Sunday, July 30, 2006

Tactics, Strategy, Grand Strategy

Lets look at Israel's strategy and grand strategy in the current war and see how it affects what happens next. First however I'd like people to look at the morale factor in Israel. Later we will look at the morale factors in the Arab and Persian world. The will of the people and their expectations play a crucial role in the outcome of any war. Especially this one. So first off:

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he [it is] that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Deu 31:6

We will get back to this later. First thing I'm going to look at is the foundations of war fighting.

The foundation of the art of war is fear and deception. Sun Tzu is always good for a quote:

Warfare is the Way of deception.
Therefore, if able, appear unable,
if active, appear not active,
if near, appear far,
if far, appear near.
If they have advantage, entice them;
if they are confused, take them,
if they are substantial, prepare for them,
if they are strong, avoid them,
if they are angry, disturb them,
if they are humble, make them haughty,
if they are relaxed, toil them,
if they are united, separate them.
Attack where they are not prepared, go out to where they do not expect.
What brought that to mind was trying to figure out from Israeli maximum objectives and the unfolding of the battle what was actually happening.

Let us start by looking at deception plans in WW2. One of the most interesting deception plans in the Middle East was Plan Bertram used in the Battle of El Alamein in 1942.General Montgomery did a build up of equipment and supplies right under the German noses. A number of interesting deception plans of that era are described in a book "Bodyguard of Lies" by Brown which discusses British and American deception plans.

Since public morale and desires fit so much into how this war is prosecuted and what the outcome will be let us look at that Biblical quote. Banners with excerpts from that qoute (or a similar one) line the streets of Israel. The banners say Be of Strength and Courage!.So despite the rocket attacks morale is high in Israel. This is a war the Israelis want to fight despite the losses.Why would that be? Because they has finally come to the conclusion that the war is for their survival. There is nothing their enemies want except their deaths. I predicted this over a year ago when I discussed the Sharon Plan. There I talked about Gaza. Clearing the Lebanon Problem is a bonus.

The morale in Lebanon? Low. Few want to die for Hizbollah. Other than the fighters and many people forced to stay on the battlefields to act as human shields.

In Syria the people are agitating to get into the fight. Hizbollah is dying and the Syrian Army is idle. Right now morale and war fever is high. This is good for dictators. It means that when they use harsh measures they will have support.Even dictators must have some base of support. Assad came in as a reformer. However he has changed his tune.
Assad's response has been to ditch all pretenses of reform and appeal directly to the Islamic "street" in Syria and the wider region. That's when the posters of Assad flanked by Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad became ubiquitous in Damascus.

This spring, when the Prophet Muhammad cartoon controversy turned ugly, Assad's security police stood by while a mob torched the Danish Embassy in Damascus. Also this year, for the first time in many years, Syrians were allowed to publicly celebrate the Prophet's birthday.

Last week, cars with pale yellow Hezbollah flags paraded through the streets of Damascus, and cheers erupted in many neighborhoods when TV broadcast the news that Hezbollah rockets had hit Israeli targets.

All of this has greatly boosted the prestige of Assad. The young president now portrays himself as the defiant defender of the "resistance," determined to confront the U.S. and Israel everywhere in the Middle East.
That street is going to force him into a war if he wants to maintain his credibility as a strong leader. The only kind that survives in a dictatorship.

In Iran morale is low. There is a strong movement against helping Hizbollah. The government of course has different ideas.

The Arab world is rising up behind behind Hizbollah. The Egyptians lost the Six Day War and here Hizbollah has been fighting for over two weeks and is still in the field. A moral victory if not a real one.

So there is the civilian morale factors. There are of course others which I intend to ignore for purposes of this analysis.

Next I'd like to state Israel's maximum war aims, followed by how the war in Lebanon started and evolved. What is the desired outcome for Israel? The defeat of Hizbollah, Syria, and Iran.How do you do that? Pin the Hizbollah. Take the Bekaa resupply area. Syria gets involved out of popular desire, and because the Bekaa Valley is on the Syrian border. Iran comes in to support Syria. America takes out Iran.

So those are the goals and grand strategy. What strategy and tactics are required to achieve those goals?

The first part of the strategy was to give Hizbollah 24 hours to respond to Israeli demands to return its soldiers or else. With no response Israel crossed the border but didn't get far. Raids. Reconisance in force. Day after day. Occasionally new troops are called up. Stupid Olmert insist that they be used to relieve front line troops. They rotate in and out of what amounts to a live fire exercise. Hizbollah is being attrited but no ground is being gained. The Israeli Army and government is looking more and more incompetent by the day. Israel defeated five armies in the Six Day War. It is now going on two weeks plus and 5,000 Hezbollah fighters are holding the mighty Israeli Army within a few miles of the border. The front is static. The hizzies are winning. This is no Six Day War. The Israeli forces are checked by what appears to be a force barely adequate to hold them for a day let alone several weeks. Things are not going well. Not going well at all. The Arab street is convinced of the ineptness Israeli generalship. The civilians in goverment from Olmert on down are giving the military bad advice. Who put those galoots in charge? The thing that is fooling most people is that Olmert, Peretz, and the rest look and sound like nebbishes. And they are mostly Labor. Not known for their warrior spirit. All the better. And all the reporting about cabinet meetings saying there is dissention in the cabinent and they are holding the troops back.

That is almost all deception. Its purpose is to entice Syria and Iran. If that doesn't work secondary pressure can be brought from an inflamed Arab street. And the Arab street is on fire. So much so that Saudi Arabia has been forced to change its "official position" on the war. And the troop rotations? Well when the big push comes you will have a lot of very well and recently trained troops to lead the way and teach others. Reducing casualties.

In any case Hizbollah is pinned. Its forces reduced and the axis of advance to the Bekka Valley has had the chance and intensity of flank attacks reduced.

This is what is called preparing the battlefield. Such artistry hasn't been seen since WW2.These folks will go down as some of the greatest warriors in this century or any other. The only thing that could hurt this plan is lack of time.

That has always stopped the Israelis in the past. Not this time. Condi is making painfully slow progress. At the start Bush delayed any diplomacy for a week. Her latest gambit is proposing a multinational force (Which does not exist) to separate the two warring parties when the fighting stops (which it hasn't). Hizbollah can't stop fighting. Its street cred is on the line. How can it be a "resistance" if it stops resisting? So nothing useful diplomatically will be done for weeks. It does help to quiet the French street though. French diplomacy is also enhanced since Condi is proposing the French military be the lead force. Best to keep the jaw jaw going while the war war continues for those who need to believe something is being done by the International Community to stop the war.

What about American leadership? Bush is telling what is going on:

Bush said Thursday[27 July '06] that Iran is connected to Hizbullah, and now was the "time for the world to confront this danger."

Fortunately he is so stupid no one will believe him.

The next move to look for is an Israeli advance into the Bekaa. Expect it in less than a week.

What is the end state in Iran? The Iranian people who are already unhappy with the government and might over throw it for losing a war. Think Russia 1917. If they start lobbing missiles at Israel, Bush might invoke his mutual defence promises to Israel and attack Iran.

The really interesting thing is that the hizzies, Syria, and Iran are so enmeshed in the Israeli plan that no matter what move they make now it will only give them bad and worse options. At this point you could lay the plan out in front of them and it wouldn't make any difference. They are defeated.

What about the hizzies? The primere rule of guerilla warfare is no fixed positions. Mobility. The typical mistake guerillas make is transitioning to normal military formations before the field is appropriately developed. i.e. the opposition weakened and sufficient recruiting and training is possible. Hizbollah hoped to beat this problem by taking over the Lebanese Army. The Israelis beat them to it and forced them into a war for which they were not prepared. That is called a spoiling attack. The number one mistake that Hizbollah made at the start of all this was that they were a guerilla movement that didn't know where its sanctuary was. They thought it was in Lebanon on the border with Israel. That thinking forced it to fight toe to toe with a regular army that had tanks and an airforce. Almost always the death of guerilla movements. Get out the old vegematic. Slice and dice time.

As to book larnin' may I suggest "Strategy" by B.H.L. Hart. The premiere book in the field and required reading for all the American Armed Services. There is a nice addendum by General Yigal Yadin discussing battles in the 1948 war for Independence. Another set of books that is easy to read and also required reading by all the American Ground Services (Army and Marines) is Gordon R. Dickson's Dorsai series. Start with "Tactics of Mistake".

I am having so much fun with this. Sadly.

Well death to our enemies. Coming soon to a theater near you.


My thinking for the above article developed out of comments made at the following blogs.

Power and Control
Winds of Change
Winds of Change
Winds of Change
Winds of Change
Captain's Quarters
Captain's Quarters

Update 01 Aug '06 0438z

For those interested in my defence of the above speculations see the following threads:

Winds of Change
Captain's Quarters
Bellmont Club

Update: 02 Aug '06 0519z

As I predicted above Israel has moved into the Bekaa. Some good maps are linked as well.

Update: 12 Aug '06 0258z

Unfrozen Caveman Linguist links with a very good analysis. (article dated 10 Aug)

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Friday, July 28, 2006

How Israel Could Attack Syria

I'm thinking the about the Desert Campaign Monty fought ('42 I think) where he did a build up right under the German noses.

Next new moon is around 23 August. So you add troops. They rotate with those in the field. You pull them back. Add more troops. Get them in live fire excercises against the hizzies. Pull them back. Rotate. Things are going poorly for the Israelis. A few thousand hizzies are holding them up. This draws troops to the front. i.e. off the flanks of the proposed advance axis.

Set up a pattern of operations.

Wait for the invitable relaxation: everything normal. The Israelis are doing their usual. Barely holding their front against the hizzies. Drawing in more hizzies as they kill those at the front. The front is static. The hizzies are winning. This is no six day war. The Israeli forces are checked by what appears to be a force barely adequate to hold them for a day let alone several weeks.

Then boom. A run on the Bekaa with a feint towards Beirut. Or perhaps a feint on the Golan or Shebba Farms front.

Syria comes in boom boom. No more air force . No more army.

There is significant agitation in Syria to get in to the fight. If Syria comes in on its own it will be closer to the full moon. Which is about 8 Aug.

Either way Syria is on the target list IMO.

Inspired by this discussion at Captain's Quarters.

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The Syrian View

I have just come across a very interesting Syrian blog Amarji - A Heretic's Blog. He has some very interesting things to say about the Syrian situation in a post he calls Taunting Lions!.

The repeated calls on the Assads of Syria to allow for cross-border operations to take place in the Golan may not be as “innocent” and naïve as they might seem at first. Indeed, when they are issued by an opposition figure like Mamoun al-Homsi, such calls are actually meant to taunt and gaud the Assads into taking a course of action that better fits their very nationalistic rhetoric, but one, nonetheless, that will bring about a confrontation that the Assads know very well that they cannot handle and that will only serve to expose them for the national frauds that they are. As such, calling for the liberation of the Golan is “smart” politics at this stage.

The only problem with it, of course, is that they, the Assads, are so addict on brinkmanship that they may find it necessary, if such calls were reiterated widely and frequently enough in the country, and are adopted by no lesser figures than the likes of Salahuddin Kiftaro, the son of the country’s late Grand Mufti, who had been first to issue such a call anyway, to take the gamble and allow for some operations to indeed take place across the border regardless of the consequences, which are bound to be quite dire, as we can all imagine. Or, the entire issue might simply be taken out of their hand all together and be forced upon the scene by some hapless nationalist or Islamist group acting on its own initiative.
Serious aggitation in Syria to join in the war. Interesting. It is just what I have been hoping for.

Even more interesting is this comment by Fares in this post Betting on the Assads.
The regime has commited grave mistakes regarding Lebanon and also how to deal with the Americans as well as choosing a looser Ally like Iran. There is no cold war anymore but it seems like people in the ruling circles as well as blind supporters of the regime still think that there is still the soviet union to clean up all kind of messes.

I think if Israel continue to suffer more losses, they will score a political victory by bombing Assad's palaces and Assad won't be able to retaliate and that could be a good reason for a military coup by someone in the army which will be given cover by France.
You know Fares could pass for an Israeli with this comment. Interesting times we live in. If we can make it through the summer without a nuclear war the world could be a much better place in the fall.

Visit Fares' blog here.

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Is Iran on the March?

Iran says it has dispatched suicide bombers to Lebanon. Their purpose?

The expeditionary force, dubbed by the Iranian regime as "Loyalists of Islamic Justice," will be the first ever to be sent to Lebanon. According to the report, the force is compiled of seekers of the Shahadah (death for the sake of heaven), who are set to depart from Tehran after the noontime prayer on Wednesday.

Other reports claimed that two groups made up of 27 volunteers have already left for Syria on their way to Lebanon. The volunteers' task, after having undergone a months-long training, would be to carry out suicide bombings aimed at wreaking havoc and fear around military and civilian targets. According to the report, the group's mission is to trigger a civil war within the divided Lebanese society, and cause the situation in the country to deteriorate even further.
So there we have it. Death, destruction, and a civil war.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in this regard that "the storm in the Middle East is approaching. Those who caused the storm shall bear the consequences."
I think he is entirely correct. However, like any one who has made a bargain with the devil it may not work out exactly as he dreams.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Look at the Map

Here is an excellent map showing UN positions in Lebanon and Israeli incursions.

It shows why Syria is on full alert.

I'm still of the opinion that Israel must take out Syria to win this fight. Since I believe that Israel wants to win I'm betting that there will be an attack on the Bekaa Valley at minimum within the next week (tonight is the new moon). Likely expanding into a war with Syria.

We shall see.

Here is a link to the Counter Terrorism Blog main page. Which is where I found the map.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Beaten by a Man in a Coma

I was visiting Bill Bradley's site (thanks Instapundit). Bill has just figured out that we are in for a long war. So I left this message:

Geez Bill,

Long perod of conflict. Bush said that on 9/12. And 5 years pass and you are just catching on. I thought the Dem mantra was “we are smarter”.

Whipped again by the dunce Bush.

Perhaps the Dems have put the stupid hat on the wrong party.

BTW any one who was paying attention could have predicted this (or at least read about it) a year ago. Admittedly the link only covers the Palis. Hizbollah is a bonus.

Sharon Plan.

What is amazing is that even the Palis couldn’t help themselves from falling into Sharon’s trap. Ya got to wonder how they feel these days. Beaten by a man in a coma. (i.e. Palis are even more brain dead than Democrats)

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Dove's Eye View says Israel: There Is A Limit. I reply to her (quite a charming lady I might add if you can judge from the picture):

It is unfortunate that there was no limit when katyushas rained on Israel.

Please explain to me Lebanon Lover Dove why there is no limit for Hizbollah? Only limits for Israel.

Until you limit Hizbollah I fear the Israelis will not listen.


The Jews have been hated for a very long time. We are used to it. It ceases to move us. When we had no state we were hated as the "wandering Jew". With a state we are the hated Zionists.

So hate away.

If you want to do something useful return the two soldiers and stop the rocket barrages.

I'm an American. I tell my President (along with 68% of my fellow Americans), do not restrain Israel until Hizbollah changes its mind.

By best advice? If Lebanon matters to you change Hizbollah's mind.


The Doves of Hizbollah.

Hossein Safiadeen also reinforced earlier threats by Hizbullah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah to widen the scope of attacks, which have included unprecedented missile strikes deep into northern Israel.

"We are going to make Israel not safe for Israelis. There will be no place they are safe," Safiadeen told a conference that included the Tehran-based representative of the Palestinian group Hamas and the ambassadors from Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian Authority.

"You will see a new Middle East in the way of Hizbullah and Islam, not in the way of Rice and Israel."

Clear evidence of Hizbollahs plans. So by all means join in the hatred Ms. Dove. Unfortunately your hatred does not merit the attention that the hatred of Hizbollah does.

You have no rockets.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Diplomatic Miracle

According to a Abu Lanjri Al Farrân post at Anecdotes from a Banana Republic this war has brought the Israelis and the Saudis together (along with a bunch of vitriol of course). My response to him was:

Abu Lanjri Al Farrân,

Well, well, well. According to you the war has produced at least one good result. The alliance of Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Hizbollah can produce diplomatic miracles impossable even with all the might and connivance of the USA.

They are powerful indeed.
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I Found One

Over at Chercheuse d'or Disgusted Lebanese says exactly what I have been saying for a while:

Carine, If we really care about creating a free and independent Lebanon then we have a very weird way of showing it. We are willing to sit aside and allow a privately armed group to ditate its whims and to hijack effectively whatever is left of the country and then when we are asked to pay the price for our failure we pack up and leave. If the above is truthful, and I think that it is, then the nation that you are weeping for has never existed except in your immagination. If we think that we deserve a country then let us act responsibly and prove that we are up to the task.
Less than a week ago I was saying where are the MEN of Lebanon? If the above is any clue I think I have found one.

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It is Iran and Syria

Haaretz has an interview with Martin Kramer and number of other Middle East Experts on how they see the war and what is likely to happen afterwards. Mr. Kramer believes as I do that the attack on Hizbollah amounts to a spoiling attack in the war against Iran.

"It was a strategic miscalculation. Hezbollah didn't internalize changes in the broader strategic climate. The top regional issue today is Iran's nuclear drive, not the fate of Hamas or the Palestinian issue. If Hezbollah had understood this fully, it would have laid very low until needed by Iran in a mega-crisis with the United States. At that point, its threats against Israel would have been added to the overall deterrent capabilities of Iran, and might have caused the United States to think twice.

"Hezbollah apparently didn't understand this. If Iran was directly involved in the decision, it also shows an erosion of discipline in Iran's own decision-making process. Iran had nothing to gain from this little adventure, and a lot to lose. It may well be that President Ahmadinejad's rhetoric is beginning to cloud judgment in Tehran.

"In any case, it is in the interests of Israel and the United States to deal with the Hezbollah threat now, and not later in the midst of a far more dangerous crisis over Iran's nuclear plans. So a war now to degrade Hezbollah is a shared Israel-U.S. interest, which means that Israel can wage it without many constraints.
Mr. Kramer goes on to point out that Hizbollah and its masters are not exactly masters of strategy. Not only that, he points out that this is not the first time that the Arabs have made a similar mistake. What we call here in the USA "stuck on stupid".
"Incredibly, Nasrallah is making the same mistakes as Nasser. By puffing himself up, he isn't deterring Israel; at this point, he's only making himself and his movement a bigger and more legitimate target. Hezbollah has become a prisoner of its own myth, which is that at any moment it can go one-on-one against Israel - and win. It can't, and now is the best opportunity to prove it - to Lebanese Shiites, to all Lebanese and to the rest of the Arab-Muslim world.

"At any moment in time, it is Israel that can turn Nasrallah either into a cinder or a shadow figure like Osama bin Laden, reduced to sending defiant missives from some basement or cave. And Israel can scatter the big chiefs of Hezbollah like the United States scattered the Taliban. This has to be the objective - bin Ladenization of Nasrallah, Talibanization of Hezbollah - and it is not beyond reach. Of course, bin Laden and the Taliban still exist, but they aren't a regional or global factor. That is the objective here as well.
Mr. Kramer goes on to speculate that the Hizbollah snatch of the two soldiers may have come about becauser of Hizbollah weakness, not strength.
"Hezbollah basked in the admiration of many Lebanese after Israel's withdrawal, but that aura has been eroded steadily over the past few years. This is because, following Israel's withdrawal, Hezbollah's continued 'resistance' along the border fell outside the national consensus.

"As a result, we have seen more and more political figures in Lebanon criticize Hezbollah. The Nasrallah personality cult has been a way to keep the faithful in line. Not so long ago, Hezbollah thugs took to the streets after a Lebanese television station broadcast a satire of Nasrallah. The mob burned tires and cars. The episode showed that Nasrallah's moral standing had slipped, and that the movement had been reduced to intimidation to keep up the facade.

"The point here is that Hezbollah is no longer the darling of Lebanese nationalism, and its recent conduct has made it increasingly look like something foreign. This is certainly the message that is being sent by leaders of most other factions in the country: that Hezbollah has usurped the power of decision-making on war and peace from the legitimately constituted government, and that it is acting outside the Lebanese national interest. The more Israel intensifies its attacks, the more that criticism is likely to spread - even among Shiites. I do not see the country rallying around Hezbollah."
Colonel Charbel Barakat is a Christian from the village of Ein Ibel in southern Lebanon. After Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 he fled to Israel. He now lives in Toronto. He talks about the true nature of Hizbollah:
"Hezbollah is an organization that lives on blood. If you do not satisfy its appetite, it will turn to prey. Regrettably, you allowed the Hezbollah monster to grow under your nose. That happened in 2000, when Israel fled from Lebanon. Israel betrayed us, its friends for 40 years. It was more important for prime minister Ehud Barak to fulfill his election promise that by July 2000 the IDF would be out of Lebanon, than to take care of restraining the monster." ..... Barak should have posed conditions to the United Nations and to the Lebanese government which would not have allowed Hezbollah to situate itself in the south, certainly not with arms. By his action he gave Hezbollah what even they never dreamed of - all of southern Lebanon. But Barak is not the only one to blame. [Ariel] Sharon also contributed to the situation when he agreed to capitulate to Hezbollah and exchange prisoners - not only Lebanese, but from all the Arab states - in return for one Israeli who had set out to deal in drugs. Israel helped make Nasrallah the true leader of Lebanon."
Colonel Charbel Barakat goes on to talk about the root of the problem. He points out as I have that the problem is not local.
"The problem is bigger than Hezbollah. The problem is Iran and in fact, the whole Middle East. The Arab leaders are stupid if they do not see that if Hezbollah wins, after Lebanon will come the turn of Jordan and Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which also have their Nasrallahs and bin Ladens who are just waiting for a show of weakness."
Well it seems that the Jordanians and the Saudis are not stupid.Ynet news is reporting that despite Syrian calls for talks to end the battle it prefers to work through Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Syria, which appears to be on the losing side, is making demands for a comprehensive Middle East settlement (including prisoner swaps and resolution of the Golan and Shebba farms issuses) as a way to solve the problem with Hizbollah. I don't think that that is going to work. Neither does US Ambasador t the UN John Bolton.
United States rejects Syrian offer for talks: In response to remarks to Reuters by Syrian Deputy Faisal al-Meqdad that Syria is ready to hold talks with the United States to find a solution to the crisis between Israel and Hizbullah, the Americans said they prefer to mediate through Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

"Syria doesn't need dialogue to know what they need to do," US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told Fox News Sunday.

"They need to lean on Hizbullah to get them to release the two captured Israeli soldiers and stop the launch of rockets against innocent Israeli civilians," Bolton said.
It looks like at least another week of war. With any kind of luck we may be able to pull in the Syrians and Iranians. The Maker willing. Well as I have been saying it is not about Lebanon. It is about Syria and Iran. Surprisingly or not President Bush says it is Iran and Syria.

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Human Shields

Civilian Casualties

This image pretty much explains why there are so many Muslim civilian casualties.

Here is one that is even more graphic:

Pali Human Shields

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Iran Asks Germany - Fix the Zionists

This is really strange. Iran has asked Germany for help with the Zionists "problem, and to fix Palestine.

A German government official said on Thursday that letter written by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to German Chancellor Angela Merkel asks her to help solve the Palestinian problem and deal with Zionism.

“There’s nothing about the nuclear issue (in the letter),” the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the extreme sensitivity of the issue for the German government.

“It’s all related to Germany and how we have to find a solution to the Palestinian problems and Zionism and so on. It’s rather weird,” The official, who has seen the letter, said.
Nothing weird about it. Ahmadinejad doesn't know what year this is. He thinks it is 1942 not 2006. He is nostalgic for a different time. How totally quaint.
Berlin’s relations with Ahmadinejad have been complicated by his denial of the Holocaust, in which Germany’s Nazi regime killed six million Jews, and his call for Israel to be wiped off the map.

Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany punishable with up to five years in prison.

“It’s extremely touchy (for the German government),” said the official, adding that the government did not yet know if or how it would respond. “There are a lot of propaganda phrases about Israel and the Jews inside.”
The Germans are going to have a very hard time buying this. In fact it may tip the balance in Germany to Israel's side. in fact it could shift European opinion.

News Reports:
Here is a link to the original Reuters article.
Reuters follow up
Germany Responds.
Der Spiegel

News and opinion:
Ahmadinejad asks Merkel to put on Nazi boots?

Thanks to the Powerline folks for a link.

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Disproportionate Response

Disproportionate Response

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

How Hard Can It Be?

I always ask the Lebanese when I visit their blogs "Where are the Lebanese MEN? Why don't the MEN of Lebanon drive out the Hizbollah?"

I never get an answer.

I guess there are no MEN in Lebanon.

Jordan and Israel work closely together to prevent cross border attacks. When one happens the Jordanians and the Israelis work together to capture and punish the perpetrators. Supposedly the Lebanese are smart and sophisticaed. How come they can't do what the Jordanians do? How hard could it be?

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Global Order is Breaking Up

There are great shifts going on in the geo political landscape.

Rarely have I seen such an uprising, indeed an intifada, against those little turbaned, bearded men across the Muslim landscape as the one that took place last week. The leader of Hezbollah, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, received a resounding "no" to pulling 350 million Arabs into a war with Israel on his clerical coattails.

The collective "nyet" was spoken by presidents, emirs, and kings at the highest level of government in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Morocco, and at the Arab League's meeting of 22 foreign ministers in Cairo on Saturday. But it was even louder from pundits and ordinary people.

Perhaps the most remarkable and unexpected reaction came from Saudi Arabia, whose foreign minister, Prince Saud Al-Faisal, said bluntly and publicly that Hezbollah's decision to cross the Lebanese border, attack Israel, and kidnap its soldiers has left the Shiite group on its own to face Israel. The unspoken message here was, "We hope they blow you away."
I think it ought to be noted that the Arab League made no mention of one of its favorite causes. The Palestinians. I think the Palis have, as usual with their backing of Hizbollah, screwed the pooch. I think we will find within a year or three that the Palestinian question has been resolved. Interestingly enough it was American Carriers and Israeli guns that did the job.

Bush will go down as one of the greatest American Presidents of all time. Not too shabby for a chimp.

Note: see Rantings of a Sandmonkey and Beirut Notes and The War With Israel Is Over and Blogistan Journal and Across the Bay for some of the other voices.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Spoiler Attack

It looks to me like Israel's attack on Hizbollah is a spoiling attack in the upcoming war with Iran. By taking out Hizbollah and its rockets now, Israel has prevented Iran/Hizbollah from using them at a time of their choosing.

Iran has just lost an option in its war with the West.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

War News

I'm going to use this post for links to war news.

News Flashes from Haaretz.

The Rockets of Hizbollah

Olmert speaks of changes in the region.

Big Pharoah is amazed that the Saudis and other Arab countries are (sort of) backing Israel. I look at the players: sort of a scorecard.

Here is a comment I left at the Big Pharoah's:

I must say that maybe the Middle East is waking up and seeing that its obsession with Israel and the financing of death squads and militias may not be the wisest policy in the long run.

Some day the oil will run out. If by that time all you have done is spent your money on fights (losing all the time) there will be nothing. Not even glory. Commerce is the wave of the future.

The first real clue was that the Arab world suddenly got stingy with the Palestinians once Hamas took over. A Persian vs Arab (with its religious connotation as well) idea took over the conflict.

When the shooting is over (October or November - Iran will get included) I do not believe Arab countries will want to keep financing the usual group of thugs. There is no profit in it.
Syria is supplying Hizbollah with rockets. Says former Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz. Who is fluent in Persian (Iran).

The Israeli strategy appears to be designed to do two things. First, the Israelis are trying to prevent any supplies from entering Lebanon, including reinforcements. That is why they are attacking all coastal maritime facilities. Second, they are degrading the roads in Lebanon. That will keep reinforcements from reaching Hezbollah fighters engaged in the south. As important, it will prevent the withdrawal and redeployment of heavy equipment deployed by Hezbollah in the south, particularly their rockets, missiles and launchers. The Israelis are preparing the battlefield to prevent a Hezbollah retreat or maneuver.

Hezbollah's strategy has been imposed on it. It seems committed to standing and fighting. The rate of fire they are maintaining into Israel is clearly based on an expectation that Israel will be attacking. The rocketry guarantees the Israelis will attack. Hezbollah has been reported to have anti-tank and anti-air weapons. The Israelis will use airmobile tactics to surround and isolate Hezbollah concentrations, but in the end, they will have to go in, engage and defeat Hezbollah tactically. Hezbollah obviously knows this, but there is no sign of disintegration on its part. At the very least, Hezbollah is projecting an appetite for combat. Sources in Beirut, who have been reliable to this point, say Hezbollah has weapons that have not yet been seen, such as anti-aircraft missiles, and that these will be used shortly.
Suggested by commetn at Big Pharoah.

I posted this comment:
Iran in control of events? I'm not so sure.

Bush is smiling a lot lately. He is giving Syria a hard time. Adn Iran has done him a favor by promising to get dragged in if Syria is attacked.

I'd say Iran was in charge until Israel "over reacted" in Lebanon. The reaction of the Syrian Foreign Minister screaming at the Saudis et. al. for not backing them against the Israelis is an indication.

Every one expected at worst the usual diplomatic two step. Except the leash on the dog appears at best slack and at worst broken.
atT. P. Barnett.

Imshin has one or two things to say to the Lebanese people. Not all of the things said are complimentary.

The Israeli Defence Minister speaks.
"We do not plan to end this war before reality is transformed," the minister vowed. "We will change the situation as I have stated – the terrorists will no longer be sitting on Israel's northern border. They will not be allowed to continue to purchase arms and missiles. We will no longer turn a blind eye to the axis of evil and terror," Peretz stated.

Commenting on the Lebanese government, he said: "Sovereignty means responsibility. Those unable to rein in operations that take place inside their territory should not blame Israel for its actions."
Normblog presents a perspective from the non-insane left.

jdwill left this link in the comments on another thread. Lots of Lebanese blogs and news.

J Bloggers have lots of links. And a list of upcoming pro Israel rallies.

War and Piece

Op For

Dove's Eye View

Lazer Brody

Michael Ledeen says: it is The Same War


Elder of Zion


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Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Times They Are A Changin'

A lot of folks want to know why things are taking so long to develop.

I believe it takes Israel 6 days to mobilize. This is day four.

Plus it is good to know the phase of the moon. Or look at a lunar calendar.

George Bush has put Syria on Israel's short list.

I don't see how Israel wouldn't do Syria if Syria doesn't bend over and beg for it. The lights are green for as far as the eye can see.

Iran has promised to join in if Syria is threatened. Make us an offer we can't refuse.

People are chosing up sides. Iran and Syria have only the friends they can afford. They have to hope they stay bought.

I don't think this is about limited objectives. Israel and America intend to run the table.


Inspired by the discussion at Former Spook which was suggested by Wretchard.


News Flashes from Haaretz.

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Moderates Arise

I think the most interesting change in the world in the past few days is the rise of moderate opinion in the Middle East.

Sand Monkey talks about the shift in mood in Lebanon.

I think it's very interesting the moodshift that all of my friends- many of them are anti-Israeli- are experiencing towards the attacks on Hezbollah: Many of them think Israel is right at doing what it's doing. Some- whoa re of lebanese orgion- are even hoping for the complete destruction of Hezbollah. It's surreal.
The Augean Stables advise their Palestinian brothers to grow up. He quotes Youssef Ibrahim writing in the NY Sun:
Dear Palestinian Arab brethren:

The war with Israel is over.

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

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

Dear friends, you and your leaders have wasted three generations trying to fight for Palestine, but the truth is the Palestine you could have had in 1948 is much bigger than the one you could have had in 1967, which in turn is much bigger than what you may have to settle for now or in another 10 years. Struggle means less land and more misery and utter loneliness.
The Stables also discusses how the Arab elites are using the Palestinians as cannon fodder. Something I also covered a few months back and more recently as well.

Free Syria talks about the God of destruction
The GOD of destruction needs some sacrifices on his altar and who is better than his loyal servants in the middle east…innocent victims meeting their fate and being fed to their cruel death by the priests of extremist hatefull ideologies. These ideologies are nurtured by injustice and abuse of power, or on the other side feeling insecure with possible guilt deep inside…Witnessing are the big powers who don’t give a shit about Israely, Syrian or Lebanese people…in their mind, we are all a lower race who enjoy fighting each other…let the show continue…just like the slaves used to fight the Lions to entertain the Romans rulers.
Hmmmmm. He puts the Israeli, Lebanese, and Syrian people on the same side. The future of the Middle East may be brighter than these dark days indicate.

Lebanese Bloggers, a group blog with lots of news and views says:
I don't know what to say anymore. Sayyid Nasrallah is still alive and declaring an open war. Where is our President? Where are our Ministers? Prime Minister? Members of Parliament?

All these institutions and the guardians of these institutions are obsolete at this point. Nasrallah is leading the show. He's defying everything and everyone. He is assuming the position of the guardian of the Prophet's Family, against all odds. This is not about Lebanon anymore; this is about Nasrallah's pride.

The Iran-Syria Axis has just fully materialized!
I'd say it was pretty much unanimous. Iran and Syria.

Vox's Den is pretty upset with Nasrallah.
The real tragedy is that there’s only one Hezbollah thug killed until now; meanwhile 60 innocent civilians are lying on the ground. These fanatics justified their existence by pretending that they defended Lebanon against Israel. They are now hiding behind (and under) the civilians they claim to defend. Who’s defending whom exactly?

Go to hell Nasrallah, you and all your terrorists.
Austin Bay has a look at strategy and tactics. While I look at Grand Strategy from an Israeli perspective.

The Jerusalem Post hears the moderate voices.

It is interesting that upprovoked war against Israel has brought the moderates out. Especially in Lebanon and Iraq.

Truth Laid Bear has the latest links

jdwill left this link in the comments. Lots of Lebanese blogs and news.

Normblog presents a perspective from the non-insane left.

J Bloggers have lots of links. And a list of upcoming pro Israel rallies.

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Iran is the Center, Syria is the Key

Operations in Lebanon continue and opinion is congealing. It is Syria and Iran's fault. First some maps. Because you can't tell the players without a score card.

Satelite and political maps of Lebanon

Syria regional map. Clickable.

The question for the next few days is - will Israel and Syria go to war? Well there are reports of Syria shooting at Israel in the Golan. Syria says it will attack the Golan if provoked. And they are plenty provoked as is. Another report of Syrian interest in taking back the Golan.

So what is the line up in the ME? It looks like Syria and Iran against everyone else. Saudi Arabia blames "Hizbullah" (Iran). President Mubarak almost had a deal for Shalit but un-named forces (probably Iran) scuttled the deal.

Lebanese opinion is that their troubles are caused by Hizbollah (Syria and Iran). Lebanon’s Walid Jumblatt believes it is Syria and Iran.

Cox and Forkum blame Syria and Iran.

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Drug War Articles

I needed a place to hold the links to my drug war articles so here it is.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Is Addiction Real?
Addiction or Self Medication?
Genetic Discrimination
Big Mac - heroin attack
Cannabinoids - the Key to many Pains?
Capitalism, Pain and the War on Drugs
PTSD Pot Alcohol & Substance Abuse
Police and PTSD
The Pain Enforcement Administration
Drug War Racism
Drug Related Racism And Reparations
How To Put an End to Drug Users
Why do addicts lie?
What Did You Do In the War Daddy?
The Problem with Drug Addicts
Fear of Marijuana
Why we must not end prohibition
Better than Viagra
The Biggest Cover Up of All
Is your pain legal?
A test for PTSD
What does a drug councillor say
The War On Unpatented Drugs
Interview with a Police Officer.
Cannabis is the Best Medicine
More Vindication
A well known secret
Pot for asthma
Pot Treats Diabetes
The Soldiers Disease
Drugs Are the Treatment
Problem Solving
Punishing the afflicted
PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System
A History of Addiction
Genetic Engineering
The Connection
Anecdodal Evidence
Pot Treats Diabetes
Milton Friedman
Addiction Is A Genetic Disease
Dr. John Beresford Has Passed. The Nazi connection to the Drug War.
Will The Real Cause Of Addiction Please Stand Up
Why most people don't use drugs
Treatment vs Recreation
Class War
Mothers Drugging Newborns

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I watched NBC news for the first time in a long time to catch the latest on Israel. The commentary at the end of segment went something like this: "Israel left Lebanon 6 years ago. They left Gaza a year ago. Why can't they leave Israel alone?" Which goes back to my previous points about Sharon. He has created a situation where even a weak leader can take strong measures.

I do not think he would get serious complaints if he toppled Boy Assad.

Here was my estimation of the situation a year ago: The Sharon Plan 2005. And in July this year: The Sharon Plan one year later. In the Middle East wars are fought by Middle East Rules.

Update: 1137z 13 July '06 Let me add that I believe Sharon will go down as one of the greatest generals of all time because of his very last war. He figured out how to defeat a guerilla campaign in the internet age. He figured out how to win without needing to be there for the final battle of the war. He understood the political and information aspects of the battle. He understood that most of all you have to have a simple good story to tell. The Gaza withdrawal was a preping of the battle field. Looks like NBC got the story. If we are lucky and very good 50 years of peace may follow.

BTW "hasbara" is Hebrew for public relations.

For the latest news:

Hezbollah Attacks. And something about the Palestinians. and Israel Matzav and Israely Cool and Vital Perspective.

A link from the Pajama People. Thanks guys.

Winds of Change links and discusses.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

The War On the Palestinian People

It is so sad. Before Arafat initiated the Second Stupidfada, Israeli and Palestinian economies were integrating. In four years Pali unemployment had gone from around 35% to around 15%. One of Arafat's lieutenants said at the time something like: "men who are eating do not become martyrs". In other words integration was a threat to Arafat's war plans.

The pivotal event in this process was Chairman Arafat's strategic decision to launch the armed uprising of September 2000, popularly known as the "El-Aqsa Intifada," both in its own territories and the State of Israel.10 This followed the breakdown of the Camp David talks of July 2000, and signified Yasser Arafat's rejection of a negotiated settlement. Even before this event, disturbing facts began to surface indicating that the leadership of the PLO had made a policy decision against the creation of a democratic society and to stop the development of economic ties with Israel, one of the main pillars of the Oslo Accords.
The purpose of the suicide bombers was not to kill Jews. Let me state that differently - the killing of Jews was incidental. The purpose of the suicide bombing campaign was to isolate and impoverish the Palestinians. It has served this purpose very well. No lack of martyrs now.

Before Stupidfada II I was a supporter of the Palis. Since then - not so much. They elected a government with a war platform. They are getting the war they wanted. I'm wondering why they are not happy? After all they are getting what they voted for.

It looks like some folks in the Middle East are finally getting it. Here are a few quotes from Iraq the Model
"The problem with the thinking pattern of Arabs is that-unfortunately-it got dominated by the way of thinking of the rulers. The rulers are essentially the enemies of the people and our intellectuals are suffering from schizophrenia. But did the Arabs and Palestinians learn anything from the Israeli reaction?

Did they learn that the human life is the most precious of all the treasures of nations and that all tools of war and peace are reserved to serve this life? Did they learn that for the sake of one person in danger a whole nation would care and worry? While thousands of lives are taken in the secret prisons in Arab countries without remorse or deterrence!

How many Palestinians lost their lives or homes because of this or that reckless mischief of Hamas? Is the Palestinian so cheap to be spent for the sake of a record of fake heroism? Shame on the kidnappers who keep their families and money away from the danger while using the poor as human shields"
Hatif al-Iraqi: Baghdad/Iraq.

So at least some are waking up to who the real enemies of the Palestinians are.

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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Iraq Is the Key

A war leader says Iraq is key to the whole region:

Discussed here and here.

And who would that war leader be? None other than Osama. Who would know better than he does?

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Some Interesting Energy Discussions

Some interesting energy discussions here and here. Of course I get my 2¢ in.


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Monday, July 03, 2006

July 4th Bikinis

This may or may not be work safe.

Patriotic Swim Suits.

Patriotic costumes/underwear.

There are a lot of bikinis on this page. Do your duty. Do not get distracted from the Red, White and Blue.

A a bikini for men.

Male and female matching bikinis.

For those of you wishing to keep the spirit of rebelion alive we have Confederate, Mexican and Texan bikinis. As well as a bunch of American suits.

There is a patriotic bathing suit on on this page. Do your duty and avoid the other images. Unless you are doing undercover work to discover the secrets of our enemies and our friends.

The patriotism displayed here is unmatched. It also has a nice name: American Bikini Shop.

I have located what seems to be a serious case of flag desecration. Fortunately for this young lady the Constitutional Amendment didn't pass this year. None the less, I think it would be a good idea to keep an eye on her.

Another flag desecrating female mocking the uniforms of our troops in the field. Fortunately there is not much uniform here to mock. BTW the dog tags are a nice touch.

More women barely camoflaged and flags.

I'm seeing stars. And red and white stripes. This suit has everything, including a stunning young lady in it.

Stars and stripes or stripes and stars? Two choices.

Naked flag desecration. Tastefully done I might add. Update: what was tastefully done in 2006 is now a porno movie site. You'll have to find your own link. If you are lucky you archived last year's post.

A number of ladies do their patriotic duty.

Nude on a patriotic float. Water, women, and a flag motif. Does it get any better than this? Well I leave that to your imagination.

This young lady starts out patriotically clothed. It must be very hot where she is. Because she finishes with less than she started with, which wasn't much to begin with.

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