Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Lebanese Border

Haaretz reports that:

Thousands of Israeli troops are operating in south Lebanon where they are targeting Hezbollah positions. Among their activities, they are searching for tunnels dug by Hezbollah militants. According to the army, Hezbollah fighters have taken refuge inside these tunnels - often dug under homes in villages - along with their rockets, and that they occasionally emerge to fire one into Israel.

On July 19, this battle was described as "shaping the border", which contained bunkers up to 120 feet deep. Ynet described them.

Hizbullah terrorists were hiding out in the fortified underground bunkers some 40 meters (roughly 120 feet) underground, along with mass weapons caches, the officer said. ... Hizbullah has built a sophisticated system of bunkers, constructed of poured concrete, some of them equipped with communications systems. ... Vice Premier Shimon Peres also mentioned the issue of the bunker network during a recent meeting with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana. “Hizbullah dug tunnels under extensive areas of south Lebanon and rigged the area with a half ton of explosives,” Peres said.

The border area was supposed to be patrolled by the grandly titled United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), whose web page may be found here. No mention of the construction of any bunkers, or any intimations that up to 13,000 rockets may have been stockpiled can be found. Indeed, the web page hasn't been updated at all to reflect the current crisis. Never mind. Most of the Israeli ground activity on the Lebanese border has been reported in the Avivim area. An examination of the Avivim area by Google Earth (with general coordinates 33° 4' 60N 35° 28' 0E as per Falling Rain) yields this general picture.



As can be seen in this view, the Avivim area is really the junction between an east-west ridge and a north-south ridge behind which there is a dirt road winding in the direction of the northwest. Israeli control of this elbow of high ground would make it possible to descend on the road running behind the ridge. Two IDF helicopters were reported to have collided today operating at out the airbase marked on the map above, in a location called Kiryat Shimona. I've drawn a red arrow to represent an obvious threat. If the road behind the Lebanese border is taken by the IDF, Hezbollah resupply from the Syrian border via the Bekaa may become more difficult. It will also complicate efforts to relocate rockets or caches which have been deployed in the area. The downside of having 13,000 rockets is that they become a very heavy thing to move.

I'd like to appeal to the Belmont Club readers to restrict their comments to one or two per thread. Some readers have complained that a few readers have basically taken over the thread and that tends to shut down participation.


Sounds like there may be major ground movement now. Yoni says "Report from a friend of mine on the Lebanon-Israel border. Many Israeli troops have now moved into Lebanon." If I were to guess they are exploiting, but in what direction?


Blogger Papa Ray said...

Time to bring in propane trucks and attach hoses and fill them up until they explode, with a little help of course.

Papa Ray
West Texas

7/20/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger fjelehjifel said...

Here's an updated map of UNIFIL deployment as of July 2006, courtesy of the U.N. Cartographic Unit.

That map, however, doesn't delineate roads, but this one, courtesy of the UNHCR, does.

7/20/2006 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/20/2006 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

Wonder how much the locals made providing materials and labor to Hez to build the bunkers.

Funded (ultimately) by our lust for oil.

Oil for concrete. Once again, under the UN's nose.

We need to shut those people down.

7/20/2006 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


You'll note the area overlooking Avivim, where the IDF found 120-foot deep bunkers and weapons caches plus huge land mines, was near outpost 65-2 of the Ghana Battalion, UNIFIL. UNIFIL was commanded by Major-General Alain Pellegrini of France.

7/20/2006 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger fjelehjifel said...

In 1982, when the IDF invaded Lebanon to drive out the PLO, I remember reading about a lone Gurkha unit of U.N. peacekeepers that was tasked manning a key bridge over the Litani River. At that time, the Litani marked the northern boundary of Israel's security zone in south Lebanon (established in 1978).

Other U.N. peacekeeping units instantly gave way as the IDF crossed the Litani in force, but not that Gurkha unit. Ultimately, the IDF unit assigned to advance over the "Gurkha" bridge had to use another crossing point.

To me, that lone Gurkha unit is the exception that proves the rule about the effectiveness of U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon: The words "UNIFIL" and "effective" should never be used in the same sentence unless the word "not" comes in between.

7/20/2006 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger K. Pablo said...

It's hard to believe the Israelis wouldn't have been keenly interested in this construction project on their border. Surely there were a few Ofeqs tasked to surveill this curious activity.

My guess is that the general dimensions and layout of the tunnel system have been known for a long time. Engineers are probably on the ground right now trying to figure out how to make tunnels into graves.

7/20/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Lebanon is a producer of cement, the key ingredient in concrete.

Even with state of the art equipment (extremely large scale), concrete work is labor intensive.

If the reports of the scale of this complex proves correct, a whole lot of activity escaped the notice of the UN, the US, and most importantly Israel.

7/20/2006 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Final Historian said...

Wretchard, so what do you think? Try to clear the whole of South Lebanon? Or drive towards a specific objective? Bekka or Beruit? If I was Israel, I would head towards Bekka. Leave near-Beruit options until most of the foreigners are away, less chance of mistakes that way.

7/20/2006 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger rich said...

Any streams that can be diverted to flood the bunkers? Or is that movie stuff?

7/20/2006 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

rich; 7:50 PM

Did I mention that Lebanon is a producer of cement, the key ingredient in concrete?

7/20/2006 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Cornelius said...

The combination of the 2 downed helicopters and the ship that was hit by Hezbolla rockets is worrying.

Is Israel getting sloppy?

7/20/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

k.pablo wrote:

My guess is that the general dimensions and layout of the tunnel system have been known for a long time. Engineers are probably on the ground right now trying to figure out how to make tunnels into graves.

Flood the tunnels with an infra-red emitting aerosol under positive pressure and look for what house(s) it comes out from using night-vision scopes. Then plug the ventilation holes by hitting all those houses with JDAMs and sit tight.

7/20/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Final Historian,

Historically the IDF has always thought in terms of cutting off enemy forces. Here, however, we are not dealing with armies. But the Hez, in getting their shiny toys have acquired the logistical vulnerabilities that come with it.

Back in 1982 the Israelis went up the coast then broke east from Sidon, I think, then north towards the Beirut-Damascus road where the Syrians accepted battle, with their rear in the Bekaa.

The problem with driving on the Bekaa from here, is of course, the poor road net. However, it might have improved since 1982 to the point where some sort of campaign through the center is possible. The distances are relatively short.

If I were to guess -- and it's nothing but a guess, I'd say the IDF will go for it. I think they are exploiting now. Usually they don't send in the big numbers until there is a hole they know they can blow through. What the axis of advance is, well if I knew that, I'd be in the Hez general staff.

7/20/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Rufus asked me to remind you all that you can only Post a MAXIMUM of TWO (2) COMMENTS per Topic.

Otherwise, you may be swatted with Professor's pointer.

7/20/2006 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

The above is Pat "Nazi,Stalin,Mao,Pol Pot" Buchanan's URL to his column today. It's about this not being our war.
I'd love to hear a critique by our august luminaries here at the Belmont Club on which points he's INCORRECT on regarding this article. I am always open to knew points of view and new knowledge. This blog has an abundance of both and is Mr. Wretchard a credit to you and the others who help you, and of course the participants. I've never broken bread with a one of them but to a man and woman I respect the thoughfulness,intelligence, and humor they bring. I do believe when awards are given Mr. Wretchard will be on the top step of the podium. PossumTater is in full agreement but has a date tonight so he's licking himself clean.

7/20/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...


7/20/2006 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

wretchard said:

The cool thing about Google Maps is you can send links of aerial views so other people can check out the Bekaa road network for their own self.

7/20/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

We had a Baghdad Bob. When are we gonna get a Hezbollah Harry?

7/20/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

[re: comment limit] If people are only allowed two comments per thread, what are we supposed to read/do with ourselves between Wretchard's posts!?

7/20/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Uh, Habu, that's two.


Oh wait, I can't; this is my 2nd comment. Hmm

7/20/2006 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I like Teresita's idea of a detectable aerosol coming out of the various rathouses, if that would be practical.
Peace loving Israeli Muslims:
Nazareth Residents Blame Israel for Attack
Just like the Democracy-Loving Lebanese Muslims that have been sold to us by the MSM and others as ready to enter the modern world. long it is on THEIR terms, and they are free to harbor those that would eliminate others from the face of the earth, starting with Jews.
"Hezbollah belongs to Lebanon," Abu Salim said. "They are the sons of Lebanon, the heart of Lebanon. Not like America says, they protect Lebanon from these evils."

People in Nazareth's downtown tourist district, near the Basilica of the Annunciation, where Christians believe the Angel Gabriel foretold the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary, were more guarded in their language but expressed similar sentiments.

"Nobody will tell you (Hezbollah leader Hassan) Nasrallah is a killer," one man said, refusing to give his name. "
No one here will tell you he's a terrorist."

7/20/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Mr. Wretchard,

I hope I'm not sneek'in over the line with a third comment but it's really more of a compliment to a poster ..?con permiso senor?

I have found your post very interesting, informed, intelligent, creative and although I'm not the WalMart greeter you're a nice addition to the BC.
P-Tater is out now but agrees.

7/20/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...


You may have to explain that concrete, once dry, is waterproof. As in, the Hoover Dam is made of concrete.

Additionally, the difference between bunkers and crypts whether or not those inside can get out. Why fight the bunkers? just seal the exits.

7/20/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

9:09 PM Matthew:
Each of us will have to save one of those 2 for telling the others what THEY are doing with themselves in the meantime!
The run on worry beads has begun.

7/20/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Krauthammer has an EXCELLENT analysis:

keywords: rare, irreproducible, opportunity, eliminate, Hizbollah


7/20/2006 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Teresita: How about DayGlo Green semi-permanent stain pumped through ALONG WITH a skunk-like, ogresome, distinctive and persistent STENCH?

IDF could come to their senses, and know who was glowing greenly even in a crowd of puking human shields...

Maybe DayGlo and "5-Day-Dead-Humans-in-Hot-Weather"...

7/20/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Two, that's for the other folk, right?

Patience, patience.
Cratering charges down the entrance, or just doze 'em closed.
Speed is the need, not science projects.

The reports I've read indicate the Israeli are razing the Shia housing districts. If that is the objective, to drain the sea, they will not advance far at all.
Just rase the buildings, from the Blue line to the river.

Make it uninhabitable for years.

7/20/2006 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Wretchard, sir--

OT metacomment:

If I may respectfully disagree with those complaining about needing a limit to the number of comments that one person be allowed to make on any given thread...

For me, part of the interest in reading BC is the distributive intelligence one finds in scrolling down the threads. One doesn't stop to read *everything* but the variety of questions, strategizing, what-ifs, etc., add a great deal to my understanding of a difficult and thorny situation.

Besides, now that you're a Big Wheel on PJ, you post more frequently but less fully than you did formerly. I don't mind that: you're always cogent and your Commentary is a good jumping off point for a rare gathering of intelligent thinkers.

If people are put off by the idea of reading 300 comments they might try reading the first and last ten...the rest of us can just browse, perhaps?

Another thing to consider: someday these threads, aside from the in-fighting amongst a few, will be of historical interest. Just think of what it might have been like to see people analyzing and fisking, say, Iwo Jima as it took place.

7/20/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

We, and the Israelis I'm sure, have some very 'nice' weapons in our bag of tricks for those wishing to stay inside fortified position and fight it out in 2006. They're called Thermobaric bombs, aka Bunker Busters. Let me quote from a FMSO Publication:

“The subsequent fireball sears the surrounding area while consuming the oxygen in this area. The lack of oxygen creates an enormous overpressure. This overpressure, or blast wave, is the primary casualty-producing force. In several dozen microseconds, the pressure at the center of the explosion can reach 30 kilograms per square centimeter (427 pounds per square inch) – normal atmospheric pressure at sea level is 14.7 pounds per square inch with a temperature between 2,500-3,000 degrees Centigrade [4,532-5,432 degrees Fahrenheit]. This is 1.5 to 2 times greater than the overpressure caused by conventional explosives. Personnel under the cloud are literally crushed to death. Outside the cloud area, the blast wave travels at some 3,000 meters per second [9843 feet per second]. The resultant vacuum pulls in loose objects to fill the void.
As a result, a fuel-air explosive can have the effect of a tactical nuclear weapon without residual radiation. Since a fuel-air mixture flows easily into any cavities, neither natural terrain features nor non-hermetically sealed field fortifications (emplacements, covered slit trenches, bunkers) protect against the effects of fuel-air explosives. If a fuel-air charge is fired inside a building or bunker, the cloud is contained and this amplifies the destruction of the load-bearing components of the structure. Fuel-air can be an effective weapon against exposed enemy personnel, combat equipment, fortified areas and individual fighting positions…… Those personnel caught directly under the aerosol cloud will die from the flame or overpressure. For those on the periphery of the strike, the injuries can be severe. Burns, broken bones, contusions from flying debris and blindness may result. Further, the crushing injuries from the overpressure can create air embolism within blood vessels, concussions, multiple internal hemorrhages in the liver and spleen, collapsed lungs, rupture of the eardrums and displacement of the eyes from their sockets. Displacement and tearing of internal organs can lead to peritonitis.”

Being one that thinks that the time has long passed for Israel to take off the gloves, I hope the IDF decides to give the Hez boys in their bunkers a little taste of overpressure 'love'.

7/20/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

The way we used to do it on the farm fighting the ground squirrels was close off all the holes but one, back the anhydrous truck up, stick the hose in, and turn her on. Worked great on squirrels.

7/20/2006 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

The thought occurs that maybe Wretchard is ever-so-tactfully saying that "there have been complaints" about the number of posts by certain people, when what he really means is, "If you've got *that* much to say, get your own damned blog!"

7/20/2006 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/20/2006 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/20/2006 11:55:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

There is a legitimate use for all those reinforced tunnels. It is called border defense. They are always useful when a lesser power feels threatened by a superior force. Castles are the more quaint variety and dot many a formerly rough neighborhood in Europe and the near East. Tradition put them on the surface and in this case innovation and what appears as some fair amount of engineering sent them below for obvious reasons. No one can argue that Lebanon, a country that has seen much violence is not entitled to protect her national borders, regardless of which point on the border.

Now we have a case that the legitimate defensive needs of Lebanon are being dismantled by what is an occupying power. Someone will have to help me out where this has happened and the legal basis for doing so. Israel clearly has the right to defend herself, but does she have the right to prevent others from as well? If Israel asserts that right of another state to defend itself, is that not an incentive for another country to justify greater offensive deterrents. In a bizarre ironic way is not Israel providing justification for Iran to have a nuclear weapon?

This is not a defense of Hezbollah, a group that is a dangerous fabrication of Iran. It is a question of international law and precedent. What is the affect regarding China and Taiwan? Could China claim Taiwanese defenses are threatening to China? How would it apply to NATO and Russia?

7/21/2006 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger Fenrisulven said...

Now we have a case that the legitimate defensive needs of Lebanon are being dismantled by what is an occupying power. Someone will have to help me out where this has happened and the legal basis for doing so.

You've crafted a strawman. Lebannon's tunnels aren't for the "legitimate defensive needs" of a nation state; they are a sanctuary for terrorist armies fighting a proxy war against Israel.

7/21/2006 12:39:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Mr. Wretchard,
I know this may be over the line but I would be greatful if you would take a second look at your new two comment rule.
Please don't force me back to TV.
This place is like a university, and the colloquy between some of the contributors is worthy of any I've heard anywhere.
Granted I haven't been around that long but Teresita didn't seem to have any problem getting into the BC.
Please sir take another look, I'm already getting the DT's. Do you have a 12 step method of withdrawl? I'll even give up PossumTater, (sorry Rufus) if it's necessary.
I'm 58 with only a couple of decades left if I'm lucky. Do it for the old men and women. Help a vet.

7/21/2006 01:10:00 AM  
Blogger Fabio said...

I remember that Israel bought a sizable number of ground-penetrating bombs (AKA bunker busters) a few months ago: I think those are the weapons to use against tunnel networks, no?

7/21/2006 01:51:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

A natural right is something that exists simultaneously among all people and that neither imposes an obligation upon or causes harm to another.

I suppose that so long as nobody opposes them, like a sovereign Lenanese government, for example, that HB can dig as many holes in Lebanon as they want. But to suggest that HB can use those holes to harm Israelis (or anybody else for that matter) turns the meaning of the word on its head.

The world would be a much better place if the conversation in the West was focused more on the desireability of outcomes instead of muddled on the distribution of "rights" which by their very nature were never really available to be handed out in the first place.

7/21/2006 02:33:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The two-comment rule is not hard and fast, but it should be a guide to keeping things flowing. It's a judgement call, I guess the main question is: are we hogging the road?

There. I guess I just reached my own two-comment limit.

7/21/2006 02:49:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Are these Hezbolla tunnels or Lebanese tunnels? Is there a difference? Certainly the Lebanese government claims (ala Arafat and now Abbas) that they have no control over Hezbollah. Syria claims it has no control over Hezbollah, Iran claims it has no control over Syria, Hezbollah or Hamas. I think they heard about the term "plausible deniability."
"No control, no responsibility, no accountibility."

Well, that con game has been exposed and so far, I haven't seen 2164's International Lawyers and Law Enforcement Officials prosecuting the con-artists in Gaza and Lebanon. International law? Who's going to enforce it? Who will prosecute? Can we bring a case against the UN? I would like to see them prosecuted for criminal negligence for their part in failing to enforce UN Resolution 1559. Let's haul the UN before the ICC.

In fact, I would be very interested in knowing what the UN knows about these tunnels. Like who built them and what may be inside them. After all, the UN and Lebanon were charged with disarming Hezbollah but having failed to do so, must surely have had plenty of time to observe the construction and provisioning of these "defensive" fortifications.

I wonder if Pat Buchanan would say "That's none of our business." or would he join the maniacal, Muslim chorus in a stirring rendition of "The Jews Did it."

Duh, The frickin Jews built the tunnels.

7/21/2006 03:09:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Rules, Law, Etiquette, Two-post limits and Pat Buchanan

Rules work best if all parties agree to them in advance and are willing to abide by them. More games have been ended by cheaters than winners.

Obviously, Wretchard, being the amicable host that he is, prefers etiquette over rules. As civilised commenters, we should respect his wishes and not treat the thread as a chat room. I admit that this something I have done. I would like to offer this: For the first 100 or 150 posts, a two post limit. After that, not so restrictive as long as there's no abuse, although, I suggest Wretchard could every now and then "call a cab" for an "ol rummy gunny" that needs to go home.

Law are rules which can be enforced against a party's will. One party cheats; not only is the game over but the cheater pays a penalty. This only works if it can be enforced.

Apparently, Pat Buchanan thinks, like those on the left, thinks that we can go back to life as it was before 9/11. Perhaps he agrees with the Guardian UK commenters that Newt Gingrich is certifiably insane in claiming that we are witnessing a global Islamist march. Mr. Buchanan has also joined with the left in advancing the hateful calumny that we were lied into the war. This leads me to suspect a derangement similar to BDS.

Buchanan also subscribes to the "No Declaration of War" mantra. Well, I would like to see that argued before the Supreme Court. Can you say "precedent?"

Buchanan talks about the Constitution, Christian charity, and foreign entanglements but his problem and positions are essentially the same as those on the left; denial of reality and a desire for isolationism.

I think he has either had his head in the sand or up his butt for so long that the lack of oxygen has affected his brain.

7/21/2006 04:07:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

In 1936 the American sociologist Robert K. Merton developed the concept "The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action." Merton identified five sources of unanticipated
consequences. The first two of which were ignorance and error. The third source the "imperious immediacy of interest." By that he was referring to instances in which an individual wants the intended consequence of an action so much that he purposefully chooses to ignore any potential unintended effects. "Basic values" was Merton's fourth source. His final, "self-defeating prediction.", was later modified to "the self-fulfilling prophecy."

Situational ethics later appeared as a justification to support any desired objective whether legal or otherwise. There has been a lot of discussion in this corner of the blogosphere about the sanctity of US borders. The critcism simply stated is that our legislators must enforce the law. The situational argument argues for the illegals. As a nation of laws, we rightly defend our laws and call for their enforcement.

There are valid and legal bodies that can step in and stop this tragedy. NATO is the most qualified. NATO has the most at risk. I for one, as a citizen of two sovereign civilized states, expect my representatives not to abdicate their responsibilities. If we do not enforce the laws created for us by our ancestors as a result of great sacrifice and much earned public wisdom, we are a generation of fools.

We will soon see what the unintended consequences are this time.

7/21/2006 04:33:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

If the tunnels are like a big sewer system, then the use of noxious gas, smoke, water, gasoline, radiation via microwaves or other forms of radiation, High Explosive incendiary material, fuel air explosive, or other methods would due. Or just sealing the thing to entomb them would work.

If Israel really wanted to get nasty, they could just place a neutron bomb in one of the tunnel and seal that end. Then irradiate the men and material inside the bunkers.

If the tunnels are short but deep probably any HE fragmentary device would work.

Destroying the tunnels would force the terrorists to come out where they could be neutralized.

Thousands of ground troops, backed by helicopters and tanks, discovered underground bunkers, which Hizbullah terrorists have built the past few years as hiding places for surprise attacks, escape routes and weapons store rooms. One tunnel contained a cannon.

Major General Benny Gantz, head of IDF ground forces, pointed out that Hizbullah terrorists often dig the tunnels under civilian homes, similar to Hamas tactics in the Gaza area. "The operation is challenging, difficult and complex. Unfortunately, there is the price of casualties, but the other side, unlike us, doesn't report their casualties," he added. Hizbullah reported only two casualties on its side

See: Israel National

7/21/2006 05:13:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Night is approaching the combatants on the Blue Line.

No reports of major Israeli incursions are readily available as dawn breaks in AZ.

Israels actions do nt differentiate 'tween HB and Lebanon, 11 Lebanonese Army men have been killed, the IAF reportedly attacking Army facilities as well as civilian infrastructure and housing.

The ISF is not "policing" it's "at war". This is not the Tal Afar model the ISF is engaging.

They are, it's about to be claimed, engaged in ethnic or rather sectarian cleansing. By the end of today or tomorrow, especially if they cross the Blue line in force.

As to the "Shock" that these bunker facilities were built and that the HB flourished under UN "security". Look to Bahghdad and Sadr City or Basra and see the same seed growing, under US care, guidance and watching eye.

Eady to belittle the troops from Ghana, while ignoring the same failures by US. It is not the troops that failed, in either case, but the Policies that govern the deployments.

7/21/2006 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/21/2006 05:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

On another facet of the Iraq adventure is the Republican Congressmen jumping Mr Bush's ship.

Watch the cascade escalate

Those boys at RCP are really good at forecasting results.
Mr Lieberman is behind the curve and playing defense. Mr Clinton is coming to help, but is trying to shore up Lieberman's base, not carve into Mr Lamont's electorate.

If Mr Lieberman takes a lickin', the Purple Republicans will become like Barney the Dinosaur, extinct.

blogged there, at RCP, by John McIntyre

7/21/2006 05:51:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

re 2164th's comments about the tunnels being defensive positions -- they qualify more as forward offensive positions, where you can launch an attack, and then ride out the response in the bunker.

The whole legitimacy issue revolves around who is the chronic offender, which side is in the habit of crossing the border to raid and kill without immediate prior provocation.

As far as how best to collapse the bunkers and deal with whoever's inside, I'm guessing that the Israelis have people who have spent some time thinking about how best to do that. I tend to lean towards filling the bunker with a mix of gasoline and pure oxygen under pressure, setting it off to blow off any pressure doors, and repeating the process a few times.

7/21/2006 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

My favorite Buchanan quote:
"Hizbollah has never touched the United States."
...unless you consider the USMC and various other entities part of the USA, I guess.
imo the only tragedy here would be if the "World Community" and the US State Dept stop the eradication of Iran's favorite proxy warriors prior to their getting their full helping of just deserts.
Are ALL Wars waged by the USA and the Israelis expected to be bloodless from this point forward?
The IslamoNazis would love that.

7/21/2006 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No, doug, the "real" tragedy is that nothing the Israeli do in Lebanon will end the War.
No matter how many bunkers are destroyed, houses razed, bridges bombed or refugees created.

Just some more tit for tat.

The wrong target was chosen, to end the War. The Israeli are just prolonging it, improving the status que.

The elected Government is castrated, the Democracy movement in shambles, Bush's Policy set back 20 years, by Israel by design.
That is the tragedy.
That will be just one of the consequences intended or not.

7/21/2006 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger luc said...

With the risk of being presumptuous I take responsibility for Wretchard's comment regarding limiting the number of posts per contributor since I raised this issue in a comment on the article “Horns of the Dilemma". Mine was the 60th comment and at that point one contributor had already made 2o comments. I think that somebody has that many thoughts on a subject would benefit from having their own blog rather that taking over BC.
With regards to the two comments suggested by Wretchard, I am sure he did not mean it to be cast in stone, considering that he was talking to adults :)

7/21/2006 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

whit said:

Obviously, Wretchard, being the amicable host that he is, prefers etiquette over rules. As civilised commenters, we should respect his wishes and not treat the thread as a chat room. I admit that this something I have done. I would like to offer this: For the first 100 or 150 posts, a two post limit.

I have seen that if Wretchard does not start a new thread for a couple of days, then the top thread will grow up to about three hundred posts, and the content of the posts will evolve far away from the original idea. If the problem is that threads are too long, the generally constant rate of jibber-jabber here calls for more frequent topics.

7/21/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

desert rat; 6:15 AM

Are you saying the effects you set forth are the fault of Israel, malice aforethought?

To what possible end, if that is your position?

7/21/2006 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

papa bear said:

re 2164th's comments about the tunnels being defensive positions -- they qualify more as forward offensive positions, where you can launch an attack, and then ride out the response in the bunker.

If so, they represent a slight advance in gamesmanship over the common Islamist practice of launching attacks and then riding out the response in a school or a mosque.

7/21/2006 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


You are an hysterical old woman.

No single battle will end this war. That's hardly news. Destroying HB as a fighting force is a HUGE step in the right direction. The only single thing that would trump it would be the destruction of Mullahville.

There is no democracy in Lebanon. Never was since the civil war. Only hysterical old women and Kofi Annan would characterize a polity where one party has a private army that outguns the regular army, and that intimidates and kills the opposition as a democracy.

If anything the neutering of HB will do more for the prospects of a real democracy in Lebanon than anything else.

I wish it were US Marines slugging up the Bekaa but the IDF is a very good next choice.

7/21/2006 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

My concern is that the premise of the Bush Administration and the much recently maligned Neocon school of thought is that short of hot war on a global scale, a gradual process of democratization will gradually empower the silent majority of Muslims. Lebanon today, imperfect and weak, is preferable to what Lebanon can be if Israel botches the job. Israel is militarily capable of starting the fight. Time will tell if she can finish it. She does so with no legal mandate.

If I understand Buchanan's thesis, and here I paraphrase, The United States, the people that represent her, and the citizens have a written time respected constitution. It is a legal binding document that amongst other things can send Martha Stewart to prison or commit the Unites States to war. A series of decisions by any foreign power great or small, should not have an automatic lock on US policies. In his view, any politician that allows that to happen, is derelict in his duties. That sounds sane and sensible to this writer.

The United States, at great provocation, chose not to go to war when The Pueblo was captured and American servicemen captured and imprisoned by the Koreans. It chose not to do so when the Iranians, The Chinese, and rogue Islamist groups in Pakistan and Somalia acted in a similar fashion. The United States made the decision that greater US interests were served by going another route. Theses decisions are up for criticism, but they were willful and legitimate and done with the instructions of US representatives.

The United States has unprecedented responsibilities to maintain global peace and order. It should go to war when the elected representatives so instruct and order the President to do so. This is not about terrorists and the legitimate right of Israel to protect her citizenry. You don't burn down your neighbor's barn to get rid of a nest of rats.

7/21/2006 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

tarnsman said:

Being one that thinks that the time has long passed for Israel to take off the gloves, I hope the IDF decides to give the Hez boys in their bunkers a little taste of overpressure 'love'.

Old Zarq baby was given a taste of that love, and he was speechless. Meanwhile, Bill Bennett and Hugh Hewitt gets various VIP guests from Lebanon on their show who complain that the Cedar Revolution hit a brick wall called the Hezbollah, but none of them can quite bring themselves to say that the IDF is doing the Lebonese a favor here.

7/21/2006 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

luc; 6:21 AM

If someone assumes the role of quasi-interlocutor on any given day and advances the discussion through comments either well considered or inept, how has this site suffered?

Granted, occasionally the thread takes on the chat-room tenor but, even then, thought provoking tidbits and humorous respites are the rewards. How have these injured discussion?

7/21/2006 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

We were right on the verge of achieving Whirrled Peas and Universal Democracy, and then along comes some (Jooo) and breaks the two comment rule!
1,000 free Penalty Missile Launches for the Muzzies, I say!

7/21/2006 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger brough said...

(Not my place to say as I've only just started posting, but...

Perhaps the previous day's topic could be ceded to general threads?

With Wretchard's most recent article reserved for strictly 'ontopic' comments, until there's a new entry to discuss. Keeping the general comments one entry behind.

This is the only blog I can see 200-400+ comments and consider them essential reading (although I'm not crazy for the long cross-posted articles).

Just a suggestion... I'll shut up now.)

7/21/2006 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"She does so with no legal mandate."

Who grants this mandate?

7/21/2006 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

2164th; 6:41 AM

The United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate have both voted overwhelmingly in favor of supporting the Israelis in this current fight.

I should think that nearly sufficient to satisfy the scruple of either you or Mr. Buchanan.

Most certainly, the legislative voice of the people of the United States will not please Mr. Buchanan, who, no doubt will claim the nefarious collusion of the legislature and the neo-con (Jewish) lobby and infiltrators.

You may be certain that whether by sense of the Congress or declaration of war, Mr. Buchanan will not be disabused of his anti-Zionist (Jewish) animus.

7/21/2006 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

aviation fuel and a match, eh Papa Ray? Reminds me of the Marines on the islands in the S. Pacific against the Japanese.

7/21/2006 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


We're so sorry, Uncle Shlomo
But we haven't done a bloody thing all day.

(Other than piss in the Cheerios of Pat Buchanan, Robert Novak, James A. Baker III, General (ret) Scowcroft, and Zbigniew Brzezinski)

We're so happy Uncle Shlomo
Having destroyed peace in the world today

7/21/2006 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Aetius said...

The strong defense line explains the Gulf War One approach. Just read that Israel has called up reserves. This would mean per Chester's earlier analysis that we are 6 days from offensive actions.

What-if Israel adopted an Afghan War approach - provided elements in Leb. went along. Could Israel "trust?" It would create a powerful dynamic.
Israel-Arab vs. Iran. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" (Arab proverb).

7/21/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

allen, No, not with malaice and fore thought, but with unintended consequence.

PB says we have not lost a thing, then describes Mr Bush and Ms Rice as hysterical "old women"

"There is no democracy in Lebanon. Never was since the civil war. Only hysterical old women and Kofi Annan would characterize ...(Lebanon) a democracy."

Mr Bush just a couple of days ago characterized it as such.
Was he lying?

Or is Mr Bush an "OLD WOMAN" as well

Has the entire Democracy Project been a lie?

Tell US, PB, inquiring minds and all that.

7/21/2006 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Meanwhile, in Iran, the centrifuges are whirling and twirling, if they haven't already bought the stuff from Korea.

7/21/2006 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

As to the two-post limit rule, for reasons of available time (more than full time job as a physician and chief of a very large department) it's a rule that I've been pretty much compelled to observe myself.

But W. seems also to be saying that the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life, and so the rule is not a rigid one.

I do think though, that each of us restraining ourselves (whether this virtue is imposed on us, as in my case, or is self-imposed through a strong moral faculty! ;-) -- is a good idea.

I wonder if, to some extent perhaps, rules like this ought to be observed as one observes a speed limit, keeping in mind prevailing conditions, other drivers, courtesy, considerations of safety, and so on...with the background consideration that the law (our host) has every right to enforce the limit quite strictly should he see fit.


Jamie Irons

7/21/2006 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger still realizing said...

The tunnels probably go into Israel itself. Expect Hez sappers to emerge south of the border.

The idea of gas in the tunnel network is good. Carbon Dioxide is heavier than air and isn't classified as a "Chemical Weapon" legally. Yet C02 will suffocate people very well.

I don't know of any methods for scanning for small amounts any particular gas from the air or satellite. Smoke is probably the most practical method. White Phosphorus makes a lot of smoke and is also not classified as a chemical weapon.

7/21/2006 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Over at Instapundit I was directed to this fascinating analysis by Josh Manchester, "Shaken and Stirred" (One should read the whole article):

"Toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has issued a warning to the Syrian leadership 'not to go too far in its alliance with Iran,' blaming Tehran for the current flare-up of violence in the Middle East, the head of Saddam's defence team claimed Tuesday ... 'I am convinced that the Iranian and US agendas have met in Iraq and elsewhere in the Arab world and Arabs are now placed between the US-Israeli hammer and the Iranian anvil,' Duleimi quoted Saddam as saying."

This is a man whose prized dictatorship was overrun by US forces, who was captured by US forces, and who as a result is on trial for his life. He blames Tehran primarily for the current flare-up, not some Zionist-US conspiracy in the standard rhetoric of the region. Remarkable.

In fact, Saddam is quite astute when he notes that the Arabs are placed between the US-Israeli hammer and the Iranian anvil. Before the US invasion, Iraq was the geostrategic pivot of the Middle East. All of the fault lines in the area's politics converge there. The Sunni-Shia split; the Arab-Persian split; the Ba'athist-Wahhabist split; and the Muslim-Israeli split: each of these ran through Iraq via its ethnic and religious makeup; its geographic location; and its former interests, alliances, and enemies.

There.That's my two.


Jamie Irons

7/21/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

It goes without elaboration that Yoni does not speak for every Israeli; however, I’ll bet he speaks to the perspectives of a majority. To get some sense of what is percolating in the Israeli mind, read his short, poignant comments.

___5,000 called up in latest mobilization (too little for all the hype its getting)

___Yoni’s Promise (moving tribute to his paratrooper son)

___Allowed to Win (We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. – Patton)

Please, read the whole thing.

7/21/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...


Au contrere. You do (and have the responisibilty and moral authority) to burn down that barn, if your neighbor is using genetic engineering and in vitro fertilization to breed ever more viscous rat populations and unleashing them on your property, specifically to destroy your livelihood.

7/21/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

still realizing said:

The idea of gas in the tunnel network is good. Carbon Dioxide is heavier than air and isn't classified as a "Chemical Weapon" legally.

Unless your name is Al Gore. But I cannot imagine the Jews gassing anyone at any time after that thing with the Zyklon-B.

7/21/2006 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This fellow, Mr. Ajami, a 2006 Bradley Prize recipient, is the Majid Khadduri Professor and director of the Middle East Studies Program at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
He writes
"... The Shiites are Lebanon's single largest community. There lie before them two ways: Lebanonism, an attachment to their own land, assimilation into the wider currents of their country, an acceptance of it as a place of services and trade and pluralism; or a path of belligerence, a journey on road to Damascus--and to the Iranian theocracy. By the time the guns fall silent and the Lebanese begin to dig out of the rubble, we should get an intimation of which Shiite future beckons. The Shiites can make Lebanon or they can break it. Their deliverance lies in a recognition of the truths and limitations of their country. The "holy war" they can leave to others. ..."

and a whole lot more, especially on why the Sauds have said and done what they have.

It all in the WSJ's Opinion Journal

7/21/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Rice to Present U.S. Peace Plan
Jul 21 10:31 AM US/Eastern

AP Diplomatic Writer


Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will lay out U.S. plans for a diplomatic solution to the Israeli-Hezbollah fighting Friday, an administration official said.

Rice plans a trip to the Mideast as soon as early next week, and will carry the U.S. strategy for ending the 10-day-old warfare and establishing stability in southern Lebanon, a senior Bush administration said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Rice has not yet made her plans public.

7/21/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

For those who wonder why Mr. Buchanan is an uncertain trumpet, I point you to his latest editorial offering at World Net Daily. For those having limited time, I believe paragraph four is representative of Mr. Buchanan’s objectivity toward anything Israeli.

The paragraph is short and is printed in its entirety:

“On American TV, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says the ruination of Lebanon is Hezbollah's doing. But is it Hezbollah that is using U.S.-built F-16s, with precision-guided bombs and 155-mm artillery pieces to wreak death and devastation on Lebanon?”

Sentence 1:
Not on American TV or anywhere else, to my knowledge, has any Israeli leader been idiotic enough to acknowledge the “ruination” of Lebanon, most assuredly not the astute Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Netanyahu has spoken forcefully of the destruction of Hezbollah in Lebanon. That Mr. Buchanan confuses the destruction of a Jew-hating organization like Hezbollah with the ruination of Lebanon, may be a simple case of projection.

Sentence 2:
No, Hezbollah is using Syrian/Iranian/Chinese/French/Russian weaponry to “wreak death and devastation on [Israel].” Would Mr. Buchanan be less offended were Israel to be using the same weapons dealers? Oh, and Mr. Buchanan does not bother to mention that the regrettable loss of life in Lebanon is accidental (collateral), while the losses inflicted by Hezbollah on innocent Israelis is purposeful. It strikes me that Mr. Buchanan may lack the moral capacity to make the distinction.

As I wrote earlier, Mr. Buchanan is a Jew-hater; this terrorist propaganda posing as political prose only reinforces my opinion.

7/21/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

While we argue about Buchanan, The Daily Telegraph reminds us..

"The Iranians will also have been surprised by the failure of the world's major powers to intervene. While there has been much criticism of Israel's "disproportionate" response, none of the leading powers feels inclined to act in any way that might be to Hizbollah's benefit. This is particularly true in America, where the Bush Administration has made it plain it is in no hurry to get involved, so long as the conflict is confined to its current parameters. The White House is well aware of Iran's sponsorship of Hizbollah, and has in effect given Jerusalem a free hand to do whatever it believes is necessary to destroy Hizbollah's effectiveness.

The eradication of Iran's most important foreign ally would be a serious blow for the ayatollahs, and was clearly not one they took into their calculations when they precipitated this crisis. But even if Teheran has overplayed its hand in southern Lebanon, Iran's leaders will console themselves that it is a sacrifice worth paying for the maintenance of its all-important uranium-enrichment programme.

As even Dr Hans Blix, the dovish former UN weapons inspector, conceded this week, if Iran's programme continues at its current rate of progress, Teheran will have an atom bomb within five years."

7/21/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I have read of the entire Shia area of Beirut being in rubble.
Whether or not that is an accurate report, I am not sure. Also civilian housing in the Bekaa is reportedly leveled.

Along with the country's highway and bridge infrastructure. Especially in the southern Shia areas.

So well you are right to challenge the exact "word" of the Israeli ex-offical, the ruination of Lebanon is reality, whether spoken of or not.

It has been ruined by the actions the Israeli have taken. In response to provocations, that's for sure.

The scale of the damage to civilian housing will become key. If it is as reported, Sectarian cleansing will be charged against Israel.
Prepare the response.

7/21/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

I have read of the entire Shia area of Beirut being in rubble.
Whether or not that is an accurate report, I am not sure. Also civilian housing in the Bekaa is reportedly leveled.

Along with the country's highway and bridge infrastructure. Especially in the southern Shia areas.

So well you are right to challenge the exact "word" of the Israeli ex-offical, the ruination of Lebanon is reality, whether spoken of or not.

It has been ruined by the actions the Israeli have taken. In response to provocations, that's for sure.

The scale of the damage to civilian housing will become key. If it is as reported, Sectarian cleansing will be charged against Israel.
Prepare the response."

The response is that those charging it are unserious, moral cowards, or idiots who do not give a damn what happens to Israel (and usually the United States).


7/21/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

2164...quoted in part
"In 1936 the American sociologist Robert K. Merton developed the concept "The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action." Merton identified five sources of unanticipated

That theory must have held up darn well since it's been around since '36, which was ,by the way the last year the triple crown was won in the National Baseball League,Ducky Medwick.
But shucks one of the troubles with identifying is that it gets mugged by reality. The theory has got to be tested and tested again until enough data exists to support the theory as being within the realm of scientific reliability.
So for now,unless the good professor made a number of prognositcation predicated on his theory that turned out correct then I'm in league with those that believe unintended consequences belongs to the field of "The law of random after action FUBARS" and is thus not predictable with any reliability. The best we can say is that there may be unintended consequences. We can't even claim with certitude that there will be any whatsoever.

7/21/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

def - Total destruction or disintegration, either physical, moral, social, or economic.
A cause of total destruction.
The act of destroying totally.
A destroyed person, object, or building.

If this is the best that Israel can do to "ruin" Lebanon, then I'm a less masculine Helen Thomas.

7/21/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Seneca the Younger said...

Now we have a case that the legitimate defensive needs of Lebanon are being dismantled by what is an occupying power. Someone will have to help me out where this has happened and the legal basis for doing so. Israel clearly has the right to defend herself, but does she have the right to prevent others from as well? If Israel asserts that right of another state to defend itself, is that not an incentive for another country to justify greater offensive deterrents. In a bizarre ironic way is not Israel providing justification for Iran to have a nuclear weapon?

But let's assume for hypothesis sake that your characterization is correct. It's equally correct to note that Kezbullah is part of the government of Lebanon, and that Lebanon, via Hezbullah, created causus belli when they attacked over the border and took hostages (a war crime in itself).

Attacking the "legitimate defensive" emplacements of an aggressor is entirely legitimate.


7/21/2006 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Achillea said...

*scrolls alllllllll the way back up to the post*

*finds no mention of Pat Buchanan*

*scrolls aallllllll the way back down*

Elaborate bunker systems and their occupants, the annihilation thereof. Discuss.

7/21/2006 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

luc 6:21

Friend. Push the buttons down on the keyboard (you don't even have to spell correctly, hooked on phonics is fine) and place your comments and thoughts into the great arena that is BC. You could even pop for one of those voice contraptions that types for you.
AND as an extra bonus you don't even have to come close to being right. This is America,(Chevy Chase in CaddyShack to Danny, aspiring lumber yard owner) you have the right to be wrong, if you're in the government you can even make it a law, and if you're one of the Supremes you can even vote to take peoples land and homes away and give 'em to the highest tax revenue payer. It's a great country.
Jump in the deep end, somebody will surely throw you an anvil. But just remember that anvil will help you reach those pearls of wisdom that much faster.
Good luck

7/21/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

achillea; 9:56 AM

Please, check out 2164th at 6:41 AM.

7/21/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Your formuation for posting comments...did you notice that once the troops formed up, and stood at attention in the next six hours or so there was a beefy 36 posts? The blog was on life support.
Wretchard ostensibly wanted a more level playing field so others could get in comments. Well what happens when you have a blog and no one shows up?
BC went from a vibrant energized blog to a sitting room in a funeral home.
I mean if you have a throughbred you don't keep him in the barn or hobble him...ya ride him laddy, ride like the wind.
Making it formulaic stiffles thought,creativity,spontenaity, and gets you a pocket protector so someone can keep score. I'm agin it.

7/21/2006 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Seahorse Valley said...

Viscous rats. Now *that's* scary!

7/21/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger fred said...

If the enemy are dug into bunkers and tunnels under homes, then, with all the warnings the Israelis have delivered to the population to leave the area, one can only conlude that the civilians there remain because they support the Hizbullah fighters.

Blow the tunnels. Drill the rockets and bombs into them. Use flamethrowers. Whatever it takes to destroy this enemy. World opinion be damned.

We had to use flamethrowers and napalm in the Pacific during WWII to dislodge the Japanese from their deep defensive works, caves, and tunnels. I have no problem with doing this, since these are enemy combatants who could pop up anywhere and kill our men.

Serve Hizbullah, the Lebanese collaborationist government, Syria, and Iran with the butcher's bill. The Israelis are going to take some serious losses in this war when they send in the ground troops. Make the enemy pay dearly for this.

7/21/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

With a congressional green light to support Israel, US forces in the ME should step up with robust tactical support and, if necessary, special ops forces in Lebanon's Bekka.

Too bad that Syria is between the two theaters. If they complain they don't like it, I've got an appendage in the middle of my right hand that could be used as a response. If they (or Iran) interferes and are drawn more into the affair, all the better.

Could be why Rummy has been slow the draw down.

We've been waiting for this opportunity - time to seize the day!

7/21/2006 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Achillea said...

allen (1013AM): Please, check out 2164th at 6:41 AM

Please, check out Wretchard at 6:30 PM.

7/21/2006 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I believe I get a bonus post to answer a debating point.

Seneca the Younger ,

If you believe, as many in here do, that the outcome of this will be a net positive, I am with your point of view. I think Israel has given Hesbollah and Iran what they want. Hesbollah gets the sympathy of being defender of Lebanon. Unless they are shattered and discredited, they will dominate Lebanon in the future. Iran gets justification to develop and keep nuclear weapons. The timing of this benefits who? Iran. Israel must win this. They bet the farm on this one. Was it necessary and will it work? I hope so.

Was there a better alternative? I believe there was and still remains a safer choice. A NATO force with or without UN approval, could have garrisoned itself along with the Lebanese Army in Southern Lebanon. NATO could have trained and backed up the Lebanese Army and disbanded the Hezbollah militia. A majority of Lebanese would have preferred this and supported it. NATO could guarantee Israel security on her borders. It would have been a rebuke to Iran and a foreshadowing of future NATO action should they continue their campaign to go nuclear.

Either plan could fail. My preference is for the one with the least down side risk. Israel, you and many others in the BC believe otherwise. We all agree on one thing. I hope I am wrong and you are right.

7/21/2006 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger fred said...

Does anyone here SERIOUSLY believe that the Lebanese government is a "hostage" government? Two decades ago it could have appealed to the U.N. and the U.S. that it was being taken over by the masters in Tehran and Damascus. But it didn't and in so many actions, words, deeds, and lack thereof it has given approval of the Hizbullah occupation of the country.

The choice is either occupation by Iran's surrogate fighters (Hizbullah)or by the IDF. IDF occupation would eventually take Lebanon out of Iran's orbit. Lebanon would no longer be an Iranian satellite state.

7/21/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Was watching Mr Bolton y Ms Rice on FOX.

Franks, Romans & Cossacks
gettin saddled up to ride!

Save the Levant!

If the Lebanonese Army is allowed to mass north of the river, the IDF will perform the "pinpoint incursions" that both an ex US Asst Sec State and fmr Israel Amb. to US, agreed was the way forward.
The IDF will withdraw and the LA will advance into the "void", supported by the "robust Inttenational force.
All in a week or less,
it'd be one definition of success.

And not a bad one, at that.

7/21/2006 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/21/2006 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, maybe a month or 90 days.
Regardless, sure sounds like

The Crusaders Return

least to me.

Remember Mr Putin spoke of
"Saint Russia"

Each Crusader with a different Goal

The "End of History"?

That boy had hubris

7/21/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

achillea; 10:54 AM

I'm confused. First, you say Buchanan had not been mentioned !!!!! (whatever "!!!!!" means). Now, I'm uncertain of your point, or if you even have one other than carping.

Since the Buchanan school of diplomacy may have some influence on those manning the bunkers of concern to you, what do you think of Mr. Buchanan's latest screed?

Since it is likely that the gentlemen I referenced in my comment on Mr. Buchanan (to doug, 7:22 AM) have had enormous influence on the US's ME policy, what is your take on them?

Would you admit the efforts of Dr. Rice and Mr. Bolton might be undermined by the public criticisms of the Buchanan school?

7/21/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...


Israel's military stunned by the failure of its air war

'Nuff said.

7/21/2006 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Let's agree to disagree about Mr Buchanans philosophy and instead stay focused on the shooting enemy, the dastardly Islamofasicts.
And I would remind my friend that hate is caustic and unremitting to the hater, and that the hated feels not even a whisper of your breath.
Stay cool in your emotions. It's sweeter to hit your target at 800 yards with one shot than to close with him in a knife fight where the advantage narrows.

7/21/2006 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Fox News’s Bill Hemmer is reporting up to 1,000 Israeli troops are already in Lebanon, and have been for several days, doing mostly night-time hit-and-run operations. Also, some critical real-time reconnaissance is being done, certainly. For the value of recon, see Austin Bay, today.

7/21/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Thank you for confirming both rufus's 18% theorum and much more, with that link.

Imagine Iran's 800 miles of Persian and Oman Gulf coastline combined with the 100km range of the Silkworm.

Imagine 25 years of bunker building along the length of that coast line.
It'd be a "Long War" in deed.

18%, that's the rufus Rule

7/21/2006 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Everyone bleeds in a knife fight

7/21/2006 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger leaddog2 said...

I have one piece of a solution for Middle East peace as follows:

1) TOTALLY ELIMINATE all U.N. missions of any kind in Lebanon or any part of the Middle East. That would eliminate the major source of funding that keeps these killers alive.

7/21/2006 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

take that to the bank

7/21/2006 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


Hatred of Mr. Buchanan plays no part in my criticism of the foreign policy championed by he, Novak, Baker, Scowcroft, or Brzezinski. The US, Israel, Iraq, and Lebanon are reaping the whirlwind of the wind sown by what I call, tongue in cheek, the Buchanan school.

By the way, Mr. Novak just appeared on Fox News, doing his usual spiel, criticizing Israel, the US, and commiserating with the innocent people of Lebanon. Whether he ever used the word "terrorist" in a pejorative way I leave to others to decide.

For once in my lifetime I would like to see my country take a foreign policy decision based on morality rather than Realpolitik.

As always, best wishes.

7/21/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

desert rat said:

Imagine Iran's 800 miles of Persian and Oman Gulf coastline combined with the 100km range of the Silkworm.

Now imagine them setting European and Chinese oil tankers on fire (the US imports only 16.6% of its oil from the Gulf).


1. $120 oil, $5 gas. All Senators who still block off-shore drilling get strung up by a lynch mob at the polls. Ford and GM actually start selling hybrids. President Hillary puts the double-nickle speed limit signs back up. The world enters a recession.

2. No more foot dragging in the UN by China or France (Russia may be another matter, they benefit from higher oil prices and ship by different routes).

3. The North Korean problem goes away as a side benefit of China clearing off the table.

4. Japan gets 73% of its oil from the Gulf. Expect a return of the Imperial Navy to blue water, only this time they have decades of experience operating with the US Navy.

5. Israel leaves any future operation of taking out Iranian nuke capability to the Hyperpower, because we'd rather cover our bets and invest in an arsenal of bunker busters than try to do it on the cheap (insert ethnic joke here).

7/21/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That is if things go reasonably well

7/21/2006 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

geoffgo 8:31

i'm a bit slow so you'll have to speak in short simple sentences.

please first point me to what you are referring to eith a time.

pretty much i ain't got no morals so i can't be preach'in on 'em and if'in i did well just remember the parable about the back hoe operator, the boiled peanut vender, and the trebuchet cow slinger.
Or "Quand vous ecrivez savez lequel de vous parle"

7/21/2006 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Achillea said...

Everyone bleeds in a knife fight

The loser gushes.

(Sorry, that's three, I'll shut up now. Probably.)

7/21/2006 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

as I said to Teresita,
if things go reasonably well

7/21/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

achillea; 12:26 PM

Please, don't!

7/21/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

Terisita said,
"If so, they [Hezbollah hiding in tunnels] represent a slight advance in gamesmanship over the common Islamist practice of launching attacks and then riding out the response in a school or a mosque."

That's an apples to oranges comparison, unless Hezbollah is making a point of dragging human shields down into the tunnels with them. Regardless, I agree that the Israelis need to take the World PR hit and destroy the tunnels and contents.

6:36 AM

7/21/2006 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

102nd post of the thread unless something beats me to the wire.

2164: RE: NATO being the legal authority to intervene in Lebanon.

I did not realise that NATO was an international Police Force. I doubt that they have any more legal authority to intervene than anyone else.

The problem we have is that international law is ill-equipped to handle collective madness on the march. How does a police force apprehend the criminally insane or the insanely violent? Eventually, overwhelming or even lethal force may be required. I happen to think that "eventually" has arrived.
HABU: Don't blame me for the scarce postings, although I could have suggested that after a thread is so many hours old, a relaxation could be in order.:)
It seems that the "realists" have gone over the top with Buchanan leading the charge. It's irritating that in addition to suffering shots from the left for a long time, we are now being targeted by snipers firing from the right. It's counterproductive, just as the negative carping day in and day out is tiresome.
As to Lebanon being destroyed, I don't think so. Certain blocks in the southern burbs of Beirut; yes. The infrastructure of the whole country; hardly. Take the bridges for example; the expensive bridges so far have been left pretty much intact with maybe a hole through the deck in a strategic location. This indicates to me that the Israelis hit it with a concrete bomb which has no explosives but a hell of a punch. Can be repaired fairly easily.

Some of the short bridges such as cross dry creeks have been knocked down entirely but these are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace.

Anderson Cooper was in Beirut escorted by Hezbollah to record the devastation. When asked by someone in the studio whether this was typical of a broad area, he replied that no, it was confined to a few blocks.

The attacks on the airport have (to my knowledge and I could be mistaken) been confined to cratering the runways.

Strategic hits on electrical substations can knock power without destroying the grid.

We're seeing a lot of propaganda designed to gin up international condemnation of the Israelis and we don't need our people throwing gas on that fire (if you know who I mean.)

Ran a bit long. I wonder if I'll be 110 post.

Keep a stiff upper lip!


7/21/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

re Fred 10:27

There is no victory scenario for the Israelis in this operation, that does not involve killing the majority of the men in South Lebanon who are Hezbollah members.

7/21/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Has anyone out there heard anything recent about bunker busting bomb capabilities?

Back during Desert Storm the USAF quickly developed a 4K lb bunker buster based on use of an artillery tube with a laser seeker system attached. If my memory of a Pentagon hallway conversation serves me correct when tested by relasing it from a sled track it penetrated over 20 ft of concrete and then kep right on going for another half mile or so.

Dropped from an F-111F at the end of the war it was assumed to have penetrated a deeply buried Iraqi bunker by the fact that the air vents air immediately spouted smoke.

But... I saw on TV that for OIF the bunker busters dropped by a B-1 (I think) failed to penetrate some of Saddam's best bunkers.

I would think we would have better weapons than that cobbled together one from 1991. I know we have lots and lots of big rocket motors left over from Minutemna and I wonder if anyone is thinking about a powered bunker buster.

7/21/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You left out:
"And we haven't had
all day!
Terrorism as Social Contract
It is plain to see that groups like Hamas and Hezbollah — and their Syrian and Iranian masters — need the occupation, and will do anything to maintain its logic. As long as they can goad Israel into causing civilian casualties, they will be able to keep the conflict alive, without ever having to accept the ultimate defeat: peaceful coexistence with Israel. It is the infernal legacy of Yasser Arafat, playing itself out in every generation, like a Koranic doom.

And this brings us to yet another of the West’s eminently unhelpful suggestions to Israel: Exercise restraint.
This admonition has always struck me as both perverse and insulting. The Israelis are democrats and humanists like us — they don’t need anyone lecturing them about civilian casualties.
Indeed, the Israelis are far more worried about Arab civilian casualties than are the Arabs themselves.

Besides all the reasons the Israelis have to worry about them — reasons both moral and expedient — the entire strategy of the terrorists calls precisely for getting Israel to inflict as many civilian casualties as possible.
Their strategy is suicide terrorism on a social scale.
Both Hamas and Hezbollah intentionally fire missiles from densely populated areas so that Israel will kill civilians when it retaliates, because that inflames the Arab world, and helps turn world opinion against Israel.

Michael Totten April 28, 2006
“Everything Could Explode at Any Moment”
, describing his visit last year to the Israel-Lebanon border:

Iran has moved into South Lebanon. Intelligence agents are helping Hezbollah construct watch towers fitted with one-way bullet-proof windows right next to Israeli army positions.
Here's what one officer said:
This is now Iran's front line with Israel. The Iranians are using Hizbollah to spy on us so that they can collect information for future attacks. And there is very little we can do about it.
More powerful weapons, including missiles with a range of 30 miles, are also being brought in.

Camus at Combat: Writing 1944-1947

Marxists, Camus declared, are ready to accept "a hundred thousand deaths" to provide for "the happiness of hundreds of millions."
But "the certain death of hundreds of millions of people ... is too high a price to pay for the supposed happiness of those who remain."

He implored his readers to join him in doing battle "within the historical arena in order to save from history that part of man which does not belong to it."
Later he used the same type of reasoning to argue against indiscriminate terror from whatever source it came.
"We live in terror," he writes, "because man has been delivered entirely into the hands of history and can no longer turn toward that part of himself which is as true as the historic part, and which he discovers when he confronts the beauty of the world and of people's faces."

7/21/2006 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger El_Heffe said...

fred said...

"If the enemy are dug into bunkers and tunnels under homes, then, with all the warnings the Israelis have delivered to the population to leave the area, one can only conlude that the civilians there remain because they support the Hizbullah fighters."

Fortunately, my bellicose friend, Israel is not so obtuse.

The roads and bridges that access southern Lebanon were the first things hit from the air. Which obviously has the intended effect of impairing the logistics of the "rocket boys", but it simultaneously (and most inconviently) impairs the movement of any would be refugees as well.

And this is to say nothing of the reports that checkpoints have been setup by the terrorists specifically to keep the civillians in place... as human shields... go figure.

By what follows I don't mean to asert that mere criminality is equivalent to terrorism, however...

Were this kind of logic applied to police work we would see a directive circulated among S.W.A.T. snipers ordering that in a "human shield" situations the shields are to be deliberately head-shot first then a second shot is to be made on the perp.

You could argue that if this were made standard procedure that the perps, recognizing that human shields don't work under these new rules, would stop using human shields. But, even if you were correct in this assertion... at what moral cost to the sniper, would this change in the criminal's behavior come?

No. I'm afraid there is more to it.

If killing lebanese were the objective there would be tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands dead by now... killing people in this day and age has become easy. It's killing the right people that is hard. I applaud the IDF for their efforts to spare the innocent (to the degree that such is possible) while pursuing/degrading the terrorists.

7/21/2006 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"I know we have lots and lots of big rocket motors left over from Minutemna and I wonder if anyone is thinking about a powered bunker buster."
Straight Down, and Full Throttle!
What's that red Nitric looking cloud on the frontpage of the Vandenburg Site?
They use that in the first stage?
...the storable missile fuel you were talking about?

7/21/2006 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" I applaud the IDF for their efforts to spare the innocent (to the degree that such is possible) while pursuing/degrading the terrorists. "
But ALL Lebanese Fatalities are
Peace-Loving CIVILIANS!

7/21/2006 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Hows that two drink maximum doing, guys? Everybody doing their part?

7/21/2006 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

2164th - Someone will have to help me out where this has happened and the legal basis for doing so. Israel clearly has the right to defend herself, but does she have the right to prevent others from as well?

No, I think the law says Israel has a right to defend herself, that she was attacked across borders by parties member to the sovereign government of Lebanon. The arguments are in proportionality. Hezzies or other forces in Lebanon have a right to build bunkers. An attacked country has a right to destroy them.

If Israel asserts that right of another state to defend itself, is that not an incentive for another country to justify greater offensive deterrents.

An "endless cycle of violence" argument from you, 2164th? I thought that was a Lefty thing.

In a bizarre ironic way is not Israel providing justification for Iran to have a nuclear weapon?

Of course. That was always the danger in Israel being a non-signatory to all WMD NPTs. That if they could get away with building WMD stockpiles and point missiles at ME rivals, that eventually other nations would seek parity. The arrogant Zionists claimed that Arabs and Iranians were simply too childlike and stupid to ever erode Israel's technological edge, but of course in an age of global information where knowledge is traded and sold like coffee beans - and the committment of many 3rd world nations to devote considerable resources to education - that is no longer the case.

The Neocons case basically boils down to seducing or threatening US politicians to use American lives and treasure to maintain Israel's military superiority margin. Buchanan is right in the attacks neos want us to make in the region - Iraq, Iran, Syria - are more about Israel (a country we have no defense treaty with other than what comes out of Christian Zionist Bush's mouth on the fly) - than US security. [For those ragging on Pat, remember it was Washington that warned it was paramount that America avoid entangling foreign alliances...something that kept us thankfully out of the Napoleonic Wars, Latin wars, colonial squabbles, and WWI and WWII until we were ready.]

7/21/2006 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

What a novel idea. Perhaps the modern got stuck on the post. There are again terrible consequences for terrible behavior.

Compare international press coverage of the Jenin campaign, where deliberate, flagrant lies were the order of the day with the standoffish coverage of the Lebanon campaign and we can see that the Conversation has changed.

Kofi and Albright's parroting of the usual cease-fire "solution" has not been picked up by the media, for the most part. It appears that popular opinion in the West is catching up to the fact that Islamism must be killed off and not mollified.

Godspeed to the IDF for the Bekaa sweep.

The same thing must still be done in Gaza to neuter Hamas.

7/21/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Those damned Filipinos!
If they just hadn't listened to the damned NeoCons/Jooos, them Muzzies would be living in peaceful harmony with them!
Was Marcos a Jooo?

7/21/2006 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

I know that some initial research has been done on using hypersonic ramjet engines to power bunker busters (I read an article on it a couple of months ago) but it sounded like that particular approach was still several years away from operational use.

7/21/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Nice to hear from you again C4. A very respectable rebuttal. But calling me a lefty? You mean to the left of Habu perhaps? You got me there. I enjoy the spectrum and collegiality of BC and hope I have both learned and shared some of my experiences and views. But lefty?

7/21/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

"You don't burn down your neighbor's barn to get rid of a nest of rats. "

You do when they are killer rats, with razor sharp teeth, and you don't have the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. In this case the rats have taken over the entire barn.

7/21/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

ex helo,
Specially when them Rats have Iranian Missiles with G_d knows what for Warheads.
Hizbullah, the sources said, learned how to disable cameras and exploit blind spots to cut through the border fence and attack Israeli military positions. They said this was how a small Hizbullah force attacked an Israeli border post on July 12 and abducted two soldiers.

The analysts said the U.S. military was closely studying the Hizbullah war to prepare for any future conflict with Iran and its proxies. They said the results of the Israeli military campaign could influence the extent of advanced technology procurement for both the U.S. military as well as homeland security.

"The longer-term consequences will impact everything from the U.S. immigration debate — current proposals are dependent on high-tech sensors to stop illegal immigration — to the implementation of transformation programs around the world and especially the USA's Future Combat Systems and its plethora of UAVs and unmanned sensors," the Washington-based Defense Industry Daily said.

7/21/2006 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Spread your Cheeks and Smile while saying something compassionate/inane.

Sources in the community said the dissident faction joined with colleagues in the State Department to target exiled Iraqi democrats, particularly Ahmad Chalabi.

"There is clearly a faction in the CIA that appears sworn to overturn the president's policies," said a congressional source responsible for monitoring the CIA.

"What is amazing is that the president has undermined his loyalists and promoted his enemies."
In his letter, Mr. Hoekstra agreed with this assessment.

7/21/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Every day we suffer from the consequences of individuals promoting their personal agendas. This is clearly a place at which we do not want or need to be."
- Hoekstra

7/21/2006 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

W should have "smoked 'em out, got em on the run."

Instead he let Porter Goss go.

Go figure! Maybe someday, we'll know why.

Regardless, the idea of a rogue element within the CIA is very disturbing.

7/21/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

2164th - Left was sarcastic, but I did detect the aura of the Lefty blubbering "endless cycle of violence" in your post. I just wish somebody had bitch-slapped Chirac as he warned about Israeli violence only breeding more violence, and the need for proportionality. So say that it is important not to "escalate" violence, and "keep it in proportion". Meaning I suppose, that if someone shoots 2 shots at you and misses, you are permitted to shoot two rounds back as a civilized long as you are careful to miss your keep things proportional. So, tell me again Jacques, when was the last time France was not defeated in a war? And why should any other nation listen to French advice, given your track record since Napoleon's time??
Desert Rat - OT on Lieberman. People completely overlook that Lieberman is accountable to all CT voters. The State is 35% Democratic, 35% Independent, and 30% Republican. Most independents are "moderate". While the Lefty activists have pushed The Great Antiwar Candidate to a 52-48% lead over Lieberman, a poll of Statewide voters, if Lieberman runs as an Independent, has the Senator leading 51% to Lamont's 29% trailed by the now -unknown Republicans 9%. Of Lamont's 29%, those preferring him were asked and slightly over 30% of them said they favored Lieberman actually, but would vote loyal Democrat anyways.

Which is something the MSM and the exteme liberal blogs fail to "get". Lieberman is positioned right in the Independent stectrum, and gets Republican and liberal crossover. He is the leading vote-getter in CT. And CT has elected Weicker as an independent Governor, and voted for Senators and Congress Reps that have registered as separate line "independents".

Allen, to 2164th: The United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate have both voted overwhelmingly in favor of supporting the Israelis in this current fight.

I should think that nearly sufficient to satisfy the scruple of either you or Mr. Buchanan.

Most certainly, the legislative voice of the people of the United States will not please Mr. Buchanan, who, no doubt will claim the nefarious collusion of the legislature and the neo-con (Jewish) lobby and infiltrators.

You may be certain that whether by sense of the Congress or declaration of war, Mr. Buchanan will not be disabused of his anti-Zionist (Jewish) animus.


The Jewish Lobby AIPAC suggested wording to both the House and Senate Resolutions and then ordered the Reps to line up. The House vote was 410-8, greater than the margin when the US itself was attacked and we were going after the people that did it. Greater than the margin of the vote commending the US troops for defeating the Taliban. Greater than the Civil Rights voting extension vote, or the vote to build a memorial to the American WWII Vets.

The difference, as several Congress Reps quietly grumbled off the record, was they had little choice but to vote that way given the degree of Jewish clout and ability to turn on and off the spigot of campaign money to reward or punish elected Americans.

In no other Western Democracy to the Zionists have such power and control over the vote of national representatives. Not even Israel. A similarly worded resolution would not be passed by the Israeli Knesset by such a margin.

Sen John Warner is the latest person to dare buck AIPAC. He held up the Senate vote until wording on "full support of whatever Israel decides to do" was revised to say words to the effect that America was also concerned with the 25,000 US citizens in Lebanon endangered by Israeli military activities, concerned with the welfare of Lebanon's innocent Muslim and Christian citizens who have no involvement with Hezbollah's war, and that America is also concerned with working with ALL parties in the ME working towards bettering their peoples and respecting rule of law.

Funny how the safety and welfare of 25,000 US citizens was somehow overlooked in the original draft composed by AIPAC, Christian Zionists, and Democratic leadership, ey???

That was not an exercise of the voice of the People of the United States through their elected representatives. It was Jewish Lobby muscle-flexing. Why wave envelopes of cash and whisper threats to elected officials to herd them the right way? Same reason as Ted Stevens shoving his Bridge to Nowhere through legislative votes, or 'Lil Kim launching his missiles despite everyone warning not to. Power is showing others. That-you-can...

No other group in America can get a 410-8 resolution. No one. It would be bad enough if an American group of special interest goals like gun banning, gay marriage, banker freedom to create all banking laws, farmers, environmentalists had such clout. But AIPAC is a foreign lobby caring for a foreign nation's best interests. And Allen, Israel is not the 51st State and our interests diverge on many issues as a matter of course - same as they do with Canada's interests, or Italy's.....

7/21/2006 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Poor Mr. Buchanan, forgetting the two Beirut Embassy bombings which qualify as US Extraterritorial Enclaves and Sovereign US soil, both attacked by Hezbollah. Also noted is the Beirut Marine Barracks bombing and the Khobar towers bombing. Dear me! That is 4 Casus Belli by Hezbollah acting as the Foreign directorate of terror for Iran and two of those with cognizance and guidance by Syria, if not three. Yes, Mr. Buchanan is forgetting his world affairs and diplomatic affairs lessons. And we can thank Hezbollah and both of its backers for sinking an unarmed Egyptian merchant freighter and thus giving that Nation a good, old fashioned Casus Belli, also. Definitely the 'Law of Unintended Consequences' at work.

Needless to say I see this as the definitive opening of Act II with Act I having run from 1979 to just a few weeks ago, now. And Mr. Krauthammer is not the only one to see a Golden Moment here, although I do pine for the days of a President that had an actual Foreign Policy that could be articulated and forcefully *used*. The actual keys to unlocking the Middle East problems are now in play, which is something I had never thought would happen in my lifetime. All of this over a couple of small invasions and a bit of democracy being spread into dark corners of the Middle East. And I also agree that those very same faultlines are the best and brightest opportunity the region has ever had to finally end this charade of using terrorists as proxy for Nation State Diplomacy.

All it took was a bit of change of the scenery in Lebanon and actual elections in the Palestinian areas. Suddenly terror attacks are no longer terrorism, but acts eminating from Sovereign territory upon another Nation. No wonders Hezbollah and Hamas feared even the hint of legitimacy: it will be their total and thorough undoing.

Faster, please!

7/21/2006 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

el heffe

Hizbullah exists in Lebanon at the consent of the government and the people. Plus, those areas where it has set up its defense-in-depth are areas of a sympathetic population, a population which wholly approves of the objectives of Hizbullah.

The extension of the logic of today's critics of warefare's rules of engagement would have left much of Germany intact and there would have been no crossing of the Rhine to finish the job.

I'm not saying to deliberately target civilians. But, they are there and so are the enemy and his infrastructure.

Do we throw in the towell because of the Muslim practice of using human shields?

7/21/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Yoni has some troubling information:

"Syrian Resupply"

If Yoni's media source is correct, will Israel act?

Former Ambassador Mark Ginsberg has told Fox News that "what we need is a demilitarized zone up there." Gee, what did I miss; I thought there was one, per UN Resolution 1559.

A DMZ sure helped out the South Vietnamese in the face of an implacable enemy.

7/21/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Syria importing latest model Russian Anti-Tank Weaponry and etc.
Sure glad we left that SANCTUARY over there.
Kinder, Gentler, BLOODIER. I'll read the worse news from Yoni.

7/21/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

RWE asks Has anyone out there heard anything recent about bunker busting bomb capabilities?

I've heard the Israelis have ordered bunker busters, I've had a hard time finding a link about them taking delivery (heh).

However, the most interesting development in B-B's since the Gulf War occured during the era of peace that reined during the 90's:

The US introduced an earth-penetrating nuclear weapon in 1997, the B61-11, by putting the nuclear explosive from an earlier bomb design into a hardened steel casing with a new nose cone to provide ground penetration capability. The deployment was controversial because of official US policy not to develop new nuclear weapons. The DOE and the weapons labs have consistently argued, however, that the B61-11 is merely a "modification" of an older delivery system, because it used an existing "physics package."

The one good thing Clinton did.

A POWERED B-B is an excellent idea, but I think the Rods from God is the best. Look Ma, it's raining tungsten! It's raining HARD!

The best part of God's Rods is two-fold: no fallout, and Gravity does all the heavy dropping.

7/21/2006 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

cedarford; 3:11 PM

You are such a disappointment to me. Just when I think you might rise to the occasion and debate an issue logically, rationally, sensibly, you write a screed like that above.

Cedarford, I am unimpressed. You see, I have read the original documents that inform your thinking, in the original German.

But, I am a patient man. Please, before you are tempted to go for your holster, think. With the power at our disposal you allege, why do we not simply get control of American air assets which are, on the whole, sitting idly? Why don't we order the troops in Iraq to march west? Why don't we order the armored and infantry divisions now in the States to embark, immediately?

And, most importantly, Cedarford, why am I sitting here in Georgia talking to you when I could be king of Texas and the deciding vote in the Miss Universe contest? Think about it.

7/21/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

As for what Israel bought... just doing a quick search... Strategypage has a listing of the 2,000 or so JDAM's Israel purchased in 2004 and from MSNBC 100 GBU-28's last year.

Given the listings, I would say that underground tunnel complexes are nasty graves to be in if you are a Hezbollah fighter.

Now if only Israel made their own Tallboy, they would be set!

7/21/2006 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

A comment on the thermobaric weapons. Bing west in "no true glory" mentions that we have developed a shoulder fired termobaric rocket that is designed to create enormous overpressure in spaces the size of most houses.

As I recall Mr West seemed to indicate that the weapon performed well. the weapon's use was limited, apparently, to members of the OGA and other specialty units, but if news of its existence made it into a popular book, its not a secret.

The discussion of any limitations on Israel's actions once it crosses the border into Lebanon make little sense to me. The lebanese have provoked a war and any infrastructure in their country is fair game. If the IDF choses to demolish these tunnels and that results in the destruction of the "civilian" houses situated above them, that's war.

I agree with the general sense that only a massive number of casualties will have any impact at all on the pyschopaths that have joined Hezbullah.

The biggest challenge the civilized world faces right now is finding a means to neutralize state sponsored terror while NOT attacking the sponsoring states. I just don't see a way to do this. If the goal is the elimination of the will to fight this won't get r done. Syria and Iran seem to have a huge inventory of cannon fodder and they can spend them freely while basking in the knowledge that they themselves will not be held accountable.

Will a mistake by H&H result in a series of mistakes by their masters? I doubt it.

7/21/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Did I fail to mention that former President Joseph Lieberman may lose his Senate seat? Any suggestions?

7/21/2006 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Ajacksonian, yeh, that's what I'm getting, all these hits that say Israel MAY get B-B's. Which are of the same class as JDAMs, ie, Guided Bombs. A snap-on kit of sensors, guidance and steerable fins, ready to get screwed right on to your favorite Mk 82. It's hard to draw the line, but bunker busters are a unique sub-class.

LOVED that link to Tallboy. Also loved the movie Dam Busters, delivering giant bombs that act like enormous torpedoes, using the non-compressibility of water to focus their force.

--- - - - ---

We are facing an enemy that fights within civilian houses and families, it is the "felt while holding the enemy's belt buckle" style of war, how do we fight that? Especially when they're not trying to grab our belt, they're herding children, women and old men around their combatants. If that ain't evil, what would be?

Still. We need a better set of enemies to light off our good stuff. Our enemies know that, and hide among civilians. And like the French under the Vichy, the civilians cooperate.

7/21/2006 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Now this will just tick everyone off..... :-)

7/21/2006 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Uri Dan is reporting that his military sources claim it is not whether Israel will invade Lebanon, but when?


It has been claimed on this site that it would take Israel upto a week to mobilize its reserves. Don’t bet on that? For more information read. “The Arab-Israeli Wars: War and Peace in the Middle East” - Herzog

7/21/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

For the record, nothing would please me more than to see Hezbollah taken apart and Iran put on notice that a similar fate was in its future. To do that will not be simple nor will it be a short war. I do not believe we can kill or subdue one and a half billion Muslims, nor do I consider it plausible that the Islamic world will be immediately democratic. Islam is a flawed dangerous ideology and religion. It is poisonous to humankind. It is a cruel anachronism with no present means of self-correction. Islam will only cease to be a problem to the West when certain events happen.

One will be the repudiation of the Islamists by the Muslim majority. We are not close to that happening. The best we can hope for in the present is to stop the rise of Islamic extremism. Israel can be most helpful when Israel is not an active participant. Israel certainly would prefer to be left alone and not threatened. Israel would be the perfect Switzerland for the Middle East.

Iran must be stopped. The logical way to stop Iran is to enlist the natural opponents to Iran and they include the Arab Gulf States. Israel as an active participant is not helpful in this strategy. This can only come from the US and Europe. The most natural organization is NATO. Israel can provide great intelligence support. I have first hand experience as to the support that can be given by Israel, but that experience comes with the additional knowledge that they are far from perfect in that area. If I were Israeli, I would be single minded in my determination to enlist her interest as my priority. I am not Israeli. Israel is held to a standard that is not applied to other nations. That is unfair and in act the world has been at best unkind to Israel and at its worst it has been merciless. The exception has been the United States, but not always.

My allegiance is to one country. I was not born in the United States. I served honorably and for some time in the US military. No one has to thank me for my service, because military service is its own reward. Every veteran knows that. The older you get the more you know and appreciate it. The only country I really care about is the United States. I care about the United States because it has no second that can pick up the flag if it falls. It has no peers. This world is at the mercy and faith and goodwill of the United States of America. With me it is all about winning and survival and if necessary survival and then winning.

I am preaching to the choir in this blog and have with the exception of one lying SOB have had no disagreement with anyone here where I would question their loyalty to our country. Onward and upward.

7/21/2006 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger alicat1 said...

I'm new here - I have no military expertise but find this site quite interesting given the conflict in Lebanon. I have a question that hopefully doesn't seem too naive, but here goes. What would the nature of the Hez. bunkers be in terms of water/food? Would it be possible to surround the area and starve them of the neccessities of life? Ducking now in case that's a really stupid question.

7/21/2006 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

tony - The Dam Busters was always a favorite movie to watch whenever it showed up on late nights. Barnes Wallis was an ingenious thinker on the use of explosive and compressive force both via water and ground. The Tallboy or 'Earthquake' bomb is so nasty as it gives a compressive jolt upwards with a sudden settling along its wavefront, and very few above or below ground structures are made to take that sort of beating. Even an uncollapsed building will no longer be safely useable as its foundations have been shifted and a thorough building inspection needed before it can be used. Underground structures suffer a similar problem as that sort of force is not a normally planned for one during construction. Having support beams thrust upwards and laterally and then downwards again has got to play havoc on such things. Damned simple design, too... spin stabilized since actually striking a target is not the goal, just get it withing a quarter mile or so and you are set. I don't think the Israeli's have anything in their transport capacity for the big brother Grand Slam, but I am sure they would find a way if they ever made one.

2164th - Agreed, this is not a 'go it alone' scenario. That is why the key is to enforce the old Jus ad bellum rules and start arm-twisting on Egypt. One damned freighter and now that key, to unlocking Egypt, is in play. If only we had a President who could lay it on the line with Egypt...

Just absolutely incredible that Hezbollah is either so stupid or so audacious to do such a thing.

7/21/2006 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Doug: Have not looked at the VBerg site, but that red cloud, known in the trade as a BFRC, is N204, the oxidizer used in the Titan IV, Titan II, Delta II 2nd stage and Space Shuttle OMS. Not used as much now and not at all for first stages in US vehicles any more. Kerosene is safer, gives better performance, and is cheaper.
The 500 Minuteman II's we pulled out of the holes gave us a lot of useful large solid rocket motors, more than we could use for most purposes You could dump one out of a C-5 and light it off - it was done once. The nice thing about solid rocket propellant is that it makes a pretty effective warhead in its own right. Burns hot and with nasty and toxic smoke. The HMS Sheffield off the Fauklands was damaged almost as much by the motor on the Exocet that hit it as by the warhead.

Tony: The Democratically controlled Congress was very hostile toward earth penetrating nuclear warheads while I was at the Pentagon. I am fairly sure it was the Republican takeover that led to that development, not the Clinton Admin.

7/21/2006 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

By the way, the B-36 could carry a 42,000 lb conventional bomb - would like to see what one of those would do.

But wasn't there a deep penetration version of the MOAB being developed?

7/21/2006 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


The Fuel Air Explosive kind of B-B bomb was used in Afghanistan. They penetrate X layers of Y layers of concrete/earth/rock, and disperse an aerosol explosive (I guess they're talking about kerosene?) and then spark plugs light off the whole mess, using the bunker/caves' oxygen as its oxidant. (Like Teresita?'s IR gas idea?)

That's an underground MOAB, right?

(I feel so guilty going over the 2 beer limit, but I think we are sharing interesting info.)

7/21/2006 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

The indefatigable Desert Rat wrote: Teresita
Thank you for confirming both rufus's 18% theorum and much more, with that link.

Rather than bore with the details, especially since I'm posting way to much, I'll just say that article is provably bullshit. It has wrong facts.

It reminds me of another recent article that stated that the NorK missile tests gave the PRC a huge look at our capabilities. As if that would be a BAD thing. Why do you think we just launched an old Minuteman to its watery grave 4,200 miles away in the Pacific. The only difference between US doing it and NorK doing it, is that it's no surprise that ours work.

I hope the PRC got a huge intelligence coup by seeing our 3-metre CEP from half the world away, with a Minuteman.

That test last week, btw, was EFFECTIVELY, a demonstration of Rods from God.

7/21/2006 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...


That test last week, btw, was EFFECTIVELY, a demonstration of Rods from God...

How so?

(Now I have gone to three posts!


Jamie Irons

7/21/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

I would like to thank the poster who placed me on the right.

“A coward dies a thousand deaths... a soldier dies but once.”

Now it's simply time to wipe out Islam. It's vile. It's contemptable. And it once again poses a threat to freedom loving people everywhere. Those with guts enough to do the killing do so. Those who don't can help in a thousand other ways.
Those who openly fight against our freedoms through sedition or alien acts do so at great peril.

I would like to have done some Henry V but the St. Crispins Day speech has been overdone as of late. It's still a corker though.
Thanks again.

7/21/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

So who's going to be the first poster brave enough to name the names of those who are abusing the "too many comments" rule?

Who is, even as I read, abusing it right now on this very thread, sublimely unaware that all of his words are not pearls of hotly anticipated wisdom.

Or maybe merely determined to pound his knowledge into our pointy little heads for our own good.

7/21/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

alicat - can you imagine the criticism Israel would get for starving to death the poor little resistance fighters, if you compare it to the criticism the US gets for treating them with kid gloves at Gitmo?

That does not strike me as being an effective idea.

7/21/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

I'm new here - I have no military expertise but find this site quite interesting given the conflict in Lebanon. I have a question that hopefully doesn't seem too naive, but here goes. What would the nature of the Hez. bunkers be in terms of water/food? Would it be possible to surround the area and starve them of the neccessities of life? Ducking now in case that's a really stupid question." alicat1

To answer your question, let me make a stab at it. I was never in a combat MOS when I was in the Army, but I've done a lot of reading. You are assuming that one can lay seige to a thousand different locations at once or at least group them and then lay seige to an area of bunker complexes. The problem is that the enemy can still come out of them at night or when your guard is down and make life miserable for you. Now, if you are a commander and you know that part of your job is to be efficient in your mission to annihilate the enemy forces until they surrender unconditionally, why would you waste manpower and your own resources in seige warfare WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE TO. Also, soldiers do not like seige warfare. They're chomping at the bit to get at the enemy and end the battle or the war. They don't like being fixed in place and having to endure the enemy's forays, simply because world opinion doesn't want there to be any civilian collateral damage.

A well supplied enemy can sometimes outlast the ones who lay seige. The battle for Stalingrad is a case in point. In September and early October of 1942 the German Sixth Army had the Soviet Army pinned against the Volga into a very small area. Yet, these Soviet fighters fought fanatically to hold on, while the German morale fell and casualties mounted. The Soviets also raided the German lines and conducted all manner of psy ops to erode German confidence in the mission.

Now, I'm not saying the situations are similar, because they are not. But seige warfare is not without its hazzards for the attacker. No, it is better to give the enemy hell and burn them out, rather than starve them out. I am sure the Hizbullah fighters have plenty of ammo, food, and water stored up. And as the seige were to wear on, so would the pressure be upon the Israeli government to pull back.

If I am the commander I say "The f*** with that!" I would rather get it over in days or weeks rather than drag this thing on for months.

7/21/2006 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Let's see

allen 15
me 14
habu 11
doug 11
teresita 8
2164th 7
66 post, instead of 18

48 excessive posts,
w.w. stayed home today.

guess that is what it is.

Kid's got 25 days, then I'll be busy. If it's me that upsets you, nahncee, after all this time, I'm about done with this hobby, soon enough.

Those are the folk, nahncee, boy, that makes me brave?

7/21/2006 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

DR, that makes you blatent.

(Best defense is a good offense?)

7/21/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

desert rat; 7:09 PM

I did the count earlier and I must correct you - allen 17.

Confession is good for the soul.

Have you done a word count? Maybe someone truly interested in such things would do that, you think?

7/21/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Not worth it to me, allen

Just testing my bravery
like countin' coup

nahncee counted doug's words once, as I recall.

7/21/2006 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Okay, now that you all got that Brokeback / Oprah / Dr. Phil stuff off your chest...

I am honored to answer Dr. Irons query:

That test last week, btw, was EFFECTIVELY, a demonstration of Rods from God...

How so?

Our sub-orbital rockets can hit what they shoot at. Ain't no big deal for us to load big fat slugs of heavy metal as the warhead.

It would be so much more considerate than even the smallest nuclear weapon.

Yet it would still be like an intact multi-ton titanium meteorite strike.

Have you ever seen a meteor crater?

7/21/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Da Bear said...

The Japs turned Tarawa into a gigantic maze of tunnels, pill boxes and deeply embedded machine gun nests wiht overlapping fields of fire, The naval bombardment had little effect.

The battle was horrendously bloody with just a handful of Jap prisoners. In the end, flamethrower TNT attached to long poles, and the sacrifice of THOUSANDS of Marines was required for victory.

If Israel commits the ground troops needed to clear this area, they are not going to want to turn over this land to NATO or the UN.

Da Bear

7/24/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if only the time and capital taken building fortification underground to fire weapons could be dedicated to infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, roads. It saddens me everytime i hear such things..

salvage cars

1/08/2007 07:35:00 PM  

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