Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The World as Lebanon

The Hashmonean has extensive analysis on IDF ground operations in Lebanon, including a map which shows current movement to date. In the south, he identifies three main areas of attack involving 6 brigades: west, center and east. Of the western prong, Hashmonean says, "what will be interesting to see on this prong is how far the IDF goes in regards to Tyre (on the map as Sour). Tyre is where the rockets hitting Haifa are believed to be originating from, it is a big city with a heavy duty Hezbollah presence". In the center are the mountains of Bint Jbeil. The eastern prong bears is critical because it potentially threatens the Hezbollah's supply line with its patrons. "This area is critical, as it is the intersection of Israel, Lebanon, Syria and subsequently one of Hezbollah's access points to Syrian / Iranian supplies." Halutz on the Baalbek operation is quoted as saying:

"During last night an operation took place in the heart of Lebanon. We struck over ten Hizbullah members and took five hostage. The purpose of the operation was to make clear that we can operate in the depth of Lebanon," Halutz told journalists. Halutz addressed the military achievements of the operation and reported that "Hizbullah sustained hundreds of dead terrorists, more than a hundred, two hundred, and three hundred. In addition, we struck their medium and long-range rocket system."

Political analysis is provided by From Beirut to the Beltway who argues that no matter how successful Israeli military actions may be, there is no way that other Lebanese parties can be turned against Hezbollah. The core of his argument is that the Israeli attack has weakened all the parties, not just Hezbollah and it will remain relatively stronger than the rest.

One of the disturbing aspects of this war is the belief that it can turn Lebanese people against Hizbullah and weaken its political grip over the country. ...The above line of thought is delusional at best. Israel has never been a successful agent of change in Lebanon (not that it should be). Their involvement has always led to catastrophic results, and deepened the fissures in Lebanese society. ... The scale of destruction may have painted them in a bad light in the early stages of this war, but three weeks later, they have emerged as the only organized and efficient entity in Lebanon. There are no political parties with a heavier weight and comparable popular base in the country. Aoun’s FPM may come close, but their supporters stand to dwindle after this, leaving the FPM a weaker party, and one that cannot stand up to Hizbullah anyway. Hariri’s future movement is in disarray, and Saad has not been able to fill his father’s shoes, or amass much popularity. Such was the extent of damage inflicted on Lebanon since the Hariri assassination. If there were elections in Lebanon tomorrow, the current majority will probably lose, and the Assad puppets will return. Walid Jumblatt may appeal to some of us, but the man is holed up in his mountain recluse, and I doubt these events will make him a less likely target for an assassination.

He quotes Jumblatt as saying: “We will be just a weak state next to a very strong militia. Our government will be like the government of Abu Mazen (Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas) next to Hamas or maybe worse like the government of [Nouri al] Maliki in Iraq.”

On a more planetary scale, James Fallows has an article in the Atlantic which argues that the US has already won over al-Qaeda, in the sense of creating a response system and political climate that makes it impossible for the AQ to achieve decisive success. But that bad news is that the same developments have made it impossible to achieve decisive victory. Victory has turned al-Qaeda into a kind of meme shop, a "consolation prize" for Osama to be sure.


Blogger Habu_3 said...

It is rare when you don't first try to break the enemies lines of communication, ie supply routes.

8/02/2006 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger fjelehjifel said...

Wretchard writes: "The . . . Israeli attack has weakened all the parties [in Lebanon], not just Hezbollah and it will remain relatively stronger than the rest."

What this suggests is the possibility, if not the requirement, of outside intervention, overt or covert, to strengthen any faction that wishes to stand up to Hezbollah.

Yes, this could renew civil war in Lebanon, but if Hezbollah is going to light up Lebanon anyway, there's no harm in rebalancing the equation against Iran's surrogate.

Of course, everything depends on keeping the Syrians and the Iranians out.

8/02/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger serfer62 said...

I think the world will weary of this war and allow the IDF to really clean up...

8/02/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

i would not want syria and iran out of it.
believe me when i say that there would end up being a"provocation" by syria on US forces that would compell us to act. i believe that is being gamed as we blog.(as we blog, how strange. twenty years ago if you said that you'd be confined somewhere)
combined Israel and the US can take down syria in short order and await Aug 22 and the iranian stall. then we will act on them.
as i believe either Doug or Allen pointed out, when I suggested bombing damascus..why...let the massive refugee problem crush there infrstructure from the weight of their own offal trash people.
(i still like bombing,ALCBM and SLCBM) yeah baby.

8/02/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

On the technology, it's striking that the Israelis can send an "Apocalypse Now" size helicopter assault that far into Indian Country. I guess now we know why they chopped up the cell phone network. But ... doesn't Syria have radar? How low do you have to fly over such bare terrain to get under radar? Sorta puts the MANPADS threat in perspective, they can't shoot what they can't see.

And it doesn't make sense to think all those thundering machines could have used terrain masking over what we've been led to believe is heavily fortified and prepared defenses. What a strike, it's like when our guys first showed up over Panama. Small battlefields make for surprise, I suppose.


Belmont posters once again told me what to expect more than any other media. Red River and Trish mentioned the similarity with Op Anaconda last week, the airborne ops and all. And more recently, Aristides predicted big things this week. Damn, I love this blog.

8/02/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger fjelehjifel said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/02/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger Extraneus said...

Assuming the IDF isn't all of a sudden incompetent, it seems like there are only two possible winning strategies -- one being to cut off, trap and kill a large number of Hezbollah fighters and associated unavoidable "civilians" in a merciless display that won't soon be forgotten. But isn't it possible that Israel has decided that fighting a nation-state would be preferable to the messiness of mixing it up with an embedded militia, and that they'd rather help Hezbollah take over Lebanon entirely first? This way both Hezbollah and Hamas would have civil, infrastructure and other related responsibilities, and in the case of Lebanon an army, making them easier to defeat in a demonstrable way.

I realize that gets them back almost to where they are now, but unless they find a way to turn the populations against these groups, the future seems to point to genocide. (1E9, if I remember Wretchard's post on that.)

8/02/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger fjelehjifel said...


In taking down Hezbollah, we weaken Iran's regional position and raise doubts about its willingness and ability to protect its surrogates and patrons, including Syria.

Ultimately, the only way to deal with Syria may be with armed force, but if Syria can be bought or coerced from underneath Iran without having to attack it, so much the better.

Personally, I favor offering Syria something along the lines of Libya deal, but it's unlikely at this point that the Damascus regime would willingly abandon terror, give up its WMD/ballistic missiles, fully recognize Lebanon's sovereignty, etc., in order to stay in power.

Time will tell.

8/02/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" How low do you have to fly over such bare terrain to get under radar? "
They went hundreds of miles out to sea, requiring refueling!
Were at hospital from 10 p to 3 am.
Just missed hostages, according to Yoni.
Lots of hard drives and etc, and of course the unknown oxygen stealers.

8/02/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Another day has passed, it will soon be dawn in Lebanon. The IDF has not advanced in the night, according to press reports. Where they were yesterday, fierce fighting still is ongoing.

The chances of clearing the Bekaa in the allotted IDF timeline, as reported by FOX, is marginal.

I had read "Beirut to the Beltway" earlier but did not want to dampen the gung-ho spirit of the many BCers that still believe that the Course we are on in the ME is correct.

His discription of Iraq's government "... Our government will be like the government of Abu Mazen (Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas) next to Hamas or maybe worse like the government of [Nouri al] Maliki in Iraq.” ..."

If that is how the banner we have raised in the ME is viewed by those able to communicate in English, well, just imagine how it's viewed by the illiterate masses.

Who will be flocking to the flag of freedom, when what we have established in Iraq is seen as anarchy? The worst example of Government available in the Region?
Worse for it's people than Fatah and Hamas are for the Palistinians.

Not to worry, B tt B is obviosly an educated Lebanonese, so his view don't count, aye?

8/02/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Extraneus is right. Shia dominance in Lebanon will weight down Hezbollah with other concerns and at the same time provide the Shia with other potential avenues of supply (ie Lebanese taxes might provide more than Iranian aid). This might be bad, might be good, but it has got to be tried. Currently the Hezbollah need to keep Iran happy, more than anything else because the Iranians have holds of money and faith over Hezbollah. Gifting Shia power in Lebanon strengthens the Shiite financial position breaking one of the holds.

Alternatively genocide could also work.

8/02/2006 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Ready for another Front?
A New Hub for Terrorism?

"... a growing Islamic fundamentalist movement linked to al-Qaeda and Pakistani intelligence agencies is steadily converting the strategically located nation of Bangladesh into a new regional hub for terrorist operations that reach into India and Southeast Asia. ...
... With some 15,000 hard-core fighters operating out of 19 known base camps, guerrilla groups sponsored by the Jamaat and its allies were able to paralyze the country last Aug. 17 by staging 459 closely synchronized explosions in all but one of the country's administrative districts. When the key leaders of these groups were captured, they were kept by the police in a comfortable apartment, where they were free to receive visitors. ..."

We have lots of time, it's just another local conflict on the far side of the world.

8/02/2006 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

excellent points. i want inside syria to find the wmd's that russian Spetsnaz troops moved there. then i'd like to invite the french and german heads of state over for a big dish of (insert favorite ugly ,disgusing dish)
allow the french noses to get a real good sniff of hind end.

8/02/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Grey said...

typo: " Of the eastern prong," <<
Tyre is on the Western prong.

I hope the Israelis get a reasonable victory over Hez, but fear they won't have time. They were too slow with ground troops.

I hope the US pushes for a big, 20 000 plus in troops for helping Lebanon to disarm Hezbollah.

I fear for the West when the intentions of Hez, to murder, are equated with those of Israel, to protect themselves.

8/02/2006 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...


"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of
us, they're behind us...they can't get away this time"
- Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC

8/02/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...


Olmert has enough time available to him to clean up the whole middle east and most of Africa.

Whether they clean up Beqaa will be entirely up to Ehud. I don't think he really wants to, but the Hez may force him to.

Fox (Jennifer Griffen) is reporting that the next line of villages is "much easier" than the first. Gee, that was opined about on some blog about a Week, ago; which blog was that? hmm

8/02/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"We have lots of time, it's just another local conflict on the far side of the world."
Don't pay never no mind to what goes on in the sideshows:
Pay attention to the main event of the week/month year.
Such is the long war.
Maybe Buddy can recall the name of the brilliant, energetic, Bangladeshi Tiger that use to grace these pages with his hatred of America.
...I just did it myself:
Probably in AQ intelligence unit by now.

8/02/2006 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As David Crocket said to Jim Bowie & Will Travis in San Antonio.

"We're goin' to need more men"

8/02/2006 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

rufus 10:48 PM,
We had the hard Crustys,
and the Crusty Mrs Trish,
who asserted it'd be hard all the way through.
Perhaps judging by herself? ;-)

8/02/2006 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

My wife opened up some old pics of her dad when he worked on an AZ Dude Ranch back in the 20's!
Hopefully I'll get some kind of scanner setup, so you can see some of the choice ones.
Them Desert Injuns looked as tough as you described:
Especially their skin!

8/02/2006 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Aw, I bet the lovely Trish has a heart like a marshmaller.

8/02/2006 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger timmiejoebob said...

An interesting way to look at international terrorism is as if Al Queda and Hezbollah (or the state sponsors for which they are proxies) are analogs for competing corporations like Coke and Pepsi for example. They are two competing organizations with nearly identical products that each seek market dominance over the other.

Just for kicks, think of them in terms of the four Ps of marketing strategy: Product, price, place and promotion. Fill in the blanks as your metaphor generator sees fit.

Terror attacks on the west are part of the promotional strategy, but they are not the product.

Right now Hezbollah has captured market share from AQ. Whether the cost of the promotional strategy will offset gains in share is yet to be seen and very much in the hands of the Israelis, but it is arguable that this has been a successful gambit to leapfrog past AQ, which has been on the ropes of late.

My take, which is worth the price of the bits it's printed on, is that HB passed the point of diminishing returns a couple days ago. The most successful outcome for HB would have been to demonstrate military parity with IDF. Baalbek took that from them. Further fighting will erode both the image and the always lesser reality of their strength.

HB would be wise to find a way out before there's nothing left.

As my Daddy used to say, "Think the rain will hurt the rhubarb? ... Not if it's in cans."

8/02/2006 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Think the "source" that told her that is the same one that said it'd all be over in "10 days to 2 weeks" 21 days ago?

Let's watch the speed and depth of the advance, not the press releases relating the ease of the job.

Because, as PB delights in sayin', this is all just an Event, not an Outcome.

8/02/2006 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Usta love that Rhubarb Pie back on the farm!

8/02/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Rat, some will watch the coming days with amusement; some will watch in rage.

Syria is probably in the process of selling out HB. France is definitely in the process of selling out "everybody" (except Iran.)

Olmert wants to quit. HB wants to finish gettin killed.

I'm thinking about having a beer. Anybody got any popcorn?

8/02/2006 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

There's an interesting article about The Four Mothers who led the Israeli antiwar movement that led to the withdrawal from Lebanon and the terrifying feeling among them that they have "blood on their hands". It's a story of people who have tried war and made a leap for faith for peace only to find that peace was really just war with a mask.

Just now Ehud Olmert has been politically forced to suspend his cherished "realignment" program, the heart and soul of his political program. People talk about how Israel's actions have galvanized the Hezbollah. But the other side of the coin is that many Jews are literally convinced that it's 1938 all over again, not as metaphor but as reincarnation.

Neither the pace of the IDF nor the machinations of France can forseeably shake this terrible impression. The West has learned to fear the apolcalyptic visions of groups like the Hezbollah; but far more terrifying is an Israel convinced that it is fighting for its life. They can take this war into places we can only guess and will probably regret. And this time, the French won't sooth them.

8/02/2006 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Hezbollah is fighting for the Caliphate and the utter destruction of Israel. These goals are not compatible with a Democratic Lebanon. Also, Hezbollah has sold its soul (for a good price, it is true) to Iran. So Lebanese who want a free and independent Lebanon will have to fight for it and always against Hezbollah. But it is easier to blame the US, isn't it?

Hezbollah is a serious threat -- because it is an agent of Iran and has terror cells located all over the world. They had to be neutralized to take on Iran and their nukes.

Our goal is focused on Iran. The fact that they build up a terror client and equipped it with such sophisticated weapons is, in a sense, a strong argument for our side. I think this is especially true of the anti-ship cruise missiles. I don't think the world navies looked upon that Hezbollah Iran operation as a cute little "Pirates of Penzance" operetta. Those missiles could threaten shipping at choke points all over the world -- Horn of Africa and Indonesia are obvious examples -- and guess which navy keeps the shipping lanes open?

I'm still struck by the lack of massive demonstrations and anti-American riots. Of course, I'm getting my news from PJ media. Maybe they are just not reporting on all that violence in the Paris Suburbs. Ten thousand cars burn and where is the news in that? Normal for August. Did the US embassy in Kuala lumpur burn down last week? Just wondering.

8/02/2006 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Just now Ehud Olmert has been politically forced to suspend his cherished "realignment" program, the heart and soul of his political program."
Yoni reports Reservists said they would refuse to serve if the goal was Olmert's Nightmare.

8/02/2006 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

No doubt the Israelis are acutely aware that any one of those 200 rockets today, could on another day carry a real payload.
Plus it's not much fun to put life on hold and wait.
...and hope you're not unlucky today.

8/02/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

hd, keep one thing in mind. They only hit one ship; and, didn't even sink it.

Oh, and the blockade is still in place.

They can't cut off shipping in the Hormuz Straits, and they'll never hit one of our ships with a silkworm/exocet/whatever.

Well, they could "sucker-punch" on of our lesser ships, possibly; but that would be the end of that.

8/02/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

rufus and habu,

re: time

Mr. Olmert is so pleased with the recent behavior of his Palestinian peace partners that he wants to spend his time productively negotiating the surrender of the West Bank to them. He just cannot get enough Hamas.

Amazingly enough, with Israel fully occupied with defending itself from attacks from Lebanon and Gaza and facing a potential foe in Syria, Mr. Olmert wants to give the Islamofascists another base of operations in the West Bank.

Mr. Olmert is no Chesty Puller.

8/02/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Sami Moubayed writing in the Asia Times describes the 3 Lebanons: the Shi'ite Lebanon living on Hezbollah's largesse; the Sunni Lebanon with traditional connections to Syria; the Christian Lebanon with its historical links to France. And Nasrallah, the pan-Arab, pan-Lebanese, pan-Islamic figure who bestrides it all, largely on the back of his military successes against Israel.

Success breeds success. Nasrallah is the symbol of Lebanon to many because of his past successes against Israel. All the proposals which advocate handing Nasrallah what amounts to a political victory or not fighting him at all, just sitting there and taking it, come up against this hard fact: that it will only bloat him and all he stands for him. Nearly every historical tyrant I can think of, from Napoleon to Hitler remained wildly popular for so long as they were victorious. And that is why history is so tragic, because the only path to ending their tyranny led by process of elimination through long and terrible process of giving them the only thing they could not withstand: defeat.

8/02/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

20 Jewish shops in Rome vandalized, defaced with swastikas

8/02/2006 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Tom Grey,

Have fixed typo thanks.

8/02/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

I am constantly amazed at the extent of the Hezbollah capital and infrastructure that they have amassed. Where do they get such monies? Do they have bake sales, perhaps Falafel stands are a big business? This whole business reeks of oil money. Lebanese oil? There is an evil presence here in this nation and they’ve been agitating for a showdown. The only question now is tempo. Manaña or faster please?

8/02/2006 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger Final Historian said...

From a link that Wretchard supplied:

"So I believe in Rabin's approach. That we have to understand that every six or seven years, there will be fighting. Because in this region it's impossible to talk about peace. The maximum is conflict management. So it's not that a unilateral approach brings war. Here, we are always either before or after a war. Unilateral acts are needed so that we can fight the war from within a recognized border. Like now. Look at the strength it gives us to fight a war from within a recognized border. So don't tell me that we defeated the IDF. Don't tell me that we destroyed the ethos of combat. That we transformed Israel into a spider-web society. That's cheap talkback stuff. Nasrallah's bombast. It is true that we were wrong in thinking that Nasrallah would not pursue us into Galilee. We were wrong in our evaluation of what would happen.

"But still, leaving Lebanon brought six years of quiet. That's a done deed. No one can argue with that. Six years is the lives of 150 young men. It's the blossoming and prosperity of Galilee. And even now, being out of Lebanon makes it possible for us to mount this strong response. When we were in Lebanon we could not respond like this, because then we were occupiers, whereas now we are just. Today we are fighting for our home from within the international border."

War every six to seven years? This woman doesn't seem to understand that one of these days, that war will not be conventional. Things will change, one way or another. History is never static. What kind of change will it be? And who will decide it? That remains to be seen.

8/02/2006 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Rufus, I'm talking more of Iran's behavior before they have nukes, so you got to basically cube it -- maybe take it to the power of four -- for after they got them. So they can "own" their "militant armies" and go to war but as long as they deny any connection to the event, they can get away with. So a French tanker gets holed and everyone blames it on American cowboyism.

They can't get away with it? We are a little short on proof.

I hope the world would rather not deal with a nuke armed Iran.

8/02/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Doug, yep, I remember Zub, the Bengali techie working in Scotland. Nice guy. He won't be one of the Islamists--he's got too much self-understanding to get wrapped in the emotion. Bangladesh was bound to have trouble, surprised it has taken so long. if you recall, Zub said AQ-ism wasn't likely to get strong in Bangladesh because the commies absorbed that clientele. But as so many are noting--it's even in Blair's speech--there's little functional difference in any group that wants first to wreck the order of the system.

8/02/2006 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Final Historian,

Peace!? For six years? Apparently, the dear lady lives a very sheltered life.

Words and actions have consequences that do not always comport with our desires and wishes. Wise men understand this. The fools of the left find the reality incomprehensible.

Their motto: I wish; therefore, it is.

8/02/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

I'm not an expert on ballistic missile systems so this will be very amateurish.

Hezbollah is firing rockets off like my brother & I in the back yard before the 4th. Never knew where they were going to end up so always had to light & run.

Is it possible that Iran is gleaning some valuable lessons in rocketry here - since they are playing from waaaaay behind?

Or is there not enough standardization in Hez's methods to help them gain from the experience?

8/02/2006 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

hd, I understand, now. Thanks.

Look guys, George is my "cousin." He could be my brother. I'm just as dumb as he is. I've been right in everything I've predicted when it came to what Dubya would do, or say. It's eerie. I feel, sometimes, like I'm wired into his head. I'm not bragging, or crying. (sounding a little silly, perhaps, but you ought to hear me after my 2nd six-pack.)

I'm saying all this for a reason. I don't think there's one chance in hell that George Bush will leave the White house Jan 20, 2009 with Iran's Nuke Program not having been "Taken Care Of." I am as sure of this as I have been about anything in my life.

If the solution is "Diplomatic," I'll bet if will be absolutely watertight; but, I'm laying 9 to 1 it will be Bunker Busters by the Scores.

8/02/2006 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gudovac April 1941 said...

I am bit concerned that the IDF isn't going up the coast route.

If the point is to encircle the HB's and force them to concentrate then the Western Brigade should be hugging the coast on (at least from my exceedingly limited prespective)

Does anyone know why hugging the coast is a bad idea ?

Forget the Bekka - For the IDF to be victorious, they need to concetrate the HB into a compact mass.......... read up on Wehmacht campaigns against the Yugoslav Partizans.....

Also - Is the Nahal Division raised from Kibutznik or Orthodox types. conflicting information on the web. I'm pretty certain the IDF para's are 'seriously' secular/urbane and the Golani are basically raised from what we'd think of as "red necks" but don't have a handle on the Nahal.

Does anyone have a idea of who joins the Nahal div ?

8/02/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Yoni's blog is the handwriting on Mr. Olmert's wall. He will have to go before he and the peace movement do further damage.

"Hizbullah is protecting Israel against itself"
Olmert Backs Down on Post War Retreat

8/02/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger HK Vol said...

Tom Grey said:
"I hope the Israelis get a reasonable victory over Hez, but fear they won't have time. They were too slow with ground troops."

Not enough time? Israel has all the time in the world. Israel said they'd stop when there was a robust force of international peacekeepers. So where are the volunteers? The US & Britain aren't volunteering troops. France is waffling (what a surprise), opposing a NATO force, et al. ad nauseum.

You miss the entire raison d' etre of the UN - blather on and on but heaven forbid you do something effective with actual action. This was Bush's complaint about the UN before the Iraq War. When not backed up, words are meaningless.

Israel has all the time it wants.

8/02/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Argentina could "never" sink a British Cruiser, either, but I was in Argentina when they did.
But then that was just another Event.

The USS Cole was taken out of action with heavy duty rowboat.
Granted it was not sunk, so no worries, just another event.

Your ability to dismiss the capabilities of an Enemy we have not fixed, let alone defeated, in over twentyfive years would almost be fummy, if the symptoms did not indicate a much more serious condition.

8/02/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Mixed Loyalties and Mixed Emotions in Memoriam

This week a young American soldier died in combat. He was a born and raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He entered the military shortly after graduating from high school. This young American male did not hear the calling to join the US Marines, The US Navy, the Air Force or the US Army or any other military unit in the country where he was born and raised. At the age of 21, he would have been 16 at the time of 911. Where other young Americans would join the US military, Michael Levin joined the Israeli Army and this week this young man from Bucks County is among the early casualties in the fighting in Lebanon this week.

To his comrades-in-arms and his friends outside the Israeli army, First Sgt. Michael Levin was known as a "lone soldier." He was one of the young men from all over the world who come to Israel by themselves to serve in the Israeli armed forces.

Sgt. Levin was fatally wounded in fierce combat, during which the Hezbollah fired anti-tank weapons and Sagger missiles at his unit in the early stage of the struggle for control of the village. Sgt. Levin is a hero to Israel.

Had Sgt. Michael Levin been from any other country he would have been subject to this US Law and admonishment:

The Department of State is responsible for determining the citizenship status of a person located outside the United States or in connection with the application for a U.S. passport while in the United States.

Section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, states that U.S. citizens are subject to loss of citizenship if they perform certain acts voluntarily and with the intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship. Briefly stated, these acts include:

(3) entering or serving in the armed forces of a foreign state engaged in hostilities against the U.S. or serving as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer in the armed forces of a foreign state (Sec. 349 (a) (3) INA);

Are loyalties optional and up to the individual? In a country dedicated to equailty under the law, is this proper? Should there be one set of rules for one group of hyphenated Americans and another for the rest? Should a young American be praised for by-passing military service to the United States and serving in the military of another country? Why should one who is a dual national US citizen lose his US citizenship for serving as an NCO or an officer in the country of his birth? If Sgt Levine were a Lebanese-American...?

8/02/2006 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Hk vol

A bit more time than it wants, perhaps?

8/02/2006 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger HK Vol said...

Touche rufus.

Which points to my question of yesterday:
"When will the peacekeeping troops arrive, from what countries will they come, under who's command, with what effectiveness, in what numbers, and with what ability to actually disarm and effect a neutral & peaceful south Lebanon?"

I haven't heard a word on any effective answers to this question in 3 weeks of UN members calling for a "ceasefire."

8/02/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

DR - Posted on the faultlines exposed by the US, with Indonesia being the banking hub unaddressed as a central point for Far Eastern Islamic Terrorism. Although Bojinka was being run out of the Philippines, it was getting funding via Indonesia's Hambali, plus a relative of bin Laden had set up shop there, if memory serves. Bangladesh is not wealthy enough to have an indigenous support system for terrorist training, so look for external funding from the Indonesia hub.

In general, the idea I put forward last week was for the IDF to pin down Hezbollah and then make a decision based on Syrian moves or lack of same. Hezbollah can now retreat or die in place, their choice. Any further moves into the Bekaa by the IDF and the choice for Hezbollah will be removed as to heading towards Syria, save as a coordinated Hezbollah and Syrian move to relieve them. Beirut was a trap for the PLO in the '80s and would be for Hezbollah now. A northern retreat would be long, and woefully exposed to the Med.

The more we see of Hezbollah equipment and training, the more it is apparent that it is almost fully Iranian backed, save for any deals they are getting from their SA affiliates and the FARC. Chavez's visit to Iran may be an indicator as to happenings there, and Hezbollah has demonstrated capability to infiltrate into the US from there. That is a nascent coalescing point for major terrorist operations getting support from Venezuelan petrodollars and FARC derived narcotics money and possible training from such folks as Shining Path. I think it was back in the '70s that the PLO was offering to train the IRA there, but that fell through. More recently some sort of al Qaeda/Iraq connection was made with Iraqi supplied forgers going to Venezuela with the help of al Qaeda. Unknown intent.

So, Hezbollah is now caught with the hand in the cookie jar and doesn't like being found that way. Without training in logistics, they are wholly dependent upon their Syrian supply base that links back to Iran. Making that transition from terrorist to actual guerilla army is a harsh one and brings different problems both in training and operations. Much is always made of knifes to gun fights...

What ever *did* happen to the most heavily defended air corridor in the Middle East? Seems like Israel just blithely goes through it at will... could be a tactical manning error by Hezbollah not thinking that Israel would do air insertions and thus not putting manpower into Bekaa when it is needed elsewhere. By cutting off Syrian resupply, no one was easily going to get there to unpack the equipment to defend it against air attack. Perhaps just a teething problem of Hezbollah.

The only other real nasty actor that hasn't been heard from is NoKo, which had a good supernote circulation in that area, which was misleading in 2000 but now traced back to NoKo. It is unlikely that the Magic Kingdom of North Korea has the money (real or supernote variety) to actually do much, but it does bear keeping them in mind especially with the trafficking done by the AQ Khan network previously and possible missile development ties with Syria as they supplied some NoDongs there.

If Syria tries to enter the fray, the US can remind a few of the local players that US precision targeting combined with a light and fast mobile force yields the end of a basically weak nation quickly. And point to Afghanistan. That really does need to be shopped to Egypt, then Jordan and then to the Kurds... which would PO Turkey, but they had their chance to help way at the beginning of OIF...

Interesting times so long as one survives them.

8/02/2006 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

hk vol,
There's always the French option:
Ceasefire now, meetings and negotiations later. securing the border (maybe) later AFTER we make a bigger mess is a good idea.

8/02/2006 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

So Hezbolah is the only really strong organized political party in Lebanaon.

Gee, do ya think?

They have 12,000 armed troops, thousands of rockets and at least a few antiship missiles, although with at least a rudimentary logistics system to handle all of that.

They are not a "political party" at all. When will the Lebanese realize that they have already been invaded and occupied by a terrorist organization?

Enscout: Not a chance that Iran is learning anything about missiles from the Hezbolah use. I would doubt there is even an effective means to report back that 5% or whatever of them did not work. And they have not the faintest freakin' idea of where they hit - unless CNN tellls them as they did during Desert Storm. If the IAF were really smart they would make it look like the Hezbolah rockets are hitting Beruit or the Becca Valley or somewhere

You make a good point that what people don't know about rockets is astonishing - even if they can build them (I had the pleasure of explaining this to a Congressional Investigating Committee) - but Iran is not learning anything of technical value. Possibly the success of the antiship missile they fired tells them something about IAF ECM capabilities, but under the circumstances that hardly counts as being of value.

They may be learning something of psychological, tactical or even strategic value - if they are not too blinded by ideology - which I doubt.

8/02/2006 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Couldn't Bengal Aq be getting some Saudi funding?

8/02/2006 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Yeah, Rat, a "Condition" called "aware of reality."

You may not recognize that condition. One symptom is the ability to differentiate the 2006 U.S. Navy from the 1980's British Navy.

Another symptom would be the awareness that if the U.S. doesn't have a cruise missile that can sink a U.S. Warship it's very, very, unlikely that Iran does.

Another symptom would be the knowledge that even at the narrowest part of the Straits of Hormuz the Iranians will have to use shore radar to guide the missile in it's initial stages, and that those radars will have an over/under of a chili fart.

Rat, there's plenty, mucho things in this world to "worry" about, this just isn't one of them.

8/02/2006 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The targets, rufus, will not be US warships, but civilian tankers, similar to the frieghter that was sunk, a couple of weeks back.

Without the removal of the mullahs the over/under threat will be measured in decades, not seconds.

Nuclear capable or not.

8/02/2006 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger RattlerGator said...

rufus at 5:48 p.m.

I agree with you completely about Dubya. All of these people worried about "losing" the Public Relations battle are missing the point.

Our President doesn't care about the P.R. battle. All along, since 9-11, he has had his eye on one primary entity but knew he could not get there right away. Primarily because our country is full of so many Punk Ass Surrender Monkeys.

But, given that obvious limitation, he is playing his chess board brilliantly. Move by move.

And if they don't wake up and smell the coffee, Iran is going to be dealt with -- I have absolutely no doubt about that

8/02/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

06:05:17 PM 2164th,
Are you calling for equal treatment for enemies and friends, or do I misunderstand?

8/02/2006 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

No, I am agnostic about it, like I am about many things. I am often fascinated by contradictions. I want to know what you think.

8/02/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

More details on the Baalbek commando raid, which consisted of 200 men. It was a classic commando raid, in the mold of St. Nazaire.

8/02/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Rat, I said, "One of our ships." Of course, I was referring to warships.

They could sink a tanker. After that we would start escorting tankers through the Gulf like we did the last time.

8/02/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I like friends more than enemies, patriots more than Azatlanders, etc.
More on Mike from Yoni,
This evening she received the sad news that Michael Levine, a close friend from the Nativ program has been killed in Lebanon in Ayta al-Shaab, in the same battle that Yonathon Einhorn.

Mike was from outside of Philadelphia, and fell so much in love with Israel during his 9 months that he never went home, choosing to join the IDF.

We also met Mike at a Shabbat dinner we prepared for a group of Nativers on one of our visits and were impressed with how close the group had become in such a short time.

No doubt there are similar personal stories for each brave soldier, but this one hit so close to home.

8/02/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tanker Aground!
Full Speed Ahead!

8/02/2006 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

You confirmed my suspicions.
The rockets then, represent more of a PR move on the part if worldwide jihad rather than being a real miltary tool - no?

Seems like a bad investment - a collosal bad investment. Just doesn't make sense to me. They have thousands of willing idiots they can send into free-world places & blow the smithereens out of innocent people and get effective death to dollars return. Why would they fire millions of dollars worth of missiles into the desert?

These people are not only evil & crazy, they're also really stupid.

Maybe that's why the NYT loves them so much.

8/02/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

200 troops?

That wasn't some low-grade, "snatch" operation, was it?

I can't wait to find out what they were really up to.

8/02/2006 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Amir Mizroch writing in the Jerusalem Post, thinks that the Israeli buildup
was gradual in order to send the message to Damascus that things were proceeding in controlled stages and that Hezbollah, not Syria was the target.
The border; then the Litani; now warnings have been issued to evacuate sections
north of the Litani. Controlled stages. Nasrallah might have noticed that Tel Aviv, in the process, was inducing Assad to sell him
out. Lost perhaps in the din of his media adulation was the nagging face that to this date,
no major unit of the Lebanese Army has engaged the IDF.

8/02/2006 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yoni thinks the hostages were there shortly before:
You should read BC comments!

8/02/2006 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger Jaimo said...

"wretchard said...
More details on the Baalbek commando raid, which consisted of 200 men. It was a classic commando raid, in the mold of St. Nazaire. "

200 men seems like a "reasonable" to hold/take what they did, for as long as they did. And then the amount of "air support" necessary.

Amazes me to think of how many choppers it took to ferry the troops. REALLY speaks to IAF air superiority over target & en route.

With ZERO reported losses.

8/02/2006 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yoni also reported on Hewitt that most of the reserves so far are in Golan Area!
Another message to Baby Doc.

8/02/2006 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

en route was over the Ocean!

8/02/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Ah ha, I think Enscout has "got it." These ain't rocket scientists, just dirty, homicidal, child-murdering scum.

You're right, Enscout. As a "Threat," the 10,000 rockets aimed at Israel was a pretty good one. Once they started spraying them around, they lost their ability to "terrify."

8/02/2006 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Oketz, the K-9 special forces unit, was created to train train dogs to attack kidnappers. Each dog is now trained to have a particular specialty. Attack dogs are mostly used in cities, although have proven effective in rural, bushy areas like in Lebanon.

Tracking and chasing dogs are used for manhunts and detecting breaches at the borders; weapons and ammunition dogs search for their namesakes, as do explosive dogs, and search and rescue dogs are used to find people in collapsed buildings.

Belgian Shepherds are the preferred breed for two reasons: they're the perfect size to be picked up by their handler while still being able to attack an enemy, and their fair coats make them less prone to heatstroke.

Like the rest of the IDF, the dogs are trained to be tech-savy - they carry microphones and receive orders from their handlers at a distance.
*Simply* brilliant!

8/02/2006 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said... the handlers must understand the sounds from those dog mikes!

8/02/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Somebody, here, was speculating yesterday that they might have been going after the hostages. I'll bet that was it.

8/02/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger Von Humbolt Fleisher said...

"Like all wars, this war, too is accursed. But this is an existential war at levels we do not yet understand. I think that it is approaching the War of Independence in terms of importance. It will determine whether Iran will control the Arab world. It will determine whether we will be able to survive against extreme Islam. And I hope that everything will be done not to use youth and innocence in this war as cheap raw material. But I heard the terrible booms of the Hezbollah shelling as they abducted the two soldiers on the border. And I understood immediately how terrible it is. And I understood that this is a war of no choice. And when there is no choice, there is no choice. No matter how heavy the heart. No matter how awful the burden."

Zohara Antebi, one of the four mothers who helped force the withdrawal from Lebanon, seeing it all so clearly. From the link supplied by our gracious host, a must-read for all our armchair generals.

8/02/2006 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

as you are well aware i have been saying the same thing, that W will take care of Iran before leaving office.
in fact i still hold he will do it prior to mid term elections IF it looks like the dems will control either senate or house. if they do their fifth column will begin "hearings and proceedings" that will occupy all of his time. the white house has already hired lawyers for just that possibility. so i say he pulls the trigger prior to the fall elections.
it will be massive. the whole b-1's,b-2's moabs,whatever new stuff we haven't seen yet. sub launched, air launched. he'll use every club in the bag.
our intel is, i am sure politized to the point of being YEARS off on it's estimate of irans nuke bomb and W knows it. it will cripple iran for decades.
good to know rattlergator is onboard too!
don't know loads about this olmert character 'cept from this here blog but sounds so weenie .. how can Israel do that..where's Moshe?

8/02/2006 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The Big Pharaoh notes that when Hezbollah fired its biggest rocket, the Fajr-5 it landed of all places in Jenin. The Palestinians say they were overjoyed, even if it fell on their heads. At some level this makes sense, but that doesn't make it rational. Those are two different things.

8/02/2006 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

rufus - see 03:47:09 PM !

8/02/2006 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Habu, as you, I am sure, know the "Intelligence Community" has never been within a country mile of when someone would "go nuclear." The Closest they ever got was, I think, four years, and usually they're off by ten, or more.

8/02/2006 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Harrison said...

Re: annoy mouse at 5:08

This just in from Stratfor:

Despite its historical roots and deep relationship with Iran, Hezbollah is not
solely an ideological tool to be wielded by Tehran. It has its own leadership
structure and commands rich streams of revenue – with illicit business interests
spanning much of the globe – that are quite separate from the support it
receives from Iran and Syria.

Hezbollah has a long-standing and well-known presence in the tri-border
region of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil, where the U.S. government
estimates it has earned tens of millions of dollars from selling electronic
goods, counterfeit luxury items and pirated software, movies and music.
It also has an even more profitable network in West Africa that deals in
“blood diamonds” from places like Sierra Leone and the Republic of the
Congo. Cells in Asia procure and ship much of the counterfeit material sold
elsewhere; nodes in North America deal in smuggled cigarettes, baby
formula and counterfeit designer goods, among other things. In the United
States, Hezbollah also has been involved in smuggling pseudoephedrine and
selling counterfeit Viagra, and it has played a significant role in the
production and worldwide propagation of counterfeit currencies.

The business empire of the Shiite organization also extends into the drug
trade. The Bekaa Valley, which it controls, is a major center for growing
poppies and cannabis; here also, heroin is produced from raw materials
arriving from places like Afghanistan and the Golden Triangle. Hezbollah
earns large percentages of the estimated $1 billion drug trade flowing out
of the Bekaa. Much of the hashish and heroin emanating from there
eventually arrive in Europe — where Hezbollah members also are involved
in smuggling, car theft and distribution of counterfeit goods and currency.

wretchard wrote:

And that is why history is so tragic, because the only path to ending their tyranny led by process of elimination through long and terrible process of giving them the only thing they could not withstand: defeat.

The thing is, the Islamofascists/terrorists possess a more resolute, fatalistic psyche which allows them to sustain defeat after devastating defeat because the result is always more people martyred, more dying for their cause. Without discrediting and dissolving the centres of religious fundamentalism from which these virulent strains of Islam emanate from i.e. Iran's Shi'ite twelvers, Saudi Arabia's Wahhabist ideologues, there will always be the belief that someone else will take up from where they "left off".

Sidelining Hezbollah might do what it did to AQ: forcing them to hide in the Beka'a in remnants, carrying out sporadic attacks that deal minimal damage. But that is if only we assume Hezbollah works more independently than we give it credit for. The amount of Iranian and Syrian largesse might be substantial in all aspects, but perhaps Olmert (somehow) has realised the key here is to decimate Hezbollah's independence and self-sustainability.

Once that happens and Nasrallah is forced to become more and more reliant on Syria and Iran, Assad certainly doesn't want to confront Israel head-on for the Syrian army will surely crumble. Thus, Assad will try to stop Hezbollah operatives from migrating back into Syrian territory, effectively bottlenecking them in the Beka'a where the IAF can take them out one by one.

A clean sweep while Assad maintains his regime, Olmert doesn't have to deal with a disastrous aftermath of a collapsed regime in Damascus, Iran will be denied its puppetmastery in Lebanon and international pressure will rightly revert back to the nuclear program.

8/02/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Christopher Albritton has a running account of events in Lebanon, from Hezbollah threats to IAF attacks on road vehicles, maybe including ambulances.

It's a picture of war as it is, with no neat stories, only some approximate truths; with some side preferrable to another. It's been a long time coming, and it'll be a long time gone.

8/02/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

i know about the intelligence flops on nuclear acqisition by other countries.
i always wondered why the "Company", the Air Force, Ft. Meade, ALWAYS got it wrong, by years. and then it's like,"oh gee we didn't figure in the skyhook part or some other crap.
well, W's gotta do it. too many chips on the table to fold's showtime.

8/02/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

Another "CIA expert" is being quoted by Sites in an article "Going the Distance" about how smart Hizbullah is. Says that all they have to do to win is to survive.....WTF
Well I guess that makes our objective if it wasnt by about lunch time on 9/11/2001.

8/02/2006 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

von humbolt fleischer:

A war of no choices?

Nasrallah made a conscious choice to build up so Lebanon with his terrorists, made a conscious choice to kidnap & kill Israeli soldiers & made a conscious choice to begin the random bombardment of Northern Israel.

He gave Israel no other choice than to defend her citizenry.

I hope that's what you infer.

8/02/2006 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

joe buzz,
i still talk to my old comrades in the CIA..they say to a man, and we are all old men now (we were in our 20's,early30's back in the 70's) that after Jimma Carter and Stansfield Turner took over the place went to the shitter. today's experts are bar fly's who never "turned" a soul or took a head off. panty waste.

8/02/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger Mog said...

Regarding the Baalbeck raid, reported in the Australian Telegraph and elsewhere, I'm kind of shocked, shocked, I say that none of the reporters are offering any analysis of why the raids took place. If there is any kind of opinion, it's that the objective was to snatch personnel, and incidentally - I think that Wretchard's comparison with the raid on St. Nazaire is imperfect too - (oh horrors, I've just uttered sacrelige). This wasn't a desperate sabotage mission, it was a snatch-and-grab - but not of personnel.

It's clear to me that the primary objective was to capture documentation and intelligence. The variously-reported 3 to 5 captives may or may not turn out to be valuable and I doubt the IDF are really into pulling toenails and other techniques that could immediately yield military HUMINT of value, and the incidental demonstration of IDF deep insertion capability won't be lost on HB personnel either.

No, a bunch of hard disks, a few flash drives and a box or two of hard-copies of faxes, taken from (what I can only assume is) a regional communication hub, may well pay for the cost and risk of the mission many times over.

One day, soon I hope, we'll find out where Saddam's WMD or WMD-precursor materials are stored. Maybe this will be one more step along the path.

8/02/2006 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger Promethea said...

It's hard to do armchair strategy, which is why I read Wretchard and others. I sense that the coming war is going to require the U.S. (and Israel) to take a much more hard nosed view of things than they did after WW2. We need to make sure the world, including the now-decadent EUers understand that they must fight evil (terrorists and state-terrorists) and that our enemies are going to die. There should be no Marshall Plan or gentle Occupation.

I always rooted for Lebanon, thinking they were somehow "different." Now I understand that they are a terrorist state, and they must pay the price. This is gang warfare on a large scale.

I know I'm not expressing my thoughts well, so to summarize--fewer people will die in the long run if we "get medieval on their asses."

8/02/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

No kidding! Dogs receive commands via radio collar. Wish I'd have thought of that with my Brittany Spaniel. Wonder where one could buy such a unit.

8/02/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Come home, Ezra, supper's on.

8/02/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Come out and play, Bobal!"

8/02/2006 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

I'm beginning to think that States are not the key to the new world. What did Jumblatt say about Lebanon? A weak state beside a strong militia? Or is that in some sense the old beside the new?

The response to terror has largely been about strengthening States. But maybe some thought should be given to strengthening nonstates. Our communities of belief; our private networks; the invisible bones of our civilization.

The current world crisis is going to be very hard on the State, which let us not forget, is the key institution in every leftist vision of the future. The Left is cheering itself hoarse for a fundamentalist religion, a patriarchy and a pastoralist point of view not out of conviction, but out of a hatred that must mask a nagging inner realization that they are cheering because they are no longer on the playing field themselves.

8/02/2006 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

i like that "medieval" thing 'cause that's what we're talk'in.
it just comes around, like celestial orbits, that every so often there's a time for killing.
i believe we are most all in agreement that that time has arrived. we differ on the details but they are usually matters of approach rather than a disagreement that the world needs a good enema and we're gonna administer it to the islamofacists.
if they get the upper hand we are over and we'll all be back in the middle ages. nurse, bring the BIG bag please.

8/02/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

And just as I posted, Tony Blair put the sentiment in words a man of the left has not spoken in a generation.

Tony Blair: ""Even the issue of Israel is just part of the same wider struggle for the soul of the region ... But I fear a vast part of Western opinion is not remotely near this yet ... Whatever the outward manifestation ... this everywhere is a global fight about global values ... It's about whether our value system can be shown to be sufficiently robust, true, principled and appealing that it beats theirs."

We are in a word, not fighting to prevent 'individual death, which is the universal experience, but, incomparably more commanding, to preserve the life of our civilization, her message, and her glory.'

8/02/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger RegretLeft said...

On Hitting the ships...

Haarezt reports that more C-802s were fired at an Israeli warship on Monday ... but:

"intelligence branch of the General Staff swiftly opened an investigation, which found that missiles had been fired, but had not landed anywhere near the ship in question. The ship's crew did not see the missiles."

8/02/2006 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

More stuff from the Syrian Academicians - If someone takes the time to make sense of it, great, otherwise probably no great loss.

8/02/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

Your last two comments remind me of reading a book i read back in the late 70's(I can't remember the title) about the coming information age. It went on about our new paperless societies and other fiction. One of the predictions was the tearing apart of nations (states) as you describe.

The efforts made in Iraq to rebuild a nation may be all the more difficult given our individual abilities to survive in the new millenium without a strong government.

What we're seeing in Lebanon is another example.

Granted both are stirred by an aggressive ideology and made chaotic by reluctance to change.

The individual freedom must, as you say be strengthened by a proper worldview with reinforcement by likeminded individuals...seems to me.

8/02/2006 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That means immediate reform of education, dissolution of the NEA!

Brits: It's No Longer Necessary To Teach Right from Wrong

8/02/2006 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The draft also purges references to promoting leadership skills and deletes the requirement to teach children about Britain’s cultural heritage.

Ministers have asked for the curriculum’s aims to be slimmed down to give schools more flexibility in the

8/02/2006 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


re: States

One god
One prophet
One state

There is no state of Lebanon, or of Somalia, or of Afghanistan. These are regions within the universal state.

In this sense, it is we of the West who are parochial.

One god
One prophet
One state

8/02/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

See Buddy 05:42:58

8/02/2006 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...


8/02/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

As I slowly learned more about the educationalists, I learned that the liberal stuff started seeping in way before I went to school:
Luckily, tho' at least in the early grades, we had the little old lady teachers that were too wise to succumb to the new pap, and had too much old-fashioned spine to just submit.

Extracurricular leftovers that seem to be fading away with the years.

8/02/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Tony Blair continued....

"And this is not just about security or military tactics -- it is about hearts and minds. It's about inspiring people, persuading them, showing them what our values at their best stand for. And just to state it in these terms underlines how much we have to do."

So it's hearts and minds time again..wrong.
I believe it was H.R. Haldeman who said "When you got'em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow"
Well it's time for the hearty application of extreme scrotal torque, with removal as the goal.

8/02/2006 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger texas said...

One suspects that the Arabs really have no idea of what might happen to them if we ever really do decide to go to war.

I have alaways viewed the US in Iraq - at least in part - as a last attempt to avoid that war, but it may not work out after all.

A failed religion and a failed culture. They want to live in the 7th century - perhaps we should help them. No electricity, medicine, imported food or technology. Sealed borders.
The carrying capacity of the region back to what it was in 650 AD.

8/02/2006 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

The Japanese had to have their God kneel before an American General on a US Battleship anchored in Tokyo.

This war will not be over until Ahmadinejad, Khameini, Assad, Nasrallah et all do the same.

What will it take to achieve this?

I think everyone realizes 30 dead civilians in Qana, or the death of Zarqawi will not do it.

What will it take for sufficient force to be used and will it be done before it is too late?

8/02/2006 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Too bad that guy ISN'T Emporer for a day!
That's a great piece.
Unfortunately, I guess politics of power and corruption don't work that way.
NEA all the way.
(until Calif goes bankrupt paying teacher's retirement)

8/02/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I'm probably too tired to be writing this, right now, but something's been buzzing around in the back of my head all day. Something about States. Particularly, mult-religious, multi-religious, multi-etnic states.

They seem to be a "Western Construct." It's true, Eastern cultures have had Empires, and Dynasties, but these seem to have been basically rent-seeking enterprises, which came into being by conquest, and basically consisted of the conquered people paying "protection/extortion" money to the conqueror in return for the right to live.

African, Middle Eastern, Arabic peoples never seemed to create what we call "a state." It seems the closest they ever got was when someone herded a group of tribes of the same language, together for awhile for some perceived common goal; but, these alliances seem to have been, more or less, transitory.

I guess you could say that what I'm describing is simply a lack of Democracy, but there were states with defined borders in Europe, long before there was Democracy, or even the Hapsburgs.

I'm going to stop for awhile, just in case I'm incoherent, and too tire to know it. If a lot of people start commenting as to the banality of this comment I won't go there, again. He says, as he tries to find a way to shut up.

I need another beer.

8/02/2006 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Merchant of religious hatred Khamenei declares war on USA again.

8/02/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger ghoullio said...

Whats up with this Al Aqsa Mosque thing?

"[b]Islamic Movement: Prevent Jewish groups from visiting Temple Mount on Thursday[/b]"


Who is this "Islamic Movement"?

8/02/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The existing aims state that the curriculum should develop children’s “ability to relate to others and work for the common good”. The proposed changes would remove all references to “the common good”.

The present version states: “The school curriculum should contribute to the development of pupils’ sense of identity through knowledge and understanding of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural heritages of Britain’s diverse society.”

The proposals say that individuals should be helped to “understand different cultures and traditions and have a strong sense of their own place in the world”. imaginary
"citizen of the world" no doubt.

8/02/2006 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Exception might have been the Zulu's.

8/02/2006 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Clear as a bell, rufus, tired &/r beery not evidenced.

Hey, whover might have read Khamenei's speech, remember, this is the mofo who gave the order to Hez to *start* the war.

Ohhh, the gall, the GALL.

8/02/2006 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Sarah, you wouldn't have a picture of their God on Earth, the Emperor kneeling on the deck of the Battleship Missouri, would you?

8/02/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I think McArthur himself made first contact with the Emperor. Don't know who called on who, but Emperor was in diplomatic dress and McArthur was in in his usual uniform.

8/02/2006 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger ghoullio said...

The way I heard it, Mac ignored the Emperor until he got what the terms he wanted. Mac met him at his palace first, but only after he wanted.

8/02/2006 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Then proceeded to craft an occupation about 180 degrees different from what the Reds did in Berlin.

8/02/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

The Japanese delegation was led by Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitzu (sp?)

Hirohito was back at the palace.

8/02/2006 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Rufus--Think you have it about right there. At first when somebody conquered somebody the deal was to kill most everybody and enslave the rest back home. Problem was you couldn't kill em all, always somebodies out left in the bush, and breeding, and in time you'd have to go in again. I think it was the Assyrians first figured this out so they began the moving peoples around deal. This caught on and after a short while most everyone in the mid east had been deported one way or another. Finally the Persians (Cyrus, Darius) got the idea just let em stay home and worship as they wanted, but got to pay the rent. Cyrus was a Zoroastrian. Now we got Islam, another bummer. The Hebrews wanted empire too but they got thrumped so many times their outlook changed and we got a book instead.

8/02/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

"Screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we'll not fail."
(1.7.54) Macbeth

and part of the St. Crispins Days speech not oft quoted, but good.

" Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us. " ...Henry V

and now to knit the ravelled sleave of care, sleep ..Macbeth

nite all

8/02/2006 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

So, Bob, what it boils down to is:

(1)They never had states

(2)They never had Democracy

So, comes the 20th century and we draw'em up some lines (totally ignoring tribes, btw) and create'm some state.

Now, comes the 2st Century and we decide that the reason the "states" aren't working too good is they need "Democracy."

I don't know.

8/02/2006 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Did I mention that they never had banks? Something about "Interest?"

Oh yeah, they never "Industrialized," either. Did I mention that?

8/02/2006 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe we could those sticks the hippies used to throw for advice?

8/02/2006 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...


8/02/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I think it's Islam.

Without oil, what a freak of circumstance that is, these people would have got "Darwinized" by now.

8/02/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger roger de hauteville said...

I've read Belmont Club every day for a couple of years at least. I never comment.

I find the analysis supplied by the host most insightful and the comments by his readers amusing and intelligent -- although the apostrophe seems to have everybody stumped.

I must admit, I was tickled to have my essay at Maggies Farm mentioned kindly here. Thank you Buddy Larsen for thinking enough of it to link to it.

As you were.

8/02/2006 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I'm babbling. G'nite all. wake me up if we bomb Tehran.

8/02/2006 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

I think they had a 'state' in the sense of rules and enforcers of the rules, but precious few rights or freedoms in our sense of the term. You'd spend a long time looking for a bill of rights, an independent judiciary and 'all men created equal'.Remarkable though a lot of the Hebrews in Babylon opted to stay when given the chance to go home.

8/02/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

To 2164th 06:05 and, with sympathy, Doug, Levine, his family:

From Sobrino:

As to Israel, the great thing is that the Israelis in fact do their own fighting and do it quite well. They have never asked, as far as I know, for U.S. troops. Would that all our allies were like Israel! They are fighting for all of us. The sons and daughters of Israel are dying in my place and yours. We sell them military equipment as we do to many other nations, including Saudi Arabia. Selling them equipment to fight our enemies is quite a deal. As to Saudi Arabia, we sell them equipment and what we got in return is a bunch of Sept. 11th terrorists from Saudi Arabia.

8/02/2006 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Roger, he Gave you a lousey link, though. I just went over to Maggies Farm and read your post. I laughed till I got teary-eyed. From now on Come on over and give us a link,

Your writing is Great!

8/02/2006 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Yeah, Maggie's Farm is good. Maybe we need a gerontocracy. Only 65's and over can vote. I'd be able to vote in a few years, something to look forward to. Young folks would never put up with it however, not these days.

8/02/2006 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Bob, there really was "One" exception. The ancient Sumerian culture of Mesopotamia. Judiciary, written laws (the first ever) basically democratic (had King, but he was subject to the same law as commoners,) had Property rights, BUT, EVIDENTLY, "NO DAMNED ARMY."

The Semites came along and kicked their butts, then the Persians, then the Mongols, and eventually every damned rag-tag boy scout troop on planet earth.

The Glory Days was way prior to Babylonia. About 1500 years, if memory serves

8/02/2006 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

What would happen if the southern (Shi'ite) end of Lebanon were partitioned into its own country?

Would that be less bad than a Lebanon effectively controlled by the Hezzies?

8/02/2006 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I Really mean it this time, G'nite.

8/02/2006 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Thanks for that, Michael Brophy!

8/02/2006 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

A Farewell to Qana:
Hesbollah Enteritis, by Michael Brophy .

"I must quit this lovely place of my birth and leave it only to the Hizbollah heroes, who by the most sweetest of graces will courageously stay.."

8/02/2006 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Michael finds Another Link, w/video.
According to this news report ,
the Israeli military is investigating a suspicious gap of several hours between the air strike on the building in Qana and its collapse on civilians.
It is possible that the suspiciously delayed collapse was caused by Hezbollah explosives in the building. The investigation continues.

Links from before:
Evidence mounts that Qana collapse and deaths were staged

Nice Evidence of Fake Heros and Dead Muslim Children

8/02/2006 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Habu (07:39:51):

i still talk to my old comrades in the CIA..they say to a man, and we are all old men now (we were in our 20's,early30's back in the 70's) that after Jimma Carter and Stansfield Turner took over the place went to the shitter. today's experts are bar fly's who never "turned" a soul or took a head off. panty waste.

It seems as though you are saying that America’s intelligence expertise is now retiring, with the Carter/Turner legacy effectively ended the Agency’s ability to teach younger recruits the skills of older operatives. This means the skills of an older generation of spooks will be lost, with little chance of regaining them in the future.

Concomitant with the decline of the CIA, there is an increasing distrust of the Agency by those who would otherwise consider joining. For example, I was once strongly interested in intelligence work, yet I have become distrustful of the established bureaucratic culture in Washington DC to the extent that I don’t trust my back to be protected by the CIA or any similar agency. It’s bad enough to get sabotaged by enemy spies. Yet, I regard getting sabotaged by political infighting and bureaucratic turf battles to be worse. I don’t like the idea of working for an organization where the foreign governments and terrorist organizations I’m supposed to be watching are less of a problem than the office culture at Langley.

If the CIA is becoming increasingly incompetent, is there some way for the “old boys” of the old CIA to teach somebody how intelligence work is really done? I realize this is a sticky question, as intelligence work is usually the province of governments. Still, if there is no other means to Americans to learn solid intelligence techniques other than through some non-governmental organization, is it better to teach Americans these techniques while taking the chance that the wrong person would learn them or is it better to let those skills die out in the hope that the wrong people would not learn them?

8/02/2006 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Media War Against Israel

...Yet "Reliable Sources," presented by Washington Post writer Howard Kurtz, is broadcast only on the American version of CNN. So CNN International viewers around the world will not have had the opportunity to learn from CNN's "Senior international correspondent" that the pictures they saw from Beirut were carefully selected for them by Hizbullah.

Another journalist let the cat out of the bag last week.
Writing on his blog while reporting from southern Lebanon, Time magazine contributor Christopher Allbritton, casually mentioned in the middle of a posting:
"To the south, along the curve of the coast, Hezbollah is launching Katyushas, but I'm loathe to say too much about them.
The Party of God has a copy of every journalist's passport, and they've already hassled a number of us and threatened one."

Robertson is not the only foreign journalist to have misled viewers with selected footage from Beirut... (more examples)

8/02/2006 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" is it better to teach Americans these techniques while taking the chance that the wrong person would learn them "
Why would the chances be greater in an extra-governmental group of patriots than where folks like Plame and Larry Johnson roam?

8/02/2006 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

violence is (hot) wrong

8/02/2006 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Doug - At the breakfast table atm, so resources not handy. If memory serves Bengal aQ may be getting Saudi funding, which is an important funding point. Equipment and skills, however, need a better entry point, especially the equipment as that production infrastructure is lacking in-country. While shipments from ME suppliers might be one way, the other and better way is to use the network of groups already available and funnel it through less accountable banking channels in Indonesia, purchase there and then ship outwards. Also, Indonesia serves as a directorial and gathering point for such work. I would suspect that arms and supplies merchants are more easily obtainable via Indonesia than Bangladesh. In either case, money needs to be in a low monetary amount, high number of transactions amongst many institutions to effectively miss the banking oversight controls that are in-place. Thus a high number of individuals or front corporations is necessary of which Bangladesh is not known to be a leader.

Wretchard could probably do a better 'chapter and verse' on Far East associations and money links than I can, however. I would speculate that aQ, if truly trying to set up shop in Kashmir, is extending a large amount of resources to do so, using the LeT organization as a basis, but putting in place a better regularized aQ cell schema.

This assumes, of course, that the Saudi financeers are *not* following the edicts of their Wahabbi Imams, that wants no help to go to Hezbollah... and since aQ has now aligned itself *with* Hezbollah, funding aQ can now be seen as aiding Hezbollah. This is reinforced by the release of Bin Laden's son from Iran yesterday.

A defeat of the military/terror aspect of Hezbollah in its home territory would be a harsh blow to the organization. Removing it as a sanctioned party in Lebanon would be worse still. The organization, however, is multifaceted and distributed thus allowing a change of venue if actually defeated in Lebanon. The directions possible are either the Far East or to South America. Hezbollah boasts of having a foreign intelligence service second to *none* in the Middle East, and after seeing the amount of funding they have gotten for toys and training, and their ops elsewhere, that can no longer be taken as an idle boast.

Defeat of Hezbollah in Lebanon is necessary for longer term and wider range victory against non-Nation State based terrorist organizations.


But not *sufficient*.

8/03/2006 05:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I am not sure how many of you all remeber Robert Pape, he wrote a book, "Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism.”

He has written a piece about Lebanon and HB, and exposes the readers to facts that seem contrary to the opinions of most posters, here. While I I had read Mr Pape's work previously, his revelations concerning Lebanon suggest the "Political Outcome" rather than the "Military Event" will not favor the Israeli.
"...I had researchers scour Lebanese sources to collect martyr videos, pictures and testimonials and the biographies of the Hezbollah bombers. Of the 41, we identified the names, birth places and other personal data for 38. Shockingly, only eight were Islamic fundamentalists. Twenty-seven were from leftist political groups like the Lebanese Communist Party and the Arab Socialist Union. Three were Christians, including a female high-school teacher with a college degree. All were born in Lebanon.

What these suicide attackers — and their heirs today — shared was not a religious or political ideology but simply a commitment to resisting a foreign occupation.

Perhaps Mr Pape got it all wrong, but I doubt it. The fact that his current piece was published in the NYTimes does invalidate the research or the findings, nor the challenges yet to come.

8/03/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger still realizing said...

On the Hezbollah Silkworm missile.

The Hez were able to hit the Israeli ship and damage it. So why didn't they sink it? If one missile will hurt the ship, 6 will sink it.

1) Hez ran out of missiles.
2) Hez commmander didn't know enough.
3) Israel turned on it's anti-missile defence.
4)Israel hit the few launchers.

8/03/2006 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Ralpj Peters current piece, vis avie, Israel & Lebanon

8/03/2006 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Not yet in bed,(!) so cannot find now, but there used to be expat in Thailand commenting here that wrote quite a bit about the funding networks over there.
One piece I remember was a meeting in a restaurant where the exchange of (compact, easily transportable) diamonds was discussed.

8/03/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Only a perfesor could come up with that one!
It's all about occupation, that's why they spent the last six years or so while UNoccupied, digging in a massive rocket infrastructure to terroize Israel!
Advice to Israel:
Don't like them Rockets?
Surrender again!
(and of course, Syria and Iran just want to give piece a chance, just as Nutball or Mullah Shabullah.)
Piece of Shiite, indeed!

8/03/2006 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"just ask"

8/03/2006 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Re Hez' worldwide cash biz, it is fascinating to me that a religious organization is engaged in the narcotics trade. Can religiously-motivated kiddie porn be far behind?

High time for the NYTimes to begin redeeming itself--lets have some Hez expose, Mr. Keller! Isn't Hez as bad as Abu Graib?

Rat, your 6:16 left a critical "not" out of the last sentence.

Roger, thank you for the 'apostrophe' laff. I'm not stumped, only semi, or quasi, stumped, as I use it--apostrophe--in every way possible, so as to be 'correct' at least some of the time. I do agree with you, many here appear to've just given up and thrown in the towel, apostrophe-wise.

Back on thread, how stupid it is of the great wizardly terror operation to keep blasting their shotgun rockets at Northern Israel, right now, when the world's eye is full open, and the script calls for whimpering and singin' the blues.

8/03/2006 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger Db2m said...

07:25:59 PM

*counterfeit* Viagra?

Oh, no wonder...


Habu, Rufus,

If GWB guttsily takes on Iran with Bunkerbusters, etc. before Mid-terms, then Dr *MUST* apologize (or not) for all those unkind, faithless remarks he has made about Mr. Bush.

8/03/2006 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The top headlines from Mr Drudge tell a tale as well

Rocket Attacks on Israel Leave 6 Dead...
Hezbollah: No Cease-Fire Without Pullout...
PAPER: Osama bin Laden's son in Lebanon to organize terror attacks against Israel...
Olmert: 15,000 int'l troops needed...
Iranian President: Solution to Middle East crisis is to destroy Israel...

This local conflict between Israel and Lebanon is sure interesting to watch.
Mr Daniel Pipes says the solution to the Lebanonese challenge To win peace, cut off road from Damascus

Always comes back to Syria, the US should have removed that Mohammedan cog three years ago, the failure to remove that Mohammedan Sanctuary is biting US in the ass, today.

As for HB, seems according to Mr Pipes " a recent Gallup poll, 65 per cent of Americans said their Government should not take sides in the Israel-Hezbollah fighting. ..."

Another failure of leadership in the War on Terror, another enemy never identified, one that has killed US Marines, much like Mr al-Sadr in Iraq.

Cascading failures all to be remedied, according to habu, in one night.

8/03/2006 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

right you are, buddy

8/03/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

More than a third of US public believe US had an active role in the Twin Towers coming down.
A third .. unbelieveable.

8/03/2006 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

And if he does not, who deserves the apology?

8/03/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Pipes' 65%, Seattle Post's 'third of Americans', these are the results of your liberal brain-trust having run the world's information flow for the last few decades.

Fine job the smarter-than-thou folks have done, eh? Some philosophy. Some results.

8/03/2006 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

To answer your question from last evening about the impuissant inteelgence and how to recover lost vitality. I don't have an answer.
I know there is a much greater reliance on ELINT than there has ever been.
I know that it takes HUMINT to do a proper job but we do not seem to be developing generations who believe in risking their comfort for a life in deep cover and paranoia.
When you're not covered by the various conventions of war, but are indeed a spy you may disappear without anyone questoning your loss. Our society has developed such an appetite for stardom that leaks are no longer an astonishing event.
When you can leak and then become a millionaire after sitting at headquarters for five or six years and endanger the lives of those willing to go into deep cover what are he chances you'll accept a deep cover life? The idea is not to fall on your sword but to gather intel, turn agents, set up a cadre of informers, not die because Joe Blow has to do a tour in Columbia so he sells out to avoid that and still gets the dough and "media stardom" or has a sudden revelation that the intell world isn't lace and after dinner mints.
Sure we have brave armed forces fighting. All centrally controlled now. Just whisper in their ear. They fight and die bravely and in the end, as in all wars, old men sell them out for a "peace treaty", knowing it won't work. But thta's the big wheel going 'round and 'round.
I proud I did it prior to this new world order, when it was basically just Ivan and me, and people knew how to keep their mouths shut..but then that was the last of "the greatest generation" running the show and showing us new guys how it's done ... not now.

8/03/2006 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Want to read a filmic, visual sort of atmospheric piece--reminiscent of old movies about ordinary life under the Nazis? The bottom link, to a 2005 Totten piece about his dinner with Hezzbollah. The atmospheric details--especially the architectural notes-- allow a proper shudder.

8/03/2006 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Take sides in this conflict? That--that--that'd be unfair. That--that--that would be like-- piling on--or something.

8/03/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well buddy, so many think that the PR and Propaganda Wars are just unimportant. That throw weight is all that counts. They have been and continue to be wrong.

Even if habu gets his desired "Night of Redemtion" in Iran, the "Mohammedan Wars" will continue, elsewhere. But then there are no Mohammedan Wars, just a few unrelated local Events.
Per the Supremes, Congress and the Executive. That's the reality of the situation, today.

8/03/2006 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

What's 'rong with 'postrophe's?

8/03/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I know not whether it's a heartbreak or a hope, but it IS true that Hollywood and the MSM could un-brainwash the American people, in a matter of a few months if it so chose.

8/03/2006 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

We need's some rule's of thumb's on the uses's and abuse's of apostrophe's. anD caPItaL lEtTeRs 2!!!

8/03/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Rumsfeld Testifies to Senate About Iraq
Aug 03 10:29 AM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer


The top U.S. military commander in the Middle East told Congress on Thursday that "Iraq could move toward civil war" if the raging sectarian violence in Baghdad is not stopped.

"I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I have seen it," Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of U.S. Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. He said the top priority in the Iraq war is to secure the capital, where factional violence has surged in recent weeks despite efforts by the new Iraqi government to stop the fighting."

We started off by announcing that the US would be doing things at a time and place of our choosing.That has been amended somewhat to reacting to bedlam. The US has vital interests at stake that are greater than they have been in the lifetime of any person reading this blog. This is not hyperbole. During WWII, the US was always isolated between two oceans and had the industrial underpinnings to deter any combination of enemies. The Cold War was practiced by two rational actors. If we slip off our base in Iraq, we will pay the devil his due. Two events have to occur. We quickly need a minimum of 50,000, not 5,000 new troops in Baghdad. We need to demonstrate a credible military presence on the Iraq Syrian border and play "lets make a deal" with Mr. Assad. The time and place of our choosing is now and in Iraq. We can deal with the political geniuses that got us here later.

8/03/2006 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Interesting TV show on the History Channel, "Conspiracy?". It was in the rotation yesterday so it should still be around for awhile.

Relates McVeigh and Nichols path to OK City and those that helped 'em along the way.

Global war, indeed.
Covered up, as well.

8/03/2006 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

iz's dem non pruf reda's dats kill me..why habu3 still got no second eyeball on hez spell'in ...shameful man, must hab sum low self esteem or he juz be don'''t car'in

8/03/2006 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Habu, I think P'Tater's posting under your name, again.

8/03/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

habu3 said:

"iz's dem non pruf reda's dats kill me..why habu3 still got no second eyeball on hez spell'in ...shameful man, must hab sum low self esteem or he juz be don'''t car'in"

Well Mr. Habu3 just whose fault is it? Jimma Carter?
Certainly it is someone other than Habu3.

8/03/2006 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Habu, re self-esteem, first they came for the grammar, and nobody said anything. Then they came for the lawnmower, and still nobody complained. Now they are here for my exercise program, and there is nobody left to lift a barbell.

8/03/2006 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Lithium nurse, mas lithium por favor.

"No", said the nurse as she handed Habu3 a Blue Angels coloring book.

"Just try to stay inside the lines and color in the same direction"..the nurse walked quietly from the room to get back to her readings on the Belmont Club blog site.

8/03/2006 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Jaimo said...

buddy said:

"Now they are here for my exercise program, and there is nobody left to lift a barbell."

Cain't seem to get them to lift my bar bill either. I feel victimized. Can the ACLUm-o-u-s-e help?

8/03/2006 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

I think there is something to this global warming business. Harvest is now, not middle of August as usual here. Seems dormancy has been breaking earlier in the spring, therefore crops ready earlier. Keep on top of things, keep the world in being for a couple of weeks. Will check back in couple of weeks. Bye.

8/03/2006 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

If you believe those polls please write because I have some land in the pastoral Everglades you would be interested in. For those people who have chosen the wrong side or are unsable to choose any side - round 'em up and send them to a Willing Victims Free Fire Zone. The State of Vermont would be nice. Call it national gene therapy.

Ralph Peters is as vulnerable to chain pulling as the rest of us. While the generals move more IDF troops into S. Lebanon, Israeli government spokesmen say they don't know how far they "should" go. Should based on what? The Olmert cabinet is totally incapable of establishing national priorities and is going to do their best to screw up IDF success. If there is something more important than stopping folks from firing rockets into your population centers will somebody please tell me what it is.

DR. I agree completely that Syria should have been thumped, has to be thumped as soon as possible.

Just a thought. The real objective of the Mullahs is take the entire country of Iran to Paradise by national martyrdom. What better way to achieve that than by lobbing nukes at Israel and blissfully awaiting the response? According to the Koran wouldn't Allah welcome these martyrs for killing off the Jews? Basing threat estimates for Iran on any rational man basis is foolish.

8/03/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/03/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

I don't think Dubya will go against Iran's Nukes before the Mid-terms for two reasons.

The first, and lesser reason is that it doesn't give us enough time to set the stage "diplomatically." This isn't W's main concern, but it's on the radar.

The main reason I don't think Bush will move before the mid-terms is: he expects to win them. His body language, and the timbre of his voice when he says, "We're going to hold the house and senate," tells me that he has a lot of confidence in this outcome.

I'll be honest, it gives me confidence, also. Say what you will about W, he can "count votes." He was born into this political business, and proved his political savvy when he kept going back to S Ohio, time and again. He knew the "National" Election rested with the "Copperheads," and just kept pounding out the "Retail" Campaign in the Buckeye State.

8/03/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

If you think Kryat Shomona is taking high-pitched, unaimed fire, you shoulda seen what Rummy just had to take from Hillary at the SAFC hearing.

8/03/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

from The Gates Of Vienna

Mahomet the Pædophile Prophet
by Baron Bodissey

Continuing in our new role as a clearinghouse for Mock-the-Muslims humor, Gates of Vienna presents the following piece of light verse, composed by Edward M. Bridle of Newcastle, Australia:

Mahomet the Pædophile Prophet

Mahomet, Mahomet the pædophile prophet
Rode on a camel until he fell off it.
Up went his heels and he fell on his head.
Everyone thought that Mahomet was dead,
But “A blow to the head is so good for the brains,”
Mahomet the pædophile prophet explains.

Mahomet, Mahomet the pædophile prophet
Said he saw angels. They all said “Come off it.
“It’s all the result of that blow to the head.
“You ought to be seeing a doctor instead.”
But “It’s not a delusion. My vision persists,”
Mahomet the pædophile prophet insists.

Mahomet, Mahomet the pædophile prophet
Heard them all laughing. Mahomet said “Stop it!”
He jumped on his camel and rode far away.
He said “I’ll return and get vengeance some day.
“They’ve got no respect for my poor, aching brains,”
Mahomet the pædophile prophet complains.

* * * * *

Mahomet, Mahomet the pædophile prophet
Thought up a plan, and thought nothing could top it.
“If they won’t believe me, I’ll kill them all dead.
“If anyone laughs, then I’ll chop off his head.
“It’s not a delusion if no-one complains,”
Mahomet the pædophile prophet maintains.

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

8/03/2006 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

I agree with your assessment of the vote counting factor.
I believe I did say that if it looked like either the senate or the house would swing then he'll act.
I just read thismorning that 2/3rds of the American people are as angry at America as they "have eveer been" his vote counting better be spot on or he's in deep kim chee.
Dispite the voting aspect I beleive events will move toward a strike sooner rather than later.
W doesn't give a damn about the polls and he'll bomb those nuclear facilities before a debate can form over there removal by those means.
In these trouble times I just reflect and wonder what Calvin Cooledge would do? or Joe Stalin.

8/03/2006 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

Ze'ev Schiff in Haaretz:

"(T)here is a delicate situation emerging over the mandate of the future multinational force. All cease-fire accords involving Israel and Arab states have been based on Article 6 of the UN Charter. This article does not include the possibility of sanctions for violating the agreement. Now, there is talk of basing the cease-fire on Article 7, which does include the threat of sanctions.

"The danger is that sanctions will apply to both sides. This may make it very difficult for Israel to defend itself, even if it argues self-defense. Thus, under Article 7, Israel will be unable to carry out aerial reconnaissance missions in order to identify possible Hezbollah preparations for an offensive.

"Israel has already voiced its concerns to the Americans, who have displayed an understanding; but not so the French. Israel and the United States are also of one mind on the need to supervise the border crossings between Syria and Lebanon so that Hezbollah will not be re-supplied by Iran."

Caroline Glick over at the JPost was hopping mad about this Chapter V11 business a couple of days ago.

Meanwhile, Lebanon and Syria just aren't warming up to that new international 'occupation' force. They prefer the old international 'observer' force. And, hey, who can blame them?

8/03/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/03/2006 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

The diplomatic route is a fool's folly at this point.
I would hope that the conundrum presented by the Byzantine world of pronunciamentos by the UN will prevent any multi national force from becoming involved.
If that happens it simply delays the killing fields that call to be filled. It postpones , but does not create a dominant position in the ME for Israel to acquire. It does not stop the, or retard the terrorism. This is a clash of civilizations,ways of life, freedom versus dhimmitude. Lets end it with a war, not a sell out.

8/03/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Fox news-crawl just reporting a Russian ICBM test--one of the upgraded soviet-era 7,000 kilometer jobbies. Odd timing.

8/03/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

We're All with you, Habu; but, Olmert is the Only One who has a vote.

8/03/2006 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Habu, according to Rasmussen, Bush's approval rating have been slowly creeping up ever since this started. They took an 8 point hit when he vetoed the stem-cell bill, but they've gained back 5 points in the last week. Two points (42%) today.

8/03/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

" The diplomatic route is a fool's folly at this point.
I would hope that the conundrum presented by the Byzantine world of pronunciamentos by the UN will prevent any multi national force from becoming involved."

If Israel wants to reoccupy South Lebanon, the absence of an international force clearly isn't a problem.

Or I should say, it's Israel's problem.

Like I said yesterday, "someone else's war" sure does have a nice ring to it. I encourage more of it.

8/03/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Nothing odd there at all, buddy.
Just a "friendly" reminder.

As to refering Israel/ Lebanon to a Chapter 7 Resolution, that's just another tit for tat.
If it's good for Iran, it should be good for Israel, as well. Not the least bit disproportionate.

Things are seen differently in Paris, Moscow and Peking

It's all just a matter of perspective.

8/03/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Buddy, we tested the new Minuteman III a couple of weeks, ago.

It's just politics. He's got constituents, too.

8/03/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

yeh--I didn't mean to imply the Czar was up to much besides counting the new gold inflows and hugely enjoying the big show in the mideast. The new Ukraine PM will be the czar's man, looks like. That bowl-ful of ricin couldn't stop the western president, but those oil & gas pipeline accidents are a different matter.

8/03/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Wretchard you wrote:

"War every six to seven years? This woman doesn't seem to understand that one of these days, that war will not be conventional. Things will change, one way or another. History is never static. What kind of change will it be? And who will decide it? That remains to be seen."

Since the beginning you've been watching and others too, for signs of missiles to be launched on Tel Aviv, Haifa Jerusalem, with WMD from Iran via, Lebanon or Damascus.

It seems the world with the French Chinese and Russians triangulating, is as much like July 1914 than 1938,
difference is speed at which events will unfold, and numbers of dead in the hundreds of thousands, then millions so much more rapidly, National infrastructure destroyed so that millions more suffer in the aftermath.

If as Nasrallah threatened today, missiles, conventional, start landing on Tel Aviv it would appear somekind of line would be crossed and it would be just that much easier to release unconventional warheads on them, and soon.

Is the Juncture of Unconventional Warheads on Tel Aviv the point where Damascus and Qom recieve the same in return, or will the Israelis absorb this also ?

19 Days left until Aug. 22

8/03/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Bush's "averaged" approval rating, via RCP.
RCP Average 07/28 - 08/01
Approve 39.8%
Disapprove 56.0%
Spread -16.2%

'Til he's even, he's behind.
14, 15, or 16 points, more of less.

Under 100 days to the Election, many do not see Mr Bush's coattails, especially Mr Steele.

We'll see how Mr Joe, the Dems VP candidate in 2000 does in CT, tuesday.

If Baghdad is aflame in November, so to will be the Republicans, at least amongst the Party faithful I know.
Most are "Goldwater" Republicans that are fed up with broken budgets, unsecure borders and an endless war with NO STRATEGY for Victory.
Perhaps the Quayles should not have sold the AZ Republic, but then again, Dan was run out of DC.

I never thought I'd see the day.

8/03/2006 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

"The prospect of a low intensity civil war and a de facto division of Iraq is probably more likely at this stage than a successful and substantial transition to a stable democracy."

UK ambassador warns of civil war in Iraq
By Kim Pilling, PA
Published: 03 August 2006
Britain's outgoing ambassador in Baghdad has warned that civil war is the most likely outcome in Iraq, according to a report.

In a confidential memo to ministers, William Patey also predicted the break-up of Iraq along ethnic lines.

The assessment was contained in Mr Patey's final telegram from Baghdad before he left the Iraqi capital last week - details of which were obtained by the BBC.

The diplomatic cable was sent to the Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary, Leader of the House of Commons, and senior military commanders in both Iraq and the UK.

Mr Patey wrote: "The prospect of a low intensity civil war and a de facto division of Iraq is probably more likely at this stage than a successful and substantial transition to a stable democracy."

8/03/2006 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Yeah, Buddy, talk about drinking vodka and munching the popcorn, Russia has got to be giggling uncontrollably. I'm sure Putin can't believe the position he's in. He's "Free-Rolling" and the chips are piling up.

Small farm animals could get lost in this pot. $75.00 Oil, The Mullahs raising Hell, The U.S. completely Discombobulated in the ME, Europe begging for their Nat Gas. It just don't get any better than this.

8/03/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Talk about cross-currents..

Hezbollah cells await Iran’s orders
Melanie Phillips

At a recent Stop the West rally (yes, I know, but that’s their real agenda) demonstrators waved placards proclaiming ‘We’re all Hezbollah now’. Really? If so, why were they allowed to parade in Trafalgar Square? In a sane society they should surely all have been arrested as a self-proclaimed army of holy warriors whose explicit aim was to murder untold numbers of innocents, destroy Britain, America and the free world and subjugate them to the dictatorship of the ayatollahs.

Because that’s what Hezbollah is. Literally designated the Army of God, it is a military force funded, trained by and answerable to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Iran that is pledged — as it has been since the Khomeini revolution of 1979 — to the destruction of Israel and the genocide of the Jews, as a prelude to destroying the West and infidels everywhere. The Iran that is steadily developing nuclear weapons so that it can achieve these aims.

But then Britain at this moment isn’t really sane. It is gripped by a kind of collective derangement in which, blinded by hatred of Israel, it thinks that the current war against Israel by Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, and its ally Syria, is a war by Israel against ‘innocent’ Lebanon.

8/03/2006 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Trish reponding to Habu3

"Like I said yesterday, "someone else's war" sure does have a nice ring to it. I encourage more of it"

Perhaps I missed that post but if it refers to the USA not being involved in the affairs of the entire world AT THIS POINT in history then it is as good a saying as, sh*t is a wonderful thing to shovel.
Mr. Blair, at his absolute best addressing a joint session of Congress asked, "Why the US?". His response was that because at this time and place in history NO ONE else can do the job.
Like it or not, and I do not, all the world is dependent on us at this time in history. So we suck it up and get the job done or we forfit our freedoms,as did the flaccid French in WWII.
Not me honeychild,not me.

8/03/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"His response was that because at this time and place in history NO ONE else can do the job."

No one else can do what job, habu? The job in Lebanon? Someone else clearly is. It's a welcome change of pace.

"So we suck it up and get the job done..."

No, habu, we suck it up and don't get the job done.

Show me we CAN get a job, any job, done, and maybe I'll agree to more jobs.


8/03/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Rat, you are right. Until you're even, you're behind.

BUT, it's August, it's Hot, Gas is $3.00/gal, and the news out of "the war" ain't good.

We know that some of these factors will change. It will be Nov., and it will be "Cool." The kids will be in school. Some factors might change. Gas will "probably" be cheaper, and the war "might" be going better.

Some things never change. Incumbency is a big advantage. All politics is local. Money Matters. (btw, Dean has really screwed up the money deal)

I "think" Dubya's optimistic about Repub chances in the Fall. Until he starts going sideways, I'm going to remanin somewhat sanguine, also.

8/03/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Re 2164th, "we are all hezzbollah now", Kofi Annan's chief of staff, Mark Malloch Brown, installed by the Kerry campaign in order to damp the Oil-for-Food scandal's impact on the campaign, has just stated that Hezzbollah is *not* a terrorist organization.

Aug 22? I'm more worried about November. Let the Dems in--the Dems who've learned the new "facts don't matter" philosophy of terrorism, Inc.--and the west is screwed.

Let that bunch get ahold of power, at this stage of the GWoT, and we're likely to be screwed *forever*.

8/03/2006 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...


Your mypopic view of the world through the lense of whose's getting what done in Lebanon is jocular.
If Israel didn't have the US at it's back it would have been over decades ago,come on girl ,pull harder.

As to showing we can get it done and you'll come on board. I guess that makes you a sunshine patriot and a ally of the flaccid French.

Whether you wish to remain in the Plato's alligorical cave is your privilege. I won't be in hiding with you.

8/03/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Guys, there's a lot of difference between a poll of "All Americans," and a poll of "Likely" Voters. The current polls are all polls of "All Americans."

I stood in the rain to cast a vote that couldn't possibly matter. I live in Mississippi. Kerry couldn't have carried this state in a million years. So, why did I stand in the rain for two hours. Because I thought Kerry might win! I wanted my "ticket to bitch," because I figured I would be doing a Lot of Heavy-Duty Bitching in the years, ahead.

I don't think a lot of the younger "Liberal" voters take voting quite as seriousy as us old, white farts do.

btw, the "Largest and most Dependable" bloc of all is the Veterans. They vote 60% Republican, and they will show up in Nov.

8/03/2006 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger RegretLeft said...

Very curious that there seemed to be almost no media / international community outcry re: the Israeli commando attack on the hospital in Baalbeck early on Wed ... I'm confused ...predictive powers nil... did it have anything to do with the command and control facilities in the basement ..but why should that fact have deterred the BBC? ... anyone (such as Human Rights Watch) who can countenance a contiguous "absolute" and a "but" (as in: "Hezbollah fighters must not hide behind civilians. That's an absolute. But...") shouldn't have had much problem with a dual use hospital.

8/03/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Today, Hillary beat the doo-doo out of the enemy she could get her hands on (Rummy) and let the real one--the jihad--hide through the whole harangue.

8/03/2006 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Sorry about you gett'in rained on but that's what we do in this country to keep it honest,(at least as honest as we think we can)

Never had any time for folks who don't vote and then are all over with sound and fury.
I also confront people who park in handicap zones without permits. That's the kind of society I think we need. But then I'm barely civilized, and like Tom Sawyer kinda wanna stay that way.

8/03/2006 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger DB2 said...

Habu wrote: I just read this morning that 2/3rds of the American people are as angry at America as they "have eveer been"

I believe that was two-thirds of the people who thought that there was a 9/11 conspiracy.

"Seventy percent of people who give credence to these theories also say they've become angrier with the federal government than they used to be."

8/03/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Habu, that rain in Ohio might be the only thing that kept us from having a "Kerry" Presidency.

8/03/2006 11:02:00 AM  

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