be the story. The only story was Israel?s aggression. But that story is a Big Lie. So a host of lies were transmitted to support it.

Certain conclusions are now inescapable. First, hatred of Israel and the irrationality associated with that hatred have now reached unprecedented proportions within Britain and the west. Second, with a few honourable exceptions the mainstream media are no longer to be believed in anything they transmit, either in words or pictures, about the Middle East. It is only the blogosphere which is now performing the most elementary disciplines of journalism: to aspire to objectivity, to separate facts from prejudices, to apply basic checks to claims being made by partisans to a conflict, and to be particularly wary of those with a proven track record of lying. Third, the mainstream media must now be regarded as active accessories to the war being waged against the free world and therefore as a fifth column in that world ? an enemy within. Fourth, the impact of the lies and distortions transmitted by the mainstream media in inflaming the already pathological hatred of the west within the Arab and Muslim world is incalculable. Fifth, the mainstream media?s vilification, demonisation and delegitimisation of Israel, based on outright fabrications and malevolent distortions, is imperilling the very existence of the country that is the front line of defence of the free world. Sixth, that vilification is also imperilling the safety and well-being of Jewish communities around the world, subject now to the double victimisation of attack by Islamists and attack by non-Muslims for belonging to a Jewish people that refuses to submit passively to a second attempt at genocidal slaughter and instead fights to defend itself.

To date, as far as I can determine, not one mainstream editor or proprietor has acknowledged this corruption of the western media. The scale of this corruption now threatens to have a lethal impact on the course of human history. Hatred now drives not just the jihadists but their western dupes, too. Truth and freedom are indivisible. The deconstruction of the former inevitably presages the destruction of the latter. This is the way a civilisation dies.

http://www.melaniephillips.com/diary/?p=1316
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« Reply #98 on: September 01, 2006, 10:31:23 PM »

Middle Israel: To Hassan Nasrallah
By AMOTZ ASA-EL


Mr. Nasrallah - There was something refreshing in your admission this week that you had failed to predict Israel's reaction to the attack you ordered July 12, and that you would not have ordered it had you known its consequences in advance.

Frankly, that's a lot more responsibility than our own leaders are for now prepared to assume, not to mention the political norm across the Arab world, where presidents, princes, monarchs and Generalissimos, like Catholic popes, never err.

Your admission is even more impressive concerning your frequent boasts to have studied us thoroughly. Well Hassan, since at least this one time you actually realize you have still got what to learn about us, let me draw your attention to a few more aspects of the situation of which you are apparently unaware, and which may help you avoid more mistakes in the future.

FIRST, you must understand that the whole world and its sister saw through your statements. They realized that the situation at which you have arrived, whereby you are constantly on the run, is even more difficult for you than it might have been for others, because publicly addressing large audiences has become for you a way of life and a source of energy. Otherwise why did you dedicate to that TV reporter - a poorly veiled blonde female, God forbid - a full two-and-a-half hours of your time?

Similarly, it took no Arabist to understand that the confession you made was meant to address the growing displeasure across Lebanon with the Israeli counterattack's impact, the one you now admit having both caused and failed to predict. Yes, curiously enough the Lebanese masses to whom you promised so conceitedly "a share in the victory" are unhappy, very unhappy, to foot the $10-billion-bill of damages with which your war games have left them, not to mention their displeasure with their human toll.

In other words, Hassan, unlike what you and your Iranian masters believe, even where freedom is scarce there is a limit to the abuse that ordinary folk are prepared to take; at the end of the day they do speak their minds, and those minds in their turn seek life, opportunity and prosperity much more than the bickering, triumphalism, belligerence, chauvinism and eye-rolling piety that you offer them instead.

Secondly, now that you concede having misread us, the question is in what way?

WHAT YOU would like the Lebanese people to believe is that you have merely failed to predict Israel's response to one specific situation, but otherwise you remain convinced, as you have boasted many times, that no one knows Israel better than you. Well, the fact is that what you have misread runs deeper than one situation, and demonstrates that with all due respect to your efforts on this front, too, you are still in no position to say you know us.

Yes, we may now be engaging in the kind of soul-searching which you and your puppeteers in Teheran think you can forever flee, and in the coming months we will be busy probing, despite our leaders' shameful trickery, various aspects of their conduct that we found unsatisfactory. Still, none of this should change the fact that beyond Israel's response to the attack you now admit you regret having launched lurks a popular will to fight that refutes your famous gloating that Israel had lost its will to fight.

Evidently, Hassan, diligent though you may have been in studying the situation you are so obsessed with reinventing, here too you have been doing something fundamentally wrong.

First, you completely misunderstood the very concept of democratic protest. Back in 2000, when you saw ordinary Israeli citizens both protest Israel's Lebanese policy and affect it, you mistook all this for weakness. Well, it turns out that this analysis was no more valid than Vietnam's illusion that it had beaten America - a conventional wisdom that proved so unfounded that the Vietnamese soon afterwards shed their ostensibly victorious communist faith, and in fact begged the US to restore its ties with them.

Never mind the fact that we Jews are convinced that your fundamentalism's aftermath will be the same as communism's, fascism's, and all the other isms that were bent on oppressing their own people and conquering everyone else. What I wonder is - just what makes you think you know us; how do you go about studying us before you jump to your sweeping conclusions?

Do you really think that by getting a daily digest of headlines written somewhere within the journalistic Bermuda Triangle that lies between Yediot, Ma'ariv and Haaretz you can purport to know us? The Jews? How much do you know about our origins, how long we have been around, what we have been through, how many swords have been smashed on our heads over the centuries, and how many pens have been broken in efforts to besmirch, debilitate or even just decipher us?

Surely, no one here expects you to now start exploring, say, Exodus, Isaiah, Ecclesiastes, Philo and Maimonides, or Marx, Spinoza, Freud and Einstein, or S.Y. Agnon, Natan Alterman, Moshe Shamir and A.B. Yehoshua, or even just Ben-Gurion's memoirs, so as to get a somewhat broader perspective about us. Nor do I see you contemplating the many premature eulogies of the Jewish nation delivered by assorted scholars from Hegel to Toynbee, people who were probably even more learned than you.

What we do urge you to do, as long as you live off your current diet of intellectual fast food, is to not take too seriously Israeli admirers on the one hand or European anti-Semites on the other. Your journalistic admirers here are the same ones who only yesterday hailed, and now condemn, our current political and military leaders. As for those Europeans, yes, they may happily accept this baloney about you being merely after the Jews, but they are taking you for a ride when telling you they are still in the business of shaping the Jews' history. In fact they have even given up on shaping their own destiny.

Courting the devil has long been a European specialty, so much so that it took foreigners to save Europe from both fascism and communism. Back in the 1930s, most Europeans remained deaf to warnings that Hitler was after them, preferring to delude themselves he was "merely" after the Jews, and that the beast could be soothed by feeding it the Jewish prey it just could not resist. When Europe finally understood that the Jews were merely Fascism's warm-up act, it was too late.

Today you and your Iranian masters are cleverly following that script, telling Europe all you want is the Jews, while what you are really after is Beirut, the most Western corner of the Arab world, the Paris of the Middle East, the metropolis whose takeover by Iran would be equal in its impact to Constantinople's fall to the Ottomans in 1453.

Unfortunately, many Europeans still respond to all this with the same moral apathy and political appeasement that only a few decades ago set their continent ablaze. Even more unfortunately from your viewpoint, we Jews - that stiff-necked lot you thought you knew so well - are no longer prepared to play our part in the script: We fight.


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Denny Schlesinger
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« Reply #99 on: September 07, 2006, 02:17:22 PM »

Two clowns and a country
By YOSSI AHIMEIR

Saniora and Nasrallah led Lebanon to brink of destruction but the Arab world has no inquiry commissions



During the war in Lebanon, Israel faced two protagonists: A robe-wearing ranter and a crybaby in a suit. Terrorist chieftain Hassan Nasrallah and Prime Minister Fuad Saniora are both genuine representatives of the Land of the Cedars. It's a state very different from the mighty tree that so proudly symbolizes it on its flag.

The Lebanese character - with all its strengths and weaknesses - was set out in sharp relief during the war. It was a war in which the Lebanese again brought destruction crashing down on their own heads, led by these two leaders, the prevaricator and the nice guy, each competing with the other over who despises Israel more.

Sheikh Nasrallah - enough has been said about him. The leader of the Party of God and the Shi'ite minority is a unique phenomenon. Only in fragmented Lebanon, with its multitude of competing ethnicities and religious sects, could a cleric like him rise to such prominence, set up his own army, and be given free rein.

South Lebanon was turned into what the Golan Heights were in the 1960s under Syrian rule - a military compound threatening Israel's northern border. For six years, the area was dug up and tunneled, turned into a combat zone to threaten the Israeli enemy. Everything was in place, waiting for the right opportunity, the right moment to surprise and attack the complacent Israeli army.

And as in the Golan Heights, the IDF took control of the Hizbullah combat zone too, despite its mistakes and losses and despite the stammering hesitation of the government that sent it. The price of Nasrallah's arrogance is being paid by the entire Lebanese people.

He can console himself with one thing: Nasrallah himself is still breathing and still holding two abducted Israeli soldiers, and consequently he can continue to bargain over the price of their release and cruelly and obdurately stretch the nerves of their families. But that same Hizbullah snake can no longer raise his head. Nasrallah is hiding just like the Sunni terrorist chieftain Osama bin Laden. Nasrallah can no longer afford to give live interviews. He has lowered his profile.

BUT WONDER of wonders: The prime minister of Lebanon, the man with the tears, the leader that wept at the conference of Arab foreign ministers at what was done to his country and especially Beirut its capital, who did not lift a finger to halt the Hizbullah war machine, has now stood up to take the reins of power.

Saniora is trying hard. His good friends in Europe and the United Nations pity him and he is pinning his hopes on their help to rebuild his country. No commission of inquiry threatens him. No one in Lebanon is demanding that he pay the price and resign for his failure to lead, for making possible the destruction of substantial parts of his country. And if anyone expected that perhaps now, after the cease-fire, now that Nasrallah has admitted that he erred and is hiding like a rat in some Lebanese hole, that Prime Minister Saniora would rise up and courageously settle accounts with him - such a person would be very wrong.

Signor Saniora has complaints to only one side - Israel. The very idea that after the cease-fire the man would screw up his courage and try to introduce law and order in his country, that he would send Nasrallah and his suicidal murderers packing, is ludicrous. The man talking about rebuilding is in fact preparing the ground for the next catastrophe.

IT SHOULD not surprise anyone that Lebanon's pathetic excuse for a prime minister is pointing an accusatory finger in just one direction - toward Israel. As he sees it, it is not Hizbullah, which on July 12 crossed Israel's sovereign border, a border recognized by the United Nations, and carried out an unprovoked act of terror, or which has for six years taken control of Lebanese territory, that is to blame. Nor are Nasrallah's hate-filled, inflammatory speeches against Israel and the Jewish people to blame; or those meddling in Lebanon's affairs from Damascus and Iran.

Israel is the one that "started" the war; it is Israel that destroyed 15 years of development and progress, as he put it. Saniora is is frustrated. He is trying to stand tall; to rehabilitate his personal image through attempts to mobilize aid from the West and support from among Arab countries. And even though he and the sane elements in Lebanese society know in their heart of hearts who is really responsible for erasing 15 years of development, the Lebanese premier nevertheless aims his arrows at the neighbor to the south.

And in order to earn a place of honor among the proud Arab leaders, while winking sideways in the direction of Lebanon's true patrons - Ahmadinejad and Bashar Assad - he adds a "threat" to Israel: There will be no peace until it withdraws from Jerusalem, from Lebanon, from the Golan Heights and from all the "occupied territories." And in order to give added weight to his declarations, he valiantly pledges: Lebanon will be the last Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel.

FECKLESS, INEFFECTIVE leader? Whining crybaby? Not the remodeled, post-war Fuad Saniora; no way. An intrepid and determined Arab leader has suddenly materialized like a phoenix from the ashes. He is not to blame for anything and neither is Nasrallah.

Here in Israel, the war will be investigated, those culpable will be identified, heads will roll. People want to know how we were surprised, why we had difficulty fighting, why the war's goals were not attained.

None of this will happen in Lebanon, which will continue on the same path, without commissions of inquiry, in the same mafia-like style and with the same Levantine hypocrisy, the same well-known powerlessness - and the same unwillingness to foster a relationship between Beirut and Jerusalem that would benefit both sides of the blue line.

And in a short time, after the current prime minister in Beirut has left the stage, most likely not naturally, but rather in the way most natural in Lebanon, Beirut may once again find itself - because of the irresponsible parties within it and the lack of a strong, central government, and because of some new Nasrallah that may crop up - under the boots of the IDF. Once again, years of development and progress will be erased... and the beat goes on.

WE CAN only hope that Israel doesn't repeat the mistakes of the second Lebanese war - neither on the northern front, nor on the other fronts; nor on the nuclear front, whose frightening clouds are approaching us, and the entire world.

And to Saniora, we will say: Even without a Lebanese commission of inquiry, even if you continue (for a while) as prime minister, even if you strut and swagger in Stockholm or Paris with your finger pointed high - you, more than Nasrallah, are to blame for the fall of the Land of the Cedars.

The writer, director-general of the Jabotinsky Institute, is a former Likud MK. He was chief of staff to former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir.


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Denny Schlesinger
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