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December 27, 2006

John Kerry enjoy the company of all his friends “stuck” in Iraq

Filed under: Iraq, Militær, USA — limewoody @ 10:29 pm

Kerry11.jpg

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December 1, 2006

Nuclaear MULLAHSTAN

Filed under: Global Jihad, Iran, Islam, Mellemøsten, Militær, Terror — limewoody @ 11:54 am

ConclusionIran’s missile and space programs are progressing with singular urgency. No
other country in the world, including established industrialized powers,
comes close to Iran in the number and variety of ballistic missiles in
development or already deployed. The Iranians are covering almost all
technological bases, from ordinary liquid propulsion to storable liquid
propulsion to solid propulsion. Side by side with investing in ballistic
missiles and space launch vehicles, they seem poised to add a cruise missile
component to their strategic forces. The range of their missiles is growing
steadily decade by decade: from the 600 km or so of the late 1980s to 1300
km in the early 1990s, to 2000 km in the early 2000s all the way to
2500-3500 km today. From purely local reach, their missiles’ range grew to
dominate the entire Middle East as well as some portions of Europe. At this
rate, Iranian missiles will dominate the entire continent of Europe by the
end of this decade. Once they perfect their workhorse SLV, their reach will
become truly global.

While the missile forces are built up, Iran is using whatever is already
available to good psychological purpose. Not only are its missiles paraded
in public on a yearly basis; they are frequently alluded to by Iranian
officials in heralding the military prowess of the regime. The transparency
of the Shahab 3 missile program was most impressive. Contrary to the other
three radical regimes in the region who have or have had their own missile
programs – Libya, Syria, and Saddam’s Iraq – the Iranians announced their
missile tests, at least the successful ones, and released impressive
photographic material to the media.

Only recently have the Iranians retreated somewhat from the policy of
transparency. Until then, the amount of material released and the number and
variety of statements was abundant, though there at times conflicting
reports lent the programan air of secrecy cloaked behind a veil of
transparency.

Furthermore, the record is not unmixed. The deluge of images and statements
and the large number of programs have yielded an inconsistent picture. To
date the Iranians have paraded at least three variants of the Shahab 3
missiles, transported by at least four different variants of the basic
transporter-launcher. This does not indicate a truly focused effort. An
average flight test rate of about one per year forall three variantsis not
especially rigorous, and many of those tests apparently ended in some kind
of failure. The acquisition from abroad of a new missile that has never been
tested before may be indicative of some urgency to correct a perceived
deficiency,perhaps some skepticism about the Shahab 3 design. The eight-year
old space program resulted to date in one single launch of a foreign-made
satellite by a foreign SLV. All the indications are that the missile and
space programs have suffered from deficiencies in leadership and
resources.Significantly,thereis noIranian Von Braun and no Iranian Sergey
Korolev behind the overall effort. The disparate programs are making
headway, but in a somewhat chaotic manner.

Yet Iran’s missile and space programs are no paper tigers. They are
obviously the keystones of an overarching defense policy, the objective of
which is first and foremost to deter the US and its allies from blocking
Iran’s path towards regional hegemony. However, today’s weapons of
deterrence are apt to become tomorrow’s weapons of dominance.

If and when Iran perfects its own nuclear weapons, by then it will have
several reliable ballistic and cruise missiles available as means of
delivery.

Nuclear Iran’s missiles will project the power of its radical,
uncompromisingly fundamentalist mastery over Israel and other US allies in
the Middle East, over the entire continent of Europe, and over the US
homeland itself.

It is incumbent for the intended targets to stand up in defense of liberal
democracy against this looming threat.

http://www.tau.ac.il/jcss/memoranda/memo86.pdf

November 13, 2006

EURABIA, UN, IRAN in PROXY WAR AGAINST – GUESS WHO…….

Filed under: Eurabia, Global Jihad, Iran, Islam, Israel, Mellemøsten, Militær, Terror, UN — limewoody @ 8:05 am

FOUR months after Israel launched its onslaught against Hezbollah, the Lebanese guerrillas are back in south Lebanon stronger than ever and armed with more rockets than they had before the conflict, according to Israeli intelligence.During the month-long war, which began on July 12, Hezbollah fired 200 to 250 rockets a day into Israel, killing 43 civilians and terrorising much of the north of the country.

“Since the ceasefire, additional rockets, weapons and military equipment have reached Hezbollah,” said an Israeli intelligence officer. “We assume they now have about 20,000 rockets of all ranges — a bit more than they had before July 12.”

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, has confirmed the Israeli estimate. In a recent interview with al-Manar, the Hezbollah television station, he claimed his organisation had restocked its arsenal and now held at least 30,000 rockets, sufficient for five months of war.

Israeli military intelligence has warned the government that renewed fighting with Hezbollah, which it regards as a terrorist organisation, should be expected as early as next spring.

In response, Israeli forces have taken emergency action. They have postponed a plan to reduce the length of national service — currently 36 months for men and about 24 months for women — and are stepping up production of better armoured tanks.

They are also grouping all special forces into a single new division and are developing laser technology, jointly with the United States, to shoot down Hezbollah’s rockets.

On the border with Lebanon it is easy to understand Israeli concerns. A sniper from the Israeli 50th infantry brigade said last week that Hezbollah was active, although its members wore civilian clothes rather than uniforms.

The sniper, a 24-year-old lawyer from New York on national service, watched through his gun sight as a young man carrying an AK-47 assault rifle climbed from a Jeep. “He was walking quickly and all of a sudden he disappeared into a hidden shelter,” he said. “Then the guy went back to the Jeep and back to the tunnel, checking how quickly he could get there. Then he climbed into the Jeep and drove away.

He added: “We feel that Hezbollah are constantly there, though we rarely see any weapons.”

The Israeli military estimates that at least 5,000 rockets are hidden in secret shelters along the border, which it failed to find before the ceasefire came into effect on August 14.

Iranian-made long-range Zelzal rockets, which could reach Tel Aviv, have been stored in hidden locations. “We’re now in a race to locate the new rockets,” said a Mossad source.

Tracking down the Iranian rockets was one of Israel’s few military successes in the summer. According to sources, the Israeli air force destroyed them on the first night of battle. “We believe Hezbollah have learnt their lesson and it will be much harder to locate them next time,” said the source.

Israel has not yet found a way to tackle the threat from the short and medium-range rockets. It is developing the Nautilus laser-guided cannon in an attempt to intercept them. “It still remains to be seen if the laser gun will work,” said another source. “But it will take up to three years and might be too late for the next war.”

Israel is alarmed at the burgeoning self-confidence of Nasrallah and what it perceives as his intention to undermine Lebanon’s fragile government and take over the country’s politics.

Talks in Beirut to defuse the crisis collapsed yesterday. Nasrallah has set a deadline of tomorrow for his demands to be met or he will stage mass demonstrations.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-2449728,00.html

October 22, 2006

Jihate at West Point: opens Islamic worship space as Muslim cadets increase

Filed under: Global Jihad, Islam, Militær, USA — limewoody @ 8:45 am

WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) _ Muslims at the U.S. Military Academy numbered just two in 2001. This year, there are 32.

Now West Point has opened its first space dedicated to Muslims, a worship hall complete with a pulpit facing Mecca. The space officially opened Thursday.

“I knew the Army had a policy of religious tolerance, but I didn’t know it was to this extent,” said first-year Cadet Ahmed Moomin, 20, from the Maldives.

Until now, Friday prayers were held in an increasingly crowded first-floor office, said Imam Asadullah, the academy’s Muslim cleric. The number of Muslim cadets jumped by 10 from last year.

The new hall is large enough for dozens of followers, he said.

West Point’s Muslim leaders approached administrators last year for help.

“We live in a world where everyone is looking at the United States saying, ‘You’re anti-Islam.’ But here at West Point, that’s not what we do,” West Point Chaplain Col. John Cook said.

Asadullah said the new hall is a strategic move.

“We have cadets here who are going to be the future of tomorrow,” he said. “If we treat them differently from other cadets or other faiths, that will be a cause for future confrontation.”

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny–westpoint-mosque1021oct21,0,1470737.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork

################

Limewoody: “Yeah, Right”.

___

September 19, 2006

Ups: Human Rights Watch on Monday criticized the new UN Human Rights Council for its one-sided attacks on Israel and disproportionate attention to the Middle East.

Filed under: Israel, Mellemøsten, Militær, NGO, Organisationer, UN — limewoody @ 3:04 pm

http://www.israpundit.com/2006/?p=2729#more-2729

September 1, 2006

Hizballah’s Rocket Campaign Against Northern Israel:

Filed under: Global Jihad, Israel, Mellemøsten, Militær, Terror — limewoody @ 4:29 pm
  • From July 13 to August 13, the Israel Police reported 4,228 rocket impacts inside Israel from rockets fired by Hizballah. No geographical area in the world has sustained such a large quantity of rocket strikes since the Iran-Iraq war in the early 1980s.

  • Most rockets fired by Hizballah at Israel were taken from the Syrian arsenal rather than from Iran. On most occasions, the rocket warhead contained anti-personnel munitions, a mixture of explosives and steel balls or fragments that were lethal to all those caught outside.

  • One-fourth of the rockets that landed within Israel landed within built-up areas. During the first two weeks, rocket attacks averaged about 100 per day. Then in early August, Hizballah proceeded to double its rate of fire to a daily average of 200 rocket attacks. There was a decline during the final week, but on August 13, the day before the cease-fire, 250 rockets landed in Israel. Israeli counterattacks apparently had no serious influence on Hizballah’s rate of fire, but had an effect on the accuracy and geography of the attacks.

  • Israel’s losses and damage from Hizballah rocket attacks include 53 fatalities, 250 severely wounded, and 2,000 lightly wounded. There was extensive damage to hundreds of dwellings, several public utilities, and dozens of industrial plants. One million Israelis lived near or in shelters or security rooms, with some 250,000 civilians evacuating the north and relocating to other areas of the country.

  • Early Warning sirens provided timely alarms, saving innumerable lives. Israel’s long-standing policy of constructing public shelters, combined with building codes that require reinforced spaces in private dwellings, proved to be generally effective as a system of passive defense against most of the rockets fired by Hizballah. Nearly 80 percent of fatalities involved persons caught in the open.

  • Rockets and rocket launchers emerged as one of the defining weapons of the second Lebanon War and will remain so in the foreseeable future. This impacts on the security of U.S. and Western interests in the Middle East. Effective response measures must be devised and deployed as soon as possible. Two objectives should be pursued: first, to reduce the “Flash to Bang” (Hizballah rocket launch to Israeli response) cycle time to a few seconds from the time of launcher location pinpointing; and second, to develop and deploy effective and affordable active defense against rockets to protect vital civilian and military installations.


On July 12, 2006, Hizballah crossed the Israeli-Lebanese border in an ambush, killing three Israeli soldiers and kidnapping two wounded soldiers. Five more Israeli soldiers were killed after the army entered Lebanon in pursuit. The following morning (July 13), Hizballah fired a Katyusha rocket from Lebanon that landed on the main street in the Israeli resort city of Nahariya, killing one woman and injuring at least ten people.

From July 13 to August 13, the Israel Police reported 4,228 rocket1 impacts inside Israel from rockets fired by Hizballah. No geographical area in the world has sustained such a large quantity of rocket strikes since the Iran-Iraq war in the early 1980s. The rocket attacks on northern Israel were anticipated and were factored in to the decision to respond in force to Hizballah’s July 12 attack.

Map of Rocket Strikes on Northern Israel

Most of Hizballah’s Rockets Came from Syria

The great majority of rockets fired at Israel came from Syria. They included:

  • Grad-type 122mm Katyusha, range 30 km., warhead 30 kg.
  • Improved Grad 122mm Katyusha, range 50 km., warhead 30 kg.
  • “220mm rocket,” range 70 km (probably Syrian-manufactured Russian “Ouragan” Multiple Launch Rocket System [MLRS])
  • “B302” 302mm rocket, range 100 km, warhead 175 kg. (probably Syrian-manufactured Chinese WS-1 MLRS).
Grad-Katyusha 122mm Rocket
Ouragan 220mm Rocket
“B302” 302mm Rocket
122mm Rocket Launcher
220mm Rocket Launcher

The head of IDF Military Intelligence, Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on August 24 that with the exception of the long-range Iranian Zelzal missiles, most rockets fired by Hizballah at Israel were taken from the Syrian arsenal rather than from Iran.2 However, debris from an Iranian-made 240mm Fajr 3 with a range of 45 km has also been identified. IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on August 16 that Israel was “successful in destroying 90 percent of [Hizballah’s] long-range rockets.”3

Iranian Fajr 3 Rocket
Iranian Zelzal 2 Rocket

On most occasions, the rocket warhead contained anti-personnel munitions, a mixture of explosives and steel balls or fragments that were lethal to all those caught outside. Out of the 53 people killed in Israel by Hizballah rockets, 41 were outside when the attack occurred.

Impact of a 220mm Anti-Personnel Rocket – Exhibit A
Impact of a 220mm Anti-Personnel Rocket – Exhibit B
Impact of a 220mm Anti-Personnel Rocket – Exhibit C
Impact of a 220mm Anti-Personnel Rocket – Exhibit D
Impact of a 220mm Anti-Personnel Rocket – Exhibit E

Hizballah also attacked Israeli naval vessels with the “Noor” (C802) anti-ship missile that killed four Israeli sailors aboard the Israeli Navy Ship INS Hanit on July 14. In addition, Israel Radio reported that at least one of the Hizballah UAVs downed by the Israeli Air Force carried a 30-kg. bomb. This was the first recorded use of UAVs as land attack cruise missiles.

Noor (C802) Anti-Ship Missile

The Effects of Hizballah’s Weapons

Of the more than four thousand rockets that landed within Israel, three-quarters landed in open areas, but one-fourth (972 – 23 percent) landed within built-up areas. The number of longer-range rockets (50+ km.) fired at Israel was approximately 250.

Patterns of fire could be discerned during the course of the war. From July 13 to August 1, rocket attacks averaged about 100 per day, with a daily fluctuation from 33 to 145. Then Hizballah proceeded to double its rate of fire. From August 1 to August 7, there was a daily average of 200 rocket attacks, with a range of 160 to 215. Between August 7 and August 13 there was a decline, with the highest daily figure reaching 160. However, on the final day before the cease-fire (August 13), 250 rockets landed in Israel. At one point during the war, Hizballah achieved a rate of fire of approximately 150 rockets per hour. Overall, Israeli counterattacks, while affecting accuracy and deflecting fire from Haifa during the last phases of the war, apparently had no serious influence on Hizballah’s rate of fire.

It was also noted that Hizballah had changed tactics in August, concentrating more rockets at the same target, and repeating attacks on points it had just attacked, as those in the shelters began to emerge after what they believed was a safe interval.

Israel’s losses and damage suffered from Hizballah rocket attacks include 53 fatalities, 250 severely wounded, and approximately 2,000 lightly wounded. There was extensive damage to hundreds of dwellings, several public utilities, and dozens of industrial plants. Some 500 forest and brush fires were caused by rocket impacts. One million Israelis had to stay near or in shelters or security rooms, with some 250,000 civilians evacuating the north and relocating to other areas of the country. Most economic activity in northern Israel was suspended for a month.

Impact of Hizballah Rocket on Israeli Apartment

Israeli Response Measures

Early Warning sirens provided timely alarms, saving innumerable lives. Israel’s long-standing policy of constructing public shelters, combined with building codes that require reinforced spaces in private dwellings, proved to be generally effective as a system of passive defense against most of the rockets fired by Hizballah. Nearly 80 percent of fatalities involved persons caught in the open.

In terms of active defense measures, most rockets were detected and tracked by early warning means which presumably provided launch point locations. Counter fire by conventional artillery was marginally effective, as were raids by special forces units on rocket launchers and command posts. Attacks on launchers by air power were moderately effective inasmuch as they degraded the accuracy of the rocket launchers and pushed them out of the optimal launching zones against Haifa. Thus, downtown Haifa was not hit during the later phase of the conflict, except during the last day (August 13) when Hizballah staged an extra effort for this purpose.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Rockets and rocket launchers emerged as one of the defining weapons of the second Lebanon War and will remain so in the foreseeable future. It stands to reason that this will impact throughout the Middle East and encourage radical movements to adopt rocket attacks against U.S. and Western forces and assets. Effective response measures must be devised and deployed as soon as possible.

Rockets and launchers are complex targets: there is no silver bullet to do the job, rather, a “tool kit” approach is needed, offering an array of interconnected solutions. The top priority to ensure Israel’s security is to:

  • Reduce the “Flash to Bang” (Hizballah rocket launch to Israeli response) cycle time to a few seconds from the time of launcher location pinpointing.
  • Develop and deploy effective and affordable active defense against rockets to protect vital civilian and military installations.

*     *     *

List of Photos

1. Iranian Fajr 3 Rocket
2. Iranian Zelzal 2 Rocket
3. Noor (C802) Anti-Ship Missile
4. Map of Rocket Strikes on Northern Israel
5. Grad-Katyusha 122mm Rocket
6. Ouragan 220mm Rocket
7. “B302” 302mm Rocket
8. 122mm Rocket Launcher
9. 220mm Rocket Launcher
10. Impact of a 220mm Anti-Personnel Rocket – Exhibit A
11. Impact of a 220mm Anti-Personnel Rocket – Exhibit B
12. Impact of a 220mm Anti-Personnel Rocket – Exhibit C
13. Impact of a 220mm Anti-Personnel Rocket – Exhibit D
14. Impact of a 220mm Anti-Personnel Rocket – Exhibit E
15. Impact of Hizballah Rocket on Israeli Apartment

*     *     *

Notes

1. A note about terminology – a “missile” has a guidance system that can modify its course; a “rocket” has no such guidance system.
2. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/754563.html
3. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/751340.html
*     *     *

Uzi Rubin has been involved in Israeli military research, development, and engineering programs for almost forty years. Between 1991 and 1999 he served as head of Israel’s Missile Defense Organization, and in that capacity he oversaw the development of Israel’s Arrow anti-missile defense system. He was awarded the Israel Defense Prize in 1996. He is the author of “The Global Range of Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program,” Jerusalem Issue Brief 5-26 (June 20, 2006).


Dore Gold, Publisher; Yaakov Amidror, ICA Program Director; Mark Ami-El, Managing Editor. Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (Registered Amuta), 13 Tel-Hai St., Jerusalem, Israel; Tel. 972-2-5619281, Fax. 972-2-5619112, Email: jcpa@netvision.net.il. In U.S.A.: Center for Jewish Community Studies, 5800 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215 USA, Tel. (410) 664-5222; Fax. (410) 664-1228. Website: http://www.jcpa.org. © Copyright. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Board of Fellows of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

The Institute for Contemporary Affairs (ICA) is dedicated to providing a forum for Israeli policy discussion and debate.

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The ambulance hoax – why no missile could have done this

Filed under: Global Jihad, Islam, Israel, Mellemøsten, Militær, Terror — limewoody @ 4:18 pm

By Andrew Bolt

Friday, September 01, 2006 at 02:18pm

A military source I know, who cannot be identified, has checked to see if Israel has any missile that would pop a neat hole in the roof of an ambulance and explode, causing no scorch marks, no shrapnel damage and no fatalities to the people inside.

He checked his findings with army experts and writes (and apologies that the links did not get through) :


There is no weapon that would deliver terminal effects consistent with the pictures, the alleged story and the reputed damage done to ambulance and people
Here are some hard facts easily locatable on the internet via globalsecurity.org which is an invaluable open source free intelligence site.

The Israeli Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV or “drone”) index is here.  As you can see Israel fields 10 UAV types.  Of the ones with technical specifications only the Harpy deploys a weapon payload.  However as it is designed to support suppression of enemy air defence it would deploy a radar seeking missile capable of destroying a hardened air defence radar station.  Clearly a Harpy wasn’t deployed.

A weapon deploying UAV would be one of the remaining three without technical specifications.  Let’s assume it is similar to the US Predator an armed UAV. Here are its specifications and some photos.  As you can see from the front page it deploys a Hellfire missile. Here are the hellfire missile specs and some photos.  The missile itself is 64 inches or about 1.5m long, weighs around 100lb and has an explosive payload of around 35 lbs.

Clearly something like that slamming through a vehicle is going to destroy it even if it doesn’t go off, after all the missile is designed to kill a 70 tonne tank, so a half ton unarmoured ambulance doesn’t stand a chance. 

Now if it didn’t explode there is a 1.5m long 35lb undetonated warhead stuck in the road somewhere near Qana.  No doubt Martin Chulov can go and get a photo of it.  Of course it is possible that Israel has no anti armoured missile armed UAV as well.  I would love to know what Tony Jones’ source is for the Israelis using such a weapon system so that the data can be checked thoroughly.

Israel has two air to surface missiles. The hellfire is not listed so I assume the NT family is the Israeli equivalent.  The Gabriel is an anti shipping missile and the NT family are anti armoured missiles. Unfortunately it has no real detailed specs listed and one non photographic image.  You can see from its range of over 4km (from link page) that it needs to carry fuel and have a large propulsion and guidance unit, so it is probably smaller than the hellfire (less range) but the deliver system is likely to be at least 1m long. 

Once again as it is designed to destroy tanks it would have a significant warhead that would obliterate a lite van ambulance.  If it didn’t detonate it would go right through the floor and would be stuck in the road somewhere posing a significant danger to people in the area.  Perhaps Martin Chulov could confirm with the UN Mine Action Centre in UNIFIL if they have any reports of unexploded missiles stuck in the road near Qana.  Because if any of these weapons went off the vehicle would be incinerated.

Ofcourse there are no lesser warhead missiles listed for Israel, nor any I know of for the US.  Who would field a $2 million missile only to equip it with a $200 war head that couldn’t even stop a van?  It defies logic that this is the case and pursuing this line, as Tony Jones did on “Lateline”, is not so much a case of hope triumphing over common sense or experience, it is absolute idiocy.  And no doubt Tony Jones has previously called “Military Intelligence” an Oxymoron! 

Now going through this has taken me my lunch break.  Of course twenty years military experience is more difficult to replicate but should the “Australian” or the ABC have really wanted to check the accuracy of its claims it could have gone to a military consulting company and got some independent bomb damage assessment from someone who knows what they are looking at.  No doubt a number of people working in Aerospace in Australia, its associated media or companies like Boeing would have been able to provide a more reasonable verification of the story.  But no, Martin Chulov goes and asks the guy who lied to him in the first place if he lied. The answer was a definite “no” with some modifications to the original version of events.  Sounds a bit like “Justice” Einfeld! 

At a minimum the Editor of the Australian owes Alexander Downer and the Australian public a full, fulsome and prominent editorial apology!

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/the_ambulance_hoax_why_no_missile_could_have_done_this/

August 31, 2006

NASRALLAH’S BLUNDER

Filed under: Global Jihad, Iran, Islam, Mellemøsten, Militær, Terror — limewoody @ 10:00 am

August 29, 2006 — WELL, what do you know: What was presented as a “Great Strategic Divine Victory” only a week ago is now beginning to look more like a costly blunder. And the man who is making the revisionist move is the same who made the original victory claim: Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of the Lebanese branch of Hezbollah.In a TV interview in Beirut Sunday, Nasrallah admitted second thoughts about the wisdom of capturing the two Israeli soldiers, an incident that triggered the war: “The party leadership never expected a response on such an unprecedented scale and volume [by Israel],” he said. “Had we known that what we did would lead to this, we would certainly not have embarked upon it.”

For a roundabout way of eating humble pie, this was not bad for a man whom Western media have portrayed as the latest Arab folk hero or even (as one U.S. weekly put it) a new Saladin.

Why did Nasrallah decide to change his unqualified claim of victory into an indirect admission of defeat? Two reasons.

The first consists of facts on the ground: Hezbollah lost some 500 of its fighters, almost a quarter of its elite fighting force. Their families are now hounding Nasrallah to provide an explanation for “miscalculations” that led to their death.

Throughout southern Lebanon, once a stronghold of Hezbollah, pictures of the “martyrs” adorn many homes and shops, revealing the fact that many more Hezbollah fighters died than the 110 claimed by Nasrallah. What angers the families of the “martyrs” is that Hezbollah fighters had not been told that the sheik was starting a war to please his masters in Tehran, and that they should prepare for it.

The fighters found out there was a war only after the Israelis started raining fire on southern Lebanon. In fact, no one – apart from the sheik’s Iranian contacts and a handful of Hezbollah security officials linked to Tehran and Damascus – knew that Nasrallah was provoking a war. Even the two Hezbollah ministers in the Lebanese government weren’t consulted, nor the 12 Hezbollah members of the Lebanese National Assembly. The party’s chief policymaking organ, the Shura (consultative assembly), hasn’t held a full session since 2001.

The “new Saladin” has also lost most of his medium-range missiles without inflicting any serious damage on Israel. Almost all of Hezbollah’s missile launching pads (often placed in mosques, schools and residential buildings) south of the Litani River have been dismantled.

Worse still, the Israelis captured an unknown number of Hezbollah fighters and political officers, including several local leaders in the Bekaa Valley, Khyam and Tyre.

The second reason why Nasrallah has had to backtrack on his victory claims is the failure of his propaganda machine to hoodwink the Lebanese. He is coming under growing criticism from every part of the political spectrum, including the Hezbollah itself.

Last week he hurriedly cancelled a series of victory marches planned for Beirut’s Shiite suburbs after leading Shiite figures attacked the move as “unmerited and indecent.” Instead, every village and every town is holding typical Shiite mourning ceremonies, known as tarhym (seeking mercy), for the dead.

Nasrallah has tried to rally his base by distributing vast sums of Iranian money through his network – by the end of last week, an estimated $12 million in crisp U.S. banknotes. But if Nasrallah had hoped to buy silence, if not acquiescence, he is being proved wrong. Some Lebanese Shiites are scandalized that they are treated by Iranian mullahs as mercenaries, and see Nasrallah’s cash handouts as diyah (blood money) for their dead. And a dead man whose family receives a diyah cannot claim the status of “martyr” and enjoy its prerogatives in paradise.

As the scale of the destruction in the Shiite south becomes more clear, the pro-Hezbollah euphoria (much of it created by Western media and beamed back to Lebanon through satellite TV) is evaporating. Reality is beginning to reassert its rights.

And that could be good news for Lebanon as a nation. It is unlikely that Hezbollah will ever regain the position it has lost. The Lebanese from all sides of the political spectrum are united in their determination not to allow any armed group to continue acting as a state within the state.

The decent thing to do for Nasrallah would be to resign and allow his party to pick a new leader, distance itself from Iran and Syria, merge its militia into the Lebanese army and become part of the nation’s political mainstream.

In last year’s elections, Hezbollah ended up with 12 seats in the 128-seat National Assembly, thanks to a series of alliances with other Shiite groups as well as Christian and Druze parties. As the scale of Nasrallah’s blunder becomes clearer, it is unlikely that Hezbollah would be able to forge such alliances in the future.

To be sure, Nasrallah remains a powerful man. He has hundreds of gunmen at his disposal plus a source of endless supplies of money and arms in Iran. He can still have his political opponents murdered inside and outside Lebanon either by his goons or by hit men from Damascus and Tehran. But his chances of seizing power through a coup de force or provoking a civil war are diminishing by the day.

Arab leaders never resign, even when they admit having made tragic mistakes. And Nasrallah is no exception. In reality, however, Lebanon has already moved into the post-Nasrallah era. And that is the only good news to come out of the mini-war he provoked.

Amir Taheri is a member of Benador Associates

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/nasrallahs_blunder_opedcolumnists_amir_taheri.htm

August 29, 2006

Counterfeit News

Filed under: Global Jihad, Islam, Israel, Mellemøsten, Militær, Terror — limewoody @ 10:11 am

Perhaps you saw the images in your newspaper or on television:

Resident Fellow David Frum  

Resident Fellow David Frum

 

“A Lebanese man counts U.S dollar bills received from Hizbollah members in a school in Bourj el-Barajneh, a southern suburb of Beirut, August 19, 2006. Hizbollah handed out bundles of cash on Friday to people whose homes were wrecked by Israeli bombing, consolidating the Iranian-backed group’s support among Lebanon’s Shiites and embarrassing the
Beirut government. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard (LEBANON)”

This scene and dozens more like it flashed around the planet. Only one thing was missing–the thin wire security strip that runs from top to bottom of a genuine US$100 bill. The money Hezbollah was passing was counterfeit, as should have been evident to anybody who studied the photographs with due care.

Care was due because of Hezbollah’s history of counterfeiting: In June, 2004, the U.S. Department of the Treasury publicly cited Hezbollah as one of the planet’s leading forgers of
U.S. currency.

But this knowledge was disregarded by the news organizations who queued up to publicize Hezbollah’s pseudo-philanthropy. The passing of counterfeit bills was detected not by the reporters and photographers on the spot, but by bloggers thousands of miles away: SnappedShots.com, MyPetJawa and Charles Johnson’s Little Green Footballs. These sites magnified photographs and showed them to currency experts and detected irregularity after irregularity in the bills. (Links to all the sites mentioned here can be found at frum.nationalreview.com)

Maybe it’s too much to expect journalists to be currency experts. But one does expect them to be able to detect a manipulated photograph, especially a crudely manipulated one. Yet it was again Charles Johnson–who is a professional musician by the way–and not a news editor, who caught Reuters distributing faked photographs by its now infamous Lebanese staff photographer, Adnan Hajj.

Hajj used Photoshop software to make fires in Lebanese cities look larger than they were and to transform photos of Israeli signal flares into apparent images of missiles in full flight. For this and other faked pictures, Hajj was fired and Reuters removed almost a thousand of his photographs from its archive.

But the scandal of Lebanese war coverage only begins with Hajj; it does not end there–nowhere close.

In July, respected news organizations like AP, the BBC, Time Magazine, ITN, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and thousands of others broadcast the shocking news that Israeli forces had fired missiles at two clearly marked Red Cross ambulances, igniting intense fires that injured their passengers. Accompanying photographs and then later footage taken by somebody described as a “local cameraman” showed a badly damaged ambulance with a hole in the dead centre of the roof.

Yet as the blogger Zombietime.com has demonstrated, the whole story is a crude hoax. Photographs of the ambulances in question show no signs of blast or burn. Nor was there any damage to the floor of the ambulance–as one would expect if a missile had smashed through the roof. The badly “wounded” and heavily bandaged ambulance driver who appeared in the stories resurfaced in other news footage six days later without so much as a scratch upon him. The hole in the roof was not only perfectly round, but it matched exactly the size and placement of the ambulance’s missing siren. The siren must have been removed some time before, because the edge of the hole was corroded by rust.

Although journalists were not allowed to inspect the ambulances themselves–and had to rely on images supplied by Hezbollah–and although the ambulance drivers’ stories changed and changed again, becoming more dramatic with each retelling, every single Western reporter who covered the story accepted it as unquestioned fact.

So are reporters just gullible? The most troubling of all the blog reports, this posted at EUReferendum.com, strongly suggests a more disturbing explanation.

The authors of the EUReferendum blog painstakingly studied all the available photographic evidence of the damage done by the Israeli bombing of a Hezbollah compound near the

village of
Qana on July 30. According to many press reports, the Israeli bombs struck a three-storey building, trapping civilians and childrens in the rubble. The toll was estimated at some 60 people, later reduced to 28. The photographs and television footage from this sad scene became some of the most famous footage of the whole
Lebanon war.

At the EUReferendum site, you can see over many Web pages a compilation of evidence that proves beyond all reasonable doubt that the images from Qana were not merely staged–but staged with the active knowledge and complicity of the Western journalists on the scene.

Scenes were enacted and re-enacted; dead bodies were carried from point to point and then back again; Hezbollah spokesmen chatted on cellphones when they believed the cameras were turned away from them–and then erupted in tears and anguish when they believed the cameras had turned on again.

How to account for this massive distortion? Yesterday, Annia Ciezadlo detailed in these pages Hezbollah’s attempts to deceive the press. But why is the press so horribly susceptible to manipulation? Anti-Israel ideology plays its part. So too must competitive zeal. Photo-journalists want to win prizes–and news organizations want scoops: If that means hiring local Hezbollah sympathizers to carry cameras where more objective journalists are forbidden to go, that is a price that news organizations will too often pay.

Finally, let’s not underestimate the power of fear: Hezbollah is the terrorist organization that held the AP reporter Terry Anderson hostage in
Lebanon for six years. As the stories of Jill Caroll of the Christian Science Monitor, Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig of Fox News, and of course Daniel Pearl remind us, Middle Eastern terrorist groups do not scruple to seize and murder journalists.


David Frum is a resident fellow at AEI.

August 24, 2006

Meanwhile in Turkey: NATO Member an EUrabia WannaBe #2

Filed under: Global Jihad, Iran, Islam, Israel, Mellemøsten, Militær, Terror, Tyrkiet — limewoody @ 8:12 am

The information that Turkey, a NATO ally and a candidate for membership in the European Union, allowed the transshipment of Iranian arms to Hezbollah has caused so much concern in Washington that a formal representation to the Turkish government was made in both Ankara and Washington to express America’s displeasure.

More:http://www.nysun.com/article/38364

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