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July 13, 2006



I see it very differently than Gregory.

It seems to me that Israel is not intending to reoccupy Lebanon , just blockade it so Hezbollah cannot resupply.And, of course, knock out the terrorist camps. This gives Lebanese who wish to reduce Hezbollah's significane and the yoke of Syria over their country, a keen opportunity to do so.

Syrian planes seem to be remaining on the ground BTW..Why? Because cloase order drill teams do not a military might make and fleets of aircraft do not make an air force.

Barney Frank


"Syrian planes seem to be remaining on the ground BTW..Why? Because cloase order drill teams do not a military might make and fleets of aircraft do not make an air force."

That and the fact that every last one of them will be shot down.
I am convinced no ME country is stupid enough to again confront the Israeli's in a conventional war.
And so, they peck away with terrorists until the Islmic bomb is a reality.


Haha the US vetoed the resolution to condemn Israel.



Shorter Belgraviadispatch:

blah blah blah Israel bad for defending itself.

blah blah blah American involvement in Iraq bad.

blah blah blah International community no frigging like when Israel gets pissed off.

blah blah blah Israel only good when it no defends itself. Bad Israel! Bad bad bad Israel.


Frankly it's time to shit or get off the pot. Either terrorism is something that should be stamped out or it's just a fucking hobby for some people with too much time on their hands. Either we kill terrorists and smash them down or we send them Hallmark cards wishing them well in time for the next set of murders.

And I'm utterly unimpressed by the various European nations that are parroting the tired old refrain.

If the Palestinians and Hezbollah want war, then Israel should give them a belly full of war. IMHO I think the USA should finally get off it's ass in this region and *really* support Israel. Let's see a couple aircraft carriers participate in this.

Frankly after all the crap the Palestinians and Hezbollah have done to Americans it's more than time for them to start tasting American steel.

Rick Ballard

"I see it very differently than Gregory."

I'll second that. Just a tad Sept. 10thish with a soupcon of unearned superiority unleavened by experience.

I wonder what is so tough to understand about "a long tough war"? The Palis elected Hamas and now thye're going without food? Gee, that's heartbreaking. Maybe they should try a different brand of thug?

Israel isn't going to take and hold any territory. I wouldn't blame them for establishing a "no breathe zone" that extends to a depth equal to the longest range achieved by a Hamas or Hezbollah rocket.

Israel didn't start this dust up and Hezbollah and Hamas can return the kidnapped soldiers any time. Until then Israel should feel free to destroy infrastructure to the extent that they deem necessary. The Lebanese and Palis can send Iran and Syria the bill.

Jim K.

We have to keep things in perspective here: three soldiers taken hostage should not lead to talk of outright war between Israel and some of her neighbors....

Right, because this is really the only provocative event that Israel has experienced from her neighbors in the past five years. [Do I need to indicate sarcasm here?]

The US government needs to be front and center making the point that restraint is needed at this juncture...

When will these pundits learn that "restraint" is viewed by the Muslim Arabs as a sign of weakness, and only brings on more aggressive attacks?


It may happen in spite of all caution. When the rubber hits the road, Israel is a true ally.

We just ticked off all the Arabs, and most of Europe. And the NYT. :))

Fox says Germany is working behind the scenes to get the Israeli soldiers back.

Mark H.

His piece strikes me as odd too, on the one hand he cautions Israel that they shouldn't do anything, essentially so they don't make others mad at them and have to fight for a long time.

Then on the other he seems to chastise Bush for not doing enough, basically, anywhere. Heck, our senate doesn't even have the staying power to see Iraq through to success, and he thinks they'd stand behind what really needs to be done in the other theaters?


(None of this will get significant coverage in the major right-wing blogs, of course, as there are no 'protest babes' or such filling the streets of Beirut, and so analysis gets a tad more complex, you see, than 'hotties' waving flags and such, but major attacks on Lebanon's infrastructure are not helpful to U.S. policy objectives there).


Appalled Moderate

OK folks. Why won't Isreali action abort the Cedar Revolution and drive Lebanon back into the arms of Syria, and increase hezbollah's street cred?

is Israel messing up the one place actually moving towards democracy without military assistance really so swell for our interests?

I do accept that our interests and Israel's may be different here. Do you? And what do you all want to do about it?

Repeating "It's all Iran's fault" doesn't solve the problem.


"Fox says Germany is working behind the scenes to get the Israeli soldiers back."
Yes, they are going to exchange them for a fast breeder reactor.

The world has not realised that with terrorist a policy of Zero Tolerance is essential,every concession is regarded as a weakness,leading to an escalation of violence.
There are no lower limits to their over sensitive irascibility and no upper limits to their demands and ambitions,they are either at your throat or at your feet.


"Did Israel really need to bomb Beirut's international airport today, for instance?"

Only if they are trying to prevent:

A: Evacuation of the kidapped soldiers to a foreign country by air.

B: Reinforcement of Hezbollah from a foreign country by air.


"is Israel messing up the one place actually moving towards democracy without military assistance really so swell for our interests?"

What Israel might be doing is giving some concrete evidence to the people of Lebanon that Hezbollah might not be acting in the best interest of Lebanese security overall. I would imagine that there is going to be additional internal resentment against Hezbollah for precipitating this. The delicate line is for Israel not to push so hard as to cause solidarity with Hezbollah.

The problem is that Israel has exchanged prisoners in the past. When you do that, you guarantee people will try to do it again in the future. Whenever you negotiate with terrorists, you can bet it won't be the last time because they will be back to "negotiate" again. Israel needs to be very clear that there will never be another prisoner exchange again ever.

Barney Frank

"Repeating "It's all Iran's fault" doesn't solve the problem."

No, but decapitating Iran's government might.

Jim in Chicago

No comments over at Belgravia anymore?

I guess Greg got tired of challenges to his world view? (a world-view which btw could get him a cushy job at State someday regurgitating the stripy pants common wisdom!).

The only surprise is that he didn't find a way to work some good ole down-home Rummy bashing into his musings on Israel.


Yeah, seems one strategic goal is to isolate Hezbollah from Syria and Iran, new "breaking news" banner just appeared at Fox:

"Israeli Jets Blast Main Route Between Beirut and Damascus"


John Murtha and company wanted our military to be positioned,"near By"
Well, now we are near by. Is Iraq near enough, John?


What is proportionate retaliation if it is not "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth"?


Murtha was right,"Over the horizon"


I'd like to send Murtha "over the Horizon"

More strikes by the IAF, looks like Shiite suburbs of Beirut. Saudi Arabis tells Hezbollah "you asked for it, now you're gonna get it". Is this amazing or what?


Israel liberates Lebanon.


I think displacement is the only way to explain anti-Bush and anti-Israeli animus. A twisted psche that wants to believe that were it not for them there wouldn't be evil Islamicfascists who want to kill us. Really, it is inexplicable any other way.


Beats me.

I know I don't want them in charge of this country - we would be in big trouble. They have no kidea how perverted their POV is.


Today is July 13 (PDT), we have had one named tropical storm to date this year. At this point last year, the 5th storm of the year was brewing in the Gulf of Mexico (amazing how storms always brew, busses always plunge, etc). No tropical storm formation is expected in the Atlantic through at least Saturday.

That is all.


Reduction in storms, another sign of global warming.


Already the apolopetic adjectives about a humanitarian crisis are starting to flow from western appeasers.

But ya gotta love Greg's worry that some Palestinians are now eating only once a day -- Cindy's goal and every Fur's dream?


They thought Israel would blink. This is a different day, although, this does prove why no one should ever negotiate for hostages - it guarantees that it will happen again.


Thanks for the weather bulletin. Looks like Al's movie might be having a measureable affect. Too soon to call for a sequel, though.


I think displacement is the only way to explain anti-Bush and anti-Israeli animus. A twisted psche that wants to believe that were it not for them there wouldn't be evil Islamicfascists who want to kill us.

No kidding.

I think it's more existential though. Most of them had to believe al Qaeda attacked us on 9/11 (though not all believe that, of course) so we're at 'war' with al Qaeda. That's kinda okay. Sorta. In Afghanistan anyway. For a few weeks before a quagmire sets in. That's all they can tolerate.

But to accept the fact that al Qaeda shares the same ideology as other terrorist groups around the world, including Hezbollah and Hamas, is accepted by them they have to CHANGE THEIR BELIEFS. And they won't do that.

Specifically their belief about Israel.

Imagine an al Qaeda army on America's border kidnapping Americans and tossing rockets into American cities.

Oh, but that's different, they would say.

Different how?

Beats me.


EU's making only modest blips..Saudis give them the back of their hand--no fund drives, no attacks on Israel. Abdullah made some bleeps (his country's crawling with Palies); Lebanese pissed at Hezbollah;Syria's "air force" on the ground. I smell a seismic shift.


Hey, it was an open thread.

I am going to make an entry in my own blog but wanted to try to state my opinion on this whole Hamas + Hezbollah situation in a nutshell and see if I am off base as to why this time it's different.

Both Hamas and Hezbollah are elected political parties that play roles in the government of their respective community. Therefore, an action by these parties against a foreign nation across recognized borders is an act for which their respective governments can be held responsible.

This talk that somehow Israel should spare the Lebanese infrastructre and only attack Hezbollah or in the Palestinian Territories, only attack Hamas makes sense only if you ignore their respective roles in their government and try to have things both ways at the same time. For purposes of terrorism, one would want to say those entities are separate from the government but for legislative purposes, one would want to say they are part of the government. That can not be.

If they are going to have the privilege of governing, they must also have the responsibility that goes with it. And if the people should elevate these parties to office, they (the people) should be prepared to suffer the injustices and crimes they (the terrorists) bring with them.


Bolton to UN: "We call on Syria to cease support of Hezbollah"

also calls on Lebanese leaders to come forward and lead.


Austin Bay has an interesting piece to the effect that unless Syria is involved crushing Hezbollah is insufficient. Yesterday Syria warned it was getting in in a statement issued by the Syrian Baathist party which never mentions Assad.
Today Israel struck military targets just inside the Syrian border.,7340,L-3276056,00.html


Heard just now that Syria says they can intervene if the US says the magic words. hmmm. What do they want?

IMO, there is no backing down now. We must support Israel, Israel must not stop. We know what the terrorists want, and *they* are not going to stop. They want to annihilate Israel and the west.


*******AS Israel enters the third week of an incursion into the same Gaza Strip it voluntarily evacuated a few months ago, a sense of reality among Arabs is spreading through commentary by Arab pundits, letters to the editor, and political talk shows on Arabic language TV networks.

The new views are stunning both in their maturity and in their realism. The best way I can think of to convey them is in the form of a letter to the Palestinian Arabs from their Arab friends:

Dear Palestinian Arab brethren:
The war with Israel is over.

You have lost. Surrender and negotiate to secure a future for your children.

We, your Arab brothers, may say until we are blue in the face that we stand by you, but the wise among you and most of us know that we are moving on, away from the tired old idea of the Palestinian Arab cause and the “eternal struggle” with Israel.

Dear friends, you and your leaders have wasted three generations trying to fight for Palestine, but the truth is the Palestine you could have had in 1948 is much bigger than the one you could have had in 1967, which in turn is much bigger than what you may have to settle for now or in another 10 years. Struggle means less land and more misery and utter loneliness.

At the moment, brothers, you would be lucky to secure a semblance of a state in that Gaza Strip into which you have all crowded, and a small part of the West Bank of the Jordan. It isn’t going to get better. Time is running out even for this much land, so here are some facts, figures, and sound advice, friends.

You hold keys, which you drag out for television interviews, to houses that do not exist or are inhabited by Israelis who have no intention of leaving Jaffa, Haifa, Tel Aviv, or West Jerusalem.

You shoot old guns at modern Israeli tanks and American-made fighter jets, doing virtually no harm to Israel while bringing the wrath of its mighty army down upon you.

You fire ridiculously inept Kassam rockets that cause little destruction and delude yourselves into thinking this is a war of liberation.

Your government, your social institutions, your schools, and your economy are all in ruins.

Your young people are growing up illiterate, ill, and bent on rites of death and suicide, while you, in effect, are living on the kindness of foreigners, including America and the United Nations.

Every day your officials must beg for your daily bread, dependent on relief trucks that carry food and medicine into the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, while your criminal Muslim fundamentalist Hamas government continues to fan the flames of a war it can neither fight nor hope to win.

In other words, brothers, you are down, out, and alone in a burnt-out landscape that is shrinking by the day.

What kind of struggle is this? Is it worth waging at all?

More important, what kind of miserable future does it portend for your children, the fourth or fifth generation of the Arab world’s have-nots?

We, your Arab brothers, have moved on.

Those of us who have oil money are busy accumulating wealth and building housing, luxury developments, state-of-the-art universities and schools, and new highways and byways.

Those of us who share borders with Israel, such as Egypt and Jordan, have signed a peace treaty with it and are not going to war for you any time soon.

Those of us who are far away, in places like North Africa and Iraq, frankly could not care less about what happens to you.

Only Syria continues to feed your fantasies that someday it will join you in liberating Palestine, even though a huge chunk of its territory, the entire Golan Heights, was taken by Israel in 1967 and annexed.

The Syrians, my friends, will gladly fight down to the last Palestinian Arab.

Before you got stuck with this Hamas crowd, another cheating, conniving, leader of yours, Yasser Arafat, sold you a rotten bill of goods – more pain, greater corruption, and millions stolen by his relatives – while your children played in the sewers of Gaza.

The war is over. Why not let a new future begin?


Arab FMs hold emergency summit | Jerusalem Post: "The Saudi foreign minister appeared to be leading a camp of ministers criticizing the guerrilla group's actions, calling them 'unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible acts.'

'These acts will pull the whole region back to years ago, and we cannot simply accept them,' Saudi al-Faisal told his counterparts.

Supporting his stance were representatives of Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, delegates said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks."> Sea change


Interesting article

are these the magic words?

"Palestinian factions issued a statement Saturday calling on Arab foreign ministers to "overcome their differences, and take a united Arab position pressuring the American administration to amend its pro-Israel position, boycott Israel and support the steadfastness and resistance of the Lebanese and Palestinian people."


*****That does not mean the IDF is now committed to attack Bushehr and Natanz, the two most likely nuclear targets in Iran. But if it can cripple the threat from Hezbollah and Hamas for some time to come, it is clearing a strategic space to strike at Iran itself.

So far there have been some astonishingly supportive noises from Arab sources – historically unprecedented ones. The Saudis have publicly tut-tutted—- against Hezbollah (!) (which is Shiite and supported by Saudi Arabia’s biggest existential threat across the Gulf). Lebanese newspapers have voiced public hatred of Hezbollah and its Syrian allies, and little criticism of Israel’s actions. Most surprisingly, the Iranians have drawn a line in the sand, but so as to exclude their allies in Lebanon. Ahmadinejad just told the world that Israel must not attack Syria, but he has said nothing about Hezbollah, now under fierce and systematic attack. In public, at least, Iran has already retreated.

For the United States, worried about nukes in the hands of a creature like Ahmadinejad, Israel is also acting as a proxy. The US is now going through the UN rituals needed to make a diplomatic case against a medieval throwback theocracy armed with strategic weapons. If Condi Rice succeeds at the UN, there will be a civilized alliance against the common danger; but it’s not likely to happen as long as Uncle Sam will do it (and be blamed for it, too). The administration will wants to make its public case, to the extent possible. The US cannot act militarily at this time.

Israel is therefore sending America’s message by striking hard against the Syria-Iran alliance. Two weeks ago the IDF overflew Syrian President Bashir Assad’s summer home, the second time it has sent jet fighters buzzing Assad’s personal residences in the last few years. Syria’s anti-aircraft batteries were eloquently silent. The Arab world took quiet notice. *********


contrary to Ed Morrissey, this Lebanese man says Lebanon will benefit from the clearing out of Hezbollah and the weakening of Syria.


CNN and Greta are doing their best to show the plight of the trapped.

CNN had a long segment with some air-head American complaining that the US hadn't evacuated her while South Africa had buses 2 days ago to get their people out.

I hope someone puts this lady on one of the buses to Syria, the evacuation route taken by the buses that left. Sure Assad would be happy to welcome her.

Sunday morning shows should be priceless. Expect CNN to have another Larry King roundtable with 5 Clintonistas/Carterites, a Rino or 2 and Zogby and the SNL Syrian


I have to stop watching Biden talk - one day I will end up destroying my own TV.


Nasrallah on Lebanese TV - it would be a good time to hit the transmitter.


from a Lebanese blogger:
"And all of this talk about Israel targeting civillians really pisses me off. Let me clear it up for you once and for all: Hamas and Hezbollah don't have military bases: they plan, operate and attack from homes, where their families are. The Israelis, in order to retaliate, they have to attack those homes, which always lead to those women and children, who live in those houses, to die. If Hamas and Hezbollah don;t want civillians to die, don;t fuckin plan your attacks or launch your attacks near civillians. But you know they do this on purpose, so it would look bad on the Israeli if they attacked. Dude, they called the airport 1 hour before they hit it to have it evacuated, they warned all of southern Beirut yesterday to take cover because they don't want to kill them. Not hezbollah. Hezbollah doesn't give a shit who their missiles hit. And somehow, they remain blameless in the arab mind: after all, they are not jews. Listen, you can not talk shit about how you will beat and destory Israel, and then scream "Humanatarian crisis" when they hit you back. Either suffer the consequences of your actions or SHUT THE FUCK UP. I am sick and tired of your fuckin POSING!

I keep thinking that this is the opprutune time for the lebanese army to go in and disarm hezbollah, and end this once and for all. But they won't. Not because they are above it or because of some notions of nationalism or shit like that: they hate Hezbollah more than Israel does. They simply won;t do it because their army is on permenant vacation and can not be botherd to actually fight, well, anyone.

(At Truth Laid Bear you can read blogs from throughout the region(Paelstine,Lebanon and Israel)

Rick Ballard


I don't understand. Biden is a leader in the Democratic Party and a contender for the nomination in '08. I think he should appear on TV as much as possible - with Kerry, Gore, Clinton, Murtha, Reid and Pelosi beside him. Well, maybe not Pelosi, she makes babies cry.

How else will people ever come to understand the true depth and breadth of thought within the Democratic Party?

PS - A chicken wire screen erected about one foot in front of the TV is adequate protection for most thrown objects.


PS - A chicken wire screen erected about one foot in front of the TV is adequate protection for most thrown objects.

Haha! Good idea.

Diane Feinstein and Trent Lott are agreeing!! I think I'm going to faint.


Someone did a fab take down on Biden the other day..wish I could remember the blogger..all the fake manly posturing and dopey talk.

"Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz said on Sunday afternoon that the more advanced Fajar missiles that were fired with a barrage of other rockets at Haifa on Sunday morning, killing eight people, were made in Syria">Syria


Rick, I found the Biden piece--here's a teaser:
"What did he just say? Basically, that our policy in Iraq is confused and uncertain. Hillary or Warner or Feingold could have said the same thing. They do say the same thing, and often. But could any of them have dressed it up with such a blend of centripetal vacuity and Naked and the Dead machismo?"

Rick Ballard


The piece is far too kind to Biden. The author does do an excellent job of exploring the hole that the Dems are digging. I heard a Dem representative this morning (I didn't catch the name) refer to Hezbollah as insurgents. Someone should let the Lebanese government in on that secret.

I don't see how Israel can avoid invading after the attacks on Haifa. What happens when Hezbollah uses chemical arms? What would a "proportionate response" look like?


By today the Israelis should be mobilized and heading in to clear out the Hezbollah nests..And the Golan heights.(How often do you hear "proportionate" response except in reaction to a perfectly legitimate Israeli response?)
Rice says we are providing the Israelis with the additional aviation fuel they requested; we will not seek a temporary cease fire (they will have to regroup under fire this time).

Yes, the Dems are in a box now. So is the NYT. I wonder how many upper west side readers will stick with them now and as far as I can tell they and academics are what's left.


State Dept is telling Americans in Lebanon to stay where they are, it is too dangerous now to get them out. Damn.


Powerline has a great post from Joel Mowbry in Israel. LGF notes how CNN is rooting for Hezbollah and Burriss has a great satire on how CNN's newsroom is being run by Ward Churchill( a conceded riff off the RCP bit on how Rove did the same to the NYT).


CNN is so obvious - giving lots of airtime to anti-Israel comments and then grilling the Israeli PM as if it were a criminal interrogation.


From a Lebanese blogger--news that the Lebanese state has finally lost its patience with Hezbollah:

*******In an emotional address to the Lebanese people, PM Fouad Siniora declared Lebanon a disaster area, and called for 3 things:

1- An immediate cease fire brokered by the UN

2- The Lebanese state to extend its control over all lebanese territories with UN help. He vowed that Lebanese will additionally abide by the 1949 armstice agreement with Israel.

3- Called on Lebanon's friends to send humanitarian aid and economic assistance to Lebanon

Siniora condemned the unjustified Israeli aggression on Lebanon and held Israel responsible for the humanitarian catastrophy. Most importantly, he said the "Lebanese state will not rise if it is the last to know." He reiterated that he did not condone Hizbullah's operation (he did not call Hizbullah resistance). He said "only the state has the right to make war decisions."

With this, Lebanon's prime minister has officially pulled the plug on Hizbullah. Yet his government is weak, which is why he asked for UN help.

Who else could Lebanon turn to? The first step was taken. Hizbullah is illegal in the eyes of the Lebanese cabinet. Next: UN must step in to help the Lebanese government, weakened after decades of Syrian hegemony, to take the country back.

Siniora ended his speech with tears and a promise to all of us that Lebanon will "remain."

UPDATE. Israel has rejected Siniora's call for a cease fire, according to LBC.

UPDATE 2. I don't know what LBC's source was, but AP has the Israeli reaction.

"It's an excellent declaration but he doesn't need our permission... We have to see what they do and not what they say," Vice Premier Shimon Peres told Israel's Channel 2 TV. He said Lebanon has to prove it is serious by deploying troops on the southern border.

"A foreign body (Hezbollah) has entered the area and it's your job to get them out of there," he said.

The AP story carries a better translation of the Siniora address.

"We call for working to extend the state's authority over all its territories in south Lebanon, in cooperation with the United Nations, and working to recover all Lebanese territories and exercising full sovereignty of the state over those territories," Saniora said in a televised address to the nation.

His voice cracking with emotion, Saniora criticized Hezbollah without naming the group, saying Lebanon "cannot rise and get back on its feet if its government is the last to know."

"The government alone has the legitimate right to decide on matters of peace and war because it represents the will of the Lebanese people," he said.

Saniora called for the United Nations to intervene to stop bloody cross-border fighting between Israel and Hezbollah in south Lebanon.

"We call for an immediate and comprehensive cease-fire under United Nations auspices," he said.***********


Apparently Israel doesn't believe that anything is being done by the Lebanese government to stop Hezbollah.

I saw that speech - he is desperate.


From a Lebanese blogger:
"I haven't heard any bombings tonight. That could change.

The majority of people are angry with the IDF. Some are cheering them on.

In Beirut, people have stopped talking much about internal politics. In the regions, it's becoming more sectarian.

This evening, Hajj Abed, an old man from Saida who is regularly quoted on this blog as an example of Sunni sentiment in Lebanon, said, "What are they doing? What does Lebanon have to do with Haifa? Why strike Haifa? What's there for us? What will it accomplish?"

Contrarily, many in the Shia community are remaining loyal to the cause, but becoming ever more disheartened. Zeina, a Hezbollah supporter, claims she does not want the destruction of Israel. She supports Hezbollah for sectarian Lebanese issues and because of the legacy of the organization in her area. They helped her and her family when they needed the support most. She supports their policy objectives: to free the prison, and return the Shebaa Farms to Lebanon. She supports a Palestinian state. She supports a strong Lebanese state. She does not support te destruction of Israel, or taking the lives of Israeli civilians. However, the more Lebanese civilians are killed, the more faith she places in Hezbollah.

Zeina, and the Shia community, are in a tight bind. They need to have a major internal sect discussion about their goals for the nation. They need to hammer out the inconsistencies of supporting a strong state, while also supporting an independent, state-within-a-state militant Islamic party that commits aggressive acts against neighboring countries and places full allegiance in foreign governments. It's quite an awkward spot.

Nick, an American friend, is leaving the country because he worries what will happen when the fighting ends. There will be a lot of angry, unemployed people roaming around without homes. If the conflict doesn't end, how soon is it until they start kidnappings again? Most people argue that Hezbollah and other Lebanese parties won't kidnap foreigners, but he points out that Hezbollah's current position is based on the kidnapping of foreigners. It's a policy created by the Iranians and used effectively against Western governments.

There are no arms fights on the streets. There are no boots on the ground. If that happens, then anything can happen. The government will lose all control. It doesn't have much to begin with.
posted by lebanon.profile



Don;t forget Michael Totten when you are looking for Beruit insight. He has a home in southern Beruit. He is one of my all time favorite bloggers.


Thanks. I'll check it, Jane.

Here's something instapundit cited and I think it's good (the senseless double standard of the impotent):

"In a similar vein, Ray D. of Davids Medienkritik has this to say about the German magazine Spiegel Online:

According to SPIEGEL, Americans are warmongers, mercenaries, cowboys, Rambos, religious nuts and conceited bungling occupiers who have created a catastrophe-disaster-debacle-quagmire-civil war in the Middle East. And now the same online magazine wants us to believe that the current crisis in the region "calls for US leadership"!? Does that make sense to anyone else? Could it be that the United States really is a positive force in the world and not the summation of vile stereotypes and chronic biases displayed on German newsstands?

And never mind that Europe can do little about the crisis other than look on in bumbling impotence. This is all America's fault, because Bush is not being decisive enough and has allegedly tied his nation down in Iraq. Mascolo quotes Time magazine's assertion that America is too weak to act because it has "bled itself white in Iraq." Bled itself white with fewer US deaths in Iraq than on 9/11 alone? Bled itself white with dozens or even hundreds of times fewer casualties than in previous wars? As an historic reminder to Mr. Mascolo, the United States suffered 81,000 casualties and 19,000 combat deaths in the Battle of the Bulge alone, and the nation was certainly not too weak to finish the task of occupying Germany.

I'm not so naive as to think that all Germans necessarily feel this way. Specifically, though, I find Spiegel Online to be like the child who declares his parents unfair and unjust for disapproving of his rebelliousness, but then turns around and demands a raise in the allowance so he can carry on with that very rebellion.

Hopefully Spiegel Online doesn't speak for all Germans. I suspect they represent Germans about as well as, say, Newsweek or Time represent all Americans. But certainly, by the very inconsistency of their protestations, they cannot be taken seriously. It would be like saying that the editors at Vanity Fair ought to be given run of the United States. "


I wondered if Ariel Sharon had longer term plans for the Gaza pullout - to position the Hamas and Hizbollah in a way that Israel can win against them.

Nah, we're not warmongers but so sad that it's the reputation that we're getting.


He agreed to the pullout so he could go in again if he had to, without having to first take care of protecting the settlers.


Speaking of Biden again, when he is on with George Allen, watch Allen's facial expressions. They're priceless.


"Giving Aid And Comfort To The Enemy
That's what it reads like to me. If the NY Times had covered Auschwitz, I suppose they'd be telling us how dedicated the guards were, tirelessly working through the never ending lines of Jews."


Oopsie - just peel back that URL and it will work anyway.



Delicate Intelligence information coming out of Hezbollah indicated that the 2 missing captives of the Israeli Army Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev have been smuggled outside Southern Lebanon to the capital.

They are secretly being held at the Embassy of Iran in Beirut, under direct Iranian security guards supervision."


Iran rejecting the US-EU Energy offer.

Sweetness n light has something interesting about the Sunnis in Iraqi (OT).

May God bless Israel and its captured Israeli soldiers.

G8 agreed to condemn Hizbollah (check Lucianne). 'bout time; although limited as a diplomatic move.

Isn't Blair looking to move in international soldiers into Israel?

Israel has to win this one.


Jeff Jacoby points out that it all boils down to Iran.

I believe he is right on this one.

Michael Totten is not very happy that Israel attacked Lebanon and doesn't believe Israel should've attacked Lebanon.


Now this helps explain why Israel went after Lebanon.

American Thinker has a new article up:

Apocalyptic Muslim Jew-hatred

NRO links:

Eradication First...Before Diplomacy

Nasrallah in his own words


If the kidnap victims are in the Iranian embassy, then all Lebanon has to do is send in an overwhelming force (a couple of hundred soldiers and police ought to do it) to take over the embassy. Shackle them and drive the whole lot down to the Israeli border, and sort out who is who.

Then Israel and Lebanon can trade the Iranian ambassador and his staff for Iran giving up their nuclear program. And Lebanon can expel all Iranians and Syrians from the country.

Hizbollah got the Lebanese into this logjam with their outrageous behavior. Maybe the Lebanese need some outrageous behavior on their side to get out.

cathy :-)


I see that Blair, Annan, and Putin are looking to move in international troops into Israel but Israel believes that this will hinder their plans but would welcome Lebanese troops to help wage war against Hamas and Hizbollah.


Even Mark Steyn and Barak agree.

Peacekeeping">">Peacekeeping failures of the past

No wonder Israel doesn't want peacekeepers. They want UN to stand up against terrorism, including Iran.

Good for Israel.


A letter from a marine in Iraq.


Texas Style conversation!!

Chirac surrenders.

Remember this??

"Does anyone recall our expedition to Lebanon in the early 1980s was a "peacekeeping force" intended to force Israel out of Lebanon? Does anyone recall how well that worked out? Not only did it not stop Hezbollah and its patron Syria from attacking the Israelis, we ended up with 243 dead Marines after a terrorist attack. Reagan withdrew our forces, yet another lesson for the Islamofascists that the Americans would not fight back against terrorists."


International troops

I would not send my own marines there to protect Hizbollah.


The Corner's Michael Rubin reminds readers of the disastrous role of UN peacekeeping forces in the Middle East:

An International Force for Lebanon? [Michael Rubin]

Both Tony Blair and Kofi Annan are calling for deployment of an international peacekeeping force to Lebanon. Yeah, right. Three reasons why it’s a bad idea:
The 1983 bombing of U.S. peacekeepers and their subsequent withdrawal;
The 2003 bombing of UN peacekeepers in Iraq and their subsequent withdrawal; and,
While it’s now forgotten in the West, Hizbullah crossed the border once before and kidnapped Israeli soldiers. The UN’s response? They videotaped the attack and refused at first to acknowledge it in order to preserve their “neutrality.” Read the second half of this for details.
Sadly, terrorists believe that international peacekeepers are toothless. They are right. Let’s call the Annan-Blair plan what it is: A Hizbullah Re-empowerment Plan.
Posted at 10:36 AM[/quote]

But he forgot the most important UN peacekeeping force failure in the area:

In 1957 Israel withdrew from the Sinai to be replaced by the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) whose job it was to maintain the cease fire. As soon as Egypt began to remilitarize the Sinai, it demanded the UN withdraw which it did in apparent violation of the terms of the deal. Egypt followed by blockading the Strait of Tiran and those acts led directly to the Six Day War.

Lesson: If you want peace you must fight to a definitive victory. If you want more war, send in UN peacekeeping troops.



You are selling Totten short. He thinks the attack was justified, but he hates it. Easy to understand since that is his second home.


Clarice -- they missed the most obvious comment about UN peacekeepers in Lebanon -- that they are already there. To quote the Captain:

UPDATE: Er, Kofi, you already have a UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon. It's called UNIFIL. So far, they've obviously been a huge benefit to peace in the region.


An international farce.


Too late, the earlier blog is up..but it's a good point.


On disproportionate response:
In WW II, the total German dead were 10.82% of the population, and the much lower Japanese rate was 3.61%. But the UK lost 0.94% and the USA 0.32%. Were the Allied defenders of freedom “dis-proportionate”?

JM Hanes


I'm a Totten fan myself, and when he has a different take on things, I think he's worth a serious listen.

I'm afraid I think the attacks are justified, and hate it too. And yet, with Hezbollah's ever increasing support from Syria & Iran (whose recently inked defense pact is especially significant regionally in light of Iran's newly unabashed belligerence), Lebanon's democratic future may have been infinitely more fragile than any of us might have liked to think or hope. Without the capacity to disarm Hezbollah, Lebanon itself, as well as Israel, has remained at deadly serious, also increasing, risk.

I hate to say as well that I think that if there were ever a moment when "disarming" Hezbollah might be remotely possible, this may be it. I hate to think of the possibilities should speculation about Iraqi WMD in the Bekka Valley prove true. I'm not sure "reining in" Israel in the name of yet another temporary truce (and ultimately respite for its attackers) will work any long term benefit. It seems Nasrallah and his backers did not, in fact, anticipate an Israeli all out response, and that perhaps as a result, the sudden unexpected shift in the status quo may end up working to Iran's disadvantage in a way that the diplomatic initiatives have clearly failed to do. If Israel's neighbors are -- for practically the first time ever -- condemning Hezbollah instead of Israel, it's because they fear Iran (and Iran + Syria + Lebanon) most of all.

The European response has been relatively muted as well, and if France could just manage to keep its nose clean for once -- which already seems unlikely, alas -- there actually exists an opportunity, however slight, for a major Euro-Anglo-ME diplomatic coalition which could confront the underlying Sino-Soviet support which is ultimately keeping Iranian and other malefactors in business.

With apologies for major run-on sentencing, I'm just going hit Post instead attempting a fix!


Andy McCarthy - time to stand with our partners.

Jane, my apologies for the appearance of selling it short. I actually agree with Totten. He deserves to be unhappy about it. I see that he closed his comments sections due to some insults. I hope he opens it up soon.


JM Hanes, I agree!

And hard to believe this...

Rallying for Israel


Totten should save his anger for the UN which passed a resolution (that Lebanon should control the border) knowing that was physically and politically impossible and the situation was bound to worsen. (BTW it's my understanding that the weal Lebanese army is largely composed of Shiites sympathetic to Hamas.)


**Hizbullah*(Not Hamas)


As for "proportionate" responses go, I don't think that it's possible for Israel to mount a "proportionate" response. Since virtually all of Hizbullah's actions are war crimes, the IDF would have to have way more sociopaths than they have in order to keep up the pace of war crimes. The IDF just has way too many decent and moral people to be able to match Hizbullah tit for tat on atrocities...

cathy :-)


IDF needs another week to alleviate Hizbullah threat

I hope less. May God bless Israel.


One week?

IDF/IAF always seem to have their objections predetermined and a good understanding of their opponents before their things happen.

Baseball Crank has a mention of putting peacekeepers in south Lebanon -- and what a limbo of an idea that would be.

Between limbo and calculated-ness, calculated-ness is so much finer.

But what would even finer would be an equal ability at winning peacekeeping.


Hizbollah fired off rockets, about a minute apart for one hour.

With 15,000 rockets that they had before the start of the war, ...

Hezbollah fires rocket-a-minute at Israel

Mass evacuations in process.


15,000 rockets divided by 60 rockets/hour is 250 hours.

At what point does carpet-bombing southern Lebanon and the Shiite suburbs of Beirut become "proportionate"? 10 continuous days of rocket barrages looks like we're there.

An interesting thing about the international "community" harping on the word "disproportionate." It gives a huge opening to the Israelis, if they exploit it and harp on it.

"Stop it now, or face a proportionate response!"

"We have avoided retaliating with a proportionate response, but we only have so much patience!"

"We warned them they would face a proportionate response, and they ignored the warnings!"

cathy :-)


In today's Wash Times Bill Gertz refutues the CW and says Israel in fact has the physical capacity to take out Iran's nukes.

Barney Frank

A county's response is proportionate to the extent it eliminates the threat to its citizens from an aggresive neighbor. Unfortunately for Lebanon, eliminating the threat from fanatics like hiz'b allah means hunting every last man jack one of them down and shooting them or blowing them up.


Iran continues its stance of wiping out Israel. Sigh.

When will the world wake up and go after Iran?

Gary Maxwell

Wasn't the deterrence during the Cold War based not on MAD or mutually assured destruction but rather on any attack triggering a massive and therefore "disproportionate" response? Since when, it is appropriate to criticize a strategy that the entire West endorsed for 50 years?


I think Tehran just made a frightful miscalculation:
"TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's Hizbollah, which claims links to the Lebanese group of the same name, said on Tuesday it stood ready to attack Israeli and U.S. interests worldwide.

"We have 2,000 volunteers who have registered since last year," said Iranian Hizbollah's spokesman Mojtaba Bigdeli, speaking by telephone from the central seminary city of Qom.

"They have been trained and they can become fully armed. We are ready to dispatch them to every corner of the world to jeopardise Israel and America's interests. We are only waiting for the Supreme Leader's green light to take action. If America wants to ignite World War Three ... we welcome it," he said.

Iranian religious organisations have made great public show of recruiting volunteers for "martyrdom-seeking operations" in recent years, usually threatening U.S. interests in case of any attack against the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme.">Big Mistake


Another mistake:
"British Prime Minister Tony Blair tonight directly accused Iran of supplying weapons to attack British troops in Basra. In a statement on the latest Middle East crisis, the premier said Iran was giving the same weapons to Hezbollah to wage their war against Israel as those that were used in Iraq."


Hizballah Human Shield Watch

When will the world get smart enough to want to wipe out Hizbollah, Iran, and Syria.

And check to see what Jeff Goldstein had to say about Juan Cole


United States to Israel: you have one more week to blast Hizbullah


FBI eyes Hizbollah in US as tensions with Iran rise

Barney Frank

Here's a site with some info that is pretty disturbing.

If Israel is lucky this is a CIA assessment, although I suspect a good deal of the intelligence is Israeli.


Now we have blind spots!

Confusing piece.

We don't want to talk about blind spots because...

The Bush administration has long sought to focus attention on Iranian missile proliferation, and regularly discusses with journalists intelligence evidence of those activities. But American officials in Washington made clear this week that they were reluctant to detail Iran’s arming of Hezbollah in the current conflict.

The reason, according to officials across the government, was a desire by the Bush administration to contain the conflict to Israeli and Hezbollah forces, and not to enlarge the diplomatic tasks by making Iranian missile supplies, or even those of Syria, a central question for now.


We should have known? Or -- we knew but we didn't tell Israel? The journalists should have told Israel, maybe? Ah ha!


I saw yesterday an article about a bunch of veiled female suicide bombers at a rally. Geez, if that wasn't an event that needed a cruise missile, I don't know what is!

I can just imagine the post-operation press conference, "But-but-but -- we thought that's what you wanted! Women! They say they want something, then they get all mad when you give it to them..."

cathy :-)

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