Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Knife-Thrower at the Carnival

With new updates

Kofi Annan has accused Israel of deliberately targeting UN position in southern Lebanon. According to the Independent:

The UN secretary general Kofi Annan says an Israeli attack on a UN observation post was "apparently deliberate". Four unarmed military observers were killed in the air strike in southern Lebanon. ... Since fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militants began two weeks ago, there had been several dozen incidents of firing close to UN peacekeepers and observers, including direct hits on nine positions, some of them repeatedly, a UN official said. ... Last night's bomb made a direct hit on the building and shelter of the observer post in the town of Khiam, near the eastern end of the border with Israel, said Milos Struger, spokesman for the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon known as Unifil.


In order to have some sense of how plausible this accusation is, it would be useful to examine the statements of the UNIFIL itself prior to this incident. Ever since hostilities started UNIFIL has been documenting its activity through a series of press releases. These provide a snapshot into what the UN troops were doing and how they have been faring during the period of combat.

Date Excerpt
July 17 The Lebanese government requested UNIFIL to provide a humanitarian escort to the villagers seeking safe passage outside of Marwahin. UNIFIL dispatched a patrol the village the same day, which stayed with the villagers throughout the night. Yesterday, UNIFIL was able to provide a humanitarian escort to 283 villagers from that area to Tyre. During this mission, the team came under fire, which endangered the lives of local civilians and UNIFIL troops. Initially, Hezbollah fired rockets from the vicinity of the village and subsequently the IDF fired into the village on two occasions.
July 18 Heavy exchanges of fire continued all along the length of the Blue Line during the past 24 hours. Rockets were fired from Lebanese territory, and there was intensive shelling and bombing from the Israeli side.

All UNIFIL positions in the area of operation are permanently occupied and maintained by the troops. There were 15 incidents of firing close to UNIFIL positions, and a position close to the village of Marwahin suffered on direct hit from the Israeli side causing material damage, but no injuries. UNIFIL is still facing serious restrictions in its freedom of movement through the area due to the ongoing hostilities and severe destruction of roads and most of the bridges. Yesterday, UNIFIL dispatched a re-supply of food, water, and fuel to its positions.

July 19 There were seven incidents of firing close to UN positions. Impacts of Israeli aerial bombardment detonated around 20 land mines in the immediate vicinity of a UNIFIL position south west of the village of Yarun, and caused an outbreak of fire. The troops were able to extinguish the fire before it reached the position. All UNIFIL positions in the area of operation are permanently occupied and maintained by the troops.
July 20 There were 31 incidents of firing close to UN positions during the past 24 hours, with three positions suffered direct hits from the Israeli side. Ten artillery shells impacted inside UN position of the Ghanaian battalion on the coast in Ras Naqoura, causing extensive damage. Four artillery shells impacted inside the patrol base of the Observer Group Lebanon in the Marun al Ras area, including three direct impacts on the building which caused extensive damage and cut electricity and communication connections. At the time of the shelling, there were 36 civilians inside the position, most of whom were women and children from the village of Marun Al Ras. There were no casualties. One artillery shell impacted inside the UNIFIL Headquarters compound in Naqoura, causing extensive damage and danger to the UNIFIL hospital where the doctors were operating at the time. Splinters of artillery shells also damaged the boundary wall of the Naqoura camp. Extensive shelling damage was reported in the Ghanaian battalion position south of Alma Ash Shab. Hezbollah firing was also reported from the immediate vicinity of the UN positions in Naqoura and Maroun Al Ras areas at the time of the incidents.
July 21 There were seven incidents of firing close to UN positions during the past 24 hours, with three positions suffering direct hits from the Israeli side. Three artillery shells impacted on the building inside the patrol base of the Observer Group Lebanon (OGL) in the Marun Al Ras area, causing extensive damage to the buildings and vehicles, but with no casualties. Four artillery shells also hit this position a day earlier. There are 34 civilians from the village of Marun Al Ras inside the position. One artillery shell impacted inside the UNIFIL Headquarters compound in Naqoura yesterday evening, and one impacted inside a Ghanaian battalion position in the area of the village of Marwahin this morning. No casualties were reported, but there was material damage. UN equipment and vehicles were also damaged by splinters in the Ghanaian battalion position in the area of At Tiri in the central sector, and in the patrol base of the OGL in the Khiyam area in the eastern sector.
July 22 There were fifteen incidents of firing close to UN positions from the Israeli side during the past 24 hours, including a direct impact from an artillery shell inside a Ghanaian battalion position in the Marwahin area. No casualties were reported, but there was some material damage. Thirty two Lebanese civilians from the village of Marun Al Ras, who took shelter inside a patrol base of the Observer Group Lebanon (OGL) for the last three days, decided to leave the UN position at their own will this morning, and relocate north. In the last three days, this position suffered direct hits by seven artillery shells on two different occasions.
July 23 There were seven incidents of firing close to UN positions from the Israeli side during the past 24 hours, mainly due to aerial bombardment in the area of the patrol base of the Observer Group Lebanon in Khiam. All UNIFIL positions in the area of operation remain permanently occupied and maintained by the troops. Yesterday, UNIFIL re-supplied a number of UN forward positions close to the Blue Line, including two positions in the Marun Al Ras area. Additional re-supply convoys are planned for today. UNIFIL provided escort to 150 members of the Lebanese Joint Security Forces and to a number of civilians from Bint Jubayl to Tibnin.
July 24 One unarmed UN military observer, a member of the Observer Group Lebanon (OGL), was seriously wounded by small arms fire in the patrol base in the Marun Al Ras area yesterday afternoon. According to preliminary reports, the fire originated from the Hezbollah side during an exchange with the IDF. He was evacuated by the UN to the Israeli side, from where he was taken by an IDF ambulance helicopter to a hospital in Haifa. He was operated on, and his condition is now reported as stable. There were nine other incidents of firing close to UN positions during the past 24 hours, with two positions suffering direct hits from the Israeli side. Two aerial bombs impacted inside the Ghanaian battalion headquarters in the area of Tibnin, and three mortar rounds impacted inside an Indian battalion position in the Adaisseh area, causing extensive damage to the buildings and vehicles in both cases, but no casualties. Four aerial bombs impacted in the immediate vicinity of a Ghanaian position in the area of Brashit, and eleven tank rounds impacted in the immediate vicinity of a Ghanaian battalion position in the Rmaich area causing significant material damage.
July 25 Four members of the Ghanaian battalion with UNFIIL were lightly injured yesterday evening, when a tank round from the Israeli side impacted inside their position south of Rmaich. They were evacuated to the UNIFIL hospital in Naqoura and their condition is stable. There was also extensive material damage to the position. There were six other incidents of firing close to UN positions from the Israeli side during the past 24 hours. This morning, Hezbollah opened small arms fire at a UNIFIL convoy consisting of two armored personnel carriers (APC) on the road between Kunin and Bint Jubayl. There was some damage to the APCs, but no casualties, and the convoy was obliged to return to Kunin.

 

UNIFIL's official mandate is to a) Confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon; b) Restore international peace and security; c) Assist the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area. If each of the press releases is read in their entirety is manifestly clear that UNIFIL is performing none of these authorized missions. Instead it has become a kind of ambulance and relief service for the killed and injured on the Lebanese side of the border. The releases are peppered with accounts of UNIFIL personnel escorting what are described as civilians and villagers to places of safety. This is not really part of its mandate, which is not to say that it is immoral or wrong.

All the incidents of IDF fire reported in the press releases are clearly related to some kind of nearby combat with the Hezbollah. In one case the IDF fired on a village into which the UNIFIL had gone, but rockets had originated from the vicinity of the village prior. In another case, an Israeli aerial bombardment detonated mines all around a UNIFIL position. Those mines were presumably not planted by UNIFIL, but they were so close to it that the UN position caught fire. The UN observation post in Maroun al-Ras was hit by artillery, but we know from press reports that Maroun al-Ras was the epicenter of heavy fighting and the location of a Hezbollah bunker complex. The UN even ran a convoy from the Hezbollah "capital" of  Bint Jubayl to another area. Bint Jubayl is well known to be the target of an IDF attack. Yet the UN felt that it was possible to move convoys through such areas, albeit at considerable danger.

One reason that they could was that UNIFIL was evidently in contact with the IDF. In a sentence which speaks volumes we learn that "One unarmed UN military observer, a member of the Observer Group Lebanon (OGL), was seriously wounded by small arms fire in the patrol base in the Marun Al Ras area yesterday afternoon. According to preliminary reports, the fire originated from the Hezbollah side during an exchange with the IDF. He was evacuated by the UN to the Israeli side, from where he was taken by an IDF ambulance helicopter to a hospital in Haifa." This strongly implies that UNFIL was able to coordinate their movements with the IDF and that the IDF was willing to risk men and aircraft to help UNFIL.

Now a lot will be made of UN positions being "clearly marked". However nearly all of the fire reported on UN positions with the exception of the July 23 indicident in Kiyam, where the 4 UN observers were killed today, were from artillery, which is an area weapon. Artillery, depending on the angle and range from which it is fired, has a certain dispersion even allowing for crew perfection. (In contrast UNIFIL took small arms fire from the Hezbollah between Kunin and Bint Jubayl and small arms can only be used when visual contact is made). Imperfections in shell manufacture, operator error, barrel wear etc can cause an artillery round to fall off target. It is not called an area weapon for nothing. The one exception was a tank round that landed in a Ghanain position. But the firing was evidently not repeated which it would have had the tank gunner intended to destroy the Ghanaians.

The July 23 incident in Kiyam in "seven incidents of firing close to UN positions" involving aerial bombardment strongly suggests that Hezbollah positions were fairly close to the position of Observer Group Lebanon. It should be clear by now that the IDF had certainly not been deliberately targeting UNIFIL from July 17 to 25. How likely is it that the IDF after not aiming at UNIFIL should suddenly change their policy and aim to kill the observers at Kiyam, as categorically stated by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan?

One argument that will be heard is that since Israel has "precision weapons" the hit on the UN positions must have been deliberate. Yet it's far more likely that the UNIFIL position was hit by mistake. Even with "precision weapons" the IDF has lost 2 men and 5 wounded to friendly fire so far. The UK Herald had this story:

Israeli forces are investigating two "friendly fire" incidents in which two helicopter pilots died and five infantrymen from the elite Golani Brigade were wounded during fierce fighting in southern Lebanon over the past four days. ... Five Israeli soldiers were also wounded when an armed unmanned Israeli drone launched missiles against them in the same area on Sunday. The remote-controlled "killer drone" was halted by a desperate radio call as it was about to deliver a second salvo against the Golani infantrymen as they scattered for cover. An Israel Defence Force source said Hizbollah is fighting a Vietcong-style tunnel war in the scrub-covered hills around Bint Jbeil, using a network of underground routes and bunkers dug up to 130ft below the surface to move unseen and unscathed. "They know we have reconnaissance drones and satellite surveillance of the area, so they have taken to shifting squads around the sector by tunnel to avoid the risk of attracting airstrikes or artillery fire," he said. ... They are operating in squads of 10 to 12 men and they have an intimate knowledge of the terrain.

Update

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.

214 Comments:

Blogger whit said...

Meanwhile back at UN Headquarters

"Louise Arbour, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, threatened this week to charge Israel and Hezbollah with war crimes if measures aren't taken to protect civilians."

That's not to say that the Israelis intentionally targeted a UNIFIL outpost where, it has been speculated that, UNIFIL observers may have been colluding with Hezbollah.

The UN has not been historically favorable to Israel and Annans latest blast, while somewhat understandable, is not surprising or encouraging.

Perhaps it would be better if UNIFIL withdraws.

7/26/2006 03:18:00 AM  
Blogger Bruce said...

Perhaps it's because the UN has been repairing roads in Hezbollah controlled areas that Israel had destroyed to cut them off. Does anyone honestly believe the UN is impartial in the situation?

7/26/2006 03:25:00 AM  
Blogger Rosie said...

Superb summary, Wretchard. Keep up the good work.

7/26/2006 03:57:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

You have to give Israel the benefit of the doubt on the targeting. It is a public relations nightmare and with the intensity of shelling and placement of UN posts almost inevitable. As to the assistance the UN is giving civilians, without mandate, consider what happens if a group sought UN assistance, was rejected and then got killed and wounded. The press and UN critics including many on here would have a field day. There would be comparisons with Srebrenica and other reminders of UN failures to protect non-combatants.

Be clear what is happening. Israel is clearing this area of anything alive. It dropped leaflets and told everyone to leave. Many chose not to and many are dying or now fleeing. That is a hard thing to look at first hand. People always say what they would do if this that and the other would happen. This is living hell and will reduce the majority of human beings to a quivering pathetic fetal ball of shit.

It sounds to me that the brave attempt to maintain a presence and do the only thing practical in helping non-combatants ended in tragedy. All troops in any hot zone do not see beyond the immediate activity in their area. Desperate people being bombed seeking help care nothing about strategies and politics. They are scared shitless and will beg for help. It would take a lot tougher human being than me not to help them. In this case the UN observers died, along with many others.

7/26/2006 03:58:00 AM  
Blogger ganzo azul said...

One of the UN observers killed was a Chinese military observer.

Du, a Lieutenant Colonel of the Chinese People's Liberation Army with a postgraduate degree, was born in Jinan, capital of east China's Shandong Province. He was sent to Lebanon in January this year as a UN observer. Du worked as secretary to the military attache in the Chinese embassy in India.

Was the decision to not evacuate the observation post driven by an unwillingness to remove military observers from the battlefield?

7/26/2006 04:31:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Ganzo Azul,

You left out details from the same report:

..." Some 180 Chinese staff officers, engineers as well as three observers, including Du, were working in Lebanon, as part of the UN peacekeeping mission, according to diplomatic sources.

A 182-member engineering battalion, including a mine-sweeping company, an engineering company, a logistics company and an in-field hospital, was the first Chinese peacekeeping force in Lebanon, which started the mission in late March this year."

7/26/2006 04:39:00 AM  
Blogger The_Head_Jimmy said...

In 1994 I was a member of UNPROFOR in Croatia with the mandate to protect Serbs in the Krajinia. We shared an AOR with a Kenyan Battalion among others. About halfway through the tour we took over their section of the line and found that not only had they been less than neutral, they had been actively supporting the Serbs. In one instance the Kenyans occupied the ground floor of an OP while the Serb forces occupied the top floor. The Kenyans supplied them with food, diesel and info in exchange for money and women.

Funny side note, being one of the few non-Muslim UN Battalions in theater we got their share of the Pig-related food that the UN procured. Didn't make the non-pork eaters in our unit too happy though...

7/26/2006 04:56:00 AM  
Blogger Julio J said...

I would allow myself to disagree with the dismayed Olmert. No room for dismay here. UN are only distinguishable from terrorists by the colour of their helmets - not an easy thing from 10000 ft. Otherwise, they are the same, by location, behaviour, goals, and attitude.

Perhaps this killing of the UN terror enablers will serve as a useful precedent, and a warning, apologies notwithstanding.

7/26/2006 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger The_Head_Jimmy said...

"The observers were part of the Untso mission - the first peacekeeping operation ever established by the UN, which has been operating in the Middle East since 1948, and currently has about 150 observers."

BBC

7/26/2006 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

How do we know it is the real UNIFIL that was hit, verses the fake hezbollah UNIFIL pretend units?

Maybe Kofi should learn from U Thant and just pull the troops out...

Maybe Kofi thinks israel has videos they are hiding from the UN showing the event...

or maybe the hezbollah "freedon fightes" were taking high tea with the UNIFIL troops and Israel mistook them as co-hezzies

7/26/2006 05:18:00 AM  
Blogger The_Head_Jimmy said...

So it seems, to me anyway, that the four UN Soldiers killed were not a part of the UNIFIL mission but were from a separate mission (UNTSO) and were "visiting" the UNIFIL compound for some reason. I wonder why? Maybe it was the safest place for them? I dunno. Sucks pretty bad to lose a troop to the Israelis though, accident or not. Goes with the territory I guess. I'm still waiting for official confirmation from Ottawa before I believe it.

7/26/2006 05:22:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

As usual, wretchard has provided a wealth of information to his readers. As is his wont, reading between his lines yields as much, if not more, news as his obvious analysis.

Among other things, we now know that
____UNIFIL was providing medical services (surgery) - to whom, by whom, for what?
____ Israel has gone to great lengths to severe transit arteries into and out of the area. Would not UNIFIL’s efforts to reopen these corridors constitute overtly hostile, aggressive behavior?
____Repeatedly, wretchard reports the ferrying of “civilians” by UNIFIL personnel. Would Mr. Annan consider a group of able bodied, armed, Muslim men falling back from the front “civilians”?

Mr. Anna has been blatantly hostile the Israeli counterattack from its outset and has demanded a cease-fire from the moment things went downhill for Hezbollah. That he would accuse Israel of murder fits the pattern. Would he intentionally endanger human beings to undermine and halt the Israeli advance into Lebanon? I’m thinking now of Oil for Food.

7/26/2006 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

-sort of reminds me of the Kosovo campaign when a certain Chinese establishment got hit. I'm sure that outpost forgot to take down its hizbullah flag - too bad Koffi the Klown wasn't there at the time. when an incompetent, cowardly, corrupt, child-molesting, woman raping organization takes a hit, it is cause for some to celebrate, at least for those who regard the UN as an enemy of the US and Israel.

7/26/2006 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

True to form,

"Hizbullah members don't discount any means to kill or injure, including the use of civilians as a holy human shields…’

“On Tuesday morning, during early searches, fire was opened on forces, who returned fire. A number of terrorists fled into a mosque in the area and continued to fire from within the structure at soldiers.”

Holy freaking cow! “Holy human shields” - Those Arabs have such vivid imaginations. No Westerner ever could have conceptualized such a thing, much less accepted its nobility, as will the Arab “Street”.

Hells bells! Quit bombing these folk and get the UN in there with anti-psychotics. (May I suggest within the “sweets” to which the Arabs are so attached? And don’t tell anyone for 2 – 3 weeks.)

25 soldiers injured in Bint Jbeil - http://yoni.townhall.com/g/
511816e4-b4ab-4b0e-abda-eb510b2f4d30

7/26/2006 05:58:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Hey Koffi...where's Kojo griftin' today?

7/26/2006 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Re: Holy Human Shields

If Dr. Rice seriously expects the Israeli government to negotiate with these ___, she must spring Charlie Manson and Squeaky From because, other than several of her own closest, personal advisors, Charlie and Lynette are the only other people in the world with the intellectual firepower to operate in this freak show.

Good grief! Someone get me a drink…make that a double…Oh, hell! Make it a triple. When you’re going down on the Good Ship Lollipop, who’s counting?

7/26/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Kofi is pissed off because his scam game is at an end. He cannot deliver his end of the deal - provide "cease fires" when things start going down hill for his clients.

If history is going to move forward we have to junk failed institutions like the UN and start clamoring for the only political solution that matters during wartime - unconditional surrender.

7/26/2006 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

julio j wrote:

Perhaps this killing of the UN terror enablers will serve as a useful precedent, and a warning, apologies notwithstanding.

Normally I'm not the sort of paranoid person who attributes cold malice to people, not even Kofi "Oil-for-food" Annan. But when he says, "This [was a] coordinated artillery and aerial attack on a long established and clearly marked UN post," and elsewhere describes the attack as the result of "apparently deliberate targeting" it sounds like the objections of a man with a guilty conscience who has been caught. Surely if the post was as innocent as Kofi maintains it was, and if Kofi understood the fog of war and was as unbiased as his job description calls for, his response would be only a deep regret for the loss of neutral observers, which is what he would certainly say if a Hezbollah rocket took out the UN post instead. But no, he immediately airs his suspicion that the IDF deliberately took the post out.

7/26/2006 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"...the United Nations has a well-established record of collaboration with Hezbollah in the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers."

7/26/2006 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Imagine that you are the directing IDF support fires. The presence of UN outposts and moving supply/humanitarian convoys means that you have dynamically changing no fire zones. Imagine that you have people with direct fire or automated counterbattery systems capability elsewhere. You would have to control them too. The UN is beyond your remit. Over them you have no control.

It would be like trying to shoot at bad guys who are able to dodge and weave between bystanders who have been authorized to walk around during the shootout and who refuse to leave. Probably only a handful of militaries on earth could avoid a total massacre from occurring. It's a disaster that is waiting, almost doomed to happen.

In some sense Hezbollah has managed to convert the UN mission itself into one of its human shields. And its greatest achievement has been to remove the stigma of hiding behind women, children and noncombatants while you shoot. What was once a great shame and a badge of cowardice now becomes a pulpit from which to claim a moral superiority over the world. To a large extent the so-called human rights crowd have made the legtimization of this practice possible. They may even see this as moral. But they have forgotten the meaning of the word.

7/26/2006 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

No wonder the UN has a hardon for Arabs: it loves nothing more than graft, incompetence, deceit and self-humiliation. Disband it; launch the hippies to aquarius VII; start the war; let's get this shit sorted out: Islamism has no hot chicks, and I am tired of watching it on tv. Send Trish's husband - he evidently knows everything.

7/26/2006 06:56:00 AM  
Blogger Db2m said...

I have it on good (+/-) authority that the UN cadre has been administering sensitivity training to the naive Hezzian rocketmen, who only have to flip a switch or pull a pin to unleash bombs & ball bearings on Israeli civilian populations, and don't really have a deep appreciation for all the pain and suffering they are causing from 50km distant. Koffi is so concerned for the plight of the poor, cruelly manipulated & exploited lobbers of thousands of well-intentioned but misguided rockets. (After all, the victimized Hezzies are but Proxymorons for the Syrians, who are but Proxymorons for the Mad Mullahs.)

7/26/2006 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

Wretchard, This is one of those times when I think you're a genius. When I heard Kofi's statement I just assumed he was full of it and trying to get some traction against Israel's currently implacable attitude. I think that most people just sloughed it off. Your response was to look for some way to evaluate the truth value of the statement. Very good! Evaluating it in the context of the UN's own press releases was inspired. You've started something too. Now people will be asking themselves, Why? What would make him say such a thing? What are his motives for lying? The Chinese angle is very interesting. In light of past revelations, I wonder if he was making a profit somehow.

Asking about the UN mission was good too. What is their purpose for being there and why don't they get out? I'm sure that HB has built tunnels near all the UN permanent outposts to hide behind blue skirts.

7/26/2006 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

dan,

Send Trish's husband

You are a better man than this!

7/26/2006 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger Rem870 said...

As our host has pointed out, the difficulties for Israel with respect to the UN 'peacekeepers' are great. What if, though, it was a deliberate strike? I have no problem with this, as I believe the UN is a de facto enemy of both the US and Israel. But, what if? If Israel were to admit as such, what would happen? Would the sides in this long war finally firm up a bit more? Would we finally see the dismantling of this corrupt institution? Further, would the rift between Red and Blue here in the States widen even further upon siding with Israel over the UN?

7/26/2006 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

"sever" not severe

Sorry

7/26/2006 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Wednesday's fighting broke out when Israeli forces tried to advance inside Bint Jbail, a town that has symbolic importance to Hezbollah as one of the centers of resistance to the 1982-2000 Israeli occupation.

There were conflicting reports about the casualty toll in the fourth day of fighting for Bint Jbail, which holds the largest Shiite Muslim community in the border area.

Al-Arabiya, a Dubai-based satellite TV channel, said 14 Israeli soldiers had been killed. Hezbollah's chief spokesman Hussein Rahhal said of the battle: "What I can tell you is that 13 Israelis have been burned alive in their tanks on our land."


HB is runnin' likes rats from a sinkin' ship? As predicted by so many, here, sure does not appear to be that way.

Meanwhile in Beirut...
A Jordanian military plane landed at Beirut airport Wednesday to evacuate wounded Lebanese, airport officials said. The aircraft, which was the first to land since the airport was closed July 13 after Israeli airstrikes on its runways, also brought a field hospital. Two more planes were bringing medical equipment and military engineers to help repair the airport.

The Beirut airport has reopened to military airlift traffic, will the Israeli target it again?

From the looks of things and the trends of the Israeli. Reoocupation of Lebanon, it's declaration of free fire zones, per authorized strikes upon any 4 wheel vehicle, it's targeting of civilian infrastructure and it's attack upon a UN post, no matter how inadvertent, all point to a final outcome.
Trials at the World Court.
If that old Serb was guilty of etnic cleansing and war crimes, look to see Mr Olmert and crew fully investigated, and most likely, charged.

Excuses of who hit who first will sound like the rants of children, running out of control at the Super Wal-Mart. It will become, as when children fight, the bigger kid that is to be chastised. Just the way life is.

The Israeli are half stepping, wanting to clear a 2km "Zone" north of the Blue Line. Totally ineffectual for stopping rocket attacks and cross border raids, it could stop tunneling, perhaps.
A 2km "Zone" is still an Occupation and Invasion, no matter what verbs the Israeli try to impose on the MSM.

The Israeli picked the wrong target, choose the wrong objectives and will become bogged down in a mini Baghdad, north of the Blue Line. All the while, waiting for the Russians and French to come relieve them.

Meanwhile the real enemies of Israel and US, the ones that can supply Sanctuary and Silkworm missiles to HB continue to "cash in". Feeling neither the cost or the loss of this Lebanonese misadventure.
The HB's control nodes are left unaffected while a few leaves are pruned from the terrorist bush.

On to Damascus!
That should have been the call, setting the IDF against an Enemy it could have vanquished, instead of creating another, new Islamic State where once a fragile democratic seedling had been nursed, almost to flowering.
The Democracy Project had not advanced to fruit bearing phase, yet, when HB and Israel uprooted it.
Much like Iraq is turning out.
Cascading failures for stated US policies across the Middle East.

7/26/2006 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Well, If IDF has another few accidents, makes a few more targeting errors, maybe they can rout one of the enemies on their front. Suits the sh*t outta me. How anyone could not expect 23 years of this "interim" UN mission not to've tentacled itself into a criminal/commercial black-market business operation, especially given the record of both UN and Iran, is beyond imagining.

7/26/2006 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

During Desert Storm a lot was made about an F-117 hit on a bunker full of civilians in Baghdad. It is ironical that the invention of precision weaponry -- a development motivated in part by the desire to avoid collateral damage -- has made its users more culpable than those who use unguided weapons like Katyushas, who may fire at will. But I digress.

In the case of the F-117 the mistake was in knowing what was inside the bunker. There are other sources of error. One IDF pilot in an interview said that in combat previous to this war they had accidentally killed a family by misreading a digit on their coordinate system. That brought to mind the case in Afghanistan where a ground team read out their GPS position instead of the enemy's coordinates. It's possible to indicate an enemy target by giving your own pos, then distance bearing to the enemy. But a lot of confusion can happen in combat, usually with fatal results. And in this case I think a B-52 30,000 feet overhead dropped a JDAM right on their position.

Recently the Hez themselves got a guided weapon. A Chinese C-802 antiship missile. But they hit not only an Israeli corvette, they also sent one of them into a civilian freighter, a fact already forgotten in our strange media environment.

7/26/2006 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger bigcitylib said...

The "targeted" part is pretty obvious, as the Israelies also fired upon the rescue teams that came to dig these poor men out.

The U.N. has been criticizing Israel heavily in the past couple of days. The Israelies decided to retaliate.

7/26/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Terry Crane said...

And of cause, Louise Arbour will never charge Hezballah alone with war crimes, even if Israel stop fighting and accept all 16,000 or missiles. Another proof that so-called "International Law" is not a Law as such.

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

As John Bolton has all-but-said, his role is to do what he can to complicate things for the gigantic criminal enterprise known as the UN.

7/26/2006 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

At first I was concerned about the apparent slow pace and limited nature of Israel's response to Hezbollah provocations. I was also concerned about media reports of IDF casualties and difficulties in combating Hezbollah forces. While I believe reporting on the war has been relatively accurate and largely unbiased in American MSM outlets, still the reporting does not give an accurate description of the battlefield. Hezbollah rockets are a terror weapon with no military value. As opposed to demoralizing the Israeli population, the rockets increase Israeli resolve. Hezbollah militia units apparently have well designed battlements at key locations, but where Hezbollah fighters mass, Hezbollah fighters are killed...relentlessly. The depth of the Hezbollah defenses appears limited. Nasrallah’s recent TV appearance indicates he is losing control of the struggle and is trying to regain the initiative. The initiative Hezbollah lost as the kidnapped IDF soldiers were driven across the border.

Recent reports from the battlefield and from negotiations between the parties indicates to me a weakening of the Hezbollah position both politically and militarily. IDF attacks appear to be having a significant affect on Hezbollah strength in border areas. Hezbollah’s strength was a thin crust in border areas. As the affects of the IDF attacks become apparent to Hezbollah leadership, the leadership realizes nothing stands in the way of the IDF from marching to Beirut or anywhere else in Lebanon and wreaking total havoc.

In coming days and weeks Hezbollah and their allies will increasingly pressure the international community to stop the IDF. America must put its foot in the door and stop any premature ceasefire proposals. Israel must be given time to decimate Hezbollah.

Hezbollah defeat or loss of face would be an important victory against the forces of radical Islam.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

7/26/2006 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Lagwolf said...

Kofi was just itching for a chance to bash Israel. The UN is about as impartial and Galloway is. It probably was a mistake but I am betting some of the UN are helping Hezballah.

7/26/2006 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Oh, of course UN does some good stuff. Al Capone used to throw block parties in his Chicago neighborhood--the people loved him for it.

7/26/2006 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

There's an interesting paper by an MIT student analyzing an incident in 1994 when two U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters were shot down by two U.S. Air Force F-15s in the no-fly-zone over northern Iraq.

It's worth reading to see how complex things can be. Goody books. Radar icon symbology. Long-term exceptions which were assumed to have become the rule -- except to those who never heard of the exception. Two things stood out. First, the Army and the Air Force were on different comm systems that were simply interfaced in some way; second, even with the same nominal procedures, it was possible to be on different "mental models". An accumulation of these things led to two Blackhawks being destroyed by the pride of the US Air Force. And this was between two branches of the same military.

7/26/2006 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The UN, which buddy, the US funds.
So just who is the enabler of the UN's behaviour?

There is no room to complain, we signed the contract and have been making the payments for years. To claim ingorance of the reality of the UN is no excuse, for US, because it is a lie. We know full well.
The UN embodies the "New World Order" dream and however imperfect, must also be nutured to fruit bearing.
Patience patience, we are staying the course, the UN is part and parcel of that course.

It's all good. We've got plenty of time, decades according to Mr Cheney.

Tony Blankley, he is agrees asking the Hamadan question, "Just Another Coincidence?"
While Dick Morris warns True friends of Israel cannot let the Dems take power

Mr Blankley's piece is right on the money.

7/26/2006 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Below is a “Command and General Staff College" link to a study of friendly fire incidents in America’s wars from WWI – 1980(?) While I believe it grossly understates the problem, its historical narrative, is nevertheless instructive.
http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources/
csi/Shrader/shrader.asp

While opinions vary as to the extent of damage done, this site is probably as good as any:
War/Campaign Percent Casualties (U.S. Military only)*
World War II 21%
Korea 18%
Vietnam 39%
Persian Gulf 49%
• Both fatal and non-fatal (These figures do not include murders or deliberate/accidental self-inflicted wounds/fatalities
• http://members.aol.com/amerwar/ff/ff.htm

7/26/2006 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger mbuckl1 said...

Wretchard

How do you do it? This post sounds like you're writing about a WW2 battle with the benefit of decades of analysis, and it happened this morning. You're incredible.

7/26/2006 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger rich said...

Kofi Annan is a Hezbollah partisan.

He is keeping UNIFIL in danger to increase the chances of UNIFIL and civilian casualties.

The reason is that only civilian casualties can trigger the cease fire that will save Hezbollah.

7/26/2006 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy,

Mr. Capone, like Hezbollah, was quite the political activist, also. He is attributed with the saying, "Vote early; vote often."

Unlike the Klan of his time, no one wanted his endorsement. Money over the transom was another matter.

Do you think his political connections might in part explain his having escaped the fate of, say, John Dillinger?

Oh, could the Hezbollah leadership’s political connections explain their survival to date?

7/26/2006 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Grey said...

Great job -- but where is a link to the UN mandate description?

It is key that the UN has failed, failed, failed -- but it is still providing human shield coverage for Hezbollah.

If they are not disarming Hezbollah, as per UN 1559, they should not be there. And Hezbollah or the Leb gov't should be sending wounded to the hospital -- and true civilians, rather than Hez supporters, should be running away.
Literally running for their lives.

7/26/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Rice told reporters: "What we agreed upon is that there should be an international force under a U.N. mandate that will have a strong and robust capability to help bring about peace, to help provide the ability for humanitarian efforts to go forward and to bring an end to the violence."

7/26/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

desert rat,

Good links.

Mr. Blankley writes, “The president should give a series of major speeches on the nature of the worldwide threat.

To Mr. Blankley, may I add: If any member of the Administration (civilian or military) should utter the phrase (or some verisimilitude thereof) “religion of peace”, that person shall be impeached, tried, and/or summarily discharged from service. Should the President yield to the temptation, the Congress shall invoke the XXV Amendment.

7/26/2006 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

FOX sent me this message, some of you may wish to see the MSM start to "catch up"

Hugo Chavez Heads to Iran
Your World w/ Cavuto — Today, 4pm / 1am ET
Venezuela's leader makes plans to visit with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — is he aligning himself with the "Axis of Evil," and becoming a world threat powered by Venezuela’s vast oil supplies? We have the details.

7/26/2006 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Maliki is as we speak drawing a bright line between fake religion and human rights. Fox has his address live right now.

Dick Morris is a good 'un--truth without sentiment. Don't miss rat's link--

wretchard, your extended post is tremendous. As is the visual of the wandering bystanders.

7/26/2006 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Hugo has been meeting with Belarus's (Europe's only official Communist dictatorship) anti-American dictator Lukashenko just prior. Lukashenko is friends with Putin's faction, so I imagine there will plenty of details to relay to the mullahs.

7/26/2006 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

as Boone Pickens points out, only a good kick here or there and oil will have a new $100 baseline--and the transfer of global capital to the exporters will be on, in earnest.

7/26/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Havana Summit, October.
The pieces are falling into place for the new "Pact", Warsaw is so yesterday.

7/26/2006 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

Kofi Annan has no credibility whatsoever, along with the corrupt, idiotic and comical debating society that he leads. Worse yet, he's a mouthpiece for the islamic fascists.

Israel is a true friend. The odious Iranian proxy army of terrorist gangsters attacked them.

Remember who started the larger war, as Newt Gingrich calls it, World War III. The islamic fascists started war against the US and the entire Western world, which we will finish for them.

Cato the Elder:
We must destroy Iran.

7/26/2006 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Thank the Lord for three BIG things: we're physically with a legitimate--if embattled--gov't in Iraq, Mexico held in the free world, and Israel is occupying, hopefully eliminating, the partisans behind the free world's new oil axial line: the Iran-Iraq border.

7/26/2006 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Although I hope to be proved egregiously wrong and forced to wallow in apologetic remorse, the 2km (1.2 mile) buffer zone seems to have two purposes.

First, if the zone can be adequately manned, it will make it more difficult for Hezbollah to make forays into Israel (which really isn’t the major problem).

Second, it will make Mr. Olmert look like he is busy solving the strategic problem (unlimited rocket and/or missile attacks on Israel), which he isn’t.

With enough loss of life, I fear the Israeli public will revert to its customary “peace at any price” modality. You know, Mr. Olmert did not become Prime Minister without an understanding of his public.

7/26/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Last thing and I'll quit hogging: Chuck Schumer, ostensibly in support of Israel, ostensibly to protest Maliki's soft rhetoric on Hez the other day, led a boycott of Maliki's speech to Congress. American Jews--and freedom fighters--beware--this is not a support of Israel. Insulting an embattled ally--the Republic of Iraq--is not a support of Israel. Somebody needs to talk to Schumer--and soon.

7/26/2006 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Grimmy said...

Has anyone considered the obvious? If the UNIFIL positions are "clearly marked", wouldn't Hezbollah be purposely launching assaults from those areas, using UNIFIL as human shields and hoping for return fire from Israel to injure UNIFIL staff?

It's possible that Kofi is using UNIFIL for exactly this purpose.

7/26/2006 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Two soldiers are kidnapped and Lebanon is bombed and an occupation begins. High ranking Israeli officials say that Syria and Iran are for the rest of the world to deal with they are just going to deal with HB. Gosh, do you think Bush and crew are just itchin' for Syria and/or Iran to provide some 'incident' some 'provocation' which will give the US a pretext to go in guns ablazing and deal with Iran and Syria riding the populist rage at the 'provocation' to victory in the upcoming midterm elections.

I truly hope it ain't so.

7/26/2006 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

SPIEGEL: The United Nations want to defuse the problem through a massive deployment of international troops in southern Lebanon.

Lahoud: That is an old proposal, which is hardly achievable. As long as the conflict between Lebanon and Israel remains unresolved, no international force will help, however large it may be. The problems smoulder on: the undetermined status of the Schebaa Farms, the Lebanese prisoners in Israel and above all the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

SPIEGEL: Why the Palestinians?

Lahoud: We have today around half a million Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, their birth rate is three times higher than the Lebanese. That is a time bomb. It is the basic problem of our country, it led to the outbreak of civil war in 1975 and still remains unsolved today. Everybody today is talking about UN resolution 1559, but nobody mentions resolution 194, which recognizes the Palestinians' right of return (to Israel).

Lebanon is small and can't integrate the Palestinians.


'Hezbollah Freed Our Country'

is the title of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, 70, interview in DER SPIEGEL

Interview conducted by Volkhard Windfuhr and Bernhard Zand

7/26/2006 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Grimmy said...

Regarding Maliki, this is a lose-lose situation. If he were supportive of Israel or the US, he would be written off as a "puppet" of the US.

On the other hand, glass-half-full, this is proof positive that we meant what we said when we said we would let Iraqis govern themselves. No matter how foolishly. But we should also remember that democracy is not just about letting people vote.

7/26/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"kidnapping two soldiers" is only a small part of it, Ash, as you well know. If the left's case was any good, it would not have to continually distort the facts.

7/26/2006 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

"Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem"

"Entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity"

Thus is the succinctness of Occam's razor .

The UN has outlived it's usefullness and needs to be ignored by the United States by virtue of our withdrawl. It complicates what is in this countries best interest by magnitudes beyond imagination. It drains our coffers and poisons our diplomacy.
"Peacekeeping forces" Oxymoron along side the great oxymorons of all time.

7/26/2006 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"Gosh, do you think Bush and crew are just itchin' for Syria and/or Iran to provide some 'incident' some 'provocation' which will give the US a pretext to go in guns ablazing and deal with Iran and Syria riding the populist rage at the 'provocation' to victory in the upcoming midterm elections."

Oh, ash, I think both sides have agreed to split the difference for now.

7/26/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

That's right--Karl Rove was over there, he yanked the lanyards on the thousand or so missiles that fired into Israel in the year *before* Israel struck back. It's all about the mid-term elections. Everything everywhere is always about the US elections.

7/26/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

Wretch rocks no doubt! He saves tons of time and searches for open source data miners and armchair/pajama analysts alike. Rock on cat.
Would someone here consider dropping Kevin Sites the hint that he might want to stop wearing that black T-shirt afield and writing about the IDF using "phosphorous".......?

7/26/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Thermblog said...

General Lew McKenzie on Canadian CBC this morning:

http://tinyurl.com/no8l9

Comment adapted from a post at MelaniePhillips.com:

Retired Canadian General Lew MacKenzie .. received an e-mail only days before from the dead Canadian observor who was a member of his former battalion. MacKenzie says that the message indicated in effect that the UN position was being used as cover by Hezbollah, who, MacKenzie explained, can do so quite freely as they are not members of the UN and not subject, therefore, to official condemnation. MacKenzie further took issue with the misleading reportage (citing CNN in particular) that suggests that Beirut is being bombarded by the IDF and that the city is in ruins. He said that the bombing is no where near the saturation levels that constitute a bombardment and the IAF have specifically targetted a twelve-block area that is, more-or-less, Hezbollah City, and only after dropping leaflets warning civilians to vacate well in advance of the planned airstrikes.

7/26/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

"What I can tell you is that 13 Israelis have been burned alive in their tanks on our land."

HB is runnin' likes rats from a sinkin' ship? As predicted by so many, here, sure does not appear to be that way.


And of course, we *always* believe everything we're told by Arab/Muslim spokespeople. (Can you say, "Baghdad Bob"? Or "Jenin Massacre"? Or "Mohammad Dura"?)

7/26/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

But by "both sides" I don't mean Republican and Democrat.

7/26/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

ash; 8:57PM

If the prior and present behaviors of Iran and Syria are not sufficiently provocative, it is hard to imagine what might be, short of them issuing an ironclad declaration of war through the offices of Mr. Annan. Even then, I have doubts.

Apropos your comment and some appearing yesterday, some historians believe the bellicose Julius Ceasar to have been something of a gay blade. If so, we need more like him today. Something tells me he would not have missed the provocation. Can you hear Caesar saying Schoomaker like, “I don’t think we’re losing”?

7/26/2006 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

FOX on the scene reports "between 8 & 13 Israeli dead" no offical word yet.
Shows live footage of the "intense" fire fight.

Shep Smith and Mr Leventhal and the rest of the FOX team do not "Baghdad Bob" make.

7/26/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, Lahoud leaves out a couple things:
1) How can Israel be expected to commit suicide by honoring 194 in isolation, without a real peace--which 1559 is a step toward--?
2) Hez can enjoy all the accolade it wants, for "freeing Lebanon". Nobody is trying to stop Hez from doing anything at all, other than the cross-border terror attacks on Israel.

And, I only recall one or two posters predicting Hez would run. They're the best soldiers the Jihad fields--after all.

7/26/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger bigcitylib said...

General Mackenzie's remarks, if true (and he claims the Canadian soldier emailed him in special soldier talk that only old soldiers and failed Conservative Candidates like himself can decode), are not really relevant considering that Olmert promised the UN that their outposts would not be targetted. It took the IDF six hours of shelling and a guided missile to get those men, even thought the observers were in constant touch and complaing about the shells falling through the whole episode. The IDF then took potshots at the people who came to dig the dead out of the rubble. All right here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5217176.stm

7/26/2006 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"Can you hear Caesar saying Schoomaker like, “I don’t think we’re losing”?"

For God's sake, allen, WHAT DO YOU WANT HIM TO SAY?

My dear neighbor asked a few days after my husband came home, "So, is it as bad in Iraq as the media say?"

His answer: Well, we have good days and bad days.

What do you want to hear, allen?

7/26/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Allen, (and Buddy et al),

Sure, at least in the rightwinger/war solves the problem camp, Iran and Syria have provided enough provocation already to date. Similarily the pre-kidnap HB rocket attacks were provocation enough for some Israelis, but not enough hence the need for a 'provocation' or a 'pre-text' a la 2 kidnapped soldiers which galvanize popular opinion behind the current Israeli action. So too, I'm guessing, Bush and crew are thinking. The traditional bringing liberation to the oppressed has recently foundered on the Shoals of Iraq more oomph is needed to get a fearful American public to cheer on an offensive on the axis powers of Syria and Iran.

7/26/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

So, the Canadian General and the Israeli gov't are not to be believed, but the always honest and evenhanded BBC is? Is that your assertion, BCLib?

7/26/2006 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The UN outpost will be the fixation of the MSM/Left for days to come. All the evils of the world will be attributed to Israel from this single incident.

Who cares.

7/26/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger bigcitylib said...

That is only one source of the story, Buddy. Fox has even more information. Apparently, the Irish have complining about IDF targeting practices practices vis a vis UN outposts.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,205643,00.html

7/26/2006 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ash, you're beginning to sound like Kevin Barrett.

Now you have the IDF kidnapping its own soldiers.

Is a cigar EVER a cigar?

7/26/2006 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

no Buddy, I am not suggesting that the IDF did the kidnapping only that the Politicians seized the opportunity. Similarily, I don't think Bush and crew would stoop so low as to perform an 'act' to move public opinion (though poli's have in the past) but he certainly would not hesitate to give the Iranians and Syrians enough rope to hang themselves. What do you think would happen if Iran or Syria moved their troops into Lebanon to support HB? Think Bush would stand back and watch?

7/26/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger bigcitylib said...

Buddy,

Your comments are obscure to me. But I suppose that just means neither of us know what your talking about.

For me the bottom line is it looks like the IDF snuffed a bunch of UN observers, including a Canadian soldier. It would be nice to see Conservatives at least denounce such an action, but I guess that is beyond them.

7/26/2006 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

BCLib, if you're right that the incident was deliberate, I'd say that in light of all the info contained in Wretchard's extended post, and the info in the Volokh piece, and the fact that Israel is being tested on the proposition that Israel should not exist, all this taken together would make the incident a lamentable but understandable battlefield necessity.

7/26/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger peggy said...

There is something I have always wanted to know but could never find out.

Isnt Kofi Annan a Muslim? Doesnt that explain alot of his bias? Unless he is an avowed secular atheist, this fact seems like the elephant in the room to me.

I could be wrong though. I'd appreciate it if someone would let me know if I am.

7/26/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Well, BCLib, I'll admit to your charge that I may not know what I'm talking about. Certitude belongs to you & Ash. I'm envious.

7/26/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger bigcitylib said...

If deliberate, then israel was right to murder four UN observers?

I just want to be sure I'm reading your correctly. D'you think this opinion is wide-spread on the Right?

7/26/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

1559's full implementation by the Lebanonese Government would have been as much a "Death Sentence" for Lebanon as 194 would be for Israel.
So instead, buddy, both sides are taking casualties in this Incursion combat. The Istaelis say that "Hundreds" of HB have been killed.

The Romans announce that they will provide some troops if an International Force is sent

7/26/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Lumpy said...

UN Peacekeepers As Human Shields?

7/26/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I dunno, BCLib.

I guess what I'm saying is that if the mounting evidence is true that in some cases some UN observers are acting as functional supports attached to an enemy that has attacked them, then the IDF unit that called in the strike might be forgiven for trying to stay alive as they fight this war that has been forced upon them.

Call it "murder" if you wish--that's after all the usual verbal formula--but the truth of the matter may be fgar closer to the definition of "self-defense".

7/26/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, a very much imprecise equivocal. The Palis have been in Leb for two generations, and the assimilation that Lahoud says is impossible is a fait accompli to some extent, and at any rate could be furthered peacefully--with a small fraction of the money being burned to kill Israel.

By contrast, the sudden implementation of 194, done without peace being a matter of fact, would be a far, far different animal. Just for a different set of people.

7/26/2006 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Why is Hugo Chavez still alive?

7/26/2006 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

If the IDF deliberately targeted the UN bunker then the UN personnel were providing assistance to Hez. Perhaps they were providing intel to Hez or perhaps they were allowing Hez to use the cover of the UN flag to fire on the IDF troops. I don't know the answer and frankly I don't care.

The UN is a farcical perversion of its founding principle - to prevent the existence of fascist organizations like Hizbu'allah. History will show that the UN's role in the ME as the classic example of a bureaucracy perpetuating a problem to justify its own existence. That is the best spin. The facts on the ground suggest more that UN "peacekeeping" missions are enablers of fascist organiztions.

7/26/2006 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Thermblog said...

bigclitylib

General Mackenzie's remarks, if true..

It has become apparent that the media (for the most part), UN & EU are virulently anti-Israel and seem desperate to pin things on her. The Jenin affair in 2002 showed this clearly and we are seeing it here. This post together with what Lew McKenzie said leads me to suspect that this incident was possibly a setup.

A single BBC news item is not proof of anything. What this incident really looks like is a case of Israel mistaking the location from which the requests were coming - if those claims are true.

7/26/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger MrKufr said...

bigcitylib
The only one responsible for the UN deaths is koffeebreak Annan for not withdrawing his personell from an active war zone. But then no one has ever accused the UN of having common sense.

7/26/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

PB, just food and water alone--if the UN is hauling food & water alone to the "civilians" who have ignored their chance to leave the combat zone--removes IDF's strongest tactic, the interdiction of supplies to the Hez combat units.

The longer the Hez units hold out, the more KIAs on all sides. This is the math that some folks don't want to admit.

7/26/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

mrkufr is correct. If the UN mission is unchanged they should have been withdrawn. If their mission was changed to assist fleeing non-combatants, that should have been broadcast. When the UN mission was bombed in Baghdad, they got out of town fast enough.

7/26/2006 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

From the Tony Blankley article referenced upthread:

Most Europeans and far too many Americans still see Hezbollah terrorism as just part of that "Arab Israeli mess" in the Middle East... But more importantly, most of the peoples of the world -- including the United States -- still don't believe that radical Islamist terrorism is a grave, worldwide challenge to civilization.

And therein lies our great strategic failure to date. So long as most people -- certainly most Europeans, perhaps most Americans -- see Islamist terrorism as merely the more or less disconnected actions of a relatively small number of fanatics, then Europeans will never send their sons to fight and die to defeat it. And, of course, they particularly won't send their sons to risk death for the "Jewish state" of Israel or the "imperialist" United States.

FWIW, I agree with the assessment that the boiling cauldron of ethnic violence in the ME has subdivided into [a minimum of] two discernible forms - terrorism fueled by quasi-religious ideology and the historical Arab-Israeli divide.

From the Dick Morris article referenced upthread:

Clinton’s willingness to use American power to force a cease-fire on Israel before it had fully eradicated Hezbollah stands in stark and sharp contrast to George Bush’s insistence on letting Israel proceed with its attacks until the terrorist group is neutralized.

In a nutshell, this illustrates the difference between the Democratic and Republican approaches to Israeli security.

Agree as well. The mental constructs are different and they are dictating policy.

And finally, Chris Matthews on Don Imus (as per Glenn Reynolds):

You know, every great American president since '48, when Israel was created, re-established, whatever, after a couple of thousand years, was to wear two hats, and to do a pretty good job with them. Some presidents did better than others. Clinton did a pretty good job especially. You've got to be a friend of the Israel Yiddish Star. That's American policy, it's American morale. We're friends of Israel. It's politics, it's policy, whatever you want to call it, we're a friend of Israel. Number two, and you've got to wear this second hat. The power broker in the region, the big power broker that can come in and say all right, boys and girls, stop the fighting. We're going to do this, we're going to the peace deal, we're going to cut the final deal, and you're going to listen to us. I think we've completely lost our ability to be a power broker.

So far, so good. I agree that the U.S. has not been a particularly smart power broker. We have the human resources to do much better. Matthews continues:

Every mistake we're making in the Middle East right now was made years and years ago by the British, by the French. Most of the mistakes we made in Vietnam were made by the French before. In Algeria, the French...and all the mistakes we're making now, if you engage in an invasion, you will face resistence from local people, based upon religion and nationalism.

IMO, no. The insurgency was not based on any well-defined sense of nationalism, which is effectively non-existent in the ME, nor was it based on any well defined religious belief that extended beyond the larval development of ‘down with the evil dog infidel.’ More and better is required before religion can be invoked as historically just cause.

The insurgency [ies] were based on rapscallionism - meddling here, tweaking there - all to the effect of scaring the sh^t out of the local populations. The level of deviousness and duplicity that passes for ‘foreign policy’ among ‘nation states’ in the ME has cut in both directions. But I object to the effort to draw historical parallels that allegedly justify the unfolding of current events to conform with a preconceived vision, let alone the 'ulterior motive' or supporting one response over another. It is what it is. Mental filters need to be sharper. And the answer is …

I'm not sure Hillary's going to be any better than Bush, because she'll be talking to her people for days before she figures out where she stands. And I think we want a president who's going to be lickety-split, here's what I think based upon history, and based upon thinking this through. This is what's going on here. And I just don't think we have that now, and I think we want it.

I believe the Democrats had eight years of Mr. Lickety-split. As an intellect, they don’t get much better and what happened to the employment of reasoned negotiation as a superior alternative to military engagement? Well, according to Madeleine Albright, “They [NK] lied to us.”

I hate it when that happens.

The dialogue needs to get a lot more serious.

7/26/2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

ahh, buddy, migrants, refugees.
Assimilation and repatriation.

Let enough time go by and fait acompli, buddy? Borders are lines of convience, in the Middle East and the US's southwest.
Once they people move, without permit, that's it? Done Deal?

1559 guarenteed Lebanonese Civil War and the death of their little experiment in "Status Que" peace. A secular Beirut a beacon of liberal modern life, destroyed.

The worst of it, the Israeli extinguished the beacon. While their excursions will kill hundreds more HB combatants, maybe a thousand or two. The limited combat will have no long term effect.

HB is symbiotic to the Lebanonese Shia community, to destroy one, the other must be die, as well.

That is a river the Israeli will not reach, let alone cross.

7/26/2006 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Mr. Larsen has pointed out the latest travels of Mr.Chavez. Chavez is trying very hard to bring about a formalized organization to counter the US.
I would at other times said the "West" but that term has become sclerotic at minimum.

Should he be successful in developing a coalition of counterveiling forces to US interests then not only would the balance of military power shift significantly but a seismic shift away from foreign investment in US bonds to Euro backed investments could easily come about, much to the delight of France and Germany.

Putin would revel in it and back to the bipolar world we go, with a significantly weaker US economy. Ouch.

7/26/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That is a perspective that some of us have promoted as a reality for a long, long time.

7/26/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, do the Navaho have a claim on your place? Yes, they do, and you'll be the first to admit it. no traety made at gunpoint is legal. Secondarily, are you gonna head back to old Dundee on the strength of that Navaho claim? No, you're not.

I say all this because the word "practical" has become--like Ash's "provocation"--a code word for "open borders" and "reaction is wrong"--respectively.

Did you notice the questions *not* asked by the der Speigel reporters?

A cessation of Hez attacks on Israel is what Lebanon needs right now. Then (dream on) a real deal to stop trying to nullify Israel.

Then the displaced everywhere can move where they want.

7/26/2006 11:19:00 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 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Boyfriend charged in swallowed phone case - Crime & Punishment ...
Police in Kansas City say Marlon Brando Gill has been charged with felony assault. Faces assault charges for forcing device down girlfriend's throat.

Hillary's Bust

7/26/2006 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Why should we just assume that Lebanon's Shi'a community has or would embrace Hizu'allah to the exclusion of all other alternatives?

Why should we just assume that the Shi'a and other Lebs will rally behind Hizbu'allah as a consequence of the war. Isn't it equally as likely that many, perhaps most, Lebs will blame Hizbu'allah for foolishly bringing the wrath upon them?

DR. You would find a way to lose a hand of five card stud with a Straight Flush.

7/26/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger ambisinistral said...

HB is symbiotic to the Lebanonese Shia community, to destroy one, the other must be die, as well.

...Or they head across the border into Syria. To me that's one of the calculations being ignored so far.

I've heard that 20% of the Lebanese population, presumably most from the south and the Hezbullah neighborhoods of Beruit, have been uprooted. This article puts the number that have entered Syria at 200,000.

It is hard to say how that is going to change the near term landscape regarding Syria and Lebanon. Syria loses the income, and a pressure valve for its poorer neighborhoods, that the ability of its poor to find work in Lebanon provided. In addition, Syria pick up the costs associated with providing for the influx of refugees.

If Hezbullah itself get significantly pushed out of southern Lebanon, who flows into that vacuum?

The road repair and supplies being brought in to encourage civilians to stay needs to be stopped by Israel. As cruel as it sounds, I suspect the movement of Shia population is part of their equation.

7/26/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

Allow me:

Main Entry: 1scle·rot·ic
Pronunciation: skl&-'rä-tik
Function: adjective
1 : being or relating to the sclera
2 : of, relating to, or affected with sclerosis

Main Entry: scle·ro·sis
Pronunciation: skl&-'rO-s&s
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English sclirosis tumor, from Medieval Latin, from Greek sklErOsis hardening, from sklEroun to harden, from sklEros
1 : pathological hardening of tissue especially from overgrowth of fibrous tissue or increase in interstitial tissue; also : a disease characterized by sclerosis
2 : an inability or reluctance to adapt or compromise ..political sclerosis

I'm thinking H_3's use of the word is in the context of the adapting part as opposed to the compromising....
Were the hell is P-tater? I understand his vocab....

7/26/2006 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You are right, buddy, fat chance that Israel or HB will just stand down, in place, at this point.

In the end the Israeli will withdraw, a month, year, what ever.
The Romans, Franks, Cossacks and Ottomans will arrive.

The Civilians will return to their homes, and with them HB.

The Israeli do not seem to be advancing into the Beeka. It may take weeks, at the present tempo, to clear those few villages where the civilians were told, directly, to leave.

7/26/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

1559 guaranteed Lebanese Civil War and the death of their little experiment in "Status Quo" peace.

That's not what the Leb politicians were saying. Only that they needed to do it by discussions and it would take time. Today they're saying "make Israel give back the Leb prisoners and Shebaa farms and then HB can be disarmed." If a civil war was guaranteed and no one in Leb wanted a civil war than a war with Israel was guaranteed.

Nasrallah had been saying since the last prisoner swap that he was going to capture more Israelis and there had been more than one failed attempt to capture Israeli soldiers on the border. Israel has been saying since it left Leb and Gaza that it would have a free hand to respond to provocations. I think this war was inevitable.

Israel probably would have been willing to deal with the few Leb prisoners and the Shebaa farms in the context of a peace treaty. However, Israel would not have agreed to a peace treaty as long as HB was armed.

HB is symbiotic to the Lebanonese Shia community, to destroy one, the other must be die, as well.

Not really. If 1 million Leb shia decide they don't want HB then it will have a very hard time existing. I can't say if that will happen after this war but I do think they will think about it. As Fouad Ajami said in his WSJ article the Shia are now facing a choice.

7/26/2006 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Mollie said...

Subject: Re: What Religion does kofi annan belong to?
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 04 Apr 2004 15:49 PDT
Rated:
Kofi Annan is a Christian.

"Annan, who graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., the
Institut Universitaire de Hautes Edudes Internationales in Geneva,
Switzerland, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also
attended a Methodist primary school in his native Ghana. He credited
his religious teachers and scripture with instilling in him the
principles that guide his life and work. Annan is a Christian, who
attends a number of Protestant churches in New York, according to his
staff."

FindArticles
http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m1141/7_35/53460476/p1/article.jhtml

From a speech given by Kofi Annan at Tübingen University, Germany, 12
December 2003:

"...No religion or ethical system should ever be condemned because of
the moral lapses of some of its adherents. If I, as a Christian, for
instance, would not wish my faith to be judged by the actions of the
Crusaders or the Inquisition, I should be very careful to judge anyone
else's faith by the actions that a few terrorists may commit in its
name."

Stiftung Weltethos
http://www.weltethos.org/st_2_xx/s_3201.htm

Google Web Search: "kofi annan" + "is a christian"
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=%22kofi+annan%22+%22is+a+christian

I hope this information is helpful. If anything is unclear or
incomplete, please request clarification; I'll be glad to offer
further assistance before you rate my answer.

Best regards,
pinkfreud

7/26/2006 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

RE negotiation versus military engagement, I of course left out the punch line.

I remember the infectious and skeptical but optimistic response that surrounded Clinton’s brokered peace agreement with Arafat and I also recall my ‘last straw’ better disappointment when the Palestinian money-men [I am assuming] pulled out. I have read this was Clinton’s greatest disappointment as well.

As I said, History with a twist. Shaken and stirred.

7/26/2006 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Mollie said...

I found the above on Kofi's religion at
http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=325126

Hope this answers one thing: Kofi is an apostate CHRISTIAN. He went to a Methodist school, by the way. And is the scion of a rich, chiefly Ghana family... one would like to know if that family started on its road to wealth and status via the "selling slaves" route...

7/26/2006 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

first'in i gots ta be say'in dat ole desert rat jump right on old Habu kinda like i hit a sweet juicy mellon rine.

i means ta say Mr.H3 iz sump'in be'in late wit a comment like uS blonds go'in ta eurup. ain't gonna evr be a wez knod it ..sock 'em hard ole Rat.

i wuz treed thother nite by sum kid with an angry look. chavez and all dem desert people special on that. recon they be constpat'in all the time. put's me in a growl. happens bad on frogs and chewd valve stems.
i believe H3 done been read'in da dikshunary too much to.
anyway up dat ree i think'in we got ouself a big mess all over.
i try to read you folks but in da end it's just like chew'n on a valve stem..so yo finish up and you gots air...sum be sticky,ta nother hot but jus air.
bedder off stick'in to sneak'in in and ankle bit'in ..least ya git sum blood, maybe sum meat too..but all dat wurk for hot air.
lets listen up on mr RAT, he seem like he a kingfish type.

7/26/2006 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Remember, the first half of the war on Israel was all about Arab nationalism. When that fell apart, the war was ginned up on the religious theme of Jihad.

Maybe if that too can be discredited, the practical next thing may be "peace" --because capitalizing the poor folks (Palis and the Levantine Shia) will be seen as a better thing to do with assets than burning them away in an endless useless war. hey, it could happen--but probably not until the last instant before toppling into the Abyss.

7/26/2006 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/26/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

allen said:

Apropos your comment and some appearing yesterday, some historians believe the bellicose Julius Ceasar to have been something of a gay blade.

That was a vicious rumor fanned by J.C.'s enemies after he managed to get a levy of ships from Nicomedes IV of Bithynia with remarkable ease. Curio the Elder called him him "every woman's man and every man's woman"

If so, we need more like him today. Something tells me he would not have missed the provocation. Can you hear Caesar saying Schoomaker like, "I don’t think we’re losing"?

More like, "Cry Havock and let slip the dogs of war!"

7/26/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Barry Allen said...

bob,
Tony Blankley is right in his column. I'm of Greek descent, have lived there and all over Europe and America while on business. Europeans in general do not view a battle against radical Islamists as their fight. I both agree and disagree with that view.
Europeans should send troops as support in situations and conflicts which support allies like the United States.
But I don't think it IS our fight per se, to unite nationally to fight Islamists. Because Europe isn't a monolith; it's many different nation states looking out for their interests.
In terms of my home country, Greece does not view a fight with radical Islamists, Iraq, or Iran in their national interests. America and Israel do and should follow their own national interests, and Europe should as well.

7/26/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If the game was local, buddy, there could be a chance, but as Mr Newt and Mr Blankley describe so well, it is not.

There will be no Shia "flip" on HB. HB is providing the Refugee aid in the north and in Syria, according to reports.

Iran will continue to fund and Syria supply HB, as required or needed. To maintain the hatred of the Israeli and US will not be hard to do in refugee camps or upon their return to the "HB free zone"

7/26/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

Sorry about the bad pic link..try this and scroll down to 6:xx
Hiz and UN flags flying together

and thanks for the translation P-tater I knew that link to all the Palis in Leb was going to fire the D Rat right up...and as it should.

7/26/2006 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

ambisinistral,

You have it, I believe. The relatively weak response in the south and the targeted strikes in Beirut, point to your conclusion as the only positive aspect of the strikes.

7/26/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Good point, rat. And only the locals can "make" it local.

"Making it local" is what Condi is up to, in Rome. The force being wrought will have as job #1 "helping the Leb gov't disarm Hez"--according to word coming over the Fox air just minutes ago.

I know--believe it when ya see it.

7/26/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Man, the reports coming out of Bint Jabail (sp?) are *rough*. IDF getting bloodied trying to go house-to-house. Spokesman says can't do an air-rubbling, the place is packed with civvies. Losing Armor, 20 or so reported KIA IDF, 250 or so KIA Hez. reports CNBC & Fox, fragmentary. Hard crust indeed.

7/26/2006 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

man alive..we go'in round and round, talk'in 'bout evr round fard over in Lebnam ..whew wear possum, even a possumtater out.
why?

cause it gonna end up like before. roadkill always on da road, no solution sept'in kill all da critters or ban all da tires..(which is why i go after valve stems..lost a baby sista to a rent-a-truck)
people ain't noth'in gonna change..jaw..jaw
soon da road kill gone but down the road mo kill
like Teresita say "loos big dogs eat"
but i guess people done said that afore too, right mr rat? shake dat tree da low hangin fruit done bin et.
i recon better time be spent com'in up with a newer theory-a-minute

7/26/2006 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Okay, now a possum is telling me to aw shut up. Awright, thread-hog out, back to reading until the barnyard quits complainin'--
;)

7/26/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Knowing others and knowing oneself, in one hundred battles no danger. Not knowing the other and knowing oneself, one victory for one loss. Not knowing the other and not knowing oneself, in every battle certain defeat.
- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Accepting that, how is Hezbollah doing? How is Israel doing?

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

Probably because I consider the neutering of HB's military capability today's number one priority in the WOT, I am disappointed that Israel has not fully mobilized to trap, isolate and destroy HB in detail.

On the other hand Israel has been the world's premier warfighter for the past two or three generations so just because I don't understand what they're up to doesn't mean it's not the best method possible in the circumstances.

I have believed that the most difficult aspect of dealing HB a mortal blow would be to get enough of them into a killing zone. Perhaps the IDF is dangling the prospect of actually defeating an elite IDF brigade in HB's face to draw more of them into the Bekaa. It seems the irresistible lure.

7/26/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

Dont take offense buddy..its code...P-tater is Habu_1-3's crypto gear and he is thinking that the "Tangos" dont know redneck/cracker

We all knew the CQB was going to be messy....or at least we should have.

7/26/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" Not knowing the other and knowing oneself, one victory for one loss. "
---
I don't know Shiite.
- Redundant Doug

7/26/2006 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

12:36 PM
"Hard crust indeed. "
Trish figured hard all the way through.
Even Trish can be wrong.

7/26/2006 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Chris Matthews has it all figgered out.

7/26/2006 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hewitt BEGGED for that transcript.
It's worth begging for:

Cris Mathews:
...the Vice President, you notice how he hides during difficult times? He's in his bunker, he's in an undisclosed location.
Where's Cheney in all this?
He just fades every time something happens.

Don Imus:
Did you plan on taking a breath at any point?

CM: Huh?

DI: Did you plan on taking a breath at any point?

CM: I'm trying to complete a thought, and I think we ought to...
I think if we had longer conversations instead of back and forth and stupid American politics driving this thing, we'd be better off.

7/26/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

2164th,

I read the Atrocious Error.

Israel needed the Lebanese govt and at least some rhetorical pretense to a *shared* effort to enforce 1559, at a time when, arguably, Hezbollah's political fortune was on the wane.

Could Israel have brought the Lebanese govt along? And if Israel couldn't, could we?

7/26/2006 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Putin would revel in it and back to the bipolar world we go, with a significantly weaker US economy. Ouch. "
---
It's now a crime in Russia to use dollars for settling contracts.

7/26/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

Barry Allen: But I don't think it IS our fight per se, to unite nationally to fight Islamists. Because Europe isn't a monolith; it's many different nation states looking out for their interests.

As the Big Guns note down-thread, the fight against terrorism IS local. It is a unified opposition to those who seek destruction through fear and intimidation. This is not an issue of diplomacy among nation states or an issue of supporting allies for reasons strategic or ethical. Opposition to terrorism is a statement of mankind's right to live in hope that reason will prevail over fear.

7/26/2006 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger ed said...

Hmmm.

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.

Considering that it's UNFIL's *job* to deal with Hezbollah and prevent them from establishing a presence in southern Lebanon then it's not just some sort of accident.

It's absolute proof of collusion.

7/26/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Doug, China's economy is about one sixth the size of ours, and Russia is about 1/2 the size of theirs. Despite their growth rates, the end of the year will see more distance between theirs and ours than was there at the beginning of the year. 12.5T x 3.5% yields a bigger number than 2T x 10%, or 1T x 8%.)

Despite the fact that the EU has 500 million people, their economy is smaller than ours, even though we only have 300 Million. More importantly, we're growing at about 3.5% vs their 1.5%. The Gap is widening there, also.

Chavez is a bad joke, and Venezuela is guaranteed bankruptcy as soon as the price of oil takes a 30% drop, which is a virtual guarantee. Even if it doesn't he will still manage to mismanage his country into chapter 11 fairly soon.

Communism, Socialism, and Tyranny will never out-produce the marvelous U.S. Economy. Freedom loses some skirmishes on the limited war/diplomatic/political front from time to time, but it will never be defeated in the marketplace.

7/26/2006 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

Not knowing the other and not knowing oneself, in every battle certain defeat.

O, what a tangled web we weave.

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

i dun nevr thank dat no comment frum a Possumtater had any tug on all the skinny gitt'in out.

don't fer hav'in sakes let dat happen. hell we all learn'in and such. Possumtater don't give a shit how many time uh posta writ down. you got dat flummoxed all ta hell..post on..it's the lifeblood. hell all P-tater and masta Habu say iz kil,kil,kil ..that sho ain't add'in up.
saddle up truper, hit dat keyboard!!
apologies all'round if'n offese thought out.
sign
woodland critter ..bardyard hell

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

rufus,
Rush was quoting Kudlow, i think with the claim that:
---
In the last 36 months, the US Economy has grown in an amount equal to the entire Chicom Economy!
I was telling my wife, and she say look around you.
(The Wealth just keeps pouring in a rate that makes the Japanese Bubble of 15 years ago look anemic)
I said yeah, you're right, and I bet neither of us would recognize Olathe Kansas Either.
Probably puts what Overland Park was when I was there to shame.

7/26/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Their objective, rufus, is not to engage US in the marketplace, but in our supply train.

Close the Gulf to free flowing traffic for a minimum of 60 days, based upon the IDF/IAF experience in Lebanon.

Disrupt the flow from Nigeria
Attack the pipelines in Turkey and Panama. Attack the infrastructure in Mexico, hand in hand with a revolt in the southern States, on the electoral pretext.

WWIII

7/26/2006 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Opposition to terrorism is a statement of mankind's right to live in hope that reason will prevail over fear."
---
Bob,
Agreed
The news in Barry's comment left me angry and disgusted.
The Euros seemed DAMNED to repeat history.

7/26/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rat,
You and your son settin up a Paramilitary Outfit down there?

7/26/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Adventure tourism

7/26/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Ikez said...

If the U.N. is setting up camp with Hezbollah, as Michelle Malkin has pictures of, what do they expect?

7/26/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I'll tell you what: if ama dingdong batshit crazy gets his "Nukes," and our congress doesn't allocate money for a Missile Defense System for Europe, I'll betcha they wake up and decide (maybe, a bit too late) that it really was their fight.

7/26/2006 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"Bardyard" LOL--truth in typos!

Joe Buzz link--Israelly Cool--good stuff, events stream.

Bob Smith is right. Barry Allen has a point about national interests being final trump--but--how do you know your national interests are NOT being threatened--by this global jihad?

Isn't it as with all fascisms, it may just not have gotten to you yet?

Even Sun Tzu is little help, as how do you *know* whether or not you know yourself, or your enemy? He's thinking the same things, after all.

I like the unspoken creed of brush country volunteer fire depts. The difference between a small brush fire and a major calamity brush fire is just a matter of time, so drive right through the gates and fences, and count on the property owners to understand, or to shut up, either way.

7/26/2006 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Rat, I'm "Praying" the crazy bastard shuts down the Gulf for a month, or two.

We'll take a "temporary" hit, but it will focus the hell out of some befuddled minds.

BTW, for the cost of the war in Iraq, we could have put a solar collector on the roof of "Every" Private Home in America.

7/26/2006 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

We've spent the day so far along the Israel-Lebanon border. It's amazing how quickly you get used to the sounds of shelling.
A couple days ago, I couldn't tell the difference between incoming and outgoing fire. Now, it's obvious to my ear.

We came upon a Katyusha rocket that had struck along the side of the road. It had created a trench about 80 feet long that was still on fire when we got there. The rocket was half-buried in the ground.
In this border area, the mountains are literally on fire. Rockets have landed along the forested slopes and huge plumes of white smoke fill the sky.

Tonight on the program, we'll show you what these Katyushas look like up close and how Israeli authorities are trying to deal with the seemingly endless supply of them that Hezbollah has at its disposal.

Anderson Cooper

7/26/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Yeah, I liked that, "Bardyard, myself. Meant to comment on it.

7/26/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

rufus,
My Son and 2 other people, with AC and 6 computers, spent 500 bucks on electricity last month!
Think it's in the high 20's here per kw.
Google supposedly pays what we paid in CA in the 60's: 3.5 cents/kw for the hydro in Oregon!

7/26/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rufus, and if the Jihad takes over the Persian Gulf, we'll NEED one on every roof.

7/26/2006 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger just a marine said...

On the UN fellows in Palestine

When I heard on Fox News yesterday and today the stats of UN observers killed there over the last 20 + years (by the Israelis is the implication) I wonder if Colonel Rich Higgins (USMC) from Kentucky is included. That was his assignment at the time (late 1980‘s). He was kidnapped, tortured, and hung by his captors (published world wide). He had a wife and child. Word has it we later caught up and killed his 5 captors. (Go political leaders and the Delta Force, I hear.)

I have another fellow with the same assignment later and duty to the UN force. He and an Army guy were kidnapped, taken into Egypt (I hear), stripped naked, and run through a mock execution (like ready, aim, fire, with blanks being the mental method).

7/26/2006 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

The sooner the better, Buddy; the sooner the better.

The future of America "Cannot be digging holes in the ground, and fighting savages for what comes out.

7/26/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

lessn they be possumterrorists, stead of 'tators.

7/26/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

You can eat fresh coon, but you can't eat Cancun.

7/26/2006 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Utopia Parkway,

A recent poll says 70% of Lebanese support the abduction of Israeli soldiers.

7/26/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Doug,

PossumTaters is our super sekrit anti-terrorist interrogation wepun. When them Jihadi's feel them little bedy eyes on their terrorist man sacs, and see them little razor sharp teeth glist'nin in the moonlight they starts chatterin, and don't stop till the sun comes up.

7/26/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Where was the poll taken--in a Hez bunker?

7/26/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Drudge is sobbing for the IDF.

Sobbing all day long over 14 casualties.

Jeezus H. Christ - this is an awful mess.

7/26/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Barry Allen said...

I don't know why some took my comment as insulting or disgusting. I was proclaiming the importance of nation state advantage and sovereignty. As Americans I'm sure you resent other nations dictating how and what America does, including the U.N.

Same with the European nations. They resent the United States if they insist that their fight with Hezbollah/Iraq/Iran is also, say, Italy's fight.

I haven't been there in a few years, but I know that my countrymen enjoy a love-hate relationship with the United States. Not with Americans themselves mind you, because Greece is a hospitable country and there are also tens of millions of Greek-Americans in the U.S. But many Greek natives view the American federal government with cynicism and view it as hypocritical.
They never forgot or forgave Lyndon Johnson's backing of the Greek Colonels who briefly ruled the country after a coup that pushed aside the democratic government, with the backing of the CIA. Johnson didn't like the fact that the Greek PM of the time asked for the closing of strategic U.S. naval bases on Greek territory. The nation was looking to become "unaligned" a la India.

Long point short, European-NATO countries will support their ally the United States in a military conflict, despite them not always agreeing---as in the failed Doha trade rounds very recently. And you can consider me a 'filo-Americanon': friend of America and Americans.

(*interesting historical point, the American South morally supported the Greek independence movement from the Ottoman Empire during the 1800's, which manifested in city names like Athens, Georgia and the Greek revival movement in the South).

7/26/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Did I miss something?

Did the Israelis set themselves up to begin with as f-in victims - along with their opponents?

7/26/2006 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It's not about the dictating, or lack of it:
It's the BLINDNESS!
(Half of our own population suffers the same maddening affliction)
---
Yoni says Bint Jbeil fighting is like Stalingrad, with portions of it being reduced to dust.
Up to 14 IDF killed, enemy stacking up like cordwood. Hundreds, but not advertised or pictured, because Israelis are Jews.
Seems to me the most important news for people outside the Club to become aware of is the incredible Infrastructure the UN allowed to develop, unreported, 10 stories beneath their feet.
So many Kornets that Israelis have been forced to hand carry some casualties out.

7/26/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If the USA did not exist, the Jihadis still would, but some choose to use the USA as an excuse to pretend otherwise.

7/26/2006 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

The Israeli's had a force on the border at Metula, last night, ready to attack Khaim. As you can see on the map, this would be the force that would go to Beqaa, if there was going to be one.

I guess now we're going to "Wait for an investigation." Good God!

7/26/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

i node one thang. my daddy, P.T."Bardyard" Tater went in wit the Tarawa Marines, had tah swim da lass 500 yards, but he done toll me dat dem "saki sacs" wuz sum kinda gud eat'in.
He be sayin he nevr undastoud a wad they say it wauz just lile his orders wuz to bite down and twist. iff'in it rip off, bonus money..ole PT cume home with 'nuff money to open a Colonel Sanders. sold out after the pecker blight of '53.

7/26/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Medcalf said...

Wretchard,

If you rotate that map of al Kayim around a bit, you will see that that ridge sits between two valleys. One runs NE towards the Bekaa, while the other runs NW towards the coast and Tyre. Now look SE, and you see the Golan Heights, which is equally strategic and for much the same reason: this terrain is as dominant of northern Israel as the Golan is.

This is very strategic terrain.

7/26/2006 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Secret, shmeekrit:
You want to talk THREATENING?
Here's our REAL WMD in the hole:
---
"Artist Daniel Edwards describes this new sculpture as capturing Clinton “with her head held high, a youthful spirit and a face matured by wisdom. Presented in a low cut gown, her cleavage is on display prominently portraying sexual power which some people still consider too threatening.”..."

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

Barry, not to be rude, but why were WW's I, II, Korea, and VN "our" wars, other than the certain spill-over, given time?

Why is the war against Islamism any different, I wonder?

How can any western gov't look at itself in the mirror, riding essentially free on a word-salad technicality that does not even on the surface conform to what everyone knows about the enemy?

7/26/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

doug,

I've no doubt whatsover it's...hard.

But 14 guys (God rest them) at the beginning? C'mon.

7/26/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Trish,
It may bother some, I haven't been keeping up with MSM, so not really aware of what you're talking about.
Yoni has talked to folks that were there and confirms quote below from Israelycool.
Even from Hospital bed he says, morale was soaring.
---
"And a warning to Hizbullah: IDF morale is great.

When asked whether morale plunged after casualties were incurred, the sergeant answered:
“You’d be surprised, but even after a day like today, morale was soaring.
We must not be discouraged. I want to leave here and go back there. Just let me out of here so I can go back to my friends.
We’re going to win big."

7/26/2006 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Barry. I was in Europe in 2001. The disapproval was palpable. I said I would never go back. The Governmnents are anti-Israel, but the "People" are very much anti-American. I don't give a whip, "why." All I know is, when I go to Walmart I check the labels very carefully. If there's any hint that it might have been made in Europe I keep looking.

Like I said, "When the Mad Mullahs get the "Bomb," and the euro's realize they're the "easy target," they might have a light-bulb moment.

7/26/2006 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Holding the Colors High
---
Israeli soldiers holding up the yellow Hizbullah flag as they roll back across the border from southern Lebanon into northern Israel.

7/26/2006 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Doug,

The standard practice of portraying soldiers as either victims or victimizers is, well, well-established.

7/26/2006 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

14 IDF and how many Tangos lost their lives on the battlefield today?

7/26/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Doug, did Yoni explain, by any chance, how they're going to win "Big" with barely enough troops to take one small village?

I know it was the soldier talking, not Yoni, I'm just being grouchy. Comes from not having a freakin clue what I'm looking at.

7/26/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Doofus Caught a Big One

7/26/2006 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

rufus,
I heard yoni, or read somewhere, than bent brewsiski carter, or whatever that place is, is the terror capital, so I guess to the guys fighting there, that would be winning big.
The Big Picture will be hard for us to look at unless and until this country gets serious about SPONSORS OF TERRORISM.
(starting with Syria:
Faster Please!)

7/26/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Trish,
Who is doing it?
(other than the usual suspects making victims of terrorists)
Got a link, or would I have to have a TV to see it? ;-)

7/26/2006 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

breaking on Fox: IAF hits Leb Army base & Comm center "north of Beirut". Iran flying "volunteers" to war zone to "help their brothers fight the invader".

7/26/2006 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Syria? They can't take a village two miles from their border.

Maybe, this is all one big deception, masking an upcoming major push. If it is I'll gladly eat my hat.

But, I'm not going to skip lunch.

7/26/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

They're giving the "Hez" an enormous PR Victory, here. They're making them look "equivalent" to the Mighty Israeli Army. Their Recruiting is going to go through the roof.

7/26/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

maybe that's the point, Rufus--Fabian tactic--draw 'em in, fight on their own short supply lines while chopping up the enemy's long ones.

7/26/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

rufus,

The Israelis have to know by now.

And they've got to keep up their end of the the deal.

If they don't - they're stuck.

7/26/2006 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

rufus,
re: Syria, I'm talking about them being Irans/Russians/Chicoms Arms transhippers and terror enablers both in Iraq and Lebanon.
Even tho the crazy guy claims they are only giving moral support.
---
If they are stacking up like cordwood, wouldn't that be a DISINCENTIVE?

7/26/2006 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

will expose those long supply lines, too, soon enough, to the whole world. Quick smash-through wouldn't, not nearly so well. I'm just babbling here of course.

7/26/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

rufus,
I said USA not Israel on Syria.
USAF would not have to work up a sweat.

7/26/2006 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

As far as taking a village next door, Yoni stressed the 10 story deep bunkers, with armed rat in your face, hand to hand, Kornets flying everywhere.
That would take a while.
---
I'm serious, Trish:
Where do I look for the Victimization you are talking about?

7/26/2006 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

4:58 PM
Yeah, if they did it the way we drove to Baghdad, then the Israelis would be lying about all those Phantom weapons.
JUST LIKE THE WMD and Yellowcake.
Hitchins is supposed to have a good one on WilsonFlameout.

7/26/2006 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Trish, I'm bumfuzzled. Is the "Leadership" just waiting, now, for a "Peace-keeping" Force. I pray not.

Buddy, I wish I could give them that much credit. We can pray.

Doug, Fox News just showed a bunch of those Moral Support (suicide bombers) getting on a plane in Iran; they will be going through Turkey, then Syria, and arriving in Lebanon this week-end.

7/26/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

Just maybe the Israeli strategy is determined by the tactical situation. I know its assbackward.

People call for sweeping manuevers into Syria and Bekka. Some at the beginning even called for manuevers into Iran, making me wonder if they ever looked at a ME map.

None of that would have accomplished what Israel is now doing. We are now aware (was Israel unaware?)that the border zone was strewn with minefields and IED's. That the highground was fortified. The 120 foot deep, 3 story bunkers. The tunnel complexes that allow movement without exposure (prolly much more dangerous than the bunkers).

As noted here, it's touch hard slogging, much like the Pacific island clearing of WWII. Armor, Artie, and Air Force are not much help. Only light infantry.

I guess what I am saying is that all the grand tactics and strategies bandied about here would not have cleared these complexes so close to Israel.

These may have been the target all along.

7/26/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger The_Head_Jimmy said...

Well confirmed his death is and believe it I do. Strangely enough I happened to know Maj HVK. Most of the Canadian Army who have been around for a bit probably knew him as well. He had a personality that was easy to remember.

7/26/2006 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Smacko, you're right of course. A lot of us spent a lot of time discussing the IED's, and the necessity of getting "down and dirty" with them in the bunkers.

Several of us made fun of their inflated pipedreams of degrading the fortifications and enemy strength by 70%. My estimate was that it would come in at less than 20%. I think we look pretty well vindicated.

BUT, I can't, for the life of me, understand why they're doing one village at a time. At least they could have put in enough force to do four or five. They're making themselves look weak, and tentative. This is no knock on the Israeli Soldiers. They are, obviously, acquitting themselves very well.

I just don't understand why, now that they know what they're up against, they don't call up a few more troops, and show a little "muscle."

7/26/2006 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

I'm bumfuzzled. Is the "Leadership" just waiting, now, for a "Peace-keeping" Force.

No, rufus, they're waiting to get their act together - so that they won't be stuck there for goddamned ever.

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

Smacko,
That's Yoni's picture to a T, almost.
---
And the first order of business, regardless of what does or does not happen latter, is to address the massive security problem for Israel posed by all those friendlies and their toys directly across the border.
---
But WE should have touched Syria a few times already to get their attention.

7/26/2006 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

5:32 PM
A Liberal and a Commie are in Charge of a bunch of Air Force Generals.

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

Great discussion from all. Thank you.

Possumtater:

(I am being serious.)

Your monologues are very, very funny. And there's a kind of demented wisdom in them, most appealing... (to a psychiatrist's mind, anyway ;-)

Please collect them into a book and, after you have chewed the edges sufficiently, I will purchase a copy, at whatever price.

Jamie Irons

7/26/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

M Simon, it's not about the kidnapped soldiers. Are you trying to say that 70% of Lebanese support HB? I don't think it's that high.

The Lebanese can't claim to have a democracy if half their country is controlled by a militia that gets its orders and funding from outside the country. This situation is unstable. If the Shia want to have a real country they have to give up their militia. I think everyone in Leb understands this now.

If the Shia choose to keep HB then either HB will take over the country, or there will be a civil war, or there will be more external wars with Israel.

Hopefully when the fighting is done this time HB will be sufficiently weakened that the Lebanese can actually make these decisions.

Iran has funded HB to the tune of 100 to 250 million bucks per year for a long time, not including weapons. This money is used for all kinds of social programs and other things that the govt should be paying for. The Leb govt simply allowed that to happen. It will not be easy for the Shia to give up that money.

7/26/2006 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Losing the tunnel-digging payroll alone, will hurt.

7/26/2006 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Fox is reporting "strong" rumor that Nasrollah's latestcommuniques have originated from the Iranian Embassy in Beirut. Man, I wish the USAAF would do an embassy tit-tat. No, I don't mean that. yes i do. No i don't. yesidooooooo....

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

Fox, Newt is on, reminding that Hugo is in Iran for the 5th or 6th time, and that Iran reps were in NoKo on July 4th at the big missile-firing, and that if NoKo were to sell Iran a nuke....then an ad for cholesterol came on.

WV: I swear, "icbmq"

7/26/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Sometime this afternoon, the IDF trotted out one of their PR guys to assure the world that Israel was taking great care to protect the villages in which it is engaged. Israel wants the poor villagers to have a village to which to return.

Needless to say, tears welled in my eyes at the thought of such selfless empathy. Why didn't we do this for Nagasaki or Hiroshima or
Dresden. Oh, that's right, we intended to kill the _____ and win.

trish,

General Schoomaker is now in his second USA career. If I have to tell General Schoomaker or you for that matter how to handle the press without demoralizing the troops, there should be a change of command. General Schoomaker's performance does demonstrate once again the propensity of this Administration to elevate its people to their level of incompetence - the Peter Principle as I recall.

7/26/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

allen,

You get smoke blown up your skirt all the time.

One day, one guy doesn't blow smoke, and you're unhappy.

Boo fucking hoo.

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

Sorry, allen.

What I really meant to say is don't shoot the messenger.

Please,

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

How about:
"We woulda won by now, but we decided to conduct an experiment to see if sanctuaries still represent an impediment to that goal?"

7/26/2006 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

That Trish is one touchy little filly.
;)

7/26/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe part Arabian?

7/26/2006 08:20:00 PM  

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