TCS Daily

Hate to Say We Told You So, But...

By J. Peter Pham & Michael I. Krauss - August 8, 2006 12:00 AM

While events make it seem like an age ago, it was in fact exactly one month ago that TCS published a column whose prescience and eerie timing surprised even to us, its authors.

In The Hezbollah Nexus?, we reminded readers that the world seemed to have forgotten about this Iranian client and its central role in the drama of the contemporary Middle East (which at that moment in time centered on the Iraqi insurgency and the looming confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program). We introduced our essay as follows:

"The Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah has enjoyed a respite in Western news of late, even though it continues to augment its considerable weapons stockpile despite being required to disarm by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 and by anti-Syrian factions in Lebanon. The United States, the driving force (along with France) behind 1559, is preoccupied with Iraq and with Iran's nuclear program. Israel, whose northern border remains vulnerable to Hezbollah "kill an Israeli soldier" incursions, has its hands full dealing with the elected Palestinian terrorist group Hamas and with its own political debate about the determination of borders. But there is reason to believe that all these issues -- the insurgency in Iraq (which is certainly being fanned by Iranian meddling), Iran's nuclear ambitions, Palestinian terrorism, and Israeli security -- are interrelated, and that their nexus is in fact Hezbollah.

Last year, Hezbollah's "spiritual" leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, computed for the first time the scope of his group's arsenal: "They say [we have] 12,000 rockets...I say more than 12,000 rockets." Most of these fire 107mm and 122mm Katyusha missiles supplied directly from Iranian army stocks. These devices have small payloads and short effective ranges. But an increasing number of Hezbollah's rockets are of a more lethal variety. Intelligence analysts report that Iran has made large scale deliveries of Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rockets to its Lebanese clients, shipping them via passenger and cargo flights to Damascus International Airport where, with the approval of Bashar al-Assad's Ba'athist regime, they are collected by Iranian Revolutionary Guards and delivered to Hezbollah installations in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

Iran builds the Fajr missiles with Chinese and North Korean assistance. Fajrs are fired from hard-to-destroy mobile launchers, and can carry up to 200 pounds of explosives from 25 (for the Fajr-3) to 45 miles (for the Fajr-5). Israeli intelligence estimates that several hundred Fajr rockets have been delivered so far. Most are aimed at Israel's third largest city, Haifa, home to one of the Jewish state's two oil refineries and to Matam Park, the hub of its high-tech industry. To help with targeting, Hezbollah has access to Iranian-controlled Mirsad-1 unmanned aerial vehicles which can transmit live video footage."

Everything that we feared has come to pass. Iran, with Syrian connivance, coordinated a small-scale Hezbollah invasion of Israel, accompanied by the killing of four Israeli soldiers and the kidnapping of two others, as an act of war designed to probe its enemy. Israel responded much more aggressively than Iran had predicted, availing itself of this casus belli to attempt to destroy its terrorist adversary before it became even more menacing. Alas, Israel's initial efforts at self-defense proved less stellar than usual. As Charles Krauthammer argued in his Washington Post column this past weekend, Prime Minister Olmert has provided uninspiring leadership. Initially relying on only air power, he rejected his generals' arguments for a ground offensive. Worse, he allowed his cabinet meetings to become public spectacles with internal divisions leaking to friend and foe alike.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah propagandists successfully have exploited the Western press. They have employed both outright anti-Semitic lies about "war crimes" (as in this incredible Reuters photo fabrication of bombing in Beirut -- although the press agency evidently learned from Dan Rather's experience, and quickly killed the photo after the fabrication was exposed by the Little Green Footballs blog) and more subtle intimidation of the members of the Fourth Estate. Time magazine stringer Christopher Allbritton, writing on his blog while reporting from southern Lebanon, casually illustrated this latter technique: "To the south, along the curve of the coast, Hezbollah is launching Katyushas, but I'm loathe to say too much about them. The Party of God has a copy of every journalist's passport, and they've already hassled a number of us and threatened one."

Despite these setbacks, now in the fourth week of this imposed war, the tide has begun to turn decisively in Israel's favor. Hezbollah supply routes have been cut, and as a result the terrorist group's commanders have pulled their men out of most combat sectors in southern Lebanon and concentrated them in a half-dozen pockets of fierce resistance. From one of these enclaves near Sidon, last Friday night, August 4, Hezbollah fired long-range Khaibar-1 missiles at Hadera, 25 miles north of Tel Aviv. Saturday morning, Israel humanely dropped leaflets warning Sidon's 200,000 inhabitants to leave their homes and head north to escape the coming Israeli elimination of this launching zone. One by one, each Hezbollah bastion may become the object of "attrition," to use the euphemistical term. reported a very dangerous but potentially promising development on Sunday. Realizing that it overplayed its hand by waging war on Israel before being fully prepared, Iran has apparently now dispatched the world's most fearsome remaining terrorist (after Osama Bin Laden) to supervise Hezbollah operations. Imad Mughniyeh has been wanted for 25 years by the FBI for the suicide bomb attacks he orchestrated against the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and against American and French peacekeepers (to say nothing of a spate of "lesser" hijackings and murders). Mughiyeh is so important in the hierarchy of international terror that he answers directly to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Prime Minister Olmert is now directly opposed not by the relatively parochial Lebanese cleric Hassan Nasrallah, but by an extremely seasoned terrorist who comes as the chief paladin of Iranian mullahs and their ambitions to hasten of the apocalyptic return of the Hidden Imam.

Accordingly, even more than when we wrote our pre-war apologia for the elimination of Hezbollah's missile threat, Israel's fight is America's fight. If the United States government insists on a ceasefire at this point (as Secretary of State Rice appears to be doing by supporting a flawed United Nations resolution), it will not only undermine Israel's security, but will betray the principles of the civilized world in general and our own national interests in particular. The Security Council deadline for Iran to suspend its nuclear program is less than a month away. Does any sane person really think that if the mullahs and their proxies emerge unscathed from their current adventure -- recall that Hassan Nasrallah has asserted that Hezbollah "needs only to survive to win" -- they will be more amenable to diplomatic efforts on an issue of even greater importance to them? Tehran has let loose its "dog of war," Imad Mughniyeh. Can even the mullahs leash him again short of the Shi'a eschaton which he and Iran's genocidal president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad want to hasten? Iran has, with impunity, been fanning sectarian tensions in neighboring Iraq for months, costing America both lives and treasure. If no consequences follow from the far more direct aggression of Iran's Hezbollah proxy far from home, will the Tehran regime suddenly relent from meddling in Baghdad?

Both America's mind as well as its heart should dictate that the administration lend even greater support for Israel's belatedly vigorous self-defense against Hezbollah. The IDF's lines in Lebanon have become the pivotal front of the global war on terrorism.

Michael I. Krauss is professor of law at George Mason University School of Law. J. Peter Pham is director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University. Both are adjunct fellows of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.


How do we stop short now that we've started?...
This small war had to happen. If Hezbollah is so intimately part of the Lebanese society and political structure how should they be eliminated without occupying Lebanon? Of course, if they could be eliminated then Iran would only annoint another young firebrand and fund his operation with enough resources to behave like a private government. Same deal, new name.

Secretary Rice has a UN resolution that will set the stage for the occupation of Lebanon by a coalition that would not need to include the Americans or the British. We are already in this theatre, aren't we?

Iran is the strategic enemy and they are in an awkward spot having started this. If they could back down the world through a proxy war then they might continue pushing their own larger agenda. This is the pretext for the world to shut down Iran's game completely. And they know it.

Syria is in an unenviable position with absolutely nothing to gain at this moment and everything to lose as the shaft of Iran's spear (if Lebanon is the point). Syria should change sides right now or they will look like Italy did 60 years ago. Hitler's fool.

This current resolution without Israel leaving Lebanon is ideal for Secretary Rice. The fact that Israel went in with ground troops only after a public struggle to restrain themselves also plays well to the long term goal.

This could be the moment. Better now than later with fresh variables.

The Mughniyah connection
Odd. When I search for substantiation of the story, mentioning Mughniyah being sent back to Lebanon to oversee Hezbollah, all I find are a handful of very stale stories from 2002.

They wouldn't just make something like that up out of nowhere... would they? Could anyone find some independent substantiation of this rumor?

The presence or absence of such verification would be useful in establishing establishing Pham and Krauss as accurate disseminators of information, i.e. reporters rather than merely propagandists.

Smoking gun sought
You speak as though we have concrete proof that the government of Iran made the decision to attack that IDF patrol ("they are in an awkward spot having started this"). Remind me again... what is the proof?

Bin Laden's son?
The report I heard was that Iran had released 'Bin Laden's Son' from 'house arrest', and sent him to oversee the efforts in Lebanon.

Could this be the same person, or simply fouled-up information?

The stories sound very similar, apart from the names.

Also dispels the myth that Shia and Sunni would 'never' work together..

Follow the money...
They only created, funded, equiped, and politically support Hezbollah. While I am sure they do not control the day to day functions of Hezbollah, Iran is quite involved with their goal. So yes, Iran started this.

This is also a great way to divert attention away from creating a nuclear weapon.

Roy, it would be good if you would stop trying to "beat" everyone else.

You're true interest in all that you write about the current Mid East situation is to show that you are intellectually superior to the rest of us, and you can see subtleties and consider points of view that elude us.

Sorry, oh salesman, but you are pathetically mistaken about your brainpower.

On the purported lack of smoking guns--perhaps you aren't aware that almost all criminal convictions happen on circumstantial evidence. And perhaps you are not aware that Charlie Manson is rightfully locked away forever when the fact is he was not even at the scene of the crimes for which he got convicted.

Perhaps you are too much of a simpleton to understand the concept of "abstraction". Or that of "inference". Or that of "deduction".

Perhaps you are one of those idiots who cannot accept that OJ Simpson is guilty of the murders that he committed.

Shia and Sunni
will always work hand in hand if the objective is the slaughter of Jews.

How Can Israel's Fight Be America's Fight...
...given the incredibly complex relationship between the U.S. and Israel and the U.S. and Iran?

For example, see

Remember, these are supposed to be documents that came from the U.S. government itself and not its enemies or critics.

Saad bin Laden
Two different people. Mughniyah is a very well known bad guy, who has been responsible in large part for giving Hezbollah its bad name.

Saad bin Laden has recently, in several intel reports of varying quality, been pulled out of a hat to scare us. If the original Die Welt report is reliable, he was released from house arrest by Iranian intelligence July 28, on a mission to firm up links between Syria and Hezbollah. All other reports are just a rehash of the Die Welt story.

Could be, might not be. We'll just have to see what develops. I would be much more worried about Mughniyah.

All Iran's fault
By "started this" I guess you mean back in 1982. Yes, since then Iran has been the major source of Hezbollah funding. But intel reports all seem to indicate that Hezbollah is very uppity, and accepts orders from no one. Absent more concrete proof, I would assume the order to attack came from Shaik Nasrallah.

The US is also the major source of military funding for Israel. Yet who in their right mind would state that we give the marching orders, and Israel obeys? Similar situation.

I doubt that the existence of the Lebanese crisis is diverting anyone's attention away from Iran's nuclear program. The United States has sufficient manpower to pay close attention to both.

OJ on terror mission to Syria!
You've got me figured out, Brant. My principal interest in commenting in this forum is to make sure that the opinions people hold are not ignorantly formed.

It may very well be that there is an active nexus between Hezbollah, Iran and Syria. I just don't think we can assume such a nexus, merely because it makes so much sense, and agrees with the narrative we've been carefully prepared to believe. We need to proceed on the basis of distinguishing between what is known, what is suspected, and what is just a WAG (wild ass guess).

The reason this is important is because we're being inundated with disinformation from all sides. Many people posting here are quick to illustrate disinformation coming from the Hezbollah side. But most are resistant in principle to recognize there is every bit as much BS coming from the defenders of Israel, and from official Israeli and /or US sources. Checking one's information against factual reporting is essential if we are to make sense of any of it.

Charles Manson was convicted on the mountain of evidence that proved beyond any reasonable doubt that he was the intllectual mastermind of a crime (actually a few crimes) that were committed by drugged-out, suggestible individuals under his control.

OJ was guilty.

All Israel's fault
Again with your Israel/US analogy. The relationship is completely different. Israel has it's own economy and is its own Democracy that follows the will of the voters. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization with no economy and ruled by a few fascist clerics.

Not similar at all.

If Iran and Syria were to cut off Hezbollah they would not be able to function anymore. The opposite is true of Israel. We did not create Israel and we are not their lifeline. Please note the differences.

But you keep going with that line. You have already had to eat your words about Hezbollah and I am certain you will do so in the future.

If you watch the MSM you can see that this crisis is in fact diverting the world's attention from the Iranian nuclear program. I am sure that Bush and Co. have not allowed Iran to drop from the radar.

One has to be lacking certain brain lobes to ask that kind of question
One has to believe that the terrorist groups figured that a confrontation with Israel was really, really a neat idea lacking the complete support and backing of sponsors to supply them and aid them.

So which lobe are you missing Roy?

Nice comment but do you suppose the CS 701 and CS 801s were supplied by Iran for no reason?
As you pointed out Iran is the puppet master and they supplied these weapons to demonstrate how much trouble Teheran can cause and its willingness to support such violence. This is an extortion racket and nothing else.

Baghdad Roy displays his intent or Nightstalking for peace
Of course Teheran isn't the puppet master of these groups. There is absolutely no evidence of Syria's involvement. The purveyors of this sort of nonsense wish us to believe that the Islamic world has evil intentions and isn't a peace loving religion sharing the same beliefs as all others.

Its the evil imperialists who want Arab oil; the evil Zionists who wish to dominate the Arab world who constantly provoke the world with their unjustified attacks.

Nice try Roy, only the dullest of wits would buy your song and dance. How long have you been a jihaddie recruiter?

Feck and Fecklessness

While I hope as you do that the world's leaders recognize and, more importantly, will act positively on this opportunity I have doubts about the courage of most of them, even Prime Minister Blair. I am absolutely certain that Chirac will behave in his usual feckless manner, hold little hope for Putin's morality and as to the Chinese - Well, they may as well be Klingons.

Still, Churchill eventually convinced everyone but the vichy French to fight and while there's life, there's hope.

One of the most common "it's all Israel's fault" arguments that I've heard goes something like this: The United Nations, Israel and the Western Powers were wrong to force the establishment of Israel on the Arab Muslim people of the Middle East because the Jews had been effectively expelled from the area prior to WWII. As to America's involvement, if a Jewish state in Palestine why not Cherokee, Iroquois, Cree, Apache and Navaho nations in America?

Sounds a bit like Ahmadi Nejad doesn't it?

Personally, I'm with Roy - the United States hasn't even begun to truly wage war in the Middle East. If Iran truly wants to go to war with us I say let's follow the historic Israeli example and give them more than they want.

Ill-prepared for War: part 1
Report: Army future combat program may be unaffordable
by Megan Scully
CongressDaily, August 7, 2006

A new government report on the Army's massive Future Combat Systems (FCS) questions whether the cash-strapped service can afford to buy the program, delivering the latest in a series of blows to the backbone of the Army's transformation plans.

The program, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would eventually eat up 40% to 50% of the Army's procurement accounts, LEAVING SCARCE DOLLARS TO BUY OTHER NEEDED GEAR.

...CBO also projected that the FCS price tag, which already has jumped by billions of dollars in the last few years due to a major program restructuring, COULD GROW BY ANOTHER 60%, largely because the program entered the development stage prematurely.

...Meanwhile, the Army's current fleet of ground combat vehicles is aging, with the AVERAGE AGE BETWEEN 11 AND 15 YEARS. Many could reach the end of their service lives within the next decade, before the Army expects to field FCS ground vehicles in large numbers.

Ill-prepared for War: part 2
Funding shortfalls jeopardize Army operations, chief says
by By Katherine McIntire Peters, July 17, 2006

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker told congressional staffers last week he is worried that the Army cannot repair vital equipment fast enough because supplemental budget requests have been too little, too late.

...At the Red River Army Depot in Texas, for example, nearly 1,500 HUMVEES, BRADLEYS AND TRUCKS AWAIT REPAIRS; another 500 M1 tanks and hundreds of other tracked vehicles are in the backlog at Anniston Army Depot in northeastern Alabama.

The DELAYS IN REPAIRS HAVE HAD A CASCADING EFFECT ON THE ARMY, Schoomaker said. Because many units rotating out of Iraq are leaving undamaged equipment there for the use of units replacing them on the battlefield, they are returning home with little equipment to use in training exercises. By the time the equipment is repaired or replaced, those soldiers have lost precious time in which to prepare for their next deployment.

The Army entered the Iraq war with what service leaders estimated was a $56 billion budget shortfall. In order to field the force that took Baghdad, Army leaders had to move troops and equipment from various units to cover the shortfalls. The ongoing rotations of troops in and out of Iraq, along with increased wear and tear of equipment has created what Schoomaker called "A SLOPE OF DIMINISHING RETURNS."

Israeli democracy, Israeli viability
"Reservations" analogies work very well when discussing Israel's plans for the Palestinians. At present all political factions within Israel envision a future where the OT's constitute three separate Bantustan-like enclaves, separated by thin wedges of Israeli-controlled property. Plus, of course, hemmed-in Gaza. These are reservations.

In Israel's proud democracy only Jewish voters plus a safe subset of Arabs termed Islraeli Arabs, get to vote. The remainder of the P's are either disenfranchised by only getting to vote for head of their reservation, or are totally out of the picture off in perpetual DP camps in Lebanon or in Jordan.

Israel without US support has a not very robust economy, and has been very close to the skids a number of times. Without us, and particularly without our state of the art arms, they would certainly buckle and fall.

One thing the Lebanese crisis has certainly moved off the front page: Gaza. The killings continue there without a word being printed, while in my home town paper not one single day goes by without an A section story about Iran's nuclear program.

What clearer example does one require of Roy's constant drumbeat of lies
Only Jews get to vote Roy? Strange how many non Jews get to vote but they represent a "safe" subset in Roy's mind as opposed to the democracies of Iran and Syria.

Wow I can see Keenedy and Hillary voting for increased military spending
One has to ask in the past forty years if there was one, just one defense program the majority of the Democrats could support.

Well Hampton.

Demorats to ask for more spending?
I guess one can answer this by looking at their 50% reduction of the military during the Clinton years. Could this have anything to do with these problems?

Can we expect the Sociocrats to ask for increased defense spending?

Again one needs only to look at the base of the Demorat party repesented here by the likes of Roy, Eric and Bob Jones and of course yourself to realize this is as likely as Tehran hosting a celebration of Israel's independence.

interesting how roy has details of Israels secret plans
maybe he's psychic?

Pack of out and out provable lies
U.S. did not back Israel in 1948, 56, 67 and only marginally in 1973. All wars much bigger than this. Yet, without U.S. military aid, Israel survived and thrived. Why would they suddenly fall now without American Arms.

Arabs are suppose to have such long memories as to these types of spats yet, like you, the spout the politically stupid rhetoric. Yes, the U.S. finally decided to jump into the aid to Israel pond with both feet in the 70s. But Israel did just find without us before then.

You and your reservation crap. Yeah, Gaza is a jail and Israel want the Pals on the reservation. You are truely full of it.

Finally, rhampton agrees with northernguy
I have mentioned on several occassions that John Kerry was an ignorant fool or a wilful liar for suggesting that Pres Bush was reckless to not follow Gen. Shinseki's Iraq war plan requiring at least four or five hundred thousand troops. Surely John Kerry should be at least as knowledgeable about the state of the military as rhampton and yet one of Kerry's many positions on Iraq was just that; Bush was wrong, wrong, wrong not to send five times as many troops and even proportionately more equipment than Bush and Sec. Rumsfield actually did.

Now rhampton says that the army at least would have been completely and totally incapable of meeting such a burden. According to rhampton meeting even a quarter of such a target has produced unbearable strain on America's defense posture.

Just as an aside I must say as a non-U.S.Aian that I was surprised to see the Democratic party nominate what must have been the only person in America who did not have a clear position on Iraq.

Re : roy's position
I think you guys are forgetting something, Roy is on the terrorists side. Everything follows from that.

Let me suggest a better approach for you
I assume you will elect to believe figures that come from this source:

I further assume you do not deny that we are currently resupplying Israel with exactly the weapons they are using on the Lebanese.

I further assume you will admit that we have found zero evidence that either Syria, Iran or anyone else is currently supplying Hezbollah with weapons. All evidence supports the idea they are using up existing stocks.

The US not only keeps Israel afloat with loans, gifts and bribes, it does the same for its other client states in the area: Egypt, Jordan and Turkey-- and Saudi Arabia. We desire stability and we ensure it through making certain our friends have enough firepower to overcome any objections to their rule. This is not just a rumor, but has been the standard interpretation for most of our lifetime.

One side effect of the practise is that it is beneficial for the bottom line of our arms industry-- either through direct sales or through the recycling of last year's equipment by our armed forces, so they can justify the purchasing of new equipment.

Paul, you lose credibility when you resort to "fulla crap" arguments, as is your tactic here. Why not just debate on the merits, and support your contentions with whatever facts you can gather? You'll like yourself better and you'll win more points.

Addressing the issues
Paul, I've gone back to review the content of my original statement, "Israeli democracy, Israeli viability". And I don't see that you have even addressed, much less refuted, anything contained in those four paragraphs.

Could you do us the favor of revisiting that post, and responding to any of the points I've actually made there? I'd be interested.

The Cherokee Nation
I don't believe that's an argument I've used. But you do bring up an interesting point about statehood.

Back when the thirteen colonies united to become a nation, the Cherokee had been quietly westernizing on those lands declared to be theirs by law. They liked the idea of settling disputes by written agreement, and in fact were already publishing newspapers in their own language. So they signed land treaties, to fix the boundaries of the Cherokee lands.

Then they sent a delegation to Washington, to formally apply to join the Union as a sovereign state.

Then, in 1828, gold was discovered on the Cherokee lands. You know the rest. The Cherokee were told to leave, and their Trail of Tears began.

I know might now makes right, and all that. But does this really sound like Ahmedinejad?

Roy's delusions or is it chutzpah
Roy would claim that there was no evidence Hizballah was being supplied by Teheran and Syria if bombed Israel with Backfires. Its truly sad that we see the cavils of no evidence despite the mountains of evidence for anyone who opens their eyes that Hizballah is not manufacturing these weapons themselves.

What kind of warped mind protests the obvious? It reminds one of the Stalin apologists who refused to acknowledge the show trials, executions and massacres Stalin carried out.

Its revealing to realize their are those who spread such propoganda without reflection or guilt, accusing others of heresy should they doubt the true "vision."


No sh it!!
Why doesn't he just don a turban, grab and AK and go help his friends in Lebanon.

When you are speaking rationally
I respond in kind. I may agree with all you said above, but that does not translate into Israel folding without our help. That is plain, Islamic Jiahdist, Anti-American sh it. The fact is Israel survived for 25 years, through three very major conflicts and a smaller skirmish (56) and did so without U.S. aid. I have previously posted the amount and type of aid the U.S. gave Israel and this is provable fact. U.S. aid to Israel came and went and was all civilian in natue until after the 67 war. Even after that, American weapons sales and military aid were sparse until after the 73 war.

When you spout bullsh it like "Israel would collapse without U.S. military aid" you are being a rhetorical a sshole and deserve to be called on it. I think I'm most angered by this because you, of all the people I read here, know better.

I did, in fact, address a single issue
Israel's existance without U.S. support (especially military support) and the completely rediculousness of that statement. It angered me because it is pure islamo-fascist, hate America first rhetoric with little basis in fact. All economies go through ups and downs and I somehow believe Israel would cope if the U.S. decided to pull all aid from Israel. (they have before)

As to your idea that Israel is creating somekind of "reservation" system for Palestinians, I just don't know how to answer that as it is so nutty sounding a thought. I believe they would be better off continuing to keep the Palestinians in exile, as far away as possible. Instead, they agreed to a land for peace deal and are continuing to work towards it's completion in the West Bank in spite of the present violence in Gaza and Lebanon.

It may indeed turn into a prison-like environment is the Palestinians continue violence toward Israel. I see it as a he ll of a good will gesture by Israel to continue any kind of brokered deal. If they acted like many of their Arab neighbors, they would just kill the whole lot of them and be done with it.

Mark they don't call Roy the Nightstalker for nothing
He knows when you're asleep.

roy knows better?
Where's the evidence to support that assertion.
On every subject, roy spouts paranoid theories and his personal opinion as if they were proven fact.

Thanks & You're Welcome
Yes, I do agree with you.

In fact, on more than one occasion I posted tha we should have listened to Secretary Powell and Anthony Zinni (actual Generals with war experience) instead of the Neo-conservatives. For example:

Name: Rhampton
Subject: 10 Reasons for General Unrest
Date/Time: 20 Apr 2006, 4:02 PM

Gen. Anthony Zinni, USMC, (Ret.)
Remarks at CDI Board of Directors Dinner, May 12, 2004

I thought about how much has been misconstrued about what has happened so far, especially at a time when I commanded CENTCOM and we were in the process of containing Iraq as part of the policy... And what I thought I would do tonight is go through the TEN CRUCIAL MISTAKES TO THIS POINT to this point that we've made...

8. The eighth problem was the insufficiency of military forces on the ground. There were a lot more troops in my military plan for operations in Iraq. I know when that plan was presented, the secretary of defense said it was "old and stale."

Israel's chances of survival
Let's look at the pluses and minuses. In Israel's corner is that fact that of its neighbors, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan have all been purchased by the United States. And in the US, Democratic support runs every bit as deep and Republican-- very likely deeper in fact.

That leaves weakened and incompetent Lebanon and Syria, which are totally unable to conduct any offensive form of warfare. Ditto Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and any other odd players. So Israel currently has nothing to fear from anyone. The sides are described thusly: one one side, thousands of tanks, 165,000 soldiers, GPS and laser guided missiles and state of the art eyes in the sky. On the other side, 3,000 guys with rockets.

No one, least of all me, is going to give any credence to the possibility that Israel will succumb to what is absurdly called "radical Islam". Not now.

On the down side, Israel is far from being a basket case. But its economic health is certainly dependent on the largesse of the Unitd States and other creditors. Here's the CIA World Factbook:

" Israel has a technologically advanced market economy with substantial government participation. It depends on imports of crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. Despite limited natural resources, Israel has intensively developed its agricultural and industrial sectors over the past 20 years. Israel imports substantial quantities of grain, but is largely self-sufficient in other agricultural products. Cut diamonds, high-technology equipment, and agricultural products (fruits and vegetables) are the leading exports. Israel usually posts sizable current account deficits, which are covered by large transfer payments from abroad and by foreign loans. Roughly half of the government's external debt is owed to the US, which is its major source of economic and military aid. The bitter Israeli-Palestinian conflict; difficulties in the high-technology, construction, and tourist sectors; and fiscal austerity in the face of growing inflation led to small declines in GDP in 2001 and 2002. The economy rebounded in 2003 and 2004, growing at a 4% rate each year, as the government tightened fiscal policy and implemented structural reforms to boost competition and efficiency in the markets. In 2005, rising consumer confidence, tourism, and foreign direct investment - as well as higher demand for Israeli exports - boosted GDP by 4.7%."

Unemployment stands at 9%, public debt is 99.7% of GDP and one in five Israelis lives below the poverty line (data do not include the OT's). So if American support ever erodes, they are likely to rapidly become has-beens.

Demographically they are being swamped by the world's fastest growing populations, by ethnicity: the Palestinians and the Lebanese Shia.

To me there is no doubt whatsoever as to the reason for Israel's quickness to use devastating force in response to trivial threats. They are scared s...less.

Let's wait twenty years, and see how they're doing.

Roy's Limited candle power
The constant drumbeat of hate Israel, hate America continues. Accompanying comes the usual mullah news. Of course the Demorats have the same support as the GOP does, this explains why they haven't been able to have a president win with a majority in two consecutive terms for sixty years. Or how they have managed to go from complete control of the government to minority status for the first time in sixty years. Yes sir, that's broad support in my book, even more so if you canvass cementaries and prisons.

Again Roy demonstrates how reading the crystal ball is a hazardous thing to do while under the influence of the Grand Order of Mullahs. I seem to recall a bunch of ragtags operating in Afganistan managed to kill more Americans than any other power has managed without having a single combat division or aircraft. How does the wizard of Allah explain this? Oh well, lets ignore the disagreeable facts when they detract from Roy's thesis.

Hmmm, isn't the US current account out of whack to the tuine of 20 billion monthly? Isn't it financed by transfer payments and foreign loans? Well again, lets ignore the facts shall we as we proceed to bray. What is the unemployment level in France, over 11%, well now how does one account for that? Public debt in France is in excess of 140% of GNP, oops lets not examine that either. France's economy is growing at perhaps 1%, if accurate, or at a significantly slower rate than Israel's. But let's not let the facts stand in the way of Roy's presentation.

France's population is about to become majority Islamic within 50 years, hmm, again lets not mention this fact if it makes Roy argument less plausible or detracts from the picture he wishes to paint.

No doubt this is the reason for the French police use of force as they are scared of a growing Islamic population bomb. Again Roy's ana;ysis demonstrates a limited candle power and inability to absorb basic facts in an objective manner.

Indeed lets see how the French are doing in 20 years.

My bets are on Roy's mullahs, especially since we are dealing with the French.

proof of Iranian involvement with Hezbollah

Whatever you say
It will be what it is, let's wait.

A perfectly good case can be made that Gaza was deliberately implemented to be a prison. Israel controls access on her border, Egypt controls access on her border and Gaza has no seaport. Therefore if there is no ingress or egress allowed, it is a prison.

While the world's attention has been diverted to Lebanon, here's what has been happening inside the prison (extract):

"The media assumption is that in withdrawing from Gaza in September 2005, Israel ended its conflict with at least that portion of Palestine and gave up, as [CBS Face the Nation host (and CBS Evening News anchor) Bob] Schieffer put it, “what the Palestinians supposedly wanted.” In reality, however, since the pullout and before the recent escalation of violence, at least 144 Palestinians in Gaza had been killed by Israeli forces, often by helicopter gunships, according to a list compiled by the Israeli human rights group B’tselem. Only 31 percent of the people killed were engaged in hostile actions at the time of their deaths, and 25 percent of all those killed were minors.

"From the time of the pullout until the recent upsurge in violence, according to B’tselem’s lists, no Israelis were killed by violence emanating from Gaza. Although during this period Palestinian militants launched some 1,000 crude Kasam missiles from Gaza into Israel, no fatalities resulted; at the same time, Israel fired 7,000 to 9,000 heavy artillery shells into Gaza. On June 9, just two weeks before the Hamas raid that killed two Israeli soldiers and captured a third, an apparent Israeli missile strike killed seven members of a Palestinian family picnicking on a Gaza beach, which prompted Hamas to end its 16-month-old informal ceasefire with Israel. (Though Israel has denied responsibility for the killings, a Human Rights Watch investigation strongly challenged the denial, calling the likelihood of Israel not being responsible “remote”; Human Rights Watch, 6/15/06.) Hamas has repeatedly pointed to the Gaza beach incident as one of the central events that prompted its cross-border raid—indeed, Schieffer’s own CBS Evening News has reported that claim (CBS Evening News, 6/25/06). Even so, Schieffer seems unable to recall this recent event (see Action Alert, 6/30/06).

"Hamas also points to the capture of some of its leaders by Israel as the provocation for its raid. If Israelis had every right, as Schieffer said, to respond with force to the capture of one soldier by Hamas, then how are Palestinians expected to feel about the more than 9,000 prisoners captured and held by Israel—including 342 juveniles and over 700 held without trial (Mandela Center for Human Rights, 4/30/06)?

"Moreover, Israel’s withdrawal did not remotely give Palestinians “what they wanted.” In addition to its continued deadly attacks on Gaza, Israel has continued to control Gaza’s borders and has withheld tens of millions of dollars of tax revenue in response to Hamas’ victory in democratic elections in January 2006. Israel’s actions crippled the Gaza economy and prompting warnings from the U.N. of a looming humanitarian disaster (UNRWA, 7/8/06).

"None of this is to say that Hamas, which has regularly ignored the distinction between military and civilian targets, does not share part of the blame for the current crisis. But to act as though Israel had been behaving as a peace-loving neighbor to Gaza until the soldier’s capture is a willful rewriting of very recent history."

So it is O.K. to lob rockets into Israel as long as no one is killed…
Good-bye roy.

The native French call Muslim Arabs "Blackfeet", which in that context means "N....r"...
"France's population is about to become majority Islamic within 50 years..."

Charlemagne and Roland turn over in their graves.

no, it's ok to lob rockets so long as only Jews are killed.

you don't need a seaport to have access to the sea
Your willingness to believe any evil, so long as it's about Jews, shows your true heart.

Sorry mark, I forgot
It's all the fault of them da mn jooooooosss!!

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