Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Knife-Thrower at the Carnival 2

The July 26 UNIFIL press release is out. And it's worth reading extensively.

Yesterday evening at 19:30, at least one aerial bomb impacted directly on the building inside the patrol base of the Observer Group Lebanon (OGL) in the area of Khiyam in the eastern sector. The three-story building and the position were entirely destroyed. At the time, there were 4 unarmed military observers in the position from different nationalities. A UNIFIL rescue team was immediately dispatched to the location, and is still trying to clear the rubble. They retrieved the bodies of three observers, and are searching for the fourth, who is also feared dead. The Secretary General of the United Nations gave a statement last night in Rome concerning this incident.

Prior to this incident, very intensive aerial bombardment and shelling from the Israeli side was reported in the area of Khiyam, and there were 14 prior incidents of firing close to this position by aerial bombs and artillery shells. At 18:30, four artillery shells fired from the Israeli side directly impacted inside the position, causing extensive damage on the building and the shelter. UNIFIL Force Commander was in repeated contact with Israeli Army officers throughout the afternoon, pressing the need to protect that particular UN position from firing.

Another UN position of the Ghanaian battalion in the area of Marwahin in the western sector was also directly hit by one mortar round from the Hezbollah side last night. The round did not explode, and there were no casualties or material damage. Another 5 incidents of firing close to UN positions from the Israeli side were reported yesterday. It was also reported that Hezbollah fired from the vicinity of four UN positions at Alma ash Shab, Tibnin, Brashit, and At Tiri. All UNIFIL positions remain occupied and maintained by the troops.


From the information given, this incident is somewhat different from previously reported close-firing incidents in that the "UNIFIL Force Commander was in repeated contact with Israeli Army officers throughout the afternoon, pressing the need to protect that particular UN position from firing." From the narrative we see:

Time Event
12:00 - 18:30 14 instances of close firing
18:30 four IDF artillery shells directly inside the position, causing extensive damage to the building and shelter. [By itself this would have been the most serious incident to date]
19:30 bomb destroys building in OGL
post 19:30 UNIFIL rescue team dispatched

The one question unanswered by the UNIFIL press release is what the Israelis were firing at. There is no indication that the Hezbollah were firing from Kiyam in the press release. Alma ash Shab, Tibnin, Brashit, and At Tiri, but no Kiyam. On this circumstance hangs much of Kofi Annan's accusation, and one should keep an open mind on whether or not the UN post was targeted deliberately until that question is resolved. However, I'll leave the readers with some idea of Kiyams topography from Google map. Kiyam (33.3256 35.6106) is a town of about 16,400 people on a ridge overlooking a lot of battlefield. There's a reason why the OGL post is located there. Here's Kiyam looking due south, towards Israel. As can be seen from the image, it commands a view of the Israel's Hula Valley all the way to Sea of Galilee and beyond.

I have no pictures of the patrol base itself, but here's a closer look at Kiyam showing a large structure on the highest local point on the ridge, which may or may not be the OGL post, but it would certainly be a good place to put it, but the same reasons would apply to a Hezbollah position.

It is quite apart from the rest of the town, but as the photo below (not Kiyam) shows, Hezbollah sometimes locates its facilities very close to UNIFIL positions. (Hat tip for the picture, Israelly Cool) This has been described as "intentional" or proof of UN collusion. However that may be, simple topography will explain why the positions are located so close together. From time immemorial the high ground has always been valuable. If the IDF take Kiyam they'll probably put an observation post there too. It's a good place to observe the action -- or direct spot the fall of Katyusha fire into the Hula Valley.

 

 

Also, Little Green Footballs quotes retired Canadian Major General Lewis Mackenzie who was interviewed on CBC radio as saying he had received emails from "a few days ago ... What he was telling us was Hezbollah soldiers were all over his position and the IDF were targeting them. And that’s a favorite trick by people who don’t have representation in the UN. They use the UN as shields knowing that they can’t be punished for it." It's not clear whether this was in reference to Kiyam.

97 Comments:

Blogger soflauthor said...

It's obvious that Hezballah, along with virtually every terrorist group, uses architectural shields (schools, hospitals, mosques), civilian shields (women, children, other non-combatants), and quasi-governmental shields (in this case, the UN outpost) as it attacks its enemies. Current western military doctrine attempts to avoid attacking any one of these shield categories.

The question, therefore, is what to do when a legitimate target exists in the vicinity of a shield and the target is actively causing death and destruction by its presence?

If you attack and obliterate the target, you will probably destroy the shield as well. Bombed schools, mutilated civilians, and dead UN “peacekeepers” make great copy for the NYT and CNN, and allow the terrorists a propaganda victory.

I don’t know what to do about this. My questions to the group are:

(1) Is there a viable 21st century strategy for dealing with this (recognizing the realities of global media and the pressure that shield destruction put on a Western military force)?

(2) If there is no viable strategy, can a “war” against an entrenched terrorist organization ever be won?

Interested in your comments, if you choose.

7/26/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

soflauthor,

The characteristic feature of all these shields is that they consist of civilization's values themselves. The brilliance of the new barbarism is that you cannot fight it without destroying your own value system into the bargain.

Traditionally the solution has been to consider wartime a discontinuity, when civilization's rules are suspended. It becomes possible, for example, to lay waste to the Monte Cassino Abbey. Berlin was bombed without regard for its buildings, churches or people.

The alternative is to create methods of fighting so discriminating that we can literally shoot between the raindrops. But that creates a different problem, for we will need an intelligence system so comprehensive that it will become intrusive.

Either way, the war cannot be won without cost. And the fundamental fraud foisted on the public is to claim we can have war without horror, conduct an intelligence war without dishonesty and cunning and obtain victory without sacrifice.

7/26/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Another update: Again thanks to dave the mad jock for a link to an interview on CBC radio with Canadian retired major general Lewis Mackenzie, discussing the death of a Canadian peacekeeper, one of four killed at the UN outpost on Tuesday, whom he knew:

We received emails from him a few days ago, and he was describing the fact that he was taking fire within, in one case, three meters of his position for tactical necessity, not being targeted. Now that's veiled speech in the military. What he was telling us was Hezbollah soldiers were all over his position and the IDF were targeting them. And that's a favorite trick by people who don't have representation in the UN. They use the UN as shields knowing that they can't be punished for it.

From Harry's Place

7/26/2006 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What is the UN Supposed to be accomplishing by remaining in the midst of a live-fire zone???

7/26/2006 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The brilliance of the new barbarism is that you cannot fight it without destroying your own value system into the bargain"
---
A value system that is not reality based is of no value.
- Doug

7/26/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Doug,
The relevant official is probably on holiday or at an International Symposium on Racism,these people are very busy.

7/26/2006 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Mark White said...

Another alternative Wretchard doesn't mention is to attack the sources of terrorist funding. That can turn the Long War into a Short War. Strategy Page noted today tht on July 26, 2006, Persians from Teheran gave the US Marines an opening to liberate the Shiite Ahwazi Arabs and defund the mullahs' terror operations. Persia's kangaroo court in southwestern Khuzestan province sentenced ten Arabs, accused organizers for last January's Arab resistance bombings there, to death by hanging.

The Persians have only barely kept things quiet in Khuzestan by sending in thousands of additional Persian police and troops, because the majority Shiite Arab population is and feels oppressed by their Persian occupiers. Since most of Iran's oil is here, and the Arabs are still angry at the Persians, the US Marines would be welcomed if accompanied by Iraqi troops bearing Ayatollah Sistani's blessings.

To the north, the Persian oppressors are still working to calm down hurt feelings among the Turkic Azeris, after some nasty comments about Azeris were published in state controlled media. Also, Persian oppressors are trying to keep a lid on separatists Kurds by shelling the Kurdish villages in Iraq where they shelter. With the Persian empire splintering under the weight of the mullahs' oppression, a firm push by the Anglosphere+ Alliance (US-UK-Canada-Australia-NZ-India + Japan + Germany) and Ayatollah Sistani could liberate Shia Arabs in both Khuzestan and in Saudi Arabia's Hasa Province (where most Wahabbi oil is), and defund both forms of Islamofascism, stopping nuclear weapons development in Iran and Pakistan (which the Wahabbis fund, along with the madrassas that create popular support for Islamofascism).

This is the ideal way to respond to terrorists funded by Iran's ten billion dollar effort to create allies of Syria, Hizbollah and some Iraqi political parties. Once the Anglosphere+ Alliance puts international administration in charge of oil production in Khuzestan and Hasa provinces, non-mullah Persians and non-royal Bedouin would see notable increases in infrastructure and educational spending in their regions, even as the Shia Arabs of would see vast increases in those provinces. The key is eliminating spending on nuclear weapons and terror cells. Iranian public opinion will support the change, since it's no secret that Iran's mullahs have spent billions of dollars on Hizbollah aid, only to have Israeli firepower destroy it. Many Iranians still live in poverty, and they are not happy with all the money spent, and apparently wasted, in south Lebanon.

The Persians cannot feel very confident that Russian arms deals will protect them after seeing how US arms took apart Saddam's army. Within the last year, Iran has bought nearly a billion dollars worth of Russian weapons, and all that is subject to destruction, along with the mullahs themselves, if the mullahs don't surrender Khuzestan intact. Ditto with what the Saudis have spent on their weapons. Both empires have many poor who would be better off with roads and hospitals and schools that teach civil engineering rather than jihad.

We don't have to suspend the normal rules -- we only have to state those conditions that will lead to a suspension. If the terror masters believe we'll follow through, they'll stand down to avoid the consequences.

Of course, the fact that we've created methods of fighting so discriminating that we can almost literally shoot between the raindrops will encourage the individuals who run terror regimes to think twice, since they have to hide very well to avoid getting found (and even Saddam, the master of concealment, eventually got found). An intelligence system so comprehensive that it will become intrusive in the lives of dictators would not be such a bad thing.

This way, the war perhaps can be won without cost. The fundamental fraud foisted on the public is to claim what we are fighting is a war against terror, when we let the terror masters have and use assets against us that we could easily take away in a conventional battle, and could likely take away simply by threatening battle in the terror masters' homes. Sure, the UN and the French would call our actions horrible, but according to them we can't have war without horror no matter what we do.

We can't obtain victory without sacrifice -- the mullahs and wahabbis will have to sacrifice their funding sources.

7/26/2006 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Alan Dershowitz on Israel, Hezbollah, and Morality--From the Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2006: "Israel must be allowed to finish the fight that Hamas and Hezbollah started, even if that means civilian casualties in Gaza and Lebanon.
A democracy is entitled to prefer the lives of its own innocents over the lives of the civilians of an aggressor.
LINK

7/26/2006 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger GoatGuy said...

Soflauthor, Wretchard,

The brilliance of the "new barbarism" can be met with the sturdy resolve of the "new humanitarianism", I would say.

As in this example, where the non-combatants are being used as proxy shields to thwart counter-offensive retaliatory fire, the "new humanitarianism" would see Israel go the extra mile, to employ pinpoint accuracy A-10 type aerial gunships to massively, unambiguosly and conclusively destroy the parasitic terrorists. The problem is that such aerial gunships take time to position, which allows the enemy to fire off an extended and dangerous volley, essentially without needing to take cover. So, the humanitarianism needs to balance the expendiency of immediately neutralizing the intended target to the probability of harming the noncombats themselves.

Coined, rather darkly some time ago, as the Calculus of War. For these are among the estimable, assessible and decidable factors governing the rational use of deadly force to quash the pockets of an insidious foe.

7/26/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger ambisinistral said...

Looking at the map of southern Lebanon posted in the other thread by rufus...

Maybe the slow going in the central area of the southern border was to draw as many Hezb fighters south as possible and fix them in position there?

Then push a main force north towards Khaim to split the Hezb forces and put the IDF north of the bend of the Litani. That allows them to both threaten the Bekka Valley amd cover the north bank of the Litani.

As a side effect, it also would call Syria's bluff by putting the IDF so close to the Syrian border.

I wonder if those bunker busters they ordered have been delivered yet?

7/26/2006 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

5:38 PM Maybe they were waiting til today on that 7-Story HQ in Tyre, cause the right bomb had yet to arrive?

7/26/2006 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Back in May we had a discussion about legalisms on the WOT. For the record, the era of complete and total warfare ended on August 15, 1945, the Victory over Japan Day or VJ Day. Later The Cold War codified wars by proxy and later still the West and the US stepped in to say we will no longer accept ethnic cleansing as in Kosovo. Thus the practical constraints on methods of warfare have continuously restricted the West and the US since August of 1945.

We recently, at TBC, discussed the restrictions placed on us by improved targetting. That brings us to the reality we have created. All these western creations and innovations, which include restrictions on methods of warfare, democratic elections, improved targetting of weapons have all been a means to hamper the response to The Grand Islamic Jihad Against the West. They have cleverly twisted us and have proven to be cynical but masterful chess players. Israel has fallen into a trap set for them by Iran and Hezbollah. Anything short of total victory by Israel will be a win for Hezbollah. Israel has already lost the diplomacy and politics. A complete change in tactics is required. Back in May I suggested..

"The most sacred human law is above any court, convention or treaty. It is the Law of Survival. It is the ultimate form of justice and it is time to engage. We know who the enemy is. They told us. We know where they meet. We know a lot about them. It is time to go silent and go dark. No speeches, no threats, no lawyers, no mercy. Isolate and eliminate the radical clerics, financial supporters, politicians, tacticians, academics, theorists, and all supporters of radical Islam. We will find Islamic friends and allies to do most of the work. There is no other way to win this war."

I fail to see that we have any choice if we are serious about winning this WOT.

7/26/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Bon Air said...

Doug said...
"The brilliance of the new barbarism is that you cannot fight it without destroying your own value system into the bargain"
---
A value system that is not reality based is of no value.
- Doug

5:14 PM

Well said.

These evil beings have no code of conduct. They will do anything and they believe in their cause. What do you do? destroy them, kill them, do not waiver.

If we keep doing things the way we have done in the past, we will get the same results.

UN troops........please.

7/26/2006 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Israel lost 22 soldiers in a single incident in Jenin because they wouldn't fire on a young Palestinian boy who had been wired for detonation. In my opinion the immorality was the policy that caused the soldiers' hesitation.

The moral imperative is to not intentionally cause excessive civilian casualties. The civilain populations that provide succor to the likes of Hamas and Hizbu'allah must bear the consequences of their decisions. One of the reasons that the Palestinian cesspool has remained fetid for two generations is because there has never been any consequences for even the most heinous acts.

7/26/2006 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger The_Head_Jimmy said...

A Canadian soldier's report from South Lebanon

"We have had a brief "tactical pause" in the action here, so I am taking this opportunity to provide you some information on the situation here in south Lebanon. At the outset, I will provide you with a brief background on who I am, What the Org and Mission is here and then answer some of the bank of questions you provided.

Background

My name is Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener, and I am an Infantry Officer with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, of the Canadian Forces. I was sent to this Mission (United Nations Truce and Supervision Organization -UNTSO) last October 05, and am currently serving as an unarmed Military Observer. I have now been stationed here in south Lebanon for Approximately nine months.

I am currently writing to you from the UN Patrol Base Khiam, which is situated approximately 10 km from the nexus of the Israeli, Lebanese and Syrian Borders. I am serving with Observer Group Lebanon, or OGL, and I am on Team Sierra. The Patrol Base is named after the village it is situated in, El Khiam, which sits on one of four ridges which dominates both the Hasbani River valley, which then changes to the Houla Valley when it crosses the Lebanon-Israel border 10 km to our south.
A Canadian soldier mans a guard tower at Camp Ziouani, Golan Heights, in 2002. Thousands of Canadians have served in this border region since 1958. (Photo: MCpl Frank Hudec, Canadian Forces Combat Camera)

A Canadian soldier mans a guard tower at Camp Ziouani, Golan Heights, in 2002. Thousands of Canadians have served in this border region since 1958. (Photo: MCpl Frank Hudec, Canadian Forces Combat Camera

The patrol base was initially an observation post and was built in 1972, but was later destroyed in 1976 during the fighting between the PLO and the South Lebanese Army (SLA). In 1978 it was rebuilt again and manned by elements of the Norwegian Battalion serving with UNIFIL. In 1980, Observer Group Lebanon (OGL) assumed responsibility for it. Historically, the area of the El Khiam and Hasbani valleys to the north and the Houla valley to the south have been the main axis for invasion in to Lebanon and Palestinian Territories.

Mission

The mission of Team Sierra and OGL within the greater context of UNTSO is to maintain the integrity of theWithdrawal Line (Blue Line), and report on any and all violations or activities that threaten the cease-fire and international peace and security here along the Lebanese/Israeli border, and Israeli Occupied Lebanon, and to support the UNSC resolution 1559, within our mission mandate.

Information Requested

(1) Currently, there are several nationalities that are here on the patrol base with me. I am serving with an Australian, Chinese, Finnish, Austrian, and Irish Officers. They come from various different backgrounds, levels of experience and services (Army, Navy and Air Force) from within their militaries.

(2) I have been here for nine months of a one-year tour of duty. Since I have arrived here in Lebanon, this current incident is the fourth I have seen and by far the most spectacular and intensive.

* The first was 21 Nov 05, when the Hezbollah tried to capture IDF soldiers from an IDF observation position overlooking the Wazzani river near the town of Ghajjar on the Blue Line. This action was unsuccessful and resulted in the deaths of the Hezbollah raiding force.
* On 01 Feb 06, a young shepherd boy was Killed by an IDF patrol near an abandon goat farm called Bastarra. Hassan Nasrallah (note: Hezbollah's leader) vowed that there would be consequences to this action. Team Sierra was tasked on 2 Feb 06, to assist in the investigation of the incident, and we sent one team to do so while the other team conducted its normal mobile patrolling activities.
* On 03 Feb 06, a limited engagement took place initiated by the Hezbollah on several of the IDF defensive positions located in occupied Lebanon.
* Then on 28 May, the Islamic Jihad (PLO) fired rockets from South Lebanon, into Israel, which elicited an immediate aerial bombardment of positions near our patrol base and in the Bekka valley.

(3) Our Team's normal operational activities are to plan, and execute daily vehicle and foot patrols of the Blue Line area within our area of responsibility. Unfortunately, with the current artillery and aerial bombing campaign being carried out by the IDF/IAF, it is not safe or prudent for us to conduct normal patrol activities. Currently, we are observing and reporting on all activities in our area of responsibility, with specific attention to activities along the Blue Line, which is clearly visible from our hilltop position.

(4) Team Sierra is currently observing both IDF/IAF and Hezbollah military clashes from our vantage point which has a commanding view of the IDF positions on the Golan mountains to our east and the IDF positions along the Blue Line to our south, as well as, most of the Hezbollah static positions in and around our patrol Base. It appears that the lion's share of fighting between the IDF and Hezbollah has taken place in our area. On the night of 16 July, at 2125 hrs, a large firefight broke out between the Hezbollah and the IDF near a village called Majidyye and lasted for one hour and 40 minutes.

(5) Based on the intensity and volatility of this current situation and the unpredictability of both sides (Hezbollah and Israel), and given the operational tempo of the Hezbollah and the IDF, we are not safe to venture out to conduct our normal patrol activities. We have now switched to Observation Post Duties and are observing any and all violations as they occur.

This is all the information of a non-tactical nature that I can provide you. I cannot give you any info on Hezbollah position, proximity or the amount of or types of sorties the IAF is currently flying. Suffice to say that the activity levels and operational tempo of both parties is currently very high and continuous, with short breaks or pauses. Please understand the nature of my job here is to be impartial and to report violations from both sides without bias. As an Unarmed Military Observer, this is my raison d'etre.

What I can tell you is this: we have on a daily basis had numerous occasions where our position has come under direct or indirect fire from both artillery and aerial bombing. The closest artillery has landed within 2 meters of our position and the closest 1000 lb aerial bomb has landed 100 meters from our patrol base. This has not been deliberate targeting, but has rather been due to tactical necessity.

I thank you for the opportunity to provide you with some information from the front lines here in south Lebanon.

Maj Hess-von Kruedener"

7/26/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

soflauthor said:

The question, therefore, is what to do when a legitimate target exists in the vicinity of a shield and the target is actively causing death and destruction by its presence?...Is there a viable 21st century strategy for dealing with this (recognizing the realities of global media and the pressure that shield destruction put on a Western military force)?

There is a strategy, it was displayed at the Moscow Theater hostage crisis. The strategy is this: When terrorists fall back to a shield such as a theater, or a hospital, or a school, or a place of worship, they sign their own death warrant. The instant that happens, the army drops everything and goes into an implacable mode of killing all the terrorists inside at the smallest possible cost to the hostages but at any cost. (In Moscow 130 of 900 civilians were killed, but all 42 terrorists were killed). No live prisoners, no Abu Grahib, no Gitmo, no nothing. Everyone either dies immediately in the raid action or gets the coup de grace.

wretchard said...

The characteristic feature of all these shields is that they consist of civilization's values themselves. The brilliance of the new barbarism is that you cannot fight it without destroying your own value system into the bargain.

Only in surface appearances. As soon as a mosque is converted into a bunker, it ceases to be a mosque. As soon as an ambulance is converted into a troop carrier it ceases to be an ambulance. We'll have to write some of these off in the early going, but as soon as the word gets out that these things aren't particularly hardened targets the terrorists will learn to steer clear. Sure, destroying these shields will make for great images on the MSM, but one more 9-11 (especially a radioactive one) should pull the media's fangs for good as far as most mothers are concerned.

7/26/2006 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Officers in the Golani and Paratroops Brigades charged that the IDF employed insufficient force before the soldiers were deployed to search the homes. They said that once the civilians had been told to leave the town, the army should have regarded Bint Jbail as a battlefield and destroyed any home where Hezbollah guerrillas were suspected of hiding.
They also charged that not enough aircraft were used to attack targets.

The IDF's modus operandi in southern Lebanon in recent days has sparked great debate among all ranks of the army.
Many field officers argue that insufficient forces are being deployed in the fighting and that the army is being ineffective against Katyusha rocket launchers.
Haaretz

7/26/2006 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Ambisinistral, you said:

Maybe the slow going in the central area of the southern border was to draw as many Hezb fighters south as possible and fix them in position there?

Then push a main force north towards Khaim to split the Hezb forces and put the IDF north of the bend of the Litani. That allows them to both threaten the Bekka Valley amd cover the north bank of the Litani.


That was my first thought, also. I'm still holding out "some" hope that this could be the plan. If it was, "It would be Brilliant."

7/26/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Mark White @ 5:19 PM, excellent observations.

I would add this: We might also avoid the conundrum Wretchard elucidates and have an immediate salutary effect on the war against Hezbollah if we were to inform Assad that, in exchange for his continuing existence, we expect him to serve up certain entities on a platter. Starting with Nassrallah and Mughniyeh and Meshal.

7/26/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

How long is it going to take Israel to grind up Hezballah's outer shell of well trained troops and reach the soft underbelly of reservists?

I mean, they can't have that many well trained infantrymen, can they?

7/26/2006 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I'm sure you have all seen where a 1,000 year old Irish Psalm Book was dug out of the ground the other day. The Page it was turned to is interesting. It was an appeal to God for help because the surrounding nations were trying to destroy Israel.

One of the Psalms reads:

7 Gebal [TODAY JBEIL, LEBANON], [a] Ammon [Part of Jordan today I believe] and Amalek [SOUTHERN JORDAN/PARTS OF ISRAEL, ]
Philistia, with the people of Tyre.

8 Even Assyria has joined them
to lend strength to the descendants of Lot.
Selah

7/26/2006 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger The_Head_Jimmy said...

Human Shields In Bosnia

"The Serbs retaliated by taking hundreds of U.N. peacekeepers as hostages and turning them into human shields, chained to military targets such as ammo supply dumps."

The more things change...but wait, the OP was clearly marked so therefore Hez must not have been using hte unarmed UN troops as shields, right?

7/26/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

yes, rob, they can.

So far the IDF reports killing in the Hundreds, as many as 300 total by my reckoning. The IDF will have lost around 30 total, to date. The casualties from today's fighting not yet announced.
The HB has at least 2,000 firstline and 10,000 support troops, at least. The battle has just begun.
Reserves are coming to support HB from Iraq, Iran and who knows where else.

7/26/2006 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger Harrison said...

re: ambisinistral

UK airport used to fly bombs to Israel

The blue helmets are reduced to patrolling, then even more marginally to solely "observing" from their posts; if they can monitor the movement of Hezbollah operatives and other terrorists setting up new encampments and entrenchments in nearby locations, there exists no army or air force like the IDF and IAF to call on and radio through the coordinates for immediate action to be taken before the terrorists position themselves too closely such that the proximity target would include the UN post itself.

Why doesn't the UN train soldiers? Because it's exclusively a "peacekeeping" force, so somehow that phrase turns them into Jehovah's Witnesses? When will Kofi Annan and his disillusioned colleagues wake up to the reality that in order for the UNIFIL to secure its objectives, it needs to deal with terrorists the only way they know how to: merciless and swift action to annihilate the threat at any cost.

The UN posts and the Hezbollah outposts probably have tacit collusion:

"If you tell anyone we're here, we'll kill you."

"But you need us. This place. Without it as a shield, you won't be able to protect yourselves."

"If the IAF kills you along as well as my men...what do you feel about that?"

"err..(nervously twiddling thumbs, then flashing the v-sign)...Peace?"

Anyone who can be persuaded to collude with terrorists - even the Lebanese who allow Hezbollah to store rockets and weapons in their homes - has dug his or her own grave as collateral damage.

Now, if as a last resort, the "peacekeepers" are heroic enough to sacrifice themselves in the process of betraying Hezbollah encampment coordinates, then it might just send a message to these mindless terrorists that we aren't afraid of putting lives on the line - as long as it means your minions of evil can't use it.

Call it the dog in the manger, but that's the only way to deal with these beasts of darkness.

7/26/2006 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

PM Olmert, reports Fox just now, announces in Israel's 5AM newspapers (9PMCST here) an emergency cabinet meeting this morning, to "decide whether to expand operations northwards".

7/26/2006 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Doug, Great Link on the Ha'artz article.

Any G-dDa---d General, or Politician that tries to fight a "humanitarian" war ought to be taken out and shot.

7/26/2006 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

We obviously have to seal or clear their bunkers prior to pushing north, otherwise they will emerge at will on our 6.
Wretch, I am curious about your use of the "Knife-Thrower" analogy. Everyone knows that to achieve maximum theatrics the weapon purveyor must strike as close as possible to the oft bound potential victim whilst calling upon all his mad skill to avoid a fatal blow. How would the overwrought crowd react if he drew just a little blood?

7/26/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rufus,
There was some even more interesting stuff in that Irish Psalm book right after the part you quoted, but only about half of it was legible:
The rest was blurred out by spilled Ale Stains.

7/26/2006 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Careful there, Son. You sayin my ancestors was "Drinkers?"

Blarney!

7/26/2006 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rufus is never as think as you drunk he is--

7/26/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

Those dumb-ass UN bozos deserve all the buckshot that they got in the butt.

This whole comic episode was incredibly humorous. Just to imagine the look on the UN bozos' faces when the bombs started falling is - well - comical.
All respect to Israel which is pursuing the path of peace through war and doing a lot of thankless good work for the United States and for Civilization.
In addition, Israel deserves immense respect in that they recognize when they make mistakes, as they announced publicly.
Being a more primitive American, however, it pleases me immensely to think of the corrupt scum of the UN getting nailed - even if it was by accident.
Furthermore, as a primitive American, I look forward to the death and destruction of Hezbollah scum and whatever it takes in collateral damage, so be it. I look forward to death in destruction rained upon Iran.

Cato the Elder:
We must destroy Iran.

7/26/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

buddy larson wrote:

PM Olmert, reports Fox just now, announces in Israel's 5AM newspapers (9PMCST here) an emergency cabinet meeting this morning, to "decide whether to expand operations northwards".

Yikes! Did Ike and Churchill and Monty have emergency meetings on the night of June 6, 1944 to "decide whether to expand operations southwards" or were they worried they might accidentally hit a civilian farm house in the bocage country ?

Did the PM of Israel have emergency cabinet meetings in 1948, 1967, and 1973 to decide whether to expand the counterforce against the invading armies of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan, or were they worried they might pour gasoline on the fire and inflame the cycle of violence?

7/26/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger Juan Golblado said...

I think we can fight the likes of Hezbullah without destroying our own values. But it is true that it is the values themselves that they seek to use as shields.

The way to stop them begins with the sentiment expressed by teresita:

"As soon as a mosque is converted into a bunker, it ceases to be a mosque. As soon as an ambulance is converted into a troop carrier it ceases to be an ambulance."

But that's only the beginning. We need journalists out there with the mission of explaining today's "calculus of war" and exposing the terrorists' game. They can only go so far with using our values against us once it becomes widely known that they are using civilians as weapons of war.

We need short television news pieces that step through the process of exploiting civilian shields. One could show a brief profile of an innocent civilian trying to get as much of his belongings together as possible before leaving a threatened village, as a result running late and exposing himself to counter-terrorist fire. Show him making a narrow escape. Then step back through that story, replacing at a certain point the innocent civilian with a terrorist who steps into his shoes from the shadows with blood on his hands. Make the point: this (terrorist) man is pretending to be this (civilian) man. Can you tell the difference? Make the point that this endangers the innocent civilian.

Another vignette could show Hamas terrorists with children around them as they plant booby traps or as they fire rockets at Israeli houses. Show the children getting injured as a result; show this being presented as the Israelis' fault.

And of course there are a few other such stories to be told. This is only a difficult concept until you get the storyboard written; once you get it produced and filmed properly it will shortly become clear to audiences that you are showing them something new about contemporary warfare.

This innovative approach will leave the competition (the pro-terrorist media) behind because they are too caught up in their sympathy for the anti-west to see this new element.

Let the pro-terrorist media show the Hezbullah 'new man' with the soldier integrated with the civilian and the political-military organisation as a family affair. But then let us show that this endangers civilians who are not also terrorist fighters, as well as endangering the terrorists' innocent children.

7/26/2006 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Vast seas of paid-fer Hez lovers are a-march in the streets of western capitals. Their ugly visages were all over my tv this evening, glorying in their freedom from every g-damned lick of sense that any human could ever have.

7/26/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

Ancient Book found in a bog and discussed on a blog.....Psalm 83 v4 how timely?
Billy R. has some usefull new info as usual over at the :http://counterterrorismblog.org

sorry left my notes on how to config the link at work... ;-\

7/26/2006 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger Holy Roman Umpire said...

Very good characterization of the "new" barbarism by Wretchard. I recall from my Army days (many moons ago when the Earth was young) a class I gave on the "Law of Land Warfare" (the US Army's interpretation of the Geneva Conventions). The GC specifically addressed the case of a combatant using civilians (ie non-combatants) as shields. The GC allowed the civilian-shield-using-creeps to be engaged. So the law is on our side, but we appear reluctant to enforce it. We are also reluctant to enforce the immigration laws as well as those prohibiting the release and dissemination of communications intelligence. Is there a pattern here? If we don't take our own laws seriously, why should anyone else? Especially morally de-evolved proto simians like Hizbo? One last thought: laws, integrity and all those good things are meant to help us common folk live virtuous lives and to maybe even make the world a little better place. They are not meant to make us easy to manipulate. Letting this happen perverts the very ideals we hold so high. Sometimes in order to keep the rule of Law, we have to break some laws. Be seeing you.

7/26/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yoni says the Palis were handing out candy to the kids in celebration of the number of Infidels slayed.
---
The problem with Teresita's solution re:
the Theater is that the Ruskies Employed that funny gas:

Aren't Weapons of Mass Stupefaction politically incorrect?

7/26/2006 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

War is hell. In war you've got to kill people.
To paraphrase William Tecumseh Sherman:
"In the world there are a few million Islamic Fascists and sympathizers. You've got to kill a few million Islamic Fascists to end the war. When you've killed enough, they will stop fighting"
We've only begun the killing, really.

Here's one American dancing at the thought of Hezbollah corpses.

Next: Iran.

7/26/2006 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Are we getting close to Hadrian's Wall, and just cutting the cut-throat fight-to-the-death enemy out of our AOA?

Long ago, all guerilla armies learned to fight as if you are holding the Marines' belt buckle, don't let him back off and swat you with his rifle.

The Israelis are trying to outdo US in the war-as-needlepoint contest.

Nothing has really changed. If the locals and the UN let the enemy hide in their skirts, they better pick up their skirts and expose the weasels behind them, so we can pick them off between their ankles.

Seriously, the DISPROPORTIONATE aspect of this battle is that the Good Guys have to be SAINTS, and the Bad Guys are perfectly fine and even write-up-able Devils.

And we are supposed to go along like Seinfeld characters and say "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

7/26/2006 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I think I've been a little unfair, in that I've been referring to Bint Jubail as a "Village." It seems to have a population of somewhere between 16,000 and 20,000. That's pretty big for a "Village."

After seeing how Maroun al Ras went, I would want, if I were a General, to hit it with at least a re-inforced American Brigade. With unseasoned troops, which most of these are, I would want at least 7 or 8 Thousand troops.

Sitting here, watching the soldiers putting "Camo" on their faces, their bright shiny hands and arms waving in the breeze. I don't see the Non-Coms checking equipment, talking to the young guys, explaining the upcoming action, and going over previous mistakes, getting them ready. They're carrying M-16's, and I haven't seen the first one cleaning his weapon. This bunch is green. They haven't trained for this. That's criminal.

They look relaxed, though. They're intelligent, and undoubtably Brave. They're just not being led well.

7/26/2006 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Wretchard's 4:51 post brought clarity.Is there a way to retain your humanity while you grind these vermin into powder?That's it in spades.Some choice.Be a noble soul in a ditch with a slit throat or unleash the terrible swift sword.I'd opt for the latter option.
The Canadian officer's account of being an unarmed observer in Lebanon sounds like a Monty Python bit if the consequences weren't so tragic.I guess Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl were unarmed observers also of the practical application of Jihad.
I read Vince Flynn and other thriller writers and enjoy it when the hero stuffs jihadis in pigstys.
Maybe that's all the West has left a vivid imagination,but no heart to unleash Valhalla.
I agree with those who say,there will be hell to pay the day the gloves come off.

7/26/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tony,
Can we sometimes say:
"What's Up With That?"

7/26/2006 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

From Counterterrorism Blog (ht to Joe Buzz for reminding me to visit):

An unnamed American military officer reports several Hezbollah operatives, whose primary purpose is logistical support, have been captured and are currently being interrogated by Israeli intelligence.

I sure hope they aren't being tortured!

And this:

Intelligence sources also have confirmed that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps have indeed been killed during the fighting in Bint Jubayl.

You know, I was reading Kissinger's Diplomacy today, and came to the part where he discussed Roosevelt's pledge that America "would not accept a Hilter-dominated world."

Kissinger writes:

"The phrase 'will not accept' had to mean that Roosevelt was in effect committing America to go to war for the Four Freedoms if they could not be achieved in any other way."

Cynicism about the Bush Administration abounds on this blog, but perhaps it is misplaced. Also, maybe if Iran read more American History they wouldn't be so sanguine about this game of chicken they are playing.

Bob Kagan was right. Bush has made up his mind, and has spoken the fateful words ("We will not accept an Iranian nuclear weapon."). Perhaps the Israelis were told about Iran's losing hand. Perhaps we should analyze the present strategy in that light.

7/26/2006 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Rufus,

Jeeziz Cry, what you say is frightening. Probably just a bad camera angle. Unlike most countries except Switzerland, Israelis keep their own weapons in the closet, like we do. Once they hear that lovely booming sound, these guys'll wake up, don't you think?

A Marine with his rifle is the deadliest weapon in the world, according to Jarhead.

And of course, as Trangbang points out, even after he has broken the rifle over the last muj's head, he still has his bayonet.

And, his sorry, wimpy, disrespected Baretta 92 w/ 15 rounds of 9 mm parabellum.

7/26/2006 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger CERDIP said...

By the way, gents: the Canadian soldier quoted by The_Head_Jimmy a bunch of comments back up there, Major Hess-von Kruedene, was one of the four UN observers killed at Kiyam.

The question is - why were those observers *still* there, two weeks into the fighting?

7/26/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

8:13 PM
Exactly!
Why???

7/26/2006 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

Hate and War.

Americans, being a civilized people much like Israel, are uncomfortable expressing their hatred.
In fact, Americans generally don't hate a lot of people, rather, Americans really want to be loved by the World.
But when they or their allies are viciously attacked by a totalitarian power... When for almost thirty years the evil scum Mullahs and their fascist islamic theocracy has consistently spread venom and attacked America, killing Americans and our allies...
When evil Mullahs want to impose their slave society on a FREE PEOPLE...

Well - Americans can learn to hate again. Hate for the enemy is actually a good thing. General Patton had no qualms for hating the Nazi enemy.

Iranian Mullahs and Ahmadinejad: watch out, you are next in line for treatment.

7/26/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Doug,

I would respond, but that would break the 2 post limit. This non-response is exempt, I would hope.

NOTICE: If you were not the intended recipient of this message, please delete and pretend you never read it. If anyone has any questions, shut up.

7/26/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

06:06 Australia to withdraw its 12 peacekeeping troops from southern Lebanon (AP)

7/26/2006 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"Shut Up" he explained.

7/26/2006 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

To clarify and extend my post re: "will not accept", let's play a thought experiment:

Is it really possible that nobody in the Administration knows the historical import of the words "will not accept" when spoken by an American Administration? Especially the Kissingerians like Condi, when it was in Kissinger's seminal work on diplomacy?

If Bush has decided that he's going to take out Iranian nukes, then what Israel is doing right now is preparing the battlefied. If we thought we could achieve a negotiated settlement with Iran over the nuclear question, then I don't think we would be doing what we are doing. I think we've decided. First Hezbollah, then an isolated Syria, then, once Iranian counter-attack capability has been eroded, on to the aerial strikes and Spec Ops and retribution.

7/26/2006 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Many believe that the 13,000 rockets pointed at our ally was Iran's deterrent against USA hitting their nuke sites.

Deterrent being frittered away to an unintended effect?

Remember the Scuds of Gulf I ? They were the same sort of tertiary deterrent. Iraq would use them on Israel, the Saddamite thinking went, and Israel would respond, thus setting that ole Arab street on fire, and Saddam would parlay that into world chaos.

We wouldn't want that, so we would never invade Iraq.

What happened, of course, is that Saddam fired the Scuds and Israel didn't budge.

7/26/2006 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

"will not accept..."
Hoping it means what it means. Hoping it means, at long last, retribution.
So let's turn the tables, shall we? What will the Mullahs and their pet-cockroach Ahmadinejad think when they see an American mob screaming:

Death to Iran !
Death to Iran !

7/26/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

How to DISSOLVE Hizbollah:
---
Ze'ev Schiff: Analysis:
For Israel, the conflict in Lebanon is a must-win situation
Talkback
Title: Destroyed at any price?!
Name: Roi
City: Tel Aviv State: Israel

Also at the price of committing war crimes ourselves?
At the price that the rest of the world, including major parts of the US population, will perceive Israel as a threat to world peace?

Not at any price!
There is a limit to the self-damage we bring upon us.

The option to negotiate was offered and exists.
That option has a far lower price tag (Sheba Farms / POWs in exchange for captured soldiers) and also has a better chance to desolve Hezbollah when no more justifications for a continuation of the conflict exist.

7/26/2006 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Aristides;

when, exactly, was FDR going to do something about it?

What if Japan hadn't attacked us, and Germany Hadn't Declared War of Us?

Was there a "secret" plant that I missed?

7/26/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger The_Head_Jimmy said...

You know what "For Freedom" you are a disgusting piece of shit. I happen to know the Canadian soldier that was killed and Maj. HVK was a better man than you can ever hope to be.

His credentials are on par with any posters here save a couple and the suggestion that his death is comical or that he had is coming or that he was in collusion with Hezbollah makes me wonder at the collective level of intellect of the Belmont club.

Perhaps you can all take a second to consider that, as Wretchard has pointed out, the ground the OP occupied was tactically and strategically vital to both Israel and Hezbollah forces yet the only side with access to it on the ground was Hezbollah. As far as I can tell the last time anyone heard from Maj HVK he explained that the tactical situation demanded that Israel bombard his position. Coupled with our Prime Minister's refusal to condemn Israel, their being unarmed and a predisposition on the part of the enemy to use human sheilds and hostages, it seems to me that a more likely scenario is that their position was taken and being used and that Israel did in fact target the post, rather than the UN pers. themselves. Time will tell when they died and what was going on. To jump to the conclusion that four professional military officers, one of which was from an allied country, were aiding Hezbollah is despicable.

I'm severly disappointed in some of the commentary here. In case some of you have forgotten he was a soldier from a Nation, and a Regiment that currently has soldiers fighting and dying in Afghanistan.

That's all I have to say. I have to get to bed.

7/26/2006 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger Harrison said...

re: aristides

Well, it might turn out to be another of those ridiculous Bush-isms. But I have a feeling that this so-called emergency meeting isn't about discussing whether to move further north; it's misinformation.

If ambisinistral's on to this, then this orchestrated hesitation on Israel's part is a psychological trick to simply allow Hezbollah to move down south to beef up attacks on Maroun al-Ras and Bint Jubayl.

The terrorists will be thinking that they are capitalising on Israel's indecisiveness as they relocate their minions south of the Litani. Israel will then leapfrog towards the north and bypass the "villages", thereby being able to secure the river and monitor transport across it. This way, they can cut off supply lines from the north to the two strongholds - a trademark IDF tactic reminiscent of the offensives in the past - and bide for time while methodically crushing Hezbollah there.

7/26/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The_Head_Jimmy
Thanks for bringing reality to bear.
Once again, our thanks and prayers.

7/26/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

You may be mis-interpreting, head_jimmy. The major, rest his soul, was himself pointing out the cross-position he was in. It is clear what a noble person he was, his communique shines through.

7/26/2006 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Yep, give'm some more stuff. That'll put'em on the "Straight and Narrow." They'll probably turn into "Missionaries," or somethin.

It's not like they're ..uh.."Terrorists" or some such.

G'nite,

Oh, and, "Death to Iran."

7/26/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Jimmy, I'm sure many of us feel bad. I know I do. You were right to call us out on it.

7/26/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

IDF completes encirclement of Hezbollah stronghold Bint Jbail

The Israel Defense Forces completed its encirclement of Bint Jbail yesterday, leaving only a narrow passage to allow residents to flee northward.

Eight soldiers were lightly wounded during the fighting, and IDF sources believe Hezbollah suffered dozens of casualties. Bint Jbail was considered to be Hezbollah?s chief stronghold in south Lebanon.

However, the IDF refrained from physically occupying the town yesterday, and senior officers said that it may never do so. For now, they said, it is enough that the army can control the city via fire from points around it, backed up by a few infantry units that have taken over houses within the town.
- haaretz.com

7/26/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Jimmie the Head,I wasn't dissin' your homeboy,the Canadian officer.I was laughing at the vacant concept of UN peacekeepers.It's an idiot's forum,a circus of clowns.That noble men pay the price for the folly of elites is tragic.
I spent a couple months in the military with a guy named Sam Hurt from Virginia.In combat you try to sell wolf tickets to the grim reaper,kind of like I'm badder than that bullet with my name on it.
Sam used to say "You'd rather walk through hell with gasoline drawers on than mess with me"or "You'd rather jack off a mountain lion in a phone booth with a handful of burrs than mess with me"We laughed but wondered if it was true
to some cat named Nguyen.
Maybe macho posturing is stupid in its own right,but standing unarmed in harms' way in a land of loonies is beyond dumb to surreal.My regards to your brave friend's survivors.

7/26/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Aristides--

Are you suggesting a time line for this plan?

7/26/2006 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

One more. Press Release from UNIFIL.

Bottom of Second Paragraph: Where it describes Hesbollah firing from the immediate vicinity of their location in Maroun al Ras, and another village.

By the way the U.N. forces have been telling their superiors about this for two weeks.

7/26/2006 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The sun'll come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
There'll be sun

Just thinkin' about tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow
'Til there's none

When I'm stuck with a day, that's gray, and lonely
I just stick out my chin, and grin, and say, ooh

The sun'll come out tomorrow
So you gotta hang on 'til tomorrow
Come what may

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow
You're only a day away
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow
You're always a day away

7/26/2006 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"their superiors "

7/26/2006 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

A couple of depressing analyses:

How the Arab world views the conflict Basically they're sharpening their knifes and preparing to dance on Israel's grave.

A peace to end all peace Explains why the plan to force Israel to give up the Shebaa farms is bad for Israel and bad for peace.

I wonder what Israel would do if they felt their backs were against the wall with the majority of the international community against them.

7/26/2006 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

trangbang68--

Definitely, the Hurts of VA will put a hurtin' on anyone who gets in their way. He wasn't being macho, he was being what was bred into the bone (so to speak)of the Hurt family. It helps them that they own so much of VA, too.

Now you couldn't call 'em one of the FFV (1st Families of Virginia), but you have to be darn careful what you do call 'em as there are only certain names they answer to. Think of the Snopes' in Miss. and you have a bead on the Hurts of VA...

...maybe the whole thing boiled down to their unfortunate last name, though they don't see it that way.

Who'da thunk the Hurts would appear in a Belmont Club comment...

7/26/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Lady ~D,
Aristides got his Inspiration
from
Gunther Anderson.

7/26/2006 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

what pisses people off so damn bad, is that the damn weapons build up IS the point of the current war, and the weapons build-up took place behind UN peacekeeping.

For Israel, it's the worst of both worlds, having to kotow to a peacekeeper whose mission is being turned inside-out to build a war machine.

Better for UN to not have even allowed the facade that it had any influence. Better for UN to go away, and leave behind a statement that clearly describes the impossibility of the position.

7/26/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"the weapons build-up took place behind UN peacekeeping."
---
Right under their feet, in some cases.

7/26/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"For Israel, it's the worst of both worlds, having to kotow to a peacekeeper whose mission is being turned inside-out to build a war machine. "
---
That's Yoni's reason for not wanting a "Multinational Peacekeeping Force."
---
If things go south, they'll be fighting through them at the Jihadis.

7/26/2006 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Honestly--what passes for crime and punishment anymore? Did I just dream oil-for-food?

7/26/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

07:21 Australian FM: Deploying peacekeepers to southern Lebanon would be `suicide` (AP)

06:05 Militant web site promises al-Zawahri message on Gaza and Lebanon `soon` (AP)

01:56 Rice: Syria, Iran face further isolation if they torpedo Lebanon cease-fire (Reuters)
---
(In Persian:)
"No Mas! No Mas!
ANYTHING except
Further Isolation!
"

7/26/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Whatever you do, don't thow me in dat briar patch!

7/26/2006 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

soflauthor, wretchard:


Not only are our enemies changing the nature of the wars we fight, but they are poisoning the well against the possibility of anything other than a harsh peace once we do win.

One of the key problems we are facing is that our society has Enlightenment ideals without the teeth of Enlightenment methods.

Imagine watching the image of Mr. Nasrallah being hung from the gallows. Imagine Osama bin Laden being hung from the gallows. Imagine Ayman al-Zawahiri being hung from the gallows. Such images would be very effective at showing Middle Easterners who has won and who has lost. Yet, those peoples and states who are unwilling to use the rope on such monsters only invite the contempt from the “new barbarism”. (Funny, it’s nearly identical to the old barbarism that created the Dark Ages in the first place.)

Are we prepared to institute a theater of death that unequivocally shows the defeat of our enemies? If we do not, our enemies will never realize they were defeated.

This is a war whose conclusion will not come through the signing of surrender documents but by the gallows. The question is not whether the losing side hangs but which side’s leaders will be strangled.

It is not for nothing that Saddam Hussein prefers the firing squad over the hangman's noose.

7/26/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Dear 2164th,

You rightly hypothesize that there would be critics of the U.N. if they were to deny aid to supplicant noncombatants who subsequently were injured or killed by Israeli fire.

In the past, the U.N. has very effectively avoided such criticism by suppressing the news until long after it would have been useful during the event.

Consider how the U.N. handled the “ethnic cleansing” of the town of Sreberniça in 1994 AFTER Kofi Annan had been given the leadership of the U.N. When the United States lead a NATO coalition to stem the massacre of Muslims by Serbian Christians, the United Nations grudgingly agreed to send peacekeepers. In one instance, they declared the town of Sreberniça a "United Nations Safe Area," and left a batallion-strength guard of Dutch U.N. troops in close proximity. When Serb forces attacked, the Dutch commander requested air strikes.

After his fourth request, he was told that he had submitted the request on an incorrect form, and he must re-submit for it to be considered. Eventually, two Dutch F-16s bombed the Serbian positions, but it was far too late. Serb Generall Radko Mladic and his troops had already taken the town and the surrounding area days earlier, and held 30 of the 350 Dutch troops along with some 20,000 Muslim men, women, and children.

The utter impotence and military bunglng of the United Nations (not any cowardice or lack of spirit by the Dutch troops) allowed Mladic and his murderers to slaughter an estimated 7,000 Muslim men in the four days from July 12 and July 16, 1995.

The Dutch troops were allowed to evacuate, but both the Head of the United Nations Mission to Bosnia, and the Dutch commander neglected to mention for the press or the watching world until long after, that a massacre was being conducted. The killing continued for weeks.

(The information about Srebreniça I'm citing here comes from URL: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/cryfromthegrave/massacre/time_line.html)


In this instance, it’s already come to light that Hizb’ollah has systematically been using marked ambulances as taxis for their terrorist combatants and officers. At the same time, Hizb’ollah is deliberately locating its launchers and firing positions in close proximity to UN positions, to take advantage of them as human shields. Under such circumstances, for the U.N. to ferry “civilians” around Southern Lebanon compromises any claim of neutrality. Unless they are taking stringent measures to weed out Hizb’ollah passengers (which is extremely unlikely) they are very likely ferrying Hizb’ollah combatants around.

7/26/2006 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

If Saddam's gonna hang he'd be better off not losing alot of weight.

7/26/2006 10:34:00 PM  
Blogger xwraith said...

Rufus: I remember you saying you were interested to see what the AARs would look like after some of the battles. Haaretz, Jpost, and Counterterrorism blog all have some good articles (see my blog for links, can't figure out how to nest html links in these comments)

Reading the accounts of the battle almost seem to be a mixture of "Blackhawk Down" and Stalingrad. A unit gets ambushed and draws in larger and larger forces in the attempts to rescue it. Meanwhile, Bint Jubayl is viewed by one side as a trophy to be captured, and by the other as terrain that must not be yielded. It will be interesting to see if Hezbollah tries to move in more troops and try to hold the Israeli's in position, or if they will instead attempt to fight a battle of posts up the roads leading north to the Litani river. I still think the latter strategy is more likely, but then again I wouldn't have guessed that nine casualties in a single day would take the luster off the IDF in the media.

Just some thoughts.

7/26/2006 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Wretchard,

"The brilliance of the new barbarism...." It is NOT brilliance and it is NOT new. It IS cowardice and has been barbarism since time immemorial. They are an enemy who hide among and abuse the young, old, weak and infirm...and it is the height of immorality not to pursue them vigorously. I would suggest that the genesis of the Western rule that one does not intentionally target civilians recognizes that the evil will try to use civilians as shields. If we must be absolute, then evil will always approach and retreat in a cloak of children...ultimately evil cannot lose under those rules.

Rufus,

Sure...just what we need in Lebanon U.S. Marines...how about, say, the 2dMarDiv, what with 1stMarDiv doing a lot of the Iraq work and the 2d having that 23 year old grudge to exercise....

Finally,

"There is nothing so deadly on a battlefield as one well-aimed round."

Carlos Hathcock, GySgt, USMC
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Hathcock

7/26/2006 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger John (Useful Fools) said...

Hezbollah is not doing anything original. Guerilla warfare has been around forever. Guerillas hide among civilians (in this case, apparently a lot of willing civilians). They don't wear uniforms. They terrorize their enemy (in this case, with indiscriminate rocket fire). They tend to be assisted by nation states. They are often fanatic.

The US saw this same thing in Vietnam (except that our own country wasn't being terrorized - which probably increased the anti-war sentiment and helped the enemy). We see it, in various forms, in Iraq.

The IDF is facing a whole bunch of Falluja's before it gets to the river.

It needs a new strategy, before the guerillas strategy of terror combined with the idiotic interventions of "anti-war" western democracies cause an end to hostilities before Israel has a visible victory. I think it should punch through to the river with a large ground force, spread out to cut off the villages to the south, and then clean out the villages with maximum force and largely stand-off weapons, after giving the civilians a chance to leave.

Right now, it appears that Israel is run by an incompetent government, with its military headed by an air-power-wins-all guy. This is tragic. Sharon would have done much better.

7/26/2006 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Rufus,

Kissinger thinks Roosevelt would have eventually mobilized for war even without the casus belli supplied by Japan and then later by Germany. He acknowledges that he might be wrong, but the argument he puts forth to support his position is very persuasive (and note, Kissinger's conclusion might be more important than reality here).

The reason I am leaning so heavily on a single paragraph in a single book should be obvious. The people in the Administration derived their knowledge from somewhere; they weren't born knowing how to conduct diplomacy. They were taught or self-taught, by a mentor, by books, or by both.

For an amateur like me, it is fortunate that the number of possible books and mentors available to our high officials is finite, and easily traceable (curricula are easy to discover, as are ideological lineages and cross-pollinations). Immersing oneself in this literature only takes time and a university library card.

It's an inexact science, though, and most of the things our officials do and say are so context-specific that any prediction about intent is nothing more than an educated guess. However, some things stand out, and some patterns are clear.

The question of Iranian nukes is the question of this Administration's second term. It has had and continues to have hundreds of the brightest minds working the problem, and a Kissingerian in Rice revising and transmitting advice to the President. Statements that are made about the issue are likely some of the most closely vetted. For the Administration to have repeatedly used the exact language that Roosevelt used, language that is sure to have rung bells for the realists in Bush's Administration, is almost a deal closer for me -- as in Q.E.D. The President has made his decision that Iran will not have nuclear weapons, and that's that.

Now, the obvious alternative to this theory is that Bush simply doesn't know, and wasn't told, that such wording has a specific history in American diplomacy, and therefore has a specific meaning and specific negotiational "value" once it has been used. According to this theory, Bush said it because he felt it, blurted it out in the glare of the moment and did not do his studying. The problem with this is that the exact same wording has now been used by multiple officials on numerous occasions, and has been repeated verbatim by Bush when asked to clarify.

It's exactly the kind of esoteric language that Diplomats rely on to communicate with each other discreetly -- a language built on history and experience (which is why Clinton's apology tour caused alarm for our allies because they were afraid we had become unreliable -- i.e. it was unprecedented).

I could be wrong. I hope I'm not.

Dymphna,

For the reason above and for others, I would bet that the outside limit on timing is 2007. While those on the Left think Bush manipulates elections by waging timely wars, I don't think he would traumatize our country with a War launched during the heat of a Presidential election. Everybody loses in that environment, and therefore I think it will be sooner.

For the same reason I also don't think he will launch before this November. As he did with the second Fallujah, which started November 7, 2004, I think he will wait until after the election to avoid politicizing it more than it has to be. You never want to inject a massive amount of new information right before an election. If you do, all previous calculations and predictions become worthless. The universe of opinion evolves after such events, and you never know in what direction (especially when the elections provide so much over-pressure).

Weather would have to be taken into account, so I would guess before April 2007, but the final go ahead -- and the details that inform the "if" and "when" -- will of course be determined by events. More than that I don't know.

7/26/2006 11:31:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Please note, if it isn’t obvious from my previous post, that my sense is that the corruption that pervades the UN administration overwhelms any individual nobility, selflessness, or heroism in the ranks.

This is why I believe we who are in agreement with each other about the need to oppose terrorism by the Islamic fascists must withdraw from the U.N. and its charades. I hate the thought that good men should be thrown away by the incompetent and criminal bastards that run the U.N.

7/26/2006 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Aristides,
Did Dr K say HOW FDR would have mobilized a nation manifestly not interested in same?
---
Same question to you for GWB, for in the absence of dramatic events proving the necessity for such action, I think he too would face insurmountable problems at home.

7/26/2006 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

And if they're so damned smart, why have they ignored the Ledeen option all these years, and why did they sabotage Garner/Chalabi and replace with the Brilliant Bremmer
"Occupation While the Insurgency is Spawned"
plan instead?
I'd take Rummy and the cons over the whole damned State Dept!

7/27/2006 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Finally, why have THREE or more sanctuaries gone unmolested all these years, resulting in untold unnecessary misery?
Certainly neutering Damascus would have been, and still is, easier than going to war w/Iraq?

7/27/2006 12:05:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Doug, I AM Dr K, he is Henry Kissinger! :D

"So the law is on our side, but we appear reluctant to enforce it," says Holy Umpire.

More than a grain of truth here, Roman, and what has changed is the pervasive media-crab-lice, scuttling like invading vermin across the battle-ground twisting every shot, every moan, every bloody survivor or blasted corpse into ANTI-American/ANTI-Israeli propaganda!

But yes, the Geneva Conventions favor America, and I hope we'll surprise the thugs by killing masses of them...

Which raises the question, why doesn't IDF use CS or Adamsite in their shells? Civilians wouldn't want to stay long downwind of THAT, even if no one is killed!

7/27/2006 12:27:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Doug & Friends, at risk of repeating what someone here MAY have already posted and I missed, please remember that the UN is there specifically to ensure the NON-Remilitarization of what has now been RE-Militarized!

The UN has sinned, bigtime, and Kofi is responsible! Israel only withdrew in 2000 BECAUSE IT HAD GUARANTEES from UN (doo-wah!) to stop all re-militarization!

Bomb the UN!

7/27/2006 12:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pardon me, Doc!
Kissinger Might like your illustration!
We'd use CS to freshen up the Barracks!
---
Wounded troops describe Bint Jbail battle as 'hell on earth'

"They shot at us from 180 degrees," said one of the soldiers. Most of the dead and seriously wounded are those from the initial wave of ground troops which tried to enter one of the homes in Bint Jbail. The soldiers who suffered light wounds are primarily those who arrived on the scene to retrieve the bodies of the dead and wounded soldiers lying in the battlefield.
Some of the wounded were in an open field and others behind walls as well as inside homes.

"The battle began at 3:30 at night," he said. "Ten minutes after the first clash, we arrived to help. There was heavy fire from rocket launchers, missiles, rocket-propelled grenades.
I provided cover fire for soldiers who tried to reach the wounded, and this went on for hours. Eventually, a missile hit the yard where I was standing. I was thrown back along with the wall which I was hiding behind.

7/27/2006 12:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/27/2006 12:39:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

That's really interesting, Aristides. I too had noticed them using the unacceptable or will not accept language but didn't think more of it. I hope you are right. I hope Bush sticks to his guns, and acts before we wake up one fine morning to an Iranian fait accompli--if they are not already there. The whole thing is quite frightening but better now than later. I noticed the Paks are working on a reactor that makes plutonium(I think)--anyway a reactor that spews out stuff for many more nukes. A scary world and all is uncertain--as always I quess.

7/27/2006 01:01:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Also read somewhere(can't recall where) that Nasrallah is holed up in the Iranian embassy in Beirut. Makes sense from his point of view, if true.

7/27/2006 01:16:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The Boston Globe has an interesting article about the feminization of Israel's military spirit.

The Globe never used the word but what else do you call a political and military leadership that has "not wanted to commit them (IDF) fully because of uncertainty over whether the public would support a ground campaign likely to produce heavy casualties."

Keep in mind that this is the Boston Globe, which is owned by the NYT, and none of the "experts" used as authorities are the actual Israeli decision makers, but the facts on the ground do add credibility to the analysis.

The wars of '67 and '73 were major conflicts but even then the battles were between armies in the field. Although every side had the capability to do so the violence was never directed at population centers. Did Dyan or Sharon shape their battle plans around some obtuse perception of public opinion? The thought is inconceivable.

Hizbu'allh started this war by targeting Israeli population centers with indiscriminate weapons, completely changing the rules of engagement. Can it be true that Israel's political and military leaders would fret over the vagaries of public opinion while enemy rockets fell on Israeli cities?

Maybe I overestimate the strategic importance of engaging Hizbu'allah in their lair, but I don't think so. What prevents HB from exchanging ball bearing payloads with VX? There is no moral imperative. Neither is there honor.

Have the Israelis? Have we all become history's fools who would permit the mutilation of our own children out of fear from the criticism of harming theirs?

7/27/2006 03:14:00 AM  
Blogger Chester said...

>>Mark White -

Please stop referring to the Iranian regime as Persians. It's an insult.
They are Iranians who despise Persian history & true Persians, and are arabized to the point of wearing keffiyeh. (take a look at some of the pictures of Ahmadinejad)

This arabized regime bans some and tries to discourage observance of Persian holidays.
Do you know that the gov't is suspicious of and looks down upon parents who give their children Persian names as opposed to arabic ones?

True Persians want to see the end of this arabized regime that began with a monster who could barely speak Persian (Khomeini), and has oppressed, tortured, maimed, inprisoned and killed them for 27 years.

Please stop insulting true Persians.
Thank you.

7/27/2006 05:09:00 AM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

Poster The_Head_Jimmy, you sorry puke - If you can read, nobody here suggested the Canadians are in collusion with Hezbollah. But it seems the Canucks have their own islamic fascist problem right at home and they might not have to work for the corrupt UN, but instead start working the streets of Toronto - and stop putting their heads in the sand.

7/27/2006 10:33:00 PM  
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3/08/2007 03:54:00 AM  

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