Monday, July 17, 2006

The International Force For Lebanon

Bloomberg provides details on a proposal to deploy an international force to Lebanon which will prevent the Hezbollah from attacking Israel, thereby allowing Israel to withdraw.

July 17 (Bloomberg) -- United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan pressed the five permanent UN Security Council members to contribute to a force that would quell the escalation of violence in the Middle East. U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, who met with Annan this morning at the Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, said he would support the UN's goal and that such a force was necessary before fighting involving Israel, Hezbollah guerrillas and Palestinian militants could be halted. ... The move puts pressure on the U.S., France, China and Russia to contribute to a force that would curtail clashes that started six days ago when Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border attack. Today, Israeli artillery and planes struck at 60 targets in Lebanon, retaliating after Hezbollah rockets struck Haifa, Israel's third-biggest city. U.S. officials hesitated to embrace the UN effort ahead of a Security Council meeting that Annan said may happen later this week. Sending in an armed force "may be a tad premature, although it is a distinct possibility,'' said White House spokesman Tony Snow.


Several questions immediately come to mind with regard to Annan's suggestion.

  • What is to prevent a Hezbollah attack on international forces similar to that conducted against the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983?
  • In what time frame will a force from the U.S., France, China, Russia and the U.K. be able to deploy to Lebanon? American forces can be in theater very quickly. But the forces of France, Russia and China will be weeks arriving.
  • In practice virtually all of the combat power of such a force will be American. Supporting arms, logistics, surveillance assets will be predominantly American because the US has far greater capability in these areas than all of the others countries in the Security Council many times over. Therefore Annan is essentially suggesting than an American force be deployed in Lebanon.
  • What will the command structure of this force be? The inclusion of China and Russia mean that it cannot be run along NATO lines.

Still, this measure is one of the few alternatives to letting the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah from escalating to include Syria and Iran. The proposal has the virtue, as with Julius Caesar's assassins, of making all the members of the Security Council co-conspirators. However, the inclusion of Russia, which is still  regarded as Syria's patron, will undermine the credibility of this force. With Russia aboard the force is unlikely to do anything decisive. The idea of an international force is also a tacit admission that Syria and Iran either cannot or will not call Hezbollah off. Interposing an "international" force of this nature won't solve the underlying problem. It may buy time, but that's about all. This proposal as it stands is probably fatally flawed, and if implemented apt to create more problems than it solves.


Israel has immediately reacted by opposing an international force in Lebanon, according to the Associated Press. "Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is opposed to the deployment of international forces in Lebanon in an effort to end bloodshed in the region, senior officials said Monday."


Blogger Karensky said...

This sounds like boiler plate UN think. Something truely creative along these lines would be to have Jordanian, Morroccan, Turkish and US forces come into Lebanon. With the Turkish Military and the Amis maybe the Moes and Joes could get an idea of what civilian control of a Military does.

Having the French, Ruskies and the the Chinese in will only create furthr corruption than already exists, not that the Muslim armies cited would lessen corruption. IMHO the underlying horror of Arab/Muslim nations is the endemic corruption from their tribalism. Once these nations people adopt nationalism then can start the process of loyalty to the national government in the guise of loyalty to the citizenry.
To solve the Palistinian issue is to isolate them, disarm them and watch their sheiks and mullahs. That and a massive educational effort for the young without the "help" of the Imams.

But, no, keep the Russians and the Chinese on each's borders with the other and let the Western world give it another go. Colonialism doesn't look so bad from our current world status.
Karensky in the early morn.

7/17/2006 02:40:00 AM  
Blogger Ticker said...

If we are really serious about preventing this conflict from escalating, then there are some possible tracks. The first is that the Security Council can authorize a particular nation, or say NATO, to destroy or disarm Hezbollah. A la Desert Storm or Korea, 1950. This has a better chance of working than a circus act involving all five members of the Security Council.

The other possibility is to immediately initiate action against Syria by the same method: authorizing a nation to do the bidding of the Security Council. Why not Iran? Because Syria's easier. And besides, Syria has the land border with Lebanon.

Unfortunately, which country can be deputized to take on Hezbollah? Put another way, who has the combat power to take on Hezbollah? Russia won't. That leaves (apart from the US) the UK and France, China being too unsuitable and unwilling. Both have the combat power to do this but it will require a major effort on their part. The British Army though very good, is small and weak in supporting arms. The French, less good but good enough. Against a Hezbollah trained against Israel they will win, given enough time and enough casualties. I am not sure either France or the UK will have the political support to do the job. So who does that leave? If you don't like the answer, then the "international force" idea is a non-starter.

Ok then. Why not deputize Israel? Because, as Clausewitz said war is a continuation of politics and the politics of that will be very bad indeed.

7/17/2006 02:57:00 AM  
Blogger Barry Meislin said...

One has to do what one can, make that extra effort, go that extra mile to save Hizbullah, Syria and Iran from the misplaced and disproportionate wrath of those inexcusably vengeful Zionists.

7/17/2006 03:01:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

Naturally, Kofi Annan desperately needs and new project to keep his job at the UN (or what is left of it).

Further, Russia and China would not want to see the destruction of Hezbollah, which they have nurtured via Iran.

Wretchard asks some questions:

What is to prevent a Hezbollah attack on international forces similar to that conducted against the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983?

[And He ask other equally vexing questions]

I suspect, the Russians and Chinese don’t care to have their role in arming Hezbollah via Iran exposed.

Worse, there is talk that Iran is more vulnerable to strikes from Israel than first thought (but more on that later).

Wretched notes: Why Lebanon? Because the only legal entity that could be attacked was Lebanon... never mind that Iran and Syria are the real masterminds.

It’s seems unfair – but that’s life.

It well known Hezbollah basically controls Lebanon’s government – both through politicians and brute force. They are basically one and the same.

Tom Grey has an interesting idea: I think Lebanon should surrender.

It’s a nice thought.

But, unfortunately, Hezbollah, like a cancer, has spread too far. Hezbollah not only has spread throughout Lebanon but the whole area. It’s going to take radical surgery to remove all of the Hezbollah cancer cells.

As for saturation bombing of enemy urban centers Wretchard notes: ...By the end of the war virtue was made of necessity and 600,000 German civiliians were killed by the Allied bombing campaign. It undeniably helped win the war and topple Hitler. Lost in this vast footprint of death was that the fact that the USAAF had accidentally succeeded in smashing the Nazi war effort by a simple change in targeting strategy...

I agree.

Many people have derided this bombing strategy that was championed by Gen. Lemay.

Brutal as it was, it played a decisive roll in WWII. In the past I have spent considerable amounts of Wretchard’s bandwidth on major air operations during WWII and I will not repeat it here.

But, it’s intuitively simple: Destroy the key Factories, Material depots and the Men who operate them and the war materials will eventually run out.

It’s very hard to rapidly replace an aircraft factory and even harder to replace a skilled metal fabricator worker.

The same goes for oil refining facilities, explosive factories, gun factories, and transportation infrastructure.

In short, it’s an option – but a drastic option.

Red River makes some keen observations (in the prior post, Terrible ifs accumulate, 10:38 PM).

This is what Israel is doing at this time to S Lebanon.

Something for Iran to consider.

How to strike Iran?

That is an interesting question. And, in particular, can Israel strike Iran?

On the surface, the logistics would seem insurmountable. But, Power Line has an interesting set of emails that indicate Israel could indeed strike Iran.

[Emails to Power Line]

Jim Johnson rejects den Best’s main premise [Air Distance too far]:

Israel currently has at least 50 F-16Is and over 25 F-15Is all of which are capable of striking Iran with some ease with the use of external conformal fuel tanks. They can do so without even significantly penetrating Iraqi air space... Both aircraft were purchased with Iran in mind... fully loaded, of over 2000 km which places virtually all the publicly mentioned high value Iranian targets within range including Tehran... even enough margin to allow some loiter time over the targets... would be the BTU-28… designed to be deep earth penetrating. Whether they can penetrate deeply enough to collapse the Iranian structures is not... known at all. Both aircraft are capable of carrying the BTU-28.

they [IAF] can allocate aircraft for one way missions in a number of ways without losing the pilots although these would likely be nuclear missions. Cruise missiles... could be very useful in pinning down any Iranian attempt to intercept a bombing mission. Most likely though, the Iranians will have very little available to effectively oppose an attack of the type Israel can launch.

If the Israeli's can add 3-5 years to the Iranian nuclear program on a static basis that is well worth it - particularly if they extract high additional costs and since they can always do it again

Froggy Ruminations proposes a plan:

If Israel decides to go after Iran, then that means they will have already begun to go at it with Syria beforehand. They might run a SEAD (suppression of enemy air defenses) package east through Syria as a feint to hit Damascus (which would be a target rich environment anyway) and pull through some heavy airlift assets (C-130s etc) and choose a remote airfield in eastern Syria and seize it Ranger style. If their SEAD is effective, they could set up shop at this airfield, bring in fuel and ammo and mount a sustained bombing campaign against Iranian targets at will. Most of Syria's military forces will be on the other side of the country and if they attempt to go after their FOB, the IAF could hammer them in transit... If they could pull off Entebbe in the 1970s, they could do this now.

Van Laskey suggests attacking Syria and putting Iran in the position of coming to it's client's defense:

Saddam's chemical arsenal is likely hidden in Syria's Bekaa Valley which is also home to Hezbollah terrorists. *** Iran has stated that Israel attacking Syria will draw them into the conflict. Israel should strike at Bekaa and draw Iran in. Call their bluff... Its [Iran’s]air capability is probably far weaker then the IAF. Its "navy" would be sunk in the first hour. Attack Syria's Bekaa and force Iran to make the first move. Eliminating the cancer in Bekaa is a bonus.

Thanks to all who replied.

See: Power Line

[Further, PL points to Biglizards outlines an air bombardment of Iran.]

See: Can Israel Strike Iran? Answer: Yup.

7/17/2006 03:32:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

One additional possibility is to re-start the Lebanese civil war. Have the Lebanese Christians, backed by Israeli armor and air, wipe out Hezbollah.

The Lebanese Christians know they are on the list for "ethnic cleansing" at some point.

7/17/2006 04:01:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

Hezbollah has several characteristics of a nation-state: it has effective control over territory, it has an armed force capable of imposing the will of its leadership within its territory, and it can project force outside its territory against its enemies.

One thing about Hezbollah that needs further examination is its finance structure. Who is paying for all those rockets, missiles, and guns? I don't think Hezbollah is self-financing.

If Hezbollah is funded from outside sources, then Hezbollah will do the will of its outside funding sources for as long as the funding continues, and as long as it has warm bodies. It seems to me that the correct target of any anti-Hezbollah action is to locate and punish its funding sources, by whatever means necessary.

7/17/2006 04:14:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Here's Bush's take on it, accidentally picked up by a hidden microphone.


Bush curses Hezbollah's actions

President Bush cursed Hezbollah's attacks against Israel in private conversations with foreign leaders Monday that were picked up by a microphone.

Bush expressed his frustration with the United Nations and his disgust with the militant Islamic group and its backers in
Syria as he talked to British Prime Minister Tony Blair during the closing lunch at the Group of Eight summit.

"See the irony is that what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over," Bush told Blair as he chewed on a buttered roll.

He told Blair he felt like telling U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who visited the gathered leaders "to get on the phone with (Syrian President Bashar) Assad, make something happen."

The unscripted comments came during a photo opportunity at the lunch. Bush and Blair clearly did not realize that a live microphone was picking up their discussion.

Bush also spoke to other leaders, and his unscripted comments ranged from the serious topic of escalating violence in the Mideast to light banter about his preference for Diet Coke and a gift he received from another leader.

Blair, whose remarks were not as clearly heard, appeared to be pressing Bush about the importance of getting international peacekeepers into the region.

7/17/2006 04:25:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Annan doesn't meet with Israel until tomorrow, but he has already formulated the plan and is selling it. That shows how biased he is.

Condi Rice talked about why premature cease fires won't work. True peace comes when both sides agree, not some external force calling time out in the middle of a conflict.

If they put a blue helmet UN peace keeper force in before Hizbollah agrees, then one of two things will happen. Likely it will be small like the current UN force, so Hizbollah will intimidate or ignore it. If they send in a strong force, like the US in Lebanon in the 1980's, then Hizbollah will soar in popularity as they use terrorist tactics to "resist" the occupiers.

This is nothing more than kicking the can down the road. In fact it is even worse because it continues the precedent that anyone can start a war with Israel, then if they start to lose can call the UN to bail them out with a cease fire.

7/17/2006 04:37:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

Papa Bear:

If Hezbollah is funded from outside sources, then Hezbollah will do the will of its outside funding sources for as long as the funding continues, and as long as it has warm bodies. It seems to me that the correct target of any anti-Hezbollah action is to locate and punish its funding sources, by whatever means necessary.

Hum, now who could be funding Hezbollah? One possible suspect would be Iran with it’s vast oil revenues.

Now it seems Hezbollah's top guys along with an Iranian “advisor” are now holed-up in a fortified mountian bunker close to an arms smuggleing route in northern Lebadon acording to Debka. It looks like Hezbollah did not want to take a thumping in Damascus as their buddies did in the Yom Kippor War.

Hassan Nassrallah and top command are holed up in Hermel, the northern Lebanese panhandle bordering Syria

See Nassrallah holed up in Hermel

The destruction of the Syrian General Staff in Damascus On October 9, 1973, two F-4 quartets attacked and destroyed the Syrian General Staff Headquarters in the heart of Damascus. The Syrian Air Force Headquarters was damaged as well.

See: Yom Kippur War

7/17/2006 04:45:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Israel should be very, very, very thankful for President Bush. Because with Great Britain going along with the UN, the US is Israel's only friend.

7/17/2006 04:45:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

> Chirac: No alternative to dialogue between Israel and Lebanese government (Reuters)

Who would have thought that France would be right, would be hawkish?

7/17/2006 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Hezbollah is locked and loaded. They are confident and arrogant. That is good for Israel. This will be an extraordinary twenty four hours. Israel is not going to accept just any UN force, certainly not the duplicitous Russians. Remember their little jaunt in Kosovo. Nato is the only organization that can put it together. It adds the future element for a long term solution to the ME problem and that is Israel in Nato. They can keep their nuclears as part of Nato as does France and the UK. Hezbollah and many other Arab players over the past have believed they could win the politics of world opinion. Israel in Nato ends it. It has often been claimed that Israel was a strategic partner to the US. In a way that was true but not in a practical way. It is more accurate to say Israel would like to be.

It is vital that Israel hit Hezbollah with great violence. It needs to get butt ugly. It needs to have Nato being called by Lebanon.We are engaged and in the most crucial phase to date on the Global Response to Militant Islam. We need to make it very apparent that Allah is not quite as great as they thought.

Israel has committed its all to this fight. The United States, at the this time, will have to do whatever it takes to see Israel successful, not for Israel, but for US vital interests and the salvation of the Western World.

7/17/2006 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

There's another word for the proposed international force: Hostages. Especially the non-Americans.

I don't see any good alternatives. The Lebanese military cannot be trusted, since it has been shown to be collaborating with Hizbullah (with the coastal radars).

That leaves the possibility of an Israeli occupation, which Israel will be hard-pressed to maintain, given the situation in Gaza and the West Bank.

All in all, a bad deal. I expect some face-saving "compromise" to be floated shortly, one that will allow Hizbullah to return the bodies of the soldiers while the Israelis release hundreds of terrorist prisoners; after that, return to the status quo ante.

I hope the Israelis don't take that one, either.

7/17/2006 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

From recent threads and postings, I see that we are all back to number crunching and bean counting. It is argued, for example that the killing of X fanatics, or 2X fanatics, or some exponential factor of X fanatics in a "total war" will solve the problem of Islamism. I think not.

Some months ago, on this site, I argued that we need not kill everybody. What we have to do, eventually, is kill the "right" somebodies. Simply, we must kill the head to kill the body. And, yes, I know: there seems to be an endless stream of potential martyrs. And, yes, every time we or the Israelis knock-off one of the big budget actors another is immediately named. So what?

Leaders are forces of nature. Leaders cannot be manufactured, trained, or synthesized any more than can be a musical prodigy. Certainly, through training it is possible to crank out mediocre facsimiles, but can anyone name the Corps Commander of George Patton's West Point graduating class? I thought not. And, yes, the Pentagon spends vast sums of money on leadership training. As a general rule, however, what the Pentagon gets for its money is bureaucrats, promoted and commendated for conformity.

Am I the only one to notice that the leadership of militant Islam are not martyrs? Indeed, I have noticed that these gentlemen are usually fat and sassy, living the good life until terminated by "hellfire." Moreover, when was the last time one of the children of an Islamic leader martyred himself; certainly not one of Osama's sons. To be sure, the Saudis, or Mr. Assad, or the Iran mullahs will spend vast sums sending proxies off to die, but when did the last imam self-detonate?

Yes, these guys can be had. That the Israelis permitted the escape of the Hezbollah leadership will come back to haunt them, if it already is not. Absent this leadership, the Hezbollah rank and file might have done what fanatics often do: they might have been foolish enough to come out of their holes to fight in the open. Banzai!

Oh, good morning and have a nice day.

7/17/2006 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

The Israeli operations are the coercion that Chirac wants, at least the start of it.

French President Jacques Chirac said Monday that "some means of coercion" may be needed to enforce a UN resolution that calls for the disarmament of militias.

"The application of [Resolution] 1559 is the essential element, and this will probably require some means of coercion," Chirac said at the end of a Group of Eight summit.

7/17/2006 05:48:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

One of the many frustrating aspects of Hezbollah is that, while it's increasingly a potent, disciplined military force, it doesn't present many conventional military targets. It's maddeningly difficult to find dispersed clusters of terrorists - and it's impossible to corner and kill them in significant numbers without boots on the ground.

Israel is making the American mistake of betting on technology to defeat primal beliefs. The result is the opposite of the one desired: Stand-off attacks only convince religion-fueled terrorists that we - Americans or Israelis - lack the courage to "face them like men."

This time, it seems they're right. Israel's refusal to fight in the spirit of Dayan and Sharon will boost the morale of Hezbollah fighters, unify their supporters - and serve as a recruiting tool. In the Muslim world, this round of fighting will count as a terrorist win.

At present, Hezbollah is embarrassing Israel with its rocket attacks, while Israel has yet to wound Hezbollah.

For a few hours there I thought I was the only one that saw it this way. But as usual Ralph Peters arrives to tell me I am not alone.

7/17/2006 05:51:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

HB's bearded leader, his son went down fighting the Israelis, like I sent Jr, this fellow sent his son.
His son died, fully committed.
Belittle the enemy at your own peril, if they were not made of stern stuff, it'd be over and it's not.

Would you stand against JDAMs & main battle tanks or run for home, oh that's right, they already are home. They've got no where to run.
Base with the options of War or Retreat, they chose War.
Our side is not sure, yet.

Mr Bush told Mr Blair that Kofi could make a call and end it.
Now that's Hubris projected.

Russians in Lebanon, Mr Putin is steppin' on up to the plate, in the big game.

7/17/2006 05:59:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

As General Patton said, "No poor soldier ever won a war by dying for his country. He won the war by making the other poor soldier die for his country." There is no reason for Israel to take a ground offensive when they have total air superiority. Why should they run into mine fields Hizbollah has been preparing for years when the enemy would just hide anyway? Israel occupied Lebanon for 18 years and still didn't wipe Hizbollah out.

Israel did cross the border last night and destroy a Hizbollah outpost.

I also believe that Israel has damaged Hizbollah greatly. The enemies bases are all destroyed and they are now on the run. Thousands of missiles have been destroyed. Senior officials have been killed. That's why Hizbollah's supreme leader broadcast his last time from a video tape with an un-dyed beard.

7/17/2006 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Hizbollah leadership is hiding in caves and fox holes, with their bases destroyed. They are using air attacks just like Israel, why is Hizbollah more courageous for doing it?

The enemy is sturdy like I've always said. That's why total warfare won't work. Some people just don't give up. There has to be a targeted but massive amount of force, followed by a political solution. The only way to stop the survivors from becoming guerrilla warriors is politics, and a lot of it is based on whether the war was fought cleanly or not.

7/17/2006 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Those people that won't give up, die. That's "Total War" w.w.
There is no one left to fight.
Ypu make war on the population, not "liberate" it.

That was not ever done in 'Nam.
Has not been done since WWII.
Total War is just that, Total.

Even over at the Democratics moderate voice, the New Republic, they see the folly of concentrating on Lebanon.

just as Israel's failure to punish the patron of terror in 1967 ultimately triggered a far greater crisis, so too today, by hesitating to retaliate against Syria, Israel risks turning what began as a border skirmish into a potentially more devastating confrontation. Israel may hammer Lebanon into submission and it may deal Hezbollah a crushing blow, but as long as Syria remains hors de combat there is no way that Israel can effect a permanent change in Lebanon's political labyrinth and ensure an enduring ceasefire in the north. On the contrary, convinced that Israel is unwilling to confront them, the Syrians may continue to escalate tensions, pressing them toward the crisis point. The result could be an all-out war with Syria as well as Iran and severe political upheaval in Jordan, Egypt, and the Gulf.

The answer lies in delivering an unequivocal blow to Syrian ground forces deployed near the Lebanese border. By eliminating 500 Syrian tanks--tanks that Syrian President Bashar Al Assad needs to preserve his regime--Israel could signal its refusal to return to the status quo in Lebanon.

We all have read of this Plan before, if we've been here at the Club, five days ago.

7/17/2006 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

desert rat; 5:59 PM

Well, 1:1,500,000,000. Yes, I'll take those odds on being right and stand by what I wrote.

7/17/2006 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

desert rat; 5:59 PM

Well, 1:1,500,000,000. Yes, I'll take those odds on being right and stand by what I wrote.

7/17/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Kessons of the Six Day War

The whole piece at the New Republic, by Michael B. Oren

7/17/2006 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

The enemy will just fade into the wood work. World war II was 60 years ago, the world has changed and now we have guerilla movements.

The idea of killing the entire population of South Lebanon for no reason is so monstrous I can't believe anyone suggests it even for discussion. So many people are innocent that all we would do is make enemies.

Look at Hitler for an example of something like total war. There was still resistance in the countries he conquered. Then free countries saw him as such a threat that they killed him. Total war just doesn't work. Never did.

7/17/2006 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Sonic booms sound great.

7/17/2006 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

I agree with DR. Underestimating Hezbollah is an error. They are resourceful enough to have placed seven to eleven thousands missiles in place against their publicly sworn enemy. They are itching for a ground fight and are doubly dangerous because they know they cannot win a ground fight. Their strategy will be not to lose. We have fought this type of war before. Hezbollah knows that the Achilles heel on the Israeli foot is the calendar. Israel prefers technology to troops and prefers days to weeks of combat. Want to beat your enemy, you better think like your enemy.The enemy has been doing their homework and is in place and is confident.

7/17/2006 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Total War has always worked, w.w., where applied. That is not in dispute, it is so awful you admit that e should not, cannot even imagine it.

Burn the woodwork. They'll die. If the civilians harbour the Enemy, the civilians are no longer civilians but have transformed themselves into logistical support combatants, legitimate targets.

That is why taking out the Enemies funding, supply lines and C&C are so important. To avoid Total War.

Destabilize Damascus, HB's capacity would wither.
Then an International Force could secure south Lebanon

7/17/2006 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Baron Bodissey wrote:

That leaves the possibility of an Israeli occupation, which Israel will be hard-pressed to maintain, given the situation in Gaza and the West Bank.

Well since Hez has already basically bitten off southern Lebanon as their own personal fiefdom, here's what the Israelis can do: Turn it literally into a no-man's land. Kill anything that moves from the border north about 20 km. Pretty soon any real civilians left will get a clue and evacuate to Beirut. Anyone left over is by definition not a civilian. This won't stop some of the longer range rockets but it will sure put a dent in the cross-border abduction rate.

7/17/2006 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Here's the current damage assessment:

We have no intention of operating against Syria at this time," Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday. According to Halutz, "Hizbullah has been trying to pull Syria into the conflict."

The chief of staff said, "It will take time to determine the effectiveness of the IDF operation in Lebanon. We do know, however, that we crippled Hizbullah's major transportation points and prevented them from transferring more weapons to their artillery units. We also know that we cleared out Hizbullah's major support networks."

"We are striking at the heart of the organization; we know that [Hizbullah leader] Nasrallah has not seen the light of day since the start of the campaign," he noted.

7/17/2006 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Germans fought a total war against the Soviets, who recipricated, that War ended, no Germans infiltrate Russia with War on their minds.
The Germans of the East lived with Soviet occupation for decades, no insurgency developed in the after math of total war. The Germans had been beat and whipped on, they were done.

7/17/2006 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Hezbollah would love nothing more than to have Israel do as you suggest teresita. Hezbollah uses civilians as part of their long term strategy. Hezbollah knows that their greatest asset is world opnion. Hezbollah is the constant victim. Do not give your enemy that which they are basing their strategy upon you giving.

7/17/2006 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

More of the secret microphone Bush conversation:

Bush also seemed to complain about U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan wanting an immediate ceasefire to stop the violence between Israel and Hizbollah.

"I don't like the sequence of it," Bush said. "His attitude is basically ceasefire and everything else happens."

Blair said: "I think the thing that is really difficult is you can't stop this unless you get this international presence agreed."

7/17/2006 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...


What you're suggesting is a repeat of what the Israelis did when they pulled back from Lebanon last time -- a 20km buffer zone, patrolled by Israel, in which they are sniped and kidnapped and demoralized by terrorist raids.

That's what they ended in 2000. I'm sure they could do it again, but I'll bet they don't want to.

Not only that, Hizbullah can throw assets more than 20km now. I'm not sure what their effective rocket radius is, but Israel would pretty much have to occupy Beirut to get a large enough buffer zone.

7/17/2006 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Hezbollah controls Lebanon in the south. Hezbollah wants to be the defender of all of Lebabon. That is their goal, The Islamic Republic of Lebanon. Hezbollah is not trying to destroy Israel. Not yet. Hezbollah cannot create the Islamic Republic without Israeli help.

7/17/2006 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

2164th wrote:

Underestimating Hezbollah is an error. They are resourceful enough to have placed seven to eleven thousands missiles in place against their publicly sworn enemy.

If the Israeli airforce conducts airstrikes with seven to eleven thousand precision bombs and scores a hit every time and still does not destroy Hezbollah (since you could have one rocket crew and one missile and still have a "Hezbollah"), how much less so will Hezbollah (assuming the IDF lets them get off every round) destroy Israel with seven to eleven thousand missiles that don't even have terminal guidance. Press a little harder and the Israelis will go into Masada mode. The rockets are a big annoyance, but not an existential threat until they fire chemical or biological warshots, at which point of course there goes Tehran and Damascus.

7/17/2006 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The captured Israeli soldiers should be considered dead. Their deaths require punishment, but the pretext of 'speed' in hopes of freeing them is silly.

The Hezbollah strategy is entirely build upon provocative media events: Rockets reaching Haifa, kidnapped token soldiers, claiming a drone sunk a battleship. None of these have had the material impact of the Israeli air strikes.

The Hezbollah strategy is designed to illicite a rash conventional attack.

Why should Israel do the expected?

7/17/2006 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

On one thing I believe DR and I agree: no matter how far from the border Hezbollah might be driven, the range of their missiles will increase accordingly. Therefore, a buffer is not the answer. The defeat of Syria, in detail, is the answer.

The algorithm: 1) no Syria, leads to 2) no Hezbollah, leads to 3) no buffer zone, leads to 4) no Israeli occupation, leads to 5) Lebanese control of Lebanon, leads to, 6) a peace treaty between Israel and Lebanon, ending the state of war existing since 1949

Well, it does look good on paper.

7/17/2006 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Andrew Zalotocky said...

I think that what we're seeing is the enactment of a strategy for containing Iran. It's happening now to ensure that certain conditions are in place before Iran gets nuclear weapons.

A nuclear Iran would be able to carry out a proxy war of attrition against Israel, using Hezbollah and Hamas as its proxies and using its nuclear capability to deter any direct Israeli retaliation. This would put Israel permanently on the defensive, and under constant attack.

By destroying those proxies now, Israel prevents this situation developing. What's more, if the Iranian leadership behaves rationally - always a big "if" - it will be willing to let this happen in order to protect its nuclear weapons programme. This programme is Iran's key strategic asset, and in the event of an open war with Israel it will be utterly destroyed. Therefore the rational course of action is for Iran to avoid a direct confrontation with Israel even if that means sacrificing Hezbollah, Hamas, and even Syria (and let's face it, these days Syria is just another Iranian proxy).

But without its proxies, Iran would only be able to attack Israel directly and openly. It would probably lose a conventional war, even without American intervention, and a nuclear attack would be paid back in kind. Any conventional war would also involve a high risk of the losing side resorting to nuclear weapons.

So Israel is attempting to contain Iran by leaving it with no means of waging war against Israel that doesn't lead to mutually assured destruction.

Of course, this could also be seen as creating the conditions for a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear programme. But a full-scale war with Iran would risk dangerously over-stretching the IDF. Also, the muted reactions of the G8 leaders to events suggests that they already know what the end state is going to be and are willing to accept it. That suggests that the end state is containment of Iran rather than regime-change.

7/17/2006 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Wars can be won.

There is historical precedent

7/17/2006 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Here's an Israeli column on the subject being discussed:


The countries that are pressuring the US to pressure Israel, however, must choose. They cannot inwardly cheer as Israel pounds Hizbullah and support Israel's right to self-defense while, at the same time, claiming that most everything we do is "disproportionate." A right of self-defense can only exist in the real world. It is a not a theoretical construct that can be divorced from the difficulties of fighting terrorists who deliberately place their missiles in homes and their bunkers in cities. Nor can it ignore the phenomenon of a failed state that has turned over its borders to a vicious terrorist organization that acts as a proxy arm for foreign powers.
If a "right of self-defense" is defined so narrowly that it is impossible to implement, then it does not exist.

The Lebanese people are paying a terrible price for their government's support for Hizbullah. No one wishes this were so. Even now, however, Lebanese diplomats continue to defend Hizbullah's right to "resist" against "occupation" - as if Israel were sitting on a single centimeter of Lebanese land before Hizbullah's attack.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora now implies that his government will take Hizbullah's place in southern Lebanon. This declaration would obviously not have been made without the "disproportionate" air, sea, and land blockade Israel has imposed in response to Lebanon's act of war.

The problem, of course, is that Lebanon cannot be trusted to lift a finger against Hizbullah, which has ministers in its government, once Israel's military pressure has been lifted. Accordingly, there is near-unanimity in Israel, including among our citizens who are bearing the brunt of the missile attacks, that Israel must itself take whatever time is necessary to destroy Hizbullah and obtain concrete international guarantees for Lebanon's promises.

Israel should continue to state clearly that it will not end its operations nor be satisfied with anything less than permanently removing Hizbullah's threat to Israel.

7/17/2006 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger HK Vol said...

Just make sure all the peacekeepers come from Sunni Arab countries. Surely that will annoy Iraq as much as Israeli retaliation.

7/17/2006 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Very astute Andrew Zalotocky. I take mild exception to one point and that is the big "if". Iran talks trash but is a very methodical rational player.

7/17/2006 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"permanently removing Hizbullah's threat to Israel"

This can only be done if HB's sponsors cease the sponsorships.

Not likely to occur politically.

7/17/2006 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

The actions of Kofi Annan will have the effect of deligitimizing Israel's efforts. I don't know if this is Kofi's conscious understanding, but it is what it is. Anything the UN says will be used by the Arab agit prop machine. "See," they'll say "Israel doesn't want peace! If they did they would heed the kind word of the UN secretary General"

the thoughtless left will eat this up.

If war is the failure of diplomacy, is there a bigger failure that the UN in general and Annan in specific? I sure don't think so.

I doubt that Israel will accept this half assed idea.

But the question remains, what is the end state for all of this.

True peace won't break out until the muslims lose their will to fight. that won't happen until their leadership is destroyed. The problem is that the will to fight is being whipped up by the Muslim clergy.

Since they are the arab world's rock stars any modernization threatens their rice bowls directly. In response they are urging the muslims to fight.

We have to neutralize the Imams, ayatollahs and muftis that are spurring on the muslim population. If don't do that this war will never end.

7/17/2006 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

hk, think you meant Iran?

I'd send Iraqi as part of the Force. At least a token number, 600, same as Japan sent to Iraq.
It would be a major step forward for the Iraqi Government.

Shake the foundations in Damascus and the ratline traffic would diminish.

7/17/2006 07:19:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If we had Iraqi and US integrated units, those would make ideal interim peacekeepers, along with the Russians and the French.

Let the Russians particpate, encourage it. Let those Cossacks ride against the Mohmeddans.

The Force would need what, 5,000 troops, same as Sudan?

Perhaps more, but 5,000 is a reinforced Bde.

7/17/2006 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Florida said...

I think this proves Iran is not crazy. Why would a crazy person go through the trouble of fighting a proxy war?

With that, why not destroy Syria's tanks and kill the Assad regime then go home. Tell the next evil strong man that if he tries what his predicessor did he will get the same treatment?

7/17/2006 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Y'know, one of the great ironies of putting the blue hats in S. Lebanon is that blue hat "peacekeeping" earned irony quote status in the region. When Nasser (IIRC) ordered them out of Gaza and the West Bank in 1967. I could be conflating 1956 & '67, but I don't think so.

Anyhow, summary point of all this is that nothing has changed in the last 40 years to make me think that Blue Hat Command has become any more effective at running peacekeeping operations that:
1) Keep the peace, and
2) Generate stability.

Now, if you want to run all of the female Shi'ite Lebanese 12 year olds into sexual slavery while civilians are slaughtered by thugs, by all means deploy the Continentals in blue hats. Otherwise, I think it best to find a group that has some interest in the region. Who knows if a Turkish/ Jordanian/ Egyptian force would be more effective or less corrupt. But do we really want to apply the Central Africa/ Balkan "solution" to this?

7/17/2006 07:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unless the ground forces are unleashed, we can't force Syria into choosing. Right now, they're hoping to hunker down until the cavalry arrives, and then continue business as usual. It looks like it might work. Dang!

7/17/2006 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Virtually ignored, within a story breathlessly reporting an Israeli ground incursion, overnight, into southern Lebanon, was the report of a three story building in Haifa having been “destroyed” by a Hezbollah rocket. Assuming the building was not a single seat, three-story out-house, the rocket was packing quite a payload, it appears. What do you all make of this?
Israel Briefly Sends Troops Into Lebanon

7/17/2006 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"We are fighting 24 hours around the clock, three weeks already in Gaza and five days now in Lebanon," said Shkedy, who estimated that Israeli warplanes have launched more than 1,000 attacks against Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon since Wednesday.

"We succeeded in hitting Hezbollah rockets in the opening moves of our offensive Wednesday, but they have many rockets of all kinds. They still have thousands of rockets that were not taken care of."

7/17/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same size/type missile as yesterday, Allen. Made in Syria, ball bearings/anti-people type, lots of gunpowder, but too small to waste a precious Patriot Missile.

7/17/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

200 sorties a day, average, so far?

7/17/2006 07:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

waste was a poor choice of words. Expend is probably better. When the enemy has 10,000 rockets, and some are really large, you have to make a decision about where you will expend your limited supply of anti-missile missiles.

7/17/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

A senior Israel Defense Forces officer told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday that IDF troops had leveled land inside Lebanese territory extending up to one kilometer from Israel's northern frontier.

The objective is to prevent the reestablishment of Hezbollah guerilla posts along Israel's border.

Earlier Monday, Defense Minister Amir Peretz said that Israel intends to create an unmanned buffer zone in south Lebanon, from where Hezbollah has been pounding Israel with rockets for the past six days.

"One of the aims of the [military] operation is to establish a security area in Lebanon, without the presence of IDF soldiers," Peretz said.

7/17/2006 07:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DR, I saw the number, 2,000, as of noon, yesterday.

7/17/2006 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Harrison said...

Israel definitely needs to launch a ground assault even if it means having to acquiesce in the rules of asymmetrical warfare. The IDF has to storm Lebanon and confront Hizbollah head on, pursue doggedly and smoke those terrorists out of their civilian hiding holes.

If the Lebanese do not stand back and prevent Hizbollah from using them as human shields, then the corollary is necessary collateral by default. Of course, the air assault - which hasn't done much of late to cripple the terrorists as Haifa just got struck again - needs to be tempered with precision and only reserved for infrastructure - if lost, would deal more damage to Hizbollah than the civilians - and their leaders who speak of martyrdom yet hide behind Syrian and Iranian skirts.

Lebanon must be denied its proxy status; otherwise, the extent of Israel's security border will continue to be threatened. If Hamas and Hizbollah collaborate - very likely considering Meshaal and Bashar are currently sharing the same room in Damascus - imagine the utter chaos if those Israelis forced to evacuate to the south of Israel come under a pincer attack courtesy of Qassam-Katyusha rockets from Gaza. Even though Israel can probably fight a war on both fronts, the atmosphere of perpetual fear and paranoia will be psychologically and morally taxing in the long run.

Syria needs to be threatened with Israel at its doorstep in order to realise that its actions will have consequences. By nurturing Lebanon's government behind a protective military force, Israel and its allies (meaning provisional ones like Egypt, Jordan and Iraq who would rather not risk an all-out war in the Middle East) will be able to secure the border with Syria - a constant reminder to Assad that any rocket flying over to Lebanon will garner the response of at least hundred times the magnitude of destruction in Damascus.

I concur with allen and DR: no matter how wide the "buffer zone", the range of the missiles and rockets will remain unknown until they hit and will probably scale upwards as Hizbollah, Syria and Iran are attempting to buy time to transfer and delocalise weapon distribution throughout the region.

I remember someone discussing about chess and forcing the opponent to make any move which will be detrimental to his strategy: with the IDF (hopefully synergised with the Iraqi and US army, while enlisting Egypt, Jordan as well) so close to Damascus, it will be a waiting game by which if Iran or Syria so much so fires a rocket that crosses into Lebanese territory, there will be justification for retaliating and striking at the closest target: Syria.

Will we see a conflict of interest between Syria and Iran if somehow Hizbollah detaches itself from Syria's command and goes "vigilante"? Or if Iran decides sacrificing Syria to Israel and creating yet another "buffer zone" between itself and Israel will force the IDF to stretch itself too thinly and thus might cause its dissolution eventually? What do you think?

7/17/2006 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Hard to discern, exactly, each sortie could have multiple targets.
But up to 400 fire mission sorties per day. Some targets could have multiple planes attacking it, also.

If this is what they'd bring to the Iranian dance, we'd best scrap those "island airbase" schemes.

The Iranian assets are more dispersed and dug in deeper.
Perhaps it's the weapon packages being used, but this experience is exemplifying the difficulties in store for Israel, or US, in removing Iran's infrastructure, with conventional weaponry.

The Israelis cannot suppress all the Mohammedan rockets. Would US air cover over the Straits be tighter than Israel's over Lebanon?
If the Iranian target was merchant shipping?

7/17/2006 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Desert Rat said:

Would US air cover over the Straits be tighter than Israel's over Lebanon? If the Iranian target was merchant shipping?

Well I know at the very least we wouldn't have China working against us in the UN if we were trying to open the straits again for their oil.

7/17/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The scale of Iran's coast line is so much grander than Lebanon's Blue line border zone.

Hard to spot those anti ship cruise missles on the shoreline, before they'd be launched at a petroleum tanker.

I don't think much of Mr Ledeen's idea that the coastline will be cleared in 35 minutes, not if Israeli doctrine is concurrent with US's.

7/17/2006 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

rufus & dr,

In all the talk yesterday about possible scenarios available to Israel in an air campaign against Iran, I completely overlooked one obvious possibility: autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan. The use of bases there sure does reduce the size of the theatre. Just another thought, for whatever it's worth.

7/17/2006 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Kill them all

7/17/2006 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

More likely Turkey, if it comes to that. The relevant Israelis were there, publicly, not long ago. Speculation was that it was in regards air basing for just such an adventure.

7/17/2006 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Smacko said...

It is hard to describe, but sometimes I get the feeling that commenters here & elsewhere, as well as many of the pundit class, have thier views of the current Lebanon conflict clouded by their OWN desires on how the greater 'War on Terror/Islamicism' should go.

I hear claims that unless Israel stomps both Syria and Iran, their efforts are worth nothing. Not ever stopping to consider the logistics. Israel can NEVER bring anything to bear on Iran but limited airstrikes. It just does not have the logistics to support the distance.

Israel doesn't even have the strategic depth to do much more than a limited swing into East Syria. Even that would leave open invitations to Gaza, Egypt, Jordan, ect...(I know that relations w/ Jordan and Egypt are better than normal, but who wants to take that risk?). Boy Assads smartest move would be to pull his military back close to Damascus, hoping to present a bridge to far.

Israel, for all thier might, is a small country geographically and population wise. Thier casualties taken in previous wars, based on population, approach the decimation of the great Continental powers during WWI. I am sure they dont want to lose another generation in order to by the proxy of the Belmonters 'War on Terror'.

I predict that the greater aim of Israel (from the beginning) was to bring so much pressure to bear, that Lebanon asks from peacekeeper to occupy South Lebanon. US, French, Russian, Area 51'ian, Dog, Cat, whatever. As long as the force actually keeps Hezzie out. I am sure that Israel would prefer US, lol :).

It's back to the long war / short war idea. If Israel believes that eventually the US will have to do something about Iran and Syria, they can play for the short war. Solve the immediate problem now.

7/17/2006 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Would Israel really give up this easy? Maybe they are assuming that Hizbollah would never do it.

A senior official in the Israeli government said Monday that the country would agree to a cease-fire against Hezbollah if the Lebanese guerrillas withdraw from the border area with Israel and release two captured Israeli soldiers.

The official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the diplomacy, said Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had conveyed Israel's position to Italy's prime minister, who is trying to broker a cease-fire deal.

7/17/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/17/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Desert Rat wrote:

Hard to spot those anti ship cruise missles on the shoreline, before they'd be launched at a petroleum tanker.

Do what we did back in '87, put US flags on all the tankers. That way, when Iran hits just one of them, it's an act of war against the world's Hyperpower.

7/17/2006 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yeah, as smacko and Mr Peters both made comment upon. As has our host.

The Israeli want the rocket problem solved, not a end to the "War". They see that as a "bridge to far", and rightly so.

US support for the "War" is lacking, not even the acknowledgement that there is an International Conflict or who the enemy is, short or long term.

7/17/2006 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

desert rat; 8:07 AM

There just is no way to know what damage has been done to Hezbollah at this point. If the IAF is having difficulty getting the damage it would like, I would suggest the ever vigilant, humanitarian Dr. Rice might be a consideration. Presumably, the USAF would not be so restrained in Iran.

As to what we do not know, “WW” (7:55 AM) has posted the story of a DMZ having been dozed over the past week. Having had some small experience acting as security for the construction of a DMZ under hostile fire, the Israelis have been either very good at suppression or Hezbollah did not contest vigorously the construction. In any case, darn, those Israelis have been busy little bees, unbeknownst to us.

7/17/2006 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...


Tel Aviv plans 4-tier, intensifying offensive

JERUSALEM -- The fierce Israeli attack in Lebanon is part of a carefully orchestrated plan -- not yet half-completed -- that calls for four stages of mounting intensity, culminating in the movement of ground troops into Lebanon, according to Israeli reports.
Military correspondents with access to senior military officials say that in the first stage -- which began shortly after Hezbollah raiders seized two soldiers on Wednesday -- Israeli warplanes attacked missile caches throughout Lebanon, particularly those housing long-range missiles.
Fifty caches, some hidden underground and some in private homes, reportedly were destroyed, a military briefer told reporters yesterday. It is not clear what percentage of the 13,000 missiles known to be in Hezbollah hands that accounts for.
At the same time, artillery pounded Hezbollah positions and command posts from the Israeli side of the border. In this first stage, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) also bombed the Beirut airport and imposed a sea blockade to impress upon the Lebanese government the consequences of failing to stop Hezbollah from attacking Israel from southern Lebanon.
In the second stage, which began early Friday, warplanes attacked the heart of Hezbollah's power, destroying high-rise buildings in southern Beirut that house the organization's command structure and the home of Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah.
Sheik Nasrallah reportedly was trapped for a while in the militia's underground command center when the building above it collapsed, covering the entrance. He apparently was not injured.
The third and fourth stages are secret. However, the operational plan calls for each stage to be more powerful than the previous one, said the correspondents, who appear to have received detailed briefings.
One reported principle is that the targets should be hit in a predetermined order, with no deviation from the plan, in response to specific Hezbollah actions. A constantly expanding "target bank," consisting of hundreds of sites selected by the IDF, is approved at periodic meetings of a Cabinet subcommittee chaired by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
One of the final stages, presumably, is the entry of ground forces into Lebanon.
If Israel's main objectives -- a halt in the firing of missiles into Israel and a Lebanese government agreement to displace Hezbollah from the border area -- have not been achieved by the end of this week, ground troops will cross the border, according to the sources.
Israel is unenthusiastic about the prospect of getting bogged down again in southern Lebanon as it was for 18 years before its pullout in 2000.
But the head of the IDF operations directorate, Brig. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, said Saturday that any ground incursion will be limited in time and in the area affected.
Israeli officials say they don't think the international community will force Israel to cease fire before its goals are achieved.

7/17/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

They'd already be a war with US. That's the comparison, if there is a war, the Israeli experience of the past 5 days show that the missle launchers will not be suppressed from the air.

The range of the anti ship cruise missle, 100 km, means most of the Gulf can be targeted from anywhere on the Iranian coast.

7/17/2006 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

wu wei; 8:26 AM

You can look at this in two ways:

1) If you want a leak, talk confidentially with the new, hostile Italian Prime Minister or
2) If you want to maintain confidentiality, do not talk to the new, hostile Italian Prime Minister

I guess we will find out soon enough.

7/17/2006 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If the Israeli pilots saw HB missle positions on the ground, no amount of Ms Rice's pleas would stop them from hitting them.

The Israeli cannot "see" the missles, prior to launch. Not the short range, long range, or anti ship varieties.

Or Haifa would not have suffered that collapsed building.

I fail to see where, given the compactness of the battlespace in Lebanon, the US could blanket the Iranian coast more effectively than Israel in Lebanon.
The square miles of patrol area are so much more vast on the Iranian coast than just from Beirut to the Blue line.

7/17/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Smacko said:

Israel can NEVER bring anything to bear on Iran but limited airstrikes. It just does not have the logistics to support the distance.

Who's to say they won't find, totally by coincidence, a whole wing of red, white, and blue KC-135's orbiting high over Iraq willing to fuel their F-16s and prepared to keep the whole thing quiet.

7/17/2006 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Smacko said...

Interesting read at Winds of Change, I'll try to find the link again.

It deals with how the Hezzie attack / kidnapping came about. An american ex-diplomat with close ties to Lebanon says that original attack was not planned from Syria/Iran.

Now Hezzie is (was?) constantly probing to border, looking for easy attacks and possible kidnap victims. This is longstanding Hezzie tactics.

Supposedly, a green Israeli officer has the two Humvees in a position without any overwatch or cover fire (if I use the terms correctly). The experienced Hezzie local commander noticed the opportunity and took the initiative to attack/kidnap. The Israeli officer then compounded his error by ordering pursuit, through what happened to be a Hezzie minefield.

At the end of the day, it makes not difference if it was order from on high or just a local commander doing what he does. I think it is interesting in that it draws the parallel to the start of WWI closer.

Wrong turn and someone there that decides to act.

I would bet that local Hezzie commander, who showed such tactical ability, is on the Hezzie hit list for lack of strategic ability.

7/17/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger brough said...

Israel know Hizbollah won't accept it, but won't a final offer now help deflect criticism that Israel used the captured soldiers as a pretext to prosecute a (necessary) ground offensive? Unless they have already been moved to Syria to give Assad an "out", an Israeli invasion is not going to result in these soldiers' safe return.

7/17/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Smacko said...

OT Warning...

Back to the crazy world of Iraq:

"In Adhamiya, a neighborhood in north Baghdad, Sunni insurgents once fought street to street with American troops. Now, mortars fired by Shiite militias rain down several times a week, and armed watch groups have set up barricades to stop drive-by attacks by black-clad Shiite fighters.

So when an American convoy rolled in recently, a remarkable message rang out from the loudspeakers of the Abu Hanifa Mosque, where Saddam Hussein made his last public appearance before the fall of Baghdad in 2003.

“The American Army is coming with the Iraqi Army — do not shoot,” the voice said, echoing through streets still filled with supporters of Mr. Hussein. “They are here to help you.”

Sheik Abdul Wahab al-Adhami, an imam at the mosque, said later in an interview: “Look at what the militias are doing even while we have the American forces here. Imagine what would happen if they left.”


7/17/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

wu wei: regarding total war, the US has used total war against Germany and Japan, when the US faced an existential threat.

From 1945 to present day, US policy regarding any WMD attack from another superpower (Russia or China) has been that we would turn the entirety of the enemy country into a radioactive wasteland.

Why should Israel be barred from contemplating total war in the face of a potential existential threat?

7/17/2006 09:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We would "escort" a few tankers through, just to make a point. This would be done with Aegis enabled warships steaming on the Eastern side of the tankers.

The Marines would have to clear the shoreline. It would require an entire MEF, somewhere between 15,000 and 30,000 Marines. As they're reinforced, they could move on inland (toward the sound of the guns.) No, just going hyperbolic with that sound of the guns stuff. But, they would be freed up to go to their next objective.

Smacko, you're more right than wrong.

7/17/2006 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

HT - Gates of Vienna.

Don't know about the source, but - Isreali hostages held in Iran Embassy in Beirut.

Anyone know anything about Free Lebanon?

7/17/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

This sounds like tit-for-tat but there are some words Kofi needs to hear from Bolton. "Shove it Kofi!"

The US needs to stay in the background as long as Israel aggressively prosecutes the campiagn against Hizb-allah. Let them take it to their own conclusion. On to Syria at the very least. If Iran intervenes, we get involved.

If the UN wants to intercede, let them - without our help.

7/17/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

desert rat; 8:52 AM

Listen, I'm with you on the difficulty of suppressing the Iranians in the Gulf. This is one of those rare occasions where I firmly disagree with Dr. Ledeen. I'm going to guess that his alleged 35 minute time frame came at the end of a long day and sometime during his second bottle of wine.

As to Dr. Rice, of course she could have no impact on the IAF taking out a clear target. However, she most certainly could and has tried to influence the IAF activity in downtown Beirut, decrying the loss of infrastructure. Well, as you would agree, the delivery of 5,000 lbs of high-explosive, no matter how precisely delivered on target, is going to impact activity Saturday night, downtown.

I am becoming somewhat more optimistic about the reports of a weakened Hezbollah in disarray, given the relatively small number of unimpressive strikes to date. They may be holding back the "big one", but I have my doubts. They must "feel" that it is use or lose.

7/17/2006 09:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, I'm not suggesting a MEF could secure the Iranian Shoreline. What they could do is establish a beach-head, thus allowing more (many more) forces to land. It would probably be close to the Straits of Hormuz, but not on the Straits; that would be too heavily guarded. Then they would have to fight their way up the shoreline. It would be a hell of a fight. The Marines would kill a whole lot of Iranians.

7/17/2006 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It appears to be well over 800 miles of coast line from Abadan to Chah Baha, I don't think a MEF would be enough. Not to secure all of it, and definately not in 35 minutes.

7/17/2006 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Juan Golblado said...

I think it's interesting that Chirac (thanks Wu Wei, I hadn't seen that) said "some coercion" would be needed to disarm hezbolah:

"The application of [Resolution] 1559 is the essential element, and this will probably require some means of coercion,"

I wonder if France could be called upon to go into Lebanon, not to mediate a ceasefire but to enforce 1559 -- to provide "some means of coercion" and actually disarm Hezbollah?

The US could stand by to provide backup if needed.

Another thought is that Russia seems to be making a definite attempt to be an actor these days, and especially in this. And they might be prepared to provide boots on the ground on very short notice. I don't think this would be a good idea, but I'm not sure. The thing is that if they make the offer and can follow it through, it will complicate things.

7/17/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allen, the Kurdistan idea is interesting. They would love a war with the Mullahs. They know that would bring us in, and they would like to semi-liberate the Kurds in Iran.

But, they probably wouldn't go for it, because if the plan went awry, their Iranian Kurds would pay a horrible price.

7/17/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I don't think there's a chance in hell that some Hez commander did this on his own.

7/17/2006 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Y.H.N. said...

"If we are really serious about preventing this conflict from escalating"

Are we? Eventually Hezb, Syria and Iran will have to be dealt with. All this talk of escalation is realy about the time table of escalation. Do we get to eat the elephant one bite at a time or will the Islamofacists force us to eat the whole thing at one time.

7/17/2006 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Could have just been following their "Standing Orders"
Take decisive action if presented the opportunity.
HB is at War, has been for a while.

Old style command structure pushes the decision making as far down the ladder as possible, vs the US model where General Casey personally approved the airstrike on mini Z.

There are benefits and disadvantages to both.

7/17/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DR, see my post right above your last one.

7/17/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the MEF, I mean.

7/17/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Desert Rat wrote:

Old style command structure pushes the decision making as far down the ladder as possible, vs the US model where General Casey personally approved the airstrike on mini Z.

Ah, yes, but the US could never get away with the stuff the Pallies or Lebanon pulls, as far as claiming the attack was by "rogue elements" operating independently of the government. It's time to lay that whole meme to rest once and for all and start holding people responsible for the leaders they elect.

7/17/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think you have to worry about the "International" community interfering with Israel's plans. I think they have a plan, and it's going to be carried out. Period.

And, don't worry about Condi. She works for W. She's Not going to get in the way. She will say the "necessary" things for public consumption, and fly around a little bit.

7/17/2006 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I did, same time stamp, if you noticed.

It would take weeks or months, I wager, to secure that coast line from guerilla access to covert prepositioned missles.

Securing the Iraq/ Syria border could be analogous, or the US/ Mexico frontier.

Perhaps there is a coast road, my Readers Digest, 1984, doesn't show much for secondary roads in that Region.

7/17/2006 09:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God help us if we ever get ourselves into a situation of trying to "occupy" Iran. It's what, almost a third the size of the U.S.? It's unthinkable.

Even if W was as dumb as those on the left thinks (which he isn't,) he couldn't be that dense.

7/17/2006 09:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as some of those on the left think

I don't do grammar very well. I told you that Me and Dubya are cousins.

We're planning an evacuation that won't take place for several days. Does that tell you something?

Or, is it just for show?

7/17/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

U.S. ally Saudi Arabia on Monday stepped up its criticism of Lebanese and Palestinian militants, saying their actions had allowed Israel to wage war against their people.

"Some elements and groups have got loose and slipped into taking decisions on their own that Israel has exploited to wage a ferocious war against Lebanon and to imprison the entire Palestinian people," a cabinet statement said.

"Saudi Arabia stands together with the legitimate and reasonable-minded national forces in Lebanon and occupied Palestine to combat these dangers to the Arab and Muslim nation," it added.

Saudi Arabia last week criticized Hizbollah and its backer Iran saying "elements" in Lebanon and "those behind them" were responsible for an Israeli offensive on its northern neighbor to stop strikes by the Shi'ite guerrilla group.

The unusually frank comments have provoked heated debate in the Arab world, where sympathy toward resistance to perceived U.S.-Israeli hegemony in the region runs high.

7/17/2006 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Captain America said...

How in any way does this proposal contribute to two already passed UNSC resolutions to disband Hezbollah?

7/17/2006 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That's the challenge of a long term ground battle in Iran. The entire Gulf is not that wide, over 70% looks to be targetable from the Persian coast line.
The missles, hidden in covert bunkers close to the shore line, popping out at inopurtune times.

The Lebanonese experience is telling in that regard, given the limited combat area, and the IAF's time over target loiter capability.
Neither situation would be better on the Iranian coast for US.

7/17/2006 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Tells me, rufus, that any attempt to move 25,000 civilians takes time to coordinate.

Ships to hire, then move, cruising speeds considered.
To helicopter 25,000 civilians, w/o baggage, to Cypress would be over 1,500 sorties, depending on the copters. Three hour flight, six hour round trip.
Better have a lot of copters dedicated to that project.
With baggage, even carry on...

7/17/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Two interesting headlines

> IDF believes Hezbollah misfired missile with 200 km range

> U.S.: Security Council should not act on Lebanon crisis until UN mission returns

That should buy time for Israel until at least Friday before anything happens in the security council. Stalling like that is what friends are for.

7/17/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

> IDF: ‘Downed plane’ likely failed Hizbullah attempt to fire long-range missile

The IDF assessed that a report earlier Monday that an Air Force jet was downed over Lebanon was likely referring to an Iranian-developed long-range Zelzal missile. It was unclear whether there was an attempt to launch the missile or whether the blast and blaze were resulted from some sort of experiment.

The IDF said reports that an IAF air craft was downed over Lebanon were not true.

7/17/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure, my point is, somebody thinks this is going to go on for awhile. You wouldn't arrange such a large evacuation if you thought the conflict would be over before it takes place. Or would you?

7/17/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's face it, Bush wants the Hez destroyed almost as much as Israel does. A good ass-kicking for de Hez is a "black eye" for Iran and Syria.

You notice the more Israel kicks ass, the quieter Al Sadr gets.

7/17/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Oh we would, gives credence to the seriousness of the venture.

To not would give the game away.
The French are sending a ship for their 1 to 2,000 passports, We'd need a dozen or more.

If we ignored the US citizens and the Syrians were to "intrude", that could lead to a disaster of the highest order.
So the evacuation will go ahead as if required, whether it is or not.

7/17/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Folks, ain't it obvious, the International Peace Keeping Force should come from the African Union. They have decades of experience at Peace Keeping and that special "Keep your head down while accepting every bribe on offer" approach is just what the situation needs. As for their running around raping the local population: are you kidding? They'd all be killed.

I think Israel could work around them effectively enough.

I know it is a bit out of area for them, but the UN should always be willing to call on the best troops to handle the job no matter where they come from. And the AU has prevented the destruction of Muslim Arab populations in the Sudan. That was their job, wasn't it? Ah, let me go back and check the BBC reports again, but that was their job -- wasn't it?

So, have the Security Council Nations swap out with the AU in the Sudan and send the AU troops to Lebanon. Hell? They are halfway there already.

7/17/2006 10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, you're right, DR. That wouldn't be a very good platform to run on -

"We left our citizens in Beirut to get slaughtered. Vote for us."

7/17/2006 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Rufus said:

You notice the more Israel kicks ass, the quieter Al Sadr gets.

Not really. There were 41 fatalities in a suicide bombing in Baghdad overnight, and there will probably be a corresponding retaliation by Shi'ite death squads, but it has (and will) make hardly a blip in the news while "Israel is targetting the helpless civilians in Lebanon." The media constantly requires novel forms of butchery to move newspapers. Once a routine sets in, no matter how bloody, it no longer leads the front page.

7/17/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

I’ve just read the most interesting bit of news:
”President Lahoud has officially claimed that he supports the "Resistance" and will not give up Sayyid Nasrallah.” -- http://lebanesebloggers.
more-attacks.html “Day 6: More Attacks” via

Has anyone at Belmont heard of anyone, anywhere demanding the handover of Mr. Nasrallah? Has Lebanese President Lahoud gotten a little ahead of the ball? Could this be an anticipatory Osama moment, such as that with the Taliban in 2001?

If still alive, Mr. Nasrallah must be stroking his beard in confusion. Who’s your daddy, now?

7/17/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A New Song in the Middle East. Catchy lyrics, and I can dance to it.

7/17/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

rufus; 9:55 AM

"some of those on the left think"

Really? I didn't know that. And all this time I thought it was all about feelings. Well, that just changes my life, thank you very much.

7/17/2006 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"If we are really serious about preventing this conflict from escalating, then there are some possible tracks. The first is that the Security Council can authorize a particular nation, or say NATO, to destroy or disarm Hezbollah. A la Desert Storm or Korea, 1950. This has a better chance of working than a circus act involving all five members of the Security Council."

NATO IS a circus act - more rings than you can shake a stick at. Additionally, they've got problems just covering current commitments. And the will to take on a disarmament/peacekeeping project in Lebanon...forget about it.

Send France. (Bonus: France can get away with shit that neither we nor the Brits nor the Israelis can.)

We'll contribute a casserole.

7/17/2006 10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teresita, I know they're still blowing each other up in Iraq. Hell, they're going to be doing that for years; but, I haven't seen where Al Sadr has been able to get a lot of people "in the streets," which I believe was an attempt of his a couple of days, ago.

I might be getting a little carried away, here; but I do believe that as the Hez gets it's ass kicked his power wanes a bit.

7/17/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The truth starts to come out.

Stay tuned. pass the popcorn

7/17/2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

trish; 10:47 AM

Soufflé, my dear, soufflé.


The French are, shall we say, unconcerned - one of the privileges of perfection.

7/17/2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Smacko said...

OT again...

Latest 'News of the Wierd'

Kurdish Troops May Help Secure Baghdad


"Following the killing of 110 Iraqis in the first three days of last week, there emerged from both Sunni and Shia leaders in Baghdad a proposal which would have been inconceivable not long ago - deploying Kurdish troops in Baghdad to maintain order and keep the peace between Sunni and Shia Arab factions"

7/17/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Sending the Chinese and the Russians isn't very creative.
I think David Geffen putting together Bono,Barbra,Sean Penn nad BB King would calm the waters.
Something zingy like "Rock'in the MidEast Aid"
That's creative. All the proceeeds could go toward funding to dig up land mines so the place doen't accidently turn hip hop on us after the show. We could have special guest appearences by General Zinni,Tony Robbins, and Dick Murtha...our MC ... actually a duet of John Kerry and Bill Clinton.

7/17/2006 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss "Possumtater."

7/17/2006 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just saw a couple of pigs go flying by my window.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait supports Israel. Kurds requested by Shias and Sunnis. Sunnis request U.S. to stay longer. Dogs sleeping with cats. sheesh

7/17/2006 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

If the Chinese and the Russian won't go and Geffen won't touch it, then we use the Doomday Scenario.

A Tex-Mex Barbeque hosted by Willie Nelson.

* upped the mojo for ya Ruf

7/17/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


Yesterday, we discussed the lack of Israeli amphibious lift. Obviously, we were both thinking conventionally of modern landing craft. What if, however, the Israelis could land a sizeable force behind Hezbollah the old fashioned way? And by that I mean transport aboard a liner or commercial transport.

What with the EUnichs bringing vessels into Beirut for the purpose of evacuation this week, what better time to make a move? It would also give the Lebanese government the chance to show its bona fides to its white-knight liberator. And even if the Lebanese are a little less than kindly disposed to the idea of an Israeli amphibious assault, what would or could they do to oppose the move?

Obviously, about half of the above is BS; however, the other half is doable.

7/17/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"The French are, shall we say, unconcerned"

Yes indeed.

7/17/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Habu_3 said:

Something zingy like "Rock'in the MidEast Aid" That's creative. All the proceeeds could go toward funding to dig up land mines so the place doen't accidently turn hip hop on us after the show.

To hell with that stand-offish funding of de-mine-ification! If the celebrities really cared they'd go out there dressed in full-body EOD gear like Princess Di with a trowel in hand and dig 'em up themselves. I wanna see Alec Baldwin, William Baldwin, Sheryl Crow, Janeane Garofalo, Madonna, Natalie Maines, Moby, Pink, Susan Sarandon, Sharon Stone, and Ted Turner out there showing us peons what social justice really means.

7/17/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What!? That's The Stupi . uh .. umh . huh ..

Kind of like we do in Kuwait? hmm

Ain't going to happen, but, yeah, you're right. They could. That would be a Hoot.

7/17/2006 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

I am full of admiration for you acknowledgement that a part of your post was BS. Personally I try for 7/8ths most of the time and believe I hit that mark. But just to recognize that blogging has it's limitations and solving the ME is in the top five merits special recognition.
First row tickets to the "ME Aid" concert. We're working hard on getting Nelson Mandela and the Robbin Island Gang to do some jamm'in with Eric Clapton.
The big finale will be John Kerry humming the "Internationale" while Bill Clinton sings "Thank Heaven for Little Girls"

7/17/2006 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

we can have all those stars do that. children need role models.

2 3 4 ..smoke on the wa-ter
dunt du da duntdadeda dunt dunt dunt dunt da

7/17/2006 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

For those who have not seen the analysis, by all means take a look.
SPECIAL REPORT - 07.14.2006s

c/o Mark's post at TigerHawk: Saturday, July 15, 2006
"Israel and Syria dance, and a question for the readers"

7/17/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

you just have to know how to engage the French.

Look we let the TriColour fly over the banjos area. It's a place all will visit and each interior can have a deVillipin poster.
and for a surprise gift 65 psi on all "French Only" bidets!

7/17/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

possumtater et al; 11:48 AM

I can hope only to aspire to your greatness per the BS quotient. But, it is something to live for. In a word, you are a paragon, an exemplar, a sui generis supernova and, in the poignant but too little used metaphor of the late, great Yul Brynner, “etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.”

7/17/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...

The US can have some fun negotiating terms and rules of egagement with the UNSC. If the "international" force is attacked they should be able to respond to all of hexbollah including bekaa valley in syria. If the UNSC won't agree to that then no US troops.

7/17/2006 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

possumtater; 11:59 AM

If I may, the Honorable Mr. de Villepen might impose upon Les Invalides for the use of one of the Emperor’s dress uniforms – a snug fit, to be sure, but a moment worthy of the imposition. Perhaps, the Honorable Mr. de Villepen, so attired, could lead the Lebanese French expatriates in a stirring rendition of La Marseillaise. These are a few of my favorite things.

7/17/2006 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

Accolades like that don't come along often and I will cherish those words until sunrise on Guy Fawkes Day or the appearence of the 12th,13th, or umteenth Imam from the well.
Keep this a secret but the "ME Aid" has a PsyOps project. We are going to distribute spray paint cans to the Palles kids who will be allowed to "tag" the Israeli wall. The deal is half the spray nozzle don't work and the others only spray in blue and white. The wall has already been treated to accept those colors and form the Star of David. Pre operational figures are that 78% of the kids will not know how to use the cans, 15% will incorporate them in a suicide bomb vest, and the remainder will "huff" the paint into pillows and end up looking like Indianapolis Colt fans.

7/17/2006 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

The occupation has begun. Actually this is a border town that the UN gave 1/3 to Lebanon, 2/3 to Israel. Now Israel took it, at least for the moment.

IDF forces conquer area inside Lebanese territory

IDF forces conquered Ghajar, an area inside Lebanese territory, it was released for publication on Monday.

The troops remained in the area and built a barrier to fortify their position

7/17/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

With Sarkozy breathing down his neck can de Villepen afford to offend the sans culottes ?
It could spark another nasty Charlotte Corday/Jean Paul Marat incident.

7/17/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

wu wei,
Great info... now that leaves how many wing nut factions still running around with Katuska's and prayer rugs?

7/17/2006 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Looks like the testosterone is about to peter out.

Israel softens conditions for cease-fire

7/17/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Juan Golblado was speculating about Russia putting boots on the ground. How soon we forget. This is a clip from a CNN report during the Kosovo action where we decided to bomb Catholics so Albanian muslims could burn churches in Kosovo...

Russian troops enter Kosovo; Moscow orders them to leave

CNN's Jim Clancy reports by phone on Russian troops' arrival in Kosovo

June 11, 1999
Web posted at: 10:32 p.m. EDT (0232 GMT)

"PRISTINA, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- Welcomed by a cheering mob of Serb residents, an armored column of Russian troops rolled into Kosovo's provincial capital, Pristina, early Saturday, despite Moscow's promises that it would not send its forces into Kosovo before NATO.

However, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told CNN the surprise entry of Russian troops was an "unfortunate" mistake and that they had been ordered to leave Kosovo immediately. Ivanov said the reason why the Russians moved into the province was being clarified..."

The last thing we need are Russian boots on the ground.

7/17/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

possumtater, 12:35 PM

It is certainly true that Mr. de Villepin has an itch for the presidency.

7/17/2006 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Wretchard here we are again,

Squabbling in the U.N. over "Who's in charge " of the multi-national circus force (I'm reminded of the tiny circus clown car that pulls up and 20 clowns get out of it then smack each other in the head with big rubber hammers.)

So here's the balance of Strategic terror thus far:

Background -
Israel has called up a Division of reserves, what's that 20,000 ?

Damascus has called up a division.

The terrible If's, Israel enters Lebanon in force with ground troops Syria and Isareali troops could go at it, no Contest due to Israeli airpower, weapons & superior armor, but mainly airpower, making it a 3-5 day gopher shoot.

Iran right now won't pull any triggers unless they have a suicide wish, due to their just not Being ready, maybe only one to three nukes until they get more time & experience on the centrifuge cascades. VX and/or biotoxins on missile attacks would trigger a nuclear response. The Iranians have to expect that, and any missile launched by Iran would likely trigger a massive Israeli "launch on notice" counterstrike on Qom & Tehran if Tehran were to fire any missiles.

Israel has 50 or more Jericho 2B's 1500km distance very easily within distance of Bushier Qom Tehran Shiraz etc etc

Israel has 1 to 2 dozen Popeye sub launched cruise missiles with 1500km range, easily within range of Quom Tehran and outlying vicinities from 200km out in the gulf of Oman. Tehran Quom Easily within range from anywhere in the Eastern mediterranean.

Then there's always the follow on possibility of Israel taking over eastern Syrian Airbases just long enough to launch follow on attacks into Tehran for their fighter/bomberss and tankers to refuel. Actually I would believe this to be an initial response by Israel should Any conflict between Israel and Damascus jump off, move nukes to that air base as preventive measure and notify Washington that they need to keep Saudi, Kuwaiti, Turkish IRANIAN and Syrian forces Far Far away from the base. Could be a temporary or permanent move should Damascus go for broke & Lose.

Therefore, with rational actors,

a long stretch by any imagining Concerning Hezbollah and Iran ...

... the Balance of Terror of undeclared but in effect MAD policy, should prevent Iran from entering the Fray in any Direct meaningful way..

Syria doesn't want to waste military men & Material.

in 3 more weeks Israel should have degraded Hezbollah's missiles, ground incursions or not to a low enough level for some other Occupation force to finish the cleanup, it may have to be Israel doing the mopup also due to political realities you have outlined.

Israel may get a couple of lucky shots on Hezbollah leadership and this problem could be degraded to an acceptable level by September/October.

Then it's on to next real threat in the near term: Tehran her missiles and parallel nuke programs.

7/17/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

Darn the luck. Just when I'd gone long in the market on bodybags and charcoal bricketss it looks like a World War has been averted.
Now I'll have to short vulcanized trout fishing boots.
I keep saying, just stay in bonds 'tater or at least dividend paying bank stock.

7/17/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Wretchard - On your list of candidates, I would say France. France has past existence in Lebanon and the prosperous Lebanon of the 20s through the early 70s was among Frances proudest colonial episodes. France has a large population of Lebs who fled the Civil War but who have local ties and expertise (inc. with Hezbollah, on the downside) France also has numerous "Amis" - non-Muslim African 3rd worlders bonded to France in their informal Commonwealth that for 5,000 a year in tax-free Petrodollar pay would be happy to do the non-skilled checkpoint and garrison work that Bush foolishly used some of our best forces for in Iraq.

Unlike the US, widely assumed to be the bought puppet of Jewish dollars, France is in no way considered Israel's lapdog these days. On the other hand, France is not shy about telling Muslims when to desist. So France might be seen as the Fair Broker the US cannot be.

France also is at a point where it must step up to the plate to show it still merits being in the "Big 5" at the UN - that it's status is not a total joke and a pure legacy gift.

And if Russia and Turkey and some other groups augment France, great!

I oppose Israel becoming part of NATO. Not as much as the people of other NATO members, I suspect.

The only way NATO membership for Israel would ever be possible is as part of a package deal where Final Borders are agreed to, and the ME, inc Iran, is made into a Nuclear-Free Zone.

7/17/2006 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

I understand DARPA has developed a nano-impregnated pita bread which will allow our AWACS to follow the movements of the enemy. How handy.

7/17/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

While jibjab and bicker continues in the UN, we got "Scud-busters in action"

7/17/2006 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

The Debka file, true or not, always a fun read...

... has some very interesting stuff on the pounding of North Lebanon as a hold out bunker, escape rout for Hezbo leadership.

Hezbollah holed up in Hemel, on north Lebanon Syrian Border

7/17/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

More ground war?

Al-Manar: Heated exchange of fire in Shaba farms region

A report by Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV stated that heated exchanges of fire took place between IDF and Hizbullah forces in the Shaba farms region. According to the report, Hizbullah operatives are trying to prevent IDF forces from entering Lebanon.

Concurrently, the station reported continued Israeli air strikes in southern Lebanon

7/17/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

C4 said:

"I oppose Israel becoming part of NATO. Not as much as the people of other NATO members, I suspect.

The only way NATO membership for Israel would ever be possible is as part of a package deal where Final Borders are agreed to, and the ME, inc Iran, is made into a Nuclear-Free Zone."

They seem like reasonable requests, so I gather you would not oppose if certain requirements were met. In your view would Israel have to give up tactical nuclear weapons, keeping in mind, France and the UK are nuclear members? What are the downsides that you see in Israeli participationin Nato ? I see many positives.

7/17/2006 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

we have standards. first among equals is that france is good for nothing but an occasional internal car-b-que week.
please refrain from placing them in any position south of the Quai d'Orsay.

7/17/2006 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

DR - Hard to spot those anti ship cruise missles on the shoreline, before they'd be launched at a petroleum tanker.

DR is right in his way. It would be nearly impossible to stop each and every warplane or shore to ship missile attack. But he is focused only on pure defense, protecting the oil tankers against missiles from an otherwise unmolested Iran.

Teresita has it right - Do what we did back in '87, put US flags on all the tankers. That way, when Iran hits just one of them, it's an act of war against the world's Hyperpower.

Meaning you don't defend so much as to say to Iran that any attacks on tankers is a direct attack on the US and we commit to total war. Gulf Oil stops, the Global economy crashes, and America lives off it's strategic oil reserve while we undertake total no-holds barred war against Iran with no heed for covilian casualties - destroying any naval asset they have, any planes, any airport, any power plant, all nuclear facilities, any population center they hide missiles in or which is a Revolutionary guard stronghold or radical Islamist spiritual center..

You kill them remorselessly and keep it up until they quit.

Then we have 2-3 years to rebuild the global economy.

The US has war-gamed Iran extensively.

7/17/2006 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

2164th - In your view would Israel have to give up tactical nuclear weapons, keeping in mind, France and the UK are nuclear members? What are the downsides that you see in Israeli participationin Nato ? I see many positives.

1. In a "nuclear-free" ME, I can see Israel keeping a small nuclear deterrant for use only if overrun or attacked by nuclear missile. To fall under strict NATO Rules of Engagement for use of Special weapons. Also, as part of that, for Israel to join the Chem and Biowar NPT and destroy their existing stockpiles.

2. Past proposals by ardent Zionists to make Israel the 51st State or to make Israel a NATO member while Israel kept its colony Settlements outside Israel proper - were simply attempts to obligate the US to defend Israel no matter what, or to make America's albatross into NATO's albatross.

If Final Borders are agreed to and the Arabs agree to not have WMD in return for Israel's treaty not to use nukes unless Israel Proper is overrun...then a Israeli NATO membership would be mutually beneficial for the Arabs, NATO, the US, and Israel. Mainly because it will stop the natural and completely understandable efforts of Arabs to achieve WMD parity with a hostile power that has large Chem-Bio stockpiles and nuclear-tipped missiles aimed at them since the days when Israel was land-grabbing for more Settlements outside Israel Proper.

7/17/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

I never thought I'd see this.

Iraq's Sunnis now seek U.S. protection

Sunni Muslim leaders in Iraq have begun asking their U.S. military foe for protection from increasing sectarian attacks by Shiites, the New York Times reports.
A senior U.S. diplomat told the newspaper while the Sunnis despise the U.S. occupation, they have made requests for protection from Shiite militias in recent weeks. Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the minority Sunnis have been the most vocal in demands for a foreign withdrawal, and also mounted insurgency attacks against U.S. troops and the new Iraqi government.
Tariq al-Hashemi, a hard-line Sunni Arab who is one of Iraq's two vice presidents, is one example of the reversal.
"The situation is different now," Hashemi told the Times. "I don't want the Americans to say bye-bye. Tomorrow, if they were to leave the country, there would be a security vacuum, and that would lead inevitably to civil war."
Military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said it was obvious how much damage the militias were doing.
"We've made a very conscious decision here in the last few weeks to deal with them just as severely as we can," he said.

7/17/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"The US has war-gamed Iran extensively."

Not while high we didn't.

7/17/2006 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

smacko at 11:01

You read it here first.
If you've read everything.

7/17/2006 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Major Mike said...

Yeah...good luck with about 15 years, the "multi-national force" may prove effective. I wonder which example of failure I should use to debunk that as a possible solution.

The Israelis have it right...H & H need to be decimated as terror forces before they will see peace. They do not need a mutli-national keystone cop force providing a porous, excuse-ladened, and ineffective defense.

Stay the course, any international intrevention short of an emasculation of H & H as political and terror players will be woefully inadequate. MM

7/17/2006 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

These Zelzal missiles IAF claim they got a launcher today ....

Zelzal -2 -- Nasty buggers

New & Improved ZelZal-2 capable of handling bio/chem e.g. VX warheads,

and once the Mad Mullahs learn how to make compact nukes, ... they'd send those along for sure.

It is a Good thing the Israeli's are cleaning house now.

7/17/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, they are cleaning the front yard & porch, we'll see if they go and clean up the house.

7/17/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Mr. Olmert is a really, really, really tough, competitive negotiator! In answer to his country being attacked by another nation, he has not demanded unconditional surrender, reparations, or the heads of the war criminals who instigated the war. No, sir, not the vigilant Mr. Olmert.

Instead, Mr. Olmert has made three unconditional demands:
1) The return of the two captured Israeli soldiers, whether dead or alive, he left open.
2) “[A]n end to Hezbollah rocket attacks”, whether for a day, month, year, or indefinitely, he did not specify.
3) “[T]he deployment of the Lebanese army along the shared border”, whether only that minority unaffiliated with Hezbollah, he did not say.

Sometime ago in this space I wrote that the Palestinian people had elected a government (Hamas) of their liking. In my opinion, Hamas is homocidal and genicidal. To remain intellectually honest and consistent, I must say, most regrettfully, Israel has also elected a government of her liking. In my opinion, that government is dependent and suicidal.

We Americans may be glad that Mr. Olmert and the guys at Powerline were not negotiating for Mr. Roosevelt. Had they, among a whole host of other perversions, there would have been no war crimes trials.

Well done! Mr. Olmert.

Oh, and for those who might get the wrong idea about the rules for utilizing conflict management and negotiation strategies, following the lead of Mr. Olmert and his American supporters, never, never, never, bend over and give it up during the first round.
spages/739446.html -- “Cease Fire?”

7/17/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

re: Israel joining NATO.

I wish, but I doubt Israel would accept the offer (without a large amount of sweetener - $$). Excluding Britain, the U.S. and Turkey, adding Israel would quadruple the strength of NATO (besides giving it a quick reaction force). Afghanistan (and Bosnia before) have demonstrated just how weak the EC is militarily - they took their peace dividend early, and for granted.

Note that Israel could easily defeat France (in the same way the Turks could march to the Channel nearly unopposed, especially if they chose to fight during non-union hours - weekends and after 4pm - yes, many of the countries have unionized armed forces - game, set and match).

7/17/2006 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger betsybounds said...

I don't know. I haven't had time to read all the posts here, but I notice that the Arab states are rather pointedly failing to support Hizbollah , unlike their usual position vis-a-vis these blow-ups. Is anyone else reminded of Hitler's suppression of the S.A. and murder of Ernst Roehm? These guys are in no hurry to let Iran and its proxies run the game, I don't think.

7/17/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Arab world fed up with Hizbullah is a somewhat remarkable article by Khaled Abu Toameh that lists many statements against H&H made in the Arab press.

Some of the articles appear as if they had been written by Israeli government spokesmen.

How can we ask Israel to have mercy on the Lebanese while Hizbullah is betraying Lebanon day and night?

I wonder what the Arabs will say if Israel attacks Syria?

7/17/2006 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Kofi has been trying to get his bribe-taking paws on American military might for years now. This is just iteration number 321.

What-ever the genocide, natural disaster, famine or war, it always boils down to: insert American soldiers *and* American technology *and* American materiel and then let the UN command them.

Ain't gonna happen, Kofi.

7/17/2006 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

And Uncle Sam's Money.
That'd be Us.

7/24/2006 02:04:00 PM  

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