Monday, July 24, 2006

A Garden Without Fences

Fouad Ajami described the function of Lebanon -- at least from Hassan Nasrallah's point of view -- as an arena in which to act out the geopolitical and religious rivalries of the region. Nasrallah had a choice between being Lebanese and being an agent of Iran. He chose to be an agent of Iran. And in order to prosper as an agent of Iran, he needed a country in chaos.


In retrospect, Ehud Barak's withdrawal from Israel's "security zone" in southern Lebanon in the summer of 2000 had robbed Hezbollah of its raison d'être. It was said that the "resistance movement" would need a "soft landing" and a transition to a normal political world. ... The hope that Hezbollah would "go Lebanese," and "go local," was thus set aside ... That raid into Israel, the capture of the two Israeli soldiers, was a deliberate attack against the new Lebanon.  ... At any rate, Nasrallah and his lieutenants did not trust the new Lebanon to make the ample room that a country at war--and within the orbit of Syria--had hitherto made for them in the time of disorder.

Walid Jumblatt reproached Nasrallah with this very fact: that in all of his calculations, Lebanon figured not at all.

I could not find a Lebanese element anywhere in his talk. He reminds me of Arafat's experience in the siege of Beirut in 1982. In the end, Arafat left Beirut, but things are different here ... Iran has decided to fight the US by launching a war against Israel, which is an American [client] state of sorts, in response to the conflict over the nuclear issue. As for Syria, it wants to escape the international tribunal [for its role in the Hariri assassination.] ... Does Hassan Nasrallah have any Lebanese part when he talks about having friends in Damascus and Tehran? This insults our intelligence. As for his saying that whoever supports me deserves praise and whoever does not will be held accountable, that is a message. We received the message.

And if Nasrallah valued Lebanon for anything, it was as cover for his agenda; for its ample supply of civilians to serve as human sandbags with which to fortify Hezbollah's positions; to act as a matrix in which to embed his fortifications. Jan Egeland, pathetically waving a UN report on the Lebanon crisis said:

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

Ralph Kinney Bennett at Tech Central Station described how these human-shield tactics have been refined to an art.

"Civilians" are a weapon to them -- as much a part of the fight as the AK-47 or RPG they carry. Those who have visited any Hezbollah installation in Lebanon over the years always remark on the fact that there are families, women and children, in and around the place. "Secret" bases are usually hidden in plain site. Houses or apartment buildings become weapons storage or even operations centers. An innocent shed or garage may contain a Toyota or a missile launcher.

Seldom, if ever, has a guerrilla movement been able to so openly and exquisitely weave itself into the fabric of a society as Hezbollah has done in Lebanon. If the civilians in and around what are in effect operational bases happen to be of Hezbollah's own brand of Islam they automatically become a part of the "sacrificial," suicidal equation. Often without choice or foreknowledge, they die an "honorable" death in the battle against infidels or apostates.

Israel's response to these tactics has been to declare that certain areas should be evacuated, often listing out the villages against which it will operate and warning that no one's safety in these areas will be guaranteed. It is an extremely harsh method, one guaranteed to displace hundreds of thousands; destroy their pitiful homes and scatter families to the four winds. The only thing that can be said in its favor is that it gives these unfortunates a chance to escape with their lives. But even if Nasrallah doesn't care, most of us nevertheless do. And the moral dilemma is whether to stop the fighting now, knowing it will be worse later. Or continue the fighting now, knowing it will be bad even in the best of circumstances.

This unsavory choice was reflected in the meeting between Condoleeza Rice and Lebanese Parliamentary Speaker Nabi Berri. The Australian reports:

A meeting between Ms Rice and Mr Berri, who is acting as an intermediary for the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah group, was marked by "differences," a source close to Mr Berri said after the surprise visit to Beirut by the top US diplomat. "There was no agreement because Rice insisted on a mechanism on a global settlement before a ceasefire," the source said on condition of anonymity. "Rice set, as conditions for a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Hezbollah to the Litani river and the deployment of an international force in the area which would, she said, allow the return of displaced people."

Rice wanted the liquidation of Hezbollah as a prerequisite for a ceasefire. Berri held out for a withdrawal by Israel and a chance for Hezbollah to reestablish itself on its old grounds as a precondition for considering any further steps. Haaretz had more details of Berri's proposal.

An official close to Beri said his talks with Rice failed to "reach an agreement because Rice insisted on one full package to end the fighting." ... The package included a cease-fire, simultaneous with the deployment of the Lebanese army and an international force in south Lebanon and the removal of Hezbollah weapons from a buffer zone extending 30 kilometers from the Israeli border, said the official. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were private. Beri rejected the package, proposing instead a two-phased plan. First would come a cease-fire and negotiations for a prisoner swap. Then an inter-Lebanese dialogue would work out a solution to the situation in south Lebanon, said the official.

From Berri's statements, Hezbollah believes it can hold out until the European diplomats come to its rescue and then reoccupy its old positions. For Israel, Berri's counterproposal means that neither Lebanon nor the Hezbollah have been hurt hard enough for them to forgo a return to the status quo ante. For Hezbollah the status quo ante consists of a restoration of positions with which to attack Israel. But as Beirut Notes observes, for millions of it's citizens, the status quo ante is forever lost.

Lebanon is not mine anymore. I always realized that day was coming. In fact most Westernized Lebanese thought so. I could see it. The misery, the poverty, the inequality. It was bound to explode. Hezbollah was born amidst desperate people and with its mix of preaching, charity and military victories against a supposedly unbeatable foe, it gave meaning to their lives. More than a million people support Hezbollah and idolize its leader Hassan Nasrallah and Israeli bombs today only reinforce the Party of God's grasp on its community. After this crisis, Hezbollah and its allies will rule. And in anticipation I am trying to cut all ties to the Lebanon that I gave 13 years of my life for while others emigrated at the first opportunity that came up. 

I believed, but not anymore. Now it is Hezbollah's turn to impose its Lebanon and I do not want to be a part of it. I lived war and refuge from 1975 till 1990 and I do not want to do it anymore.

Foud Adjami called Lebanon: "a garden without fences"; and gardens from time immemorial have called irresistibly to serpents.

Update

Walid Phares describes how the Hezbollah slaughtered the Cedar Revolution.

136 Comments:

Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

The most astounding thing to me in the Lebanese situation is the lithic persistence of such human ulcers.

Recollections of certain televised news reports from a number of world events endure among my memories of childhood: The Republican Convention of 1956 that chose Ike and Nixon; the Suez Crisis; the Hungarian Revolt and its brutal supression by Russia; The angry mobs protesting Nixon’s vice-presidential visit to South America; Sputnik; The amphibious landings by U.S. Marines on the shores of Lebanon...

Walid Jumblat has been a fixture in Lebanese politics since at least the 1970’s. I still have caricatures of him I drew when I was trying to sell my naive little political cartoons in 1984. As a matter of fact, I could re-cycle at least a third of the caricatures I did in those days... Many of the same players are still in the news, screwing things up for a world that seems to have lost its ability to distinguish good from evil or muster the will to resist.

7/24/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Wretchard,

In saying this I feel very hard-hearted and not my usual self. In no way do I relish the death of any innocent. And if what I say below can be shown to be wrong (and I pray it can be) I will readily alter my position to something more humane.

But we cannot win this war the way we're fighting it; in observing the rules that the Hezbullards have implicitly laid out for us, we guarantee our defeat, and we are condemning more and more of the world's people to live under a Hezbullah-like regime.

South Lebanon should be utterly destroyed; no one would thank the Israelis for sparing it (if they kill a small group of civilians they are automatically accused of a massacre, as in Jenin), and their failure to destroy Hezbullahland will bring on them the contempt and obloquy of the Hezbullites.

It's not that the people who are forced to live under, or who passively go along with, the Hezbullards are any less human than you or I. But their system is an unmitigated evil.

I'm not saying you have to kill every last person. But you are going to have to kill a very large number, and this is a terrible thing.


Jamie Irons

7/24/2006 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Welcome to Waco Lebanon

Tony Blair is to me a politician and statesman. I believe him to be both toughtful and a man of principal. He calls Lebanon a catastrophe. He was wrong with the British compiled "Dossier" justifying the rationale for invading Iraq but he is depressingly accurate with the discription of Lebanon. Lebanon is Israeli's Waco. I quote hear from Robert Mc Curry.

"A Rambo-style raid on a quiet Sunday morning in February by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) touched off one of the most incredible and tragic events in American history. The ATF stormed the Branch Davidian home to serve a search warrant issued on the suspicion that the group was stockpiling automatic weapons.

Within minutes it was evident that the raid was an utter failure. The whole thing had been orchestrated by some bureaucrats whose brains were obviously on vacation and whose allegiance to the U.S. Constitution is totally defective. It was a fiasco from the start that resulted in senseless, needless, carnage and human suffering - not only of those inside the home, but also of the ATF agents who were wounded or killed and forced to retreat. Credible sources report that the ATF fired the first shots; those within the home returned fire. Four agents were shot to death; 15 were wounded; in addition to that, an indeterminate number within the home were killed or wounded.

Thus began the worst, darkest, most despicable, and most grievous saga in American history. Fifty-one days later on Monday, April 19, 1993, the government's massacre of almost 100 men, women, and children who lived in the Branch Davidian home marked the climax of this "drama in real life."

Israel has become Janet Reno on a global scale. The very most secular city of the Islamic world, Beirut, will slowly and inevitably slip into being controlled by Hesbollah. The Shi'a presence, in no small part because of the earlier Israeli venture into Lebanon has gone from 35% to now 50% of the population. Like any old urban changing neighborhood, there is a tipping point. Israeli stupidity over Beirut ensures that Lebanese secularism will be smothered with a Hesbollah burkha. Israel has made a contribution to the US war on terror that will be as helpful as Turkey was to the 4th ID.

Only an aggressive immediate action by Nato and a diplomatic turning of Syria can undo the reckless damage done in Beirut and to the cause of supporting Islamic secularism.

7/24/2006 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Grey said...

I fear the victory of the pro-Hezbollah Shia in Lebanon.

Bush and Rice must repeat, over and over, the destruction is BECAUSE OF HEZBOLLAH.

Hezbollah chose 6 years of preparing for war, rather than building in peace. The poverty in S. Lebanon is because of Hez, so is their domination.

A big NATO based force, some 50 000 troops?, need to be deployed with an active, fighting, anti-terrorism mandate.

Israel should also be insisting on distributing a newspaper -- I believe that only Free Speech, one of the "universal rights", can crack the terror lord control over the Shia.

The border between Israel & Lebanon should also be more open, so more Lebanese are allowed to go to Israel and see for themselves.


I'm afraid the UN/ EU will not allow Israel to destroy enough, long enough, for the Shia to accept that it is the fault of Hezbollah. I call for Hezbollah to surrender, but that word seems gone from the vocabulary of diplomats.

7/25/2006 02:44:00 AM  
Blogger James D. Rockefeller said...

I don't have any solution - but is seems a parallel would be if arian racists became politically active in the USA, and decided to settle in Silver Springs MD and get active in the community, setting up medical and educational services that far exceeded the Government programs, got elected to the city council, and then started lobbing missles towards the White House.

The White House responds by wiping Silver Springs MD off the map.

7/25/2006 03:00:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

Jamie,

In the current war, Hezbollah is not fighting to kill the bodies of Israelis, as much as to kill their very souls.

The goal of the truly evil is not just power, but the corruption of all those around them.

Unfortunately, I do not see any better solution than you do. Dresden was necessary to break the German will, as Hiroshima and Nagasaki were needed to break the Japanese will.

7/25/2006 05:00:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Davis said...

The White House responds by wiping Silver Springs MD off the map.

The problem is?

7/25/2006 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Jamie, in many ways it is ironically possible that Lebanon will be made clean. The mistake that Hezbollah made, and which they still do not understand, is that their actions were a 'last straw'. A last straw is just that, one more of the same that is not particularly significant. One more speck on the pile.

Hezbollah et al broke the status quo but they don't understand that, they really do not see it.

The question is whether the free world has learned anything from history or are we doomed to make the same errors of the past 100 years. Some in the Arab world are beginning 'to get it' that things might be different. A few more in EUrope and Blue America are starting to see the line of demarcation and choosing sides.

7/25/2006 05:30:00 AM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Wretchard,

I don't know if it's happening to everyone else, but your main index page is screwed up for me -- just a piece of the top post, and nothing else. I already sent you an email about it, but just thought I'd check in here, too.

I figured out what the URL for this post would be, based on the title, & typed it in the address window -- the only way I could get here!

It's possible that my posting a comment here -- since it will force your index page to republish -- will correct the problem. We'll see.

7/25/2006 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

The war must force some basic questions on people. Do the Shia of Lebanon want to act as agents of a distant power that likely does not have their best interest in mind? Do the shia want to face a Sunni and Christian Hezbollah? Does the Syrian regime?

For the people of Iran: Do they want to go to war for the Shia of Lebanon -- a war they will likely loose? Do they want to be ruled by a bunch "twelvers" declaring the end of the world is at hand -- and with the power to bring it about (at least for Iran and Iranians)?

There is a classic National Lampoon Magazine cover that shows a cute, mournful looking puppy (we Americans love puppies) with a cocked pistol held to its head. The headline says: Buy this magazine or we will kill this puppy!

Hezbollah (that is, Iran) holds the gun and the puppy in the picture is Lebanon. When Hezbollah (Iran) pulls the trigger it will be Israel's fault: they did not buy what is on sale (Israel's destruction).

When the world begins to answer the obvious question "Who shot the Puppy?" honestly then we shall be near victory in War on Terror. Until then we have to force the question, and not fear the ridiculous answers the BBC comes up with.

7/25/2006 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Isreal as Janet Reno.... That has got to be the largest stretch to try and "pull in" the radical right I have ever seen.

Not worthy of you 2164th.

7/25/2006 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

The useful idiot who said "Israel has become Janet Reno on a global scale..." is really touting the enemy line.
Shocking to see people still with their heads in the sand after 9/11, Madrid, London, Bali, etc..., etc..., etc...
World War now. Short enemy list: Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia.
Few friends. Short friend list: Israel.

Cato the Elder:
We must destroy Iran.
We must destroy Iran.
We must destroy Iran.

7/25/2006 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Wild Bill said...

The people of Lebabon can either be part of the problem, or they can be part of the solution.. The line between is too narrow to have any fence sitters because that option just leaves them as cannon fodder..
Anyone with an IQ above 10 should be able to recognize that Hez is bad for Lebanon and its people, and if you are for Hez then you are against Lebanon..
Nato and the Lebannese Forces have failed to secure the safety of Israel on the border, so it is left up to Israel to secure the border area themselves.. Israel has no choice..
Lebanon can either lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way..

7/25/2006 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

Many on the left and now some on the right that prefer to ignore the lesson which history should have taught us; are saying that we should have negotiated with Hama-Pal Hiz-Leb ie.Syria ie.Iran. What were we to have negotiated...this time? A prisoner release? What would we have gained from releasing...say... all of their terrorist brethren & sistren? My guess is that it would have probably gained us a rocket and or homi-bomber free week or two.....at the most. Is that the value of living in "A garden without fences"?

7/25/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Honor cannot survive in the dark space between a politician and an election. Here's a Counterterrorism Blog story about a Lebanese Christian politician more than happy to let HB fire its rockets into Israel from Christian Beirut in return for a scratch on the back down the road.

No tears for Lebanon. The government, certainly, and more than a few of the population are nothing more than HB aiders and abettors, and for this they more than deserve to share the same fate.

The graybeards at Belmont will remember the utter brutality which characterized the Lebanese civil war in the '70s. I often wondered what would become of a generation that spent its adolescence hunting its cross town neighbors in designer holsters and fashionable combat gear.

7/25/2006 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Fouad Ajami also says; The Shiites are Lebanon's single largest community. There lie before them two ways: Lebanonism, an attachment to their own land, assimilation into the wider currents of their country, an acceptance of it as a place of services and trade and pluralism; or a path of belligerence, a journey on road to Damascus--and to the Iranian theocracy. By the time the guns fall silent and the Lebanese begin to dig out of the rubble, we should get an intimation of which Shiite future beckons. The Shiites can make Lebanon or they can break it. Their deliverance lies in a recognition of the truths and limitations of their country. The "holy war" they can leave to others.

Israel has already made the intl community aware that the current situation is intolerable and unsustainable and in Rice's words We can't return to the status quo ante. Israel will also do its best to destroy HB's cababilities. Israel's punishment will serve to focus the Shiite's minds. But in the end what will disarm HB is the Shiites themselves if they decide to reject Iranian control of their destiny.

7/25/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"A big NATO based force, some 50 000 troops?, need to be deployed with an active, fighting, anti-terrorism mandate."

NATO is taking over Afghanistan.

NATO is taking over ALL of Afghanistan save the Specials Ops mission.

Does NATO want Lebanon, too? Does NATO want to accept responsibility for Afghanistan AND Lebanon?

I've said it before: NATO, as an international organization, can barely cover its current, long-term commitments.

There's also the matter of establishing a precedent that NATO is not likely to want established.

7/25/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Shep Barbash said...

Roggio contrasts the (to him) slow pace of IDF progress with the narrow time frame (a week to two weeks) within which it must accomplish its military objectives before the 'international community' succeeds in pressuring Israel to accept a ceasefire.

Can someone explain to me the factual basis for the assumption that this time frame will in fact prove to be so narrow, and will not be determined by military events on the ground (as in Iraq)?

Has the Bush administration anywhere or in any way indicated that after the magical two weeks, it will reverse or otherwise weaken its current conditions for a ceasefire (unilateral return of Israeli prisoners, withdrawal of Hezbollah and its weapons from a 25-mile border buffer zone, to be patrolled by the Lebanese government and an international force)?

7/25/2006 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

In an age of instant communication, time and reality are distorted, causing all kinds of new pressures on international crises management. Institutions with rules, procedures and committees combat this distortion, and tend to cleave the decision cycle away from the frenetic 24/7 news cycle, allowing for a longer time to deliberate on events. Sometimes this is unfortunate because we are in a race against time, like we are with Darfur and Iran. Sometimes, however, we need to draw things out, like we do now.

And there's just no better way to draw things out than bureaucracy. Iran uses it to stall for time so they can build a bomb. It's fitting that we will use bureaucracy's inherent delay to destroy Iran's proxy, Hezbollah.

I pointed out a couple days ago that we will use Nato and the UN to give Israel the time she needs to dismantle Hezbollah. My guess was that the question of troops would be central in our strategy to buy time:

For instance, the question of who will contribute troops could be a stalling point. We can express reservation about deploying American soldiers, thanks to all the articles that said our forces are overstretched in Iraq. We can say, "I'm sorry, fellas, we just can't swing it." This will force the other, more zealous members to put their money where their mouth is and cough up some of their own troops. That right there could add weeks to a Nato deployment.

The New York Times reports today:

Support is building quickly for an international military force to be placed in southern Lebanon, but there remains a small problem: where will the troops come from?

The United States has ruled out its soldiers participating, NATO says it is overstretched, Britain feels its troops are overcommitted and Germany says it is willing to participate only if Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia which it would police, agrees to it, a highly unlikely development.


My guess is that Britain, France, and Germany (the EU-3, who Iran offended with its negotiational malfeasance) are in this game with us.

I know that Israel is in the game:

Israel’s own public position toward an international force has been welcoming, but skeptical, insisting that the force be capable of military missions, not just peace-keeping.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert suggested that the force, with military capability and fighting experience, could be made up of soldiers from European and Arab states, while his defense minister, Amir Peretz, spoke of soldiers from NATO countries.

But Israel senses no great willingness among leading European countries to take part, and Israeli officials emphasize that they will not accept an end to hostilities until clear policy goals are met.


Requiring "clear policy goals" and a force that is able to do missions is are issues on which much talk will be spent and standards which will take time to meet.

Our strategy is to look like we're doing something. I'm guessing that everybody that Iran screwed over the past several years is in on it.

7/25/2006 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Link for NYTimes article is here.

7/25/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

And I disagree in the implications of Trish's post on Nato commitments. Nato is the new favorite tool for Bush, and a strategic asset for America, especially since the UN turned out to be corrupt. Expanding Nato's mission and relevancy is an objective for us, clear and simple.

Lebanon could be a precedent for Nato's relevancy out of area (Afghanistan was too unique and too remote to be a proper precedent). Russia won't like it, of course, which is why you hear Russia promoting UN troops, even going so far as to offer to supply them.

7/25/2006 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

So everybody needs to calm down and stop worrying about the "international community" stopping Israel from doing something significant. She will have her time, and Iran will get the message.

And of course, Syria is going to have one hell of a month.

7/25/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

An international force in Lebanon would be a feel-good but ineffective waste of blood and treasure unless it went in with the specific intention of engaging HB to kill them.

Hizbu'allah is the clearest, most well defined face of the enemy we're going to get until the time comes to incinerate the divisions of the Iranian army. You would expect that would be significant.

The only international force that might be capable of that mission is NATO but I consider it highly unlikely that individual member countries would commit to a combat mission. Look at history. France and England could have smashed the German divisions on the Western Front in 1939 while the bulk of the Wermacht was occupied in Poland. They did not and catastrophe surely followed. Why would this time be any different?

There are only 2 1/2 countries in the world that will meaningfully engage the Islamists outside their own borders. The USA, Israel and the UK as a sometimes-in and sometimes-out partner. I don't see that changing anytime soon.

7/25/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

And I'm way over my limit.

7/25/2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"And I disagree in the implications of Trish's post on Nato commitments."

Does NATO disagree with the implications of Trish's post?

Donuts to dollars, NATO agrees with Trish.

NATO is a tool, but the administration does realize that NATO is a limited tool; limited politically and concretely.

It is not currently poised to further expand those limits.

7/25/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger kstagger said...

The current conflict in Lebanon reads like a chapter of the Peloponnesian War. Neither side can claim victory and (with the current 'rules') the war will go on and on. The Israeli's are like the Spartans - their Army is feared and invincible - they raid Attica - but the Athenians don't meet them head on in battle. They root around, destroy some farms and head on back home.

Can we please have an old-fashioned war where we just blow the sh*t out of everyone (civilian and soldier alike) until they are demoralized - totally and completely. It saves time and (in the long run) probably lives.

7/25/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger RattlerGator said...

Re: peterboston 11:43 a.m.

Shouldn't Australia be added to that list, working at worst as as a sometimes in, sometimes out member/ally but now more likely as a full member?

We tend to not give the Australians the props they deserve.

7/25/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

I hate to disagree, Trish, but Nato's mission is expanding and will continue to do so.

Here is a transcipt of Brian Lamb's interview with Victoria Nuland, the US Ambassador to Nato. This is what she has to say about Nato's new mission:

I think when most Americans, and particularly Americans of a certain generation, think about NATO they think about that static Cold War organization, bunkered down in Brussels, which performed its initial mission brilliantly, which was to keep us safe from the Soviet Union.

I think what they don’t know is that today’s NATO includes 26 countries, spanning all of North America and a lot of Europe, that we last year deployed our peacekeepers and our humanitarian relief soldiers on four continents. Of course, our main big mission in Afghanistan, where NATO’s taking over the major peacekeeping role and allowing some of our U.S. forces to reduce.

We are also – we also delivered a huge amount of humanitarian relief to Pakistan last year, our first humanitarian mission. We are training Iraqi military in cooperation with the coalition, some 2,000 soldiers trained by NATO last year.

And now we are also working in Darfur to strengthen the African Union, very much in a support and training capacity.

And we helped deliver humanitarian aid from Europe to the Gulf Coast of the U.S. after the hurricane Katrina last year.

So, NATO is a rich, diverse community that is providing security in a multilateral way all around the world today. And Americans should be very proud of it and proud of how it’s developing.


Here is the CRS report for Congress on the Nato Summit of 2002:

The Bush Administration
wishes to redefine the principal threats as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Administration officials believe that the United States is “at war” today against the sources of these new threats and that the allies must be prepared to engage adversaries in North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia to ensure security.


There was some hesitancy about moving Nato's mission out of area, and Paris wanted to require a UN mandate first, but a lot has happened since 2002, and Nato has since become global.

Here is a speech by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. After listing what NATO has done in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan, Africa and the Mediterranean, he said:

These operational commitments I’ve just described, across three continents, show in the clearest possible way how much NATO has changed, or, to use the NATO jargon, transformed. And that transformation is embodied in NATO’s new approach to security - projecting stability.

NATO lists as one of its chief threats the danger inherent in "failed states". A Lebanon in chaos fits that definition.

It's not an accident that the NATO talk started up. Bush wants a NATO with global capabilities, and I think he's going to get to use it.

7/25/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger still realizing said...

This is a good time for some units of the Lebanese Army to become heroes and knock Hezbollah on the head from behind.

7/25/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

David Frum on buying time and deploying NATO:

When negotiations over the nuclear program resume, they will resume with the West powerfully strengthened and Iran visibly weakened by the failure of Iran's own reckless aggression. This will be Israel's achievement--and Israel's latest gift to the peace of the world.

To achieve this positive result, however, Israel must be allowed to finish the job. Israel must be allowed to shatter Hezbollah as a military force and put an end to its state-within-a-state in southern Lebanon.

Once that work is done, the international community can act to rebuild and restore. There has been talk of replacing Hezbollah with an international military force. The right kind of force should be welcome. Not a UN force obviously: the UN force in southern Lebanon, UNIFIL, not only stood by as Hezbollah kidnapped Israeli soldiers, but actually helped cover up for Hezbollah by concealing videotape it had recorded of the attack.

But a NATO force, perhaps led by France, which has strongly championed Lebanese independence from Syria--such a force could open the way to peace, reconstruction, and the full democratization of Lebanon.


You can already see the signs.

The operation in Bint Jbeil, initially slated to take 48-72 hours, would last as long as necessary to kill all the Hizbullah terrorists and destroy the infrastructure...

Israeli commanders have been told they will have all the time they need. That means Israel has been told it will have all the time it needs. Believe it.

7/25/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Danmeyers said...
Israel as Janet Reno.... That has got to be the largest stretch to try and "pull in" the radical right I have ever seen.
Danmeyers said...
Israel as Janet Reno.... That has got to be the largest stretch to try and "pull in" the radical right I have ever seen.

Not worthy of you 2164th.

7:56 AM

For Freedom said...
The useful idiot who said "Israel has become Janet Reno on a global scale..." is really touting the enemy line.

I am the unworthy useful idiot, if common sense is suspended. Group punishment unless it is complete never works. When this ends in three to four weeks what will be left behind? Will Israel be safer with a neighbor radicalized by what most perceive as an unjust overreaction? If a significant number of Hezbollah and its organization survive, as seems likely, it will be hailed as a triumph over what will appear an impotent Israeli military. Hezbollah is predominately Shiite, but prior to this the vast majority of Shiites were not members of Hezbollah, yet it is the Shiites and not Hezbollah that have borne the brunt of the Israeli assault. Almost all the victims were Lebanese, with the majority not being combatants. Lebanon is a polyglot society with Maronites in Rmeish, Druze in Hasbayya, Greek Orthodox in Khiam, and Greek Catholics in Marjayoun. All have suffered casualties along with the Shiites.

The secularized middle class and elites, will have to defend their position against a growing radicalized Shiite population. The percentage of Shiites belonging to Hezbollah will increase. The big winners will be Hezbollah and Iran. Lebanon may very well become another failed state on Israel’s borders. Israeli security will not have been advanced. The object was to advance Israeli security. My analysis, obviously unpopular today, is that this venture will fail in that objective. Any worthy dissent requires an alternate suggestion to be credible. Israeli history provides examples that would appear to have been better. They include the hunting down and killing of the 1972 Munich Massacre murders, the 1990 killing of Gerald Bull, The 1976 Antebbe Rescue, and the 1981 Iraq raid against nuclear facilities. All of these were narrowly targeted, militarily and politically acceptable. If I could snap my fingers and kill Hezbollah, I would and get a good night sleep. Tough love can be tough.

7/25/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The UN mission statements all sound good too and accomplish absolutely nothing other than enabling the bad guys. I'd bet my right one that 99% of the UN's Palestinian employees are Hamas or Fatah.

We need NATO to be a break and kill military organization. That is the reason it was founded. It's purpose has been lost or forgotten during the feminization of the post-modern world and there is no reason (yet) to believe it will become otherwise.

I'll give Australia 1/4 point. The Aussies themselves are willing kick-ass participants but their government is still too riddled with lefties to join the battle.

7/25/2006 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Hezbollah Says Israeli Response a Surprise

The article says they expected to kill a few Israelis, grab a few hostages, and then get Germany to handle the standard "negotiations" errr, blackmail for them, as has been SOP.

Hmmm. Do you suppose AlQ and the Taliban were surprised in December 2001?

Perhaps the message is starting to leak out. There's a new cowboy in town, and "negotiating" with the likes of Arafat is not his solution to Islamofascist bad guys.

I suppose it's too much to hope that this "accidental" long-term strategy of breaking Islamofascism for good is working out. Yeah, that's too much to hope for, it must be all a coincidence. An accident, that if John Kerry were President as he says, "would never have happened."

7/25/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Aristides,

These are almost entirely nickle and dime commitments. That is to say, they certainly add up as a take of finite resources, but are not large-scale, interminable, non-humanitarian obligations on the order of the Balkans or Afghanistan - or Lebanon for that matter.

NATO will be not be able to cover the latter, the former, and the doo-goo laundry list it's compiled everywhere else. Especially as any new NATO undertaking now means a NATO undertaking minus significant US resources.

And it needs to be said at this point that if Israel cannot push ahead faster and more vigorously an international force cannot be put in. Israel just might find itself stuck.

And I mean that: Stuck.

7/25/2006 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Look, we have a practically inexhaustable supply of men we can send to the ME for all kinds of peacekeeping. Here's how it's done.

We take the illegals crossing the border directly to boot camp. Free uniforms, training, all the goodies.
Momacita stays in Xenopyxas and receives part of the two year enlistment allotment. She's liv'in large in Xqanthos. Gomez does his two years , gets rewarded with US citizenship and Mamcita moves up to Norteamerica. Their kids go to good schools and get college educations, becoming doctors,lawyers and civic leaders.
I say let's get that pipeline up and running. Avante!

7/25/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Maybe a good comparison in this case is the military assaults needed to liberate Italy and France from the Nazis n WWII. Allied bombing raids necessarily killed and maimed a number of French and Italian civilians, and surely there was lingering resentment among the bereaved. But the vast majority of French and Italians yearned to be free of the Nazi oppressors, hated collaborators, and welcomed the Allies despite the casualties they knew the invasion would occasion.

7/25/2006 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

2164th,

I am not flaming you.... You're content or opinion was not questioned. The context was.

7/25/2006 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Israel has its own, and Hezbollah's, fate in its own hands, not the other way around. Hezbollah can huff and puff (lob unguided missile into cilivian areas) but there is very little they can do to stop a truly determined Israeli assault into their territory. They may draw some Israeli blood, but if they stand and fight, they will die. It is Israel's choice how to conduct this war. Hezbollah (and the Syrians and Iranians) can only react to Israel's moves. The questions are: 1.) will the Israeli politicians give their military the green light to do whatever is necessary to chew up Hezbollah into tiny pieces. 2.) Will the US back off from pressuring Israel into excepting a premature creasefire? 3.) Will the Syrians stay out of the fight if things (as I believe they will) go from bad to worse for Hezbollah? 4.) Will Israel finally put an end to the Israel-Syrian war (since 1973, if not 1948) and drive to Damascus? 5.) Will Iran stay out of the fight if Israeli forces are outside the gates of Damascus? and finally, 6.) Will the US stay out of the fight if Iran jumps in? Could be 1914 all over again.

7/25/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Trish said:

And it needs to be said at this point that if Israel cannot push ahead faster and more vigorously an international force cannot be put in. Israel just might find itself stuck.

It's clear that this is not the Israel of 1948-49, 1956, 1967, 1973 or even 1982. How many times in the past have you heard people speak of the Israeli army and air force almost in awe, as if they were, shall we say, supernaturally endowed as the premier fighting force on the planet? Now it can be seen that in order to keep that warfighting edge you have to actually fight wars. The only thing that is saving Israel's bacon ;-) right now is that her enemies' infantry and air forces are just as slack. The Islamists shoot home-made rockets at Israel from houses, Israel shoots Hellfires at Islamists unmanned planes, war is now a video game. Meanwhile only the United States is getting hands-on combat experience, in battles like Second Fallujia, while American military expenditures in research and development are starting to have a compounding effect.

7/25/2006 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Not only is there not going to be a multi-national force in Lebanon but Hezbollah is not going to willingly give up arms to any force; Israeli or International.

Only the foolishly naive think that Hezbollah can be disarmed without considerable collateral damage.

So let Israel do it. In fact, give them anything they need to what they have said they are going to do; "Destroy Hezbollah."

7/25/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

habu

Your recruitment scenario is not too far from what happened to many Irish immigrants during the Civil War.

7/25/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"Hezbollah was born amidst desperate people and with its mix of preaching, charity and military victories against a supposedly unbeatable foe, it gave meaning to their lives."

What a load of crap!! Hezbollah was born in the '70's as a bunch of Soviet-Syrian buttboy-thugs for purposes of harassing the U.S. through Israel. They haven't evolved much since. They have been and are their own people's oppressors. To laud Hezbollah "charity" is just a manifestation of the Stockholm Syndrome.

I grew up next to a small city with a large Lebanese immigrant population. I have a friend who came to the U.S. after Hezbollah dropped a motar round on a birthday party of 8 year olds. At any given time, my friends have numerous family and friends in and around Beirut (including now). They have been clear for years that Southern Lebanon is a sewer becasue of Hezbollah and Syria and their policies.

7/25/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Bush wants a NATO with global capabilities, and I think he's going to get to use it.

any way we can dislodge France as a NATO participant before this happens?

7/25/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger rich said...

Is it time to rewrite the laws of war to account for this?

John Reid made the suggestion on April 3, 2006.

http://www.rusi.org/events/ref:E442BBE1E9CEF3/:

Articles at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,,1746285,00.html

http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/dhenninger/?id=110008194:

7/25/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

I believe the solution to require the democratisation of Lebanon.

Nasrallah had a choice between being Lebanese and being an agent of Iran.

Whatever you say of Nasrallah it is hard to dispute he is a man of some ambition. As such he has taken the better of two poor choices. The worst of which - current Lebanese "democracy" offers him nothing.

The Cedar Revolution did not bring democracy to Lebanon. Nasrallah is a Shia and the Shia are about 50% of the Lebanese population. Under the current palianent system the Shia are allocated 21% of the seats, a travesty. For Nasrallah to participate is to accept being a political leader of a repressed people & legitimising the repression. It is no choice - the Syrians/Iranians offer power vs. the Lebanese offer servitude.

If Lebanese democracy wants to feature in the plans of Nasrallah it must seek to include him and every Shia as persons of equal worth.

7/25/2006 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

peterboston

And look at the Irish today. They won numerous national championships and have shiny gold helmets. It's really not far fetched. It gives them a real steak in this country from the git-go,the money is clean and can help the folks back home.

It could be expanded to include all immigrants. Then they could all say with pride,"Yes I was part of America's quagmire in the (insert your favorite region, right now Iraq) but in another thirty years it could be say, well you get the picture.

Additionally the illegals have many transferable skills. They can travel long distances in the desert with no water. You can fit almost 50 into a HumVee and 100 into a 10 man tent. They eat very little and love to explode firecrakers.
Win,Win..Gomez to the front...

7/25/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

As the war in Lebanon goes forward, there will be continued if not growing complaint of Israel’s over reliance on advanced technology in lieu of tried and true battlefield tactics. It does seem that there will be plenty of justification for the criticisms.

For instance, I have read of the exasperation of Israeli troops with the rugged, overgrown terrain and its expert use by Hezbollah for maneuver and attack. In fact, someone made the analogy of the Japanese expertise on Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

In answer, may I offer an old fashioned bit of evolutionary olfactory engineering, canis familiaris. Yes, that marvel of detection, the humble dog, might be, as during the campaigns in the Pacific, worth its weight in gold. Find ‘em. Fix ‘em. F--- ‘em.

Oh, I just heard that Hezbollah intends to hit deeper into Israel. If they do, it will be with technology coming through Syria. Things then might get very busy, very quickly.

Oh, my gosh! Blue Helmets down…repeat, Blue Helmets down!

7/25/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Tersita,

If Israel's truly looking at "destroying" Hezballah...well, it's got an incredibly - let me say that again: INCREDIBLY - difficult fight ahead. And there is NO other force at this time that both can and will do that job for them.

I think the best laid plans of mice and men are in a good amount of disarray.

7/25/2006 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

So, you think "Terrorism" was his Best Choice, huh Osama? Is that Your first choice?

I don't think you're going to find many converts, here. Why don't you run along, and get yourself all cleaned up for your 72 Raisins, bub. Hint: dress for warm weather; you won't be needing a coat where you're going.

7/25/2006 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Nasrallah's proper role in Lebanon's "democracy" is as a potted plant. The man should be killed at the first opportunity. No "hand-ups" either.

7/25/2006 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

fat lady to personal trainer; "How long will it take me to lose 100 lbs?"

personal trainer to fat lady; "How long did it take you to gain 100 lbs?"

fat lady; "15 years".

personal trainer; "15 years".

fat lady; "But I don't want to wait that long".

personal trainer; "then we'll need to take some drastic measures".

HB built their war machine undeterred in S. Lebanon for 6 years.

It doesn't look like Israel wants to take drastic measures.

aristedes is right.

7/25/2006 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

If Israel can push the Hezbollah past the Litani it will prove that possession is nine tenths of the law. A return to status quo ante would be unlikely then. If they fail they can be assured of an international partner to intercede, like the overmatched drunk in the bar who says “hold me back, hold me back”.

A southern Shiite population will never be won over with rockets and bombs but perhaps tempered with the certainty of death and destruction verses joining the community of man and the luxuries of peace.

What little I know of NATO is that they have been building a quick reaction force and I too doubt that they see themselves taking over the inept policing duties of the UN. After all, the UN does it so well.

7/25/2006 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

It is interesting to consider that the bunker busters that Israel dropped would be the same we’d use on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

7/25/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Thank you Dan. You are a gentleman and I appreciate your comment.

In the spirit of mea culpa, I was harsh to trish the other night. My words were needlessly sharp and insentitive and I do enjoy her pithy comments. I regret being so thin skinned and do apologize to her and it will not happen again.

7/25/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I doubt that, anony mouse. I imagine the ordnance we would drop would be between 4 and 40 times more powerful. maybe 4,000 times more powerful; but, probably not.

Guys, I don't know what the hell is going on here, but "Battalion" level maneuvers, do not a war make.

And this taking two, or three, minutes to pop a rocket launch site won't cut it.

7/25/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Jeeze, she was owed one for flaying poor Allen one night when he was Margarita abled.
(disabled? Nope, pc incorrect)
Differently Abled in a Margarita Way.
...sounds like Buffet.

7/25/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

So, unaha, the Shiites weren't trusted enough to have been voted parliamentary control, and so went about earning that trust via Mr. Nezrollah and his foreign-bought gunslingers?

7/25/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

PeterBoston at 3:45, re: the Irish recruits in the Civil War.

But they were born in war, all of their ancestors lived in war, Rome built walls rather than fight them, the Scots Irish were preternaturally disposed to war. It feels natural, and the worse it gets, the more calm, and like their "Old Selves" the Scots Irish feel. Not sure that translates to each and every culture, but I accept that it translates to any man or woman who volunteers for the US military, especially during war time.

7/25/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

unaha-closp:

I don't know about you but I wouldn't ever want a terrorist in any type of leadership role.

A homosexual or alcoholic or drug user or (fill in with any other person in whom you would not want to trust the lives of your loved ones).

Leadership is a role to be filled by a trustworthy individual. Nasralla is a terrorist and a meglomaniacal killer.

You throw in with his lot & I call you a terrorist as well. Either that or a dangerous fool.

7/25/2006 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Don't have time to read posts right now:
Here's a yoni update:

Iran Still supplying through syria.

Syria at highest level of Alert.

Suicide bombers to Lebanon for killing Lebanse - Civil War.

Aug 22 is date for World to burn to bring back the 12th A-hole.

Lebanese informers still informing - hate Hezzies.

Barrage beyond Haifa will enlarge the war.

Demonstrations in Israel starting to breakdown along racial lines.

7/25/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There were 2,000 Blue Helmets in an area populated by aprox.600,000 people.
The Blue Helmets could do little but watch, unable to control HB.

To a little math and we find that the troop to local ratio is half of that of the US Garrison in Iraq. 130,000 to about 20,000,000.

In Iraq the US has not brought the HB clone, Mr al-Sadr's group, under control, in three years. Even after 2 localized armed insurections against the USMC.
To honestly expect a token UN force to perform better than US troops at twice the strength is foolish.

The size of the International Force in the Levant would need to be in the 20,000 to 30,000 troop level to be thick enough on the ground to supress HB.
The French and the Russians, what a crew they'll make.

In Iraq the man the US has put it's money on, Mr Maliki, backs an immediate Cease Fire in Lebanon. Mr al-Sadr's crew is choosing which fighters, from the many Shia volunteers, to send West to the Levant.

Mr Bush said in his news conference today he has abdicated his role of Commander in Chief to General Casey, who makes, he said, all the important decisions about US policy in Iraq.

The Israeli have proven unsuccessful in blanketing rocket launches within a 150 square mile area. The Iranian coastline, suitable for "Silkworm" launch sites along the coast, 80,000 square miles.

How many years have the Iranians been "digging in"?

The King of the KSA was bad mouthing the Israeli, again.
If the Israeli are going to destroy the HB, well, they best get on with it, already, D+14.75.

7/25/2006 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Lots of Homosexuals are not considered security risks at the highest levels.
I'm no Gay Marriage fan, or teaching it in schools, but that's a fact, probably always has been.

7/25/2006 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

2164th - Here Yoni describeds intractable problems of a multinational force. UN deal today is perfect example.

7/25/2006 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Our host went to Eden for inspiration, following his lead I have found inspiration from a bit of text describing Ishmael (Yes, that one).

“[H]e shall be a wild-ass of a man: his hand against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him…”

doug,

Margarita and I have been paired and spared, we’ve cared, dared and even occasionally blared, but impaired? Never!

7/25/2006 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Isn't Aug 22 the date the Mullahs want to reset their UN response to?

7/25/2006 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

Security risk vs. leadership role.

Not the same thing, doug.

7/25/2006 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, Barney Frank is a US Senator!

7/25/2006 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Enscout,

"Security risk vs. leadership role".

Only if the leadership role doesn't entail handling that government's classified information.

Mayor, City Council, no problem. Above that any information that can be used to coerce a leader is still fair game in the security world. Changing, yes, changed, not quite....

Or, probably I misunderstood your post....

7/25/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

And, Barney Frank is VERY proud of his other-ness (sorry, not PC), er... gayness.

If anyone attempted to coerce using the gay issue, well they deserve their position in society.

7/25/2006 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

What in the world are those blue helmets doing standing around in a "War Zone?"

7/25/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Video, just video....

7/25/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

doug;

would you vote for him?

or any other sexual perv? Like Clinton?

7/25/2006 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

danmyers:

It's all about trust.

Couldn't trust slick in a room alone with a WH page.

Wouldn't trust ole Barn in a room alone with doug. :o)

7/25/2006 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

can't ccoojpi control keyboard..... :-)

7/25/2006 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

...hear about the two old spinsters who decided to be Frank with each other?

7/25/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'm too old to get pregnant.

7/25/2006 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

What a shame it is t read headline stories about elected officials caught with their hand in the cookie jar (or Cookies drawers).

Doesn't everyone realize how damaging these events are to a democratic society?

No wonder our youth are apathetic about politics.

In order for a democratic republic to survive, it requires participation from an educated and INFORMED populus.

Without it, who knows, they might even get terrorists elected to powerful status.

7/25/2006 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Uh Hmmm.... (as he clears his throat, looking as dignified as his low-born status can muster)...

Doesn't take long for this to degenerate :-)

LGF has an interesting piece about Lebanese counterfeiting

7/25/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"No wonder our youth are apathetic about politics. "
---
Clinton was INSPIRED by JFK.
(I promise to stop soon)

7/25/2006 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Charles of LGF was on Dennis Prager Show for a full hour.
They would not disclose the deep secret of the LGF name source.
Mentioned growing up in Hawaii and hang gliding:
That didn't help this febrile brain.

7/25/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

From Terrorist Manual, Page 13.

The Military Organization dictates a number of requirements to assist it in confrontation and endurance.

These are:
1. Forged documents and counterfeit currency
2. Apartments and hiding places
3. Communication means
4. Transportation means
5. Information
6. Arms and ammunition
7. Transport


With a little emphasis and formatting clean-up of my own, apologies.

7/25/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Forgot to HT BabbaZee of LGF post....

7/25/2006 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Wasn't it Frank who said "I'm not a practicing homosexual, I'm good at it"? or was that Stubbs?

7/25/2006 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

emscout,

Nasralla is a terrorist and a meglomaniacal killer.

Intention was to use Nasrallah as an example of am ambitious man. Showing the choices a man of ambition can make in Lebanon. The situation without representative democracy in Lebanon favors the path Nasrallah has taken.

If the system is unchanged then even if Nasrallah is deposed another of the same will fill his place.

7/25/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Stubbs is not all that great a name for that line of work, I wouldn't think.

CNBC reported today that Hez banks have been one of IAF's main downtown targets--they've hit 7 or 8 of 'em, including one that was working with Watchovia here in the USA. Watchovia has severed connectioned in the last few days, reported CNBC. Hez is appealing for funds, giving among others a USA phone number where the answerer tells you to wire from any American bank to MidEastAfrica Bank (MEA), "but do NOT tell anyone the money is for hezzbollah".

7/25/2006 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

1000-1200 year old bible found, The book was found open to a page describing, in Latin script, Psalm 83, in which God hears complaints of other nations' attempts to wipe out the name of
Israel.

Don't you just love this stuff........

7/25/2006 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

unaha-closp

Not sure I would use 'ambitious' as the best desciption for a man like Nasty Nas.

Kinda get your drift but...

It's just that - I'm sure there are lots of ambitious Lebanese not lobbing rockets into neighboring countries.

7/25/2006 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Poor wretchard, he starts a serious topic, "a garden without fences and by the time it gets into the seventies comments he gets a "zoo without bars". i hope he has a sense of humor. With or without margarita.

mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

7/25/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The actual Muslim Proverb is "A gerden without a fence is like a dog without a tail". Check it yourself. A little peep into a mind that, hmm, doesn't make very apt proverbs, for starters.

7/25/2006 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Unaha--the basic idea of democracy is, you get ahead on the strength of your ideas, not your ammo.

7/25/2006 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

The dog barks, the caravan passes. The meaning of which is...

7/25/2006 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

enscout wrote:

A homosexual or alcoholic or drug user or (fill in with any other person in whom you would not want to trust the lives of your loved ones).

Exsqueeze me, there are thousands of gays and lesbians serving in the armed forces right now (many in the Sandbox) even if they currently have to keep their "enchantment" quiet under the Don't Ask Don't Tell rule, which I guarantee won't be in force under President Hillary. By the same token, there are lots of breeders with piss-poor judgment, some of them are even manning airport security.

7/25/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

"Israel has become Janet Reno on a global scale."

2164th, just a note to let you know that some wingnut is posting using your name. You oughta sue.

7/25/2006 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Teresita, didn't he mean the security risk of blackmail? No flack on character, just on customs.

7/25/2006 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Breeders?

hmm

7/25/2006 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Buddy

The basic idea of democracy is one man, one vote.

7/25/2006 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I spent the decade of the 70's as a "Cracker," and now I guess I'm in for a decade, or so, as a Breeder.

Does it never end?

Sigh

7/25/2006 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

OT> I do think that Desert Rat had enough hash marks, time in grade, and various oak and silver leafs, to go over the paltry two or three comment limit. I am an interloper in wretchard's lair, but do miss his comments and points of view of rat man.

re: wingnut, Dan warned me! I'll get one of my Jew lawyers right on it. .....(and to the uninitiated that is my sardonic humor, and not anything to fret about and not to be repeated, but a nod to the late great misunderstood Richard Milhouse Nixon.)

7/25/2006 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger RDS said...

I love the idea of a "Foreign Legion" of Gomezes; we oughta raise a brigade or two of Gurkhas while we're at it!

The Brits have been slacking off in that area and enlistment would be well oversubscribed.

If I were President, that's what I'd do.

I have a feeling the Generals would hate the idea.

7/25/2006 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

terasita:

Not sure I'm using the grunt in the foxhole as an example of one in a leadership role. Although there is certainly plenty of trust required for many in combat.

Paul's letters to Timothy clearly mandated that leaders be held to a higher standard. I think that holds true today.

Lack of trust in today's leadership is a huge problem. See C S Lewis' 'The Abolition of Man'

7/25/2006 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

How about this? The 2nd front at Metula will be the "Main" Force, and it will be the one that turns North.

7/25/2006 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Kofi Annan is a wonder. In 10 years he claims he didn't get a whiff of wrongdoing while his office mates and cronies stuffed their pockets with millions of dollars of oil vouchers, but he knows from a news report without further inquiry that Israel deliberately attacked a UN outpost.

Why are criminal incompetents like Kofi Annan tolerated in positions of responsibility? It's a rhetorical question but that doesn't make the answer any less onerous and unpalatable.

7/25/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Enscout,

Lebanese Shia got 2 choices accept servitude or fight. The government has taxation wealth and international recognition. To fight the government the Shia need lots of guns, they get them with certain conditions attached from Syria and Iran. Condition 101 - Israel is the enemy.

7/25/2006 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Unaha, right--I shoulda said "a" not "the". But, the point is, no nation will go anywhere, held hostage to its lowest common denominator. Or 'dominator', as it were.

7/25/2006 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Osama, that's total bullshit. They fire off rockets from houses with little children inside. They're pure terrorists, and murderers. They are supported by people like themselves.

7/25/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

rufus is right--that's soft bigotry of low expectations, with blood poured all over it.

"Oh, I can't help murdering, I'm SO de-prived!"

7/25/2006 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Jeez, let Hezz pull a Ghandi campaign, if that's what it takes to get ratiuonal representation. In Lebanon, I mean.

7/25/2006 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Last comment, I'm being piggish, but wanted to ask Unaha, have we finally defined-down deviancy as low as it can possibly go? Terror is a legitimate politics?

7/25/2006 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Rufus,
We sold Israel the sam bunker busters that we hold in are own inventory. 500 I believe. The germs and the ex-sovs have been digging deep. We aren't privy to the specifics and the campaign will show how close we are to the mark.

7/25/2006 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

unaha-closp

The transition from anarchy (settling disputes with gunfire or dismemberment) to some type of civil society where one might provide safety for one's family will never happen as long as locals maintain your mindset.

Could be why most of the ME has been such a toilet for the last, oh, say 1300 years.

If you expect men to look the other way while your buddies use violent means costing innocent lives to satisfy their lust for power - oh yeah - ambition, think again.

7/25/2006 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

At long last, an Israeli publicly gets it and says what needs saying. Ehud Barak and many in the “peace movement” will never get it.

Wretchard, sometimes there can be more than one snake in the garden at the same time. Always, they say the “right” thing.

“SLA Israel's Shame” by Yoni: http://yoni.townhall.com/Default.aspx

7/25/2006 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

They're just murderers who need to be killed. That's all they've ever been. Period.

7/25/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Must beat working for a living.

7/25/2006 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Barak must be a horrible embarressment (kind of like Jimmeh Cahteh.)

7/25/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Buddy, as a "Hero" of mine said: "Dying ain't no living, Son."

7/25/2006 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

As a resident of Jimmeh's home state, I am constantly barraged with the Jimmeh Cahteh Centeh for Peace.

Carter Center Peace Programs include:

* The Americas Program improving the quality of democracy, thwarting corruption, increasing transparency, and decreasing social inequities in the Western Hemisphere
* The Conflict Resolution Program making peace by preventing and resolving armed and political conflicts around the globe
* The Democracy Program working for the development of democratic societies worldwide by observing elections, strengthening the capacity of civic organizations, and promoting the rule of law
* The Global Development Initiative assisting developing countries with the expertise to help them devise their own plans for sustainable development, and
* Human Rights Initiatives intervening on behalf of victims of human rights abuses and integrating human rights approaches and principles into the activities of all Carter Center programs.

7/25/2006 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The Carter Presidency: One-hundred-year cleanup now in progress (outcome, developing).

7/25/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

No wonder the Israeli's are blowing up the U.N. towers.

While the Israeli's are blowing up the roads to keep Syria from re-supplying the Hez, the U.N. are busy repairing them.

7/25/2006 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Recollections of an old breeder:(by the way,Terasita,where's your empirical evidence of 1000's of poofters and pooferettes in the Green Machine?,Doubt it.)
Recollection:Great moments in Lebanese history(other than the blond hash we smoked in the 70's).The Mossad used an agent disguised as an English schoolmarm to set off a massive cache of plastique in Beirut and eliminate the head of Red October,Husseini, along with several other PLO rodents
in about 1974.
What became of the Phalange and all the Gemayals?Are they running convenience stores in Toledo?

7/25/2006 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Buddy,

Terror is a legitimate politics?

I think terror against Israel is stupid, because it won't work as Israel ain't going nowhere and ain't going to give in - stupidity is not justifiable.

Enscout,

My mindset is that there should be a democracy in Lebanon and that this could solve most of the problems. The Shia get the taxation, but not the representation in Lebanon - motivation for a rebellion perhaps.

7/25/2006 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Peter Boston - but he knows from a news report without further inquiry that Israel deliberately attacked a UN outpost.

Why are criminal incompetents like Kofi Annan tolerated in positions of responsibility?


Apparantly, this post had been shelled in past days and was a topic of urgent talk beween the UN and Israel about why shells had been directed at a clearly mapped and marked UNFIL observation post. Then the airstrike today, along with at least 14 shells fired at Indian forces trying to do rescue ops on the bombed site. So far, the dead include a Canadian, Austian, Finn, and a Chinese observor.

Sounds like Kofi does have a right to wonder why a clearly marked, longtime UN base was attacked over 3 days.

Be sure the Israelis and their US allies will swear it was as mistaken as the attacks on the USS Liberty. Or - maybe they will avoid that analogy...

********************
On Wretchards post, Nasrallah is actually Hezbollah leader only because Israel thought whacking the two past Hez leaders would "decapitate" the organization. Which tends to show the Lefty fetish with war being unecessary as long as "Mr. Head Evildoer, the Mastermind....if captured or killed, will collapse any organization and make "killing innocents" a thing of the past.

Focusing on any individual in an ideological movement with broad popular support - Arafat, Nasrallah, Saddam, bin Laden - appears to me to be a waste of time. The organization simply gets another able leader and moves forward.

****************

I believe the Hez-Israel Conflict has effectively put an end to Neocon assurances that Iran's missiles and nuke program can be destroyed in a US or Israel "cakewalk" with a "high tech, surgical precision bombing raid". Irans motley irregular proxies have taken 2 weeks of intense shelling and 3300 "surgical" bombings and are still tossing missiles out, whomping IDF "special ops supersoldiers" in every other battle - and announced they are ready to escalate.

************************
And of course, not to be overlooked, Baghdad pacification went so badly in the last month, that the US is sending in more troops and it is unlikely that any reductions in total numbers in Iraq will happen before the elections - that appear as of now will lead to Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid or a Teddy/Schumer/Dodd challenge.

And of course Bush's good friend and noble-purple fingered hero, the Iraqi PM was in town to share his gratitude and America-love today...

If we get sucked into another war, will that mean more tax cuts for the wealthy will be pledged by Bush? My accountant wants to know.

7/25/2006 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"What became of the Phalange and all the Gemayals?"

Mostly, hunted and picked off (the Gemayels usually by massive explosives under a manhole cover) or forced into emigration by the Islamists. No notice in the World...after all, they were only Christians....

7/25/2006 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Pofarmer said...

"Sounds like Kofi does have a right to wonder why a clearly marked, longtime UN base was attacked over 3 days. "

Well, it IS known that the UNFIL forces in the area have a "working relationship" with Hezbollah. It would probably be smart for them to clear the area.

7/25/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

rufus,

Mr. Barak is symptomatic of Western pathology; Peter Pan, perhaps. Mr. Clinton would know.

"I wish, therefore, it is."

Tinkerbell! Tinkerbell! Help!

None of us is safe until the last baby-boomer is safely buried. That would include me.

7/25/2006 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Well, I'm going to bed. If I don't get up, that'll be one down.

7/25/2006 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

trangbang68 said:

Terasita,where's your empirical evidence of 1000's of poofters and pooferettes in the Green Machine?,Doubt it.

Total personnel in US Military= 1,450,689

Total that is female=14.9%

Males= 1,234,536
Females=216,153

In a US study, the prevalence of homosexuality was estimated to be 2.1% of men and 1.5% of women. [Gilman SE. Am J Public Health. 2001; 91: 933-9.]"

1,234,536 * 0.021= 25,925 poofts
216,153 * 0.015 = 3,242 crested hens

The figure for lesbians may be higher since many were inspired by Xena the Warrior Princess to enlist.

7/25/2006 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

If the Israelis need three days to take down a defenseless UN post they 1) obviously aren't trying--unless they are simply trying to shoo them out of the area 2) been sucking too much Mogan David 3) might as well give up the fight now as they have totally lost their touch or 4)been involved in a series of battlefield errors. Why in the world would they want to shoot up a UN post? With all the bad publicity that brings in tow.

7/25/2006 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

The elephant in this room is Syria.

Every one here assumes that Syria is off the table for Israel.

If Israel goes after Syria all the above calulations change.

I went out on a limb a year ago and said that the withdrawal from Gaza was a prelude to the destruction of Palestinian ambitions.

The Sharon Plan.

I'm going out on a limb here. Since the logic of the situation requires a war with Syria, there will be a war with Syria.

This is exactly the analysis I used in figuring out what Sharon was up to.

So ask yourself what does the logic of the situation require? Assuming a positive outcome for Israel and the West.

7/26/2006 12:18:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

C4,

I have heard that the Hezzies like to set up their arty next to UN posts.

Perhaps Israeli counter battery fire is not up to their usual accuracy standards (cough).

Perhaps some one was given mistaken co-ordinates. (cough).

All kinds of accidents can take place in a shooting war. (spit)

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

I don't know why the UN hasn't been cleared out already. Obviously they are not keeping the peace.

Perhaps their current job is providing battle field intel for parties unknown (cough).

7/26/2006 12:29:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

trangbang68,

Ah yes. The blond Lebanese. Makes you weak in the knees.

Forty Days in the Hole.

Perhaps the CIA will get active in the area again and develop its business assets in the usual way.

7/26/2006 12:52:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I would lay about 10-1 that the UN post was transmitting intel to the Hez. I assume that the IDF would have checked the credentials of the occupants so the inescapable conclusion is either that the UN personnel were providing cover for a Hez imposter, who was transmitting the intel, or some or all the UN personnel were acting directly for the enemy. Israel has the capability to monitor all electronic communications so the evidence, if it exists, is on tape.

Since Annan was so quick with the accusation we can probably also assume that he was either informed of the situation by Israel or that he is an actor. Either way the perfidy of Mr. Annan has no bounds.

One also has to wonder how much of the billions that has been spent on UN "peacekeeping" missions on Annan's watch has found its way into the bank accounts of Annan's family members and cronies.

7/26/2006 01:19:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

M.Simon, 12:18
I share your opinion.

If Syria is facilitating Iranian support of the Hezzies, Syria must be dealt with. To do othewise is exercise in futility.

The situation with Iran has not gone onto a back burner. Iranian nuclear technicians haven't suspended work in order to watch al-Jazeera and CNN Internaciale all day long. Iran is moving closer to its nuclear fantasies. It would be in the best interests of Israel, Iraq and the US to have Syria out the way first.
********************************
Trish:

You're right. It will be difficult, but what choice does Israel have. Things have come to a head lately. It's obvious to anyone but the most foolish or ignorant that militant Islam is making its move. Look how Hez has grown in the last few years. A regular army, trained and equipped. A few more years of UN neglect could be too late.

Israel must move now. Like it or not.

7/26/2006 02:14:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"Perhaps the CIA will get active in the area again and develop its business assets in the usual way."

Do you mean have Joe Wilson drink mint tea by the pool while Valerie Plame scouts Vanity Fair photoshoot locations?

7/26/2006 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

2164th,

No sweat.

whit,

What choice do the Israelis have?

Having chosen in the first place to go down this road, the choice now is between going all the way and part of the way.

Part of the way will not get them back out again.

7/26/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

If we follow Ajami's analysis to its logical conclusion, then the historical equivalent to the kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers is the Defenestration of Prague - the opening shot of the Thirty Years' War which eventually sucked all Europe into its wake and left Germany depopulated and devastated.

On days like this, I hope very much that I'm wrong...

7/26/2006 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Here is a scholarly web site on the political situation in Lebanon written in November 2005. The author believed that Hezbollah was not making headway. Who do you believe will come out stronger when this ends, Hezbollah or Israeli security?

Lebanese Political Journal
This site is intended to provide in-depth analysis in English on the political situation in Lebanon.

Hezbollah

Hezbollah is under constant threat.
GROUP I
A) They must always worry about a direct military threat from Israel.
B) They must placate their Iranian and Syrian sponsors.
C) They must maintain their base of support through social programs and fiery speeches.
D) They must figure out how this politics stuff works now that they have joined the government.

Add to all of this
GROUP II
E) UN resolutions against them
F) the anger of other Lebanese parties
G) inconsistent Syrian policies they must support, thus diminishing their credibility
H) finding some way to keep internal Lebanese parties from actually disarming them

Hezbollah is being cornered. Everything they are trying to accomplish in GROUP I is predicated on what happens with GROUP II. Their entire organization could potentially fall apart, although that will not happen.

Without their weapons, Hezbollah is merely a Shia religious party. Hezbollah currently claims it is secular and against sectarianism (which is not at all true in practice), but they will have no way to make such claims if they lose the muqawama [resistance].



http://lebop.blogspot.com/
2005/11/aoun-rising-power-balance-shifts.html

7/26/2006 11:17:00 AM  

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