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View Full Version : Israel warns of "extreme action" to free a soldier captured by Palestinian militants



SS Tiger
06-28-2006, 04:48 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/mid...st/5124872.stm


Israeli troops have dug into positions in south Gaza, having crossed the border overnight following airstrikes on three bridges and a power station.

I have been watching this unfold since last night, I hope they extract their man, without any losses.

Outerheaven
06-28-2006, 07:31 PM
This is exciting. Im to young to have seen Isreal kick *** in there last war. Of course a full blown war won't happen. But I'm probably going to see what Isreal is all about. This is what I like about that country, they don't take crap from anybody.:D

SS Tiger
06-28-2006, 09:43 PM
I agree, Israel has one of the most advanced military forces on the planet. Also alot of their tech they research and develop themselves.

Update: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5127556.stm


Israeli ground forces have reportedly entered northern Gaza, intensifying an assault on the territory sparked by the capture of a soldier by militants.

SS Tiger
07-02-2006, 12:49 PM
Update: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5138616.stm



Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has ordered the military to intensify its actions in Gaza to secure the release of a captured Israeli soldier. Mr Olmert said he had instructed Israel's forces "to do everything" to free 19-year-old Cpl Gilad Shalit.

Firefly
07-02-2006, 01:54 PM
Although I have always admired Israel. I do note that certain double standards are employed when it comes to them. Imagine what the US would say or do if Syria did the same in Southern Turkey or if Iran was to do the same, or Jordan, or Egypt.

I dont think what they are doing is wrong, it just sems that they can and others cant.

Ingsoc
07-02-2006, 03:53 PM
Although I have always admired Israel. I do note that certain double standards are employed when it comes to them. Imagine what the US would say or do if Syria did the same in Southern Turkey or if Iran was to do the same, or Jordan, or Egypt.

I dont think what they are doing is wrong, it just sems that they can and others cant.

On the contrary, just look at how many harsh cirticism is directed at Israel, no one even mention that after the IDF retreat from the Gaza strip it was the Palestines who targeted Israeli cities and militry outpost inside the green line, now just imagine what would happend if for example Ireland would do the same at it's border with Britain, considering this I think the IDF actions was extremly restrained.

Firefly
07-02-2006, 04:08 PM
You just proved my point there. For 30 years the IRA crossed the border almost at will. The UK government at no time during this period crossed the border into Eire in force (if at all intentionally) to eliminate a known threat.

I dont disagree with the IDF actions, but at the same time I can agree with the inequality of the treatment that Israel has in comparison to other nations.

The UK would have been villified as an imperialist state if it incurred into Eire in the 70's.

SS Tiger
07-02-2006, 04:40 PM
Update: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5139108.stm


The military wing of the governing Palestinian party, Hamas, has said it will attack targets inside Israel if Israel does not end its Gaza offensive.

StalingradK
07-03-2006, 06:36 AM
This is what I like about that country, they don't take crap from anybody.

They've actually taken a lot of crap from Palestine for a long time without doing anything serious. Time for a lil payback.

SS Tiger
07-05-2006, 08:23 PM
Update: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5152326.stm



A small force of Israeli tanks and armoured vehicles has moved into northern Gaza and has reportedly entered a former Israeli settlement.

SS Tiger
07-06-2006, 07:48 PM
Update: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5153036.stm


Twenty-two Palestinians and an Israeli have reportedly been killed in the bloodiest day of violence since Israel pushed into the Gaza Strip.

Outerheaven
07-07-2006, 12:40 AM
Thanks for the update Tiger. Looks like things are heating up. Does anyone believe Israel will get back their soilder alive? All this killing for one man. I think SPR said it best: "You want to explain the math of this to me? I mean, where's the sense in risking the lives of the eight of us to save one guy?" -Pvt Reiben

SS Tiger
07-07-2006, 01:07 PM
The numbers of people lost is irrelevant, it’s the principle that Palestine will not be allowed to take an Israeli and get away with it.

Outerheaven
07-07-2006, 02:37 PM
The numbers of people lost is irrelevant, it’s the principle that Palestine will not be allowed to take an Israeli and get away with it. Sending in a SF team will achive the same results minus the cost of a full blown operation. Thousands of people are suffering on account of the embargo Israel set into place against Palestine. Just like in Iraq, and Afghanistan not all Palestinians are terrorists. It's this eye for an eye idea that has plagued this land for thousands of years. This is not going to stop the terrorist and I don't think anything will. You know religion for some is to become free, It seems like religion has just in prisioned humanity to war. It's a sad state to world is in right now.

SS Tiger
07-07-2006, 02:57 PM
I can only assume the Israelis don't know the location of their man, if they did I assume it would be a small assault followed by a helicopter extraction.


Religion has become a barrier, but Islam seems to be the worst. If any other religion feels that something is not right they will normally protest peacefully, where as Islam it nine times out of ten turns to violence! Killing people over a cartoon for god’s sake!!! These people have to get a grip.



Update: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5159050.stm


The EU has accused Israel of using "disproportionate" force and making a humanitarian crisis worse during operations in the Gaza Strip.

SS Tiger
07-07-2006, 05:48 PM
Update: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5160044.stm


Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has confirmed for the first time that a captured Israeli soldier is alive.

SS Tiger
07-12-2006, 11:58 PM
Update: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5175160.stm


Israeli aircraft have fired rockets at the runways of Beirut's international airport in Lebanon, forcing its closure and the diversion of flights. It follows the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah militants.

They are now attacking Lebanon! Israel isn't not happy with its people being taken.

Gen. Sandworm
07-13-2006, 06:54 PM
So who's taking bets on all hell breaking lose in the mid east.........oh wait nevermind. :D:neutral::roll::(

SS Tiger
07-14-2006, 01:32 AM
Israel could take the whole lot! Back in the 70s Israel used to give Syria a thrashing often.

Lancer44
07-15-2006, 09:18 PM
So who's taking bets on all hell breaking lose in the mid east.........oh wait nevermind. :D:neutral::roll::(

You're right. Very low bets.
I have a feeling that Israel have more strategic goal now. Escalation of the turmoil and Iran direct involvement.
If Iran will be pulled into the fight, Iranian nuclear research facilities will become legitimate targets.

What it mean for us?
Friggin petrol at $2.50/litre.

Lancer44

FW-190 Pilot
07-16-2006, 01:50 AM
seriously, the israel military already left Gaza before, why they have to start the war all over again, that is a stupid move.

SS Tiger
07-16-2006, 03:05 AM
Update: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5184428.stm


Rockets fired by Hezbollah militants in Lebanon have killed at least eight people and wounded many others in the coastal Israeli city of Haifa.

It is looking more likely that a full scale war is going to begin. The U.S. is backing Israel, maybe the U.S. will use this as an excuse to bomb certain targets in Iran, if Iran begin hostile actions towards Israel?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5184402.stm

Lancer44
07-16-2006, 03:09 AM
seriously, the israel military already left Gaza before, why they have to start the war all over again, that is a stupid move.

Hi Fw-190 Pilot!

It's a very smart move of Israel. They want to pull Iran into war.
I wonder if anyone can provide data about recent movements of Israeli submarines. I can bet that they are either on their way to Ormuz Strait or are on their firing positions there, waiting to unleash Cruise missiles barrage to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities.

And Israelis are in my opinion right. Instead of waiting for the first Iranian nuke, they are taking upper hand and on a larger scale repeating Osirak scheme.
Iraqis never recovered from the blow.
Now, instead of US move, which would enrage the whole world, Israelis are entering in a hard way and after, when Iran's reactors will become just a heap of smouldering rubbish, every politician in the West, East and EU will quietly say "thank you".

So, Shalom!

Lancer44

Panzerknacker
07-16-2006, 01:24 PM
Is quiet shocking the Israeli faillure to find and destroy the poorly camouflaged rocket launchers in Lebanon teritory.

Is far more to bomb Beirut

http://www.clarin.com/diario/2006/07/16/fotos/t020dh13.jpg

Dani
07-16-2006, 02:46 PM
I wonder if anyone can provide data about recent movements of Israeli submarines. I can bet that they are either on their way to Ormuz Strait or are on their firing positions there, waiting to unleash Cruise missiles barrage to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities.


As a side note...



Israel's seaborne nuclear doctrine is designed to place one submarine in the Persian Gulf, the other in the Mediterranean, with a third on standby. Secret test launches of the cruise missile systems were understood to have been undertaken in May 2000 when Israel carried out tests in the Indian Ocean.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1061399,00.html

More on Dolphin class Israeli subs:
http://www.dolphin.org.il/dolphins/
http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/naval/dolphin/Dolphin.html

Dani
07-16-2006, 04:14 PM
Group of Eight leaders told Hizbollah militants on Sunday they must free abducted Israeli soldiers and immediately halt attacks on Israel to end an upsurge in Middle East violence.

In a statement from their summit in Russia, G8 leaders urged Israel to exercise "utmost restraint" in its offensive in Lebanon, but blamed the crisis squarely on "extremist elements" and put the onus on Hizbollah to stop it.

A carefully-worded text said an end to Israeli military operations and withdrawal of forces from Gaza were other conditions needed to "lay the foundation for a more permanent solution".

http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/international/ticker/detail/G8_calls_on_Hizbollah_to_stop_attacking_Israel.htm l?siteSect=143&sid=6899295&cKey=1153079575000

And the source:

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, July 16 (Reuters) - Group of Eight leaders on Sunday blamed an upsurge in violence in the Middle East on "extremists" and while accepting Israel's right to self-defence said the Jewish state must exercise restraint.

"These extremist elements and those that support them cannot be allowed to plunge the Middle East into chaos," said the text of a statement hammered out by the leaders of the world's richest nations during an afternoon of talks.

"We call upon Israel to exercise utmost restraint," the statement added.
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L1684083.htm

Dani
07-16-2006, 04:30 PM
Tehran, Iran, Jul. 16 – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described Israel on Sunday as “satanic and cancerous” and praised the Lebanese group Hezbollah for its “jihad” against the Jewish state.

“This regime is an infectious tumour for the entire Islamic world”, Khamenei said in a speech that was aired on state television.

He rejected the demand by U.S. President George W. Bush that Hezbollah disarm, vowing, “This will never happen”.

He also described the Bush administration as the “most hideous” U.S. government in recent years.

Meanwhile, prominent Lebanese politician Walid Jumblat said on Sunday that Lebanon had become a battleground for Tehran’s war with Tel Aviv.

“The war is no longer that of Lebanon. It is an Iranian war”, Jumblat told the Arabic satellite station al-Arabiya as Israeli armed forces continued to attack targets in southern Lebanon.

http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=7927

George Eller
07-16-2006, 09:45 PM
-

Michael Ramirez cartoon (from awhile back)
http://img50.imageshack.us/img50/3987/irancowboybigqc1.jpg
Iran Cowboy (a take-off from the movie Dr. Strangelove)

From the movie Dr Strangelove - Dr. Strangelove: The survival kit
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1tCrDfulCY

From the movie Dr Strangelove - Slim Pickens in his moment of glory
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eqboBMgOe4

more also by Michael Ramirez:
http://www.cfif.org/htdocs/freedomline/cartoon-corner/01-political-cartoons-editorial-humor.htm

-

Jeffrey
07-17-2006, 03:23 PM
i guess i am suprised by all of your comments.. it seems many of you wish to see a war for the thrill of it.. I am not a Peacenik but i am also no Hawk.. I am a Jew and an Anarchist, i live in the U.S.A. and i have researched this quite a bit. The U.S. news is reporting this completely biased, to be expected. Although im a Jew i dont feel that i must support the Israeli Government or Army which to me at this time appear to be the real terrorists.

although i dont pretend to beleive that any news articles are Objective or un-biased, maybe it is worth checking out another perspective. If you all do truly support the Neo-conservative agenda or even the Neo-libral agenda then i feel this is waisted on you. But, i truly try to look at this whole thing from a perspective of social justice and with no alegence to any religion or nationality or ethnicity.

news.infoshop.org is a anarchist news/opinion website and it has an article from another point of view. you can go there and it is on the main page.. but there is an open wiki providing information on the situation.. please read this and tell me what you think. it is short.

http://www.infoshop.org/wiki/index.php/Lebanon

Firefly
07-17-2006, 03:55 PM
It is looking more likely that a full scale war is going to begin. The U.S. is backing Israel, maybe the U.S. will use this as an excuse to bomb certain targets in Iran, if Iran begin hostile actions towards Israel?

Are you off your freeking Swede!

1. Bad move to go into Iran, unless you want to see many many more British Squadies killed and maimed.

2. I would like to know what half the targets in Lebannon being bombed have to to with Terrorists - Power Stations, Refineries and Airports.

Before going on and revelling at the footage, please think of what its like to actually be there.

I can see both sides of this, and both sides are wrong!

Still, they come from the same stock and have been killing each other for 3000 years, why stop now!

Firefly
07-17-2006, 04:02 PM
i guess i am suprised by all of your comments.. it seems many of you wish to see a war for the thrill of it.. I am not a Peacenik but i am also no Hawk.. I am a Jew and an Anarchist, i live in the U.S.A. and i have researched this quite a bit. The U.S. news is reporting this completely biased, to be expected. Although im a Jew i dont feel that i must support the Israeli Government or Army which to me at this time appear to be the real terrorists.

although i dont pretend to beleive that any news articles are Objective or un-biased, maybe it is worth checking out another perspective. If you all do truly support the Neo-conservative agenda or even the Neo-libral agenda then i feel this is waisted on you. But, i truly try to look at this whole thing from a perspective of social justice and with no alegence to any religion or nationality or ethnicity.

news.infoshop.org is a anarchist news/opinion website and it has an article from another point of view. you can go there and it is on the main page.. but there is an open wiki providing information on the situation.. please read this and tell me what you think. it is short.

http://www.infoshop.org/wiki/index.php/Lebanon

Welcome to the site mate. As usual with me, I both agree and disagree with the majority of posts, but find myself agreeing with yours. Not wishing to seem obvious but maybe you should explain what a true Anarchist is for anyone here who may have a preconceived idea that you are also some sort of Terrorist advocator.

Dani
07-17-2006, 04:22 PM
i guess i am suprised by all of your comments.. it seems many of you wish to see a war for the thrill of it..

It seems that you are very young if concluded that "many of us" wish to "see a war for the thrill of it" from some news updates and some comments.


I am not a Peacenik but i am also no Hawk.. I am a Jew and an Anarchist
I know what a Jew is. I don't know what an Anarchist is (from political point of view). I don't have much time to waste searching and researching what an Anarchist might be (with exception on what I knew already) :D , so a brief description would be welcomed.


i live in the U.S.A. and i have researched this quite a bit. The U.S. news is reporting this completely biased, to be expected. My bold. Please count the number of the American sources quoted in this thread.;)


Although im a Jew i dont feel that i must support the Israeli Government or Army which to me at this time appear to be the real terrorists. Easy to say this in front of your PC/laptop back there in a safe (really?) America. Did you visit Israel in your lifetime?


although i dont pretend to beleive that any news articles are Objective or un-biased, maybe it is worth checking out another perspective. Why not fundamentalist one?


If you all do truly support the Neo-conservative agenda or even the Neo-libral agenda then i feel this is waisted on you. But, i truly try to look at this whole thing from a perspective of social justice and with no alegence to any religion or nationality or ethnicity. Personally I am sick from Communist time about "social justice".


news.infoshop.org is a anarchist news/opinion website and it has an article from another point of view. you can go there and it is on the main page.. but there is an open wiki providing information on the situation.. please read this and tell me what you think. it is short.

http://www.infoshop.org/wiki/index.php/Lebanon

Some quotations:

Groups from around the world are calling for various actions to be taken to stop the mounting violence in the region.



Send a letter to your local paper and speak out against the latest assaults by the Israeli government on the people of Gaza.


This page is part of the Anti-war and Peace Resources section.

It is your right to believe in whatever you want.

I know I'm taking sides but I want to discuss with you all these. Looking forward to your posts.

Jeffrey
07-17-2006, 05:12 PM
i would like to point out that the majority of Palestinians are not religious extremists or even very religious at all, just like in Iraq and even Israel. Most are very modern people. I think that the face of this situation often appears to be a religous war but in reality it is a class war when it comes to Israel vs Palestine. The non-extremists Palestinians still want the Israelies dead because they are the ruling class and because they have extreme power over them. The inequalities are blaitant. Often a picture is painted of arabs as being religious extremists when it is truly a minority.

This leads me to point out that almost all revolutions have been organized and carried about by a minority as well. If you except what ive said as having truth as i do, then the attacks on civilians seems unthinkable and completely unjustified.

I have looked on radical news sources for anti-government action in Israel since the attacks on lebanon, but there are very very few Anarchists in Israel that are not internationals. I have seen nothing to say that there is any underground resistance on the part of the Israeli Anarchists. Just like i hold the German civilians partially responsible for the WW2 travesties, i hold the Israeli civilians partially responsible for the situation in the middle east. If there was a lot of civil unrest (i.e. protesting to direct attack), then the situation might be different. All i can hope for is for the logical Israeli people to wake the fck up

Jeffrey
07-17-2006, 05:26 PM
sorry i missed page 4 before writing that..

Anarchy is a loaded word as are most.. i would say anarchy just means "no Government" in greek but it means more then that politically.. I suppose there are 2 thoughts of Anarchism to explain..

1 is the anarcho-syndicalist movement.. a decentralized communist idea, leading thinkers would be Peter Kropotkin and Errico Malatesta.. i dont specifically agree with this as i dont really think i have any of the answers as to what a perfect society is..

2 Insurrectionary anarchy.. i might describe it as the constant desire to overhtrow the government and society and all forms of opression, without claiming to know the perfect end result, other then the desire for change and to collapse the system.. You might be familiar with the Unibomber.. Ted Kaczynski.. he wrote a manifesto and it is a very good description of insurectionary anarchy.. this is not communist or individualist in nature so much as it is Insurrectionary in nature.

i cant specifically give you a full description of anarchist thought.. but i hope that helps.. check out the Unibomber Manifesto or At Daggers Drawn for good insurectionary writings..

as far as that website is concerned.. i dont pretend to beleive in everything they say.. i think they are subjective and mainly leftists who want to cope with capitalism instead of demolishing it.. But, i was offering an alternative view.. even if it does come from a Anarcho-syndicalist website..

I, like many people, just want to see the world be a better place.. some poeple beleive that they can change the system to do that, i think we should destroy it..

there is an anarchist proverb i guess you would call it..

there are two cows.. and one cow named Daisy says "Daffodil, do you think we can alter the slaughterhouse in our own interest?" and Daffodil says "Daisy, i think you will find our asperations clashing with the requirements of the system"..

now obviously this analogy simplified Human society a bit much, and it is a bit more complicated then being cows destined to be slaughtered. But use your imagination. That question goes to the heart of libral vs radical Anarchist theory.


if none of this helps.. sorry.. i dont mean to change the subject of the debate here..



o.. edit.. one more thing.. you sort of attacked me on being safe behind my computer.. when in reality i only use library computers as i am a vagabond of sorts.. i travel with a backpack and a tent with my wife/partner.. i sleep in woods and get food from garbage.. I am hardly safe behind a computer.. i know many Israelies and have never been to Israel as i am 22 and have only been on the road for 2 years and have not left North America. I grew up poor and never had international travel experience.. untill recently going to Canada and Central America.. i am not sheltered or safe but i dont take offense because i realize you know nothing about me.. I live in a lifestyle in which i can obstain from soceity to the best of my ability while i live off of its waist. and i am in a constant state of learning.. i dont pretend to know im right. simply interested in logically debate

Lancer44
07-17-2006, 05:54 PM
Are you off your freeking Swede!

1. Bad move to go into Iran, unless you want to see many many more British Squadies killed and maimed.

2. I would like to know what half the targets in Lebannon being bombed have to to with Terrorists - Power Stations, Refineries and Airports.

Before going on and revelling at the footage, please think of what its like to actually be there.

I can see both sides of this, and both sides are wrong!

Still, they come from the same stock and have been killing each other for 3000 years, why stop now!

Hi Firefly and Jeffrey,

I don't see any excessive comments nor particular excitement of anyone with what we all see on TV.
Regarding my own comments and opinion - I'm not siding with any of belligerents, but just trying to understand motives and predict possible outcome of whats happening now.
From Australian perspective what can worry me is that some individuals in Oz may feel obligation to join the fight, produce diesel/ammonia bombs and extend conflict to land which has got nothing to do with Lebanon.
I believe that any other nation like say Canada, Britain or France may have similar feelings and fears.

I can understand Jeffreys point but personally I'm not a big fan of anarchists and their ideology.
It's enough to read about Spanish Civil War to know that anarchists were on the very extreme point from nazis and stalinists.
There is an old English expression - "Same shit, different smell".
But I will learn more about anarchists with utmost pleasure.

Just please spare me crap about "social justice"... that is a fairy tale.
I'm atheist and such meaning is for me the same as "God which loves all of us".

Looking forward for more posts from you.

Cheers,

Lancer44

Jeffrey
07-17-2006, 06:26 PM
i agree with what you said about Social Justice.. i too am an athiest and understand what dogmatic phrases can imply.. i truly dont mean to be dogmatic, and like to step away from loaded terms and words as far as i can.. im not asking anyone to accept Anarchism as a ideology, i only wished for people to understand where i come from..

the news statement i made might have sounded accusatory.. rather it is my own experience that the news by me is crap, as ive seen it on TVs in just about every establishment ive entered.. check out this, it is an interesting segment of Fox news.. please excuse the lefty bullshit all over the page

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article4998.shtml

watch the video clip.. i thought it was funny

also.. i got this video clip from a Orthodox Jew Anarchist.. i beleive he is with the organiation Anarchists against the Fence.. or something sounding like that. but it is a good interview. To be honest its the first Orthodox Jew Anarchist ive heard, and i liked what he had to say.

http://www.orthodoxanarchist.com/index.php

Both of these are about 8 minute clips..

like i said before.. i dont pretend any of this is objective or unbiased.. i only hope to pull as much logic and sense from all sides as i can.. i am tied to no ideology but logic.. so far that has made me an Anarchist, and Athiest and a train-hopping-garbage-eating weirdo.. o well

Lancer44
07-18-2006, 01:12 AM
Fresh developments from Lebanon:

1. "Well-placed sources in Israel argue that Iran is behind the decision to attack Israel and that Tehran influenced the timing of the Hezbollah attack in which two soldiers were abducted last Wednesday. Iran is Hezbollah's main arms supplier, including long-range rockets and missiles of the kind that struck an Israeli destroyer and sunk a Cambodian freighter on Friday night. This in addition to massive transfers of cash.
The arms supply is passing through Syria, and Damascus also extends its support to Hezbollah, though Iran leads the effort against Israel. Intelligence assessments in Israel hold that Iranian officers were responsible and took active part in the launching of missiles against the Israeli warship and the Cambodian freighter. The Chinese-made missile, C-807, has been in the Revolutionary Guards' arsenal for some years.
The Navy was surprised by the existence of such missiles in the Hezbollah arsenal, and failed to counter the attack. As a result of the IDF's intensifying operations in Lebanon, Tehran ordered most of its people operating in Lebanon to leave. Some advisers, all members of the Revolutionary Guard remain. These are mainly responsible for instruction in the use of long-range rockets, the operation of Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles and also in planning and combat operations training."

2. "Three reserves battalions – infantry, engineers, and artillery – will be drafted in upcoming days and will replace regular forces in Judea and Samaria.
This is in order to allow the regular forces to take part in IDF operations in the north."

Source: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3277523,00.html

3. IDF for the first time used Destroyer MLRS rocket system.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg8b6VBFq4A&eurl=

The Israeli MLRS is a modification of the American system, with the addition of a guidance mechanism that dramatically increases the accuracy of salvos of the 227mm rockets.

4. Some agencies mentioned Iranian Zilzal missiles in Hezbollah arsenal.
This claim is obviously wrong in my opinion.
Look at Zilzal in Teheran:

http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/4938/zilzal19a5ff4.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

More info about Iranian missiles will explain everything:

http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iran/missile/

And here interesting report perhaps explaining how USA is planning to strike at Iranian or/and North Korean nuclear facilities.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RL33067.pdf

Cheers,

Lancer44

SS Tiger
07-18-2006, 11:44 AM
Are you off your freeking Swede!

1. Bad move to go into Iran, unless you want to see many many more British Squadies killed and maimed.

2. I would like to know what half the targets in Lebannon being bombed have to to with Terrorists - Power Stations, Refineries and Airports.

Before going on and revelling at the footage, please think of what its like to actually be there.

I can see both sides of this, and both sides are wrong!

Still, they come from the same stock and have been killing each other for 3000 years, why stop now!

I think that this some what extreme action is to drag Iran into war allowing the U.S. a reason to drop some bunker busters into Iranian reactors. British troops would not be killed as no occupation would happen. I only suggested that the U.S. would have an excuse to bomb targets in Iran, I never metioned British forces.

I am on the side of Israel, they have had daily suicide bombings for a long time, which no doubt have been aided or supported by quite a few lebanese people. I think they should add suicide bombing deaths to Israel's death toll, then the world may change their opinion on the current situation.

Jeffrey
07-18-2006, 12:12 PM
The recent Israel/Lebanon conflict could be traced back decades. The country has fallen victim to the Arab-Israel crisis for over half a century. Most media reports trace the crisis back to the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers "by Hizbullah or a similar action taken by Palestinian militants even earlier. By doing this important background information is left out.

A more helpful beginning point would be the recent Palestinian elections. After the fundamentalist party Hamas was voted in as the ruling party Israel and the United States announced that Palestine would be punished for their election results.

The promise has been fulfilled with the new annexation process of the West Bank. Israel has been annexing most of the resources, including water, of the West Bank.

On June 9th, 8 Palestinians were killed and 32 injured when a beach was shelled [1] (http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/06/20/israb13595.htm); on June 13th a missile attack on a highway in Gaza killed 11 people and wounded another 30; and on June 20th another missile attack from Israeli forces killed 3 children and wounded 15 more people. (http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?id=3313)

On June 24 Israel abducted two Gaza civilians, a doctor and his brother. Their identities are unknown and the incident has gone largely unreported in the mainstream press. In contrast, Palestinian militants the next day abducted an Israeli soldier. This incident has received widespread press and as a result we know much more of the details, this despite the fact that the kidnapping of civilians is a more serious offense than of a soldier. (http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/14/146258)

The Palestinian militants have demanded the release of a number of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the captured IDF soldier. Israel has refused to negotiate and thus the escalation of attacks on Gaza.

Soon after the escalation in violence around Gaza, the fundamentalist group Hizbullah captured two Israeli soldiers demanding the release of Lebanese prisoners. Many have suspected that in addition to the release of prisoners that the action was driven by the desire by Hizbullah to support Palestinians against the increased violence by Israel.

Like the previous kidnapping, Israel has refused to negotiate and on July 12th proceeded with heavy bombings of Lebanon and Palestine. Israel killed 23 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip with missiles fired from aircraft and shells fired from tanks. Israel killed 9 members of one family in a missile strike on a house near Gaza City.


The country also launched a massive invasion of Lebanon. Israeli aircraft fired missiles targeting civilian infrastructure, including bridges, roads, a mosque, a community center, and the Beirut International Airport, and the Israeli navy is blockading Lebanon's ports. Israel has killed at least 50 Lebanese civilians and injured more than 100, including entire Lebanese families of 10 and 7 people killed in the villages of Dweir and Baflay., focusing heavily on civilian infrastructure such as the Beirut airport and major highways as well as a blockade , seaports, highways and bridges. "

this is obviously one-sided. but this is the side we dont see on western news

mike M.
07-18-2006, 02:02 PM
the United States announced that Palestine would be punished for their election results.


Hello Jeffrey, That's an interesting statement. I would like to read on that subject, I have never read about the U.S. wanting to punish someone for there election's. Could you please post your source where you read this? I would like to read that. Thanks

Firefly
07-18-2006, 02:46 PM
I think that this some what extreme action is to drag Iran into war allowing the U.S. a reason to drop some bunker busters into Iranian reactors. British troops would not be killed as no occupation would happen. I only suggested that the U.S. would have an excuse to bomb targets in Iran, I never metioned British forces.

Wouldnt the fact that the US bombed Iran allow the Iranians another excuse to interfere even more in Southern Iraq, thus endangering British forces stationed there even more than they are now?

Nothing is ever done in isolation.

Firefly
07-18-2006, 02:55 PM
I am on the side of Israel, they have had daily suicide bombings for a long time, which no doubt have been aided or supported by quite a few lebanese people. I think they should add suicide bombing deaths to Israel's death toll, then the world may change their opinion on the current situation.

So the fact that Israel has mostly killed Lebanese civillians so far does not bother you? I am not for any terrorists organisation at all, I also agree that Israel has the right to defend itself, but the response has to be tailored to meet the threat. I dont think ruining the whole recovering Lebanese economy makes any sense. In my opinion the more families they kill, the more enemies they are making for themselves in the long term,as if they need more enemies.

Dani
07-18-2006, 02:58 PM
In my opinion the more families they kill, the more enemies they are making for themselves in the long term,as if they need more enemies.

Certainly I agree on that.

Nickdfresh
07-18-2006, 06:10 PM
Wouldnt the fact that the US bombed Iran allow the Iranians another excuse to interfere even more in Southern Iraq, thus endangering British forces stationed there even more than they are now?

Nothing is ever done in isolation.


Yes, and especially the American forces on the ground there...

SS Tiger
07-19-2006, 11:30 AM
So the fact that Israel has mostly killed Lebanese civillians so far does not bother you? I am not for any terrorists organisation at all, I also agree that Israel has the right to defend itself, but the response has to be tailored to meet the threat. I dont think ruining the whole recovering Lebanese economy makes any sense. In my opinion the more families they kill, the more enemies they are making for themselves in the long term,as if they need more enemies.

I see it as fighting fire with fire. I don't agree that it is ok to kill civilians. I'm on the side of Israel because they did not start the killing of civilians.

Firefly
07-19-2006, 02:50 PM
I see it as fighting fire with fire. I don't agree that it is ok to kill civilians. I'm on the side of Israel because they did not start the killing of civilians.

I suppose that depend on you view of history, its written in the Bible that the Jews were given the promised land by God. If we read the Bible as history that means essentially that they moved in from Sinia and took the land away from its inhabitants, smiting them, man woman and child as they went.

By 1947 things were a little diffrent with the Jewish insurgency in Israel blowing up British soldiers right left and centre and killing their opponents in what can only be described in modern terms as what we see in the factional killings in Iraq today.

The founders of the first Israeli Government were terrorists and carried out various acts of terrorism on thier Arab neighbours.

So it can be pretty subjective as to who was killing who and when.

My point is? Well they are both as bad as each other and the only sure thing is that many many more inoccent people will die for many years to come, its being hapening for 3000 years and looks likely to be happening for another!

SS Tiger
07-20-2006, 11:31 AM
I agree with you Firefly. How far back we go with history is always going to be a factor. I still support Israel, because I feel the current situation was caused by the Arab terrorist groups(who are also governing the countries involved).

Firefly
07-20-2006, 11:42 AM
Tiger, I also agree with you in principle. Although I dont think Hezbollah are governing the Lebanon, I just think the Lebanese Government is too weak without support to do anything about it short of starting another Civil War, which is something they really cant afford to do. I think its a damned shame that the Lebanese have to suffer by having their recovering economy devastated once again. A damned shame that.

Dani
07-20-2006, 11:44 AM
It worths a reading:
UN Security Council Resolution 1559 (2004)

http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2004/sc8181.doc.htm

Edited: Article 3: . Calls for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias

SS Tiger
07-20-2006, 12:41 PM
Tiger, I also agree with you in principle. Although I dont think Hezbollah are governing the Lebanon

No, but Hezbollah hold 14 seat in the Lebanese National Assembly. As Dani has pointed out The UN called for "the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias". It is the Lebanese governments failure to do this that has caused the conflict with Israel. I guess maybe the point (government lacking support) you put forward for this lack of action could be the reason.

Firefly
07-20-2006, 03:39 PM
I understand that. However Lebanon has just recently got rid of the Syrians and the Syrians I'm sure still have influence over certain parts of the country. The Lebanese government is not strong enough to go against Hezbollah right now.

You and Dani bring up a point about UN resolutions, though, there have beend several resolutions regarding Israel as well that have not been adhered to by that country.

A hughely complicated mess that only brings misery to the majority of the people from that region both Arab and Israeli.

I always thought that if general Motors or some other big company were to open a car plant or something in Gaza most of their problems could be solved. Once people have money to spend their priorities tend to change.

Nickdfresh
07-21-2006, 11:54 AM
Almost every serious (non-Israeli) military analyst I've seen has said that Israel is perpetuating a tragic blunder and severe miscalculation by sending armor and infantry back into Lebanon to engage a guerrilla, and perhaps an understrength Lebanese, Army. And, they (the IDF) really haven't had a great couple of weeks...

mike M.
07-24-2006, 03:00 PM
Hezbollah captured 2 Israeli soldiers and killed 8 in an unprovoked border raid. Israel is just defending itself against these Iranian-backed terrorists. Lebanon will learn this is the price a government will pay for harboring and giving parliament seats to an avowed terrorist group.
The Israeli army is attacking with surgical precision Hezbollah's areas in southern Lebanon and, unfortunately, as in ALL eager to fight actions, innocent civilians will suffer as they did during the bombings of Hiroshima, Dresden and Berlin, etc., during WWII
I support Israel 100% and hope the kick the SH-T of Hezbollah.

George Eller
07-25-2006, 11:57 AM
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Where Terrorists Get Their Missiles
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htproc/articles/20060719.aspx

July 19, 2006: The Chinese-designed C-802 missile that damaged an Israeli Saar 5-class corvette recently has implications beyond the present conflict in Lebanon. It shows that the threat of a transfer of weapons technology, from a state sponsor of terrorism like Iran, to a terrorist group, is very real.

Transferring an anti-ship missile like the C-802 is very difficult. Anti-ship missiles are big (the C-802 weighs 1500 pounds and is 21 feet long), and the launch vehicles are going to be about as big as a tractor-trailer rig. This is a system that is conspicuous, and hard to hide. The other thing to consider is that other stuff could be transferred as well. China has provided Iran at least 75 of these missiles, which have been installed on a variety of Iranian vessels (including newly-acquired missile boats from China, as well as older Sa'am-class frigates and Kaman-class patrol craft). China, of course, has received missile technology transfers from Israel (albeit this technology was for the Patriot surface-to-air missile, and had nothing to do with Chinese anti-ship missiles – an Israeli sale of its Phalcon AEW system was aborted). Israel also turned over data from the Lavi project, which later was used in the J-10 program.

Iran's transfer of C-802 missiles (along with the training to use them) is not the only such threat that has been worried about. One of the reasons that the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq was the possibility of the transference of chemical or biological weapons. The amount of these weapons needed to cause mass casualties are small – and artillery shells full of sarin nerve gas or mustard gas are much smaller than a C-802. Vials of anthrax, ricin, or smallpox are even smaller. The thought of weapons of mass destruction possibly getting into the hands of terrorists who are willing to die to complete their mission warranted removal of Saddam Hussein's regime, which had not shown the ability to transfer weaponry to terrorists (although Saddam Hussein was willing to cut $25,000 checks to the families of murder-suicide bombers).

Iran, though, now has been known to provide Hezbollah with anti-ship missiles. In a very real sense, the Iranian transfer of at least two such missiles has highlighted the threat posed by state sponsors of terrorism. If something like an anti-ship missile can be transferred, with all the inherent transportation difficulties moving one entails, what else has Iran given Hezbollah? And what else would Iran be willing to transfer if they were to have the opportunity? These are questions that will make world leaders very nervous. – Harold C. Hutchison (haroldc.hutchison@gmail.com)

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George Eller
07-25-2006, 11:58 AM
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The Plan Unfolds
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060721.aspx


July 21, 2006: The Israeli attacks on Hizbollah military facilities are having an effect, with rocket Hizbollah launches down by more than half (to about 40 today). Israel has several thousand troops in southern Lebanon, and they are going after the Hizbollah rocket launching teams. The Israelis have found that their tactic of dropping leaflets warning civilians to stay away from residential areas used to store weapons, and especially rockets, has worked. Despite Hizbollah efforts for force civilians to stay in their homes, the the vast majority of civilians fled villages and neighborhoods where it was known Hizbollah was storing rockets. Thus most of the Israeli bombs destroyed rockets and housing, not people. The UN has not accepted this, but has bowed to media spin and pro-Hizbollah propaganda, to get behind the terrorists, and accuse Israel of using "disproportionate force." The UN is demanding a cease fire (which, to Hizbollah, is interpreted as a pause before the next round of attacks on Israel). Despite frequent UN rhetoric about the benefits of democracy, they appear to have an imperfect grasp of how it actually works. For example, if a terrorist group were to fire a thousand rockets into any democracy, the citizens of said democracy would demand military action against the attackers, not a cease fire and avoidance of "disproportionate response."

Israel is now moving into the second week of a three week military operation. The first week was mainly a bombing campaign to cripple Hizbollah's ability to easily move men and munitions around, and to destroy Hizbollah facilities, particularly rocket storage sites. The air campaign has hit about 1,200 targets so far, including some 200 rocket storage sites. There have been about a thousand Lebanese casualties, less than one per air strike.

The second week has small groups of ground troops going into southern Lebanon to investigate suspected rocket storage sites. This tactic has uncovered those storage sites Hizbollah was able to build and hide from Israeli air and satellite reconnaissance. So far, about half the Hizbollah stocks of rockets have been destroyed, while about a thousands of the rockets have been fired into Israel. It's currently estimated that Hizbollah had some 14,000 rockets, mostly smaller (122mm) ones.

Hizbollah had also trained several dozen teams of men to get the rockets out of their storage sites and launch them into northern Israel. In the third week of the Israeli military plan, more troops will go into southern Lebanon, and Hizbollah fighters killed or driven out. At that point, Lebanon or the UN can be invited to come in and take charge of the area, with some guarantees (a big sticking point) that Hizbollah will not move back. If that doesn't work, Israel has the option of creating a 30-40 kilometer deep neutral zone in southern Lebanon. Several hundred thousand Lebanese civilians have already fled that zone, and may not be allowed back in until something is done about Hizbollah.

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George Eller
07-25-2006, 11:59 AM
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Let's Check the Track Records
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060723.aspx

July 22, 2006: Europeans are talking about ceasefire and the establishment of a "neutral zone" in southern Lebanon. The UN won't be able to do it, as they have a dreadful track record in this department. The current UNIFIL force in southern Lebanon only has about 2000 troops and 500 cops and civilian staff – hardly sufficient to cope with Hezbollah, even if their Rules of Engagement (ROE) allowed it. UNIFIL is supposed to monitor the border, and has regularly failed at that. So the neutral zone would have to be patrolled by European troops, operating under a "shoot-to-kill" ROE. Most Lebanese (but not the Shia, who back Hizbollah) would support this. The Europeans are pressuring the Christian and Sunni Lebanese to say publicly, what they have been saying privately for decades; Hizbollah has to go.

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George Eller
07-25-2006, 12:00 PM
Let's Check the Track Records
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060723.aspx

July 23, 2006: Hizbollah's rocket offensive is faltering. While up to a hundred rockets were launched into northern Israel on some days last week, the number has fallen to about 40 a day. Fewer of them are the longer range (up to 40 kilometers, or more). Most are the 122mm rockets, with a range of about 20 kilometers. These have shut down most economic activity in many parts of northern Israel, and killed or injured over a hundred Israelis. This has caused some 80 percent of Israeli voters to back the operations against Lebanon.

Israel's Northern Command can mobilize over 180,000 troops. The Lebanese army has only 70,000 soldiers, so a battle with the Lebanese army is unlikely, despite Lebanese promises to send troops to the assistance of Hizbollah. In addition to its guerrilla fighters, Hizbollah has a couple of brigades armed and trained for conventional operations. These may be the best trained "regular" troops in the region, barring those that Israel isn't likely to fight (Jordan, Egypt, Turkey), and it's believed that Hizbollah hopes that they could take on Israeli troops in a conventional battle. To that end, sending Israeli ground forces into southern Lebanon is intended to draw Hizbollah's conventional forces out, in anticipation of an invasion. In that way, Hizbollah might lay its conventional forces open to air and artillery attack, and probably selective ground and commando action.

The Lebanese Christians are probably more enthusiastic about fighting Hizbollah, than Israelis, and the Sunnis probably not much less so. But Israel has to be careful to avoid open clashed with Lebanese regular troops. Israel has always maintained communication with the various factions in Lebanon, either directly (as with the Christians) or indirectly. In this way, discussions, sometimes heated, have taken place over what to do with Hizbollah. It breaks down like this. To most Lebanese, the Shia (about 35 percent of the population), sold out to foreigners (Syria and Iran) in order to increase Shia power in Lebanon. The Shia had long constituted the poorest segment of Lebanese society, but this has changed since Syrian troops moved in during the 1980s, and assisted in the establishment of Hizbollah. This turned the Lebanese civil war (which began in 1975) into a deadlock, and led to a peace deal in 1990. But that didn't end the civil war, it just brought about a cease fire. The Christian and Sunni majority put up with the Syrian occupation of the country until last year, when a popular uprising led to the Syrian withdrawal of their troops. But Hizbollah, which was supposed to disarm as part of the 1990 "peace" deal, continued to control the southern third of the country. Worse, many in Hizbollah, inspired by their Iranian patrons, talked about how great it would be if all of Lebanon were an Islamic republic, just like Iran.

Many Lebanese see the Hizbollah attack on Israel as a way for the Lebanese Shia to avoid a resumption of the civil war, over the disarmament of Hizbollah. Lebanese Shia remember what it was like to be at the bottom of the economic and social pecking order, and don't want to return to the bad old days. Hizbollah (which got over $100 million a year from Iran) brought lots of jobs, as did the Syrian army of occupation. The Lebanese Shia see all that slipping away. By causing a war with Israel, the Lebanese Shia see an opportunity to unite all Lebanese behind them. Unfortunately, the Christian and Sunni Lebanese, while angry with the Israeli air campaign, are not enthusiastic about dying to maintain Hizbollah power. Israeli negotiations with the Lebanese agree on one thing; Hizbollah has to go. Lebanon cannot be free as long as Hizbollah maintains its own army, and controls a third of the country. The expulsion of the Syrian army last year was wildly popular, except among the Shia. The Israelis are waiting for public opinion among the Lebanese Christians and Sunnis to go against Hizbollah. This is why there has been no large scale movement of Israeli troops into southern Lebanon. Small units (no more than battalion strength, under a thousand troops) are going in to destroy Hizbollah bunker complexes that cannot be destroyed from the air.

To that end, Israeli orders for American deep penetrators (bunker buster bombs) have been speeded up, and those bombs are being delivered now. Israel already had several hundred of the GBU-24 penetrators, but last year ordered a hundred of the larger (2.5 ton) GBU-28. The GBU-28 can penetrate 100 feet of earth, or 20 feet of concrete. The lighter GBU-24 can manage less than half that.

Israel has watched (from the air, and via spies on the ground) as Hizbollah used lots of its Iranian money to build underground bunkers in the areas of southern Lebanon that Israel withdrew from in 2000. Hizbollah knew about the capabilities of the GBU-24 and 28, and built accordingly. That doesn't make the Hizbollah bunkers invulnerable. The entrances can be destroyed, and if you can get all the access tunnels, you turn the bunker into a tomb. But with some of the bunkers, not all the access tunnels were known. There's only so much that spies and air reconnaissance will tell you. However, the Israelis have had over six years to plan for this sort of operation. Based on past performance, you can expect some clever ideas. It's not smart to underestimate the Israelis. For example, Israel shut down the Palestinian terrorists over the last few years. The pundits had declared this to be impossible. So was the Six Day war, and the creation of Israel itself. So, before you pick a probable outcome here, check the track records of the contenders. On the other side, you have radical Islam, which has accomplished very little. Terror is the tactic of the weak, or those short of better ideas. The Palestinian leadership has a long record of bad decisions and inept performance. Hizbollah succeeded via powerful backers (Iranian cash and the Syrian army). Now the Syrians are gone, and Hizbollah is caught between angry Israelis, and Lebanese fans, most of whom (the Christians and Sunnis) are cheering on Hizbollah through clenched teeth and forced smiles. Most Lebanese are content to see Hizbollah and Israel fight it out. But the Israeli war plan recognizes that, without some cooperation from the Lebanese Christians and Sunnis, Hizbollah will just keep it up. The Lebanese have to decide if they want a future with, or without, Hizbollah. While the Lebanese media speaks of Lebanese unity against Israeli aggression, private discussions in northern Lebanon are more about how to make the most of this opportunity to eliminate Hizbollah.

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Nickdfresh
07-25-2006, 12:36 PM
Hezbollah captured 2 Israeli soldiers and killed 8 in an unprovoked border raid. Israel is just defending itself against these Iranian-backed terrorists.

By killing over 400-500 Lebanese, 80% of them civilians, and 20% of them children. So, they've responded to a military ambush of Israeli soldiers with collective punishment and killing about 20 Lebanese for every Israeli killed...


Lebanon will learn this is the price a government will pay for harboring and giving parliament seats to an avowed terrorist group.

Well, they were independent for an entire year and have a weak national Army that is more symbolic that anything. Yes, Hezbollah are scum. But it's interesting that Americans were cheering when the Lebanese rided themselves of Syrian influence, but now are largely standing by as economic targets that have little direct value to Hezbollah are destroyed...



The Israeli army is attacking with surgical precision Hezbollah's areas in southern Lebanon and, unfortunately, as in ALL eager to fight actions, innocent civilians will suffer as they did during the bombings of Hiroshima, Dresden and Berlin, etc., during WWII

I didn't know arbitarily bombing civilian areas was "surgical strikes."


I support Israel 100% and hope the kick the SH-T of Hezbollah.

Yeah well, don't be surprised when a good deal of the Arab world blames us for the $3billion we give Israel and this spawns more anti-American terrorism.

mike M.
07-25-2006, 04:25 PM
I didn't know arbitarily bombing civilian areas was "surgical strikes."


Nickdfresh,Looks like the U.N. actually figured out what Hezbolla has been doing with it's civilians....

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,205352,00.html

The U.N. humanitarian chief accused Hezbollah on Monday of "cowardly blending" among Lebanese civilians and causing the deaths of hundreds during two weeks of cross-border violence with Israel.

mike M.
07-25-2006, 04:31 PM
Yeah well, don't be surprised when a good deal of the Arab world blames us for the $3billion we give Israel and this spawns more anti-American terrorism.


You mean they can hate us MORE than they do now?

Lancer44
07-25-2006, 06:33 PM
Her is an official US report about current situation.
Quite interesting and free from journalists opinions.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33566.pdf

Lancer44

Nickdfresh
07-25-2006, 06:34 PM
Nickdfresh,Looks like the U.N. actually figured out what Hezbolla has been doing with it's civilians....

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,205352,00.html

The U.N. humanitarian chief accused Hezbollah on Monday of "cowardly blending" among Lebanese civilians and causing the deaths of hundreds during two weeks of cross-border violence with Israel.


Yeah well, they've also figured out what Israel was doing as well (and btw, I not apologizing for Hezbollah)


UN attack looks deliberate: Annan
From correspondents in Rome
26jul06

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan today said he was "shocked" at Israel's "apparently deliberate targeting" of a UN post in Lebanon, in which up to four UN observers were killed.

Mr Annan described the strike as a "co-ordinated artillery and aerial attack on a long established and clearly marked UN post."

He said it took place "despite personal assurances given to me by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that UN positions would be spared Israeli fire."

"Furthermore, General Alain Pelligrini, the UN Force Commander in south Lebanon, had been in repeated contact with Israeli officers throughout the day on Tuesday, stressing the need to protect that particular UN position from attack.

"I call on the Government of Israel to conduct a full investigation into this very disturbing incident and demand that any further attack on UN positions and personnel must stop.

"The names and nationalities of those killed are being withheld pending notification of their families. I extend sincere condolences to the families of our fallen peacekeepers."

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19916610-1702,00.html

Nickdfresh
07-25-2006, 06:53 PM
You mean they can hate us MORE than they do now?


"They" is more or less a handful of Jihadists. Most of the Lebanese actually loved us while we helped them get the Syrian despots out...

I've always admired Israel and certainly don't apologize for the Hezbollah ****s. But their offensive, and some of the free pass they are granted by Americans, irritates me...

George Eller
07-26-2006, 12:29 AM
Her is an official US report about current situation.
Quite interesting and free from journalists opinions.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33566.pdf

Lancer44
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Thanks for the very informative link Lancer,

I've only read about half of it (got home late this evening), but plan to read the rest tomorrow.

Catch you later,
George

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Lancer44
07-26-2006, 07:56 AM
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Thanks for the very informative link Lancer,

I've only read about half of it (got home late this evening), but plan to read the rest tomorrow.

Catch you later,
George

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Thanks George, always my pleasure

Best regards,

......Your's and others humble servant...

Lancer44

George Eller
07-26-2006, 10:36 AM
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Israel: Aftermath
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060726.aspx

July 24, 2006: Israel advanced into southern Lebanon, seizing three hilltop villages. Each village was defended by 100-200 Hizbollah fighters, who were killed or captured. UN observers continued to observe along the border. Today the UN peacekeepers 45 Israeli air or artillery strikes, and twelve Hizbollah missile launches. The UN force has largely been useless, with Hizbollah intimidating the UN troops into either backing off, or even cooperating with terrorist operations. Israel suspects that some of the peacekeepers may now be acting as observers for Hizbollah.

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George Eller
07-26-2006, 10:37 AM
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Israel: Aftermath
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060726.aspx

July 25, 2006: Israel said it would clear a security zone along the Lebanese border, Everyone would be expelled, and anyone who entered would be fired upon. The depth of the zone was left unclear. It could be as much as 20 kilometers, or more. The zone would eventually be turned over to an acceptable (competent) international peacekeeping force. So far, there have been few offers of troops for this peacekeeping force. The peacekeepers would have to deal with Hizbollah, which in the past has shown no reluctance to threaten, or even attack, UN peacekeepers. Several hundred thousand Shia have fled their homes in southern Lebanon, and the presence of these UN troops would allow the refugees to return. But mixed in with the refugees would be Hizbollah operators, who would try to reestablish Hizbollah's military presence in the south.

A Hizbollah official admitted that they did not expect this kind of response when Hizbollah invaded Israel, ambushed some Israeli troops and took two of them captive. Most Lebanese don't believe this. While Hizbollah has been able to muster public support throughout Lebanon and the Arab world, they know that in the aftermath of all this, despite declaring a victory, they are already being blamed for causing a disaster, and will suffer substantial losses in the aftermath of this war. Hizbollah will lose control of much of south Lebanon, and other Lebanese Shia political parties are already maneuvering to grow at Hizbollah's expense. While most Lebanese cheer Hizbollah publicly, privately they see all this as a ploy to restore Syrian and Iranian control over Lebanon. This control was broken last year with the expulsion of Syrian troops from Lebanon. The Christian, Sunni and Druze parties thought they had a deal with Hizbollah (the main Shia party) to keep Syria (who still believes large chunks of eastern Lebanon should be part of Syria) out.

An Israeli bomb hit a UN observation post on the eastern portion of the border, killing four UN troops (from Austria, China, Canada and Finland).

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George Eller
07-26-2006, 10:38 AM
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Israel: Aftermath
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060726.aspx

July 26, 2006: Israel expressed regret over the accidental bombing of the UN observation post yesterday. Meanwhile, UN officials on the ground in Lebanon admit that Hizbollah has been deliberately mixing in with civilians for protection. Most of the Lebanese casualties have been caused by this tactic, as the Israelis must either not attack Hizbollah troops and weapons, or fire and hit the Lebanese civilians adjacent to the Hizbollah target. This has resulted in some 2,000 Lebanese casualties (about 20 percent of them dead) so far. Israel has suffered about 360 casualties. Some 80 percent of these have been civilians, injured by nearly a thousand Hizbollah rockets fired into northern Israel. As a result of this, nearly a million Israelis have been spending a lot of time in bomb shelters, and economic activity in northern Israel has been hampered. The years of Hizbollah rocket attacks has prepared the Israelis for the massive use of rockets now. Most Israelis have access to bomb shelters, and Israeli civil defense measures are pretty efficient. Such was not the case in Lebanon, although Hizbollah had bunkers for its own personnel. But most Lebanese civilians were left unprotected against some 2,000 Israeli bomb and artillery attacks.

Israeli troops are moving to capture Hizbollah observation posts and bunkers used by the rocket launching crews. The 14,000 Hizbollah rockets are stored all over southern Lebanon, usually in homes, Mosques or public buildings. The launching crews take the rockets out, and either launch them right away, or move them to nearby launch sites. Although the Israeli air attacks destroyed over a hundred rocket storage sites, there are still enough remaining to enable Hizbollah to fire up to 90 rockets a day. However, the average is down 30-50 percent from the peak rates of over a hundred a day.

Hizbollah knows, however, that as long as they can launch at least one rocket a day, they can claim victory. This is because Arabs no longer expect to be able to defeat Israel militarily, so that if the Arab force is still fighting, it is considered a victory. While ludicrous, this attitude has been widely accepted throughout the Middle East. However, this twisted logic is beginning to fray, and an increasing number of Arabs are questioning it. But in the short term, it still works. And right now, the short term is all that Hizbollah cares about. Even if the Israelis push Hizbollah back 20 kilometers from the border, they can get longer range rockets from Syria, and continue firing into Israel.

Israeli military operations continue in Gaza, to find a kidnapped Israeli soldier. In the three weeks since the soldier was taken, there have been nearly 400 Palestinian casualties, about ten times the Israeli losses. The Palestinians are now willing to make a deal to release the Israeli soldier, a stop to the Palestinian rocket attacks, in return for a ceasefire. The Palestinians are suffering far more from the violence, than the Israelis, and Palestinian public opinion is beginning to show it.

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George Eller
07-26-2006, 11:26 AM
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Back from the Front
Video Clip

FOX News' Shep Smith talks to Israeli troops back from fighting in Lebanon.

Copy and paste link below:

javascript:videoPlayer('072406/072406_studiob_soldiers','Back From the Front','FNL','acc','World','-1');

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SEE ALSO:

Staging Area
Fox News Video Clip on same webpage as above:

Israeli forces wait for call to enter southern Lebanon.

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SS Tiger
07-26-2006, 03:41 PM
Thanks George, that is worrying that the UN troops may be working with Hezbollah. Maybe that is the reason those UN troops were killed today, the Israelis thought they were aiding Hezbollah?

George Eller
07-26-2006, 03:54 PM
Thanks George, that is worrying that the UN troops may be working with Hezbollah. Maybe that is the reason those UN troops were killed today, the Israelis thought they were aiding Hezbollah?
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You're welcome Tiger,

I wonder myself about yesterday's incident as the article of July 24th kind of hints at that possibility. Don't know if we will ever know for sure.

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Panzerknacker
07-26-2006, 07:06 PM
I usually support Israel against the terrorist ...but this time is too much...the Israeli bombings must be stopped.

George Eller
07-26-2006, 08:15 PM
I usually support Israel against the terrorist ...but this time is too much...the Israeli bombings must be stopped.
-

Hi Panzerknacker,

The bombings have definitely not been good for Israel's image, particularly the civilian casualties. Although,
"UN officials on the ground in Lebanon admit that Hizbollah has been deliberately mixing in with civilians for protection. Most of the Lebanese casualties have been caused by this tactic, as the Israelis must either not attack Hizbollah troops and weapons, or fire and hit the Lebanese civilians adjacent to the Hizbollah target. This has resulted in some 2,000 Lebanese casualties (about 20 percent of them dead) so far. Israel has suffered about 360 casualties. Some 80 percent of these have been civilians, injured by nearly a thousand Hizbollah rockets fired into northern Israel." Still, it is very tragical. How much could have been avoided - I don't know. I'm just observing from the sidelines and not privy to the intelligence information upon which they are making their decisions.

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Israel Expresses 'Deep Regret' for Deaths of 4 U.N. Workers in Lebanon

Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,205643,00.html

NABATIYEH, Lebanon — Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed his "deep regret" to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on Wednesday for the deaths of four U.N. observers in southern Lebanon after an Israeli airstrike on a U.N. post in the region Tuesday.

Four U.N. observers were killed when an Israeli airstrike struck their post the night before, Lebanese officials confirmed. Olmert promised a thorough investigation of the incident and said the results would be presented to Annan.

Ireland demanded Wednesday an explanation from Israel after the top-ranking Irish army officer in Lebanon complained that Israel ignored warnings that its forces were in danger of hitting United Nations observer posts.

The government summoned Ambassador Daniel Megiddo a day after the four were killed — within hours of six warning calls from Lt. Col. John Molloy, according to well-placed Irish sources.

Molloy, the top Irish officer in the United Nations' UNIFIL peacekeeping force in south Lebanon, spoke by phone Wednesday morning to Defense Minister Willie O'Dea and the commander of Ireland's army, Lt. Gen. Jim Sreenan.

Two well-placed sources, one military and one in the government, said Molloy complained he had called Israeli military liaison officers six times to point out that Israeli shellfire and aircraft munitions were landing dangerously close to more than one U.N. installation, including the one that suffered a direct hit Tuesday night

Separately, an initial United Nations report Wednesday said its personnel made 10 warning calls in total before the attack. Reportedly, U.N. officials in New York and Lebanon repeatedly protested to Israel that a patrol base was coming under regular fire in the hours before an Israeli bomb leveled the building and killed at least three of the four unarmed military observers inside, a top peacekeeping official said Wednesday.

Lebanese officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press, said rescue workers were trying to extricate the fourth body from the wrecked building.

Annan said he was shocked by the "apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defense Forces of a U.N. observer post in southern Lebanon."

In response, Israel's U.N. Ambassador Dan Gillerman expressed his "deep regret" for the deaths, but denied Israel hit the post intentionally.

"I am shocked and deeply distressed by the hasty statement of the secretary-general, insinuating that Israel has deliberately targeted the U.N. post," he said, calling the assertions "premature and erroneous."

One of the dead was identified as Chinese U.N. observer Du Zhaoyu, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Israel's ambassador to Beijing was summoned Wednesday morning and asked to convey China's request that Israel fully investigate the incident and issue an apology to the victim's relatives.

"We are deeply shocked by this incident and strongly condemn it," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in the statement.

The other three UN observers were from Austria, Canada and Finland.

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George Eller
07-26-2006, 08:16 PM
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Hizbollahs Clever Plan for Victory
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htwin/articles/20060721.aspx

July 21, 2006: Hizbollah appears to have a lot of confidence in their ability to use Information War techniques to foil any Israeli attempt to defeat them. While the Israelis have overwhelming military superiority, Hizbollah has some serious assets of its own. For example;

Hizbollah has the support of the Shia Arab population in Lebanon. Shia comprise about 35 percent of Lebanese. While there are other Shia factions, Hizbollah has the most street cred. That's because Hizbollah got declared the victor (in Arab minds) when Israel withdrew from their south Lebanon security zone (to prevent Hizbollah rockets from threatening northern Israel) in 2000. Israel left because the constant skirmishing with Hizbollah was getting a few Israeli soldiers killed each year, and this was becoming politically unacceptable within Israel. So the UN brokered a deal for the Israeli withdrawal. But Hizbollah declared the withdrawal a military victory over Israel. This made Hizbollah heroes in the eyes of Lebanese Shia, and other Arabs in general.

While part of that 2000 deal for Israel to withdraw from southern Lebanon included the Lebanese army taking control of the border, Hizbollah kept control of southern Lebanon for itself. Hizbollah is safe in the knowledge that the rest of the world will forget that part of the deal. The other Lebanese were not happy with Hizbollah retaining control of southern Lebanon, but did not want to start another civil war by trying to disarm Hizbollah (another part of the UN withdrawal deal that was ignored and forgotten, by everyone except Israel.)

Therefore, Hizbollah can always hide among the Lebanese Shia population, which is willing to protect, or at least hide, their heroes. That might not work, because there are only 3.8 million Lebanese, and only 1.3 million Shia. But Hizbollah has other allies outside the country.

In addition to it's major sponsor, Iran, Hizbollah can also rely on Syria (run by a Shia minority, and propped up by Iran). But Hizbollah's biggest ally is world media, European public opinion, and Hizbollah's ability to portray itself as the victim. While Hizbollah has made no secret of its goal of destroying Israel (as has Iran), Hizbollah has cleverly set up its defenses in southern Lebanon so as to maximize civilian casualties if Israel ever attacked. For example, when thousands of rockets were brought in from Iran (via Syria) over the last six years, they were stored in special rooms or basements in schools, Mosques and homes. Civilians were given no choice in this matter, and many Shia in the south were proud to help house weapons to be used against Israel. Fewer of these civilians were willing to get killed when Israeli bombs or artillery shells came to destroy these rockets. Israel knew what Hizbollah was doing, and that's why Israel did not go after the rockets until now. To bomb the rocket supplies would have killed civilians, and without a Hizbollah attack on Israel, the PR and diplomatic backlash would have made such attacks too costly.

But Hizbollah is calculating that enough dead Lebanese civilians will cause European nations, and even the UN, to lean on Israel (perhaps even an embargo) and force a halt to the bombings. Hizbollah could even halt its rocket attacks, for a while anyway, and declare another victory. The two captured Israeli soldiers would never be surrendered except for hundreds of imprisoned terrorists. If Hizbollah gets enough world public opinion on their side, even this proposed trade will be seen as "reasonable", and Israel will be condemned for refusing to go along.

Hizbollah does have some risk exposure. For example, Israel could get lucky, (or Hizbollah gets sloppy), find where the two captured soldiers are, and rescue them. Israel could also reestablish their security zone, and convince the Lebanese government that they could only get that back if the Lebanese army came in and replaced Hizbollah. The Lebanese could pull that off, by promising (secretly) Hizbollah that they could return and continue to operate against Israel.

The Lebanese are also villains in all of this, as it was their unwillingness to disarm Hizbollah, and take charge of the border, in violation of the UN agreement, that made it possible for Hizbollah to attack Israel. The UN is also at fault, for not doing anything in six years to see that the 2000 agreement was carried out. Hizbollah knows they are not going to destroy Israel this time around, but are pretty much assured of another propaganda victory.

The UN is talking about sending in peacekeepers, but they have had several thousand peacekeepers along the border for decades. The problem is that the peacekeepers have no authority to do anything about Hizbollah, or any other terrorists. It's unlikely that any nation would be willing to supply peacekeepers for a force that could go after Hizbollah. That would be a nasty fight, with all manner of bad publicity. Everyone knows Hizbollah is good at spinning the media, and doesn't want to be on the wrong end of such spin.

So, despite the moral, military and intelligence advantages of Israel, Hizbollah is confident that growing European anti-Semitism (and anti-Israeli attitudes), media willingness to portray Hizbollah as a victim, and Lebanese unwillingness to do anything that would risk another civil war (the last went from 1975 to 1990), they can survive anything the Israelis throw at them, and come out a winner (in the minds of Arabs, at the very least).

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George Eller
07-26-2006, 09:39 PM
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More Fox News video clips:

Fierce Fighting
Fox News Video Clip
Shep Smith talks with Israeli soldiers on the border.
Very interesting.

Copy and paste:
javascript:videoPlayer('072606/072606_studiob_soldiers','Fierce Fighting','Studio_B','acc','World','-1');

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Firepower
Fox News video clip
A look at the weapons Israeli forces are using against Hezbollah.

Copy and paste:
javascript:newVideo('072606/072606_fr_leventhal','FOX_Report','Firepower','Wor ld','-1');

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Combat Continues
Fox News video clip
Israeli soldiers given orders to return to Lebanon

Copy and paste:
javascript:videoPlayer('072606/072606_studiob_shep2','Combat Continues','Studio_B','acc','World','-1');

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Panzerknacker
07-27-2006, 08:48 AM
Well, that was my point the huge mistakes of Israel make some part of the media to belive that hezbollah is a victim, wich is a very dangerous thing to do.

Aniway yo cannot to bomb a country and to kill/wound 1500 people just like that, seems nodody want to "get dirty " and stop the IDF.

mike M.
07-27-2006, 10:46 AM
ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM FACTS--points to ponder




ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM FACTS





1. ISRAEL BECAME A STATE IN 1312 B.C., TWO MILLENNIA BEFORE ISLAM;



2. ARAB REFUGEES FROM ISRAEL BEGAN CALLING THEMSELVES "PALESTINIANS" IN 1967, TWO DECADES AFTER (MODERN) ISRAELI STATEHOOD;



3. AFTER CONQUERING THE LAND IN 1272 B.C., JEWS RULED IT FOR A THOUSAND YEARS AND MAINTAINED A CONTINUOUS PRESENCE THERE FOR 3,300 YEARS;



4. THE ONLY ARAB RULE FOLLOWING CONQUEST IN 633 B.C. LASTED JUST 22 YEARS;



5. FOR OVER 3,300 YEARS, JERUSALEM WAS THE JEWISH CAPITAL. IT WAS NEVER THE CAPITAL OF ANY ARAB OR MUSLIM ENTITY. EVEN UNDER JORDANIAN RULE,
(EAST) JERUSALEM WAS NOT MADE THE CAPITAL, AND NO ARAB LEADER CAME TO VISIT IT;



6. JERUSALEM IS MENTIONED OVER 700 TIMES IN THE BIBLE, BUT NOT ONCE IS IT MENTIONED IN THE QURAN;



7. KING DAVID FOUNDED JERUSALEM; MOHAMMED NEVER SET FOOT IN IT;



8. JEWS PRAY FACING JERUSALEM; MUSLIMS FACE MECCA. IF THEY ARE BETWEEN THE TWO CITIES, MUSLIMS PRAY FACING MECCA, WITH THEIR BACKS TO JERUSALEM;



9. IN 1948, ARAB LEADERS URGED THEIR PEOPLE TO LEAVE, PROMISING TO CLEANSE THE LAND OF JEWISH PRESENCE. 68% OF THEM FLED WITHOUT EVER SETTING EYES ON AN ISRAELI SOLDIER;



10. VIRTUALLY THE ENTIRE JEWISH POPULATION OF MUSLIM COUNTRIES HAD TO FLEE AS THE RESULT OF VIOLENCE AND POGROMS;



11. SOME 630,000 ARABS LEFT ISRAEL IN 1948, WHILE CLOSE TO A MILLION JEWS WERE FORCED TO LEAVE THE MUSLIM COUNTRIES;



12. IN SPITE OF THE VAST TERRITORIES AT THEIR DISPOSAL, ARAB REFUGEES WERE DELIBERATELY PREVENTED FROM ASSIMILATING INTO THEIR HOST COUNTRIES. OF 100 MILLION REFUGEES FOLLOWING WORLD WAR 2, THEY ARE THE ONLY GROUP TO HAVE NEVER INTEGRATED WITH THEIR CORELIGIONISTS. MOST OF THE JEWISH REFUGEES FROM EUROPE AND ARAB LANDS WERE SETTLED IN ISRAEL, A COUNTRY NO LARGER THAN NEW JERSEY;



13. THERE ARE 22 MUSLIM COUNTRIES, NOT COUNTING PALESTINE. THERE IS ONLY ONE JEWISH STATE. ARABS STARTED ALL FIVE WARS AGAINST ISRAEL, AND LOST EVERY ONE OF THEM;



14. FATAH AND HAMAS CONSTITUTIONS STILL CALL FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL. ISRAEL CEDED MOST OF THE WEST BANK AND ALL OF GAZA TO THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY, AND EVEN PROVIDED IT WITH ARMS;



15. DURING THE JORDANIAN OCCUPATION, JEWISH HOLY SITES WERE VANDALIZED AND WERE OFF LIMITS TO JEWS. UNDER ISRAELI RULE, ALL MUSLIM AND CHRISTIAN HOLY SITES ARE ACCESSIBLE TO ALL FAITHS;



16. OUT OF 175 UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS UP TO 1990, 97 WERE AGAINST ISRAEL; OUT OF 690 GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTIONS, 429 WERE AGAINST ISRAEL;



18. THE U.N. WAS SILENT WHEN THE JORDANIANS DESTROYED 58 SYNAGOGUES IN THE OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM. IT REMAINED SILENT WHILE JORDAN SYSTEMATICALLY DESECRATED THE ANCIENT JEWISH CEMETERY ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, AND IT REMAINED SILENT WHEN JORDAN ENFORCED APARTHEID LAWS PREVENTING JEWS FROM ACCESSING THE TEMPLE MOUNT AND WESTERN WALL.



THESE ARE TRYING TIMES. WE MUST ASK OURSELVES WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING, AND WHAT WE WILL TELL OUR GRANDCHILDREN ABOUT OUR ACTIONS DURING THIS CRISIS, WHEN WE HAD THE CHANCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

George Eller
07-27-2006, 12:18 PM
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Well, that was my point the huge mistakes of Israel make some part of the media to belive that hezbollah is a victim, wich is a very dangerous thing to do.

Aniway yo cannot to bomb a country and to kill/wound 1500 people just like that, seems nodody want to "get dirty" and stop the IDF.

Hi Panzerknacker,

Israel is in a very tough position, on one hand they have to eliminate the source of the rocket attacks on their citizens while on the other hand fighting an enemy that uses civilians as human shields. Neither Hezbollah nor Hamas recognize Israel's right to exist and both are sworn to the destruction of Israel.

Right now, I think that it is more important to stop Hezbollah and Islamic terrorism in Lebanon and throughout the world (as in Iraq, Indonesia, India, Europe, etc.) and to stop those nations that sponsor terrorism like Iran and Syria.

Islamo-Fascists are not exactly the most tolerant people in the world.
http://www.snopes.com/photos/politics/muslimprotest.asp

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Hamas' charter (written in 1988 and still in force) calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas

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Hezbollah supports the destruction of the state of Israel and has co-operated with other militant Islamic organizations such as Hamas in order to promote this goal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezbollah
http://www.unb.ca/web/bruns/9900/issue14/intnews/israel.html

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ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM FACTS--points to ponder....

Thanks Mike :)

-

More Fox news video clips:

Stench of Death
Fox News video clip

Copy and paste:
javascript:newVideo('072706/072706_tobin_embedded','FNL','%26%2392%3B%26%2339% 3BStench%20of%20Death%26%2392%3B%26%2339%3B','Worl d','-1');

Embedded with Israeli troops, FOX News' Mike Tobin files frontline exclusive. Hezbollah is taking a beating.

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Border Incursions
Fox News video clip

Copy and paste:
javascript:newVideo('072706/072706_leventhal_border','FNL','Border20Incursions ','World','-1');

Israeli troops locked in fierce battles along Lebanese border. I can see a seriousness and determination now on the part of the Israeli soldiers. You can see it on their faces.

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http://www.foxnews.com/images/215098/2_28_072706_mideast01.jpg
July 27: Israeli soldiers hold a captured Hezbollah flag as they cross into Israel.

http://www.foxnews.com/images/215130/3_2_072706_tank_flag.jpg
July 27: Israeli soldiers hold a captured Hezbollah flag.

http://www.foxnews.com/photoessay/photoessay_1082_images/0727061033_M_072706_israel_leb2.jpg

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Dani
07-27-2006, 12:26 PM
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htlead/articles/20060727.aspx

Hizbollah's Leadership Vulnerability

July 27, 2006: Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah is so critical to the success of Hizbollah, that if he's killed, the whole organization may fall apart. Although on paper the movement has clear lines of authority, and a defined order-of-succession, if you take a close look at Nasrallah's henchmen, you realize that most of them are pretty much the ordinary run of uninspiring Arab thugs. As none of them comes near Nasrallah in either brains or charisma (in a Moslem way), they would most likely begin squabbling among themselves if Nasrallah got killed. Iran has sent lots of advisers and technical experts to Lebanon, but none of these could expect to lead Hizbollah, largely because all Lebanese are touchy about foreign influence. Although the two decades of Syrian occupation favored Hizbollah, and thus Shias in general, it was still foreign occupation. And it's no secret that Syria considers large parts of eastern Lebanon as territory that should be part of Syria. Iran doesn't like depending so much on one guy, but they don't have much choice. Nasrallah, like most Arab strongmen, sees the elimination of any likely successors as an excellent method for avoiding getting deposed.

Dani
07-27-2006, 12:30 PM
...and maybe also in Iran might be a regime changing...

http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/iran/articles/20060726.aspx
July 15, 2006: While Iran officially supports Hizbollah in the war with Israel, Iranian public opinion is mixed. It's no secret that Iran has given Hizbollah billions of dollars in aid, and much of that is now being destroyed by Israeli firepower. Many Iranians still live in poverty, and they are not happy with all the money spent, and apparently wasted, in south Lebanon.

Dani
07-27-2006, 12:52 PM
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/1D608570-C11E-4AEB-B14B-84B47DC401E7.htm

Al-Zawahiri urges attacks on Israel

Thursday 27 July 2006, 14:31 Makka Time, 11:31 GMT

Al-Qaeda's deputy leader has urged Muslims to attack Israel and its allies over the violence in the Middle East.

In a taped message broadcast on Aljazeera, Ayman al-Zawahiri said al-Qaeda would not stand by while "these [Israeli] shells burn our brothers" in Lebanon and Gaza.
He called on Muslims to join forces and fight what he called the "Zionist-crusader war" against Muslim nations.

"Oh Muslims everywhere, I call on you to fight and become martyrs in the war against the Zionists and the crusaders," the Egyptian born former doctor said.
"The war with Israel does not depend on ceasefires... It is a jihad for God's sake and will last until religion prevails ... from Spain to Iraq," al-Zawahiri said.


Open battlefield


"The entire world is an open battlefield for us and since they are attacking us everywhere, we will attack everywhere."


The deputy to Osama bin Laden wore a grey robe and white turban during the statement. A picture of the World Trade Centre on fire was on the wall behind him along with pictures of two fighters.

"The shells and rockets ripping apart Muslim bodies in Gaza and Lebanon are not only Israeli, but are supplied by all the countries of the crusader coalition. Therefore, every participant in the crime will pay the price," al-Zawahiri said.


He also suggested that the world cared more about Israelis than Palestinians.


"The 10,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel's prisons do not move anything while three Israeli prisoners have shaken the world," he said.

The statement was the first from al-Qaeda to comment on Israel's offensive in Lebanon which began after the capture of two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid by Hezbollah.
Israel also attacked Gaza after Palestinian fighters killed two Israeli soldiers and captured another on June 25.
Al-Zawahiri has evaded capture since US-led forces brought down the Taliban government in Afghanistan in 2001 following the September 2001 attacks on the US.

The message was the tenth released by Zawahiri this year.

:D I miss now our Jewish anarchist friend and his view about the media...;)

Edited:
http://www.infoshop.org/wiki/index.php/Lebanon

Groups from around the world are calling for various actions to be taken to stop the mounting violence in the region.

Sometimes I wonder on which world they live... I only want to ask Jeffrey what he would do face to face with a suicide bomber...

George Eller
07-27-2006, 08:46 PM
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Thanks for the great posts Dani :)

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Here is more on the incident involving the deaths of four UN observers on July 25th:

E-Mail Casts Doubt on Claims of Israel Targeting U.N. Peacekeepers
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Fox News

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,205978,00.html

UNITED NATIONS — An e-mail sent by a Canadian U.N. observer and obtained by FOX News casts doubt on claims by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan that the Israeli attack on a U.N. peacekeeper observation post along the Lebanese border was intentional.

The email from Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener warned that the post had come under "unintentional" artillery fire and aerial bombing several times in the previous weeks, and that several Hezbollah positions were in the area of the patrol base.

"It is not safe or prudent for us to conduct normal patrol activities," wrote Kruedener in the July 18th e-mail. "(The artillery and aerial bombing) has not been deliberate targeting, but has rather been due to tactical necessity."

Kruedener was one of four unarmed U.N. military observers killed in Tuesday's bombing.

"I think that e-mail is very important, because unfortunately these are practically the last words of somebody who eventually paid with his life,” said Israel's U.N. ambassador Daniel Gillerman. “He's telling his commander that Israel was not targeting them and that there is Hezbollah activity around there."

This comes as the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a statement on Thursday expressing shock and distress at Israel's bombing of the U.N. post, but fell short of condemnation....

...The final text said "the Security Council is deeply shocked and distressed by the firing by the Israeli Defense Forces on a United Nations Observer post in southern Lebanon..."

The condemnation of Israel was eliminated, as was the call for a joint investigation.

In the final statement, the council called on Israel "to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into this incident, taking into account any relevant material from U.N. authorities, and to make the results public as soon as possible."...

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Nickdfresh
07-27-2006, 11:35 PM
I usually support Israel against the terrorist ...but this time is too much...the Israeli bombings must be stopped.

I agree. Israel could have 'decapitated' Hezbollah without pounding Lebanon...

And, they're not really having a good offensive, suffering more casualties on the ground than I'm sure they would have hoped or thought they would...

Dani
07-27-2006, 11:37 PM
Thanks for the great posts Dani :)

Thanks George but my post was only another perspective as Jeffrey stated some time ago.


The U.S. news is reporting this completely biased, to be expected. Although im a Jew i dont feel that i must support the Israeli Government or Army which to me at this time appear to be the real terrorists.

although i dont pretend to beleive that any news articles are Objective or un-biased, maybe it is worth checking out another perspective. If you all do truly support the Neo-conservative agenda or even the Neo-libral agenda then i feel this is waisted on you. But, i truly try to look at this whole thing from a perspective of social justice and with no alegence to any religion or nationality or ethnicity.

My bold.
Jeffrey, if you truly try to look at this whole thing from a perspective of social justice, please do it! You told that US news (on TV) are biased. What stopped you to search the internet to check another perspective?;)
Cheers!

Nickdfresh
07-27-2006, 11:41 PM
ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM FACTS--points to ponder




ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM FACTS





1. ISRAEL BECAME A STATE IN 1312 B.C., TWO MILLENNIA BEFORE ISLAM;



...

So we should return North America to the Native Americans? They were here first after all...

George Eller
07-28-2006, 11:52 PM
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Various maps showing the areas where the current conflict is occuring between Israel and Hezbollah:

Eastern Mediterranean Region - Hammond Atlas of the World 1992
Scale: 1: 3 000 000
http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/5152/israellebanonmap04jr0.jpg


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Israel / Lebanon - Kummerly + Frey 1982
Scale: 1: 750 000
Village of Bent Jbail where initial battle occured is marked with red "X" on map
http://img92.imageshack.us/img92/4302/israellebanonmap01pv9.jpg


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Israel / Lebanon Border Region - John Bartholomew & Son, Ltd - Edinburgh 1975
Scale: 1: 350 000
Village of Bent Jbail where initial battle occured is marked with red arrow on map
http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/7735/israellebanonmap02zw6.jpg


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Israel / Lebanon Border Region - Israeli 1978
Scale: 1: 250 000
Village of Bent Jbail where initial battle occured is marked with red arrow on map.
It is just north of the Lebanese village of Maroun Aras (Maroun Al-Ras) which had been captured earlier by Israeli forces.
Also I have indicated many place names in English (in red) on map
http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/9769/israellebanonmap03fw2.jpg

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George Eller
08-01-2006, 12:30 PM
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More Maps of Lebanon:


Map - U.N. Interim Force in South Lebanon - July 2006
http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/dpko/unifil.pdf

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Map - Clickable - detailed map of Lebanon - Scale 1: 200 000
Courtesy of the Ministry of Tourism of Lebanon and Next Vision
http://almashriq.hiof.no/lebanon/900/910/912/maps/mot-maps/
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Southern Lebanon from Israeli border to just north of Tyre, Lebanon:
Courtesy of the Ministry of Tourism of Lebanon and Next Vision
NOTE THAT THE NAME "ISRAEL" HAS BEEN REPLACED WITH THE NAME "PALESTINE"
http://almashriq.hiof.no/lebanon/900/910/912/maps/mot-maps/english-map/eng-l07.jpg
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Area further north of city of Tyre, Lebanon and the Litani River:
http://almashriq.hiof.no/lebanon/900/910/912/maps/mot-maps/english-map/eng-l06.jpg

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Map - Lebanon - University of Texas Collection - 2002
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/lebanon_rel_2002.jpg

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/lebanon_rel_2002.jpg

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George Eller
08-02-2006, 12:23 PM
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Gaza Strip Map - satellite Images of Gaza
http://www.maplandia.com/gaza-strip/gaza/

Detailed map of Gaza and near places (with zoom and panning ability)

Welcome to the Gaza google satellite map! This place is situated in Gaza Strip, its geographical coordinates are 31° 30' 0" North, 34° 28' 0" East and its original name (with diacritics) is Gaza. See Gaza photos and images from satellite below, explore the aerial photographs of Gaza in Gaza Strip. You can also dive right into Gaza on unique 3D satellite map by Google Earth.

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Gaza Strip Map - satellite Images of Gaza - University of Texas Collection - May 2005
Scale 1: 65 000 (with zoom ability)

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/gaza_strip_may_2005.jpg

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/gaza_strip_may_2005.jpg

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Gaza Strip Map - University of Texas Collection - December 1991
Scale 1: 150 000 (with zoom ability)

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/gazastrip91.jpg

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/gazastrip91.jpg

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SEE ALSO:

Gaza Strip and West Bank Maps - University of Texas Collection
Various maps produced by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency unless otherwise noted.

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/gazastrip.html

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SS Tiger
08-02-2006, 12:30 PM
Thank's George! That arial view of the Gaza Strip is interesting!

George Eller
08-02-2006, 12:34 PM
Thank's George! That arial view of the Gaza Strip is interesting!
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You're welcome Tiger :)

That scale 1: 65 000 really brings it in close - you can actually see individual buildings.

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Cuts
08-03-2006, 04:51 AM
ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM FACTS--points to ponder


...


Now that was quite funny !

Where did you find it ?

George Eller
08-03-2006, 11:36 AM
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Israel: You Can Look It Up
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060728.aspx

July 28, 2006: Hizbollah is a slave to its own rhetoric. Hizbollah is the Lebanese arm of the Iranian Shia revolution. The Islamic radicals who run a religious dictatorship in Iran, carried out a coup in the 1980s, taking control of the government during a desperate war with Iraq (which had invaded Iran in 1980). The religious zealots in Iran believe the world would be a better place if everyone were Moslem, of the Shia variety (which predominates in Iran and Lebanon, but not with 90 percent of Moslems, who prefer the Sunni, or other minor sects.) Iran also believes that Israel must be destroyed, and Iranian leaders have not been shy about repeating this again and again in public. Hizbollah leaders repeat this demand. This basic Hizbollah goal, the destruction of Israel, makes negotiations with Israel difficult. Israel has apparently decided to forget about negotiations, and instead, take Hizbollah apart piece by piece.

Israeli troops have been fighting Hizbollah gunmen for over a quarter of a century. You have many Israeli infantrymen fighting in Lebanon now, who got practical advice from their fathers, who had battled Hizbollah back in the 1980s. Israel knows how to defeat Hizbollah, as they have been doing it for decades. But until the recent Hizbollah raids across the border, Israel has avoided going after Hizbollah on a large scale. This was an attempt to keep things quiet on the Lebanese border, and give the Lebanese a chance to settle the problem with Hizbollah peacefully. That seemed more likely, after a popular (and largely peaceful) Lebanese uprising last year that forced Syria to pull its troops out of Lebanon.

Since the 1980s, Syria had a force of over 30,000 soldiers in Lebanon. Originally sent in a peacekeepers during the 1975-90 Lebanese civil war, the Syrian force soon became guardians of Hizbollahs growing empire in southern Lebanon, and protector of Syrian economic interests (many of them criminal, like drug smuggling) in Lebanon. Without those 30,000 Syrian troops, Hizbollah, and the Lebanese Shia (about 35 percent of the population) were more vulnerable than they had been in over two decades. Intense negotiations commenced. No one wanted a resumption of the civil war, but all Lebanese were concerned about this state-within-a-state that Hizbollah had created in southern Lebanon. The UN was concerned as well. As part of the deal, when Israel pulled out, Hizbollah was to disarm and a force of 2,500 UN peace observers (UNIFIL) would watch over a new era of peace in the south. For the last seven years, Hizbollah has refused to abide by that deal, and most Lebanese were tired of the delays. Increasing the attacks against Israel seemed like a good idea, as it made Hizbollah seem more useful, if Israel did not strike back. The rest of the Lebanese political parties were not making threats, yet, about Hizbollahs refusal to disband and let southern Lebanon become part of Lebanon once more. Hizbollah wanted to make their autonomy in southern Lebanon permanent, but was unsure of how to do it. Hizbollah stumbled into war with Israel while seeking a solution to its problems with the rest of Lebanon.

Getting accurate news about the fighting in southern Lebanon is complicated by the fact that Hizbollah, the Lebanese and most of the media are more concerned about producing propaganda and excitement, than in reporting facts. Hizbollah knows, from long experience, that they cannot defeat Israel. But Hizbollah knows that it can spin the media. The Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon in 2000 was a peace offering that was, in typical Hizbollah fashion, simultaneously spurned and exploited. The same techniques are being used during the current war.

But now Israel is determined to cripple Hizbollah, a move that will lead to the organization either dying, or fading into insignificance. Hizbollah had made lots of enemies in the last 25 years, many of them in the Lebanese Shia community. If Hizbollah losses most of its economic and military assets, that will make it weak enough for other Lebanese groups to overwhelm it militarily and politically. This appears to be the Israeli plan, and the way things work in the Middle East, it appears to be working. Support for Hizbollah from the Arab world has been muted, compared to similar situations in the past. Even Iran is not happy with Hizbollahs actions, and has pointedly not sent any new weapons. Naturally, the Sunni Arab world is down on Hizbollah (and its explicit goal of replacing Sunni Islam with the Shia variety). While Lebanese politicians have been vocal in their support for Hizbollah, there has been no rush to provide any material support.

Israel has destroyed most of Hizbollah's economic assets, and is now going after the military ones. There are thousands of bunkers, fortified buildings and tunnel complexes in southern Lebanon that Hizbollah can use to fight from. Israeli troops may have to battle through all of them to cripple Hizbollahs military strength. Israel has done this successfully against the Palestinians for years. This will not be reported very accurately in the media because that would be boring. Israeli tactics are methodical and, well, not very dramatic. The mass media needs excitement, and when they can't find it, they invent it. Think back to the many battles Israel has had with the Palestinians, or the reporting on the American three week march on Baghdad in 2003, and remember what the pundits were saying, compared to what was actually happening. The mass media depends on most people not retaining any memories like that, and being willing to accept breathless, and inaccurate, reports of the current wars.

What makes war unpredictable is the fact that, while genius may have its limits, stupidity doesn't. Hizbollah is basically stupid. They are part of a movement dedicated to taking over the world. Israel just wants to survive. Hizbollah is part of an Arab military tradition that takes pride in a long string of defeats because that means eventually the enemy will get tired of beating on us and go away. This is how they turned the 2000 Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon (actually a peace offering) into a great military victory for Hizbollah. Another example of stupidity without limits.

When the dust has settled on this war in Lebanon, the remnants of Hizbollah will be busy rearranging the facts in order to produce another victory. But Hizbollah will no longer be the force it once was, and Lebanese soldiers and police will once more be patrolling southern Lebanon, rolling past the wreckage of Hizbollah bunkers and military facilities. The hundreds of buildings and bridges destroyed by Israeli bombs will be a reminder to the Lebanese of what happens when you allow part of your country to he hijacked by a bunch of religious maniacs. The majority of Lebanese were never happy about Hizbollah, but lacked the courage to do anything about it. Israel's not going away, but Hizbollah is. It's members can easily go back to being Lebanese, or get killed by an Israeli smart bomb, or sniper. Israelis have no such options, and have no choice but to fight and win. That makes a big difference on the battlefield. You can look it up.

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George Eller
08-03-2006, 11:37 AM
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Military Blunders: Fatal Flaws in Arab Thinking
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htmurph/articles/20060731.aspx

July 31, 2006: Most Westerner's have become aware, because of the war on terror, that people in the Middle East view the world according to different standards. Perhaps the most important difference between the Middle East, especially the Arab world, and the West, is the attitude towards compromise. While Westerners see compromise as a path to success, Arabs see it as an admission of defeat. This attitude is reflected in many ways. For example, Arabs are more willing to accept religious absolutes ("all non-Moslems are scum"). The Middle East attitudes towards women, especially Arab acceptance of "honor killings" (murdering a women if she is even suspected of misbehavior), are part of this lack of nuance.

The Arab love for absolutes has also produced a culture that more readily accepts conspiracy theories. Indeed, the conspiracy theories are often preferable to reality. In this way, we get the common Arab willingness to blame all their woes on "others" (other Arabs, or, better yet, Westerners.)

After decades of avoiding problems, and solutions, because of these conspiracy theories, it has become fashionable among many educated Arabs to admit that, perhaps, many Arab problems are caused by things Arabs do, or don't do. That's a start, but the Arab preference for absolutes makes it very difficult to change. And democracy doesn't work that well either, for one of the cornerstones for a functioning democracy is compromise.


All of these bad habits, and even many Arabs will admit that the paranoia, blame-shifting and absolutism are bad, can be seen in Arab media. While many Arab journalists know they are putting out misleading, often counter-productive, garbage, it's what the markets still wants, what too many Arabs still respond to most enthusiastically.

Many Europeans are still willing to leave the Arabs alone as they work these problems out themselves. Eventually. But the United States decided it could not wait, after the events of September 11, 2001. This difference in attitudes towards Arab thinking has created a continuing rift between Europe and the United States.

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George Eller
08-03-2006, 11:37 AM
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Israel: The Phony War
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060731.aspx


July 31, 2006: The Hizbollah tactic of firing rockets from residential areas, and forcing civilians to stick around when the rockets are fired, has paid off. One rocket launching site in a large building in southern Lebanon, for which Israel released video of rockets being launched, before bombing the building, turned out to contain over fifty women and children. The civilians know that the Israelis bomb any place where rockets are fired from, but Hizbollah gunmen will force the civilians to stay. This has caused many Lebanese, even Shia in the south, to turn against Hizbollah. Some journalists have even been able to get out of Lebanon with pictures of this, but most of the world media prefers to call Israeli response to Hizbollah attacks a war crime and leave it at that. This is going to be one of those situations where, down the road, historians are going to wonder just what the world was thinking during all this.

While Hizbollah is good at getting Lebanese civilians killed, they are not very effective at hurting Israelis. Engineer and intelligence troops have identified less than a hundred rockets landing in Israel each day so far. This is done by collecting and identifying fragments. But as time goes by, more rocket hits are discovered in unpopulated areas of northern Israel. Apparently more than a hundred rockets are landing in northern Israel each day, but on many days, only a few dozen land anywhere near residential areas. Many of the rocket salvos (two dozen or more 122mm rockets are being fired at a time) are not aimed very well at all, and don't come down anywhere near to an Israeli settlement. This is why there has been less than one Israeli casualty per rocket fired. This casualty rate has been coming down. One recent barrage of 25 122mm rockets landed in an Israeli town and caused no casualties at all (but damaged several buildings).

The Israelis keep civilian casualties down by having better bomb shelters, using them more effectively and evacuating many of the more exposed towns in northern Israel. Since Israel is a democracy, the government has to do all it can to minimize its civilian casualties. Hizbollah is not a democracy, but a religious dictatorship (trying to bring that form of government to Lebanon, and then the world.) Hizbollah considers itself on a mission from God, and within its rights to kill anyone, and do anything, to complete its mission. Thus the policy of getting the maximum number of Lebanese civilians killed. European and Moslem media have taken the bait, and are calling Israeli responses, to Hizbollah attacks, "war crimes."

Israeli ground operations appear to be using paratroopers and other elite infantry to hunt down and kill Hizbollah rocket launching teams. Hizbollah has not got a lot of trained people. Kill them, and they are hard to replace. There are only so many rocket launcher teams. Kill them, and no one will be available to take the rockets out of their hiding places and launch them. Right now, this battle is being won by the Israelis, because Hizbollah has not been able to launch many longer (over 20 kilometers) rockets at more densely populated areas deeper in Israel. Most of the rockets are short range ones. The Israeli attack on the transportation system in southern Lebanon has made it difficult to move large objects, like big rockets, into position for launch.

Israel agreed to a 40 hour halt to air attacks on the 30th, to provide time to investigate the bombing the day before that killed over fifty civilians at a Hizbollah launching site. This is supposed to give Hizbollah an opportunity to reciprocate. But Hizbollah has more pressing problems. While the Lebanese media won't discuss it much, most Lebanese are quite angry with Hizbollah. The stories, of how Hizbollah forces civilians to stay around rocket launch sites, are now widely known. Israeli intelligence agents in Lebanon are getting more good tips on Hizbollah activity, especially within Christian areas. The Lebanese Christians know they are considered eventual targets (as infidels) of Hizbollah, and have noted Hizbollah men joking about getting the "Jews to do our work for us" (killing Lebanese Christians.)

The main problem in Lebanon is, and always has been, that the civil war never really ended in 1990, especially not for the Shia faction represented by Hizbollah. Iran accepted the 1990 ceasefire in Lebanon under pressure from the rest of the Moslem world. But while Hizbollah entered Lebanese politics in the 1990s, they never disarmed their militia, supported the continued Syrian occupation of Lebanon, and did not recognize the authority of the Lebanese government, in portions of southern Lebanon that Hizbollah controlled.

Israel is not giving detailed briefings on its tactics and exactly what its forces have accomplished so far. That's because this war is largely a psychological one. It's also an Information War, where the manipulation of the media is an important aspect of the fight. In this respect, Hizbollah has an edge, because most of the Moslem and European media will automatically side with them against Israel. That said, the Israeli strategy appears to be the destruction of people and material that Hizbollah will have the most difficulty replacing, and weakening Hizbollah enough so that the majority of Lebanese, and the Lebanese government, can regain control of southern Lebanon (and Hizbollah controlled Beirut neighborhoods), that Hizbollah has controlled for decades. If Lebanon can put itself back together, Hizbollah will be much less of a threat. Because this conflict is also seen as another battle in the thousand year old war between Sunni and Shia, most Arabs, while cheering for Hizbollah, because they are armed Arabs who did not go down before the Israeli in the first round, will not be terribly upset if Hizbollah ultimately loses and disappears.

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George Eller
08-03-2006, 11:38 AM
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Leadership: The Lebanon Gambles
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htlead/articles/20060801.aspx

August 1, 2006: The rather sudden shift in international opinion about the Israeli campaign in Lebanon, from blaming Hezbollah for provocation, to blaming Israel for undertaking a "disproportionate response" and, more recently, for "war crimes," illustrates a major problem in attempting to use massive conventional capabilities in what is essentially a battle for public opinion.

When Hezbollah raided Israeli territory, kidnapping two Israeli soldiers, and killing several others, it seems to have done so deliberately to provoke a massive Israeli response. For weeks, there had been increasingly open talk in Lebanon about disarming militias, and a consensus appears to have been developing that this included Hezbollah (despite the participation of the movement's political front in the current government). By provoking Israeli military action, Hezbollah hoped to burnish its credentials as a champion of Arab resistance.

Initially things didn't go so well for Hezbollah. For one thing, the scale of the Israeli response came as a big surprise. Worse, many Arab leaders, who are mostly Sunni anyway, whereas Hezbollah is Shia and a creation of the hated Iranians, condemned Hezbollah for provoking Israel.

But the scale of their response soon began to tell against Israel. Rather than conduct carefully focused air and commando strikes directly against Hezbollah's leaders, forces, and infrastructure, the Israelis went in loaded for bear. It's not clear just what the Israeli objective was. If the intent was to break Hezbollah, then why were most of the targets struck not directly connected with Hezbollah, and most not even in the Hezbollah-dominated south? Some policy analysts seem to think Israel may have been hoping to force the Lebanese government to initiate its own action against Hezbollah. Perhaps, but might that have been more likely if the Israelis inflicted grievous injury to Hezbollah while leaving the rest of Lebanon relatively unscathed?

Worse, by adopting a major conventional response, the Israelis set themselves up for a public relations disaster. Hezbollah's policy of sitting missile launchers in the middle of residential areas was deliberately intended to invite Israeli attack, in the hope that civilian casualties would result. And the Israelis did precisely that.

While Israeli actions are understandable, given frustration over years of violent attacks by genocidal enemies, and although in the circumstance civilian losses are legitimately Hezbollah's responsibility, a more carefully crafted response would likely have paid off better. A Machiavellian strategy is needed, not a kinetic one. Then again, Israel does understand the neighborhood, and may have gauged Lebanese public opinion, in the long term, better than outsiders give credit for.

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George Eller
08-03-2006, 11:38 AM
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Commandos and Special Operations: Hizbollah Caught Planning an Atrocity
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htsf/articles/20060802.aspx

August 2, 2006: Israeli troops operating in south Lebanon captured a Hezbollah safe house, and found the usual weapons and other equipment, as well as a supply of Israeli Defense Force uniforms. This indicated plans to stage a major "atrocity." Committed, as the evidence would clearly show, by Israeli troops. But perhaps this will never happen, for Israeli raids into southern Lebanon have captured many Hizbollah documents, as well as some live Hizbollah members. These, combined with Israeli electronic eavesdropping, reports from agents inside Lebanon, give the Israelis a pretty good idea of what Hizbollah is up to. Without much fanfare, Israeli commandos and aircraft will respond to Hizbollah plans.

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George Eller
08-03-2006, 11:39 AM
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Leadership: Following the Money In Lebanon
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htlead/articles/20060802.aspx

August 2, 2006: Hizbollah is a major economic factor in Lebanon, with an annual operating budget of $650-700 million a year, of which some $250 million seems to come from Iran. The rest comes from other donors, including some Islamic charities, and a large number of legitimate businesses, which includes banking, and illegal activities (drugs and smuggling). A fair chunk of this money is spent on social programs, rather than the movement's military wing, but the ratio between the two is unknown.

There are about 1.3 million Shia in Lebanon, and they are the main benefits of Hizbollahs spending. Since the Shia have, and remain, the poorest segment of Lebanese society (the Christians have always been the wealthiest), the Hizbollah money is very important. As such, that comes to over $500 of Hizbollah money, per capita each year for Lebanese Shia. Hizbollah is the major employer for Shia. Because so much of that money comes from Iran, and the Shia supported the two decade Syrian occupation of Lebanon, the Shia remain at odds with most Lebanese.

While the Israeli air campaign in Lebanon has been expensive (a hundred or more sorties per day, each costing up to $10,000, or more), the cost to Hizbollah has been even greater. While many non-Hizbollah assets have been attacked, the Israelis have concentrated on what Hizbollah owns, and will miss. While Hizbollah can depend on Iran to help repair billions of dollars in damage, this is already causing popular unrest in Iran. The large annual subsidies have long been unpopular in Iran, where poverty is still widespread. The non-Shia Lebanese will also note that they will have to dig into their own pockets to repair the war damage, while the Shia get lots of money from Iran.

But what the non-Shia Lebanese fear most of all is a resumption of the 1975-90 civil war. This cost nearly 200,000 Lebanese their lives, impoverished many more, and sent several hundred thousand into exile (some have returned since 1990). And Hizbollah, and all its money, remain the most likely outfit in Lebanon to revive the civil war.

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George Eller
08-03-2006, 11:40 AM
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Israel: An Embarrassment of Rockets
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060803.aspx

August 3, 2006: In the last 24 hours, Hizbollah fired a record 231 rockets at five Israeli towns, killing one Israeli (a civilian) and wounding 49. The Hizbollah rocket campaign against Israel has been a colossal failure, and this is being noticed in the Arab world. So far, it appears that Hizbollah has to fire over a hundred rockets, to kill one Israeli civilian. This is not impressive, especially when you consider that Hizbollah is trying to kill Israeli civilians. Many of the rocket warheads have been modified (with the addition of hundreds of small metal balls) to enhance their anti-personnel effect.

The Hizbollah problem is that they are firing unguided rockets at a handful of targets (residential areas) within 20 kilometers (the range of their 122mm rocket) of the border. These rockets will only hit something if you fire a lot of them (several dozen is best) and aim them properly. But the Hizbollah rocket teams, operating at night, and under constant threat of discovery by Israeli aircraft and UAVs above, must move quickly. This apparently means that careful placement of the launchers is not a high priority. That can be seen by the increasing number of rockets landing in unoccupied areas. On some days, the Hizbollah rockets don't kill or wound anyone inside Israel.

Meanwhile, the Israelis, using guided weapons (missiles and smart bombs), are trying to avoid civilian casualties. They have a more difficult time of it, because nearly all their bombs and missiles hit what they are aimed at. Still, that has resulted in one dead civilian for every two or three bombs and missiles used. That's an unprecedented reduction in "collateral damage." But it isn't getting reported that way. And when one Israeli bomb apparently killed over fifty civilians, the Arab world cried "war crime." However, when Arabs were asked how they would respond to a similar hit on Israeli civilians, they believed that would be a "great victory." Same attitude was seen back in World War II, when, early in the war, German and British bombers were hitting each others civilians.

For many Arabs, and their Western supporters, objectivity has been tossed aside, and reality twisted to conform to more popular views. Israel was attacked by a terrorist group, whose ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel and establishment of a worldwide religious dictatorship. Yet many see Israel as the aggressor, for defending itself too vigorously. As a democracy, Israel is responding to its public opinion, which is solidly behind the response to Hizbollah aggression.

This is very much an Information War, where keeping facts to yourself is a matter of life and death. Hizbollah can only make vague assertions that it has not been hurt. To provide any accurate information would only aid the Israelis. Same thing on the other side. Although, as a democracy, with a free press, the Israelis can't manage the news as well as Hizbollah, the Israeli military does keep details of what they are doing secret. This prevents Hizbollah from knowing any more about what tactics and techniques the Israelis are using.

That said, the Israelis appear to be approaching the destruction of Hizbollah in a methodical fashion. The first two weeks were spent hitting Hizbollah targets that were obvious, and some non-obvious ones obtained from agents on the ground or within Hizbollah. While these air attacks appeared to hit things that all Lebanese used, like highway overpasses and bridges,. on closer examination, the bombs were placed where they would do temporary damage (just taking down some of the roadbed), rather than much longer term, and expensive to repair, damage (to main supports). This detail was noticed by many Lebanese.

The campaign against the Hizbollah rockets proceeds on several levels at once. When rocket storage facilities are found, they are attacked quickly, before the rockets can be launched. Many of the rockets were stored under residences, schools and mosques. The Hizbollah plan was to have launch teams that could quickly take out the rockets, set them up in launchers, and fire them. Since firing the rockets would give away the position to the Israelis, Hizbollah learned not to try and use the same position twice. If all the rockets in a storage area could not be fired, then the unfired ones had to be moved.

Israel has hundreds of aircraft, UAVs and helicopters equipped with night vision sensors, and capable to patrolling the roads and hills along the border. The Israelis tried to take advantage of the size and range characteristics of the Hizbollah rockets. The most common rocket, the 122mm one, weighs 150 pounds and is nine feet long. But it's range is only twenty kilometers. Since most of northern Israel is sparsely populated, you have to launch the 122mm rockets within a few kilometers of the border to have any chance of hitting anything. But any vehicle moving on the road, that looked like it could carry these rockets, was subject to attack. The Israeli night stalking tactics appear to have put the Hizbollah launch teams under a lot of pressure. Once rockets were out in the open and being set up, they were vulnerable to attack. Some of these launch sites were hit before the rockets could be sent on their way. This was obvious, because, first, there was an explosion, then secondary explosions and some rockets flying off in various directions. The Israelis learned that hitting the launch sites would catch rockets that had not launched, or others that could not be moved away yet.

Death from above was a bigger problem for the larger rockets, that could reach deeper into Israel. These rockets had the range, but they were still unguided. You needed a special launcher, and some time to get the rockets lined up just so, in order to hit a large town or city 50-70 kilometers inside Israel. Few of these have been launched, especially after the first two weeks. Even larger rockets, that can reach Tev Aviv, make an even more distinctive sight at night, to Israeli sensors. Several of these very large rockets have already been caught in the open, and destroyed. Neither side is saying how many of these very large missiles there are left. But Hizbollah will continue trying to move them into position, and Israeli troops will continue trying to prevent that.

To that end, more and more Israeli ground troops have been going into southern Lebanon over the last two weeks. At first, the Israelis sent in small patrols of very highly trained troops. These were there, in part, to confirm intelligence (from air recon and agents) of exactly what Hizbollah had on the ground. This phase has apparently been completed, for there are now at least half a dozen Israeli infantry battalions roaming around southern Lebanon. There was also a raid, some 70 kilometers north of the border, where Hizbollah big shots, or one of the Israeli captives, was believed to be.

With more Israeli troops on the ground in Lebanon, expect more of these raids. That's because many of the Lebanese down south are Christians and Druze, who cooperated with the Israelis during the 18 year Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon (to prevent the rocket launches going on right now), and these people were not treated well by Hizbollah, when Hizbollah pushed aside Lebanese police and border guards, after the Israelis left. There's a lot of information to be obtained from these Lebanese, and a willingness to give it up.

Hizbollah has over a hundred bunkers throughout southern Lebanon. These will be taken out, one by one, using smart bombs or explosive charges. These bunkers are death traps for Hizbollah, although many of them have escape tunnels that may, or may not, work. Many of the Hizbollah fighters gunmen in the south are essentially on suicide missions. There are a limited number of these suicide fighters. While Hizbollah can get more volunteers, because of the war fever, you can't train the volunteers to be useful in a short time.

It's a war of attrition, where neither side is willing to reveal what their score is. Hizbollah believes time is on its side, but this appears to be more imaginary than real. The fact of the matter is that Hizbollah cannot win. Israel is fighting for its very existence, while Hizbollah is fighting to preserve a warlord army in a democracy that, so far, has avoided taking control of southern Lebanon for fear of starting another civil war. Hizbollah is a militant religious group subsidized by foreigners (Iran and Syria), that both Israelis and Lebanese want gone. By Hizbollah's twisted logic, they will have "won" if they still have any presence in Lebanon after this is all over. One outcome that is certain is that Hizbollah will have once more demonstrated that terrorism cannot destroy democracy, no matter how fashionable the terrorists have become among people who should know better.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians are cheering on Hizbollah, but otherwise left in the shadows because of a lack of media attention. Egypt is hosting negotiations to obtain the release of an Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas. The Palestinians are inclined to give up the Israeli soldier, in return for some kind of economic relief. Since Hamas took over in March, most foreign aid has stopped and the Palestinian economy is hurting.

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mike M.
08-03-2006, 12:46 PM
Nice updates george...Thanks

George Eller
08-03-2006, 02:36 PM
Nice updates george...Thanks
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You're welcome Mike,

Here is more on today's news:


Wave of Rockets Launched Into Israel Claims 8 Lives
Thursday, August 03, 2006
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,206815,00.html
Fox News

BOURJ AL-MULOUK, Lebanon — Hezbollah rockets fired into northern Israel killed eight civilians on Thursday as four Israeli soldiers were killed in ground operations inside Lebanon.

The Israeli casualties came as senior officials said Defense Minister Amir Peretz told top army officers to push ahead to the Litani River to secure an 18-mile buffer zone and leaflets were dropped in Beirut warning residents of three Shiite neighborhoods to flee.

In the town of Acre, three adults and a child were killed when a rocket hit a group of people standing on their balcony, Mayor Shimon Lankry told Israel's Channel 2 Television. In Maalot, three people were killed when a rocket struck a car, police said.

Since the fighting started, 67 Israelis have been killed, 40 of them soldiers slain in fighting and 27 of them civilians killed in rocket attacks.

More than 180 rockets, which cannot be guided like missiles, were fired across the border, with almost 100 of them being launched within one half-hour period, according to Israeli police. The barrage came a day after Hezbollah launched a record 210 rockets into Israel.

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah threatened in a televised speech Thursday to attack Tel Aviv if Beirut proper was hit by Israeli rockets. (Full story)

Earlier, Hezbollah said it won't agree to a cease-fire until Israeli troops leave Lebanon.

"Declaring a cease-fire is not the concern of the people of Lebanon as long as there is one Israeli soldier on Lebanese soil — even one meter [into Lebanon]," Hezbollah spokesman Hussein Rahal said in a live interview with Al-Jazeera television.

Three Israeli soldiers were killed when an anti-tank rocket hit their tank in Rajmil, the IDF said. Another soldier was killed and four wounded in heavy fighting near the town of Ayt a-Shab, according to the IDF.

In Lebanon, an Israeli missile slammed into a house in a border village early Thursday, killing a family of three, and airstrikes across the country's south wounded at least six people, Lebanese security officials said.

Another Lebanese woman was killed when a missile hit her house near the Christian town of Marjayoun, they said. The first missile attack occurred in the village of Taibeh, less than five kilometers from the Israeli border.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said more than 900 people had been killed and 3,000 injured in the fighting, though did not say whether the new figure — up from 548 confirmed dead — included those missing.

More than 1 million people — a quarter of Lebanon's population — had been displaced, he said, adding the fighting "is taking an enormous toll on human life and infrastructure, and has totally ravaged our country and shattered our economy."

Diplomacy Efforts in Progress

On the diplomatic front, France circulated a revised U.N. resolution calling for an immediate halt to Israeli-Hezbollah fighting and spelling out conditions for a permanent cease-fire.

The new draft reiterates France and other nations' call "for an immediate cessation of hostilities," and emphasizes "a lasting solution to the current crisis between Israel and Lebanon."

The conditions include: release of the two Israeli soldiers whose abduction sparked the current fighting; "settlement of the issue of the Lebanese prisoners detained in Israel;" and marking the international borders of Lebanon, including in the disputed area known as Chebaa Farms.

On Thursday, Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi condemned the U.N. Security Council for not having the "moral courage to condemn Israel" as he opened an emergency session of the 56-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference in Kuala Lumpur. (Full story)

In Amman, Jordan, King Abdullah II lashed out at his U.S. and Israeli allies, saying in newspaper interviews Thursday that he was "enraged" by the war on Lebanon and that prolonged fighting has "weakened" moderates in the Mideast. (Full story)

Iran, which backs Hezbollah's actions in Lebanon, said the only solution Iranian solution to the Middle East crisis was to destroy Israel, state-media reported. (Full story)

The group Human Rights Watch and news organizations initially reported 54 or more civilian deaths in an Israeli airstrike on the southern Lebanese village of Qana, based on figures provided by Lebanese officials. But a re-examination of the incident Thursday indicated only 28 people died.

Human Rights Watch said it had discovered the discrepancy as part of a larger investigation of all civilian deaths in Lebanon. The bombardment of Qana and pictures of dead children pulled from the wreckage led to an international uproar and caused Israel to order a two-day cutback in airstrikes.

Three weeks into the conflict, six Israeli brigades or roughly 10,000 troops were locked in fighting with hundreds of Hezbollah guerrillas.

The Israeli army said its soldiers had taken up positions in or near 11 towns and villages across south Lebanon as they try to carve out a Hezbollah-free zone up to the Litani river ahead of what it hopes will be a speedy deployment of a multinational force there.

Most of the villages are close to the Israel-Lebanon border; the one deepest inside Lebanon, Majdel Zoun, is about four miles from the frontier. However, many tanks pushed even further north, controlling open areas from higher ground, security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the operation.

Lebanese security officials said a missile crashed into a two-story house in the border village of Taibeh, killing a couple and their daughter.

Hezbollah's Al-Manar television reported that guerrillas also clashed with Israeli troops in the village, less than three miles from the border, destroying a tank and two bulldozers and injuring its crew members. The Israeli army said a tank had been lightly hit in clashes but that there were no casualties or serious damage.

In the first air raids on the Lebanese capital in almost a week, witnesses said at least four missiles hit the southern Beirut suburb of Dahieh, a Shiite Muslim sector that has been repeatedly shelled by Israel since fighting began three weeks ago.

Lebanese television said the attacks targeted several buildings in a Hezbollah compound of Dahieh's al-Ruweis neighborhood. The compound, which includes a center for religious teaching, has been attacked in earlier raids and sustained sizable damage.

In the southern Lebanese town of Nabatiyeh, fighter jets struck an ambulance working for a local Muslim group, Lebanese security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk with the press.

Israeli warplanes also fired more than a dozen missiles at roads and suspected guerrilla hideouts in the southeastern town of Rashaya, Lebanese security officials said. They said the attacks were part of Israel's strategy to destroy Lebanese infrastructure so that people would not travel from one village to the other.

Other strikes hit targets near Lebanon's northern border with Syria overnight, Lebanese radio said. It was the second attack in the area in 24 hours, after a bridge linking the zone to the northern port of Tripoli was destroyed Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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George Eller
08-04-2006, 07:25 PM
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Israel is following Monty, not Patton
James Lewis
The American Thinker
July 24th, 2006
http://www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=5699

While General George S. Patton was winning public laurels for fast armored strikes against German forces in WWII, Field Marshall Montgomery ran a parallel British army that made haste slowly. Patton is often considered the most brilliant US Army commander of the time, but Monty had his reasons. Today, the Israelis may be using a Monty strategy, because it makes more sense.

One difference between Patton and Montgomery is obvious: Patton was an American, backed with the limitless resources of the US homeland. The United States came into the war in 1942, while the Brits had barely managed to save their army at Dunkirk, retreating from continental Europe. Throughout the war Britain was in desperate straits militarily and economically. Moreover the British armed forces had fought for two generations, barely surviving World War I. The British Empire was clearly breaking apart. They could not afford high-risk gambles.

Forget more sophisticated arguments. Doing high-risk armored thrusts made sense for Patton (though Eisenhower kept him on a short leash). It never made any sense for Monty. Nobody at Whitehall was going to thank him for winning a battle and losing his army.

Israel is in a Montgomery position today. For sixty years, they have been fighting ever new ranks of deadly enemies. Israel is not a culture that celebrates death in battle. Yet they have won, time and again, by being smarter and tougher than the opposition, finding weak spots in enemy tactics and strategy, and only then hitting with local superiority until the enemy finally broke and fled. That is why they are now safe from attack from Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon. But they are not safe from Iran, which has never been bloodied in battle with Israel.

Today the IDF is facing an Iranian proxy guerrila army that is very well trained, supplied, and dug in. They are clever enough, and ruthless, and bloodthirsty. They know how to play the media for maximum propaganda advantage.

Iran’s martyrdom cult is the first one faced by Western armed forces since Imperial Japan. For Khomeiniacs, dying in battle is celebrated as a path to Paradise, while on the Hamas side, the family sometimes performs a joyful wedding when their shahid succeeds in suicide-murder against Jews.

Meanwhile, the international media are tilting the playing field so that mere survival for Hezbollah will be counted as a victory for the suiciders, and a major defeat for Israel.

Israelis are therefore in the position of sane soldiers fighting crazies on a tilted playing field. But unlike the heroic US Marines against the Japanese at Iwo Jima, this is not a one-time battle with a lot of resources on the side of sanity and civilization. It is an ongoing generational war of attrition, in which the sheer capacity to sustain morale counts as much as anything else.

So a Field-Marshall Montgomery strategy makes a lot of sense. Never give the enemy the initiative, even tactically. Bring all your strengths to bear, and none of the enemy’s. Don’t treat this as a football game; it’s better to survive and fight again than to look good to the media.

What we are seeing today looks like constant probing. Every other day we hear that yes, the IDF will attack on the ground, in strength, or no, they won’t. The IDF command may not know yet. There is a lot of tactical fighting going on, with special ops (five of whom just lost their lives), a lot of probing behind enemy lines, massive artillery and air strikes, and attempts to drive away civilians, so Hezbollah won’t have children to hide behind and turn into involuntary martyrs. A lot more is going on behind the scenes than we will ever know.

The international Left is therefore trying to rush the endgame, with slanted horror stories. In some cases even friendly commentators are insisting that the IDF has to fight this battle in their way. But if the Israels are smart and self-confident they will take their time. They are unbelievably lucky to have George Bush in the White House and Condi Rice at State, with a real and sympathetic understanding of the Israeli position. They are playing for time and giving sustained diplomatic support. That’s the only thing the civilized world can do right now.

Wildlife biologists in Africa have discovered that most lion hunts don’t succeed against herds of wildebeest. The reason is simple. It’s better for a lion pack to go hungry than for one hunting lion to be injured. Fighting animals cannot afford injuries, because that is tantamount to dying. Therefore they calculate weaknesses and strike only when ready. This is not a flashy George Patton strategy, but a hunter’s survival game.

History has thrust a lot of unwanted wars on Israel, and they’d better be good at both winning and surviving. This will not be their last battle, and Phyrric victories are not victories at all.

James Lewis

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George Eller
08-04-2006, 10:26 PM
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Israel’s Strategy: Better a Poor Patton than the Full Monty
Glen Tschirgi
The American Thinker
July 28th, 2006
http://www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=5710

Recently, James Lewis posited that Israel’s should the use the tactics of Gen. Bernard Montgomery rather than General George S. Patton in the current fight against the Islamofascists.

In order to evaluate which tactics would be better suited to the current conflict in Lebanon - and first admitting that I am neither a military historian by trade nor privy to inside information on the fighting beyond what can be gleaned from news and trusted websites - we must decide whether the situation confronting the two storied generals of World War II bore any resemblance to the situation facing Israel now and, assuming that a worthwhile comparison can be made, which of the tactics would be more effective.

For the sake of easier analysis I confine the time period to post-D-Day, from June 1944 through August, 1944. Surprisingly, there are a number of similarities between the fight in northern France and Lebanon.

After managing to just barely gain a toehold in northern France, the Allies had to break out against an extremely well-trained, battle-hardened and well-equipped German army. If not for the interference of Adolph Hitler in Rommel’s defensive plans, the Germans had superior Panzer divisions that could have thrown the Allies back into the sea if committed soon enough in the invasion. This was not a beaten foe by any means. The Germans were, however, suffering from a certain degree of shock and trying to pull back to defensible positions.

While Gen. Montgomery slugged away in the northern sector of the beachhead and favored putting all available resources behind a push through the Low Countries into Germany, General Patton favored exploiting the Allies’ air superiority and mobility of tank columns by circumventing known, enemy defenses, cutting off the enemy’s supply lines from the rear and allowing the slower, infantry and artillery columns to mop up the defenders.

Clearly Hezbollah is not the German Army of 1944. Hezbollah is a militia on steroids, not an Army per se. But there are significant similarities: Hezbollah, like the Germans, has taken a very defensive posture in Lebanon, having spent the last six years creating vast bunker systems, tunnels and minefields. Like the Germans, Hezbollah has no doubt trained for just such an invasion, knowing that, sooner or later, the Israelis will have to commit ground troops to have any hope of dislodging them.

Hezbollah is fighting on familiar ground, a sort of home field advantage. While the Germans were not defending home soil yet, they had occupied France for a full four years—plenty of time to get intimately familiar with the battlespace—and knew that a defeat in France meant an open door to their homeland. And like the Germans, Hezbollah has relatively short supply lines. Hezbollah, although not a formally-recognized nation state like Germany, bears many of the earmarks of a modern state with its own taxation system, schools, local government, police and courts, and Hezbollah enjoys the express support of Syria and Iran as well as at least some part of the Lebanese government.

The critical similarity between France of 1944 and Lebanon of 2006 is that both the Germans and Hezbollah have chosen fixed, heavily fortified, defensive positions. Israel and the Allies, in turn, both faced a difficult choice in how to best overcome this enemy. Clearly, Gen. Patton had the better approach.

As pointed out by Victor Davis Hanson in The Soul of Battle, General Patton adopted the same tactics as General William T. Sherman: be ruthless in battle but not foolhardy. Do not throw away the lives of your men by frontal assaults against fixed, defensive positions. Whereas Montgomery and the other Allied command (including Eisenhower) favored a bloody war of attrition where infantry were asked to assault fixed, German positions with horrific loss of life, Patton refused to allow his army to be savaged and slowed down by static, German defenses. Instead, he used the mobility of his flimsy but numerous Sherman tanks to outflank defensive lines and instill panic in the surrounded enemy. American planes could then be used effectively to decimate the German columns as they fled from their hidden, fortified positions and attempted to escape Patton’s trap.

Contrary to what Lewis asserts in his article, Patton’s strategy did not depend upon “limitless resources of the US homeland.” Quite the opposite. Patton was the black sheep of Allied generals, reviled by Eisenhower and Patton’s army was routinely starved for precious gasoline and ammunition even as they captured huge portions of territory along with thousands of trapped German forces. By August, 1944, there were chronic shortages of gasoline which forced Patton to literally beg, borrow and steal wherever he could to keep the tanks running. The statistics on what Patton accomplished as compared with the meager resources he was given are staggering. There is no question that the German General Staff feared Patton far more than any other Allied general for the very reason that he was the only one who saw that rapid advance, encirclement and ruthless destruction of the enemy could end the war quickly. Adopting Patton’s strategy, therefore, is neither “flashy” nor prone to high casualties nor does it require abundant resources as Lewis suggests.

Interestingly, Lewis asserts that Montgomery could not/would not attempt high-risk operations that might win a battle but lose an army. History shows otherwise. Operation Market Garden, a risky venture if there ever was one, was entirely Montgomery’s brain-child and he persuaded Eisenhower to commit all the spare resources of the Allies to its success. Operation Market Garden was akin to ‘betting the farm’ as its failure meant that no further offensive operations could be conducted for quite some time thereafter. At the end of the day, Montgomery managed to lose significant numbers of troops, supplies and armor in a daring but misguided attempt to break the German lines in the Low Countries.

Turning to the situation in Lebanon, Patton’s strategy of rapid advance, encirclement and then decimation of the enemy is a far better choice. Even if we assume, for the sake of argument, that Lewis is correct that the Israelis have limited resources, Israel can hardly afford the slow, ponderous approach of a Montgomery. In reality, Israel is not strapped for resources—they have the clear backing of the United States for as much materiel as they need. It is public knowledge, thanks to the usual weasels at The New York Times, that the U.S. is rushing shipments of satellite-guided munitions to Israel even now.

The one resource Israel does lack, however, is time. And this factor heavily favors the Patton approach.

Israel has clear advantages, like the Allies in France of 1944, of air superiority and mobility, particularly armor and helicopters. Patton would not “probe” defenses as Lewis suggests but go around those defenses. In Pattonesque fashion , Israel should use its armor and air assets to cut off Hezbollah from any hope of re-supply, perhaps by positioning strong, blocking forces at the Litani River and strategic points along the border with Syria. Once Hezbollah units are completely cut off from re-supply of even water and food, they will be forced to leave their well-prepared defenses in an effort to break out of the encirclement. The vulnerability to encirclement is the classic weakness of static, defensive positions. And when Hezbollah comes out from hiding, the IAF will be ready and waiting with devastating results.

There is a risk that some might raise to this strategy. By positioning its forces on the Litani and the Syrian border, it might be argued that Israel would be exposing its forces to attack from the front and rear if the Lebanese Army and/ or the Syrian Army tries to come to the aid of Hezbollah. Similar objections were raised to Patton’s tactics, even as he showed he could reach the Rhine by September, 1944.

The truth then (as now) is that there were no forces in Germany capable of stopping Patton, had he been given the gasoline and ammunition to continue pushing east into Germany. In the same way, apart from Hezbollah, there simply isn’t a force willing and able to threaten the Israeli army in either Lebanon or Syria. And should Syria have any thoughts in this regard, they could be told quite bluntly by Secretary Rice that any attack by Syria on Israel would be punished with overwhelming American airstrikes against Syria as well as immediate retaliation by the Israelis.

(It is an insane reality that Syria cannot be attacked without more than the existing provocation of supplying Hezbollah with missiles being fired into Israel. In order to permanently dismember Hezbollah, regime change must occur in Syria. So, in a very sad sense, Israel must, in fact, tempt Syria to attack in order to provide Israel with the necessary justification for bringing down the Assad regime.)

In sum, Israel needs a relatively quick and complete victory over Hezbollah, so complete that there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Hezbollah is finished as a fighting force. Israel cannot afford to take a Montgomery-like, incremental approach. Unless Syria blunders into this conflict in some unpredictably stupid fashion, the clock is ticking and Israel cannot spend months or even weeks inching slowly north against lethal, Hezbollah defenses. Instead, Israel must encircle Hezbollah fighters and force them to attempt a break out where Israel can bring superior firepower to bear. Anything less than this is defeat and that is the “full monty” truth.

Glen Tschirgi

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George Eller
08-05-2006, 10:36 AM
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Hezbollah’s Iwo Jima Delusion
Michael Lopez-Calderon
The American Thinker
August 1st, 2006

http://americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=5720

Recent dueling essays on The American Thinker have debated whether Israel is following the tactics of British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery at the expense of Gen. George S. Patton’s methods. James Lewis argued that indeed the IDF’s approach was more Monty than Patton whereas Glen Tschirgi countered that Israel would be better advised to choose a lesser Patton over the “full Monty.”

Unfortunately, though both writers make impressive arguments, the appropriate analogy is not found in the Europe Theater of Operations during World War II but rather the Pacific. Hezbollah’s predicament comes closer to the Japanese forces at Iwo Jima than the German Army in Normandy and Western Europe. And as such, Israel’s strategy in part calls for trapping the Hezbollah terrorist forces in their entrenched, fortified positions where Israel will cut them off from re-supply and then tear apart piece-by-piece.

The formerly Hezbollah-controlled, fortified hilltop Lebanese border town of Maroun al-Ras was the scene of intense fighting between Hezbollah terrorist-guerrillas and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The IDF claims Maroun al-Ras is under its control, though accounts of subduing nearby Bint Jbeil proved premature. Apparently, hundreds of Hezbollah fighters in Bint Jbeil were holed up in fortified bunkers, and have reentered the town via an elaborate series of interconnected tunnels, or hid amongst the few remaining civilians in the initial days of fighting.

The pro-Iranian, Lebanese Shiite terrorist organization has turned a number of southern Lebanese hillsides and towns into fortified death-traps. It has spent the better part of the past six years since the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon turning several hilltop towns into an Iwo Jima-like maze of fortified bunkers, spider holes, pill-boxes, sniper dens, fields of anti-tank mines and IEDs, and interconnected tunnels.

An Israeli Army commander, Siman Tov said Hezbollah guerrillas in Maroun al-Ras were

“fighting from tunnels, some equipped with above-ground cameras. They are armed with … sophisticated weapons … including longer-range antitank missiles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. ‘Here we’re dealing with missiles, a little army.’”

Hezbollah’s strategy appears geared for a massive Israeli armor and infantry incursion up to and perhaps beyond the Litani River.

Hezbollah was counting on a twofold IDF tactic of digging out the entrenched fighters in a costly war of attrition while also moving rapidly into Lebanon, leaving its lines of communications vulnerable to guerrilla ambushes in the rear. The Israelis thus far have not taken the bait.

Hezbollah apparently banked on Israel falling for a “rope-the-dope” strategy. Instead, it is Hezbollah that is trapped, like the Japanese Imperial Army on Iwo Jima, in a delusion of its own making.

Although the initial Israeli incursions into Hezbollah-controlled southern Lebanon have been cautious, painfully slow, and unfortunately costly, a deeper analysis reveals that this is the IDF’s plan unfolding. One observant writer has noted that the Israeli strategy is more Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and less Gen. George S. Patton. Some inside and outside of Israel question this strategy; critics contend that the IDF risks losing the initiative while simultaneously and unwittingly boosting Hezbollah’s fighting-prowess image in the Arab world. The Washington Post reports

“Israeli news outlets, which had largely lined up behind the army’s conduct of the war, have begun to ask why an army that once defeated the armies of several Arab neighbors in six days was finding it so difficult to push one militia off Israel’s border.”

Indeed, the first week of the IDF’s limited ground offensive delivered what appeared to be mixed results.

A total of five elite commandos were killed when Hezbollah “ambushed the ambushers” in the first two Israeli ground operations. Since then and as of this writing, several Israeli-manufactured Merkava tanks have been heavily damaged, one completely destroyed with the loss of its four-man crew. Two Apache helicopters have collided, killing a pilot and hurting three others. A third, an Apache Longbow, crashed, killing both pilots. Nine Israel soldiers were killed in fighting on Wednesday, July 26, bringing the total to 33 Israeli soldiers killed in the past two weeks. Even more troubling is the fact that Israel has suffered these losses even though it had barely entered Lebanon, its deepest penetration thus far being no more than three miles. The current incursion into, underway as this article goes to press may well produce more casualties.

Many fear that Israel’s difficulties in the current fighting signal a sea-change in the IDF’s fortunes. These drawbacks might give credence to Hezbollah’s charge that IDF military supremacy is a myth. The critics and doom-and-gloom pessimists ought to take a deep breath and appreciate the Israeli strategy.

It is Hezbollah that has been outsmarted here, though uninformed, mainstream reporting of the initial results obscure this fact. For in banking on a massive Israeli offensive, Hezbollah apparently posted a sizeable force in the Lebanese border towns that are being picked apart one by one by the IDF. Already there are IDF reports of as many as 230 Hezbollah terrorists killed in Maroun al-Ras and Bint Jbeil. The Bint Jbeil meat-grinder, where Hezbollah appeared determined to make an ill-advised last stand, has done its work.

The IDF and the Israeli Air Force (IAF) have destroyed an estimated 1,300 Hezbollah missiles that range from the Katyushas to Farj-3s, Farj5s, and Zelzal-2s. Meanwhile, Hezbollah has expended an estimated 2,000 missiles and has little to show for it. Israeli military officials report soldiers have found and destroyed Katyusha rocket launchers, antitank missile launchers and large caches of ammunition. Few launchers are reported available. Like the Japanese at Iwo Jima, Hezbollah has stored enormous quantities of ammunition in the Lebanese border towns, perhaps planning to wage a hit-and-run guerrilla war on Israel’s supply convoys as the IDF repeats the 1982 invasion. But Israel’s been there, done that, and she is not going to make the same mistake twice. “‘This battle against Hezbollah is going to last,’ Avi Dichter, Israel’s public security minister” informed reporters. “‘We’re not in any hurry.’”

Over whatever time remains before the conflict is forced to end, the IDF will take apart the Hezbollah terrorist-guerrillas that made the ultimate error of remaining in fixed positions. It is Hezbollah that is stoked in the passions and delusions of over-confidence. If Hezbollah takes comfort from fighting in fixed positions, they need only brush up on Napoleon, who said “the army that remains in its forts is beaten.” Or perhaps read up on how General Kuribayashi Tadamichi’s Japanese force of 21,000 at Iwo Jima was reduced by the United States Marines to just over 120 POWs (an additional 900 wounded were captured).

IDF Brig. Gen. Gal Hirsch, commander of the Galilee Division, summed up Israel’s piecemeal, probing strikes:

“When you fight a regular army, it’s different from fighting guerrillas. They are using everything they have extensively. They have been preparing for this for many years, and we are taking action to dismantle all of that. The government has given me plenty of time, and I intend to use it as long as it takes.”

Israel’s government called up an additional 30,000 reservists, and is heading into Lebanon right now. Israel will chip away, using her superior firepower, soldiers, and leadership to render Hezbollah a defeated Islamist terrorist group.

Quietly, confidently, and assured that they are both fighting for their homeland and backed by more than eighty percent of the Israeli public, the Israeli citizen-soldier will win the day.

Michael Lopez-Calderon

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George Eller
08-05-2006, 10:36 AM
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Missiles neutralizing Israeli tanks
By BENJAMIN HARVEY, Associated Press Writer
Fri Aug 4, 2006
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060804/ap_on_re_mi_ea/mideast_fighting_hezbollah_s_missiles;_ylt=ApgakRg cSYZh14Zn5OwL0Lqs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN 0bQ

JERUSALEM - Hezbollah's sophisticated anti-tank missiles are perhaps the guerrilla group's deadliest weapon in Lebanon fighting, with their ability to pierce Israel's most advanced tanks.

Experts say this is further evidence that Israel is facing a well-equipped army in this war, not a ragtag militia.

Hezbollah has fired Russian-made Metis-M anti-tank missiles and owns European-made Milan missiles, the army confirmed on Friday.

In the last two days alone, these missiles have killed seven soldiers and damaged three Israeli-made Merkava tanks — mountains of steel that are vaunted as symbols of Israel's military might, the army said. Israeli media say most of the 44 soldiers killed in four weeks of fighting were hit by anti-tank missiles.

"They (Hezbollah guerrillas) have some of the most advanced anti-tank missiles in the world," said Yossi Kuperwasser, a senior military intelligence officer who retired earlier this summer.

"This is not a militia, it's an infantry brigade with all the support units," Kuperwasser said.

Israel contends that Hezbollah gets almost all of its weaponry from Syria and by extension Iran, including its anti-tank missiles.

That's why cutting off the supply chain is essential — and why fighting Hezbollah after it has spent six years building up its arsenal is proving so painful to Israel, officials say.

Israel's Merkava tanks boast massive amounts of armor and lumber and resemble fortresses on tracks. They are built for crew survival, according to Globalsecurity.org, a Washington-based military think tank.

Hezbollah celebrates when it destroys one.

"A Zionist armored force tried to advance toward the village of Chihine. The holy warriors confronted it and destroyed two Merkava tanks," the group proclaimed on television Thursday.

The Israeli army confirmed two attacks on Merkava tanks that day — one that killed three soldiers and the other killing one. The three soldiers who were killed on Friday were also killed by anti-tank missiles, the army said.

It would not say whether the missiles disabled the tanks.

"To the best of my understanding, they (Hezbollah) are as well-equipped as any standing unit in the Syrian or Iranian armies," said Eran Lerman, a retired army colonel and now director of the Israel/Middle East office of the American Jewish Committee. "This is not a rat-pack guerrilla, this is an organized militia."

Besides the anti-tank missiles, Hezbollah is also known to have a powerful rocket-propelled grenade known as the RPG29. These weapons are also smuggled through Syria, an Israeli security official said, and were previously used by Palestinian militants in Gaza to damage tanks.

On Friday, Jane's Defense Weekly, a defense industry magazine, reported that Hezbollah asked Iran for "a constant supply of weapons" to support its operations against Israel.

The report cited Western diplomatic sources as saying that Iranian authorities promised Hezbollah a steady supply of weapons "for the next stage of the confrontation."

Top Israeli intelligence officials say they have seen Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers on the ground with Hezbollah troops. They say that permission to fire Hezbollah's longer-range missiles, such as those could reach Tel Aviv, would likely require Iranian go-ahead.

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George Eller
08-06-2006, 11:10 AM
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Hizbollah Versus Israel
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htwin/articles/20060806.aspx
August 6, 2006:

Take a close look at Hizbollah, it's tactics and its prospects, and you realize that their terrorism campaign against Israel is doomed to failure. Yet that is rarely reported in the media. No matter. Here we'll explain it all for you.

Terrorism is the weapon of the weak. It's a weapon that is more likely to fail, than succeed. But if you have really determined bunch of weaklings, willing to gamble all for the cause, terrorism is the way to go. Thus, we have several Moslem (mostly Arab) groups, and even entire countries, trying to use terrorism to destroy Israel. Half a century ago, these countries tried using war, with armies and such, but this was a spectacular and expensive failure. Terrorism was another matter. It was a lot cheaper, and the Soviet Union, until its demise in 1991, was willing to share some of the costs (as long as all the targets were enemies of the Soviet Union, which eventually included Israel.)

But after four decades of anti-Israeli terrorism, there is nothing to show for it but a long string of failures, and an Israel that is more powerful than ever. Since the media has to report news (exciting stuff, real or imagined), rather than what really happened (which is what history books are for, most of the time), you don't hear much about this development. Kind of boring. Terrorists keep trying, playing the media with great effectiveness, but consistently failing in their stated objective. So let's take a look at what is really happening.

During the 20th century. Arabs waged many terror campaigns against Jews in the Middle East. All these failed, a development spotlighted by the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Starting in 2000, the Palestinians began a terror campaign against Israel, in an effort to get a better deal for the establishment of a Palestinian state. The terrorists used lots of suicide bombers, plus guns and knives. Before the terrorists were defeated in 2005, nearly 5,000 people were killed (80 percent of the Palestinians.) Israel found the terrorists weak spot (their support and leadership system), and went after it. By 2005, the Israeli efforts had so disrupted the terrorist operations that hardly any suicide bombers were getting through. Some still did, but so infrequently that it wasn't newsworthy. For the terrorists, these infrequent successes (and the many failed attempts) actually hurt the terrorists, because it showed that their efforts were in vain and wasted.

Terrorism is still popular among Palestinians, because, while it doesn't work against Israelis, it does work against Palestinians. The most recent Palestinian elections, earlier this year, saw one inept terrorist group (Fatah) defeated (more for being corrupt than anything else), by another terrorist group (Hamas) that promised cleaner government and more effective terrorism. Hamas has delivered neither, and is now in big political trouble.

Which brings us to those terrorists in the north, Hizbollah. Founded in the 1980s, to funnel Iranian aid to fellow Shias fighting in Lebanon's civil war, Hizbollah cast about for new work when a 1990 peace deal ended the civil war. Iran, then and now, was run by a religious dictatorship, composed of Islamic conservatives that wanted Israel destroyed. Iran also liked the idea of having a client (Hizbollah) running its own state-within-a-state in southern Lebanon. Iran didn't really care what the rest of Lebanese thought of all this, because those other Lebanese were all Christians, Sunni Moslems, Druze and worse.

In 1982, Israel had invaded Lebanon, in order to drive out Palestinian terrorists who were making raids across the Lebanese border into northern Israel. With the civil war going on, no one was really watching the border, except the Israelis. The 1982 war was unpopular in Israel, because the Palestinian terrorists were not doing that much damage. Moreover, the Israeli operations lasted three years, and left over 1,200 Israeli soldiers dead. The Palestinian terrorist were forced to flee (to a North African sanctuary), but they were replaced by Hizbollah. The Israeli solution for that was to take control of a band of terrain 10-15 kilometers north of their border with Lebanon. While this kept terrorist attacks away from northern Israel, it exposed Israeli soldiers to constant attacks from Hizbollah terrorists. While much of the fighting in south Lebanon was done by pro-Israeli Lebanese, there were still Israeli casualties (50-100 a year, plus 100-150 for Israel's Lebanese allies). Finally, in 2000, Israel just up and withdrew from southern Lebanon. The understanding was that this gesture would give the UN, Syria, Lebanon and Hizbollah an opportunity to bring peace to southern Lebanon. The UN approved such a deal in 2004, but Hizbollah ignored it, and the Lebanese government refused to enforce it. It didn't work. The Syrian army stayed, Hizbollah refused to disarm and the UN wrung it hands and looked distressed. UN peacekeepers on the border quickly became corrupted or intimidated by Hizbollah.

The way in which Hizbollah, Lebanon and the UN exploited Israel's 2000 gesture, has turned Israeli population against any more such deals that rely on trusting Hizbollah or the UN. Actually, not even the Lebanese trust Hizbollah any more. Most Lebanese believe that Hizbollah set off the current round of fighting because of a pending attempt, by the Lebanese government, to disarm Hizbollah. This is called a "diversionary attack," the intention being to divert the Lebanese from their plans to disarm Hizbollah. Being disarmed would be catastrophic for the Hizbollah leadership, because many of these guys were deep into criminal scams, and collaboration with the hated Syrian army of occupation. Most Lebanese would like to see a little justice here, and the Hizbollah brass, quite naturally, would rather skip that sort of thing altogether.

But going to war with Israel, as any historian of Arab-Israeli relations can tell you, is a losing proposition. The Israelis are famously not stupid, and take any attack on them as a threat to their very existence. These are not the kind of people you want to fight a war with. But Hizbollah thought they had no other choice (there weren't even many options), and now has to stick it out and hope for the best. Hope won't do them much good. While the Hizbollah rocket arsenal is a new touch, it's not like the Israelis have not dealt with new terrorist tricks before. While journalists are keen to figure out what the Israelis are up to, many of the Israeli counter-terror innovations only work if they are kept under wraps for as long as possible. Pundits love this, because they can spout whatever they want, secure in the knowledge that few people will remember that they were way off the mark.

But if you pay close attention, you can figure out who is going to win, and how they are going to do it. The Israelis are hitting Hizbollah where they are vulnerable, but are not broadcasting the target list ahead of time, for obvious reasons. Just like a few years ago, months of seemingly ineffective efforts will suddenly produce results. That has happened before, terrorist victories have not.

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George Eller
08-08-2006, 11:43 AM
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From the Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060807.aspx

August 4, 2006:

While press reports have covered the evacuation of large numbers of Americans and other Westerners in Lebanon, there has been little or no attention paid to the plight of perhaps 140-160 thousand foreign workers in the country. Workers from Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Ethiopia are particularly numerous, ranging from 20,000-50,000, and have little or no prospect of leaving the country.

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August 5, 2006:

The fighting in Gaza has killed about 170 Palestinians in the last five weeks, as Israel pressures Hamas to give up an Israeli soldier they captured on June 25th. Hamas insists on a prisoner swap, Israel refuses. The Palestinian economy has been badly hurt, since last March, when most foreign aid was cut off in response to Hamas insisting that Israel must be destroyed. Lack of media attention, because of events in Lebanon, is hurting Hamas more than the constant Israeli raids, and an empty treasury.

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August 6, 2006:

A Hizbollah rocket landed among a group of Israeli soldiers getting ready to move into Lebanon, killing a dozen of them. The soldiers were in a parking lot outside one the several border towns that have been getting hit with terrorist rockets for decades. The civilians have learned how to adapt, but the nearly 20,000 soldiers on the border are there to go into harms way. A longer range rocket landed in the city of Haifa, killing three civilians.

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George Eller
08-08-2006, 11:43 AM
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The Fools Errand
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060807.aspx

August 7, 2006:

Arab media continue to revel in their victory over Israel. Hizbollah has not been smashed, Lebanese civilians continue to get killed, as do Israelis. In Arab eyes, this is winning. Which explains why the Arab world has fallen behind the rest of the planet in almost every measure (economically, politically, education, science). Attempts to stop the fighting are doomed to failure because too many Arabs see Israel's destruction as the primary goal. While disarming Hizbollah would be in the best interests of Israelis, and the majority of Lebanese (those who are not Shia), that is not possible now because Hizbollah has been declared Islamic heroes for killing Israelis. Diplomacy is difficult when dealing with a culture of death, suicide and people on a mission from God.

The basic problem is this. Hizbollah, a Islamic radical group dedicated to the destruction of Israel, and supported by Iranian money and weapons, has become the chief military and economic support of the Shia minority in Lebanon. That's over a million Shia, living throughout southern and central Lebanon, including parts of the capital, Beirut. Hizbollah draws on the Shia community for gunmen, and rocket launching teams. Negotiation with Hizbollah is pointless, as these terrorists know that any ceasefire is just a pause in their campaign to destroy Israel. Peace is not on Hizbollah's agenda. Iran's leaders publicly endorse Hizbollah's plans for Israel, and dismiss world condemnation of this call to genocide.

Increasing Israeli combat patrols in south Lebanon are trying to hunt down and destroy the rockets that have been hidden in the area over the last six years, and kill the teams of Hizbollah men who take the rockets out and launch them. Israeli aircraft are still hitting trucks moving down with additional supplies of rockets. Israel estimates that it has destroyed several thousand rockets, and nearly 3,000 have been fired into Israel. Thus about half of Hizbollah's rocket supply is gone. Israeli commanders still believe the ground patrols can catch and kill all the rocket launch teams. But as long as several hundred thousand Lebanese civilians remain in southern Lebanon, this is going to be difficult. The other option is to drive the entire Lebanese population out of southern Lebanon. But it would still take a week, or more, to hunt down the rocket launching crews that would stay behind. So, unless the Lebanese government suddenly develops a backbone, at least another month of combat can be expected.

Israel is expanding the economic and government targets it is hitting throughout Lebanon. Quiet negotiations continue with the non-Shia factions in Lebanon, trying to get everyone to send the Lebanese army into the border zone and take control. The non-Shia factions fear that will mean civil war. Israel points out that, as long as Hizbollah has its own army, the civil war, that officially ended in 1990, is still on, and the Lebanese government is losing, having surrendered large parts of the country to this Iranian backed faction. Israel has put the Lebanese government in a dilemma. Either the government disarms Hizbollah, or Israeli air power will continue taking the country's infrastructure apart. The Israelis hold the Lebanese government responsible for this mess, as the Lebanese kept putting off dealing with Hizbollah until it was too late. Well, almost too late. There is one more chance for the Lebanese to take on Hizbollah, perhaps in the context of a UN organized ceasefire. Hizbollah can't be ignored any more, for as long as these Shia terrorists exist, Lebanon burns.

Hizbollah does want some kind of ceasefire, because they are running out of resources (rocket and launch teams) faster than Israel is running out of anything (troops, money, jet fuel, smart bombs, etc). In the end, Hizbollah is a low budget operation up against the wealthiest and most powerful economy in the region. Trying to destroy Israel is a Fools Errand. But as long as the fools have rockets and suicidal volunteers, they will keep trying.

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George Eller
08-08-2006, 12:12 PM
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Claim: Hezbo command center untouched in Syrian town
James Lewis
The American Thinker
August 8, 2006

http://americanthinker.com/comments.php?comments_id=5787

Israel has not been able to break up Hiz b’allah’s command and control, or even to lower the pace of rockets raining down on Haifa and the North of Israel. Now DEBKA.com claims one reason is that Hezbo command and control is not located in Lebanon at all.

The command which coordinates the pace of those attacks is located at the Anjar base of the Syrian Army’s 10th Division opposite the Lebanese town of Az Zabdani. It is manned by Iranian and Hizballah officers, who take their orders from a Syrian military intelligence center in Damascus to which Iranian Revolutionary Guards intelligence officers are attached. It is headed by a general from one of Syria’s surface missile brigades. This joint command is provided with the most up-to-date intelligence and electronic data available to Syria on targets in Israel and IDF movements. The timing and tempo of Hizballah rocket strikes are set according to that information.

To keep the rockets coming without interruption, the joint Hizballah-Syrian-Iranian command is also responsible with keeping Hizballah supplied with an inflow of rockets and launchers. They use smuggling rings to slip the supplies into Lebanon by mule and donkey which ply the 5,000-7,000 feet mountain paths that straddle the Syrian-Lebanese frontier.

A senior Israeli officer told DEBKAfile: We can go on bombing Lebanon for many weeks, but that will not stop the rockets.

We can’t be sure this report is true. But it makes sense because of the failure (so far) to impede Hezbollah’s rain of rockets. If Israel has known about the Anjar command center, a political decision must have been taken to leave it alone for fear of bringing in Syria and perhaps Iran. Israel’s government is said to fear knocking out the Assad government, because Syria could be taken over by an even worse regime.

The result of such an Israeli decision is to leave a safe haven for Hezbollah supply, command and control. This is the Vietnam failure: US Presidents were reluctant to mine and blockade North Vietnamese ports for fear of involving China. Hezbo seems to be following a Vietcong strategy, by mining, tunneling, bunkering, and holding a safe supply chain that cannot be attacked. We now know that the Vietcong were constantly supplied with fresh soldiers from the North Vietnamese Army, who simply took off their uniforms and suddenly became guerrillas.

There is evidence for Iranian, Syrian, North Korean and Chinese expertise being supplied for Hiz b’allah. This is a major test for Israel, but it is also a serious test for the United States. Israel mirrors American combat ethics, emphasis on the value of human life, reluctance to harm civilians, as well as US arms, planes, and civilian control of the military. As in Vietnam, the Western model may be in danger of failing. If it does, this same pattern of attack will be repeated in Iraq and elsewhere.

Although news reports are always spotty, we know that the IAF has been bombing South Lebanon for four weeks. The Hezbos have not broken. This is from the UK Times:

The Israeli military has saturation air coverage over southern Lebanon with missile-firing reconnaissance drones, Apache helicopter gunships and F16 fighter-bombers. It is attacking its Hezbollah enemy with multiple airstrikes and heavy artillery bombardments from land and sea as well as raids by Israeli special forces units.

Yet Hezbollah squads are still firing dozens of rockets a day into Israel from locations lying just a few hundred yards from the border and within full view of the Israeli military.

One such position lies between the villages of Naqoura and Alma al-Shaab. The rocky, uninhabited hillside and deep ravine of 12 square miles is covered in a dense undergrowth of juniper bushes and scrub oak where Hezbollah over the past three years has established an unseen, but clearly formidable, military infrastructure of weapons depots, tunnels and bunkers. [....]

Even seasoned UN observers, whose headquarters is at the foot of the hill, are baffled at how the guerrillas have managed to survive the onslaught and keep up a steady rate of rocket fire. “We simply have no idea how they have been able to fire rockets for so long from more or less the same location and the Israelis have not been able to stop them,” said a senior officer for United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon

One possibility is that the Naqoura bunker complex has simply been bypassed by Israeli ground forces. However, it seems at least equally likely that the government of Israel has tied the hands of the IDF, as the US did in Vietnam.

Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post expects a heated national debate after the Hezbo war is over, with respected military officers speaking out against the Olmert government. She points out that an earlier debate along those lines led to the resignation of Golda Meir’s government and the rise of Likud.

The IDF cannot afford to fail. Israel had a traumatic experience trying to hold Lebanese territory before it retreated in 2000. But the only choices today may be to either expand the war and hit Syrian command centers for Hezbollah, with the danger that Iran will enter the war; or to take Lebanese territory up to the Litani river, and hold it against guerrila attacks. None of the choices are attractive.

Ultimately, Tehran is protecting its nuclear ambitions. If Hezbollah cannot be defeated in Lebanon, Iran will increase the number of its long-range missiles pointing at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem under the nominal control of the Hezbos. Any attack on Iranian nuclear facilities will elicit an immediate counter-attack on Israel’s civilian population.

It is in the interest of the West for the Hezbos to be severely degraded. If that cannot be accomplished, Iranian nukes might as well be taken as a given. The implications for the control of the world’s oil supply and for the war on terror are frightening to contemplate.

James Lewis

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George Eller
08-08-2006, 02:48 PM
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Hizbollah Broadcasts Hacked Repeatedly
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htiw/articles/20060807.aspx

August 7, 2006:

Israel has been hacking into Hizbollah radio and TV broadcasts, and inserting messages that point out mistakes Hizbollah has made, or lies Hizbollah has been pushing, or simply ridiculing the Islamic radicals. Israeli Information War teams have also spammed Lebanese cell phone users with anti-Hizbollah voice mail and text messages. This campaign began the last week of July, and appears to be continuing.

This sort of thing confirms to the Arabs that the Israelis are evil, in league with the devil and thus in possession of some kind of magic. Other Arab pundits point out that Arab countries need to increase their spending on education, so that Arab geeks can hack Israeli communications. But the magic angle tends to be more popular with editors and government censors.

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Hizbollah Photo Scam Revealed
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htiw/articles/20060808.aspx

August 8, 2006:

News service Reuters has taken 920 photos, supplied by one of its freelancers (Adnan Hajj) in Lebanon, from its database, after several online communities (people on discussion groups associated with blogs) noted that one, than several more, of Haij's photos had been altered. The alterations made the damage, by Israeli bombs, look worse, or made it look like there had been a bombing when there wasn't. Haij told Reuters that he had altered some photos to "remove dust." Reuters did not believe him.

Arab journalists, and Islamic terror groups, have played the media like this in the past. During the recent Palestinian terror campaign against Israel, there were several attempts to foist fake Israeli " atrocities" on the media. Some Arab and Moslem media accepted these scams, but the fakery was pretty blatant, and most media eventually rejected it. The prime example of this was the purported "Jenin Massacre."

The mass media is particularly susceptible to these scams, and quick to accept "proof" from shadowy Arab "journalists." These "plants" of false stories is an ancient trick. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union created an intelligence organization whose sole job was to create and circulate useful lies. Many of these successful and some remain in wide circulation. For example, there's the one about AIDS being a CIA experiment gone wrong (or right, depending on the version you encounter.)

But it's not just fake photos you have to worry about. Lebanese reporting of civilian causalities has also been suspect for some time. The Lebanese don't report any dead Hizbollah, only that, "nearly a thousand civilians have been killed." Independent reports mention dozens of armed Hizbollah fighters being killed in some of these Israeli smart bomb or missile attacks. Thus it's more likely that the Lebanese death toll is not only smaller than reported, but composed mostly of Hizbollah fighters.

Aerial photos show that nearly all the Israeli strikes have been very precise, with targets selected to avoid civilian casualties. Now we have the Haij photos, some of which indicate staged casualties. Examination of photos from Qana, where an Israeli smart bomb was alleged to have killed over fifty women and children, indicates that the dead bodies had been dead for some time already, and were brought to Quana so they could be brought out of a bombed building.

This isn't news, it's lies. But it's also war, and sometimes the lies work.

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George Eller
08-08-2006, 02:50 PM
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Lasers Over Lebanon
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htada/articles/20060808.aspx

August 8, 2006:

Many Israelis are complaining that development of a, laser based anti-missile system, called THEL, which was recently cancelled, could have been used to stop some of the Hizbollah rockets coming out of Lebanon. Meanwhile, the American partner in THEL development is now offering a smaller version, Skyguard, for protecting commercial aircraft from portable anti-aircraft missiles. The manufacturer, Northrop Grumman, originally developed THEL (Tactical High Energy Laser) for combat situations. Tests last year showed THEL was able to knock down barrages of incoming mortar shells.

Israel was a partner in the development of THEL, which was originally supposed to enter service in 2007. When THEL was cancelled earlier this year, the laser still needed work, but the THEL radar was already in good shape. In 2004, Israel used the THEL radar to detect incoming Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza, and this provided an opportunity to operate the radar under combat conditions.

The THEL system was designed to knock down larger, and better made, rockets than the home made Palestinian Kassam rockets. In other words, THEL would have been very useful knocking down the factory made rockets Hizbollah has been firing at Israel over the last few weeks.

The THEL laser and radar system can track up to sixty targets (mortar and artillery shells, rockets) at a time and fire on and destroy these projectiles at a range of up to five kilometers. THEL can destroy about a dozen targets a minute, at a cost of some $3,000 per shot. Each THEL system (radar and laser) could thus cover about ten kilometers of border. Most Hizbollah rockets were fired in groups of a dozen or more, so THEL, if it was in the right place, could zap about half of them. Of course, given how difficult THEL was to move, Hizbollah would endeavor to fire their rockets over some other stretch of border. The Israel-Lebanon border is 79 kilometers long.

It took nine years, and over a half a billion dollars, for American and Israeli engineers to get as far as they did (one working prototype system) with THEL. Aside from the systems size and cost, there's also the problem of lasers being weakened by clouds, fog, mist or even artificial smoke. For that reason, there's not a lot of enthusiasm for proceeding right now on such a bulky and expensive system for use against small rockets. But by the end of the decade, a smaller, and cheaper, version will be more attractive, and more likely to be purchased.

THEL is a bulky system, and not really mobile. Each system requires half a dozen or more large tractor trailer trucks to carry the radar, fuel supplies and laser. A new version, the MTHEL (Mobile Tactical High-Energy Laser) was designed (using three tractor-trailers) and was tested. Engineers believe that MTHEL could be ready for battlefield use in about six years, at a cost of another billion dollars. In another few years, engineers believe they could create a MTHEL that could fit in a hummer.

The costs of THEL and MTHEL were so high, that both the American and Israeli governments pulled their support earlier this year. The manufacturer put some of their own money into the project and came up with Skyguard. This is basically THEL, which is actually suited for defending an airport against someone using portable anti-aircraft missiles (like Stinger, or the Russian made SA-7) to attack aircraft landing or taking off. Skyguard would be cheaper than equipping thousands of aircraft with individual anti-missile systems. But first, THEL has to prove that it is reliable enough to stay on-line 24/7 (or nearly so), and act effectively if there is ever an attack. No one has yet tried using these missiles in the United States, but it has happened elsewhere, especially in Africa.

The first Skyguard system would cost about $150 million, with subsequent ones costing about 70 percent less. Skyguard will also be able to handle rockets, artillery projectiles, mortars, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles. In other words, if you had a billion dollars to spare, you might be able to get a Skyguard system to defend northern Israel from rockets fired from Lebanon. Maybe. THEL is another example of technology that got out of the lab before it was ready to survive in the wild.

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George Eller
08-09-2006, 11:32 AM
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Iranian UAVs Over Israel
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairfo/articles/20060809.aspx

August 9, 2006:

For the third time in the last two years, Lebanese based terrorist group Hizbollah flew an Iranian UAV into Israel. This time, on August 7th, Israeli F-16s caught the UAV some ten kilometers off the coast, and shot it down. During the previous incidents, the Hizbollah UAVs were able to fly into Israel for a short time (less than 20 minutes), they get away safely before Israeli air or ground forces could do anything about it.

Hizbollah call their UAV "Mirsad 1", but it appears to be an Iranian Ababil. The Iranians have been developing UAVs for nearly a decade. Their Ababil is a 183 pound UAV with a ten foot wing span, a payload of about 80 pounds, a cruising speed of 290 kilometers an hour and an endurance of 90 minutes. The Ababil is known to operate as far as 150 kilometers from its ground controller. but it also has a guidance system that allows it to fly a pre-programmed route and then return to the control by its ground controllers for a landing (which is by parachute). The Ababil can carry a variety of day and night still and video cameras. There are many inexpensive and very capable cameras available on the open market, as is the equipment needed to transmit video and pictures back to the ground.

When the Hizbollah UAVs first appeared, the Israelis feared that the low flying Ababils could come south carrying a load of nerve gas, or even just explosives. Using GPS guidance, such a UAV could hit targets very accurately. Moreover, there's nothing exotic about UAV technology, at least for something like the Ababil. It was no surprise that Iran began using home made UAVs in the late 1990s. After all, they had received some UAVs from the United States in the 1970s (Firebee target drones.) The Israelis immediately tagged Iran as the supplier of the Hizbollah drone, because Iran has long supplied that terrorist organization with cash, weapons and equipment for decades. Now Israel has many components of the shot down UAV, which will make it possible to make a positive identification.

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George Eller
08-09-2006, 11:33 AM
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Hizbollah Goes Long
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htinf/articles/20060809.aspx

August 9, 2006:

In Lebanon, Hizbollah found an interesting, if expensive, way to minimize the advantages Israeli infantry possess. The Israeli troops are much better trained, disciplined and led than the Hizbollah gunmen, so Hizbollah trained their fighters to try and stay away from Israeli infantry, and instead use ATGMs (Anti-Tank Guided Missiles) to fire at the Israelis from a long distance. This tactic has worked quite well, accounting for most of the Israeli casualties. Hizbollah has even hit a few tanks, but most of the ATGMs they are using are not powerful enough to do much damage to the Israeli Merkava tank. Other armored vehicles, and trucks, are much more vulnerable. Usually, however, the missiles are just fired at where the Israeli infantry are, in houses or trenches.

Hizbollah was known to have received several thousand ATGMs over the years. Many of them are elderly, like the Russian Sagger. This is a 1960s design. It's a 24 pound missile, with a range of 3,000 meters, that must be carefully "driven" to its target via a joy stick controller. Requires a lot of practice to do right. The warhead is not very effective against tanks, but can do a lot of damage to buildings. Iran also sent some elderly TOW missiles, dating from the 1970s. These are too heavy to haul around. Lighter systems have proved more useful.

The French made MILAN ATGM, a 1970s design, has a 35 pound launch unit, firing a 16 pound, wire guided missile, with a maximum range of 2,000 meters. The Syrians got MILAN from France, and passed them on to Hizbollah. A similar Russian system, the 9M111 Fagot, has a 25 pound missile fired from a 24 pound launch unit. An even more modern Russian system, the Kornet E, is a laser guided missile with a range of 5,000 meters. The launcher has a thermal sight for use at night or in fog. The missile's warhead can penetrate 1200 mm of armor, which means that the front and side armor of the Israeli Merkava tank would be vulnerable. The missile weighs 18 pounds and the launcher 42 pounds. The system was introduced in 1994 and has been sold to Syria (who apparently passed them on to Hizbollah).

The Israelis quickly adapted to this Hizbollah tactic. The missiles are hidden all over southern Lebanon (buried, or tucked away in caves or buildings.) The Israelis have learned to get their snipers out, with their night vision equipment, to keep an eye on the most likely approach routes to the best firing positions. Hizbollah has been taking heavier losses than the Israelis, but neither Hizbollah, nor the Israelis want to talk about it. For Hizbollah, it's embarrassing to admit that, even with long range weapons, the Israelis nail their guys. For the Israelis, they don't want Hizbollah to know about new tricks, before those new ideas can be used at bit to find and kill the Hizbollah ATGM teams.

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George Eller
08-09-2006, 12:26 PM
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Will Islamo-fascism follow anarchism’s path?
by Austin Bay
http://www.strategypage.com/onpoint/articles/200672614227.asp

July 26, 2006

Hezbollah and other Islamo-fascist terrorists concluded long ago that "if it bleeds it leads" doesn't simply apply to the sensation-hungry media. Islamo-fascist mass murderers maintain public bloodletting (their enemy's and their own) is a victory in itself.

We know "big bloodletting" means big headlines. But for Hezbollah's philosophes, mass bloodletting serves another purpose: It is a demonstration of terrorist commitment and moral will.

Islamo-fascist "death cult" terrorists are convinced their forceful willpower (when combined with actions demonstrating millenarian certitude) ultimately guarantees defeat of liberal Western couch potatoes and sheep.

The Islamo-fascists aren't the first international mass murder movement to deserve the moniker of "death cult." In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, trans-national anarchists touted "politics of the bomb" and "propaganda by deed."

The anarchists spilled blood -- over a seven-year period (1894-1901) they killed a French president, a Spanish prime minister, an Italian king and a U.S. president (William McKinley). However, they failed to ignite a global revolution that they claimed would produce an earthly paradise of justice once the ancien regimes disappeared in flames. The anarchists believed their own propaganda, and by doing so misjudged the enormous strengths of liberal capitalist democracies. They totally underestimated the United States.

Unfortunately, the anarchists' agitprop techniques inform contemporary terrorists, and the dregs of its half-baked philosophies continue to deform a few lost corners of human culture. A romantic notion of anarchist violence energizes much of the radical-chic rhetoric emanating from American college campuses, providing pseudo-intellectual tropes for anti-Americanism and "anti-globalization."

These are the rear-guard actions of a dead-end ideology posing as the avant-garde.

We'll all be better off when Islamo-fascism follows anarchism's path. Pray for the day when the proponents of Hezbollahism and Bin Ladenism are mere academic crackpots.

But defeating Islamo-fascism means men and women who love their own liberty enough to defend it (wherever they live on this often tortured planet of ours) must once again display more spine than the killers.

Defeating death cults entails persevering despite loss of life and heinous outrage.

At the moment, the world's most critical demonstration of the will to persevere and destroy terrorism is Israel's confrontation with Hezbollah in northern Israel and southern Lebanon.

During the 1990s, Hezbollah (with Iranian and Syrian support) fought a grinding guerrilla war against Israel's occupation of south Lebanon. Under international pressure to withdraw as a prelude to a peace deal, Israel pulled out. Hezbollah touted Israel's withdrawal as a loss of Israeli will to fight.

But Hezbollah's Iranian masters never thought the U.S. would be in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The Iraqi election of January 2005 ignited Lebanon's "Beirut Spring" pro-democracy rallies. Those rallies shook even the most willful tyrants in Tehran and Syria. The appeal of liberal democracy brought couch potatoes and sheep into the streets -- indicating they weren't couch potatoes.

Which is why I know this Israel-Hezbollah war is no accident. Tyrants and terrorists must dash the hopes of couch potatoes and sheep. The will of the tyrants and terrorists cannot be successfully mocked and challenged, or it's over for the tyrants and terrorists. And, oh yes, Iran's holy quest for a nuclear weapon cannot be thwarted, either.

But tyrants and terrorists' willpower and warfare are being challenged. Over the last two weeks, criticism of Israel from the usual amen corners has been conspicuously circumspect. It appears U.S.-led diplomatic efforts designed to give Israel the time to defeat Hezbollah are working.

Let's hope Condi Rice can buy Israel a couple of months. Israel indicates it intends to destroy, bunker by bunker, Iran's investment in Hezbollah. The Israelis are killing Hezbollah's fighters -- and letting the sensation-hungry media document their deaths.

Hezbollah can proclaim a victory-in-death, but like the claims of its global anarchist antecedents, the bloody tout will be desperately hollow.

To find out more about Austin Bay and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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George Eller
08-10-2006, 11:05 AM
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Payback Time for the Lebanese Shia
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060810.aspx

August 10, 2006:

Hizbollah has no incentive to broadcast the extent of its injuries in the current war. The losses have been substantial. For example, Syrians have noted an enormous exodus of Lebanese Shia into Syria. Some 10-15 percent of Lebanon's Shia appear to have fled the areas of southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley, for refuge in Syria. They are not just getting away from Israeli bombs, but the rising possibility of another round of civil war with Lebanese Sunnis, Druze and Christians. Hizbollah is a terrorist organization, and for nearly two decades, other Lebanese have been on the receiving end of that terror. There are payback issues in play. Before Hizbollah attacked Israel, these issues were being worked out, but the deal involved Hizbollah disarming and giving up control of southern Lebanon. The Hizbollah militants didn't go for this, partly because they feared retaliation from Lebanese families they had terrorized (via murder, kidnappings or worse) over the last two decades. Better that all of Lebanon should suffer, than a few hundred Hizbollah thugs should pay for their crimes. The Lebanese know this, the Israelis know this, the international media ignores it. But it's these grudges that will destroy Hizbollah in the end. The Shia fleeing to Syria fear their fellow Lebanese more than they fear the Israelis.

Hizbollah doesn't have a large "army." Only a few thousand trained and trustworthy gunmen. About 20 percent of these have been killed or wounded so far. About half of the 70,000 man army is Shia, a consequence of depending on Syria to help form and train the army. That's one reason why most Lebanese don't trust their own army, and why the Israelis don't accept the Lebanese offer to send 15,000 of their soldiers into southern Lebanon to take over from Hizbollah. While the Shia Lebanese soldiers aren't all Hizbollah members, those that are Shia know that Hizbollah can reach their family members. Hizbollah is a terrorist organization, and good at that sort of thing.

While no Lebanese want another round of civil war, if it did happen, it would be everyone against the Hizbollah led Shia. The result would be up to half the Shia population exiled in Syria, and Shia power in Lebanon broken for a long, long time. The Shia sect (Alawites) that runs Syria wouldn't mind a few hundred thousand Shia refugees in their midst, as Shia are only about ten percent of Syria's population. The Sunni Arabs who are the majority of Syrians might mind. Iran would come through with lots of money to make it all better, and keep the Shia in charge of Syria.

Israeli troops advancing into southern Lebanon are finding a lot of late model Russian weapons. Especially abundant are recently manufactured Russian anti-tank missiles. Three post-Cold War Russian missile systems have been found in large numbers. These include the 9M111 Fagot, which has a 25 pound missile fired from a 24 pound launch unit for up to 2,000 meters. Then there is the 9M133 Kornet, a replacement for the 9M111. This is laser guided missile with a range of 5,000 meters. The launcher has a thermal sight for use at night or in fog. The missile's warhead can penetrate 1200 mm of armor, which means that the front and side armor of the Israeli Merkava tank are vulnerable. The missile weighs 18 pounds and the launcher 42 pounds. Then there is the 9M131 Metis 2, which is a 30 pound missile, with a 1,500 meter range. It is fired from a 35 pound control unit, that has a thermal sight. Missiles and launch units have been found in bombed out buildings. The 9M131 can be fired from inside buildings. The missiles are used to take long range shots at Israeli infantry, as Hizbollah knows that, up close, their gunmen tend to lose quickly, and with heavy casualties, to the better trained Israelis. Russia has been selling these new missile systems to Syria and Iran, and this is the first real combat test of these systems. A few Israeli tanks have been hit, but most of the missiles have been fired at Israeli infantry, causing over a hundred casualties. Israel won't release details of these operations until after the war is over, but has admitted that most of their casualties in southern Lebanon have come from these Russian missiles.

Israel is moving sufficient troops, to the Lebanese border, to clear an area about 20 kilometers north of the border. This would severely limit the ability of Hizbollah to fire 122mm rockets into Israel. The Israelis would systematically clear civilians and Hizbollah fighters out of the area. Hizbollah has already lost hundreds of millions of dollars in assets (buildings, vehicles and equipment). The Israelis are holding off on the "20 Kilometer Zone" operation to see if the UN can work out a ceasefire deal. That would have to include a force of "trustworthy" (Western) peacekeeping troops in southern Lebanon. There would have to be peacekeepers who could, like the Israelis, fight Hizbollah, and not be intimidated, or bribed by Hizbollah, as has been the case with the current UN peacekeeper force. Hizbollah refuses to accept this more robust force, and Israel will accept nothing less.

Although Israel has lost about fifty soldiers killed so far, this is a much lower loss rate than in previous wars. Better technology, weapons and medical care have all combined to reduce the casualty rate.

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George Eller
08-10-2006, 11:24 AM
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Israel Takes Hold of Key Lebanon Town, Vows 'Painful' Expansion
Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,207679,00.html

Thursday, August 10, 2006

IBL EL-SAQI, Lebanon — Israeli forces took control of the strategic southern hub of Marjayoun on Thursday and warned that its fight against Hezbollah could grow wider and more severe if diplomacy fails.

Israel's defense minister, Amir Peretz, said the military would use "all of the tools" to cripple the Islamic guerrillas if attempts for a cease-fire pact collapse at the United Nations.

Israel's leaders have authorized a major new ground offensive going deeper into Lebanon, but held off to give international negotiators more time. There were clear signals, however, that Israel was already setting its sights on Lebanon's capital and beyond.

In Beirut, Israeli warplanes blanketed downtown with leaflets that threatened a "painful and strong" response to Hezbollah attacks and warned residents to evacuate three southern suburbs. Other warnings dropped from planes said any trucks on a key northern highway to Syria would be considered targets for attack.

Earlier, missiles from Israeli helicopter gunships blasted the top of a historic lighthouse in central Beirut in an apparent attempt to knock out a broadcast antenna for Lebanese state television.

The seizure of the southern town of Marjayoun and nearby areas overnight appeared to be an attempt to consolidate bases in southern Lebanon before any possible push northward. It gives Israel an important foothold for any deeper drives into the country.

Marjayoun — a mostly Christian city about five miles from the Israeli border — was used as the command center for the Israeli army and its allied Lebanese militia during an 18-year occupation of southern Lebanon that ended in 2000. The high ground around Marjayoun, including the village of Blatt, overlook the Litani River valley, one of the staging sites for the relentless Hezbollah rocket assault on northern Israel.

Israel suffered its worst one-day military losses on Wednesday, with 15 soldiers killed, most in other areas of the south away from the Marjayoun area.

Taking command of Marjayoun was not considered a key battlefield victory since the city gives little support to Hezbollah. But reaching the site required passing through Hezbollah country, the scene of fierce fighting.

Hezbollah claimed it destroyed 13 Israeli tanks. Israel did not immediately give a tally of its losses.

Israeli gunners used their new vantage points as payback: pounding Hezbollah-led areas such as the plain around the nearby town of Khiam, which has been used as a rocket site for the militants.

Still, Hezbollah was defiant. It fired 110 rockets into northern Israel by mid-afternoon, including one that hit Haifa, Israeli police said. An Arab Israeli mother and her young daughter were killed in the village of Deir al-Assad. Lebanese officials reported at least four civilian deaths Thursday.

On Wednesday, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah warned in a television address that Israeli Arabs in Haifa should flee for their own safety and threatened more strikes on the port city, already hit repeatedly by Hezbollah rockets.

More than 800 people in Lebanon and Israel have died since fighting erupted.

In Ibl el-Saqi, a village about two miles east of Marjayoun, the mayor said nearly all residents had fled to the north.

"They all left this morning. There was very intense shelling last night," said Riad Abou Samra.

But it seemed fewer and fewer areas of Lebanon were safe from the threat of Israeli attacks, including the relatively untouched heart of Beirut.

The leaflets that fluttered down over Beirut Thursday said "the Israeli Defense Forces intend to expand their operations in Beirut." They said the decision came after statements from "the leader of the gang" — an apparent reference to Nasrallah's television address.

Israel also extended its warnings to areas north of Beirut. Leaflets said trucks "of any kind" would face attack after 8 p.m. along the northern coast road to Syria.

A round-the-clock road curfew has been in force across southern Lebanon since early Tuesday.

Israeli warplanes pounded a coastal highway junction connecting three major southern cities — Sidon, Tyre and Nabatiyeh. The junction already had been nearly cut off in a strike on July 12 — the first day of fighting — which spared only a single lane. It was not clear if the road was completely severed in Thursday's hits.

The strike at the historic lighthouse, built early last century during French colonial rule, was the first in central Beirut since a warning Aug. 3 by Nasrallah that such a move would bring retaliation against Tel Aviv.

The capture of Marjayoun came just hours before a senior Israeli official, Rafi Eitan, announced an expansion of the ground offensive would be delayed to give diplomats at the United Nations time for cease-fire deal. Lebanon and its Arab allies demand Israel withdraw its forces as part of any cease-fire.

The planned offensive would thrust toward the Litani River valley, 18 miles north of the border — aimed at crippling Hezbollah before a possible cease-fire.

The offensive is expected to last a month and eliminate 70 to 80 percent of Hezbollah's short-range rocket launchers, but not its long-range launchers, senior military officials said.

However, Trade Minister Eli Yishai, who abstained in Wednesday's vote, said the assessment is too optimistic. "I think it will take a lot longer," he said.

Israel is now waiting to see whether Arab and Western diplomats can find a solution to end the monthlong conflict.

"There are diplomatic considerations. There is still a chance that an international force will arrive in the area. We have no interest in being in south Lebanon. We have an interest in peace on our borders," Eitan told Israel Radio.

The U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, Jeffrey Feltman, met three times Thursday with Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, whose aides reported no progress on negotiations to find a cease-fire.

http://www.foxnews.com/images/217022/20_23_080906_israel_soldiers1.jpg
Aug. 9: Israeli soldiers clear their weapons after returning from southern Lebanon.

http://www.foxnews.com/images/217157/12_28_081006_israel.jpg
Aug. 10: Israeli soldier speaks to his men as they gather near the Lebanese border.

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George Eller
08-12-2006, 09:24 AM
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Pictures That Don't Tell the Story
[i]Strategy Page[/b]
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htiw/articles/20060812.aspx

August 12, 2006:

As the scandal around Photoshopped and staged war-in- Lebanon photos used by various mainstream media outlets continues, it is becoming more obvious that what happens in newsrooms is having an effect on the war. Hizbollah, unable to defeat Israel via conventional means, resorted to the use of the Western media – which usually has very few restraints – to increase diplomatic and political pressure on Israel.

However, while Hizbollah's increasing ability to get staged photographs transmitted by the AP and Reuters, may be able to influence world opinion, such tactics will not be so effective at forcing a premature halt to the Israeli bombing campaign. For example, several blogs are highlighting a video posted on YouTube.com (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vPAkc5CLgc), which shows a purported Lebanese aid worker directing camera shots, saying, "Keep on filming" and "Better images must be shot" – and then removing a victim from an ambulance for a second take. The aid worker is seen ensuring that the camera catches the dead boy's face. Not only does this show that the pictures published in late July were staged, they also apparently were in violation of Islamic laws concerning treatment of dead bodies (see http://muttaqun.com/funerals.html).

Other photographs have been provided with misleading captions. In one such case, a dead girl was being carried away from somewhere – allegedly the victim of an Israeli air raid. A correction was later issued – revealing that she was not a casualty of war, but had instead died in an accident on a playground. The corrected caption never got the treatment that the original photo did.

Despite the video and other signs that photos have been faked or staged, the AP still stands by them. This despite cases where, in multiple cases, the same people or items have appeared in photos taken in multiple areas. The AP's obstinacy is only the latest case of the media giving the terrorist efforts to spin the war a boost. Part of this may be due to coercion of reporters (CNN in fact, admitted that they slanted coverage from Iraq while Saddam Hussein was in power to avoid losing access to that country).

Israel may have been fought to a draw in this round of fighting. But the real big losers are the mainstream media outlets that have been caught using the staged and doctored photographs. An eventual loser may be all Arabs, as people will begin to note the proven lies in this round of the conflict, and remember the other other media lies put out by the Palestinians recently, and passed on by the mainstream media. Such staged events are nothing new. They were uncovered in the 1990s during the Bosnia fighting. But Arabs take these deceptions to another level, and don't seem fazed at all when they are caught at it. – Harold C. Hutchison (haroldc.hutchison@gmail.com)

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SEE ALSO:

Video clips regarding the war in Lebanon:

Reuters Screws Up Royally
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AjBCBGclEI

Hezbollywood - CNN admits staging of photos by Hezbollah
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXy6q4cH4pw

CNN's Anderson Cooper outs Hezbollywood
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT5gDjg1coc

A Lebanese telling the truth about Israel and Hizbollah
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yi6oKTbPo8Q

Why We Fight - Israel, Hizbollah and Samir Kuntar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGFpdtaigPg

Israel : IDF soldiers in Lebanon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYmYxi8mJLI

Brothers in arms IDF
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wahd2piIr4Q&mode=related&search=kamerit%20hebrew%20superman%20idf

Israel / Lebanon / IDF various video clips
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=israel+lebanon+idf&search=Search

Hizbollah / Lebanon various video clips
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=search_videos&search_query=hizbollah&search_sort=relevance&search_category=0&page=2

Hezbollah / Lebanon various video clips
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=search_videos&search_sort=relevance&search_query=HEZBOLLAH&search=Search

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George Eller
08-13-2006, 12:52 PM
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Captured Hizbollah Speak Freely
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htterr/articles/20060812.aspx

August 12, 2006:

Israeli operations in Lebanon over the last month has resulted in over a hundred Hizbollah operatives being captured alive, and the ability to interview Lebanese who used to work with the Israelis, or are just willing to talk (because they are Druze or Christian, both of whom are a minority in southern Lebanon, and not well treated by the majority Shia.) Interrogations of these Hizbollah prisoners, reveals nothing dramatically new. For example, the prisoners made it clear that Hizbollah never considered Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000 anything but a victory for Hizbollah. Back in the 1980s, the Israelis had established a security zone in southern Lebanon, where they hired Lebanese security personnel to help keep terrorists from moving in, via Lebanon, to fire rockets into Israel, or try and enter to carry out terrorist attacks. Hizbollah, like it's patron and paymaster Iran, is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Hizbollah kept attacking the security zone, in the guise of "liberating occupied Lebanese territory." While Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon as a peace gesture to Lebanon (and Israeli voters, who were unhappy with the Israeli soldiers getting killed and wounded), it was with the understanding that Lebanon would do what everyone knew most Lebanese wanted, disarm Hizbollah. That didn't happen. Not enough Lebanese politicians were willing to risk another round of civil war to disarm Hizbollah, especially 30,000 Syrian troops inside Lebanon. But since the Lebanese were able to get the Syrian soldiers sent back home last year, the pressure has increased on Hizbollah to stop being outlaws.

As the Israeli troops pulled out of southern Lebanon in 2000, many pro-Israeli Lebanese went with them, fearful of Hizbollah terror. These Lebanese were right, as Lebanon backed down when Hizbollah gunmen quickly swarmed all over the former Israeli security zone. However, Hizbollah did back off itself, when pressured by the Lebanese government and the UN, and agreed not to launch terror attacks into Israel. At that time, that would have brought the Israeli troops right back into southern Lebanon.

But the recently captured Hizbollah gunmen, including at least one who took part in the July kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers in northern Israel, described how, ever since 2000, Hizbollah has been training more fighters, building bunkers and moving weapons into southern Lebanon. While much of this was visible to outsiders, no one know exactly what Hizbollah was up to. Attacking Israel made no sense, as Israel has far more military power than Hizbollah. While Hizbollah could win some kind of "pretend" (propaganda) victory by attacking Israel, before long, Hizbollah would be severely damaged, possibly even destroyed. And a weakened Hizbollah was an organization more vulnerable to attack by the majority of Lebanese (who were not Shia) who resented this autonomous Shia terrorist organization controlling the southern portion of their country.

The prisoner interrogations made it clear that Iran was very much involved with Hizbollah, including training Hizbollah people in Iran. Convoys of Hizbollah trainees drove to Syria, boarded aircraft at military airbases, and flew off to Iran. Back in Lebanon, Hizbollah run schools that stressed religious instruction, and hatred of Israel and other non-Moslem states. While Hizbollah has lots of weapons and money, it apparently believes its greatest power is the hatred and dedication generated by its members. Not very practical, but pretty terrifying. In the end, however, the Islamic extremism of Hizbollah was seen as alien by most Lebanese (who were never noted for their religious fanaticism). The fact that Iran and Syria were propping up Hizbollah was not popular either. Now, the last straw appears to be Hizbollah going to war with Israel, and bring a rain of smart bombs on Lebanon. The Hizbollah prisoners know that their hero status in Lebanon will be short lived, and that eventually the Lebanese Shia community, the backbone of Hizbollah support, will be called to account. For that reason, many Hizbollah employees are sending their families to Syria, an exile that may prove permanent.

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SEE ALSO:

Interrogation of Hezbollah Terrorist by the IDF (video clip)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRsSxHRbPEM

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George Eller
08-13-2006, 12:53 PM
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Ahmadinejad Seen As a Loser Back Home
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/iran/articles/20060812.aspx

August 12, 2006:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has not had a good year, his first year as president of Iran. While he has attracted enormous amounts of international media and diplomatic attention for of his outspoken calls for the destruction of Israel, at home he is considered a failure. While often described as a reformer, able administrator and pragmatist, he has not used those skills as president, to the same extent he did while mayor of Tehran. This has disappointed a lot of people. Instead of reform, Ahmadinejad has concentrated on developing nuclear weapons, and cracking down on political reformers. Ahmadinejad wants nuclear weapons, and he wants Israel and the United States destroyed. He does not want any Iranian opposition to the dictatorship of the clerics. While technically a democracy, you cannot run for office unless you are approved by a committee of senior clerics (the Council of Guardians). Ahmadinejad has shut down more opposition and reformist media, and put more reformers in jail. Ahmadinejad believes in free speech for himself, but not for anyone who disagrees with him.

Ahmadinejad was able to play his nuclear weapons campaign so that it appealed to Iranian nationalism. But opinion polls indicate that that has had only a limited impact. Overall, Iranians are angry at Ahmadinejad for not doing anything to get the economy going. Despite the rising price of oil, Iran's big export, most Iranians are still poor. Iranians blame this on incompetence and corruption among the religious leaders that dominate the government. The nuclear weapons program is now perceived as another example of incompetence. Ahmadinejad's battle with the UN, over inspections of the Iranian nuclear program, are moving towards the imposition of international economic sanctions. These will hurt all Iranians. The poor will get poorer, and the religious leaders will still have their fancy cars and big houses.

The Hizbollah war in Lebanon is also unpopular. Iranians have now been reminded that $250 million of their money goes to Hizbollah each year. That amount will probably increase, to repair the damage done by Israeli smart bombs. While Ahmadinejad makes a lot of noise about destroying Israel, the jokes in Iran are more about how Israeli smart bombs are picking the pockets of Iranians.

Ahmadinejad has not done much for morale in the armed forces either. While new Russian weapons are appreciated, there are still not enough spare parts, much less upgrades, for all the older American and European equipment. Iran builds a lot of its own weapons now, but these are all low-tech knock-offs of, for the most part, simple Russian stuff. Iranian engineers and scientists are, at least in private, not proud of this, and know they could do better without all these embargoes and restrictions. If only that idiot Ahmadinejad would shut up, if only the clerics would allow free elections. If only.

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August 7, 2006:

The U.S. has applied sanctions to seven Indian Russian, North Korean and Cuban forms for supplying banned weapons technology to Iran. The sanctions make it more difficult for these companies to do business internationally.

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August 5, 2006:

Britain has repeated its charges, based on additional evidence, that Iran is running terrorist training camps, and some of the graduates have been staging attacks against British troops in southern Iraq. The British have captured some of the camp graduates.

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George Eller
08-13-2006, 12:54 PM
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Slowly Sliding Into Ceasefire Mode
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060813.aspx

August 11, 2006:

Israel has moved about 30,000 troops to the Lebanese border, and these appear ready to move into Lebanon. The plan is apparently to advance to the Litani river, creating a "Hizbollah free" zone about 20 kilometers deep. This would keep most of the 122mm rockets from reaching northern Israel. The longer range Hizbollah rockets are harder to hide or move around, and Israeli air power has apparently destroyed most of them.

The UN passed a ceasefire resolution that Lebanon, Hizbollah and Israel all agreed to, sort of. The devil is in the details.

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August 12, 2006:

Over 20,000 Israeli troops crossed into Lebanon all along the border. This was not a blitzkrieg, but a largely infantry operations. The Israelis expect to reach the Litani river in a few days, and then spend a week or two clearing out Hizbollah people and weapons from the area. Hizbollah is unable to stop the Israelis, and is hoping to inflict a lot of casualties, then pitch that as a victory. Today, Israeli troops suffered about a hundred casualties, but only a few Hizbollah rockets landed in northern Israel. Hizbollah casualties were not announced, but they were probably heavy. The Israelis are known to be surrounding and fighting pockets of Hizbollah fighters. The Israelis also had dozens of transport helicopters bringing in troops and supplies. Hizbollah apparently brought down one of those choppers with a Russian anti-tank missile.

Although Arabs comprise about 20 percent of the Israeli population, about half the Israeli civilians killed by Hizbollah rockets have been Israeli Arabs. That's because most Israeli Arabs live in northern Israel. Hizbollah has broadcast warnings to Israeli Arabs, warning them to flee northern Israel. But Israeli Arabs have not left the area in any greater numbers than other Israelis. So far, the Hizbollah rockets have killed 38 Israeli civilians, and wounded over 200. Lebanese and Hizbollah losses are uncertain, because Hizbollah has been caught faking civilian losses for journalists, and keeping quiet about their own military losses. Hizbollah has also been caught trying to pass off dead fighters as civilians. It appears that over 500 Lebanese have been killed in the last two months of fighting. but it is uncertain how many of those are Hizbollah personnel. Israel has been using mostly smart bombs and guided missiles, but Hizbollah has been using civilians as human shields.

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August 13, 2006:

The UN says the ceasefire will go into effect tomorrow morning, but no one in southern Lebanon believes that. The ceasefire calls for all Israeli troops to leave Lebanon, to be replaced by European peacekeepers.

The 30,000 Israeli troops who moved into Lebanon have already reached the Litani river. There's lots of fighting going on between the Litani river and the Israeli border. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Hizbollah personnel are trapped in southern Lebanon, along with many weapons, including thousands of rockets. The presence of all those Israeli troops has sharply reduced the number of rockets Hizbollah can launch. Until last week, some 200 rockets a day were being launched into northern Israel. Although fewer of them were hitting anything of note, the number of rockets launched dropped to about 60 yesterday, and even fewer today.

The Israeli troops are apparently going to stay in Lebanon until foreign (European) peacekeepers show up. The understanding is that the European troops will keep Hizbollah out of the area. That will be hard to do, and things will probably become interesting and exciting as Hizbollah tries to play the European peacekeepers the way they did the UN "observer" troops, for over a decade. The UN "observer" force was totally compromised by Hizbollah, which used coercion, bribes and outright terror to subdue the UN force. Israel expects the new UN force to show more spine when dealing with Hizbollah. That remains to be seen.

Still to be resolved is the fate of the two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hizbollah back on July 12th. Hizbollah thought they could get Israel to exchange hundreds of Hizbollah personnel held in Israeli prisons, for the two Israeli soldiers. Doing this would be enormously unpopular in Israel, but getting the two soldiers back is important also. Israel is making a major intelligence effort to locate the two soldiers, with an idea towards using commandoes to grab them back.

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SS Tiger
08-14-2006, 01:26 AM
I wonder how long this cease fire will last, I'm pretty sure Hezbollah with start chucking rockets around, will Israel be able to just watch?

Cuts
08-14-2006, 07:34 AM
I think someone will break the ceasefire, but it might not be Hezbollah themselves.

George Eller
08-14-2006, 10:14 AM
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IMHO I don't think it will hold. Hizbollah will not willingly disarm and Lebanon is already balking at their commitment to send Lebanese regulars to disarm Hizbollah. There is also the issue of returning the two kidnapped Israeli soldiers - I'm not sure that Hizbollah will agree to that either.

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George Eller
08-14-2006, 11:03 AM
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Hizbollah and Israel
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htwin/articles/20060814.aspx

August 14, 2006:

The conventional wisdom says that Israel has lost this latest conflict, and Hizbollah has won. This is not quite accurate. This latest round of fighting in Lebanon was a draw, and possibly a major defeat for Hizbollah. Both sides can point to real gains, and both sides also have lost things as a result. The same can be said about any direct or indirect participant in this point.

For instance, Israel has made some significant gains. They now have a decent idea of what the conditions in southern Lebanon look like should they need to engage in larger-scale combat in the region. The UN resolution also allows Israel to take "defensive" actions against Hizbollah. Keep in mind, only two countries need to agree on what would constitute "defensive" action: Israel and the United States (which has a veto on the Security Council).

Hizbollah has managed to publicly fight a limited Israeli offensive to a draw. This will give the terrorist group a huge amount of prestige among the Arab world, and it will likely see a jump in recruiting and support. However, Hizbollah's propaganda has now been exposed, thanks to the blogosphere. This is going to cost Hizbollah in the long run – the brazen lies will be brought up in the future. But in the meantime, the ceasefire calls for the disarming of Hizbollah, something Hizbollah says it will resist.

Iran, a somewhat indirect participant, now has tangible results it can show for giving Hizbollah $250 million a year. This is going to somewhat reduce the discontent over the expenditures. However, Iran's also been caught supplying weapons (including anti-ship missiles) to Hizbollah. This will make the United States even touchier about Iran's nuclear weapons program than it already is. The last time the United States got very touchy about a dictator pursuing weapons of mass destruction who was also known to assist terrorists was in 2003.

Lebanon wins by having more UN peacekeepers to assist its army in the southern portion of that country. This will, hopefully, give it some means to fight Hizbollah. The problem is that Lebanon's government has been revealed to have at least been aware of Hizbollah's plans to kidnap the soldiers. Once seen as another victim of Hizbollah, there will be some who now see Lebanon as a collaborator.

The UN can also claim a sense of accomplishment, pointing to the Security Council resolution that ended this round of fighting, and the bolstering of its peacekeeping force. However, the UN is already dealing with the embarrassment of having to admit that its peacekeeping force was unable to prevent Hizbollah from launching attacks on Israel. The UN will also have little room for failure due to other past failures (like Srebrenica, the conduct of peacekeepers in Africa, and the Oil-for-Food program). It also raises questions about who will enforce Security Council Resolution 1559, which requires the disarmament of Hizbollah.

The United States has gained some things. For instance, it has now built up more of a case against Hizbollah. It also has picked up proof of Iranian involvement in arming Hizbollah – which will make it easier to justify acting against Iran's nuclear weapons program. The United States has also managed to set things up so that if Israel has to go after Hizbollah again, they can cover the Israelis at the UN. However, the United States will have to deal with the fact that Hizbollah has now gained prestige in the Arab world, and that Iran will be more confident in that group's abilities.

In other words, everyone's got reasons to claim victory in this war, and at the same time, everyone has a few things that they will want to deal with at some point in the future. The result is a cease-fire that will not hold, mainly because Hizbollah refuses to disarm. When a war ends without a definite winner or loser, the result will be a future war. – Harold C. Hutchison (haroldc.hutchison@gmail.com)

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George Eller
08-14-2006, 11:12 AM
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Turbaned Warriors
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htinf/articles/20060814.aspx

August 14, 2006:

Photos of Israeli infantry have caused many to wonder what that floppy cloth thing many Israeli infantrymen were wearing on their helmets. No mystery, just a new camouflage development, meant to serve the dual purpose of breaking up the distinctive shape of the helmet, and providing something that vegetation could be attached to, to further hide the soldier. Shape, the Israelis have discovered, is something the eye quickly picks up on. The item is called a mitznefet (Hebrew for "turban" or "miter.") The military mitznefet is basically a reversible mesh fabric, with a green camo pattern on one side, and a brown one on the other. In the past, such camo covers fit closely to the helmet. Soldiers were advised to attach branches, leaves and grass to break up the shape of the helmet. Making these helmet covers loose was a simple change that broke up the shape of the helmet without depending on the soldier to go get some vegetation, or pieces of cloth, to hang off a form fitting helmet cover.

The mitznefet was developed in the 1990s, and first used by snipers and Israeli commandoes. Since it was cheap (about ten bucks), it's use spread to all Israeli infantry units.

http://www.ghostscript.com/~raph/kawther/members.aon.at/hpkr/kawther/Imakq03.jpg

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Firefly
08-15-2006, 06:49 AM
I wish I had the time to look for sites that balance the strategy page. Have you seen some of their articles on other subjects. Also, check out their adverts.

I get the feeling that they are slightly right of centre.

George Eller
08-15-2006, 11:20 AM
I wish I had the time to look for sites that balance the strategy page. Have you seen some of their articles on other subjects. Also, check out their adverts.

I get the feeling that they are slightly right of centre.
(My bold)

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:) - Well, I personally don't have a problem with that. But I will keep my eyes open for other sources in order to provide more variety. I do like the Strategy Page's focus on the military aspect of current events.

Most of my posts have been from the Strategy Page with a sprinkling of Fox News and The American Thinker - sources which also tend to present more of a conservative viewpoint.

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George Eller
08-15-2006, 11:23 AM
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Hizbollah ATGM Tactics
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htarm/articles/20060815.aspx

August 15, 2006:

The frequent use of ATGMs (Anti-Tank Guided Missiles) by Hizbollah in Lebanon did not result in many destroyed Israeli tanks. That's because the armor of the Merkava is of a modern design, and constructed to defeat ATGM warheads. But the Hizbollah fighters were smart enough to aim the missiles at the top of the Merkava turrets, where the tank commander was usually exposed, with at least head and shoulders outside the open hatch. When the ATGM exploded, it would kill the tank commander, and sometimes injure other crew inside the turret. Tank's aren't much good without a crew.

Hizbollah also used distant ATGM crews to assist Hizbollah gunmen fighting it out with Israeli infantry in villages. When some Israeli infantry were seen to duck into a building for cover, a Hizbollah ATGM was sometimes fired at the building, killing or injuring the Israelis inside. While the Hizbollah gunmen rarely survived firefights with the Israelis, the long distance ATBM support increased Israeli casualties, and made the Israeli infantry more cautious about what they used for cover.

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Hizbollah Cruise Missiles Shot Down
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairfo/articles/20060815.aspx

August 15, 2006:

Israel shot down two more Hizbollah UAVs, which were apparently being used as cruise missiles. One of the UAVs was downed over northern Israel, the other over south Lebanon. One of the downed UAVs was definitely carrying explosives, and the other probably was.

Hizbollah calls their UAV "Mirsad 1", but it appears to be an Iranian Ababil. This is a 183 pound UAV with a ten foot wing span, a payload of about 80 pounds, a cruising speed of 290 kilometers an hour and an endurance of 90 minutes. The Ababil is known to operate as far as 150 kilometers from its ground controller. but it also has a GPS guidance system that allows it to fly a pre-programmed route and then return to the control by its ground controllers for a landing (which is by parachute). Used as a cruise missile, it has a one way range of about 400 kilometers. Using GPS guidance, it could deliver about 60 pounds of explosives to a prominent Israeli government building in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. The Ababil normally carries a variety of day and night still and video cameras.

When the Hizbollah UAVs first appeared, the Israelis feared that the low flying Ababils could come south carrying a load of nerve gas, or even just explosives. There's nothing exotic about UAV technology, at least for something like the Ababil. It was no surprise that Iran began using home made UAVs in the late 1990s. After all, they had received some UAVs from the United States in the 1970s (Firebee target drones.) The Israelis immediately tagged Iran as the supplier of the Hizbollah drone, because Iran has long supplied that terrorist organization with cash, weapons and equipment for decades. Now Israel has many components of two shot down UAVs, which will enable them to make a positive identification.

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Now Israel Wants Laser Defense
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htada/articles/20060815.aspx

August 15, 2006:

Israel is working with the U.S. government to see if it could revive it's participation in the laser anti-missile system (THEL, or "Tactical High Energy Laser"). Israel dropped out of the project seven months ago, because of the expense of developing the system to the point where it would be ready for regular service. But after seeing Hizbullah fire over 2,000 rockets into northern Israel, and having the Palestinians fire a few dozen a month into southern Israel, the Israelis want to reconsider the new version of THEL. The American partner in THEL development is now offering a smaller version of THEL, Skyguard, for protecting commercial aircraft from portable anti-aircraft missiles. The manufacturer, Northrop Grumman, originally developed THEL (Tactical High Energy Laser) for combat situations. Tests last year showed THEL was able to knock down barrages of incoming mortar shells.

The THEL laser and radar system was designed to track up to sixty targets (mortar and artillery shells, rockets) at a time and fire on and destroy these projectiles at a range of up to five kilometers. THEL can destroy about a dozen targets a minute, at a cost of some $3,000 per shot. Each THEL system (radar and laser) could thus cover about ten kilometers of border. The Skyguard version has a range of up to eight kilometers, is using improved software and can more easily link to other radar systems to obtain targeting information. Skyguard is designed mainly for knocking down portable anti-aircraft missiles fired near airports, at aircraft that are landing or taking off.

Northrop Grumman now says that it can have an anti-rocket system ready in 18 months, at a development cost of $400 million. Each anti-rocket system would cost about $50 million, and eight or nine would be required to cover the Lebanese border. One or two could cover Gaza. Thus the total bill for just developing, building and installing the systems is about a billion dollars.

Israel would like the U.S. to help with the costs, for such a system could be useful in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Israel already gets over $2 billion a year in military aid, and the new Skyguard systems could come out of that. The Israeli artillery brass were making the argument that money spent on THEL would provide more benefit that billions spent on new jet fighters. Earlier this year, the air force won that argument. But now the artillery generals are coming back for another round. The artillery crowd believe that lasers and anti-missile systems like Arrow and Patriot PAC-3 are the future for Israel. It's missiles and rockets that pose the larger threat, and weapons for dealing with this ranger are needed.

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George Eller
08-15-2006, 11:59 AM
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If this was a defeat, the Israelis must be praying for a lot more of them
Tim Hames
Times Online
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1070-2311756,00.html

August 14, 2006

IF ONLY Israel were as effective at public relations as at military operations, the results of the conflict on and around its border with Lebanon would be so much starker. As it is, however, the real meaning of the UN resolution that will start to come into force today is being widely misrepresented. Hezbollah is hailing a “victory” of sorts, albeit one of a presentational character. In a bizarre situation, Israeli politicians on both the hard Left and the hard Right appear to agree with the terrorists. All are profoundly mistaken.

What, after all, does this Hezbollah claim consist of? The organisation considers it a triumph that it has not been completely “destroyed” after just four weeks of fighting. It contrasts this with the dismal record of several Arab armies combined in 1967. It has not yet been disarmed and may not be formally neutralised in the near future. Nor has it been discredited on the Arab street, where it has enhanced its popularity. The Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrullah, thus proclaims himself a “new Nasser”.

As victories rank, not being destroyed, disarmed or discredited is not that impressive. It is hardly Henry V at Agincourt. The idea that the Six-Day War represents the military standard for the Arab world is a somewhat humiliating notion. Allowing for the feeble record of the original Nasser, Israelis should not be too disturbed by the prospect of another incarnation. Nor was the Arab street that equivocal about Israel’s existence before these clashes started.

The facts now evident on the ground suggest an entirely different assessment.

First, the damage inflicted by the Israeli Defence Forces on Hezbollah’s infrastructure and resources is far, far greater than the equivalent harm that it has suffered. A sizeable proportion of Hezbollah rocket launchers and fighters have been eliminated, while the Israeli army has lost no more than a few tanks and, to its regret, about 100 soldiers. For a body that is used to incessant combat, this is not a spectacular setback.

Secondly, Hezbollah has deployed a huge percentage of its missile arsenal to very little advantage. Only in the Alice in Wonderland world of the Middle East could it be seen as a “triumph” for a terrorist organisation simply to launch Katyusha missiles in the direction of Israel and roughly 95 per cent of them to hit nothing of any value. It took Hezbollah six years to accumulate a stockpile that, fundamentally, it has wasted.

Thirdly, the administration in Lebanon, which had ostentatiously refused to send its soldiers to the south of that country for the past six years, has been obliged to pledge to the United Nations that it will now do so. It will, furthermore, be under the de facto control of a much larger international force than has been assembled in that region before — one that will be judged a success or otherwise by the extent to which it keeps the place quiet.

The wider strategic consequences of these recent events are yet more significant. Hezbollah was, until July 11, a problem exclusively for Israel. That dilemma has been internationalised. It is now of paramount importance to the Lebanese Government and the UN Security Council. If Lebanon’s troops cannot pacify Hezbollah then ministers there well know that Israel’s air force will be back over Beirut. The UN will come to appreciate that if it cannot maintain the peace this will be because Hezbollah has broken the ceasefire that the Security Council imposed, and its own authority will be endangered. This is an important breakthrough for Israel. If Ehud Olmert, the Prime Minister, had been told six weeks ago that Hezbollah would cease to be the principal militia in southern Lebanon by the beginning of September he wouldn’t have believed it possible.

Further, Israel’s security has been improved more than has been acknowledged. Fewer than three years ago, Israel’s northern border was exposed to Hezbollah, its eastern boundary with the West Bank was so porous that suicide bombers regularly broke through it and its military was engaged in a bitter and often futile attempt to contain Hamas in Gaza. As of now, it can be confident of pushing Hezbollah back beyond the Litani river in Lebanon, the barrier it erected around the West Bank has reduced the number of suicide blast atrocities to the level of an unfortunate irritation and Hamas, whose military command was decapitated by Israel in a series of controversial strikes in 2004, is more likely to engage in a civil war with Fatah than it is seriously to inconvenience Mr Olmert.

The final dimension to this saga may, nevertheless, prove the most compelling. The past few weeks have exposed Iran’s pivotal role as the political patron of terrorism as well as the audacity and extent of its ambitions to shape Islam in its image. None of this has taken Israel by surprise. It has been a severe blow to Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Jews constitute no threat to mainstream Sunni Islam. The Shia challenge is another matter. Once the crocodile tears for Lebanon have dried up (which will take a month at most) and the mood on the Arab street has moved on (which will not take much longer), it will become obvious to Sunni regimes that Israel is an ally against Iran. The rhetoric directed against Israel will not abate, but it will be increasingly irrelevant.

That Lebanese civilians with no connection to terrorism have died while all this has occurred is a tragedy of the highest order. Israel relied too much on air power at the start of these exchanges and allowed its opponents a propaganda opportunity. Yet, in the end, Israel’s survival does not depend on Arab “hearts and minds” or opinions expressed by television viewers who live many thousands of miles away. It relies instead on winning crucial battles. If this is a “defeat”, then Israel can afford many similar outcomes.

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George Eller
08-15-2006, 08:40 PM
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Ceasefire brings anger in Israel
By Tim Butcher
Telegraph.co.uk
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=IESWRKNQKYOWLQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ 0IV0?xml=/news/2006/08/15/wmid115.xml

August 15, 2006

All major combat in southern Lebanon ended yesterday in line with a United Nations-brokered ceasefire, although Israel's refusal to withdraw all of its troops led to continuing clashes with Hizbollah that left six Shia militiamen dead.

But with no Hizbollah rockets being fired into Israel for the first day since the crisis began 35 days ago, Kofi Annan, the UN secretarygeneral, said there was a hope that the temporary ceasefire would be turned into a full ending of hostilities.

As the fighting was reduced to skirmishes, Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, began to pay the price for what many in Israel see as a lacklustre performance.

He had promised that the war would not finish until the threat of Hizbollah missile attack had been lifted and the two Israeli soldiers seized by the Shia militant group on July 12 released.

Neither goal was achieved, a failure that has already led to calls by newspaper columnists for Mr Olmert to resign.

His rivals have largely observed a policy of national unity during the conflict but this is expected to end soon and lead to fierce political infighting, which could lead to the collapse of his coalition government.

Mr Olmert got the first taste of what is to come during an emergency session of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, yesterday when he defended Operation Change of Direction.

He did not convince fellow legislators who heckled him throughout. He admitted the crisis could have been handled better and problems would be identified in an inquiry.

"There were shortcomings," the prime minister told MPs. "We will have to examine ourselves at all levels. The overall responsibility for this operation lies with me. I am not asking to share this with anyone."

Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of the opposition Likud Party, sought to score political points against his rival.

"There were many failures: failures in identifying the threat, failures in preparing to meet the threat, failures in the management of the war, failures in the management of the home front," he said.

With Israel unwilling to remove its troops until UN peacekeepers and Lebanese army soldiers have secured the Israel-Lebanon border, tensions were high, with Israeli troops and Hizbollah gunmen in close proximity to each other, heavily armed and mutually suspicious.

Fighting erupted on several occasions. A spokesman for the Israeli Defence Forces said Israeli troops were under orders to open fire first if they felt threatened.

Plans by Israel to send a column of tanks deep into Lebanon to resupply a unit of troops on strategic heights overlooking the Litani River valley raised the possibility of further skirmishes.

Last night roaring tank engines could be heard as the column left Metulla on the Israel-Lebanon border under cover of darkness.

Earlier, details emerged of the last 48 hours of fighting ordered by Israel after the UN Security Council agreed the ceasefire late on Friday.

The Israeli defence chiefs were worried that they still had not acquired a good lookout point over southern Lebanon that would allow them to spot any future launch of Hizbollah rockets into Israel.

They therefore ordered a flanking manoeuvre from Metulla to take a hilltop over the village of Froun which commands views down the Litani River, site of many Hizbollah missile launches.

To get tanks and troops through, a new road had to be cut by combat engineers as Hizbollah had mined all existing roads. Around 30 Israeli soldiers died in the operation.

The value of the observation site is so great that Israel is likely to be reluctant to let it go - something that could be a major sticking point with the Lebanese government, which wants all Israeli troops to leave. Israel will only agree to do this once what it sees as a meaningful peacekeeping force, led by the UN but including soldiers from the Lebanese army, secures southern Lebanon and makes sure it is not re-occupied by Hizbollah.

On both sides of the border the ceasefire had an immediate effect among the civilian population, which was quick to try to restore normal life.

Shops that had been closed in Haifa, Israel's third largest city and the target of numerous missile barrages, reopened. And in Lebanon, civilians who had fled the war and crossed into neighbouring Syria began to return.

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George Eller
08-15-2006, 08:41 PM
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Israel humbled by arms from Iran
By Adrian Blomfield in Ghandouriyeh
Telegraph.co.uk
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=AK4Z5L0RBFLOPQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ 0IV0?xml=/news/2006/08/15/wmid15.xml

August 15, 2006

Abandoned Hizbollah positions in Lebanon yesterday revealed conclusive evidence that Syria - and almost certainly Iran - provided the anti-tank missiles that have blunted the power of Israel's once invincible armour.

After one of the fiercest confrontations of the war, Israeli forces took the small town of Ghandouriyeh, east of the southern city of Tyre, on Sunday evening, hours before a ceasefire brokered by the United Nations took effect.

At least 24 Israeli soldiers were killed in the advance on the strategic hilltop town as Hizbollah fighters were pushed back to its outskirts, abandoning many weapons.

The discovery helped to explain the slow progress made by Israeli ground forces in nearly five weeks of a war which Hizbollah last night claimed as "a historic victory." Israeli political and military leaders are facing mounting criticism over the conduct of the offensive, which was intended to smash the Iranian-backed Shia militia.

Outside one of the town's two mosques a van was found filled with green casings about 6ft long. The serial numbers identified them as AT-5 Spandrel anti-tank missiles. The wire-guided weapon was developed in Russia but Iran began making a copy in 2000.

Beyond no-man's land, in the east of the village, was evidence of Syrian-supplied hardware. In a garden next to a junction used as an outpost by Hizbollah lay eight Kornet anti-tank rockets, described by Brig Mickey Edelstein, the commander of the Nahal troops who took Ghandouriyeh, as "some of the best in the world".

Written underneath a contract number on each casing were the words: "Customer: Ministry of Defence of Syria. Supplier: KBP, Tula, Russia."

Brig Edelstein said: "If they tell you that Syria knew nothing about this, just look. This is the evidence. Proof, not just talk."

The discovery of the origin of the weapons proved to the Israelis that their enemy was not a ragged and lightly armed militia but a semi-professional army equipped by Syria and Iran to take on Israel. The weapons require serious training to operate and could be beyond the capabilities of some supposedly regular armies in the Middle East. The Kornet was unveiled by Russia in 1994. It is laser-guided, has a range of three miles and carries a double warhead capable of penetrating the reactive armour on Israeli Merkava tanks. Russia started supplying them to Syria in 1998.

Israeli forces were taken by surprise by the sophistication of the anti-tank weapons they faced. They are believed to have accounted for many of the 116 deaths the army suffered. Dozens of tanks were hit and an unknown number destroyed.

The missiles were also used against infantry, in one case bringing down a house and killing nine soldiers. They played an important part in Hizbollah's tactics of using a network of concealed positions to set up ambushes for the Israelis as they inched in. Last night, Hassan Nasrallah, the Hizbollah leader, said his men had achieved "a strategic, historic victory" over "a confused, cowardly and defea-ted" enemy. He said the militia would not disarm, as Israel and the UN Security Council were demanding. It would be "immoral, incorrect and inappropriate," he said. "It is the wrong timing on a pyschological and moral level."

As the militia leader was claiming victory, Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, defended his handling of the crisis and said that the massive air, ground and sea attack had changed the face of the Middle East. But he admitted that the military and political leadership was guilty of "shortcomings", not least in underestimating the threat from anti-tank weapons.

Critics say that he placed too much faith in the ability of the air force to break the back of Hizbollah and delayed launching a major ground offensive until it was too late.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Likud Party leader and a rival, said: "There were many failures - failures on identifying the threat, failures in preparing to meet the threat, failures in the management of the war, failures in the management of the home front."

Last night, President George W. Bush blamed Iran and Syria for fomenting the conflict between Israel and Hizbollah. "We can only imagine how much more dangerous this conflict would be if Iran had the nuclear weapon it seeks," he said.

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George Eller
08-15-2006, 08:44 PM
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Hizbullah likely to retain weapons
The Jerusalem Post
By JPOST.COM STAFF AND AP
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525877356&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

August 15, 2006

Hizbullah will not hand over its weapons to the Lebanese government but rather refrain from exhibiting them publicly, according to a new compromise that is reportedly brewing between Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Seniora and Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

The UN cease-fire resolution specifically demands the demilitarization of the area south of the Litani river. The resolution was approved by the Lebanese cabinet.

In a televised address on Monday night, Nasrallah declared that now was not the time to debate the disarmament of his guerrilla fighters, saying the issue should be done in secret sessions of the government to avoid serving Israeli interests.

"This is immoral, incorrect and inappropriate," he said. "It is wrong timing on the psychological and moral level particularly before the cease-fire," he said in reference to calls from critics for the guerrillas to disarm.

According to Lebanon's defense minister, Elias Murr, "There will be no other weapons or military presence other than the army" after Lebanese troops move south of the Litani. However, he then contradicted himself by saying the army would not ask Hizbullah to hand over its weapons.

Murr added that Lebanon's contribution of 15,000 soldiers could be on the north side of the Litani River by the end of the week.

He noted that international forces could begin arriving next week to bolster the current 2,000-member UN force in southern Lebanon, which watched helplessly as fighting raged over the past month.

In Europe, Italy and France have pledged troops. Malaysia, Turkey and Indonesia were among the mostly Muslim nations offering help.

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George Eller
08-15-2006, 08:47 PM
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Israel loses Lebanon war
WorldNetDaily
By Aaron Klein © 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
WND Jerusalem bureau chief says Olmert restrained IDF 'at every turn'
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=51519

August 14, 2006

JERUSALEM – In the coming days, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his government ministers will attempt to persuade Israeli voters and the international community that Israel achieved its political and military objectives during its campaign in Lebanon.

Olmert will likely claim Hezbollah's capabilities have been minimized; a strong, armed force will soon be deployed in south Lebanon capable of contending with Hezbollah; and that the political momentum for a new Middle East settlement is now on Israel's side.

In actuality, these claims couldn't be further from the truth. Israel lost the war in Lebanon on all fronts. This is so largely because Olmert refused to allow the Israeli Defense Forces to do its job.

Days after Hezbollah provoked Israel last month by firing rockets into Jewish towns and by ambushing an Israeli military patrol unit killing 8 soldiers and kidnapping two others, the IDF presented Olmert with several battle plans it says could have devastated Hezbollah within an estimated three weeks.

The plans, drawn up and improved upon over the course of several years, called for an immediate air campaign against Hezbollah strongholds in south Beirut; aerial bombardment of key sections of the Lebanese-Syria border to ensure the kidnapped soldiers were not transported out of the country and to halt Syrian re-supply of arms to Hezbollah; and the deployment of up to 40,000 ground troops to advance immediately to the Latani River – taking up the swath of territory from which most Hezbollah rockets are fired – and from there work their way back to the Israeli border while surrounding and then cleaning out Hezbollah strongholds under heavy aerial cover.

To the dismay of military officials here, Olmert did not approve the plan. He initially allowed only a limited air campaign that focused on some high-profile Hezbollah targets, the Beirut airport and roads that led from Beirut into Syria. But the main smuggling routes between Syria and Lebanon, sites very well known to Israeli intelligence, were essentially off limits to the Israeli Air Force because Olmert didn't want his army operating too close to Syria for fear it would bring Damascus into the conflict.

IDF suffers from lack of troops in Lebanon, insufficient air coverage

When Hezbollah met Israel's air campaign with massive rocket attacks against northern Israeli communities, the IDF again presented Olmert with a plan for a large ground deployment to the Latani River. The Israeli Prime Minister – under heavy pressure to step up operations in response to Hezbollah rocket fire – approved only a smaller ground offensive of up to 8,000 soldiers who were not allowed to advance to the Latani.

The IDF was directed to clean out Hezbollah's bases within about three miles of the Israeli border. Small forces, though, did advance further while isolated special operations were carried out deep inside Lebanon.

Afraid of being accused of using excessive force and firing indiscriminately into population centers – charges leveled at the Jewish state anyway – Olmert limited the IAF to strategic bombings only. The air force was not allowed to clear the way for ground troops to enter.

And so the IDF – with a force one fourth the size it asked for – engaged in heated, often face-to-face combat over the course of weeks with a well-trained, well-armed Hezbollah militia that had planned with Iran for up to six years for this battle.

Israeli soldiers found themselves up against Hezbollah gunmen who fought in civilian clothing and hid behind local civilian populations. Well-orchestrated Hezbollah ambushes took tolls on troop battalions. Iranian-supplied advanced anti-tank missiles proved extremely effective against Israeli combat vehicles.

The IDF suffered in very specific ways on the battlefield because of a lack of enough ground troops.

One example was a battle that began July 25. The Israeli army attempted to strangle Bint Jbail, a town of about 30,000 commonly called the "Hezbollah capital" of south Lebanon. Because there were not enough troops to completely surround the strategic village, Bint Jbail's northern entrance was not sealed off, and, according to army sources, hundreds of Hezbollah fighters were able to infiltrate and join with the already 150 or so gunmen inside. The IDF had to contend with a larger Hezbollah contingent as a result. Nine soldiers were lost in heavy fighting the next day. Another 14 soldiers were killed at Bint Jbail the next two weeks.

On several occasions the past few weeks, while heavy diplomacy looked to be gaining momentum, such as during Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's visits here, the IDF was actually asked by the political echelon to halt most operations and troop advances for up to 36 hours while negotiations ran their course.

Military leaders now charge that some troop battalions, instructed to hold positions outside villages but not to advance, actually became sitting ducks for Hezbollah anti-tank fire, which killed at least 35 Israeli soldiers. After the diplomacy failed, soldiers were ordered to carry on. This piece of information will likely be brought to light by commissions of inquiry already initiated into the performance of the IDF and the culpability of Israel's political leadership.

Hezbollah showed other impressive gains. In what Israel admitted was a major blow to its navy, Hezbollah during the initial fighting hit an Israeli naval ship with an Iranian Silkworm C-802 radar-guided anti-ship cruise missile, killing four soldiers and damaging the warship. It was the first time the missile had been introduced into the battle with Israel. Military officials here said the Israeli ship's radar system was not calibrated to detect the Silkworm, which is equipped with an advanced anti-tracking system.

Olmert turns down 'necessary' military ops

WorldNetDaily was made aware by senior military officials of several meetings in which IDF officials petitioned Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz for a larger ground force and for more heavy aerial cover, or at least for ground troops already in Lebanon to be authorized to reach the Latani River in hopes of cleaning out the villages nearby such as Tyre, from which many rockets are launched into Israel.

The petitions came more frequently as Hezbollah rockets landed further and further south inside Israel.

Tens of thousands of troops were put on standby in northern Israel, but were not allowed to enter Lebanon.

The smaller IDF numbers on the ground in Lebanon carried on, eventually with instructions to create a buffer zone of about 3 miles within which the Hezbollah infrastructure would be entirely wiped out. The zone would do little to stop rocket fire into northern Israel, since most rockets were fired from positions deeper inside south Lebanon.

Officials say the IAF was still restrained from targeting key positions close to the Syrian border in the Bekaa Valley from which intelligence officials say Hezbollah received regular shipments of rockets and other heavy weaponry originating in Iran and transported via Syria. Israel bombed roads in the area a few kilometers from Syria, but many weapons smuggling routes at the border remained intact.

While Syria placed its military on high alert, Olmert told reporters several times Israel had no intention of bringing Damascus into the war.

Last weekend, after Hezbollah rockets killed a record 15 civilians in one day, Olmert's cabinet finally gave the green light for an enormous IDF ground invasion and for an advance to the Latani River.

Many military officials here told me they were elated the IDF would at last be given the freedom to do what it had wanted to do nearly one month ago.

The cabinet, though, left the timing of the new operation to Olmert, who held the advance back until Thursday morning. By Thursday evening, the IDF, which charged ahead from four main fronts, reached the Latani River and even beyond in full force and prepared for an intense battle to overtake the areas used by Hezbollah to fire rockets. The IDF estimated it would need another four to six weeks to successfully wipe out the Hezbollah infrastructure in the areas.

But a day later a cease-fire resolution was adapted. The U.S., perhaps wanting to cut its losses after Israel's month-long poor performance, supported a cessation of military activities in Lebanon.

(continued below)

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George Eller
08-15-2006, 08:49 PM
-

(Continued from above)

Hezbollah remains intact, Israel's enemies emboldened

The IDF continued its advance until this morning, beginning to clear out some villages. But not nearly enough gains were made, as was amply demonstrated yesterday when Hezbollah fired over 240 rockets – its largest one-day volley yet – into northern Israel, killing one civilian and wounding at least 26 others.

Now the cease-fire is being implemented. Perhaps it will hold, perhaps it won't. Either way, Hezbollah has won the war. It put up an incredible fight against IDF forces paralyzed by Israel's leadership. The terror group maintains a good deal of its infrastructure in south Lebanon and still has the ability to fire hundreds of rockets per day into Israel.

Even if Israel restarts its larger offensive, Hezbollah still can regain the initiative by carrying out larger escalations, such as firing its long-range Zelzal rockets into Tel Aviv.

Hezbollah is ecstatic about the deployment of "15,000 soldiers" from the Lebanese Army to replace Israeli troops in south Lebanon. The Lebanese Army doesn't have 15,000 standing troops. Aside from a small air force pool, the Army doesn't have a reserve unit from which it can call up large numbers.

The plan, according to Lebanese officials, is to recall Lebanese soldiers who served during the past 5 years, which means many out-of-shape, unprepared ex-soldiers will be charged with protecting the Israeli border. Take into account the sectarian divisions of the split Shiite-Sunni Lebanese Army – with many soldiers sympathetic to Hezbollah's cause – and you have a force that will, at best, do little to contend with Hezbollah, and at worst prompt an internal civil war. Not to mention, the Lebanese Army is poorly armed and ill-equipped.

The cease-fire call for the establishment of a backed-up United Nations force in south Lebanon is also taken as a victory for Hezbollah. The terror group does not believe any international force will be willing to die to defend Israel's borders or that it will have the ability to block the group's re-supply routes between Syria and Lebanon. Hezbollah knows that if the IDF couldn't defeat it, European forces, led by countries opposed to Israel's Lebanon campaign, will be no match.

For Israel, an international force on its borders will impede the ability of the IDF to operate with freedom during any future conflict with Hezbollah.

The Jewish state's credibility took a massive toll when Olmert agreed to the current cease-fire calling for negotiations at a later date for the two soldiers Hezbollah kidnapped. Olmert had repeatedly vowed the war would only stop after Hezbollah returned the abducted Israeli troops, and now the prime minister is ending the war without even vague promises of the soldiers' assured safety or indications they are alive. Hezbollah sees this as a victory.

The cease-fire places the Shebba Farms, territory held by Israel but claimed by Hezbollah, up for future negotiations, granting Hezbollah the ability to claim its fighting brought international legitimacy to its territorial demands.

The cease-fire doesn't place an immediate arms embargo on Hezbollah, but only calls for future talks on stopping weapons transfers to the terror group. This leaves Syria and Iran free to rearm and regroup Hezbollah.

The two state sponsors of Hezbollah, Syria and Iran learned during the last month that they can orchestrate a proxy war against America's Middle East ally at no cost to their regimes. They engineered a tough fight against Israeli forces and came out on top. They will be emboldened to continue their war against Israel and U.S. troops in Iraq at a fevered pitch. Iran smells Western weakness and will forge ahead with its nuclear ambitions.

And terrorists in the West Bank and Gaza are foaming at the mouth. Today, Abu Aziz, second-in-command of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group, told WorldNetDaily that Hezbollah's victory leads him to believe the end of Israel is in sight. He said he realizes now is the time to "attack Israel from all directions."

And so the enemies of the U.S. and Israel are poised for another war. They smell victory, and why shouldn't they? The last month demonstrated that with weak Israeli leadership in place, the Jewish state can be defeated.

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Aaron Klein is WorldNetDaily's Jerusalem bureau chief, whose past interview subjects have included Yasser Arafat, Ehud Barak, Mahmoud al-Zahar and leaders of the Taliban.

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George Eller
08-15-2006, 08:52 PM
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Israel to military leaders: Keep dissent quiet
Intelligence officials asked to highlight Jewish state's gains in Lebanon
WorldNetDaily
By Aaron Klein © 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=51537

August 15, 2006

TEL AVIV – Military intelligence officers here have been asked not to talk to the media without prior authorization from their superiors while some are being petitioned to highlight Israel's gains in Lebanon, sources in the Israeli Defense Forces intelligence unit told WorldNetDaily.

The sources said Hezbollah has been dealt a "decisive blow" by the Jewish state's military campaign, but contrary to statements by political leaders in Jerusalem the terror group's infrastructure in much of south Lebanon has not been destroyed. They said Hezbollah maintains the ability to fire hundreds of rockets per day into Israel.

In an address to the Knesset yesterday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the United Nations cease-fire resolution imposed yesterday morning was a substantial achievement for Israel.

"There is no longer a state within a state, an entity that exploits Lebanon's weakness," he said.

Olmert said Israel's military campaign in Lebanon had "changed the strategic balance in the region" to Hezbollah's disadvantage.

He claimed Hezbollah's vast arsenal of weapons had been largely destroyed and the terror group's self-confidence was undermined. His comments aroused audible scoffs from other Knesset members.

But military intelligence officials say Hezbollah strongholds in the central regions of south Lebanon remain intact. They said because the IDF was not authorized to conduct a large-scale ground assault to the Latani River – about 18 miles into Lebanon – until two days before yesterday's cease-fire was imposed, major nearby cities such as Tyre were not cleaned out of Hezbollah fighters. Tyre and surrounding areas were routinely used by Hezbollah to fire rockets into northern Israeli cities.

Military officials say that from the start of Israel's campaign in Lebanon last month the IDF petitioned for the deployment of up to 40,000 ground troops to advance immediately to the Latani River – taking up the swath of territory from which most Hezbollah rockets are fired – and from there work their way back to the Israeli border while surrounding and then cleaning out Hezbollah strongholds under heavy aerial cover.

But Olmert at first only approved aerial assaults. After Hezbollah retaliated by firing large numbers of rockets into Israel, the Olmert government approved a smaller ground offensive of up to 8,000 soldiers who according to military officials were not directed to advance to the Latani. The IDF was charged with cleaning out Hezbollah's bases within about three miles of the Israeli border.

IDF leaders told WND they suffered in "very specific" ways on the battlefield because of a lack of sufficient ground troops. They cited instances in which they claimed there were not enough soldiers to surround key villages, such as Bint JBail in southern Lebanon, allowing Hezbollah fighters to infiltrate cities after the IDF began combat inside the areas.

After nearly four weeks of fighting, Olmert's cabinet last week approved the larger assault the IDF had petitioned for, authorizing about 40,000 troops to enter Lebanon and advance to the Latani River. The IDF estimated it would need about three days to reach central Lebanon and another four to six weeks to successfully wipe out the Hezbollah infrastructure in the areas leading back to the Israeli border.

But yesterday morning – three days after the Israeli army was given a green light to advance – a cease-fire was imposed and the Jewish state suspended operations.

The Israeli military will hold key positions until the Lebanese Army backed by an armed international force deploys in the area, according to cease-fire conditions.

"Hezbollah's infrastructure in areas nearing the Latani was not destroyed," said a military official.

The official pointed to Sunday's volley by Hezbollah – one day before the cease-fire was imposed – of over 240 rockets into Israel, the largest number the group has fired so far. One Israeli civilian was killed in the attacks; 26 others were injured.

"The message sent is that Hezbollah absolutely maintains the capability of firing hundreds of rockets per day into Israel. Wasn't one of the military campaign's main goals to eliminate the rocket threat?" commented the military official.

But military intelligence officials tell WND they have been asked not to talk to the media unless they receive authorization from the IDF spokesman's office. They say some officials have been asked to highlight Israel's military gains in Lebanon.

IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz yesterday sent an e-mail letter to military officials asking them to limit their public comments.

The letter, obtained by WND, states unauthorized leaks to the media could endanger Israeli soldiers.

"Extensive media coverage has its price, primarily in the unchecked exposure of force movement, size, objectives, and so on. Unchecked information endangers our goals and puts the lives of our soldiers at risk," wrote Halutz.

Some military leaders here told reporters they have questions as to the timing of Halutz's missive.

"Perhaps it's a sensitive issue for [Halutz]," one of the officers told the Ynet news website. "But it seems that the first missive to IDF officers since the onset of the current conflict should first offer encouragement and support to commanders in these difficult days, and then touch on other issues."

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George Eller
08-16-2006, 11:25 AM
-

The Real Winner in Lebanon
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060816.aspx


August 16, 2006:

The success of the ceasefire in Lebanon hinges on a condition that Lebanon and Hizbollah both insist will not happen. Hizbollah is supposed to disarm, but says bluntly that it will not do so. The Lebanese government says it will not force Hizbollah to disarm. So what's going to happen? It appears that Israel is going to hold the UN responsible for carrying out its peace deal, and disarm Hizbollah. To that end, Israel will withdraw its troops from Lebanon, and leave it to UN peacekeepers to do what they are obliged to do. But here's the catch, not enough nations are stepping forward to supply the initial 3,500 UN forces, much less the eventual 15,000 UN force. However, it is likely that, eventually, enough nations will supply troops. But many of those contingents may not be willing to fight Hizbollah. Israel says it will not completely withdraw from Lebanon until the UN force is in place.

The Israeli strategy appears to be to allow the UN deal to self-destruct. If the UN peacekeepers can disarm Hizbollah, fine. If not, Israeli ground troops will come back in and clear everyone out of southern Lebanon. At that point, it will be obvious that no one else is willing, or able, to deal with the outlaw "state-within-a-state" that Hizbollah represents. Hizbollah will still exist after being thrown out of southern Lebanon, and it will be up to the majority of Lebanese, and the rest of the Arab world, to deal with Hizbollah and radical Shias.

Hizbollah suffered a defeat. Their rocket attacks on Israel, while appearing spectacular (nearly 4,000 rockets launched), were unimpressive (39 Israelis killed, half of them Arabs). On the ground, Hizbollah lost nearly 600 of its own personnel, and billions of dollars worth of assets and weapons. Israeli losses were far less.

While Hizbollah can declare this a victory, because it fought Israel without being destroyed, this is no more a victory than that of any other Arab force that has faced Israeli troops and failed. Arabs have been trying to destroy Israel for over half a century, and Hizbollah is the latest to fail. But Hizbollah did more than fail, it scared most Moslems in the Middle East, because it demonstrated the power and violence of the Shia Arab minority. Sunni Arabs, and most Arabs are Sunnis, are very much afraid of Shia Moslems, mainly because most Iranians are Shia, not Arab, and intent on dominating the region, like Iran has done so many times in the past. Hizbollah's recent outburst made it clear that Iran, which subsidizes and arms Hizbollah, has armed power that reaches the Mediterranean. This scares Sunni Arabs because a Shia minority also continues to rule Syria (where most of the people are Sunni). The Shia majority in Iraq, which have not dominated Iraq for over three centuries, is now back in control.

Hizbollah did enjoy a victory in its recent war, but it was over Sunni Arabs, not Israel.

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George Eller
08-16-2006, 11:26 AM
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Why Hezbollah will not be disarmed
Times Online
Nick Blanford, Times Correspondent in Lebanon, explains why Hezbollah will keep its weapons - but that the Shia group has problems of its own.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2315467,00.html

August 16, 2006

"I think you can forget about Hezbollah being disarmed. It is just not going to happen. Hezbollah doesn't want to be disarmed and there is nobody else willing to do it. In that simple fact lies the potential for future trouble.

"The UN Security Council resolution 1559 certainly calls for all the militias operating in Lebanon to be disarmed, but the Lebanese Government has side-stepped the whole issue since that resolution was passed two years ago. People here accept that it is a very difficult thing to disarm Hezbollah against its will.

"Even if the Lebanese Government had been crazy enough to try to force the army to do it, I think the army would have refused. A lot of its senior officers are loyal to President Emile Lahoud, the last leading ally of Syria to remain in office in Lebanon.

"Many people regard the army as almost a proxy of Hezbollah. The Shia contingent in the army, which represents about 60 per cent of all soldiers, would have refused to take on their Shia brothers in Hezbollah.

"If they had accepted the job, they would have been annihilated in a face-to-face confrontation. Hezbollah has just fought the most powerful army in the Middle East to a standstill - the Lebanese army is weak, lightly armed and used to performing more of a policing than a military role.

"The alternative option is to send international troops to disarm Hezbollah, when the United Nations mission in South Lebanon is given a new mandate and beefed up with an extra 13,000 peacekeepers.

"But that is not going to happen either. It is clearly understood that the last thing that foreign countries sending troops to maintain the ceasefire want to do is to get involved in disarming Hezbollah - or even in preventing Hezbollah from reaching the border and attacking Israel. There is no way they want to be caught in the middle, or seen as Israel's extra line of defence against Hezbollah.

"This is what is behind the delay in agreeing the new UN mission. That is why the countries willing to offer troops for the new UN mission are still talking, why the French Foreign Minister is in Beirut today, still asking searching questions about what the mission's mandate means, what the situation is on the ground, and who else is going to be there.

"Countries like France and Australia are willing in principle to commit soldiers, but they worry that if their forces suddenly find themselves surrounded by potentially less reliable troops from other countries and acting as the front line of defence for Israel, then they don't want to be involved.

"They want a level of political understanding to be in place at the start, that Hezbollah won't attack Israel and that when they arrive in south Lebanon they will not find Hezbollah guerillas still deployed in their bunkers along the border.

"In effect, they want the UN force to be mainly a PR stunt to reassure the international community that the situation in Lebanon is under control.

"Naturally they are not going to get explicit reassurances sent direct to their foreign ministries, but I think the countries contributing troops can safely assume that Hezbollah is not interested in exacerbating the situation on the ground just now. It has its own internal worries.

"I think Hezbollah realises that they made a big mistake by kidnapping those Israeli soldiers on July 12. They have already admitted that they thought it would cause nothing more than a mini flare up, they didn't expect the powerful military reaction they got from the Israelis.

"To the rest of the world, at the moment Hezbollah is basking in success. The perception among Muslims throughout the world is that they won the war, and can rest on their laurels.

"But Hezbollah has hard political work to do at home in reassuring and maintaining their support among the Shia community, whose homes and livelihoods have been utterly destroyed by Israeli bombs.

"The Shia ideology is long-suffering, and you won't often find a Shia ready to admit that Hezbollah fouled up. They are very stoical. Yesterday I was talking to an old guy in a southern village where 80 per cent of the buildings were lying in rubble, and he shrugged philosophically and said that the Israelis bombed his house in 1996 and 1999 and now again in 2006, so he would just build it again.

"But I think it is clear that the reason why Hezbollah is now promising to pay a year's rent for homeless Shia families and compensate them for damaged property is because they have a lot of work to do to bring their supporters back on board.

"What is more, I think the recriminations are about to start in earnest from the other sectarian communities in Lebanon, who stayed quiet during the war out of loyalty to the country. Shias only represent 35 per cent of Lebanon - the rest is divided between Sunnis, Christians and Druze. Overall, the conflict has made an already polarised society even more polarised.

"The long term danger is that if Hezbollah does not disarm, then the other communities may decide that if they cannot beat them they may as well join them, and will start rearming in their turn. And that could be the start of the slippery slope back towards civil war."

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George Eller
08-16-2006, 11:26 AM
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German troops may face Jews - as part of mission for peace
Times Online
From Roger Boyes in Berlin and Richard Beeston in Beirut
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2314986,00.html

August 16, 2006

GERMANY was poised yesterday to shatter its most enduring postwar taboo by sending troops into the cauldron of Lebanon, where they risk coming into direct conflict with Israelis.

As troops from France, Italy, Spain, Turkey and other donor nations prepared to deploy in southern Lebanon, Germany’s late decision to participate ranked as its most delicate foreign policy move since it was held to account for the Holocaust in 1945. Since then, it has been unthinkable that Germans would put themselves in a combat situation in which their soldiers could shoot at Jews.

The decision to deploy troops to join the 15,000-strong Unifil peacekeeping force was made by Angela Merkel, the Chancellor, in consultation with three Cabinet ministers. They agreed to take on such a role in their first venture into the Middle East because of the difficulties of recruiting enough properly equipped peacekeepers for the mission.

“We have to do this, not in spite of the Holocaust, but because of it,” Werner Sonne, a leading commentator, said on German state television. “If German troops guard Israel’s borders, they are there to protect Jewish lives. Frankly, there has never been a better reason to bring in soldiers in German uniform.”

That set the tone yesterday of what promises to be a huge national debate, not only about Middle East policy but about how the Nazi past should inhibit Germany’s expanding role in world politics.

Frau Merkel seems ready to send some 3,000 troops, of whom about 1,000 will be Pioneers with heavy earth-moving equipment to help to rebuild airports and harbours. The navy, already in the eastern Mediterranean on Operation Active Endeavour, would be strengthened with frigates to patrol the coast of Lebanon.

The German Air Force is being put on stand-by to fly reconnaissance missions from Cyprus and the German Border Service could be put on patrol along the Lebanese-Syrian border to stop the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah. German soldiers could find themselves drawn into a firefight in any of these theatres.

France will command the force with lead elements arriving in the coming days. The French appear ready to send 5,000 soldiers, Italy 3,000 soldiers and Turkey a further 1,500. German diplomats say that one priority is to convince other Muslim countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, to commit troops as well.

Unifil is supposed to patrol the rugged region of southern Lebanon from the Israeli border north to the Litani river, an area dominated by Hezbollah.

The peacekeepers intend to offer support to 15,000 troops from the Lebanese Army. Last night the UN said it hoped that up to 3,500 of its peacekeepers would be in Lebanon within two weeks.

Hezbollah remains the most powerful military force in Lebanon and Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, its leader, dismissed any suggestion that his men should lay down their arms. The danger for the peacekeepers is that the ceasefire will break down and tit-for-tat attacks resume, leaving them with the choice of using force against the Israeli military or Hezbollah fighters, or doing nothing.

Germany has been encouraged to send a big contingent by the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, a sign that the Holocaust taboo is beginning to crumble. In an interview with the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung this month, Mr Olmert said he had told Frau Merkel that Israel had “absolutely no problem with German soldiers in southern Lebanon”.

“There is at the moment no nation that is behaving in a more friendly way towards Israel than Germany,” Mr Olmert said. “If Germany can contribute to the security of the Israeli people, that would be a worthwhile task for your country. I would be very happy if Germany participated.”

Yet some German observers believe that a degree of calculation lies behind the Israeli enthusiasm. In a fast-moving exchange of fire, German soldiers might give the Israelis the benefit of the doubt.

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George Eller
08-16-2006, 12:08 PM
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Poll: 70 Percent of Israelis Oppose Cease-Fire
NewsMax.com
By the NewsMax.com Staff
http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/8/16/122420.shtml?s=icp

Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006

Israel's defense minister has created a military committee to investigate how the war in Lebanon was conducted, military officials said Monday. The decision came amid a U.N.-imposed cease-fire, and as the government came under increasing criticism over strategy in the conflict.

Newspapers and radio shows were filled with outrage over army chief Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz's decision to sell off his stock portfolio just hours before launching Israel's biggest military operation since its 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

Halutz declared himself a victim of malicious reporting, saying he has been turned "into a Shylock."

The 34-day war against Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas, widely seen here as just, had united Israel's fractured society. Hezbollah was considered a growing threat after it had vastly expanded its arsenal of missiles in recent years.

But the unity crumbled after Israel's fabled army pulled out of south Lebanon without crushing Hezbollah or rescuing two soldiers whose July 12 capture by the guerillas during a raid in Israel triggered the fighting.

The war began just two months after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz, men with little military experience, took office. Surveys in two major Hebrew-language dailies on Wednesday showed low approval ratings for both.

A poll of 500 people by TNS-Teleseker showed support for Olmert sinking to 40 percent after soaring to 78 percent in the first two weeks of the offensive.

Peretz' approval rating plunged to 28 percent from 61 percent, according to the poll, which has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points. A second poll, by the Dahaf Research Institute, showed 57 percent calling for his resignation.

The Dahaf poll, which had a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points, showed 70 percent opposed to a cease-fire that did not include the return of the captured soldiers, and 69 percent backing an official inquiry into the war's prosecution.

Under the truce, Israel is to withdraw from southern Lebanon, and 15,000 Lebanese army forces, backed by a similar number of U.N. peacekeepers, are to patrol the territory, which had been controlled by Hezbollah before the war. Critics of the truce question the ability of the new force to keep Hezbollah at bay.

Halutz's wartime decisions did not score him many points with the public: Fifty-two percent of those polled by TNS and 47 percent of those surveyed by Dahaf said they were dissatisfied with his handling of the fighting.

Politicians and military commanders called for his resignation after a newspaper reported he sold his stock portfolio just before the fighting began. Halutz has acknowledged selling about $28,000 worth of stocks at noon July 12, three hours after Hezbollah launched the cross-border raid that touched off the war.

He has expressed no regret over the timing of the sale, saying he has finances to manage like any other Israeli.

"They've turned me into Shylock," he told the Yediot Ahronot daily, referring to Shakespeare's despised Jewish "Merchant of Venice."

Also being criticized is Halutz's decision to rely heavily on airstrikes in the first phase of the war. In another controversial decision, a massive ground offensive was ordered just as a cease-fire deal was within reach. More than 30 Israeli soldiers died after the U.N. Security Council had already approved the truce deal.

The government has said its final push deep into Lebanon was necessary to maximize gains against Hezbollah before the cease-fire went into effect.

One of the last casualties was Staff Sgt. Uri Grossman, the son of internationally acclaimed novelist David Grossman. The elder Grossman supported the war, but two days before his son was killed he condemned the last-ditch campaign as dangerous and counterproductive.

"I won't say anything now about the war in which you were killed," Grossman said in his eulogy to his son. "We, your family, have already lost in this war."

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George Eller
08-16-2006, 12:09 PM
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Syria President Assad Threatens War
NewsMax.com
By the NewsMax.com Staff
http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/8/16/102740.shtml?s=lh

Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad says his country is prepared for war with Israel and warned that the Golan Heights would be seized "by Syrian hands.”

In an interview with the Egyptian publication Al-Usbu after the ceasefire in Lebanon went into effect, Assad declared: "Syria has been prepared and ready since the first day of the war . . .

"We and the resistance (Hezbollah) read clearly that the day of confrontation was definitely approaching. The current war is five years old, and there were widespread preparations for this day.”

Assad said he is convinced that steps toward peace "have fallen off, and that the Golan will be liberated by Syrian hands.”

Asked what the expected results would be if Israel launched an attack against Syria, Assad said: "If Israel acts with adventurism and enters into a war with Syria, this will be the beginning of a heavy price that it will pay.”

Assad said Hezbollah’s conflict with Israel marks "a new stage in the history of [the Arab] nation, and he remarked ominously: "To this day no one in American intelligence or Israeli intelligence knows what the true capabilities of the resistance are.”

The Syrian government daily Al-Thawra claimed Hezbollah had achieved a military victory over Israel, which "forced the Americans to make huge diplomatic efforts aimed at preventing [the victory] from being translated into a new political reality.”

On Tuesday, Germany’s foreign minister abruptly canceled a planned visit to Syria after Assad gave a speech ridiculing Israel’s military offensive in Lebanon and warning against disarming Hezbollah.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier had already boarded a plane in Jordan for the flight to Syria when he canceled the trip, saying Assad’s speech was "going in completely the wrong direction” on the need for peace in the region.

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George Eller
08-16-2006, 12:11 PM
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Jordan Calls for Arab Peacemaking With Israel
NewsMax.com
NewsMax.com Wires
http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2006/8/16/100927.shtml?s=lh

Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006

AMMAN, Jordan -- Jordan called Tuesday for the immediate resumption of Arab peacemaking with Israel, saying the time was ripe after guns fell silent in the Lebanese-Israeli conflict.

King Abdullah II warned that the Lebanon conflict "could be repeated unless the international community shoulders its responsibility and works for a comprehensive solution to he Arab-Israeli conflict."

The "stalemate...jeopardizes the opportunities for peace and stability in the region," Abdullah said in talks with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is on a tour of Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Government spokesman Nasser Judeh said Jordan was working with Arab governments to revive the peace process with Israel.

"We have to have negotiations and solve outstanding issues, particularly the Palestinian question," Judeh said, adding the "root-cause" of Mideast crises was the lingering Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

On Monday, Abdullah urged Arab leaders to devise a comprehensive strategy to deal with crises besetting the Mideast.

He told a gathering of Jordanian lawmakers in Amman that "the challenges in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon demand setting a comprehensive Arab strategy to deal with them."

Last week, Abdullah cautioned his Israeli and U.S. allies that the fighting in Lebanon weakened moderates, like himself, and caused a backlash against them across the Mideast.

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George Eller
08-17-2006, 12:18 PM
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Israelis In Lebanon
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htsf/articles/20060817.aspx

August 17, 2006:

Commandos prefer to operate in the shadows, but the recent Israeli operations in Lebanon put the spotlight on their commandos at work. News reports from Lebanon indicated that there were at least three, and possibly more, raids deep into the country. Some two dozen Hizbollah members were brought back as prisoners, and many more were left dead. The elite navy, army and air force commandos apparently carried out these operations.

But many more raids and recon operations were apparently undertaken closer to the Israeli border, by the many other Israeli commando type troops. Once more details of some of these operations got into the Arab and Israeli media, the military usually discloses a few more details, if only to avoid any misunderstandings.

Israel has a large force of special operations type troops, for a country its size (six million). There are two small battalions of Arabic speaking troops used for undercover operations and raids into the Palestinian territories. Sayeret Shimshon (Unit 367) is assigned to the Gaza Strip, while Sayeret Duvdevan (Unit 217) takes care of the West Bank. There are four companies of Ranger type troops (Palsar) that normally are assigned to one of the four elite infantry brigades of the army, and two more to support armored brigades. There are also three LRRP companies (Special Command Teams), with one assigned to each of the army's corps headquarters. Lotar Eilat and Unit Yamam are two hostage rescue units (each under 100 troops.) These units are also used as commandos (as when there is a lot of violence with the Palestinians.) There are also several hundred highly trained LRRP troops assigned directly to intelligence units. The navy has a SEAL unit (Shayetet 13) of about 400 men. This unit is more selective than the other commando units, with about 80 percent of it's candidates failing the training course, compared to about 50 percent with other units. The navy also has a company size unit of divers (similar to U.S. UDT). The police force also has over a thousand specially trained men who are a cut above your usual SWAT teams.

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Firefly
08-17-2006, 04:16 PM
Cheers for the varied sources George, I find I come here first thing to review your snippets.

George Eller
08-17-2006, 06:21 PM
Cheers for the varied sources George, I find I come here first thing to review your snippets.
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You're welcome and thanks Firefly :)

I'm glad that I picked up on your suggestion as it makes for a more well rounded view of the news.

I will try to get more posted tomorrow - today has been very busy for me.

Cheers.

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Panzerknacker
08-17-2006, 07:27 PM
George, the .50 rifle ( L.A.R Grizzly ??) owned by Michael in that movie made me drowl at that time (sorry by the off-topic)

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/row/merkava.jpg

George Eller
08-17-2006, 09:32 PM
George, the .50 rifle ( L.A.R Grizzly ??) owned by Michael in that movie made me drowl at that time (sorry by the off-topic)


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Hi Panzerknacker,

I have only seen Tremors2 once, but got a kick out of it. The first Tremors movie was pretty entertaining too.

I think it was a LAR Grizzly.

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my old Tremors2 Signature that you are refering to:
http://img53.imageshack.us/img53/5615/tremors2vg9.jpg

http://members.aol.com/shadoemagic/mgross/tremors13.jpg

Burt's Guns
http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11757&sid=8618e7cd70c2015e8c82a6b81d5df7a1

SavageArcher:
"The first picture Bear posted I don't reconize unless it was a promo. I don't remember any desert camo'd pickup or a Barret M82 .50 cal. I only remember him using a Grizzly .50 in the 2nd and 3rd. "

http://homepage.mac.com/bloodfield/html/guest_html/guest_tad/grizzly2.jpg
http://homepage.mac.com/bloodfield/html/guest_html/guest_tad/grizzly1.jpg


see also:
http://www.geocities.com/burt_trem/burtsguns.html

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Burt Gummer
"Doing what I can, with what I've got."
http://www.fluency.paintedtarget.org/df/road/tremors.html

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FUNNIEST movie gun moments
http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-81978.html

CrudeGT:
May 16th, 2004, 02:20 PM
"Anyone ever see Tremors2? god that was an awful movie. But it had a pretty funny scene.

Some of the characters from the first movie are in the second, namely Bert, the gun nut (and my hero :D ) He's got a new .50bmg sniper rifle he wants to show off. and he gets just the chance. He is in a group of about 5 people. They are running from building to building, to avoid the new tremors. The new ones are not big worms from under ground, they walk on 2 legs, above grounds, and use heat as well as vibration to find prey. They just need to run between 2 buildings and around a corner and they will have made it to the jeep, and to safety. But there is a little tremor thing in the alleyway. Bert lines up his shot with the .50bmg, takes aim and the little tremor EXPLODES (that was cool). They run over to the truck, and one of the other people notice a hole in the wall behind where the tremor was standing. She looks through the wall, and whats she see, the jeep. The bullet had gone through the tremor through like 3 concrete walls, and through the engine block of the jeep.

I want that gun..."

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Video clip montage of the movie including scene described above - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVNq7Uhmbng

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bullets penetrating through people
http://forums.beyondunreal.com/archive/index.php/t-71812.html

BlueSniper:
29th Jun 2001, 03:27 PM
"I was watching Tremors2 and Bert used a 50BMG rifle that split a monster in half while traveling through a brick wall, three barrels, and the front of a car. is this realistic?"

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International Tremors Fans Portal
Bert's Guns
http://tremorsfan.com/viewtopic.php?t=104&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0&sid=5a83574c12354df62b499127114c9e84
http://tremorsfan.com/viewtopic.php?p=10761&highlight=&sid=115c78f2d2851ac5d55401956bf1e643

ActionBurt
Graboid Hunter:

"Burt has so far used:

M82A1 .50 sniper rifle
HK G3 with collapsing stock (from Night of the Shriekers)
Desert Eagle (unknown caliber)

Burt also has
>bolt action rifle, with wood stock. Unknown model
>M-16 with collapsing stock (Tyler used it in NoS and we see it on the wall)
>(30?)40mm multishot grenade launcher (liek from Tremors 3 opening sequence) hanging on the wall
>M-870 (?) 12 gauge pump shotgun (Rosalita used it)
>Nickel-plated M1911(?) (Put it under his pillow in "A Little Paranoia)
and a few other handuns on his wall I can't identify- they're too small on the screen.

(I am working on a new wall of weapons. So far I think I've identified most of the silouhettes on his wall)"

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Nice Pic of the Merkava Mk I. - Thanks :)

Here are some interesting webpages on Israeli armor and weapons:

Israeli-Weapons.com
http://www.israeli-weapons.com/

Merkava tanks:
http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/vehicles/tanks/merkava/Merkava.html
http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/vehicles/tanks/merkava/MerkavaMk1.html
http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/vehicles/tanks/merkava/MerkavaMk2.html
http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/vehicles/tanks/merkava/MerkavaMk3.html
http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/vehicles/tanks/merkava/MerkavaMk4.html

Namera Heavy-Weight IFV/APC (Merkava variant)
http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/vehicles/armored_personnel_carriers/namera/Namera.htm
http://dx.ampednews.com/images/news/4623/123.jpg
http://dx.ampednews.com/images/news/4625/1234567.jpg
http://dx.ampednews.com/?page=articles&id=12022

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Panzerknacker
08-18-2006, 07:35 PM
It was a L.A.R then...I was in doubt because that muzzle brake is not quiet the same wich I had seen in a Grizzly before, thank for the links.

George Eller
08-19-2006, 09:34 AM
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Israel Downplayed Hezbollah's Arsenal
Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,208899,00.html

Thursday, August 17, 2006

JERUSALEM — Israel's defense minister, his credentials already in question before the just-ended war in Lebanon, says the military downplayed the extent of the Hezbollah guerrilla group's missile threat when he took office, according to a newspaper report Thursday.

As public criticism of the war's handling mounted in Israel, the Haaretz daily quoted Defense Minister Amir Peretz as saying top military officers did not relay all relevant information about Hezbollah's arsenal after he took office in May.

Hezbollah fired nearly 4,000 rockets at Israel during 34 days of fighting, including several medium-range missiles that for the first time hit Israel's third-largest city, Haifa. A truce Monday halted the violence that killed 39 civilians and 118 soldiers.

Security officials said the military command decided earlier this year, for budgetary reasons, to halt development of advanced systems that would have protected tanks against missiles. After Hezbollah's anti-tank missiles killed dozens of Israeli soldiers, the Defense Ministry and army have decided to develop and install the systems, the officials said.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of armaments development.

With the lull in fighting, the unity that held the Israeli public together during the war has shattered. Military commanders and armchair generals alike have begun questioning key decisions taken by Israel's wartime leaders.

Among the complaints are the terms of the truce, a heavy reliance on airstrikes in the early phase of the war and a massive ground offensive ordered as the cease-fire deal seemed imminent.

Peretz, head of the dovish Labor Party, has drawn more fire than Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and military chief Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz. Peretz is the only one of the three whom a majority of the public wants out, according to a poll earlier this week by the Dahaf Research Institute.

While some observers had welcomed the appointment of a civilian to head the Defense Ministry, others questioned the wisdom of choosing a former union boss who spent much of his brief and unremarkable military service fixing tanks.

"The appointment of Amir Peretz as defense minister was a crazy idea," political commentator Nahum Barnea wrote on the front page of the Yediot Ahronot newspaper Thursday, calling on him to resign.

Peretz, meanwhile, has appointed former military chief Amnon Lipkin-Shahak to review the handling of the war, but not his own conduct.

The Israeli army began handing over positions to the U.N. early Thursday, stepping up its withdrawal from southern Lebanon after the Lebanese government agreed to deploy troops near Israel's border for the first time in 40 years.

More than 50 percent of the areas Israel holds have been transferred already, the army said in a statement.

At the peak of the fighting earlier this week, some 30,000 Israeli troops had been in Lebanon.

U.N. vehicles crossed into Lebanon from Israel on Thursday as Israeli soldiers loaded tanks onto carriers for transport south. Enormous fields in northern Israel that had been full of tanks and artillery vehicles a day earlier were almost empty on Thursday.

Israel Humvees patrolled the northern border, while dozens of troops patrolled the northern town of Kiryat Shemona looking for unexploded Hezbollah rockets.

The U.N.-brokered truce authorizes up to 15,000 U.N. peacekeepers to help 15,000 Lebanese troops extend their authority throughout southern Lebanon, which Hezbollah had controlled before Israel invaded.

The aim is to create a buffer zone free of Hezbollah fighters between the Litani River, 18 miles north of Israel, and the U.N.-drawn border with Israel.

Following talks with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York on Wednesday, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Israel wanted the expanded U.N. force to help monitor the Lebanese border to prevent Iran and Syria from replenishing Hezbollah's weapons.

And in Washington, Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres said Israel had destroyed almost all of the militia's missiles, one-quarter of their short-range rockets and all the missile bases.

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George Eller
08-19-2006, 09:34 AM
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Iran Suspected of Attempts to Rearm Hezbollah Since Cease-Fire
Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,209071,00.html

Thursday, August 17, 2006

WASHINGTON — Iran has been attempting to rearm the Lebanon-based terror network Hezbollah since the U.N.-backed cease-fire between Hezbollah and Israel took hold earlier this week, two U.S. officials told FOX News on Thursday.

A U.S. arms control official said it appears that Iran is using Syrian channels in its effort to give Hezbollah weapons it has used in the past, including Chinese-built C-802 radar-guided anti-ship missiles. Military observers said a C-802 was used successfully on an Israeli naval vessel off the coast of Tyre on July 14. The arms control officer and a senior American counterterrorism officer both said the U.S. government is "very concerned" about the "ongoing" effort.

Israel's Cabinet approved the U.N.-brokered cease-fire agreement Monday after 34 days of clashes across the Lebanon-Israeli border that began in response to Hezbollah kidnapping two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid and killing three others. Israel retaliated with air and ground strikes throughout Lebanon in an attempt to disarm the terror group, often taking criticism for causing civilian deaths. Hezbollah retaliated by firing 4,000 short- and mid-range rockets into northern Israel.

The cease-fire resolution authorizes up to 15,000 U.N. peacekeepers to deploy to southern Lebanon, a region the Shiite Muslim-rooted Hezbollah has controlled since Israel pulled back across the border in 2000. It also calls for the disarmament of Hezbollah and the unconditional return of the captured Israeli soldiers.

The counterterrorism official said the administration is "working with all of our allies" to get the message to Russia and China that they must do whatever they can to prevent their missiles from ending up in Lebanon.

A foreign government source told FOX News that the Chinese supplied Iran with at least 50 C-802s, and that the Iranians violated their contract with the Chinese by providing this weaponry to Hezbollah.

But the arms control officer was skeptical of that conclusion, saying, "Of course the Chinese knew" that Iran would turn over its weapons to Hezbollah, but Beijing doesn't care at all about nonproliferation.

"It's cash, and it's a lot of cash," the officer said, adding that while some members of the Bush administration have been willing to give the Chinese the benefit of the doubt and attribute the weapons proliferation to "bad export control," the geopolitical leanings of the Chinese have created the proliferation problem. The officials noted that none of China's weapons have inadvertently ended up in countries like India or Taiwan.

A leading security expert agreed with that conclusion.

"China understood that Iran was backing Hezbollah, they would have had to understood that in principal that if they transferred something to Iran, there's always a possibility that Iran was going to retransfer that Hezbollah," said John Pike, head of GlobalSecurity.org.

The arms control officer expressed optimism that an arms embargo in Lebanon could hold up in the short-term, but was less hopeful about the future.

"What happens in three months? If the will is there, the guns will get there," the officer said.

Also of concern is the prospect that Turkey, a Muslim ally in the War on Terror, is serving as or had been a point of access in the past for arms destined for Hezbollah. Pike said in recent days, Israelis have addressed their concerns directly to the Turks over the trans-shipment.

"They requested that Turkey detain a couple of airplanes coming into Lebanon from Iran. Turned out not to have weapons on them, but I don't think this is the last of it," Pike said. "Turkey has simply been looking the other way."

State Department spokesman Tom Casey said he was confident that if the situation in Turkey had been a problem, it isn't now.

"My understanding is that the issue of potential arms shipments through Turkey and through other countries are things that we have talked about with the Turkish government. ... We're fully convinced that they are taking and doing what would be necessary to prevent arms transfers from going through," Casey said.

FOX News' James Rosen contributed to this report.

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George Eller
08-19-2006, 09:35 AM
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Israel Complains Hezbollah Used Russian-Made Missiles
Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,209162,00.html

Friday, August 18, 2006

Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Israel has complained to Russia that Russian-made anti-tank missiles have reached Hezbollah guerrillas who used them against Israeli troops in south Lebanon, government officials said Friday.

An Israeli delegation traveled to Moscow earlier this week to deliver the complaint, said Asaf Shariv, a senior adviser to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

The anti-tank missiles proved to be one of Hezbollah's most effective weapons in combat with Israeli soldiers in Lebanon. Such missiles killed at least 50 of the 118 soldiers who died in the 34-day war that ended this week.

Another government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter with the media, said the delegation was "senior," but refused to say who they would be meeting with in Russia.

Israel does not accuse Russia of directly arming Hezbollah, but complains that Russia sold the weapons to Iran and Syria, known supporters of Hezbollah, who then passed them on to the guerrilla group.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said Russia maintains strict controls over its weapons sales, and that tight supervision "makes any inaccuracy in weapons destinations impossible."

Anatoly Tsyganok, head of Russia's Military Forecasting Center, ruled out the possibility that modern anti-tank weapons had reached Hezbollah through Russia or Syria.

"Any accusations alleging Russian or Syrian deliveries of anti-tank weapons to any forces in Lebanon are unfounded. The Israeli side has not presented any evidence of this, and it is unlikely that it will," Tsyganok was recently quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

"Most probably, such weapons, should Hezbollah militants really have any, might have been brought to Lebanon through third countries," he added.

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George Eller
08-19-2006, 09:37 AM
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Returning Israeli Troops Angry Over Equipment, Tactics
Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,209401,00.html

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Associated Press

METULLA, Israel — Israeli soldiers returning from the war in Lebanon say the army was slow to rescue wounded comrades and suffered from a lack of supplies so dire that they had to drink water from the canteens of dead Hezbollah guerrillas.

"We fought for nothing. We cleared houses that will be reoccupied in no time," said Ilia Marshak, a 22-year-old infantryman who spent a week in Lebanon.

Marshak said his unit was hindered by a lack of information, poor training and untested equipment. In one instance, Israeli troops occupying two houses inadvertently fired at each other because of poor communication between their commanders.

"We almost killed each other," he said. "We shot like blind people. ... We shot sheep and goats."

In a nation mythologized for decisive military victories over Arab foes, the stalemate after a 34-day war in Lebanon has surprised many.

The war was widely seen in Israel as a just response to a July 12 cross-border attack in which Hezbollah gunmen killed three Israeli soldiers and captured two. But the wartime solidarity crumbled after Israel agreed to pull its army from south Lebanon without crushing Hezbollah or rescuing the captured soldiers.

A total of 118 Israeli soldiers were killed in the fighting, and the army was often caught off guard by a well-trained guerrilla force backed by Iran and Syria that used sophisticated weapons and tactics. Soldiers, for instance, complained that Hezbollah fighters sometimes disguised themselves in Israeli uniforms.

Military experts and commentators have criticized the army for relying too heavily on air power and delaying the start of ground action for too long. They say the army underestimated Hezbollah, and that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert set an unrealistic goal by pledging to destroy the guerrilla group.

This week, Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz appointed a former army chief to investigate the military's handling of the war.

Some of the harshest criticism has come from reservists, who form the backbone of the army. Israeli men do three years of mandatory service beginning at age 18, but continue to do reserve duty several weeks a year into their 40s.

Israeli newspapers quoted disgruntled reservists as saying they had no provisions in Lebanon, were sent into battle with outdated or faulty equipment and insufficient supplies, and received little or no training.

"I personally haven't thrown a grenade in 15 years, and I thought I'd get a chance to do so before going north," an unidentified reservist in an elite infantry brigade was quoted as telling the Maariv daily.

Israel's largest paper, Yediot Ahronot, quoted one soldier as saying thirsty troops threw chlorine tablets into filthy water in sheep and cow troughs. Another said his unit took canteens from dead guerrillas.

"When you're thirsty and have to keep fighting, you don't think a lot, and there is no time to feel disgusted," the unidentified soldier was quoted as saying.

The newspaper said helicopters were hindered from delivering food supplies or carrying out rescue operations because commanders feared the aircraft would be shot down. In some cases, soldiers bled to death because they were not rescued in time, Yediot Ahronot said.

The Israeli military said it was aware of the complaints, had tried to address them in the course of the fighting and was still looking into them. It had no comment on specific complaints.

Comrades of the two soldiers captured by Hezbollah sent a petition to the prime minister Thursday accusing the government of abandoning the men.

"We went to reserve duty with the certainty that all of Israel's citizens, and the Israeli government, believe in the same value that every combatant learns from his first day in basic training — you don't leave friends behind," the soldiers wrote. "This is a moral low point. The Israeli government has abandoned two IDF (Israeli Defense Force) combatants that it sent on a mission."

The petition was being circulated Friday; it was unclear how many soldiers had signed it.

While such sentiments aren't shared by all soldiers, even some senior commanders acknowledge the army came up short in Lebanon.

When soldier Gil Ovadia returned home, his commander made no mention of victory in an address to their battalion. Instead, the commander told them the war was over, said they did a good job, and advised that they be prepared to come back soon and fight again.

"We'll be back in Lebanon in a few months, maybe years," Ovadia said.

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George Eller
08-19-2006, 09:38 AM
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Former commander warns of UN 'disaster' in Lebanon
Times Online
By Philippe Naughton and agencies
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,251-2319047,00.html

August 18, 2006

Italy pledged a significant number of troops to the United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon today, stepping into the breach after France pledged a mere 400 troops instead of the thousands the UN had hoped for.

The composition of the urgently awaited force to police Monday's ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah was today starting to emerge, after prolonged delays.

But the force's mandate has been heavily criticised by a former commander of UN blue berets in Bosnia, who warned that the peacekeepers would be powerless to stop a massacre if shooting broke out again, as their rules of engagement were so weak as to be a "recipe for disaster".

In the conflict zone, where a five-day ceasefire is still holding, the Lebanese army reached the country's southern border with Israel for the first time in 40 years - although it was largely a symbolic move.

A sole jeep, flying a large Lebanese flag and carrying just two soldiers in green camouflage uniforms, passed by the Fatima Gate in the village of Kfar Kila, best known as the place where the last Israeli forces withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000 after an 18-year-occupation. Villagers threw rice and held Hezbollah banners, but the jeep did not stop.

Lebanon sent a first detachment of 2,500 troops across the Litani river into southern Lebanon yesterday, the first time it has been officially in control of the area since 1968, when it ceded authority to Palestinian guerrillas who used the mountanous region as a base for cross-border raids into Israel.

A total of 15,000 Lebanese troops are eventually supposed to deploy in the region under a UN Security Council resolution to end more than a month of fighting between Hezbollah guerrillas and Israel, although their deployment has so far been to predominantly Christian towns.

They are to be joined by an equal number of foreign troops, but potential donors are wary of being drawn into a no-win situation in which Hezbollah, the Shia Muslim guerrilla group, could again provoke Israel into battle.

France, the former colonial power in Lebanon, had widely been expected to lead the beefed-up UN force, but said yesterday that it would contribute only 400 soldiers. Germany, uneasy given its Nazi past at any possible confrontation with Israeli forces - has decided not to send a maritime force but no ground troops.

The Italian Government formally agreed this morning to send peackeeping troops to Lebanon. "It’s an important choice for the country, which is aware of its implications and consequences," said Romano Prodi, the Prime Minister, after a Cabinet meeting endorsed the move.

But Signor Prod did not give specifics, saying that the exact number of Italian troops to be sent to Lebanon and the details of the details of their deployment will be announced in the coming days when his Government has been given clear rules of engagement by the UN. Italy has said that it could sent as many as 3,000 soldiers to strengthen the existing force in southern Lebanon.

The UN still says that it hopes to have 3,500 troops on the ground within ten days and the entire 15,000-strong force by early November. But that timetable was questioned today by Lewis MacKenzie, a former Canadian general who headed the UN Protection Force in Bosnia during the early days of the siege of Sarajevo.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme, General MacKenzie said that he expected it to take a year before the UN force was operational - and it would be hamstrung by a mandate, under Chapter 6 of the UN Charter rather than the more robust Chapter 7, that would allow it to use lethal force only in self-defence.

"We all understand that what comes out of the Security Council is the lowest common denominator for the best-case scenario. What will happen is the worst-case scenario and the UN will be ill-prepared to cope with it," he said.

"I understand that the UN commander will have to get approval from the Lebanese chain of command before he can use deadly force. I mean, it's a recipe for disaster."

General MacKenzie also warned that the lack of a proper mandate could see a repeat of the tragedies of Rwanda or Srebrenica, where UN commanders lacked the authority to prevent atrocities.

He said: "What will happen is that the UN commander, much like General Dallaire in Rwanda, will come back to the UN for permission to intervene and use force, and the UN will turn him down, and then the international community will condemn the commander for not doing what the international community thinks he should be doing.

"But if they read the fine print of the resolution it will be quite clear that he does not have does not have the authority to proceed."

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George Eller
08-19-2006, 09:39 AM
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Italy rides to the rescue with offer of 3,000 troops
Times Online
From Richard Owen in Rome and Richard Beeston in Tyre
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2319413,00.html

August 19, 2006

ITALY, rather than France, yesterday emerged as the leading European contributor to the United Nations force in Lebanon after the Italian centre-left Cabinet approved the deployment of troops.
A statement issued after the Cabinet meeting did not give the size of the Italian contingent but UN officials confirmed reports in the Italian media that Rome was to deploy about 3,000 troops. The announcement came after the shock decision by France on Thursday not to commit the 5,000 troops that it had originally suggested to lead the force. France currently has 200 soldiers serving in the UN in southern Lebanon and has offered to send only another 200.

Arturo Parisi, the Italian Defence Minister, said that his country could even take command of the force, expected to number in total 15,000 troops. Other possible contributors are Spain, Turkey and Germany.

Romano Prodi, the Prime Minister, told reporters: “Italy wants to make its contribution to peace.” He pointed out that although its role is not widely acknowledged, Italy is one of Europe’s leading contributors to peacekeeping forces, from the Balkans to Afghanistan.

Italian troops are fondly remembered in Lebanon from 1982, when they were part of a multinational force sent to Beirut to provide security in the wake of Israel’s invasion. American and French forces, who led the mission, were attacked by suicide bombers, but the Italians were not targeted.

“The Italians share our Mediterranean soul,” said Hassan, a resident of Tyre, who pointed out that the Italians had been contributing a military helicopter contingent to the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon for nearly 30 years. “They are very popular in Lebanon. They will be welcomed here.” While the Italians may have a reputation for being easygoing and friendly, those qualities could be a handicap as the strengthened UN peacekeeping force aims to impose its authority on southern Lebanon.

Those doubts were expressed by mourners in the village of Qana yesterday, where 26 civilians and four Hezbollah fighters were buried in a mass funeral. “The UN will not be able to protect us,” said Faten Shalhoub, a 23-year-old English teacher who lost several relatives and four students in the Israeli attack on the village on July 30. “They are not even able to protect themselves.”

Israel is also likely to be concerned that the strengthened UN force, which was supposed to have robust rules of engagement, will be ineffectual, particularly in disarming and disbanding Hezbollah forces south of the Litani river.

Signor Parisi and Signor Prodi insisted that the UN mission must have a “clear mandate with precise rules of engagement”.

Signor Prodi said that the operation would not be “an evening stroll” (una passeggiata), but Cabinet backing had been unanimous: “This is a new phase of Italian foreign policy, a phase of responsibility and credibility with a shared aim of helping the construction of peace in one of the most complex regions of the world.”

Signor Prodi added that Fouad Siniora, the Lebanese Prime Minister, had assured him that Hezbollah would co-operate with the UN force.

Italy is expected to move swiftly to deploy its troops, after approval by parliament.

http://images.thetimes.co.uk/TGD/picture/0,,331960,00.jpg

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George Eller
08-19-2006, 09:40 AM
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Identifying All of the Hizbollah Rockets
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htart/articles/20060818.aspx

August 18, 2006

With cease fire in place, more information has come out about the nature of Hizbollahs rocket arsenal. Most of the rockets Hizbollah had, perhaps 80 percent or more, were a World War II Russian design. This 122mm rocket had a range of 20 kilometers and a 13 pound warhead. There were also a number of longer range 122mm rockets, in this case 30 kilometers. Apparently, this model had the same 13 pound warhead, and achieved its increased range by being longer and heavier (standard 122mm rockets are nine feet long and weigh 150 pounds).

The rockets fired deeper into Israel included a 220mm Syrian model, with a range of 65 kilometers and a 90 pound warhead. Hizbollah modified the warhead to contain less explosives, and thousands of small steel balls. These peppered the area near where the warhead went off. There were also several larger 240mm rockets, with a range of ten kilometers and a 40 pound warhead.

These rockets were available from a number of manufacturers, including Syria. An Egyptian firm makes a number of longer range 122mm models and sells them on the world market. Israel probably has a good idea of who the manufacturers were, but has not released that data yet.

There were nearly a thousand, longer ranged, Iranian rockets under Hizbollah control. These include the 240mm Iranian Fadjr 3, with a range of 40 kilometers and a 110 pound warhead. The 333mm Iranian Fadjr 5 has a range of 100 kilometers and a 200 pound warhead. The 302mm Iranian Khaibar-1 has a range of 150 kilometers and a 220 pound warhead. The 610mm Iranian ZelZal-2 has a range of 200 kilometers and a 880 pound warhead. None of the ZelZal's were used, and Israeli aircraft appeared to have destroyed one that was caught on the road. The ZelZal is moved, and launched, on a specially designed heavy truck. The Iranians apparently told Hizbollah not to use any of the longer range Iranian rockets, apparently for fear of retaliation from Israel

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George Eller
08-19-2006, 09:40 AM
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What Comes Next
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060818.aspx

August 18, 2006

While Hizbollah, in typical Arab fashion, proclaims their defeat as a victory, Israelis are arguing over the merits of the two strategies available to them for eliminating Hizbollah completely. The recent fighting crippled Hizbollah military power, destroyed billions of dollars of its assets, and actually improved Israeli combat power. Thousands of Israeli troops gained combat experience in southern Lebanon, and Israeli casualties had no effect on overall Israeli military strength.

The Israelis have two options available for destroying Hizbollah. The first option is to get someone else to deal with it. That means either the Lebanese and/or the UN. Keep in mind exactly what Hizbollah is. It is a radical Islamic organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel, and the eventual establishment of a world-wide Islamic dictatorship (in cooperation with its patron, Iran). Hizbollah has taken control of about a third of Lebanon, and runs it as a religious dictatorship, a branch office of the Iranian religious dictatorship. Hizbollah's power base is the 1.3 million Lebanese who are Shia Moslem (like most Iranians are). The Shia comprise about 35 percent of the Lebanese population, and have long been the least prosperous third of the population. Hizbollah not only helped defend Shia interests during the 1975-90 civil war, but gave out tens of billions of dollars in Iranian money over the years. In return for all these favors, Hizbollah asks only for obedience, and volunteers for its trained terrorist force of several thousand fighters. Pro-Hizbollah Shia also dominate in the Lebanese army, a force put together since 1990 with the assistance of the Syrians. The Syrians are also allies of Iran, and consider most of Lebanon as part of Syria. France assembled Lebanon in the 1920s, after World War I, from bits of the recently disbanded Turkish empire. Historically, "Lebanon" was a string of coastal cities in what is now Lebanon. The French added some more territory inland, territory that had traditionally been considered part of Syria. The Syrians have not forgotten, neither have the Lebanese.

As part of the 1990 peace deal, brokered by Saudi Arabia, several divisions of Syrian troops were stationed in eastern Lebanon. These troops were necessary at first, but not for the last decade or so. The Syrians stayed to back up Hizbollah, make money by running the local economy, and because there was no one available to force them out. That changed last year, when years of anger at the Syrian occupation erupted into violent public demonstrations. The Syrians took the hint, and left. The 65 percent of the population that is not Shia (and is mostly Christian), are really unhappy about Syrian influence in Lebanon (the the murder of several Lebanese leaders over the last few years), and the continued existence of Hizbollah. But the Lebanese don't want another round of civil war, just to disarm Hizbollah. Since the Syrian army was sent packing, negotiations were under way with Hizbollah to disarm them, and return "Hizbollahland" to Lebanese control.

Hizbollah was split on the disarmament issue. Many Lebanese Shia wanted to become part of Lebanon, not a state-within-a-state. But the more hardcore Hizbollah believed in the goal of destroying Israel and establishing the worldwide Islamic dictatorship. The hardcore guys pulled off the July 12th kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers. That kind of operation was a violation of the unofficial deal the Israelis and Hizbollah had worked out over the past five years. That raid indicated that Hizbollah was no longer in control of all its fighters.

The radicals were now able to do whatever they wanted, including firing off the 12,000 or so rockets Iran had sent to Hizbollah over the last six years. These rockets were not intended, by Iran, for an actual attack on Israel, because such an attack would not destroy Israel, and could trigger an Israeli counterattack on Iran. While the Iranians publicly show contempt for any Israeli air strike on Iranian nuclear weapons research sites, their military people, and many of the politicians, know better. Iran was not happy when the Hizbollah rockets started flying, and Iran apparently made sure that the larger Iranian made rockets (that could reach most of Israel) were not used. That point has been missed by most observers of the war.

The Hizbollah attack left Israel with two options. They could either launch a massive invasion, and overrun all of Lebanon and Syria, or do what they did (to encourage the Lebanese and UN to deal with Hizbollah.) The trouble with the second ("small war") option is that it takes longer, and that leaves Hizbollah intact for longer. But the first ("big war") option would leave thousands of Israeli soldiers dead, and involve the occupation, for months, if not years, of Lebanon and Syria. That strategy would involve handing Lebanon back to its elected government with the understanding that there would be no more Hizbollah. But there would still be the a Shia minority, and within that minority there would still be Shia radicals who took orders, or at least direction, from Shia radicals in Iran.

Syria has to be overrun because, if you don't, Hizbollah can retreat to there from occupied Lebanon and set up shop in Syria. Take Syria and you eliminate any refuge (except Iran, where at least the senior Hizbollah people would flee to). While the Syrian military is no pushover, their armed forces have fallen apart since the end of the Cold War, and Soviet subsidies. Syria is a dictatorship run by the Alawite minority. The Alawites are, technically, a Shia sect, and for that reason, Iran subsidizes them. The majority of Syrians are Sunni Moslems. The Alawites have continued to run the nation because they established an efficient police state, and they get enough money from Iran to keep the ramshackle thing going. But the Israeli army could put the Alawites out of business in short order, and turn the place over to the UN for democratic elections (the first in nearly half a century). That would put Sunni Arabs back in power, and eliminate support for Shia Hizbollah.

There's one catch with Syria. Over the last two decades, Syria has invested some of its scan resources in one segment of its armed forces. As a result, Syria has a force of several hundred ballistic missiles, all of which can reach deep into Israel. Syria also has chemical weapons (nerve gas, and others). An attack on Syria puts Israel at risk of taking a few hits from Syrian ballistic missiles armed with chemical warheads. While Israel has its Arrow anti-ballistic missile system, a dozen missiles fired at once could overwhelm it. The risk is several thousand dead Israeli civilians, maybe more. But maybe none, if Israeli plans to take out the Syrian missile forces work. But in the aftermath of this Summers fighting, Israeli planners may have a new respect for possible deceptions and techniques for hiding missiles from attack.

The "big war" strategy has other costs. Mobilizing the entire Israeli armed forces means shutting down much of the Israeli economy, because so many key people are reservists. There is also the risk, however slight, of other Arab states declaring war on Israel. This risk is slight because those other Arab states are Sunni Moslem, and welcome the removal of Iran backed Shia entities (Hizbollah and Syria). But the risk is there.

There's always risk, it's a question of which one you estimate will do you the most good. Israel still has the "big war" option available, and Lebanon and Syria know it. If the small war option doesn't work out, Hizbollah, Lebanon, Syria and Iran know what comes next.

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George Eller
08-19-2006, 09:42 AM
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Losses in Lebanon
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htatrit/articles/20060819.aspx

August 19, 2006

Hizbollah does not publish any data on its armed strength. But it is known that, basically, Hizbollah's fighters are a reservist organization. There are about 3-4,000 "active" reservists available for full-time duty, and another 10,000 or so "inactive" reservists, who have some weapons training, and are only activated in the most serious emergencies (like the recent war). Most of the time, 500-1,000 of the active reservists are on duty full time. In addition to watching the Lebanese border, there are facilities in the Bekaa valley and in Beirut that need guarding. Some inactive reservists pull guard duty as their "civilian" job, but these fellows are operating as security guards, not soldiers. Keep in mind that Hizbollah is drawing its military manpower from a population of only about 1.3 million Shia (whose defense is the main reason for Hizbollah existing). So they have about one percent of the population armed. That's about 50 percent more (as a fraction of the population), than the United States, and much higher than most nations. However, Israel has about nine percent of its population (80 percent of them reservists) under arms, and Syria has about three percent of its population under arms. The Middle East is a much more heavily armed region, than any other.

Unofficial reports from the Israelis indicate that nearly 600 Hizbollah fighters were killed, and probably about 1,500 wounded. Some of these were inactive reservists called up to perform civil defense and security functions. The rockets were apparently being fired by a dozen or so teams (of ten to twenty men) who were trained to take the rockets from their hiding places, set them up, and fire them. This was dangerous work, and these rocket teams apparently suffered heavy casualties.

Less well trained teams appear to have been called in towards the end, because, although the number of rockets fired each night didn't decline much, the accuracy did. On the last night, some 250 rockets were fired, and few hit anything of value. That last bunch of rockets killed one Israeli, and wounded a few dozen others. Hizbollah also suffered a lot of casualties in Beirut, and various other military facilities they had throughout southern and central Lebanon.

Israel, as usual, is not talking about it's targeting, but they had UAVs, aircraft, helicopters and satellite coverage of southern Lebanon. Israeli aircraft always had plenty of military targets to hit. They also had lots of their commandoes in action up there, most of them just quietly scouting, and calling in smart bomb strikes. The true extent of the damage suffered by Hizbollah won't be known until one of their senior officials defects or gets captured, or when the organization is destroyed and some of its files captured.

Israeli losses were miniscule. It only mobilized about 30,000 troops. The Northern Command, which covers the Lebanese and Syrian border, has a full strength of over 200,000 troops, if there is a full mobilization. Israel lost about a 120 soldiers killed, and another few hundred wounded. Thus it suffered about eight casualties per division per day. That's a little higher than what American troops suffered during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but a lot less than they suffered during the 1967 Six Day War (110 per division per day) or the 1973 war (90).

Thus for the forces involved, the Israelis suffered about 1.6 percent casualties for the entire 2006 campaign, while Hizbollah suffered some 13 percent casualties. Economic casualties were also lopsided, with Lebanon losing at least ten percent of GDP, versus 1.5 percent for Israel. However, since the Israeli attacks concentrated on Hizbollah, and tended to avoid the Lebanese Christians, it appears that the Hizbollah population lost up to half their GPD. Israel will recover within a year, the Hizbollah areas will take several years.

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George Eller
08-19-2006, 11:15 AM
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Israeli Soldier Dies After IDF Conducts Raid on Hezbollah Stronghold
Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,209419,00.html

Saturday, August 19, 2006

http://www.foxnews.com/images/219002/3_23_081908_israeli_raid1.jpg
Aug. 19:Israeli soldiers display an Israeli flag while returning from southern Lebanon into Israel near Kibbutz Malkiya.
http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showpost.php?p=86867&postcount=124

http://www.foxnews.com/images/218965/2_28_081806_IsraeliSoldiers.jpg
Israeli Defense Forces troops return from southern Lebanon.
http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showpost.php?p=86867&postcount=124

Associated Press

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Hezbollah fighters battled Israeli commandos who launched a raid near the militants' stronghold deep inside Lebanon early Saturday, killing one soldier, in what Lebanon called the first large-scale violation of the U.N.-brokered cease-fire between the sides.

Israel said the pre-dawn assault outside the eastern town of Baalbek was aimed at disrupting arms smuggling to Hezbollah from Iran and Syria.

Witnesses said Israeli missiles destroyed a bridge during the raid — the first such airstrike since the cease-fire began.

But there was no immediate escalation in the fighting, raising hopes for the 6-day-old truce as the United Nations pleaded for nations to contribute to an international peacekeeping force due to patrol southern Lebanon.

The first small contingent of reinforcements for the peacekeeping force — 49 French soldiers — landed Saturday at the southern Lebanese coastal town of Naqoura, with 200 more expected next week.

But Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown said more countries need to step forward to fill out a vanguard of 3,500 troops that the U.N. wants on the ground by Aug. 28 to help ensure that the truce between Israel and Lebanon holds after 34 days of warfare.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora called Saturday's commando raid a "flagrant violation" of the cease-fire, and said he would take the issue up with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Under the cease-fire terms, Israel has said it will conduct defensive operations if its troops are threatened. But the raid took place far from positions of Israeli troops in southern Lebanon.

The Israeli military said such operations would continue until "an effective monitoring unit" was in place to prevent Hezbollah from rebuilding its arsenal.

"If the Syrians and Iran continue to arm Hezbollah in violation of the (U.N. cease-fire) resolution, Israel is entitled to act to defend the principle of the arms embargo," Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev said. "Once the Lebanese army and the international forces are active ... then such Israeli activity will become superfluous."

Such a bold operation, risking the cease-fire, suggested Israel was going after a major target near Baalbek — perhaps to rescue two Israeli soldiers snatched by Hezbollah on July 12, or to try to capture a senior guerrilla official to trade for the soldiers.

Hezbollah has said it wants to exchange the two soldiers for Arab prisoners, but the U.N. cease-fire resolution demands Hezbollah unconditionally release the soldiers.

The Israeli commandos dropped by helicopter on a hill outside the village of Boudai west of Baalbek and apparently were seeking a guerrilla target in a nearby school, Lebanese security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to release information to the media.

Local media said Sheik Mohammed Yazbeck, a senior Hezbollah official in the Bekaa and a member of the Shura council of the group, may have been the target. Yazbeck is a native of Boudai.

Hezbollah TV said the guerrillas foiled the raid. Israel said one of its military officers was killed and two other soldiers were wounded, but that the force completed its mission.

Lebanese security officials said three guerrillas were killed and three wounded, but a Hezbollah spokesman said there were no deaths among his fighters.

The landing party brought with it two vehicles that were later withdrawn after clashes, the Bekaa Valley's governor Antoine Suleiman told the privately owned Voice of Lebanon radio station.

Overflights from Israeli jet fighters drowned the clatter of helicopters as they flew into the foothills of the central Lebanese mountains, dropping commandos and the two vehicles, Hezbollah officials on the scene said.

The commandos then drove into Boudai, and when Hezbollah fighters intercepted them in a field, the commandos identified themselves as the Lebanese army, ( http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showpost.php?p=86973&postcount=141 ) the officials said. The guerrillas grew suspicious and gunfire erupted, they said.

Israeli helicopters fired missiles as the commandos withdrew and flew out of the area an hour later.

Witnesses saw bandages and syringes at the landing site outside Boudai, about 9.5 miles west of Baalbek and about 16 miles west of the Syrian border, indicating there were casualties among the Israelis. A bridge was destroyed about yards from the area in what witnesses said was an Israeli airstrike.

Baalbek is the birthplace of the Iranian and Syrian-backed Hezbollah. The area in the eastern Bekaa Valley, 60 miles north of the Israeli border, is a major guerrilla stronghold.

On Aug. 2, Israeli commandos targeted the Iranian-funded, Hezbollah-run Dar al-Hikma Hospital in Baalbek. The commando assault and Israeli strikes around the ancient town killed 16 people, according to Lebanese police. Baalbek residents said the Israelis took four people as prisoners, and that none were Hezbollah fighters.

Israel had said the building was a Hezbollah base, not a hospital, and that its soldiers captured five guerrilla fighters and killed 10 others before withdrawing.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh told reporters he protested the Israeli violation in talks with U.N. envoy Terje Roed-Larsen in Beirut on Saturday and said the U.N. team would raise the issue with Israeli authorities.

"If Israel continues its violations, it is the responsibility of the (U.N.) Security Council to take action and ask Israel to stop these violations," Salloukh said.

Also Saturday, a Lebanese civilian was killed when unexploded Israeli munitions from the offensive detonated in the village of Ras al-Ein, outside Tyre, said the Syrian Baath Party, of which the man was a member.

Roed-Larsen said the cease-fire brought a "huge opportunity" for the Lebanese government to extend its authority over southern Lebanon, which has been dominated for years by Hezbollah guerrillas.

Under the cease-fire plan, some 15,000 Lebanese troops are to move into the south, backed by the beefed-up U.N. peacekeeping force known as UNIFIL, as Israeli forces withdraw. Once there, the troops are to enforce the cease-fire, and Lebanon has said Hezbollah will not be allowed to bring its weapons out in public — though it has not said whether it will try the more controversial step of disarming the guerrillas.

The Lebanese army has deployed more than 1,500 troops in three sectors that Israeli forces have left, and the U.N. force — which currently numbers 2,000 — has set up checkpoints and started patrolling the areas, he said.

The 49 French troops that landed by inflatable dinghy at Naqoura were the first forces in the planned expansion of UNIFIL, which is planned to reach 15,000 soldiers.

So far, Italy and Finland have promised troops — and in an effort to encourage more countries to sign on, Annan said the peacekeeping force would not "wage war" on Israel, Lebanon, or Hezbollah militants.

"It is not expected to achieve by force what must be realized through negotiation and an internal Lebanese consensus," Annan said in a report to the U.N. Security Council on implementation of the Aug. 11 cease-fire resolution.

A key concern of many countries is whether the U.N. force will be called on to disarm Hezbollah fighters, as called for in a September 2004 U.N. resolution. They want to study the rules of engagement and concept of operations for the force, which were distributed Friday, before making a decision on troops.

Malloch Brown said countries needed to understand that the force would not be offensive. "It's not going to go in there and attempt large-scale disarmament," he said.

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Lancer44
08-21-2006, 06:14 AM
Hezbollah salute.
http://img245.imageshack.us/img245/6134/hezbollahsalutegw3.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

It rings strange connotations... am I right?

Lancer44

George Eller
08-21-2006, 11:34 AM
Hezbollah salute.
http://img245.imageshack.us/img245/6134/hezbollahsalutegw3.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

It rings strange connotations... am I right?

Lancer44

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You are correct Lancer. Hitler has had admirers throughout the Moslem world even from the time that he came to power.

You might find the following interesting:

Mohammad Amin al-Husayni
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amin_al-Husayni

Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, the Mufti of Jerusalem, was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and a Muslim religious leader. Known for his anti-Zionism, al-Husayni fought against the establishment of a Jewish state in the territory of the British Mandate of Palestine. To this end, Husayni collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II and helped recruit Muslims for the Waffen-SS. Recent Nazi documents uncovered from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Military Archive Service in Freiburg [1] by two researchers from Stuttgart University show that the Nazis had intended to exploit Arab friendship for their planned landing in Palestine and their accompanying plan to murder about 500,000 European Jews who had taken refuge there. In their book the researchers concluded that "The most important collaborator with the Nazis and an absolute Arab anti-Semite was Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem"...(the article continues)

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http://www.tellthechildrenthetruth.com/gallery/images/Ottoman-officer_jpg_jpg_jpg.jpg
Picture of Amin Al Husseini in his uniform as an Officer of the Ottoman Empire. He was posted in Smyrna where Armenian Christians were mass-murdered by the Ottoman Army. The defeat of the Ottoman Empire marked the end of Islamic rule at the hands of the secular Kamal Ataturk and left behind a taste for revenge in the heart of Amin Al Husseini.
http://www.tellthechildrenthetruth.com/gallery/pages/Ottoman-officer_jpg_jpg_jpg.htm

Interesting that Amin Al-Husseini was a Turkish officer during the First World War and participated in Armenian Genocide.

1914-1917 Husseini’s First Taste of Jihad - Allegiance to Ottoman Empire.
Amin Al-Husseini swears allegiance to the Ottoman Empire during the Armenian genocide. He is an officer stationed in Smyrna and participates first-hand in the Armenian genocide. One and a half million Christians are slaughtered under the sword of Islamic Jihad by the Ottoman Army. Allegiance to Ottoman Empire and Islamic world take-over will be echoed by Osama Bin Laden in his post-September 11th declaration.

Tell Children the Truth
http://www.tellthechildrenthetruth.com/
Amin Al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem
http://www.tellthechildrenthetruth.com/amin_en.html
Yasser Arafat
http://www.tellthechildrenthetruth.com/arafat_en.html
Saddam Hussein
http://www.tellthechildrenthetruth.com/saddam_en.html
Moslem Brotherhood
http://www.tellthechildrenthetruth.com/mbhood_en.html
Osama Bin Laden
http://www.tellthechildrenthetruth.com/osama_en.html
Blogs
http://www.tellthechildrenthetruth.com/blog/
Photo Gallery
http://www.tellthechildrenthetruth.com/gallery/index.html

Mein Kampf, written by Adolf Hitler, is a best-seller in the Arab World. It is distributed by the Palestinian Authority [formerly] headed by [the late] Yasser Arafat. Yasser Arafat became the disciple of Amin Al Husseini at the age of 17.
http://www.tellthechildrenthetruth.com/gallery/images/6-Mein%20Kampf_jpg_jpg_jpg.jpg
http://www.tellthechildrenthetruth.com/gallery/pages/6-Mein%20Kampf_jpg_jpg_jpg.htm

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The Arab/Muslim Nazi Connection
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3a8ff1c12efe.htm

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Postwar Arab links to the ODESSA network
http://www.fantompowa.net/Flame/nazis_postwar_egypt.htm

Most people assume that when Nazi's fled Europe after the war most of them went to Latin America, where the ruling elite's - such as the Peron's in Argentina - had always been sympathetic to Nazi ideology. Many did, but a sizable number of others found work in Egypt, notably under the regime of Gamal Abdal Nasser (1918-1970), an Egyptian army officer and political leader, who was the first president of the republic of Egypt (1956-70). In 1952 he led the coup that deposed King Farouk (another Nazi sympathizer), and later became premier (1954), and president (1956). Hitler had enjoyed quite a following among the nationalist youth of Egypt during the war, after Nassiri Nasser, the brother of Gamal had published an Arab edition of Mein Kampf in 1939, describing its author as the "strongest man of Europe".

The Nazi-Arab connection started by the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, continued after the war according to Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke writing in Hitler's Priestess: Savitri Devi, the Hindu-Aryan myth, and Neo-Nazism (New York University Press, New York, USA, 1998). The Middle East had emerged as a haven for Nazis fleeing Europe in the 1950s, which had its roots in the anti-British and pro-Nazi attitudes of Vichy Syria, Rashid Ali in Iraq, King Farouk of Egypt and the Mufti of Jerusalem...(the article continues)

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Walid Shoebat
From Hate to Love
(former Palestinian Arab terrorist)
http://www.shoebat.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=370b6cb9725cf8f7d79bc4eb5e6da3 38

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George Eller
08-21-2006, 11:40 PM
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Running From Responsibility
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060820.aspx

August 19, 2006

Turkey said that it was forcing Iranian air transports, suspected of carrying weapons, to land and be searched, before being allowed to proceed to Syria. However, not all large transports are searched, and it is known from reports out of Syria, that military personnel and weapons are still being flown from Iran to Syria.

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August 20, 2006

The ceasefire deal is coming apart more quickly than originally expected. The European nations, which had originally promised combat troops, and a willingness to enforce the ceasefire in southern Lebanon (that is, disarm Hizbollah) are rapidly backpedaling. France, which had talked about leading the peacekeepers, and providing thousands of troops, when the ceasefire was being pushed through the UN, now offers 200 troops, and wants no part of leading the operation.

This is angering the UN, because everyone admits that only the well trained, and fairly incorruptible, European soldiers stand a chance of being able to disarm Hizbollah and assure peace in Lebanon. At the moment, most of the nations offering troops are Moslem. These soldiers would not crack down on Hizbollah, and would assure another round of fighting between Israel and the terrorists. The UN wants 3,500 peacekeepers in place by August 28th, and all 15,000 by late November. So far, it appears that this will not happen. The UN continues to appeal for troops, and condemn Israeli efforts to enforce the ceasefire conditions (that Hizbollah not rearm and reoccupy bases in southern Lebanon.) As in the past, the UN will pass resolutions demanding action, but will do nothing, except criticize Israel for defending itself.

Meanwhile, Israel has said it will maintain the ceasefire conditions until an effective peacekeeping force arrives in southern Lebanon. To this end, Israel sent a force of commandos, by helicopter, to a spot near the Syrian border. There was gunfire and explosions, and casualties, and the commandos flew out.

The Lebanese army has sent 1,500 troops to three areas that Israeli troops have withdrawn from. But the Lebanese government has already said that it will use force on Hizbollah. As in the past, Hizbollah will be allowed to bully its way through any Lebanese government officials.

The UN won't enforce the ceasefire, nor will Lebanon. Both will criticize Israeli efforts to enforce the ceasefire. That criticism is discouraging any European nations from joining the peacekeeping force. Fighting Hizbollah is seen as a losing proposition. Hizbollah will organize some dead civilians, and any force that fights Hizbollah will automatically become bad guys in the eyes of the mass media and the Moslem world.

However, Hizbollah media deception tactics are themselves becoming news, thus making Hizbollahs Information War efforts less effective. However, in the Moslem world, Hizbollah can still do no wrong. But 40 percent of Lebanese are not Moslem, but Christians. The Lebanese Christians are pressuring the other anti-Hizbollah minorities (Druze and Sunni) to back an effort to disarm Hizbollah. So far, no one wants to risk it. Most everyone is running from any responsibility for dealing with Hizbollah.

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The Shah and Hizbollah
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htinf/articles/20060821.aspx

August 21, 2006

Hizbollah has been training infantry fighters for over twenty years. This effort has paid off, especially since Hizbollah had the advantage of receiving Iranian trainers and advisors. Despite the 1979 revolution, and witch hunts of the 1980s, the Iranian military still retains a lot of the good training habits, many passed on to them by American trainers over several decades, back when the Shah ran the country. Moreover, the Iranians have long been the most effective soldiers in the region. So there really shouldn't have been any surprise in what happened in south Lebanon, when some of the Hizbollah gunmen offered stiff resistance against Israeli infantry.

Hizbollah is one of the few Arab armies to really train its troops to professional standards. Israeli intelligence appears to have realized this. Prior to the Israeli operation in southern Lebanon, there were reports that Hizbollah had some of the best trained troops in the Middle East. Even that dumb-looking jogging march they do suggested that; as it takes time and discipline to get people to perform that particular exercise. Apparently senior Israeli military personnel chose to assume the intel assessments were inflated; "After all, they're only another bunch of Arabs."

The Israeli troops who have been operating on the Lebanese border for the last two decades knew better. The Israeli have over a decade of experience fighting Hizbollah, and the brigades in northern Israel knew what they were up against. But, somehow, this information tended to evaporate as it traveled south. Many Israeli generals, journalists and politicians continued to think Hizbollah would be little more than a road bump, if the Israeli army decided to go north. As it turned out, Hizbollah was not a particularly substantial opponent, but they did provide more resistance than the generals, but not the Israeli reservists from northern Israel, expected.

Hizbollah was more professional than most Arab troops in a number of important ways. For one thing, they took good care of their weapons. They worked out combat drills that took into account Israeli tactics. Most importantly, junior leaders were trained to act alone, something most Arab armies discourage.

The Hizbollah experience is not likely to influence other Arab armies, mainly because Hizbollah sees itself on a Mission From God, and thus able to discard ancient customs. Most Arabs are reluctant to do this, and continue to produce inept infantry.

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George Eller
08-22-2006, 07:50 PM
Hizballah is smuggling hundreds of rockets and dozens of launchers into S. Lebanon without interference
DEBKAfile
http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=3157
http://www.debka.com/

August 21, 2006

Our military sources report that Hizballah is also working on the rehabilitation of its short-range rocket “Nasser” Brigade – all under cover of the stream of returning south Lebanese refugees. Weapons deliveries from Syria to Lebanon are arriving at an accelerated pace in the last 24 hours, mostly through the northern Beqaa Valley. They are then distributed across Lebanon including the south. Israel is no longer impeding the traffic although it has an all-clear from Washington.

Monday, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert praised his Lebanese counterpart Fouad Siniora for his courage and predicted if things carry on this way, it may soon be possible to discuss formalizing relations. However, DEBKAfile discloses that, on the quiet, Siniora has instructed his troops to avoid friction with Hizballah and on no account impound its weapons or obstruct its efforts to regroup.

Hassan Nasrallah has reciprocated with orders to his men not to resist if Lebanese soldiers confiscate their weapons because they will be restored through the secret back-door channel conducted by the Lebanese PM.

DEBKAfile’s sources add: Siniora has ignored Israel’s complaint through Washington about the arms supplies transiting N. Beqaa. He has made no request to UNIFIL to enforce the UN arms embargo.

The situation on the Syrian-Lebanese border is beginning to replicate the open house for arms smuggling that reigned on the Egyptian-Gaza after Israel’s pull-back from Gaza in October 2005. Then too, Israel made effort to hinder the massive influx of terrorist weapons.

The Lebanese army’s deployment and patrols are described by Israeli military sources in Lebanon as futile; Hizballah tells them which roads and villages they may enter, and which they may not. UNIFIL’s patrols are likewise a charade. The international force has confined itself to clearing mines; it is not spending any time on enforcing Security Council resolution 1701. Even then, the mine-clearing teams make sure of permission from Hizballah and the Lebanese army before they venture on territories under their control.

The mood in Washington over the prospect of getting an effective multinational force deployed in S. Lebanon is downbeat compared with the optimism radiated by Israel’s prime minister, defense minister and chief of staff. Not a single government is willing to contribute a contingent without a clear prescription of permitted dos and don’ts, including the foreign troops’ freedom to defend themselves. UNIFIL has received general authorization to fire in self-defense but it is heavily qualified and still not approved by the Lebanese government.

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Syria will not stand for international troops deployed on the Lebanese-Syrian border says president Bashar Assad
DEBKAfile
http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=3163
http://www.debka.com/

August 22, 2006

He spoke in an advance of an interview to be aired by Dubai television Wednesday. This would be a withdrawal of Lebanese sovereignty and a hostile position, he said.

Israel prime minister Ehud Olmert assured UN envoys Tuesday night that Israel would lift its sea and air blockades over Lebanon as soon as international troops were in place to police the borders and stop the smuggling of arms to Hizballah from Syria and Iran.

Friday, the European Union presidency meets to discuss the Lebanon force which is more or less stalled.

Assad also refused to draw the border in the Shebaa Farms area before Israeli forces leave. He added: “Hizballah’s victory was enough to teach Israel a lesson that the isolation of Syria has failed.”

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George Eller
08-22-2006, 07:51 PM
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Hizbollah's Proof of Purchase
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htproc/articles/20060821.aspx

August 21, 2006

Israel collected ample evidence that Iran and Syria had supplied Hizbollah with anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) and rockets. The evidence was in the form of many captured weapons (often with data plates giving serial numbers and nation of manufacture.) In addition to complete weapons, there were many fragments found, collected, and carried back to Israel. The latest Russian ATGM (the 9M133 Kornet) was found in great numbers. These had been openly sold to Syria back in 2002. If was feared that some might show up in Iraq, but they never did. Iran apparently supplied hundreds of its version of the older Russian 9M113 Konkurs. This is a 32 pound, wire guided missile design from the 1970s.

Russian, Syrian and Iranian rockets were found in abundance, both in Lebanon (intact, or destroyed by Israeli bombs, or as fragments in Israel). Although most of the world prefers to change the subject, Israel will continue to ask why these nations sold all these weapons to a terrorist organization.

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Iranians Forced To Go Undercover
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htintel/articles/20060822.aspx

August 22, 2006

The U.S. government has forced Iran to change the way it loads weapons in aircraft that are headed for Syria. American intelligence officials revealed how satellite reconnaissance had spotted Iranians loading eight C-802 anti-ship missiles, and three launchers into a Russian made Il-76 transport. This happened a day after a C-802 fired from the Lebanese coast had damaged an Israeli warship. Iraq refused to let the Iranian aircraft enter its air space. When the Iranian Il-76 headed for Turkey instead, the Turks said the Iranian aircraft could only transit Turkey if it first landed to see if it was carrying weapons in its cargo. The Il-76 declined and returned to an Iranian air base.

The Iranians know they are being watched by American spy satellites, and high flying recon aircraft (Global Hawk and U-2) as well. But they thought these spy-in-the-sky efforts would not get down the level of checking the loading of cargo aircraft. As a result of this particular incident, which was probably made public mainly to aggravate and annoy the Iranians, loading cargo will be a lot more complicated in the future. Weapons to be shipped by air will have to be loaded on trucks while under cover, and the truck itself will have to be covered in such a way that the identity of the weapon is not disclosed. Then the aircraft will also have to be loaded in such a way that overhead reconnaissance cannot observe what it going onto the aircraft.

Even that may not be enough, as nations, which Iranian transports normally fly over, may demand the right to inspect all cargo aircraft headed for Syria. The Israelis may even get involved, by announcing they will shoot down any Iranian heavy transports, suspected of carrying weapons for Hizbollah, that enter Syria. Israel is not happy with how so many countries just stood idly by while so many weapons were sent to Hizbollah. This time around, those shipments, or attempted shipments, won't be risk free.

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Python 5 Gets First Kill
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairw/articles/20060822.aspx

August 22, 2006

Three years after its introduction, the Israeli Python 5 air-to-air missile finally got its first combat kill. This happened on August 7th, when an Israeli F-16 was sent to shoot down a Hizbollah UAV off the coast. The target was an Iranian Ababil. This is a 183 pound UAV with a ten foot wing span, a payload of about 80 pounds, a cruising speed of 290 kilometers an hour and an endurance of 90 minutes. Using GPS guidance, it could deliver about 60 pounds of explosives to a prominent Israeli government building in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. The Ababil normally carries a variety of day and night still and video cameras. Hizbollah is now using the Ababil as a cruise missile.

The Israeli company Rafael introduced the Python 5 air-to-air heat seeking missile in the Summer of 2003. The Python 5 can go after a target anywhere around the launching aircraft. The missile is an improved version of the 1993 Python 4. The Python 5 has the same weight and dimensions (295 pounds, ten feet long and 6.4 inches in diameter) as the Python 4, but uses much improved electronics and computing capability. The Python 5 sensors are immune to flares and can track very small targets (for a heat seeking missile), like helicopters, single engine propeller driven aircraft, cruise missiles and UAVs.) The missile is much more effective in cloudy or misty conditions. It also has an improved warhead and proximity fuse, making a kill more certain.

This incident makes it easier to sell the Python 5, because it has proven that it can take out small, and increasingly common, targets like UAVs.

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George Eller
08-22-2006, 07:52 PM
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U.S. Resolution Would Disarm Hezbollah
NewsMax.com Wires
http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2006/8/21/144702.shtml?s=lh

August 21, 2006

UNITED NATIONS -- The United States is planning to introduce a new U.N. resolution on disarming Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, but U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said Monday this should not hold up the quick deployment of U.N. peacekeepers.

Bolton said getting an expanded U.N. force on the ground is the most urgent priority because of the fragile cease-fire agreement that came into effect Aug. 14 under U.N. Resolution 1701, which calls for the 2,000-member U.N. force to be expanded to 15,000 troops.

The U.N. says it wants at least 3,500 new troops on the ground in south Lebanon by Aug. 28, but countries that are potential troop contributors have expressed concern about the rules of engagement - and exactly what troops would be required to do, especially regarding the disarming of Hezbollah.

While several Muslim nations have pledged troops to the new force, there have been no major pledges from European countries, which the U.S. wants to ensure that the U.N. contingent is balanced. The European Union has scheduled a meeting Wednesday to discuss possible contributions to the force, known as UNIFIL.

Whether the prospect of a new resolution on disarming Hezbollah could break that impasse remains to be seen.

President Bush talked about a new resolution at a news conference in Washington when he was asked whether the United States would demand that U.N. peacekeepers disarm Hezbollah.

"There will be another resolution coming out of the United Nations, giving further instructions to the international force," he said. "First things first is to get the rules of engagement clear so that the force will be robust to help the Lebanese."

"One thing ... for certain is that when this force goes in to help Lebanon Hezbollah won't have that safe haven or that kind of freedom to run in Lebanon's southern border," Bush said.

Asked soon after about a new resolution, Bolton said, "As we've always contemplated, the disarming of Hezbollah, which was not specifically addressed in 1701, would have to be addressed, and that should be coming shortly."

But U.S. officials stressed that there is no new resolution on the drawing board yet.

"It's premature to talk about the timing of a second resolution at this point," said Bolton's spokesman, Richard Grenell. "Our priority right now is to get a robust international force on the ground."

The Security Council received a briefing Monday on the latest situation in Lebanon and efforts by the U.N. peacekeeping department to rapidly put together an expanded force.

Asked how confident he was that the U.N. can come up with the numbers it needs, Bolton replied: "I think it's still a work in progress. I think that's the best I can say. I don't think there's any doubt in our mind of the urgency of the deployment of the full, enhanced UNIFIL as soon as possible."

Bolton stressed that the U.S. "road map" includes full implementation of Resolution 1559 adopted by the Security Council in 2004, which calls for the disarmament of all militias in Lebanon - including Hezbollah.

"So the question of dealing with Hezbollah - or whether they deal with themselves by becoming a real political party instead of a terrorist group - is obviously on the agenda," he said.

Bolton said the initial force "can be deployed now but it's obviously closely linked" to disarming Hezbollah.

"And we want the disarming of Hezbollah to be accomplished rapidly so that the democratically elected government of Lebanon can establish full control over its territory," he said.

Bolton said an expanded force could be deployed and then have its mandate changed later.

© 2006 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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George Eller
08-22-2006, 07:53 PM
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The Fine Print
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060822.aspx

August 22, 2006

While the UN criticizes Israel for "violating the ceasefire," it refuses to give the ceasefire any teeth. France says it backed out of leading the peacekeeping force in Lebanon because the UN refused to give the peacekeepers authority to use force to disarm Hizbollah. Many UN members, particularly the Moslem ones, would not go along with that. Even though most Lebanese want Hizbollah disarmed, and the UN passed a resolution to that effect in 2004, the Moslem world is caught up in a frenzy of anti-Israel rhetoric. In response, Israel refuses to allow any nations, that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel, to send troops for the peacekeeping force. Moslem nations like Malaysia and Indonesia have volunteered to provide peacekeepers, but both of these nations refuse to recognize Israel, and their troops would not use any force against Hizbollah.

Meanwhile, the honeymoon of "Hizbollah as heroes" has not lasted long in Lebanon. Even when Israeli bombs were falling on Lebanon, many Lebanese were blaming Hizbollah, not Israel. Hizbollah was pretty blunt in how it dealt with this criticism. During an interview on al Jazeera, Hizbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah bluntly warned that any Lebanese who criticized Hizbollah during the war, would face retribution later on. It's not an empty threat, for Hizbollah has always used terror and intimidation to get its way, especially against Lebanese. Practicing that approach in front of a television camera is nothing new. But Hizbollah also plays the media, and the official line right now is that Hizbollah is composed of peace-loving, innocent victims of Israeli aggression. Most Lebanese gag on that line, but many foreign journalists eat it up.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are suffering the peace time blues, and having the details discussed, loudly and in public, for the first time. The last time the IDF carried out a large scale operation was in 1982, over two decades ago. Since then, the IDF has been engaged largely in police type operations, mainly against the Palestinians. At the same time, reservists did not like getting called up for active duty a lot. But reservists were needed for security duties in the Palestinian territories and on the Lebanese border. So combat training for reservists was cut back in many units. This saved money, and meant less time in uniform for reservists. It was popular, and critics (who knew this made reservists less combat ready) could safely be ignored. There were some pretty vocal critics to this over the last twenty year. They were brushed aside with the observation that Israel's likely enemies were in even worse shape. This is true, but it does not change the fact that the Israeli reservists who were sent into Lebanon last month did not perform as professionally as Israeli troops did in the 1980s. Cutbacks on reservist training were now visible, and the reservists were complaining about how the army listened to their complaints over the last two decades, and how that almost got a lot of them killed in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, in southern Lebanon, Hizbollah gunmen are trying to reestablish themselves in key positions, and are running into Israeli troops while doing so. This is causing some gunfire, and casualties. The UN complains, but that's all the UN does. The UN peacekeepers are not coming because the UN won't guarantee that there will not be fighting. Italy says it might lead the peacekeeping force, but, like France, is demanding that the UN first give the peacekeepers, in writing, permission to fight Hizbollah if the terrorists refuse to disarm. The Lebanese government continues to insist that it will not try and force Hizbollah to disarm. Hizbollah is trying to get new supplies of weapons from Iran, and the Israelis say they will resume military operations against Hizbollah if the terrorists do not stop preparing for more attacks on Israel.

Meanwhile, military operations continue against the Palestinians, and pressure is kept on Hamas to surrender the soldier captured by Palestinian terrorists two months ago. The number of Hamas leaders in Israeli jails continues to grow each week. Hamas is very upset that it is not getting much media attention, because of the battles with Hizbollah. Although this "war" is very popular with the Palestinians, the inability of Hamas to run the economy is not and Hamas continues to lose popularity because of it.

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George Eller
08-22-2006, 07:54 PM
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Exclusive: Israel to buy 2 new submarines from Germany
Jerusalem Post
By YAAKOV KATZ
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525926927&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

August 22, 2006

In the face of Iran's race to obtain nuclear power, Israel signed a contract with Germany last month to buy two Dolphin-class submarines that will, according to foreign reports, provide superior second-strike nuclear capabilities, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/naval/dolphin/dolphin_f1.JPG
One of the Israeli Navy's three SSK Dolphin Class attack submarines.
* SEE ALSO: http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/naval/dolphin/Dolphin.html

The submarines will be assembled in Germany and provided with a propulsion system allowing them to remain underwater for far longer than the submarines currently in the Israel Navy's fleet.

According to sources close to the deal, the submarines will be operational in the near future.

The Post has also learned that the navy is considering installing a Fixed Underwater Sonar System (FUSS) off the coast to detect foreign submarines.

In 1993, Iran bought two Russian Kilo-class submarines and eight mini-submarines from North Korea, although officials said this was not the only reason the system was being considered. In 2005, Israel spotted a Western submarine snooping off its shore.

The contract signing was said to have come after a long dispute over the price and financing of the submarines. According to the details obtained by the Post, Israel will purchase the two Dolphins, manufactured by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG, for $1.27 billion, a third of which will be financed by the German government.

The navy already has three Dolphin-class submarines. They are the most expensive weapon platforms in the IDF's arsenal. Germany donated the first two submarines after the first Gulf War and split the cost of the third with Israel. The three submarines currently in the navy's possession employ a diesel-electric propulsion system, which requires them to resurface frequently to recharge their batteries.

The new submarines - called the U212 - will be fitted with a new German technology in which the propulsion system combines a conventional diesel lead-acid battery system and an air-independent propulsion system used for slow, silent cruising, with a fuel cell equipped with oxygen and hydrogen storage.

The submarines will also incorporate specifications gleaned from Israeli experience. The Dolphins currently in the navy's fleet were tailor-made for Israel's needs and reportedly have considerable operational capability. They are designed for a crew of 35 and can support 10 passengers. They have a maximum speed of 20 knots, a range of 4,500 kilometers and, according to Jane's Defense Weekly, the capability to launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads.

"With the new German technology," an official close to the deal said, "the new submarines will be able to remain submerged for much, much longer than the older Dolphin models."

News of the impending deal first emerged in November after Der Spiegel reported that chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's outgoing government had agreed to sell Israel two submarines at a heavily discounted price.

Prior to then, the German government had repeatedly turned down the request, supposedly because of reports the navy had outfitted the older submarines with Israeli-made, sea-launched cruise missiles.

Sensitive armament sales need approval from Berlin's Security Council. Several months ago, however, the German government, now headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, approved the deal after, sources told the Post, no significant public opposition was voiced.

Closure of the deal followed on the heels of a warming in German-Israel ties. In 2005, the countries agreed for the first time to hold joint ground maneuvers. In June, the INS Eilat missile ship participated for the first time in a NATO exercise in the Black Sea, together with German Navy.

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SS Tiger
08-23-2006, 03:26 AM
This day by day will be a great reference now and in the future!

Lancer44
08-23-2006, 04:53 AM
This day by day will be a great reference now and in the future!

George is doing fantastic job! Thanks George!!!!

Lancer44

George Eller
08-23-2006, 12:36 PM
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Thanks guys - I appreciate it :)

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George Eller
08-27-2006, 12:30 PM
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Israel Gets Super Subs
Strategy Page
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htsub/articles/20060827.aspx

August 27, 2006

The Israeli government admitted that they had finally, after over two years of negotiations, signed a deal with Germany to receive two more Dolphin class submarines. It appears that Israel will receive two that are already built, or under construction. Israel already has three Dolphins, which they received 5-6 years ago. These are now being upgraded by a team of German engineers. The upgrades include larger fuel capacity, converting more torpedo tubes to the larger 650mm size, and installing new electronics. The fuel and torpedo tube mods appear to have something to do with stationing the subs off the coast of Iran. Larger torpedo tubes allow the subs to carry longer range missiles. The larger fuel capacity makes it easier to move Dolphins from the Mediterranean to the Indian ocean. Although Israel has a naval base on the Red Sea, Egypt will not allow Israeli subs to use the Suez canal. So the Dolphins have to go around Africa. Currently, that is apparently being accomplished via a refueling stop in Eritrea. But if that access is denied in the future, the larger fuel capacity will enable the Dolphins to make it all the way on their own. Larger fuel capacity also allows the subs to spend more time on station off the Iranian coast. Currently the Dolphins can stay at sea for about 40 days (moving at about 14 kilometers an hour, on the surface, for up to 8,000 kilometers). Larger fuel capacity could extend range to over 10,000 kilometers, and endurance to about 50 days.

The two new Dolphins will cost about $650 million each, with Germany picking up a third of the cost, as part of their reparations for World War II atrocities against Jews. The Dolphins have an fuel cell based propulsion system which enables them to stay under water for over a week at a time. The Dolphins are also very quiet, and very difficult for the Iranians to hunt down and destroy. The first three Dolphins don't have the AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) system.

Israel equipped it's new Dolphin class submarines with nuclear cruise missiles in 2002. Israel also fitted their 135 kilometer range Harpoon missiles with nuclear warheads. These missiles are fired from the subs torpedo tubes. The 1,625 ton Dolphins can carry 16 torpedoes or missiles and have ten forward torpedo tubes (four of them the larger 650mm -26 inch- size). The Dolphins are considered the most modern non-nuclear subs in the world. The first three had cost $320 million each. They have a crew of 35 and can dive to a depth of more than 600 feet.

The Israelis have developed a cruise missile, which has a range of 1,500 kilometers and carries a 200 kiloton nuclear warhead. The objective of deploying nukes on subs is to further enhance deterrence to any nation launching a nuclear strike against Israel. If one of the Dolphins are always at sea, even a first strike against Israel would not prevent a nuclear strike by submarine launched nukes. Israel is reported to be trying to set up a base in the Red Sea, because the two most likely nuclear attackers are Iraq and Iran.

* SEE ALSO: http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/naval/dolphin/Dolphin.html
and http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showpost.php?p=87268&postcount=164
and Israel's older Gal class submarines: http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/naval/gal/Gal.html
and Israel's Popeye Turbo cruise missiles: http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/missile_systems/air_missiles/popeye_turbo/Popeye_Turbo.html

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Nickdfresh
08-27-2006, 01:09 PM
Does anybody else find it slightly disturbing that Israel has so many nukes on standby?

George Eller
08-27-2006, 01:29 PM
Does anybody else find it slightly disturbing that Israel has so many nukes on standby?

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IIRC Israel has had nuclear capability for decades. What is more disturbing to me is the possibility of a nuclear armed Iran willing to use nukes first.

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Panzerknacker
08-27-2006, 01:34 PM
Yes , it disturb several people in Iran, Sirya, Libano, etc.


IIRC Israel has had nuclear capability for decades. What is more disturbing to me is the possibility of a nuclear armed Iran willing to use nukes first.


Agreed, Israel in not saint, but far better than those caracters.

George Eller
08-27-2006, 01:41 PM
Yes , it disturb several people in Iran, Sirya, Libano, etc.

Agreed, Israel in not saint, but far better than those caracters.
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I agree.

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Nickdfresh
08-27-2006, 01:55 PM
Yes , it disturb several people in Iran, Sirya, Libano, etc.




Agreed, Israel in not saint, but far better than those caracters.


I think it also allows America's adversaries to ask the simple question: "Why does Israel get to own anywhere from 25-to-300 (powerful, 200kt ain't small!) nuclear weapons, with a quick strike capability, with no questions asked while the US begins practical war preparations over the Iranian nuclear research that is at least five-to-ten years away from yielding any bomb?"

And yes, I know the stupid anti-Semitic/anti-Israeli propaganda and rhetoric exploited by so many Middle Eastern Muslim states, including some by our "allies," makes them seem pretty dubious. But I don't think anyone of those nations could "wipe Israel off the map" anytime soon since Israel's conventional forces are far above any of those countries, despite her 'military blunder' in Lebanon.

George Eller
08-27-2006, 03:54 PM
I think it also allows America's adversaries to ask the simple question: "Why does Israel get to own anywhere from 25-to-300 (powerful, 200kt ain't small!) nuclear weapons, with a quick strike capability, with no questions asked while the US begins practical war preparations over the Iranian nuclear research that is at least five-to-ten years away from yielding any bomb?"

And yes, I know the stupid anti-Semitic/anti-Israeli propaganda and rhetoric exploited by so many Middle Eastern Muslim states, including some by our "allies," makes them seem pretty dubious. But I don't think anyone of those nations could "wipe Israel off the map" anytime soon since Israel's conventional forces are far above any of those countries, despite her 'military blunder' in Lebanon.
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Well, so far the Arabs have been unable to defeat Israel in a war using conventional weapons, which is why certain parties have pursued other means. Whether or not Israel had a nuclear deterrent would not be a factor as long as they could achieve their goal of defeating Israel (using whatever means possible - including nuclear).

Israel on the other hand has had nuclear capability for decades and has never used it against it's enemies.

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Israel Buys 2 Nuclear-Capable Submarines
Washingtonpost.com
By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/24/AR2006082401050.html

August 25, 2006

JERUSALEM -- With the purchase of two more German-made Dolphin submarines capable of carrying nuclear warheads, military experts say Israel is sending a clear message to Iran that it can strike back if attacked by nuclear weapons.

The purchases come at a time when Iran is refusing to bow to growing Western demands to halt its nuclear program, and after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

The new submarines, built at a cost of $1.3 billion with Germany footing one-third of the bill, have diesel-electric propulsion systems that allow them to remain submerged for longer periods of time than the three nuclear arms-capable submarines already in Israel's fleet, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The latest submarines not only would be able to carry out a first strike should Israel choose to do so, but they also would provide Israel with crucial second-strike capabilities, said Paul Beaver, a London-based independent defense analyst.

Israel is already believed to have that ability in the form of the Jericho-1 and Jericho-2 nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, which are buried so far underground they would survive a nuclear strike, he said.

"The Iranians would be very foolish if they attacked Israel," Beaver said.

German officials have said the contract for the new submarines was signed July 6, and the Jerusalem Post reported this week the subs will be operational shortly.

Israel, operating on a policy of nuclear ambiguity, has never confirmed or denied whether it has nuclear weapons. It is believed, however, to have the world's sixth-largest stockpile of atomic arms, including hundreds of warheads.

Iran so far has resisted calls by the U.N. Security Council to halt uranium enrichment, which can produce, among other things, the material for atomic bombs. The council set an Aug. 31 deadline that is accompanied by the threat of sanctions.

The dispute over Tehran's nuclear program revolves around Iran's insistence it wants to master the technology simply to generate electricity. Critics say Iran wants to make nuclear weapons.

The Dolphin submarine could be one of the best deterrents, Beaver said. The technology on the subs makes them undetectable and gives them defensive capabilities in the case of attack, he said.

"They are very well-built, very well-prepared, lots of interesting equipment, one of the best conventional submarines available," Beaver said. "We are talking about a third string of deterrence capabilities."

Michael Karpin, an expert on Israel's atomic weapons capabilities who published a book on the issue in the United States, said nuclear-armed submarines provide better second-strike capabilities than missiles launched from airplanes.

"Planes are vulnerable, unlike nuclear (armed) submarines that can operate for an almost unlimited amount of time without being struck," Karpin said. "Second-strike capabilities are a crucial element in any nuclear conflict."

In Germany, members of two opposition parties criticized the deal. Winfried Nachtwei, national security spokesman for the Greens, said the decision was wrong because Germany had obtained no guarantee the submarines would not be used to carry nuclear weapons.

"This red line should not be crossed," Nachtwei was quoted as saying by the newspaper Taz. "Otherwise it is a complete renunciation of Germany's policy of non-proliferation."

David Menashri, an Israeli expert on Iran, said Tehran is clearly determined to obtain nuclear weapons and "the purchase of additional Dolphin submarines by Israel is a small footnote in this context."

What also makes Tehran dangerous, Beaver said, is that it may not understand the consequences of carrying out a nuclear strike.

"They (Iran) have a belligerent leadership and that's why Israel is prudent in ensuring that it has that deterrent capability," Beaver said. "What they (the submarines) are is a very good insurance policy."

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George Eller
08-27-2006, 04:00 PM
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Ahmadinejad inaugurates heavy water plant which can manufacture plutonium for weapons
DEBKAfile
http://debka.com/headline.php?hid=3177

August 26, 2006

Touring the site at Khondab near Arak, 190 km southwest of Tehran Saturday, Aug. 26, the Iranian president said Iran is not an atomic threat – even to Israel. But five days before the UN deadline for Iran to halt uranium enrichment, he boasted the Arak plant will be able to produce 16 tons of heavy water a year.

This is taken by DEBKAfile’s military sources as confirmation that, in addition to accelerated uranium enrichment, Iran has embarked on a second technology for producing fuel for nuclear warheads – plutonium as a by-product obtained from the Bushehr nuclear reactor.

On the uranium track, European sources in Vienna revealed last week that Iran has acquired P-2 centrifuges to speed up the pace of enrichment.

Tehran is thus doubly defying the West and the UN after sending a fudging response to the incentives package on offer for abandoning enrichment.

DEBKAfile notes that Tehran has made no secret of these menacing advances in its nuclear program. They were openly unveiled last week. But because no hard American or European rejoinder was forthcoming, the Iranians pushed ahead with further admissions: Wednesday, Aug. 23, a senior official in Tehran forecast another dramatic announcement on Iran’s nuclear program; Saturday, Ahmadinejad pulled the heavy water rabbit out of his hat.

The United States, Europe and Israel have every reason to be fearful of the course on which Iran is speeding forward pell-mell.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report Tehran is taking encouragement from the quiescence of the Bush administration and Israel on two linked issues: a European force for Lebanon which announces in advance that it will not disarm Hizballah or bar its acquisition of massive quantities of war materiel from Iran and Syria; and Iran’s nuclear advances. No one is stopping the rulers of the Islamic Republic’s campaign to neuter UN resolutions, UN nuclear watchdog’s injunctions and diplomacy of any kind. They are therefore free to follow up the Lebanon war with new and aggravated attacks on Israel - conventional by Hizballah and eventually, nuclear by Iran.

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Iran takes new nuclear step
Times Online
Sarah Baxter, Washington
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-2330623,00.html

August 27, 2006

IN A show of defiance against western efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear programme, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated the new phase of a heavy water reactor project yesterday, prompting an Israeli warning that Tehran had taken another step towards producing a bomb.
The Arak plant in central Iran can now make eight tons of heavy water a year, with output expected to rise tenfold.

Heavy water aids nuclear fission and the plutonium by- product could be used to make warheads. But the reactor to produce plutonium is still under construction.

The Iranian president insisted the plant was for peaceful purposes. “We are not a threat to anybody,” he said at the opening. “There is no talk of nuclear weapons.”

Arak’s construction was kept secret until the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran revealed its existence along with the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in 2002.

An Iranian nuclear official claimed there was no need for the International Atomic Energy Agency to supervise Arak as it did not have a military purpose. But experts warned plutonium production could pose a greater threat than uranium enrichment.

“With uranium it’s much easier to put in safeguards to monitor the atmosphere and instruments,” said Paul Ingram, a nuclear analyst with the British American Security Information Council. Arak could produce enough plutonium for one or two nuclear weapons a year.

Ephraim Sneh, a senior Israeli MP, said Arak marked “another leap in Iran’s advance towards a nuclear bomb”.

The Iranian media reported last week that an announcement concerning the “nuclear birth” of the nation would be made within days. Ahmadinejad’s inauguration of Arak could be it, but there is speculation that the regime plans more surprises before a UN deadline for suspension of its uranium enrichment programme expires on Thursday.

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Eiland: Iran leadership poses threat
The Jerusalem Post
By DAVID HOROVITZ
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525940677&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

August 24, 2006

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, if he ever became the supreme decision maker in his country, would "sacrifice half of Iran for the sake of eliminating Israel," Giora Eiland, Israel's former national security adviser, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

At present, Eiland stressed, the ultimate decision maker in Iran was Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 67, whom he said was "more reasonable." But, Eiland went on, "if Ahmadinejad were to succeed him - and he has a reasonable chance of doing so - then we'd be in a highly dangerous situation."

The 49-year-old Iranian president, he said, "has a religious conviction that Israel's demise is essential to the restoration of Muslim glory, that the Zionist thorn in the heart of the Islamic nations must be removed. And he will pay almost any price to right the perceived historic wrong. If he becomes the supreme leader and has a nuclear capability, that's a real threat."

In facing up to Iran's nuclear ambitions, Eiland said the United States had three possible courses of action, "all of them bad," and that a decision could not be postponed for too long, "since delay, too, is a decision of sorts."

The first option was "to give up" - to accept that Iran was going nuclear and try to make the best of it. By "making the best of it," Eiland said, he meant "isolating Iran economically, politically and internationally in the hope that this will eventually prompt an internal push for regime change."

This might also give other nations the sense that the political price of going nuclear was too high for them to contemplate, and might thus deter nations such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Algeria and others from seeking to emulate Iran and spelling the full collapse of the nuclear nonproliferation era.

Washington's second option was to launch a last-ditch effort at diplomatic action, he said. At this stage, a mixture of sanctions and bonuses would not be sufficient to deter Iran altogether, but it might seek to persuade Teheran to suspend progress for two or three years.

"In return, the US would have to open direct engagement with Teheran, with full recognition of the regime. This would boost the regime's credibility and standing at home and allow it to say it was voluntarily suspending the program for a while," he said.

The advantage for the Bush administration was that "Bush could then say, 'They didn't go nuclear on my watch, and it's up to my successors to keep things that way.'"

The third option, said Eiland, was a military operation - born of the sense that the diplomatic process would not work and that there could be no compromise with an axis-of-evil power. However, internal political realities and public opinion in the US were not conducive to this, he said, nor was international support readily available. Furthermore, said Eiland, "this would be action that would have to be taken within months.

If not, and if Iran continues enrichment, it will complete the research and development stage and have a proven ability which it can then duplicate at numerous sites. And at that point it could not be stopped by military action. Six months or 12 months from now would be too late, he said.

Tellingly, Eiland noted, it seemed to him that the difficulties facing the administration over that third course were growing.

As the crisis with Iran deepens, meanwhile, some Israeli sources believe the US has acted foolishly in spurning opportunities for international diplomatic cooperation against Iran in recent years, and that Israel mistakenly encouraged this course of action.

The US might have had more success isolating Iran two years ago, when Bush and French President Jacques Chirac were stronger, Iran was weaker and the situation in Iraq looked better, said the sources.

As recently as a few months ago, on a trip to Ukraine, which is a vital Russian sphere of influence, US Vice President Richard Cheney criticized the Putin regime's record on democracy, the sources pointed out. Against that kind of background, the US should not be surprised now, therefore, to find Russia less than willing to fully cooperate on its Iran strategy.

Israel, these sources went on, realized early the danger posed by Iran's nuclear drive but erred in supporting the US in hanging tough rather than pushing it toward cooperation.

As for Israel's military options, these sources spoke of an immense dilemma for the government. Declining to go into detail, they noted only that Israel was not as potent militarily as the US and mused about what might happen if a military action proved unsuccessful in thwarting the nuclear program. Iran might then complete its nuclear drive and, branding Israel a preemptive aggressor, claim legitimacy for a strike of its own at Israel.

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George Eller
08-27-2006, 04:10 PM
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Iran Test-Fires Sub-to-Surface Missile in Persian Gulf
Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,210649,00.html

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran test fired a new submarine-to-surface missile during war games in the Persian Gulf on Sunday, a show of military might amid a standoff with the West over its nuclear activities.

A brief video clip showed the long-range missile, called Thaqeb, or Saturn, exiting the water and hitting a target on the water's surface within less than a mile. The test came as part of large-scale military exercises that began Aug. 19.

"The army successfully test fired a top speed long-range sub-to-surface missile off the Persian Gulf," the navy commander, Gen. Sajjad Kouchaki, said on state-run television.

Iran routinely has held war games over the past two decades to improve its combat readiness and to test equipment including missiles, tanks and armored personnel carriers.

But Sunday's firing of the missile came as Iran remains defiant just five days before a deadline imposed by the U.N. Security Council for Tehran to suspend the enrichment of uranium, which can produce both reactor fuel and material usable in nuclear warheads.

Iran said last week it is open to negotiations but it refused any immediate suspension, calling the deadline illegal.

Tehran has expressed worry about Israeli threats to destroy its nuclear facilities, which the West contends could be used to make a bomb but which Iran insists are for the peaceful purpose of generating electricity. The Islamic country also is concerned about the U.S. military presence in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan.

In an advance for Iran's weapons industry, the Thaqeb is the country's first sub-fired missile that leaves the water to strike its target, adding to the country's repertoire of weapons that can hit ships in the Gulf.

Iran's current arsenal includes several types of torpedoes — including the "Hoot," Farsi for "whale," which was tested for the first time in April, capable of moving at some 223 mph, up to four times faster than a normal torpedo.

Kouchaki said the Thaqeb could be fired from any vessel and could escape enemy radar. He said it was built based on domestic know-how, although outside experts say much of the country's missile technology originated from other countries like Russia and China.

He did not give the weapon's range. It did not appear capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Iran already is equipped with the Shahab-3 missile, which means "shooting star" in Farsi, and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. An upgraded version of the ballistic missile has a range of more than 1,200 miles and can reach Israel and U.S. forces in the Middle East.

Last year, former Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said Tehran successfully had tested a solid fuel motor for the Shahab-3, which was considered a technological breakthrough for the country's military.

Solid fuel dramatically increases the accuracy of a missile while a liquid fuel missile is not very accurate in hitting targets.

Iran's military test-fired a series of missiles during large-scale war games in the Persian Gulf in March and April, including a missile it claimed was not detectable by radar and can use multiple warheads to hit several targets simultaneously.

After decades of relying on foreign weapons purchases, Iran's military has been working to boost its domestic production of armaments.

Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and a fighter plane, the government has said. It announced in early 2005 that it had begun production of torpedoes

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