Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Combat in the Middle East

Pajamas has a roundup of the dramatic events in Lebanon and Gaza. Israel is in combat against Hezbollah and Hamas. How far will it go? What are the strategic objectives? Who is in fact fighting who on behalf of whom? The Pajamas site is being updated 24x7 ...

157 Comments:

Blogger Aristides said...

I've got to say, this is where network cable should shine -- but it doesn't (or won't).

I wonder. Did Hezbollah (and Syria, and Iran) miscalculate, or is this what they want?

7/12/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

My guess is they miscalculated. Hezbollah apparently is saying "all we want is an exchange of prisoners" over and over again like a broken record. They had it all calculated to a nicety. But there is an irrational element to war. And in this case that irratinality works on every side. Israel may think it is in control; Syria may think it is in control; the Mullahs, bless their bears, think they can see the future. But nobody is in control, except to a limited degree.

7/12/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Aristides,

I wonder. Did Hezbollah (and Syria, and Iran) miscalculate, or is this what they want?

In my own option the answer is both.

For their side (barbarism) to win they have to escalate the conflict.

But, they will incite a Total War soon enough. A war which they will lose in a dramatic fashion. A catastrophic fashion.

But they have no other opportunity for the win...

7/12/2006 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

You know, Austin Bay makes an excellent point.

Note: Sometimes the greatest part of soft power is when and if you'll remain silent. Perhaps Iran is learning this lesson.

7/12/2006 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

There is far less wailing and gnashing of teeth from the civilized parts of the world nowadays, eh...

In that sense we are talking about a huge micalculation.

7/12/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

For Hamas to grab a a Israeli soldier in retaliation for an Israeli retailation for the rockets they are lobbing into Israel was nuts.

For Hezbolah to grab a couple of Israeli soliders for no obvious reason other than "the other kids are doing it" was nuts squared.

Maybe Nevil Chamberlain works for Hamas and Hezbolah now and it was they that were convinced that there was Peace in Our Time - so no one would bother them for carrying on their circa 1986 style antics.

7/12/2006 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Wow, should have refreshed the page.

Austin Bay may have donned his YearlyKOS tinfoil hat - but the world is now a weird place.

And, his commentary on the rather 'subdued' response by the Europeans is spot on...

Don't know about Egypt, Jordan, etc. preemptively accepting the strike - but who knows. If they back terror they will end up with terrorists. That is now proven beyond a doubt.

7/12/2006 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

My guess is they miscalculated.

I agree. My guess is that they thought they would 1) buy a discreet Israeli atrocity, and not an all out invasion, and/or 2) underscore the "prisoner grievance", which is potent material -- while avoiding the stigma of literal terrorism (the rejection of which, by a large part of Islamdom, is a major (idea) victory in the War on Terror). Either or both 1 and 2 could then be used as propaganda to rally support for the regimes.

7/12/2006 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

If my memory serves, the "Palestinians" have been used by the forces in the ME for almost as long as Isreal has been in existence.

Doesn't anyone wonder why?

Useful Fools in my opinion. Iran and Syria have made their play, unless their play was forced by our diplomatic pressure. Oil is next, unless AustinBay is correct. Even then, gold and oil are cheap now.

Any speculators here?

7/12/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Lebanese Bloggers comments section was an interesting read.
Between Lebanonese wanting Israel to drive to Damascus and end the nightmare, Israelis disgusted with "moderate" Lebanese for their inaction and "westerners" expressing disbelieve at the Lebanese fear of Hezbollah and the lack of action against Hezbollah.

Worries of the impact for the tourist season was high on some Lebanese concerns. Economic factors I assumed, others thought it a trivial worry, indicating fecklessness.

The Enemy has offered an opportunity, it is time for decisive action. Before another opportunity to end the problem with minimal losses, all around, is lost.

7/12/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Their miscalculation is the fact that they are the duly elected government of Palestine. That they hold seats in the legitimately elected Lebanonese government.

A state can be fought by another state - legally...

Their miscalculation is that we are all tired of the same barbaric tactics we have witnessed for decades - and we accept the costs of directly challenging them. Americans are not soft whiny critters anymore - at least not all of us. Only Madelaine Albright and General Zinni will express shock and dismay over the conflict. Nowadays, I just want it over. And, I am rooting for Israel.

We know we must win or we will lose...

7/12/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Erlanger suggests that this is a message from Iran to Israel saying: “If you want to hurt us, there are tools that we have and that we can use against you.”

The Iranians may not have miscalculated but it seems that all the terrorists downstream from them have.

7/12/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger KiwiB said...

Have commented on the other Belmont thread, but ...

You're right - it's a miscalcualtion, by Iran and Hezbollah. Syria has little to say in it all really as they get the cash from Iran to stay quiet and let the rockets flow in via their airports.

Lebanon will suffer - and so she should. Her armed forces have been re-trained and equipped to a standard that means they could have fixed their "resistance" groups a long time ago. But why bother?

Well, they may learn just why. And damn right too.

7/12/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Israel has bombed a runway at the Beirut International Airport. I think there's a whole lot about this I don't understand in the least.

7/12/2006 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

IMO, they gambled that we would restrain Israel (did we even try?) because, in their thought process, we would not want this to cause problems with Iraq. They figured on a cheap victory, which would gain them prestige.

7/12/2006 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

From Captain's Quarters:

The Israelis and the Egyptians have both said that the Palestinian chapter of Hamas has never controlled the Shalit abduction, but that the terrorists responsible took orders from Khaled Mashaal. Mashaal himself has taken responsibility for the operation by setting forth the demands under which Shalit would be released. Mashaal is no more than Bashar Assad's sock puppet, and neither Hamas nor Hezbollah would dare take action against Israel without coordination from the Assad regime.

But why? Why would they want to risk destabilizing the Hamas government, why would Hezbollah risk the same in the north?

Are we sure this is a miscalculation?

Is it possible that this is a designed prelude to something?

7/12/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

Aristides,

At this point I'm not sure it's a miscalculation. Or not a complete miscalculation. My sense is that they want things to escalate to such a degree that Israel fights back hard enough that Iran can say, "See, Israel is dangerous. Our security is threatened by this rogue state."

They may be a little surprised at Europe's silence up to this point, however.

7/12/2006 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

On the recall of the Lebanese Ambassador after he expressed support for Hezbollah(ht LGF):

Officials in Beirut stressed that Abboud's view did not represent that of Lebanon, which is vehemently opposed to Hizbullah's actions on Israel's northern border.

That, my friends, is as good an example of the Hegemonic Dividend as you are ever likely to see.

Hezbollah has been isolated. Will Syria join them in the corner?

Or does Iran have a surprise for us all?

7/12/2006 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

The answer to the bombing of the Beirut Airport seems to be to close it so as to prevent the importation of weapons.

7/12/2006 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

I think we should take it as given that our enemies know the current value of everything they are doing. However, the current value is always specific, tied to a particular context. The context here, and therefore our value scale, is five months ago until yesterday.

The plan was disseminated five months ago (at least), and was ordered a couple of days ago. Nothing in that amount of time seriously disrupted the value-calculation of our enemies. They went ahead with their plan. Why?

What were they thinking? Is it possible they got too used to the media rhythms of the post-911 world? Because from where I sit, the only value-adds from abducting a few soldiers from a sovereign, well-armed and cornered nation are propagandistic, or strategic. If strategic, then these regimes are really under-informed, or really ahead of the game. If you want my opinion, they went for propaganda.

And they lost.

7/12/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger KiwiB said...

Honestly - I didn't know that Israel was going to hit the airfield after I said that's where the ammo is coming in from Iran, nor did I know of the schism in Lebanon re: the ambassador (and hence Hezbollahs political issues).

Okay - next prediction (as I roll the bones ...).

IDF landforces, supported by attack helicopters and UAV's, overun the defences of a Hezbollah strong point. In a panic, Hezbollah over commits its rocket attacks on civilian population centres in Israel which prompts a multi brigade incursion 10km deep.

p.s. Just read that the Paratroop brigade is engaged in a month long operation on the west bank, so that's another of the elite regulars already commited to another front.

7/12/2006 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/12/2006 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger ignacio said...

Going back into Michael J. Totten's blog might be worth a look for some, as he was in Beirut for 6 months until end of April. He met Hezbollah and explored their area, also (later) went to the border and talked to soldiers on Israeli side.

Where is he now? He made no official announcement before leaving USA.

Lebanese blogs are where to at least get the latest hot rumor in Beirut. Often well-informed.

7/13/2006 02:59:00 AM  
Blogger jeefurt said...

If the Iranians are 'rational actors' it makes sense:

1) Iran shows 'who is The Man'. Folks just line up with the 'strong horse', right?

2) Iran creates a justification for nuking Israel by forcing Israel to neutralize the Damascus regime. How long to N-day?

The argument that they are not rational actors hinges on how wild the bets are. How wild is Teheran's betting if Teheran is just as interested in their own 'flypaper' strategy as we are in ours?

Hamas and Hizbollah are obviously not in control of their own organizations. Iran can activate elements within either one at will.

Syria = defunct, a Sunni client of Shiite Iran... an object lesson for the Sunni's courtesy of the Qool Qats from Qom. ... Who's The Man? Who's The Man?

Fasten yer seatbelts, lads & lassies....

7/13/2006 03:04:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

pajamas has a good round up of blogs about this situation.

There is an interesting link to Haaretz. One of the Haaretz articles clearly states that Maschal is claiming to be the sole spokesman for the palestinians.

How he does that from the comfort of his Damascus office escapes me.

I wonder if we're not over analyzing this. To me the people who use terror will continue to use it as long as it works. The only way they can discover that it no longer works is when they use it in their normal manner and obtain a dramatically different result.

That, I believe is what happened here. To the guys in Hamas and Hizbullah this was just your basic mob family snatch. A kidnapping, some chest thumping then a deal gets done. They've been doing this for a long long time.

what I don't think they understood is how the landscape around them has changed.

I see a few factors: first the west tends to take statehood quite seriously. Hamas is the state and no one can deny that.

Next, the incessant assaults on civilization spawned by psychotic Islamists have worn out the patience of their reliable supporters. It's hard to countenance support for the arabs after the bombing in bombay. Enough is enough seems to be the message they are getting.

Finally, America's forward positioning in the ME changed the military dynamic. If the pros talk logistics, it a much more complex problem now.

One theory I've seen often is that Iran timed this to co incide with the G8. I've thought about that and I've concluded that this current situation cannot be spun to favor Iran. The fact that the white house immediately named syria and Iran speaks volumes.

If Iran wanted to change the subject of the G8 meetings, they have succeeded. Iran might be the topic, but the content of the discussion is not likely to be favorable to the Iranian regime.

7/13/2006 04:22:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

I have stated before that Iran and Syrian at minimum need to be taken out immediately. Why?
If Russia and China, who both have substantial investments in Iran, and are using Syria as a flanking manuever conclude MUTUAL DEFENSE AGREEMENTS with those countries we will be in a far more tenuious position. The pen is in the inkwell.
Strike now.

7/13/2006 04:55:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

One reason Hezbollah grabbed the prisoners was because Israel still had three of their prisoners. Hezbollah has been threatening for months to use force to get those prisoners back.

Another reason is that pressure was building within Lebanon to disarm Hezbollah because their "resistance" function was now seen as being obsolete. Since Israel agreed on the border and wasn't occupying their land, why have a resistance movement? So the capture of the soldiers helps justify their existance.

I'm not sure if Hezbollah miscalculated. Supposedly they have strong support from the one-third of Lebanon's population that is Shiite. If that is true, it would be impossible for either Lebanon or Israel to get rid of them entirely. They could just drive Hezbollah further under ground, spread into the population.

I'm not sure if Israel is strong enough to leave its prisoners in enemy hands for years if necessary instead of trading them. Another problem is that Hezbollah has over 10,000 rockets capable of hitting Israel, so the war will be disruptive on both sides. If the rockets are still flying a month from now, will Israelis be tired of living in shelters and so just say "trade the prisoners and be done with it"? I hope Israel hangs tough, but so many other countries have caved in during the past that I can't be sure.

7/13/2006 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Given the daily terrorist attacks still occurring in Iraq, and the many years of terror bombings during Lebanon's civil war, I doubt if Lebanon's government could maintain peace even if it exerted control over Southern Lebanon. My understanding is that right now the country is basically partitioned, with Hezbollah getting the Southern part and the Lebanese government controlling the rest, with an agreement not to mess with each other's turf. So even if the government could occupy the south and control or destroy all the important buildings, they'd probably face terrorist attacks as in Iraq or the old days of Lebanon. Which probably means that Hezbollah isn't going away.

7/13/2006 05:18:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

washtimes.com

Hezbollah's attack against Israel yesterday left the United States scrambling to ensure the survival of Lebanon's first sovereign government in 30 years and to avert further escalation of tensions in the Middle East.
U.S. officials, who woke up to forceful demands from Hezbollah and Israeli statements about a state of war that would turn Lebanon back two decades, immediately resorted to private channels with both governments.
One of the more challenging diplomatic tasks, officials said, was to persuade Israel to tone down its rhetoric against the Lebanese government, whose lack of control over the entire country is no secret but whose collapse is the last thing Washington wants.
Israel said it held the government in Beirut equally responsible with the Hezbollah militants for the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers. But Washington withheld criticism of the government while placing the blame squarely on Hezbollah and its backers in Iran and Syria.
"Let's focus on who actually committed these acts, and that's Hezbollah," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters. "It is a statement of fact that they do operate outside ... of the control of the government of Lebanon."

7/13/2006 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Foggy Bottom hasn't got the slightest clue about what's what. They are the laughingstock of Washington "diplomacy"
Bourgeois apparatchiki at best.

7/13/2006 05:41:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Hurley's Market shoppers guide says they weren't Israeli soldiers abducted but a missing mime and his/her double. They couldn't say.
Nonetheless Hezbolo is demanding no more dental floss or toothpaste from Israel but more spit cups as the streets are becoming stained with the dental excrete of the 'bolo boys.
This could turn ugly.

7/13/2006 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Dentist without borders or dipolmas have been dispatched to study the dental records of the mimes.

7/13/2006 05:53:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Finally! Regioinal War Now!

They miscalculated!

Woohoo! GO GO GO

Sink the Persian Navy! Bomb all Revolutionary Guard, Comm, R&D and missile facilities! Let Israel hit Damascus! Send a blocking force to West Afghanistan! (Anyone doubt Iran's backing the mujihadeen in Southern Afghanistan now?) Send sorties from the Stans! Make India mobilize all along Pakistan's border!

LET'S ROLL

7/13/2006 05:54:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

They have wronged the Frumious Bandersnatch....now the vorpol sword unsheathed.

7/13/2006 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

I wonder how long the Israeli citizens will put up with this? Would we in America yield if the missiles were flying at us or would we say "Just swap the prisoners so I can go shopping in peace?"


Katyusha rockets landed in the northern Israeli towns of Karmiel, Safed, Hatzor, and Majd el-Kurum, as well as several other communities throughout the north Thursday afternoon.

Eleven people were wounded. One person was critically wounded, one was in serious condition, and several suffered light injuries in the attacks by Hizbullah.

Residents of the cities were ordered to enter bomb shelters and fortified rooms.

7/13/2006 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Deep down, we all know Dan is right.

Deep down, the Palis know Dan is right.

Some cultures need a saviour, to be saved.

And so the great Islamic death wish will be fulfilled. Islam is so obnoxious nobody will save them. So obnoxious they don't want saving.

But look at the good side - yes, I died in a noble struggle. No, look at the bad side - your culture was a failed culture and you died for nothing.

And it could all be fixed by literacy.

As night follows day. I wish it were otherwise.

ADE

7/13/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Let's consider things on their face. Israel is attacking specific Hezbollah targets and is shutting down the obvious resupply routes into Lebanon by clamping down on the airport and blockading the port.

Hezbollah must be expending ammunition at tremendous rate and without resupply, they will start to hurt. But Israel almost certainly doesn't plan to reoccupy Lebanon. That would simply be too expensive. It can't afford the manpower.

So the likely scenario is that Israel's forces will run a high-intensity fight for about a week and then withdraw, with or without the captured soldiers, with or without any additional prisoners they may lose to Hezbollah. I think this much is fairly safe to predict.

But somehow the Israelis are going to try make every blow felt in Damascus. How? By hitting known Syrian assets in Lebanon certainly. By playing the old game of empowering the Syrian's enemies certainly. But I think they are going to try to bring in the Syrians by some means. This is always how the IDF has killed their enemy. By getting them to overextend. I'm not sure they want to suck in the Syrian Army. But I think they want to entangle Syria in some crippling way. Will humiliating Syria by hitting their clients be enough to draw them in? Will the Iranians stand by while their guys get chewed up?

Recall that the Iranians are running ops in Iraq. This then, must be an unwelcome "second front" for them. They don't have limitless resources. The next 48 hours will be crucial at determining which way this thing is going.

7/13/2006 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger TigerHawk said...

My own view is that this is about "control" of the Palestinian agenda. However, I'm still thinking this through, so I'd be very interested in Belmont Club commentary. Key ideas:

1. Iran has regional ambitions. Whether they include destroying Israel or merely being recognized as a "regional hegemon" at the expense of the Gulf Arabs, Iran wants to be the big macher among Muslim countries, especially in the Middle East.

2. One cannot be the regional hegemon without displacing Egypt and Saudi Arabia in the setting of the regional agenda.

3. For Muslims worldwide, leadership on the Palestinian/"Zionist entity" conflict is the sine qua non of regional status and prestige.

4. In the Arafat/Fatah years, Saudi Arabia and Egypt set the Palestinian agenda. The rise of Hamas reflects Iran's growing ambition to seize control of the Palestinian agenda so that it can garner the attendant prestige in the region.

5. Syria is Iran's satellite, for all intents and purposes. The two have been pushed together by Syria's wierdness (which results in its general isolation in the Arab world) and the American presence in Iraq. Hezbollah is a dependant of both Syria and Iran.

6. So you have Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hez lining up against Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the Gulf States. There are a number of prizes, but control of the Palestinians and, more importantly, the all-important opposition to Israel, is the big prize for the bloc that wants to be seen by ordinary Muslims as in charge.

7. Iran and Syria have been building this confrontation with Israel to change the terms of debate in the region in their favor. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and others have been muted in their criticism of Israel because they would love to see Hamas and Hez taken down a few pegs. By the way, so would the rest of the world.

Comments?

7/13/2006 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

ADE,
Do not morn the loss of an illiterate warring culture. Celebrate their deaths, they do.

7/13/2006 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Explosions rock Agip's pipelines
By Samuel Oyadongha
Posted to the Web: Thursday, July 13, 2006

Yenagoa—Two separate explosions allegedly carried out by suspected militants Tuesday rocked pipelines conveying crude oil to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company terminal off the Atlantic coast of Twon Brass in Bayelsa State forcing the company to shut it's supply.

The first explosion recorded was an eighteen inches pipeline at the Clough Creek delivery line from the Tebidaba flowstation said to have caused massive oil spillage around the Akassa axis in the Brass local government area of the state. The incident said to have occurred at about 11 am according to sources has caused heavy spillage around the Akassa area and is fast spreading to other surrounding communities around the coastal area.

The second spill allegedly caused by explosion involving a 10 inch pipeline at Lagosgbene at Igbomatoru in the Southern Ijaw local government area along the Nun River. Sources told Vanguard that this has forced the Italian oil giant to shut in about 50,000 barrels of oil to prevent the spill from spreading.


Nigeria oil infrastructure has already been struck.

The Iranians wanted some pressure applied to the G8, any normal, proportionate response in the Levant favors Iran.

So far the Israeli are acting proportionatly, to bad.

Another opportunity to "end" it without genocide is slipping away.

The Supremes must be right, just local dustups, not International War.
VDH says the Admin & Mr Bush have not explained the scope of the conflict, he's right.
Bush Needs to Better Explain Complex Terror War
or have it explained to him.

7/13/2006 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Anyway, I saw an Arab kid with a Nike T shirt..I mean do they want everything?
Don't get wobbly, fire that weapon,aim for a clean headshot. That way you get a few convulsive shutters if you're lucky ... ahh a confirmed KIA. Another round barkeep.

7/13/2006 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger TigerHawk said...

Wretchard, our comments passed in the night.

I suppose my quick reaction to your last comment is:

1. Agree that Hez probably did not plan for a full-scale war against Israel, or at least Israel hopes this.

2. I think the biggest restraint on Israel vis Syria is the concern about the endgame. It is one thing to put Assad in a tiny little lockbox, and quite another to topple him from power. Israel is not stupid, and has to worry about what comes next.

3. As is obvious from my comment, I don't think Iran is presently worried about a "second front." That is not to say that it shouldn't be, but it seems to have a leadership that is preoccupied with enhancing its prestige in the region at almost any cost to its economy and the "security dilemma" it otherwise confronts (i.e., increasing the Western opposition to the Islamic Republic). Indeed, this is arguably a third, fourth or fifth front, if we look at the nuclear confrontation, Afghanistan, the subversion in southern Iraq, the shadow war in Kurdistan and the caucuses, etc., as other significant management challenges facing the Iranian regime. Perhaps, like Hitler's government, Ahmadinejad and the current crop of clerics are blind to imperial overstretch. It has happened before.

Then again, I could be all wrong!

7/13/2006 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Oil hits $76 USD per barrel.
The Iranians are UP, again.

Will wonders never cease.

7/13/2006 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Hezbollah must be expending ammunition at tremendous rate and without resupply, they will start to hurt

I thought about that, but one estimate was that Hez. has 13,000 rockets. If they use 100 a day that would still be over a four month supply. Plus even though Israel has blocked air and sea, Lebanon borders Syria so they can resupply that way.

I think the boycott is targeted against the government of Lebanon, and therefore the internation community. Israel is going to hold their feet to the fire to do something about Hezbollah, which according to security council resolution is supposed to disarm and pull back from the border. Israel has said one of its goals is to remove Hezbollah from the border.

7/13/2006 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Iran must be hit and humiliated. Syria is impotent. Hezbollah should be decapitated, its enclaves surrounded and gutted when possible. The Lebanese gov't knows Israel means IT no harm, in itself. Hezbollah runs the whole southern region, complete with borders, wherein the Lebanese Army may not enter. Good! Level it. Simultaneously hit Iran - the UN announced yesterday that Iran is "buying time." Good: an institutional record. Now, no more goddamn talking: hit them overnight, coordinated with the Israeli strikes on known Hamas offices and safehouses in Damascus. Russia and China are ultimately not going to be able to engage us on this level, and they know it and know we know it. Remove the whole conflict from the tables of idiot talking, wherein the enemies' only real offensive assets may be brought to bear, and bring everything into the light of the rockets' red glare. Israel is a rock where civilian endurance of war is concerned. Iraq is already a seething pot. The fire on that pot must be extinguished. The Palestinians must be made to reel. Knock the barbarians backward and they will disintigrate. Hit military facilites and naval facilites throughout Iran but avoid civilian areas; this will do the requisite damage and isolate the symbolic significance, undermining the impulse to nationalist sentiments. Mobilize the Iraqi Forces along the Iranian border. Kill Sadr; attack throuhgout Baghdad with the purpose of exterminating the Mehdi Army; throw in a Ramadi sheik or two or ten. There must be a bloodletting; this is not a commercial culture; there is a healthy respect for violence and a good show. Everyone loves a good asskicking. Avoid civilian casualties where at all possible. Block east Iran with a light force of Afghan/NATO forces; hand out bribes to Egypt and Jordan. Remind Saudi Arabia that it ought to sit down and shut up like a good little bitch or we'll send SCIRI and Dawa and Badr south. Mobilize, if you have to, the Indian Army, pursuant to the Mumbai attack. Al Qaeda loves to use this Indian gambit - remember the retarded parliament attack coupled with the Masoud assassination? Clever! But these enemies are weak, weak! And should be annihilated!

Bottom line is they cannot respond on this scale and they will lose face and anything that results can be dealt with in the ordinary course of global economic diplomacy. We cannot just sit around when these opportunities present themselves, with the belief that something better and more clarifying will occur.

7/13/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Tigerhawk,

I like your framework, but what leadership does Iran crave exactly? It must be more than psychological. Hegemony must have an actual physical basis. Syria's interest in Lebanon was money. That and the power to organize "militants" against Israel. So my speculation -- out of pure ignorance I'll admit up front -- is that after Saddam went south, Syria needed an ally to hold on to its tatters and in consequence became strange bedfellows with Iran. Lebanon and Hezbollah is the crown jewel of Iranian foreign policy. They are a physical expression of Iran's hegemonic ambitions. The token of their leadership.

Recent Israeli actions are holding part of Iran's power base at risk. How will they defend? Through Syria. The sea and air are closed to them.

If the Iranians were smart, they would let the Israelis just punch themselves out. But then, the Israelis can keep coming back. They have a clear geographic advantage over Iran in dealing with Hezbollah. So sooner or later Iran must act to defend the very basis of hegemony. How? Always Syria. Boy Assad is probably being asked to listen to things from Teheran that he doesn't want to hear.

I haven't thought this through clearly, but it seems to me that Syria and Iran are sorely tempted to react in some way. The next step on the staircase.

7/13/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Wu wei,

The problem those 13,000 rockets is that in common with all artillery, they need to be moved. They need dumps. They need logistics. Right now the dumps are probably under IDF attack and can't be easily shifted. So yes, 13,000 rockets are a good supply, but much of that will be inaccessible or destroyed in the coming days.

7/13/2006 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Iraq begins to stabalize
Light at the end of the tunnel syndrome sets in with the DC crowd.

For those looking for a "Tet" this is not it, unless Israel takes the opportunity to destroy Charlie, I mean Mohammed.

Just the Mullahs sending a little reminder that it is a quagmire and that Iran controls not only the fish, but the sea itself.

7/13/2006 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

wretchard said...

Recall that the Iranians are running ops in Iraq. This then, must be an unwelcome "second front" for them. They don't have limitless resources. The next 48 hours will be crucial at determining which way this thing is going.
6:31 AM
/////////////////////
On the other hand perhaps Ahmadinejad means what he says. consider this article from the FARS news agency english language version.

13 Jul 2006
تهران - 17:26 / GMT-13:56

13:08 | 2006-07-12
POLITICAL
نسخه چاپي ارسال به دوستان

Ahmadinejad: Zionist Regime to Be Annihilated Soon

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the Zionist Regime will be fall down in the near future.


Addressing a large gathering of the public in the northwestern city of Jolfa Wednesday morning on the second leg of his tour of Azerbaijan province, the President noted the cruel manslaughter of the Palestinians by the Israeli regime and described the Zionist Regime as a symbol of blasphemy and blasphemous people.

He said that the world nations do not obey oppression any longer today, and stated, "We will soon witness the fall of the Zionist Regime."

7/13/2006 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Does this mean that Ann Margaret won't be coming?

Ok, someone out there has the definitive answer to this ME thing, come clean.
Whats the Vegas spread? What's the over /under?
Where is Jimma Carter, or better yet Amy?

7/13/2006 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Wretchard,
Moscow is involved now waist deep. If the stink gets too bad for their clients a Mutual Defense Treaty ensues. Putin is ready for a bipolar world, longs for one, this gives him one.

7/13/2006 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Calls for proportionality are already rising from Europe

"... "Greece expresses its serious concern and is intensely troubled," Antonaros said.

"It is vital, to stop the (situation) worsening, Hizbullah must immediately release the soldiers taken hostage," he said. "At the same time, Greece calls on the government of Israel to avoid the use of excessive and pointless force which cannot provide a solution to the problem."


From the JP Post

If the Israelis do not engage the Syrians and destroy their Military capacity, Hezzbollah just regroups when the Israli go home. Israeli withdrawl is a foregone conclusion.

The whole episode will be meaningless, just another salvo, instead of a decisive moment.

7/13/2006 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

I hope Israel destroys all the missiles quickly. However I remember how long we spent Scud missile hunting in Desert Storm 1, and they are much larger missiles. From what I've seen the Katyushas are small enough to be launched from a trailer on the back of the truck.

There was an exchange of words between Israel / Hez. about bombing Beirut, after Israel warned citizens to leave. The gist of it seems to be that Hez. is storing and launching missiles from a heavily populated area.

7/13/2006 07:19:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Israel sees this as being a long siege, probably with no ground invasion of Lebanon. That's why the patience and endurance of their citizens is so important.

Jerusalem Post

A high-ranking IDF source said that the current operation, dubbed Operation Just Reward, would be "long" and could last up to several months, or "as long as it takes to destroy the Hizbullah's ability to launch attacks against Israel."

The IDF source said the Dahiya neighborhood of Beirut, a Hizbullah stronghold, would be targeted if rocket attacks continued to hit Israeli cities.

The source said that all terrorists in Dahiya, including Hizbullah head Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah himself, were fair targets for the IDF. "We will operate against all the terrorists who operate against us," he said, warning that civilians inside Dahiya could also be hurt in a possible IDF strike. Nasrallah's family lived in the Dahiya neighborhood.

7/13/2006 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Russia, France, Britain and Italy criticised Israel for its "disproportionate" use of force. ...
... British Prime Minister Tony Blair's spokesman, when asked specifically about Israel's military response to the abductions, said: "The British government hopes that actions will be proportionate." ...

... France's defence minister also stressed that the situation could have repercussions at both the local level and for the world. "That goes much further since what happens in the Middle East serves as a pretext for terrorism too," Michele Alliot-Marie said on France Inter. ...


Opprtunity lost?

7/13/2006 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Tigerhawk

Points 1 - 7

Points 1 -3

Way smarter than me, but precisely the type of analysis that misses the point.

Here's the correct point:

Israel = modernity

Hez = medieviality.

Everybody gets it except Imams, Hesbolasers, NYT.

Israel is just driving the point home.

Israel has done the world the greatest service by showing the inevitable logic of where appeasment of terrorism gets you.

I have read somewhere that the P's would desperately like the US to come in and impose order.

Yes, the one thing a victim craves is a saviour. And lo, it could be Israel.

Hey, not the first time.

ADE

7/13/2006 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Logistics, Timing, Politics.

Guys, the very last thing in this world that Dubya (or his generals) want right now is a "shooting" war with Iran.

Iran is getting what it wants - $75.00/gal oil (and heading higher,) and chaos. Bush doesn't mind. Elections are coming up, and World Danger selects for Republicans.

I think Israel pounds on Hezbollah for a few weeks, and goes home.

7/13/2006 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

habu
Roll in los Cubanos y Senor Chavez.

Put's Mr Putin a step ahead of where the Soviets were.

Two steps back, two steps right, three steps up.

7/13/2006 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

Please permit one additional thought on this.

the wild card I see is Maschaal. he's Hamas, He's in Syria and he's talking rapidly right now.

If this person does in fact represent the true authority over Hamas, does Israel have the option of military action against him in Damascus?

To me Mashaal and Shalit are now intertwined. Just as archduke ferdinand was the ignition point for a great war, I see no reason why these two men can't be viewed as the ignition point for the final ME confrontation.

the problem with an Iranian dominated region is that it will never be enough. Today Syria tomorrow the world. Ceding significant influence in the ME to Iran is simply kicking the can down the road for our grandkids.

One of the issues I see, and I am impressed with the analysis of both Tigerhawk and our gracious host, is that the former power brokers in the region were'nt any damned good either. The saudi's funded the current mass psychosis and the egyptians have done nothing of value to bring peace to the region.

so it seems we need a third option: a manufactured ally in Iraq. If the Iranians have proxies, why shouldn't the US?

7/13/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This opinion piece from CBS agrees with the Iran theory.

How did this crisis escalate so far so quickly? CBS News correspondent Howard Arenstein reports many analysts are pointing fingers at Iran, saying it could be behind the decision by Hezbollah to open a second front against Israel. Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has often threatened to destroy the Jewish state, and would like nothing better than to divert attention from his nuclear program as President Bush meets this weekend with G-8 allies in Russia.

The guerrillas in Gaza and Lebanon found Israel's soft underbelly, captured soldiers, says Arenstein. In such a small country, many feel as if their own sons are in enemy hands, and distances are deceptively short. Beirut and Tel Aviv are only 130 miles apart

7/13/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"Beirut and Tel Aviv are only 130 miles apart "

Funny thing, Tel Aviv and Damascus, about the same.

7/13/2006 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Why should Iran do anything other than continue a successful strategy? Their price for their one and only product keeps rising. They support enough turmoil in a fashion that allows deniability. Deniability is easy for almost everyone in the world except The United States.

As of this writing it appears that Israel is doing nothing more than restating, "You f**k with bull, and you get the horn."

There is no grand strategy in play.

7/13/2006 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Rufus, though is most likely correct.

7/13/2006 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

SHooting my big mouth off and Israel attacks Lebanese army posts near Syria. Ha - well at least it's fun.

7/13/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Jets dropped two bombs on the runway at the Rayak air base in the eastern Bekaa Valley, damaging it, police said. No casualties were reported.

Rayak, four miles west of the Syrian border, is home to the country's main military air base and is military headquarters in eastern Lebanon. Lebanon's army has no operational fixed-wing military aircraft and only operates helicopters equipped with machine guns.


No fixed wing resupply, until the runways are repaired.

Couple of hours of dozer time, at least.

7/13/2006 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

At a minimum the new Lebanese border will be thirty miles to the north. Permanently. And if the Katusha rockets get any extended range beyond twelve miles, cancel your travel plans for the ME.

7/13/2006 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Report: Hezbollah intends to transfer kidnapped IDF soldiers to Iran (AFP)

That ticker, if true, would explain Iran's motive. It might give the big war to end all wars. I didn't see the full story on any AFP sites though.

On other hand the Lebanese government is putting together a cease fire proposal that would require Hezbollah to give up the prisoners in exchange for nothing more than an Israeli / Hezbollah cease fire.

7/13/2006 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

"One cannot justify the continued destruction by Israel of the civilian infrastructure in Lebanon and in Palestinian territory, involving the disproportionate use of force in which the civilian population suffers," the Russian foreign ministry said.

Clearly Israel should follow this sage advise from the people that have great experience with restraint as in Chechnya for instance.

7/13/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Foxnews has this breaking news with no details:

Israel Says Hezbollah Trying to Send Kidnapped Soldiers to Iran

7/13/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That'll be something to watch.

Pushing that envelope

7/13/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger JP Phish said...

No insurgent/militia attacks in Iraq: As not reported in the AP, Reuters, NYT, WaPo, and BBC.

7/13/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Those Iranians held US hostages for what, 444 days?
Without ever paying a price.

7/13/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Smacko said...

If the Israeli soldiers are transferred to Iran.....

Would Israel us this as a 'excuse' to attempt to take out the Iranian Nuke infrastructure?

Talk about political cover for an act they are desperate to take.

I am not saying a Israel planned/conspiracy action, just taking advantage of what the enemy gives you.

7/13/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Jerusalem Post

Israel: Hizbullah trying to move soldiers to Iran
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

Israeli foreign ministry officials said Thursday evening it has information that Hizbullah guerrillas are trying to transfer captured soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev to Iran.

7/13/2006 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I had noticed that myself, jp.
Is it part of a grand Mohammedan strategy, stand down in Iraq, while drawing Israel into the mix?

It is but 24 hours respite in Iraq, not really a trend, yet.

7/13/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

I was just thinking that this is a proxy war. 'Rat hit the big deal for me. Oil hits $76+. IMO, the Iranians are probing the US response, whilst maximizing their cashflow over the next couple of months.

Is the world prepared to accept $80-100 bbl oil? How much pressure will the Chinese and the US (biggest net importers) bring to bear in order to contain this drag on their economies? Iran can call it quits whenever they want and they will have gained valuable intelligence. Unless they become directly involved as a belligerent party, they've already scored a victory.

7/13/2006 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Only one thing troubles me about my benign scenario. Iran announced a couple of weeks ago that it would not "import" gasoline in the second half of the year, that it would ration, instead. This is really, a very big thing. They normally import about 1 1/2 million gal/day (about 40% of their total use.)

I asked then, on another blog, if they could be getting ready for War (knowing that the Straits of Hormuz would be shut down in such an eventuality,) or if it was a "bluff."

I'm still wondering.

WAR-O-METER - 15% ^

7/13/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Heh. Events run faster than I can type. Surely this is a bluff by Hizbollah, right? Iran understands that IDF + USAF = Bad Times, right?

Time to start surging those carriers, Navy.

7/13/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Maybe the plan is for Iran president Ahmadinejad to declare himself the new Grand Caliph, the one who will unite all Islam. He'll say we've got nukes, we've got oil, we control all the terrorists, and we've got Israeli prisoners. Arabs will flock to their strength, able to stand up to Israel, while others will cave out of fear.

7/13/2006 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Right after 911, GWB had an historic opportunity to put a tax on oil that would have atarted a process to reduce the US dependence on this imported strategic resource. The politics would have allowed it and the Federal Reserve monetary policy would have made it painless.

But while GWB was celebrating Ramadan and reminding a stunned nation about the inherent virtues of the religion of peace, he forgot. Our enemies and non-friends picked up the cudgel and have extorted their own tax of two dollars per gallon( and counting). The Islamic world, and George's soul mate, Vladimir, are enjoying an unprecedented transfer of wealth from the west. The cost of this incalculable historic blunder is stunning.

7/13/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

[Hezbollah Chief] Nasrallah said the two soldiers had been taken to a place "far, far away" and that an Israeli military campaign would not win their release.



Hezbollah made those remarks yesterday, another possible indication of transfer of the hostages to Iran.

7/13/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Don't worry, Brett; a duffer like me couldn't get a ball wet in the Arabian Sea, right now.

7/13/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Not Arabs, w.w.
The Persians have no desire to just lead "Arabs". Ypir horizon is to limited.
The Iranians plan on representing 1.5 Billion Islamists to the world. Nothing less.

7/13/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Hezbollah has been Iran's cocked gun for several decades (all those terror cells that can set off suicide truck bombs everywhere simultaneously!). It has threatened to fire the gun if we went after its Nukes.

Now, the question is: will the gun fire if Tehran pulls the trigger? So perhaps a display is needed.

But the West knows the Hizbollah gun is aimed at them. So: do we put pressure on Hezbollah until they say, "Hey, we don't work for Tehran no more?"

I think Teheran's terror connections are more valuable than its nukes. Indeed, the nukes will enable Teheran to conduct high level proxy terror wars while being immune to attack (in its phantasms at least).

7/13/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Spengler, writing at the Asia Times, insinuates the commencement of outright warfare between the US and Iran in August 2006. We won’t have long to wait to find if he is correct.

If Spengler’s quasi-prediction holds, then, Israel’s newly established redoubts in both Gaza and Lebanon offer ideal strongpoint from which to quickly and strategically widen the conflict and secure the volatile west flank of the coalition.

As to whether there was a miscalculation by Iran and Co, Israel’s probable capture or marginalization of the purported 13,000 rockets in southern Lebanon suggest this is the case. Had choice been war, those rockets would have been launched, with devastating effect.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HF27Ak02.html - Prisoner’s dilemma in Tehran

7/13/2006 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

BTW, we had another successful anti-ABM test, yesterday. They were confident enough of this one that they conducted it in Nevada. It hit a warhead in the early stages of reentry, I think.

Too bad Israel kept selling all of our missile technology to China; they could use this technology. Maybe, their Arrow will do the job. They hope.

7/13/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The scariest scenario is that the Iranians intend to "force" the appearence of that "12th Imam".

Their actions make a lot more sense, if viewed from that angle.

The Souix believed, at the end, that prayer and dance could stop a bullet.

My oh my.

7/13/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Didn't we just give Israel some kind of Star Wars missile defense system? Isn't it up and running yet? At what point can we expect to see them start to shoot these things out of the sky are their way in?

Or does it just work for nukes and not the little Palestinian rockets?

7/13/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Shimon Shecter, a 43-year-old construction worker, said he was sitting in his car at a traffic light on the road out of Nahariya when a rocket struck near his vehicle.

"I heard a big whoosh. There was a huge explosion and I saw dark in my eyes," Shecter, who suffered shrapnel wounds to his face, said from his bed at the Western Galilee border hospital.

The hospital had moved many patients to underground bunkers to protect them from rockets, two of which hit the hospital's outer fence, said spokeswoman Judith Jochnowitz.

Lea Kenig said she was packing up her family to try to get away when a rocket landed.

"I saw the light of an explosion and I heard a big boom," Kenig said as she tried to comfort her wounded two-year-old son, Ofir, at the Western Galilee Hospital.

Even though the metal shutters of her apartment were closed, a piece of shrapnel the size of a bullet sliced through and hit Ofir in the shoulder.

"The government is not doing enough" to protect the residents of northern Israel, she said.


The above is about some of the missiles Hezbollah shot into Israel. Even though it is sad that the little boy was hurt, that last comment

"The government is not doing enough" to protect the residents of northern Israel, she said.

reminded me of something that a leftist politician would say in the US. The Israeli government told people to move to underground shelters, but that mother didn't listen and now she blames the government. Opposition politicians encourage that attitude, making it impossible to win a war because casualties are intolerable.

7/13/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

Israel could use this as an opportunity to take out the Syrian air force, as well as some Syrian infrastructure. This would send a message that complicity in attacks on Israel now incurs unacceptable costs.

One other option is that Israel could decide that an Islamic Lebanon is a long-term problem, and solve it by performing ethnic cleansing, driving the Muslims north into Syria and handing Lebanon over to the Christians.

7/13/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Oops, it was N. Mexico, not Nevada. Captain Ed has the story. (you have to scroll down a bit.) It was pretty impressive. Dead-on missile to warhead at very high altitude. If the warhead was carrying a nuke, the target city would have been protected.

7/13/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

The Test

Yep, That Dubya's a Dummy. Just like RR. Cowboys, both of them.

7/13/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

NahnCee 9:17

What Hezbollah is shooting is cheap little artillery rockets with a range of about 12 miles. It makes little economic sense to use multi-million-dollar ABM systems to try and take down a rocket that probably costs under a thousand.

What the Israelis might do instead is declare the southern 30 miles of Lebanon a free-fire zone where anything that moves is a target, and use it as a testing ground for the next generation of killer robots (think "Terminator" movie series)

7/13/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

We must remember that the plan to capture the prisoner was disseminated five months ago. Now, it's possible they just wanted a hostage to trade, and it's possible it was just a petty swipe at Israel. It's also possible this is, as I said earlier, a designed prelude.

I also remember Ledeen saying something about Iran planning "three crises" for us in the region before the UNSC decides its course vis Iran's nukes. Without confirmation we don't know if this is even accurate information, but it's worth considering.

Now, let's talk about transferring the captured soldier to Iran. Whether this was planned all along, or whether this move is opportunistic, it shows me two things: 1) As Tigerhawk said, Iran is positioning itself as the Muslim champion against the Zionists and the guarantor of the Palestinian agenda. 2) It also is a glimpse of what could happen if Iran had nukes. Every act of terrorism, every kidnapping, could be ultimately underwritten and protected by the Mullahs and their bomb.

Another thing that we must at least address. Tom Holsinger thinks Iran already has a few nukes (Luttwak dismisses this as preposterous). If that is so, it changes the analysis somewhat.

But let's deal first with what we know:

1. The decision to capture Shalit two weeks ago was given by Mashaal, who gave the order from Damascus. The Palestinian chapter of Hamas was not in charge, and couldn't successfully intervene.

2. Egypt was very close to diffusing the situation. Israel had agreed to multiple prisoner transfers. This would have been a political victory for Hamas. Mashaal and Damascus (and Iran?) wanted something more than a political victory, because they sabotaged the deal.

3. The Hezbollah border raid and kidnapping, a plan that was disseminated five months, was executed coincident with this crisis. More precisely, the plan was executed almost to the day that Mashaal and Damascus sabotaged Egypts deal. Hezbollah takes its orders from Damascus and Teheran.

4. Therefore, not only did they reject a short-term political victory, they deliberately decided to up the stakes.

5. Syria was recently kicked out of Lebanon by the new Lebanese government after Syrian intelligence assets assassinated PM Hariri. We know from their statements that the Lebanese government was not aware of Hezbollah's operation.

6. Five months ago the IAEA decided to refer Iran to the UNSC.

7. The EU-3 has now done the same.

8. The Bush Administration has issued a statement of unqualified support for Israeli actions. The Europeans and Russia are calling for proportionate responses.

Now for some speculation:

1. If, as Tigerhawk argues, Iran's regional aspirations are tied to its opposition to Israel and its support for the Palestinian agenda, then Iran has maneuvered itself conceptually to a place where it can never be seen to back down from any real or perceived Zionist attack. If Israel escalates this thing anymore--and they may already have escalated to a sufficient degree--Iran must respond or it will lose its long-sought prestige. If Iran desires to be the anti-Israel, it must show it here. If Hezbollah get's dismantled without Iran doing anything, that might just be intolerable for the Mullahs' self-perception. Therefore, war may already be determined.

2. If Iran has nukes, then they need war with the Zionists. And this was not, therefore, a miscalculation.

3. If they don't have nukes, why tempt Israel by asking for the captured soldier? Merely for propaganda?

Finally, is this merely a way for Syria to get back at the Lebanese government? They have motive.

7/13/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

We must remember that the plan to capture the prisoner was disseminated five months ago. Now, it's possible they just wanted a hostage to trade, and it's possible it was just a petty swipe at Israel. It's also possible this is, as I said earlier, a designed prelude.

I also remember Ledeen saying something about Iran planning "three crises" for us in the region before the UNSC decides its course vis Iran's nukes. Without confirmation we don't know if this is even accurate information, but it's worth considering.

Now, let's talk about transferring the captured soldier to Iran. Whether this was planned all along, or whether this move is opportunistic, it shows me two things: 1) As Tigerhawk said, Iran is positioning itself as the Muslim champion against the Zionists and the guarantor of the Palestinian agenda. 2) It also is a glimpse of what could happen if Iran had nukes. Every act of terrorism, every kidnapping, could be ultimately underwritten and protected by the Mullahs and their bomb.

Another thing that we must at least address. Tom Holsinger thinks Iran already has a few nukes (Luttwak dismisses this as preposterous). If that is so, it changes the analysis somewhat.

But let's deal first with what we know:

1. The decision to capture Shalit two weeks ago was given by Mashaal, who gave the order from Damascus. The Palestinian chapter of Hamas was not in charge, and couldn't successfully intervene.

2. Egypt was very close to diffusing the situation. Israel had agreed to multiple prisoner transfers. This would have been a political victory for Hamas. Mashaal and Damascus (and Iran?) wanted something more than a political victory, because they sabotaged the deal.

3. The Hezbollah border raid and kidnapping, a plan that was disseminated five months, was executed coincident with this crisis. More precisely, the plan was executed almost to the day that Mashaal and Damascus sabotaged Egypts deal. Hezbollah takes its orders from Damascus and Teheran.

4. Therefore, not only did they reject a short-term political victory, they deliberately decided to up the stakes.

5. Syria was recently kicked out of Lebanon by the new Lebanese government after Syrian intelligence assets assassinated PM Hariri. We know from their statements that the Lebanese government was not aware of Hezbollah's operation.

6. Five months ago the IAEA decided to refer Iran to the UNSC.

7. The EU-3 has now done the same.

8. The Bush Administration has issued a statement of unqualified support for Israeli actions. The Europeans and Russia are calling for proportionate responses.

Now for some speculation:

1. If, as Tigerhawk argues, Iran's regional aspirations are tied to its opposition to Israel and its support for the Palestinian agenda, then Iran has maneuvered itself conceptually to a place where it can never be seen to back down from any real or perceived Zionist attack. If Israel escalates this thing anymore--and they may already have escalated to a sufficient degree--Iran must respond or it will lose its long-sought prestige. If Iran desires to be the anti-Israel, it must show it here. If Hezbollah get's dismantled without Iran doing anything, that might just be intolerable for the Mullahs' self-perception. Therefore, war may already be determined.

2. If Iran has nukes, then they need war with the Zionists. And this was not, therefore, a miscalculation.

3. If they don't have nukes, why tempt Israel by asking for the captured soldier? Merely for propaganda?

Finally, is this merely a way for Syria to get back at the Lebanese government? They have motive.

7/13/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Ben N. said...

Israel's handling of Syria should exactly mimic Bush's response to Afghanistan due to 9/11. If I remember correctly, Bush gave Afghanistan 30 days to hand over bin laden or suffer the wrath of God.

Israel should give Syria 30 days to hand over the responsible Hamas leader or Hezbollah leader or else suffer the wrath of God.

7/13/2006 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

A more comprehensive report on Dubya's Folly.

Man, we ought to run this guy for President!

7/13/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

To dig the tunnel, for the Gaza attack, took months as well.

The entire process has been planned, I doubt these are just a series of happenstance events, in a local conflict.

7/13/2006 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Where are the Arab governments on this? Does anybody have any insights on that question?

Also, this just in:

Radical Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned the European Union on Thursday that it would stand to suffer if it increased pressure on Iran to abandon its nuclear program.

Are these actions aimed towards the West -- a destabilization of an important region? Is this a more immediate, region-based strategy? Both?

Did the Korean missile launches have anything to do with this? Anything at all? Or are they playing an uncoordinated game of "who's a bigger problem?"

What about the attack on Nigeria? After the destruction of the Golden Mosque, Saudi oil was attacked. Is this similar?

It's possible that the Lebanese government is the prize in all this. The US is surely acting like it. Syria and Iran may have instituted a plan to consolidate Lebanon under an anti-Israel, pro Islamist new government.

7/13/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger grubner said...

“My guess is they miscalculated”

Please pardon the “amateurish” musings of a TV remote jockey but it would seem to me that it is important that the IDF make sure that their enemies occasionally miscalculate. It keeps them guessing and makes their calculus that much more difficult. I have noticed that my kids will push their misbehavior right up to a well defined limit but will allow a much wider margin for error in areas where they aren’t sure where the line between good and bad behavior are.

7/13/2006 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Some more of those damned MSM folks, shedding blood for the chance to "spin" the story.

Rockets Fired by Lebanese Guerrillas Hit Journalists in Israel, Injure at Least One Person
07-13-2006 9:49 AM

NAHARIYA, Israel -- Rockets fired by Lebanese guerrillas hit a group of journalists in the northern Israeli town of Nahariya on Thursday, injuring at least one person.

An Associated Press photographer was standing with the group when the rocket hit, but was not injured.


Hopefully not to much blood.

President Karsai is investigating more alleged civilian death by US helicopter rocket & mini-gun fire in Tarin Kot, Afghanistan.

BOMBAY, India -- Authorities named two suspects Thursday in the Bombay commuter train bombings that killed at least 200 people.

The government's Anti-Terror Squad released photos of two young, bearded men it identified as Sayyad Zabiuddin and Zulfeqar Fayyaz. Their nationalities were not provided.

7/13/2006 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Chester weighs in:

If Larijani is in Damascus, my guess is they're trying to keep Israel from declaring war on Syria at all costs. Consider:

-Syria is militarily extremely weak compared to Israel
-Iran is not only weaker than Israel, it has no easy method of threatening Israel, save with missiles of questionable accuracy.
-Israel can strike Syria from the air with impunity.

Now consider: from the Iranian and Syrian standpoint, the best course of action is to vex the Israelis as much as possible via their Hamas and Hezbollah proxies. So long as this happens, Israel does take the headlines, and the attention span at the G8. But as soon as Israel declares war on Syria, or commits an act of war, which might be the same thing, then events start to turn sour for the Iranians.


He agrees that Iran will have to enter or lose face if this thing gets any worse. In fact, we may already be there.

So my guess is neither Israel, nor Syria, nor Iran want to get in a war with each other at the moment. But there're always wild cards. At least three groups, Israel, Hamas, Hizbollah, and possibly a fourth, the Lebanese military, are now involved. From that stew, an event might emerge that like it or not would force a widening of the conflict by one side or another, or an entry by Iran or Syria. This is it, in a nutshell: Is Israel willing to risk a widening of the conflict in order to dismantle Hamas and Hezbollah? Is Iran willing to risk the dismantlement of Hamas and Hezbollah in order NOT to widen the conflict?

Chester rejects the conspiratorial notion that this was all part of some plan. But we know there was a plan.

7/13/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

According to a piece in the New Republic that Chester links to:

The ultimate threat, though, isn't Hezbollah or Hamas but Iran. And as Iran draws closer to nuclear capability--which the Israeli intelligence community believes could happen this year--an Israeli-Iranian showdown becomes increasingly likely. According to a very senior military source with whom I've spoken, Israel is still hoping that an international effort will stop a nuclear Iran; if that fails, then Israel is hoping for an American attack. But if the Bush administration is too weakened to take on Iran, then, as a last resort, Israel will have to act unilaterally.

In that context, Israel will probably not do anything now to derail the opportunity for 1) a diplomatic solution to Iran, or 2) a US attack. Starting an all out war would eliminate option one, if it ever existed. But would it make option two more or less likely? I bet the Israelis are discussing that right now.

7/13/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Hezbollah is starting to use their longer range rockets. One just hit Haifa.

Of far greater concern to Israel than these antiquated and relatively short-range projectiles are Hezbollah's growing stocks of Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rockets. Iran began large-scale delivery of the Fajr-3 in 2000 and the Fajr-5 in 2002, with the approval of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
Iranian cargo and passenger jets transport the weaponry from Iran to Damascus International Airport where they can be off-loaded by Hezbollah agents and members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The weapons are then trucked to the Bekaa Valley. Other reports suggest some Iranian cargo flights land at Beirut International Airport, providing Hezbollah with a more direct supply route although this process may have changed with the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon and the change in Lebanese government.

The Fajr-type rocket represents a significant upgrade to any threat assessment of Hezbollah. Designed by Iran with aid from China and North Korea, both classes of weapons are fired from mobile launchers, including customized Japanese trucks, and carry 200 pound high-explosive payloads. The Fajr-3 has a range of 25 miles while its more powerful upgrade, the Fajr-5, has a range of 45 miles. Accordingly, the Fajr extends Hezbollah's strike range well beyond Haifa. While the number of Fajr missiles in Hezbollah's possession is unclear, Israeli estimates suggest an arsenal of at least several hundred. In addition, Hezbollah has an unknown number of other missiles such as Syrian reproductions of Soviet BM-27 220mm rocket systems, which also can carry a warhead of 220 pounds to a range between 30-45 miles.

7/13/2006 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

From Chester, again, linking to what he calls "the most interesting thing I've read in the past 24 hours." Excerpt (written in 2002):

A Syria that can be manipulated by Hezbollah under Iranian guidance could well miss that crucial moment when Iran and Hezbollah attempt to spark a regional conflagration by means of a military provocation on Israel's northeastern border. ...

The more that Nasrallah is convinced that Assad Jr. is not up to speed; the more he will be convinced that he, in consultation with his Iranian cohorts, holds the key to power. And if he is convinced that there is an American threat to Iran, he will preempt it by striking at the Galilee to provoke an Israeli retaliatory strike.

But that retaliatory strike will be at Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as Syria.

This is not an imaginary scenario. As recently as three weeks ago, American and Israeli UN representatives met privately with their Syrian counterpart to warn him of the danger posed to Syria and the entire region by Hezbollah.

The singular conclusion is that someone has to inject sufficient fear into the Syrians to bring Nasrallah down.

And if the Europeans and Americans can't, the Israelis will.


hmmm...

7/13/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The key lies in Damascus.
The "control node" for the Iranians in the Levant.
Break it or disable it and Iran is blocked from the Med. The status que favors Iran and improves it's position daily.

Does Tehran have enough "command & control" to give Iraq respite as Lebanon erupts?

Or are all these events unassociated coincedental "one ofs"?

I wager it's all coordinated. That the Iranians do have that much influence in Iraq.
That may be the "real" lesson to be learned.

7/13/2006 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Link to the full article here.

7/13/2006 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Where are the Arab governments on this?

Some of the moderate ones like Egypt and Jordan indicated they disagree with Hezbollah, that they were hurting the Palestinians, but they also comdemned Israel. The Islamists of course stuck together with Hezbollah.

7/13/2006 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Don't overlook the Importance of This

I think this might be Iran's worst "Nightmare."

7/13/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

They've got at least a 30 mile range.

Two Katyusha rockets fired by Lebanese guerrillas hit the northern city of Haifa on Thursday, but no one was injured, police said.

The attack on the city of 270,000 people about 30 miles from the border was the farthest south that rockets fired from Lebanon had ever hit.

It was certain to invite a harsh response from Israel, which was already pounding Lebanon following the capture of two of its soldiers.

"Those who fire into such a densely populated area will pay a heavy price," said David Baker, an official in the Israeli prime minister's office.

The rockets hit the Haifa neighborhood of Stella Maris, a Christian area filled with restaurants, a monastery and a church.

7/13/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Iran says it doesn't want the hostages.

Israel has rejected Hizbollah demands that it release Arab prisoners in exchange for the captive soldiers, named by the Israeli army as Ehud Goldwasser, 31, and Eldad Regev, 26, but says it fears the soldiers could be spirited to Iran.

"Those concerns have a basis," said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev.

Iran dismissed the idea out of hand. Its Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Israel was "talking absurdities" because of its isolation and domestic tensions.

7/13/2006 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Back in Jimma's day, the Iranian government claimed it did not control the US hostages, either.

Those pesky "students" were just out of control.

7/13/2006 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

w.w.,

$100K Arrow vs. $5K Katuysha.

7/13/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Ledeen has an essay up, where he makes this interesting observation:

The Lebanese Tourism Ministry’s Research Center announced an amazing statistic in early July: in the first six months of the year, 60,888 Iranian tourists visited Lebanon. No other Asian country came close (the Philippines ranked second, with a bit over 12,000). I don’t think that there’s enough disposable income in mullahland to cover the expenses of more than ten thousand people a month headed for the Beirut beaches. Do you think, as I do, that a goodly number of those “tourists” were up to no good?

7/13/2006 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Roggio on the Mugniyah connection.

7/13/2006 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If the Mohammedans brought in the "A" team, well then, they wanted the provocation.
The level of Israeli response, so far, proportionate to the deed.

It is no coincidence, a series of raids, prisoner snatches and political pressure. All coinciding with Iran's referral to the Security Council.
As well as NorK's.

Hard to see any miscalculation, yet.

7/13/2006 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Seven killed in restaurant attack
From: Reuters
July 12, 2006
A SUICIDE bomber walked into a restaurant in eastern Baghdad today and blew himself up, killing seven people and wounding 20, police have said.

A police source said he counted seven bodies in the restaurant in the mainly Shi'ite New Baghdad district.

The bomber's body was said to have disintegrated in the blast.


The "last" attack in Baghdad, yesterday.
After Bombay and Lebanon, hardly makes the grade, definately not above the fold.

But the lack of news from the Mahdi Army or the Badr Brigades, that may be telling.

7/13/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger kstagger said...

some random thoughts here n' there -

Hezbollah, Hamas, etc are in a bad position - they have to act as tough 'strongmen' bullys with their countrymen - but know they cannot compete againt Israel in a straight match - their only hope is for a sort of terrorist Cannae - draw Israel in and hit them with what?

A continuation of the Iraq Mujahideen tactic would be worthless in a free-fire zone. Get rid of the civilan cover and it's near impossible to beat a modern army across a relatively narrow border area.

Another possibility (as already mentioned) is that Iran is using this as a pretext to become the 'new' power of the Middle East. Nuclear, Chemical, or Biological weapons could be deployed in order to put a dent/stop of the Israeli forces - but it's a dangerous game to play since the U.S. is committed to protecting Israel.

Another possible side effect is the number of (foreign) terrorist activities in Iraq would be diverted to Lebanon. This could actually be a good thing - reduce U.S. casualties by n% - while forcing more of them out in open environment. Can the mujahideen fight a two-front war?

anyways - this is a golden chance for Israel to finally put a finish to the entire Palestinian problem - but I imagine 'cooler' heads will prevail and we will end up back at the low-intensity war that we had before.

7/13/2006 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Gunmen also stormed the bus station in Muqdadiyah, about 90 kilometers north of Baghdad , abducting 17 civilians and taking them to an unknown destination, police said.

Shi'ite lawmaker Sheik Jalaluddin al-Saghir told a session of parliament that 50 to 60 Shi'ites were abducted in the attack.


Again, this attack occurred on the 12th, an attack on Shia, one would assume by Sunni.
Wonder if those "50 or 60" make it to the morgue, to be counted, or just dumped in a hole and covered with sand?

7/13/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

i love it...

no more "homemade" rockets bullshit..

the palios & hezbolabitches are actually shelling and attacking israel without restraint...

from gaza, the west bank & from lebanon, this aint no simply "out of control" wild card militant...

it is war... (which it has been for quite some time, just dont ask the NYT)

So please Israel KICK THEIR ASS

7/13/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

There will be an immediate drum beat for the US to rush advanced technology to Israel. Israel has shown itself to be an un-worthy recipient of ultra-secret US technology. There have been numerous cases of illegal transfer of US technology to China and the Israelis are capable of establishing their own defense. There should also be no automatic consideration of US financing the expected extra cost incurred with this military exercise. This is in Israeli interest and certainly US interest. It is time for Israel to act as an ally and for the US to demand that of them.

Israel is a wealthy military power. It needs to act like one. It will be more powerful and more respected when it makes decisions that are in Israeli interest and paid for by Israeli taxpayers. Any advanced US technology deemed necessary for the defense of a worthy ally should be manned and under US military control and security. The US should give all necessary support that is in US interest. Israel should do everything to secure it's security and future. Hopefully, there is congruency in both goals.

7/13/2006 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

The UN Security Council is going to discuss Lebanon tomorrow, so that will solve the problem.

7/13/2006 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Yes its really war. 122 Israelis wounded by rockets is higher than what Lebanon reported (although I'd never trust the latter).

The toll of casualties in Israel throughout the day stood at one death and 122 wounded.

Katyusha rockets landed in the northern Israeli towns of Karmiel, Hatzor, and Majd el-Kurum, as well as several other communities, throughout the north on Thursday afternoon.

At least 28 people were wounded in Majd el-Kurum - two moderately and seven from shrapnel. Others were lightly wounded and suffering from shock.

7/13/2006 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Israel didn't wait long to respond. They hit Hezbollah's home base.

The IDF began bombing Beriut's southern neighborhoods Thursday night following the firing of two rockets at the northern Israeli city of Haifa.

Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, along with almost the entire Hizbullah hierarchy, reside in the same neighborhood in southern Beirut.

Hizbullah had warned Israel on Thursday afternoon that if the IDF attacked southern Beirut, where the organization's leadership is based, it Hizbullah would target Haifa.

7/13/2006 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

See the whole miscalculation here is that "sparking a regional conflagration" can only redound to Israel and our benefit. The limit of patience will be reached, and there will be a bloodletting, as of olde, because it is intolerable. The 'international community' knows this. Israel has struck when it was unprovokedly abused, and this after the withdrawal from gaza, where it took two days at least to pull the settlers out of their enclaves. The point is this shows the audacity of the Islamoids, a check their bodies can't cash. So let us finally fucking cash it already and rescue the rest of the region from its long and vicious idiocy. That, or lets take it over and exploit it like a whore, if it refuses to be improved. This is a long war - stop imposing your ridiculous expectations of timing on it.

7/13/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

2164th said...
There will be an immediate drum beat for the US to rush advanced technology to Israel

no, i dont see that


2164th : Israel has shown itself to be an un-worthy recipient of ultra-secret US technology.

name anyone that keeps ultra US secrets perfectly include the USA, but we can and will buy israeli technology for our purposes

2164th: There have been numerous cases of illegal transfer of US technology to China

yes, many from the USA and elsewhere

2164: and the Israelis are capable of establishing their own defense.

to a degree, does the usa help the Euro's? are they not capable of their own defense? so why should the USA not help israel?

2164: There should also be no automatic consideration of US financing the expected extra cost incurred with this military exercise.

ok, sounds fair, I had not heard any requests for such, are you just stating that an ally should not look to the USA for any additional help when being attacked by 2 of our countries "axis of evil" named players?

2164: This is in Israeli interest and certainly US interest. It is time for Israel to act as an ally and for the US to demand that of them.

they have acted as an ally, but have not been allowed to actually FIGHT back by the USA for decades, after all OUR interests have pushed the israelis OUT of captured lands (sinai) and made the israelis show restraint when fighting child murderers, quite unlike our own standards when we are attacked.

2164: Israel is a wealthy military power. It needs to act like one. It will be more powerful and more respected when it makes decisions that are in Israeli interest and paid for by Israeli taxpayers.

yes it used to have to fight the arabs and the ussr, now it's just down to the arabs and their oil money (that we provide them)

2164: Any advanced US technology deemed necessary for the defense of a worthy ally should be manned and under US military control and security.

i guess this is for all USA allies? the awacs that the saudis have for example?

2164: The US should give all necessary support that is in US interest. Israel should do everything to secure it's security and future. Hopefully, there is congruency in both goals.

i hope so, but dont be mad if israel looks to others for help if the USA doesnt want to help, after all the USA was late to the party in helping the new state of israel, the usa screwed the state of israel in 1967 when it PROMISED (by treaty) not to allow egypt to militarize the sinai & when the egyptians closed the Straits of Tiran, johnson FAILED to uphold the promise the USA made to israel..

thus causing the 1967 war........

which brings us to today..

as a supporter of israel and the usa, i hope israel takes less money from the usa so that they can bomb the monkeys (that we in the usa are fighting also) and that we in the usa would stop giving our trillions to these same monkeys (via oil) that take this cash to support the war on the west....

7/13/2006 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Dan said:

..."So let us finally fucking cash it already and rescue the rest of the region from its long and vicious idiocy. That, or lets take it over and exploit it like a whore, if it refuses to be improved. "

We seem to be having a problem digesting Iraq. I doubt we have the appetites to go on to the next course, let alone eat the entire table.

7/13/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Wretchard,

It is now nearly 12 noon on the U.S. Westcoast, 3 PM in Princeton, NJ & Washington D.C. & NYC, 10PM in Israel, Lebanon, Damascus, 12 PM in Tehran, and 3 AM Friday in the Phillipines & Tokyo.

Considering things will have changed somewhat by the time you get up for work (if you check the blog at all then) you will be coming to the halfway of your "next 48 hours" assessment of "time will tell".

Have you changed your mind on a "intense Israeli episode" to cause Hezbollah to spend down rockets and ammunition, and to possibly hit Hezbollah leadership in Beruit ? Israeli military voices sound like "weeks" in order to degrade Hizbollah assets.

I do think Tigerhawk has a reasonable framework but seems to me more about Iran buying time at the U.N. for their Bought and paid for Chinese Veto to be abel to work their's magic to delay and help client state DPRK Norks get banking restrictions lifted to resume counterfitting where they left off.

Your thoughts today RE: Hizbollah, Damascus, and Iran ?

7/13/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

2164th said...

We seem to be having a problem digesting Iraq. I doubt we have the appetites to go on to the next course, let alone eat the entire table.

but the menu has changed...

we no longer care to "occupy" an arab state, all we now have to do is BREAK IT, since as you so well pointed out, the arabs are a wealthy group, they have oil, we can bomb a few hundred billion in infrastructure to dust, cause their people to be set back in the darwin mode by several generations and then NOT OCCUPY...

let them "pull themselves up by the bootstraps", they can afford it....

7/13/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Whitehall said...

My read so far is that Hamas and Hez were doing their usual Israeli irritation game when Israel escalated at the behest of the US, et al. They've been given the international greenlight just as Austin suggested.

Iran will have to put up or shut up and met the escalation or backdown. That means removing support for Hamas and Hez or having Hamas and Hez removed.

With most of our troops in Iraq freed up by the Iraqi army we can pull a Lee at the Wilderness if necessary although I think Israel is capable (again) of defeating any Syrian force.

In essesence, we're taking off the gloves. Strikes in Iran proper? Only if the Iranians want it to come to that.

Reminds me of the Spanish Civil War prior to WWII.

If there is to be an N-Day, look to August 22.

7/13/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I always get a thorough analysis from "What is "Occupation" when I discuss Israel. I cannot buy the argument " that everyone else is doing it so why not I?" Anyone that is not capable of defending US security interests and is a recipient of US technology cannot be trusted with the "family jewels".

Israel is a regional player and the US is global. China has been developing military technology that can only have one country in mind. They have been doing so since they set off the first nuclear weapon in Lop Nor back in 1964,or thereabouts. The US needs to be in a position to be ahead of China in military prowess. This is not so the US would do the un-thinkable but to keep China from being so tempted.

I share your enthiusiasm and support for Israel. Some of my best friends are Democrats. However, I call them as as I see them and we disagree on some points, but none that would sacrifice Israeli security. My tilt is towards US security.

7/13/2006 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

It's interesting that Hezbollah leadership claims they didn't launch those two long range missiles, and yet they were launched. According to Jerusalem Post, Iranian Revolutionary Guards are stationed in Lebanon to help man the missiles, including the long range ones. So maybe the guards got an order to launch from someone outside Hezbollah.

Israel said this was a serious escalation, and Hezbollah thought so too.

Although it is far fetched to believe that Israel would take direct military action against Iran, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that at some point during this conflict Iranian Revolutionary Guards who are reportedly stationed in Lebanon might get hit.

Israel has been saying for years that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are stationed among Hizbullah fighters in Lebanon, manning some of the thousands of missiles, some of them long range missiles that could hit the heart of the country, in southern Lebanon.

If they do fire those missiles the Iranian Revolutionary Guards may be targeted.

Targetting the Revolutionary Guards would be the closest that Israel is likely to come within the framework of this current conflagration to taking action against Iran.

7/13/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

2164th said...
I cannot buy the argument " that everyone else is doing it so why not I?" Anyone that is not capable of defending US security interests and is a recipient of US technology cannot be trusted with the "family jewels".


I dont disagree, however i dont seek to put israel on a different scale of measure than any other usa ally...

7/13/2006 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

2164th,

It's not the information you put forth about Isreal that is "un-digestible". It's more likely than not, the timing. As Isreal is now in a shooting war with our avowed enemies, is this the time to preempt a request and tell them to take a hike?

Timing is everything.

Yours sounds suspect. Not that it is, it just sounds like it from afar.

7/13/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

From Jerusalem Post -

Jul. 13, 2006 20:11 | Updated Jul. 13, 2006 20:45
'Jews financing acts of violence'
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
BAGHDAD, Iraq

Iraq's parliament speaker Thursday accused "Jews" of financing acts of violence in Iraq in order to discredit Islamists who control the parliament and government so they can install their "agents" in power.

Mahmoud al-Mashhadani hinted that the Americans and Israelis did not want to see officials of Sunni and Shi'ite parties running the country because "this is not their agenda."

"They will say that we brought you in a democratic way to the government but you are a sectarian people. One of you is killing the other and you don't deserve to become leaders because you are war lords," al-Mashhadani told reporters after a parliament meeting.

Al-Mashhadani is a member of the Sunni Muslim Iraqi Accordance Front while Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is a member of the Shi'ite Dawa party.

"Some people say `we saw your beheading, kidnappings and killing. In the end we even started kidnapping women who are our honor,"' al-Mashhadani said. "These acts are not the work of Iraqis. I am sure that he who does this is a Jew and the son of a Jew."


DR, you gotta love this......

As my wife so astutely says.... "They're all cousins".

7/13/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Skipsailing - That, I believe is what happened here. To the guys in Hamas and Hizbullah this was just your basic mob family snatch. A kidnapping, some chest thumping then a deal gets done. They've been doing this for a long long time.

what I don't think they understood is how the landscape around them has changed.

I see a few factors: first the west tends to take statehood quite seriously. Hamas is the state and no one can deny that.

Next, the incessant assaults on civilization spawned by psychotic Islamists have worn out the patience of their reliable supporters. It's hard to countenance support for the arabs after the bombing in bombay. Enough is enough seems to be the message they are getting.


Pretty good analysis. I agree with everything you say.

Hamas and Hezbollah are so used to getting away with Euro and 3rd World powers excusing their butchery on "The Zionist Occupier" that they assumed the world would give them the same sympathetic leeway when they directly attack across borders the rest of the world (outside the more rabid Islamoid rejectionists) see as legitimate and valid.

And were thus utterly blind to how the world saw the actions of the Hamas and Hezbollah, now governing a STATE - as cross border attack and infringement on sovereignity triggering the right of self-defense.

Yassir Arafat was dumb in many ways, but prescient on warning Jihadis of the difference between attacking Zionist Occupier forces and Zionist colonies established outside Israel Proper and attacking within Israel itself. All that got the dumb Pals was a Border Fence that a minority of frothing at the mouths Lefties screamed was a "Concentration Camp Wall" - but the consensus in Europe and Asia, all too familiar with the need for guarded borders - concluded "Well, what else could the Israelis do to stop the muderous suicide bombers??"

And I strongly agree that the world has about had it's fill of radical Islam's global aggressions, bloodthirsty rhetoric, attacks primarily targeting innocent civilians, failure to act rationally in a rational modern world, and the simple pure hassle citizens globally , even in Muslim countries - now face of travel hindrances, security delays, economic pain that anyone now waiting in a long line, asked 5 more stupid questions and having their luggage rifled - know is all due to radical Islam.

7/13/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Israeli strategy is based upon the argument that attacking Lebanon will encourage the Lebanese to go after Hezbollah. So they waste Beirut International Airport.

Ramzi Binalshibh, an Arab student in Germany who organized the Hamburg cell led by Arab Mohamed Atta.
After 911 and 3000 US casualities. Perhaps we made an error in not taking out Hamburg International Airport (HAM) after 911. Sort of stiffen teutonic resolve in dealing with Islamic terrorism on German soil.

And Danmyers, there never is a bad time to say the truth as you see it. I am not telling Israel to take a hike but as timing is everything so is proportion. Katusha rockets are not exactly state of the art missiles.

Israel is making a strategy based on a premise that I doubt will impress the Islamic mind. These people will not do anything but flock towards the Hezbollah.

I do not want US technology getting into the wrong hands and later we lose a carrier group or two because of it. Israel has made a choice. I support their right to do it and I enthusiaticly hope it will work. I have not been polishing my Waffen-SS boots.

7/13/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

As my wife so astutely says.... "They're all cousins".

so?

doesnt everyone have an idiot cousin that we dont claim?

go back to the torah, the original scriptures...

abraham had a wife, sarah, she was barren, she had a hand servant hagar the egyptian woman, abraham schtupped the maid, made a bastard child ishmael... then sarah got prego, she had a kid, isaac, as years went on ishmael the older step brother by the maid, got to be a jacksass kind of guy, abraham threw out the maid and her kid at the insistance of his wife...

thus the jackass, opps are my cousins..

lesson learned?

never f*ck the maid without a condom...

7/13/2006 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

2164th said...
Israeli strategy is based upon the argument that attacking Lebanon will encourage the Lebanese to go after Hezbollah. So they waste Beirut International Airport.


1. the idea is to STOP iranian 747 from rearming and supplying and removing the israel solders from lebanon

2. simply bombing a regular pattern on a runway is not "wasting Beirut International Airport."

let be accurate, now would i mind if i saw a few billion in lebanon fancy buildings destroyed as punishment....nope.....

but let's not be cnn.....

7/13/2006 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

If Israel really believes Hezbollah is trying to get the hostage to Iran, then Israel needs to bomb the airports.

7/13/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

2164: Katusha rockets are not exactly state of the art missiles.


and david killed golaith with a rock...

and ww1 started with a single bullet

2164: Israel is making a strategy based on a premise that I doubt will impress the Islamic mind. These people will not do anything but flock towards the Hezbollah.

actually the ONLY thing they understand is power...

they do not respect turning the other cheek..

i remember that arafat ordered his guys to stand down from the major offensive using sniper rifles (that the usa gave them & trained them too) cause it was not cutting the press angle and the palios were being looked at as the baby murderers that they are, so he ordered his "vermen/troops" to go and stab one israel (perferable a women) to death every few day, after all israel could not go to war over that, it was not proportional...

the ideal should be taught to islamic scum:

if you stab us, we will shoot you

if you blow us up, we will body bag you with bacon

if you shoot a missle, we will blow up your mothers house with her in it

if you kill a bunch of us, we will kill you and your father, mother, brothers (all 12 of them) and their kids and stop your family name forever...

if you fart at us, we will throw grenades

if you draw cartoons that imply we are sons of pigs and apes, we will provide paper and crayons...

7/13/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Add in some tactical info, because Belmont Club is home to many armchair General posters, of where I think Israeli tactics are going.

I think that "rescue" and "prisoner trades" are now no longer priorities. The "precious hostages" meme that paralyzed leaders since Jimmy Carters days - [perhaps before that if you factor in America's wierd POW adulation and belief that being taken a POW ranks higher than getting a medal of honor and all war decisions must be POW-centric] that nothing but nothing is more important than "The Victim".

I believe the Israelis are smart enough to write off the hostages fate, as checkmating their actions. That measures taken may be on the surface about obtaining the "release Shalit & the Hezbollah 2", but in reality, will be more about restablishing strategic deterrance. Beyond the "living 3", Israel suffered almost a dozen dead in the cross border attacks, and military force appears to be focused on - without deliberately targeting and killing Lebs or Gazans - on them paying a heavy collective price for Hamas and Hezbollah's actions.

In Lebanon, the Israelis may catch a break because Hezbollah has made many internal enemies who know where their leaders and arsenals are located, as they have come out in the open since getting political power and the Israeli withdrawal 6 years ago. And internal enemies of Syria who would love a Jewish JDAM or two dropped on the right heads.

So for Lebanon, I predict a tactic of bearable Leb national misery and widespread targeted killings of Hezbollah forces and weapons caches - unless hostages are released.

For Gaza, I predict since Hamas is well hidden, nearly unbearable misery on the people for choosing Hamas to lead them. More disabling of infastructure. A "live in the dark with survival rations of food and water trucked in from the Zionists, lose your business livelihood and jobs, live in piles of your own shit and trash no longer pumped away or collected...." strategy. With more destruction of bridges, gov't buildings, maybe telecomms. And when the Israelis finally do locate and kill enough Hamas members to have Shalit (likely dead by now) and his dispatched comrades paid in blood PLUS, then they leave the Gaza Pals to clean up their foul nest as best they can with whatever Petrodollars and Euros they can scavange up...with a warning the next time they initiate war it will be worse.

If Shalit or the other pawns are shown alive and threatened with Religion of Peace butchery or mutilation....I believe the world and the Israeli public will not be upset if the IDF intensifies it's destruction.

7/13/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger Aurelian said...

I think it is far from a coincidence that this is happening now. It is widely known that Hiz'b Allah and Hamas are funded, trained and supported by Iran. Iran has been in a long standing dispute over its nuclear program with the West, which has been seeking Arab support for sanctions or other penalties on Iran. Then 3 weeks or so ago Hamas attacks an Israeli patrol using a tunnel that had to have been built over the course of 6 weeks, and is therefore, not a spontaneous assault.

Then just as Iran is referred to the Security Council, Hiz'b Allah pulls a similar stunt on Israel's northern border. All of which has the effect of causing the Israelis to attack the Palestinians and the Lebanese, and possibly the Syrians. All of which also has the effect of underlining the US support for Israel in these actions and placing a wedge between the US and the Arab countries near Iran. It is also convenient for Iran that the Shia militias in Iraq, particularly those lined to Moqtada Al-Sadr and Iran, have suddenly stepped up their activity levels.

I think it is also not a coincidence that North Korea has chosen this time to start firing up its missiles. North Korea and Iran have long had ties militarily, particularly in the areas of missile technology and air defense. Reports are out that Iranian engineers were actually present at the North Korean launches.

What's the nightmare scenario for the US armed forces? Multiple conflicts in multiple theaters. The military is set up for two minor conflicts or One major and one minor conflict. With a good chunk of the US military in Iraq, Iran can use the Shia militias to tie up US forces. If the North Koreans are making belligerent noises and the US has to worry about them, and the Gulf states are reluctant to provide the US support due to its support for Israel, Iran has created enough chaos and uncertainty to buy itself a considerable amount of time where in the US can not act militarily against Iran without facing possible disaster in other theaters.

Combine this with the Russian and Chinese veto position on any true Security Council resolution against Iran and you have Iran providing itself with a lengthy period of time where high oil prices (caused by instability) and a difficult military situation for the US leave Iran with plenty of cash and a lot of time to complete its nuclear program without interference from the US or Israel, which is already involved in extensive combat with the Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians. Iran can also use the cash surplus from high oil prices to buy off domestic dissent, or pay its security forces well enough to quash any real attempt at internal revolt.

7/13/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Wretchard:

Hegemony must have an actual physical basis.

I’m sure that was once true, but I’m not sure it will always be true. Within Islam, the key to hegemony comes not from the center but from the periphery. That is, he who fights the “infidel” is a conqueror, and Muslims love conquerors who ride on white horses.

The principal reason why the Ottoman Empire attained hegemony didn’t come from its conquest of Muslim space, but from its conquest of non-Muslim space. As a rule, conquest of non-Muslim space leads to very easy conquest of Muslim space. Within that mindset, one square acre of non-Muslim space (or even just Western press attention) is more valuable than 10,000 square miles of Muslim space. If actual conquest is not possible, then the next best thing is to fight against the “infidel” and hopefully not find one’s faction crushed in the process. Some forty years ago, Wahhabi analysts commented that the existence of Israel was an opportunity to promote (their version of) Islam (by turning the war against Israel into a political football).

The very notion that rival Arab factions are contending for who gets the honors of annihilating Israel must be particularly infuriating to Israelis. It’s like being falsely portrayed as the Joker or Lex Luthor, with Superman, Batman, the Lone Ranger, Captain America, and the Swamp Thing all vying for the honors of killing him. And if that’s not possible, he gets portrayed as a supervillain with honors going to just fighting against him, hopefully singeing his hair in the process. Imagine some Arab "hero" proclaiming, "Look, I just bruised Superjew! Look upon my works and despair!"

(Please note that I regard the Iranian government to be an Arab faction, for although it is culturally Iranian, it is the most thoroughly Arabized sector in Iranian society. If Iranian interests were considered alone, Israel would be Iran’s ally. Yet, since Iran is run by Arab wannabes who are trying to attain ascendancy within an Arabic-speaking context, the rules change, Iran’s government should be considered to be an essentially Arab state. Perhaps even a "hyper-Arab" state.)

All of this creates a nasty “emotional trajectory” on the Israeli side. Israel leaves the Gaza Strip unilaterally, turning it “judenfrei” in the process. In response, Hamas and Hezbollah punish them for it. The problem Israel faces is that when Jews play by the rules, Jews still get killed, Muslims still vilify the Jews, and Ahmadinejad still advocates The Holocaust: Part II. As a rule, angry bullies are nowhere near as nasty as nice people who turn to violence.

With the capture of Israeli soldiers, Israel has a valid casus belli against both Palestine and Lebanon. If the Security Council condemns Israel without demanding the unconditional release of Israeli soldiers, it is the United Nations that looks silly, not Israel. This isn’t like the Six Day War or even the Yom Kippur War, for Israel’s right to demand its soldiers back is well recognized.

Israel isn’t out of options. It’s just out of good options. One interesting thing here is that capturing physical space appears to be out of the question in this war. Instead of occupying territory, each side appears to be focusing on killing people. And this is the elemental difference between traditional warfare and Middle Eastern warfare – the aim in this form of combat is less to seize resources than to kill or control other people. It’s about killing enemies wherever you find them.

If Israeli soldiers are sent to Iran, Israel would then have the option of imposing a siege on Iran’s oil exports. Although Iran may threaten to use the oil weapon, Israel has that leverage too. If Israel causes the price of oil to go up to $400 per barrel, who says Arab factions control the oil weapon?

There is no incentive now for any faction to stop the spiral of violence now. Moreover, many people would profit handsomely if the Middle East burns. Russia, for one. (Consider how Russia is criticizing Israel for using less force than it uses in Chechnya, remarks practically designed to inflame the situation, not calm it down.) Russia’s place in the petroleum market would be greatly enhanced if the Persian Gulf were shut off. Alternative energy would also get a boost.

And of all people, environmentalists usually find it easier to press for getting off fossil fuels when fuel prices are high. I have sometimes imagined what would happen if some militant version of Greenpeace sabotaged the Persian Gulf’s tanker traffic to save the Earth from fossil fuels. It sounds fantastic, to be sure, but our world is looking more and more like a comic book fantasy in any case...

7/13/2006 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

When Iran starts rationing gasoline internally is the time we need to worry in Iraq. As force protection in Iraq seems to be our current tactic (that's your cue DR), I don't see Iran causing us an immediate problem if they decide to escalate in Iraq.

Everyone seems to believe that we just sit, though. We don't sit when strategic goals need to be achieved. An escalation by Iran will definitely cause a crack-down on the Mahdi Army (by Iraqis). The Iraqi Army will then have their chance for the much needed blooding of forces. If they fail, we will then know that our tactic of Iraqi force buildup was flawed. The Iraqis will then know that they can't protect their own. We will also know that a weak Iraq must be propped up. That is why we are there.

I still believe that Iraq was taken for EXACTLY this purpose. Force injection in the hotspot.


2164th,

Once again, I wasn't criticising your information, just timing.

I'll have to find the link, but - China is only a couple of years behind us in wafer-fab production. That will place them close to Isreal with technology capabilities used for weaponry. The trick is to keep both of them 2 years behind. I too believe that we should always be ahead of everyone, including Isreal. Any espionage that weakens our technological position harms us whether it is native or foreign.

But damn, let 'em shoot a few rounds before denyin' 'em credit at the range... :-)


C4......Is that you?????

7/13/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

C4, as one who almost goes on auto pilot when I see anything you post about the ME, i will say that your recent post is dead on....


100% perfect

7/13/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

we no longer care to "occupy" an arab state, all we now have to do is BREAK IT, since as you so well pointed out, the arabs are a wealthy group, they have oil, we can bomb a few hundred billion in infrastructure to dust, cause their people to be set back in the darwin mode by several generations and then NOT OCCUPY...

Doing so would serve as an object lesson, no? Might also make the Iraqis thank their lucky stars we had the patience to deal with them differently, while graphically demonstrating that there is, at some point, an end to our patience.

Iraq is the model. Syria may soon be the example.

7/13/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

There may be a big and good game going on here. Israel is raising the heat in Lebanon to try to get the security council to enforce its resolution, and do something to disarm Hezbollah. That could be an excuse for the United States and other countries to be involved on Israel's side.

It's unlikely they would, but at least Israel can rub their faces in it, that there is an unauthorized guerrilla group right across its border, one who is holding its own government hostage. The whole world will be able to see the problem, even if they do nothing about it. That will provide leverage for Israel to act on its own.

7/13/2006 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Whitehall said...

The US can play chicken with oil with two competitors, China and the EU, but not with the other, Russia. They'd benefit at everyone else's expense.

Sooner or later you can back only so far into your corner.

A fight with the NoKos would be fairly short and simple. They can not support any logistical trail and once they've opened fire on Seoul, major bombing, including the proverbial 20 neutron bombs on their side of the DMZ, would conclude the affairs there quickly. Heck, the Japanese have offered to do it themselves! I've heard professional military opinions to the contrary presuming only conventional weapons.

The major impediment to military strikes against Iran's nukes has been political - internal and external. If we let the Iran government hand us a cause belli that the Iranian PEOPLE can accept, we can decapitate the regime.

That would also hand the Russians and the Sauds a financial windfall.

7/13/2006 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Pyrthroes said...

The Arab/Muslim world finances its Salafist atrocities with petrodollars. We in America, however, possess more than fossil residues: Overflowing grain surpluses, our Green Gold.

Immediately halt any and all grain shipments to Mubarak's Egypt plus associated kleptocratic, terrorist sponsoring Mideast states. Bob Dole is gone; surely we could continue redundant, inflationary payouts to corporate Campaign Contributors by redesignating "family farms" as "grantors in aid of national security" (Congress does this all the time). Without firing a shot, three months at most would prove sufficient to confront the Mullahs with famines of their choice.

Use "Green Gold"... beats mushroom clouds o'er Beirut or Damascus any time. But of course, rescinding 75 year-old farm subsidies would require political will. We'd guess that several million people will have to perish first.

7/13/2006 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

If history is any indicator of the future, this thing isn't going anywhere. The terrorists will disappear into the woodwork and with pressure from the US, the Israelis will withdraw. In a few weeks, Arab prisoners will be released.

Lebanese and Pali leaders are already resorting to the tried and true modus operandi; "I am helpless, the extremists did it without my knowledge. I tried to stop them!"

There will be no resolution.

I do think though, that this has been coordinated by Iran. It's a diversion. A feint. Iran must be close to acquisition of a bomb or possibly even a warhead. Anything to buy time.

7/13/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I think this guy understands Dubya. He might have played a few hands of poker, himself. Patience, the most important part of the game.

7/13/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

On the other hand.

Israel could have been "green lighted" to take care of its pests in advance of imminent actions further east.

7/13/2006 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

"farther east."

I wonder if this is what Kagan is also thinking.

7/13/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

I think Hizbollah, Hamas, Palistinians, etc. misunderstood Israel's withdrawal from Gaza. They viewed it as a sign of weakness and surrender whereas it should have been clear that it was a final warning. The gloves were going to start coming off.

7/13/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger The_Head_Jimmy said...

Here's a stupid question, could Lebanon ask Israel to clean up the Bekka Valley et al for them? What could the Iranians and the Syrians do about it, legally speaking? I mean, even the UN(!) said Hezbolla should be disarmed so it must be legal.

7/13/2006 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger George M Weinert V said...

Islam is an Evil Ideology - Much of the media has adopted the use of describing the Muslim manual of murder as the "Holy" Qur'ran - How can this vile hatred be termed Holy?!?!? Compare the MUSLIM DEVIL BOOK to GOD'S WORD in the TRULY HOLY Bible.

[9.31] They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides
Allah, and (also) the Messiah son of Marium and they were enjoined that they
should serve one God only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what
they set up (with Him).

The vengeful 'ole Allah is forbidding worship of false Gods but winds up proselytizing hate.

John 8:12 Jesus said to them, "I am the Light of the world
- follow Me and you will have the light that gives life."

Christ invites us to follow His Light to eternal life. (the Muslims deny Jesus as the Son of God and denigrate him as a mere Prophet - and have the audacity to assert that He was a MUSLIM TOO!)

[9.32] They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah
will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse.

Muslims maintain that the only illumination comes from Mohammed's cave hallucinations.

John 8:19 Jesus said to them, "You don't know Me or My Father. If you knew Me, you would know My Father."

Jesus tells the doubters they must come to God the Father through Him alone.

[9.33] He it is Who sent His Apostle with guidance and the religion of truth,
that He might cause it to prevail over all religions, though the polytheists may
be averse.

Mo continues to preach that the role to be played by his psychopathic 'religion' is to conquer all beliefs and enslave the entire world.

Galatians 3:30 Jesus said to them, "All of you are God's Children because of your faith in Me."

Christ teaches us that faith in His saving grace makes us all Children of God.

[9.34] O you who believe! most surely many of the doctors of law and the monks
eat away the property of men falsely, and turn (them) from Allah's way; and (as
for) those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in Allah's way,
announce to them a painful chastisement,

Mohammed got very upset when he could not extort even more money from his new 'believers' and returns to his favorite theme - predictions of an awful punishment in Islamic Hell for the Christian and the Jew.

Galatians 3:11 Jesus told them, "The people that My Father accepts because of their faith shall live."

Our Lord tells us that Faith in His grace is the only path to Heaven. Muslims reject this Faith so the MUSLIMS MUST DIE.

[9.35] On the day when it shall be heated in the fire of hell, then their
foreheads and their sides and their backs shall be branded with it; this is what
you hoarded up for yourselves, therefore taste what you hoarded.

The sadistic 'ole Mohammed is in top form when describing the awful agonies that await those who do not follow his sick ideology in Allah's fiendish Hell and relishes in portraying terrible sufferings.

John 8:32 Jesus said to them, "If you follow my ways then you are my disciples and you will know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free."

Christ tells us to follow the Truth of His Love and Trust in His Mercy.

[9.39] If you do not go forth, He will chastise you with a painful chastisement
and bring in your place a people other than you, and you will do Him no harm;
and Allah has power over all things.

Mo reminds his Muslims of a dire fate every fifth verse or so and continues to instill TERROR into the heart of his illiterate and mentally retarded Muslims.

Galatians 4:7 Jesus told them, "You are No longer Slaves, but you are God's Children."

The followers of Christ are God's progeny while the Muslims are taught to think of themselves only as "Slaves of Allah".

[9.41] Go forth light and heavy, and strive hard in Allah's way with your
property and your persons; this is better for you, if you know.

The word "Strive" can be translated as "Stay" in Arabic and Mohammed urges his Muslims to STAY HARD frequently. Arabs have always had major problems getting an erection, so once they do it's really important to keep it up.

Galatians 5:22 God's spirit makes us kind, loving, happy, patient, good, faithful and self-controlled.

The Spirit of Christ infuses all of this divine good into the Christian while the Muslims is busily trying to maintain his limpid organ.

[9.55] Let not then their property and their children excite your admiration;
Allah only wishes to chastise them with these in this world's life and (that)
their souls may depart while they are unbelievers.

Mo is speaking of the Jews and giving his blood thirsty Bedouin warriors an excuse to kill and torture them so they can steal their money.

2 Timothy 1:8 Do not be ashamed to speak of the Lord!

St. Paul teaches us to Boldly proclaim the Truth of Jesus Christ.


THE QUR'RAN IS NOT OF GOD - THE QUR'RAN IS FROM SATAN!

Though 1,300 years have passed nothing has change in ISLAM:

ISLAM IS EVIL AND MUSLIMS ARE DEMONS!

Praise the Lord and God Bless America,
Zionist/Infidel/Neocon/Crusader/Jew/Kafir
George M Weinert V
Islams Ultimate Expose Blog
American Jihad Blog

7/14/2006 11:31:00 AM  

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