IDF had Hezbullah by its you-know-whats but Olmert and Livni let them go
A Hezbullah officer admitted tonight in an interview with Channel 10 that his men were within ten days of surrendering last summer
. But Olmert and Livni accepted UN Resolution 1701 and let them go.
"The cease-fire acted as a life jacket for the organization [at the end of the Second Lebanon War]," a Hizbullah officer said in an interview aired by Channel 10 on Tuesday.
In the interview, the unnamed officer said Hizbullah gunmen would have surrendered if the fighting last summer had continued for another 10 days.
His statement sharply contrasted with those made by Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah on several occasions since the monthlong war.
At the end of the war, Nasrallah said his organization had gained a "divine victory."
The officer shown on Channel 10 said the organization's gunmen had been running low on food and water and facing rapidly diminishing arms supplies.
The officer also said that many Hizbullah commanders were ordered to hide before the war started, and that the gunmen who remained were forced to fire Katyusha rockets from inside urban populations because of the IDF's efficiency in destroying launchers minutes after a launch had been detected.
He said that when the gunmen relocated to cities and villages, they knew innocent civilians would be hurt as a consequence.
For what it's worth, there's a Geneva Convention violation.
Too bad Olmert's killer instinct is limited to things that line his pocket, and that Livni is too dumb to figure anything out.
Fatah commission calls for exiling losing leadership
A commission appointed by 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President
Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen
has recommended that some 100 'Palestinians' be exiled to Egypt
as punishment for their failure in last month's war with Hamas.
A commission of inquiry set up by Fatah chief and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas determined that 100 senior Fatah terrorists who ran away from Gaza to Judea and Samaria should be exiled to Egypt as a result of their failure to prevent Hamas from taking over Gaza.
The commission named 60 senior Fatah members, accusing them of negligence resulting in Hamas’s successful takeover of strategic locations.
The rest of those named held field positions.
But give them a
and then they can exercise their 'right to return.'
Arab League will attend Bush conference if Israel concedes Golan
Meeting in Cairo this week, the Arab League demanded that Israel concede the Golan Heights to Syria as a condition
(precedent?) for its attending President Bush's proposed 'peace conference.'
The Arab League said yesterday that it would consider President George W. Bush's call for a Mideast conference in the fall to discuss the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, on the condition that Israel concede the Golan Heights to Syria.
Foreign ministers from 16 Arab states met in Egypt on Monday to discuss Middle East peace efforts. They praised elements of Bush's peace initiative, especially those related to "founding an independent Palestine state, his call for ending the Israeli settlements and ending the Israeli occupation," as the League's secretary-general, Amr Moussa, said.
"Peace cannot be completed without withdrawal from Syrian territory, so all the parties have to be there," Moussa said at a press conference in Egypt after meeting.
But even that wasn't enough for the Syrians, who stormed out of the Arab League meeting:
Syria, who sent represenative Youssef Ahmed instead of its foreign minister, rejected the consideration of Bush's proposal and eventually stormed out of the meeting.
"I expressed reservations about any form of welcome for what is called U.S. President George Bush's initiative because we in Syria believe that discussing the Palestinian issue in the meeting under the current state of Palestinian schism... would lead to killing off the Palestinian cause," Ahmed said.
He was later quoted as saying that "the suggested conference will liquidate the Palestinian cause."
But both Israel and the US continue to fall all over themselves trying to please these 'people' and promote their 'cause.' The leadership - Olmert-Barak-Livni and Bush-Condi - must be on drugs.
Israel asks the US to ease restrictions on Saudi weapons
Now this is really
insane. On Saturday night, I reported that the US was going to impose certain restrictions on the placement
of the Saudis' new weapons to try to minimize opposition to the sale of billions of dollars in weaponry to the Saudis.
In addition to promising an increase in American military aid to Israel, the Pentagon is seeking to ease Israel’s concerns over the proposed weapons sales to Saudi Arabia by asking the Saudis to accept restrictions on the range, size and location of the satellite-guided bombs, including a commitment not to store the weapons at air bases close to Israeli territory, the officials said.
On Sunday, I reported that several pro-Israel members of Congress were going to try to block the sale of arms
to 'our 'friends' the Saudis.'
Last night, I reported that there have already been rumblings that despite being showered with gifts, the Saudis do not plan on being very helpful
to the US war effort in Iraq, and that they are likely to use the restrictions noted above as an excuse:
Officials who asked not to be identified told The Jerusalem Post said Monday that, due to links to different issues in the region, the US restrictions on the smart bombs might make it more difficult for Rice to rally the Saudis to play a more public role in supporting the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process.
Rather than leaving this to the US to work out, it's Ehud K. Olmert to the rescue
Israel, which originally championed placing limitations on the arms deal with the Saudis, among them barring the placement of missile bases near Israeli territory, is now calling to ease restrictions.
In one fell swoop, Olmert has told the Bush administration that we will fend for ourselves in the face of the Saudis - like the Egyptians, the Iranians and probably the Syrians - being armed to the teeth, he has undercut our friends in Congress who were looking out for our best interests, and the Saudis probably still won't be helpful on Iraq, because their uncooperativeness had nothing to do with weapons placement and everything to do with their not wanting to become involved in a dispute with another Muslim country (and their fear of the Iranian Mullahs).
The more I read and hear of Olmert, the more I think Emmanuel Winston is right
Olmert cut out of the loop?
I cannot comment on the reliability of this report, because I don't know the blogger involved
and I certainly don't know his source. I'm trying to check it with my top IDF source. But I thought I should put this in front of you anyway, because it sounds possible if unlikely:
I have it on good authority from one of my sources that the Israeli General Staff has told BOTH the Israeli prime minister and Syrian representatives that if Syria or Iran attack, it is the General Staff that will decide on when and how to strike back, what targets and how "disproportionate" the response will be. They have cut the PM out of the loop should war erupt because he did not resign after the last conflict. The strategy includes: decapitation strikes, strategic warfare against the entire industrial and military capability of the attacking country.
Now there's some food for thought.Update 6:15 PM
According to my IDF source, it might have been true that the IDF planned to cut Olmert out of the loop when Peretz was defense minister, but he doubts it is true with Barak in charge.
Just to make this a bit more plausible, recall this post
from last summer's war.
According to informed sources, there is an almost total breakdown in trust and confidence between the General Staff and the PM's office. They have described the situation as "even worse than the crises that followed Ben Gurion's decision to disband the Palmach, and Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan's cynical decision to place all the blame for the Yom Kippur fiasco on the IDF's shoulders.
Senior IDF officers have been saying that the PM bears sole responsibility for the current unfavorable military situation, with Hezbollah still holding out after almost a month of fighting.According to these officers, Olmert was presented with an assiduously prepared and detailed operational plan for the defeat and destruction of Hezbollah within 10-14 days, which the IDF has been formulating for the past 2-3 years.
This plan was supposed to have begun with a surprise air onslaught against the Hezbollah high command in Beirut, before they would have had time to relocate to their underground bunkers. This was to have been followed immediately by large scale airborne and seaborne landing operations, in order to get several divisions on the Litani River line, enabling them to outflank Hezbollah's "Maginot line" in southern Lebanon. This would have surprised Hezbollah, which would have had to come out of its fortifications and confront the IDF in the open, in order to avoid being isolated, hunted down and eventually starved into a humiliating submission.
This was exactly what the IDF senior command wanted, as Israeli military doctrine, based on the Wehrmacht's blitzkrieg doctrine, has traditionally been one of rapid mobile warfare, designed to surprise and outflank an enemy.
According to senior military sources, who have been extensively quoted in both the Hebrew media and online publications with close ties to the country's defense establishment, Olmert nixed the second half of the plan, and authorized only air strikes on southern Lebanon, not initially on Beirut.
Although the Premier has yet to admit his decision, let alone provide a satisfactory explanation, it seems that he hoped futilely for a limited war. A prominent wheeler-dealer attorney-negotiator prior to entering politics, he may have thought that he could succeed by the military option of filing a lawsuit as a negotiating ploy, very useful when you represent the rich and powerful, as he always had. Another motive may have been his desire to limit the economic damage by projecting a limited rather than total war to the international financial powers that be.
Whatever his reasons, the bottom line, according to these military sources, is that he castrated the campaign during the crucial first days. The decision to not bomb Beirut immediately enabled Nasrallah to escape, first to his bunker, subsequently to the Iranian embassy in Beirut.
Olmert's responsibility for inaction goes much further. The US administration had given Israel the green light to attack Syria. A senior military source has confirmed to Israel Insider that Israel did indeed receive a green light from Washington in this regard, but Olmert nixed it.
The scenario was that Syria, no military match for Israel, would face a rapid defeat, forcing it to run to Iran, with which it has a defense pact, to come to aid.
Iran, which would be significantly contained by the defeat of its sole ally in the region, would have found itself maneuvered between a rock and a hard place. If it chose to honor its commitment to Syria, it would face a war with Israel and the US, both with military capabilities far superior to Iran's. If Teheran opted to default on its commitment to Damascus, it would be construed by the entire region, including the restless Iranian population, as a conspicuous show of weakness by the regime. Fascist regimes such as that of the ayatollahs cannot easily afford to show that kind of weakness.
As previously mentioned, Iran's military capabilities are no match for Israel's. Bottom line, all Iran could do is to launch missiles at and hit Israel's cities, and try and carry out terror attacks. If there is one thing history has shown, it is that such methods do not win wars. Israel would undoubtedly suffer both civilian casualties and economic damage, but these would not be that much more than what we are already experiencing. We have already irreversibly lost an entire tourist season. Any Iranian and Syrian missile offensives would be relatively short, as they are further form Israel, and therefore would have to be carried out by longer range missiles. These, by their very nature are much bigger and more complex weapons than Katyushas. They cannot be hidden underground, and require longer launch preparations, increasing their vulnerability to air operations. In addition it is precisely for such kinds of missiles that the Arrow system was developed.
And for those who have forgotten, it was subsequently confirmed that the US had urged Olmert to attack Syria
Maybe she should try blogging
Basing itself on an article in the San Francisco Examiner, Editor & Publisher reports that in the aftermath of last summer's war in Lebanon, US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice could not get an op-ed published
A few months ago, she decided to write an opinion piece about Lebanon. She enlisted John Chambers, chief executive officer of Cisco Systems as a co-author, and they wrote about public/private partnerships and how they might be of use in rebuilding Lebanon after last summer's war. No one would publish it.
Think about that. Every one of the major newspapers approached refused to publish an essay by the secretary of state. Price Floyd, who was the State Department's director of media affairs until recently, recalls that it was sent to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and perhaps other papers before the department finally tried a foreign publication, the Financial Times of London, which also turned it down.
As a last-ditch strategy, the State Department briefly considered translating the article into Arabic and trying a Lebanese paper. But finally they just gave up. "I kept hearing the same thing: 'There's no news in this.' " Floyd said. The piece, he said, was littered with glowing references to President Bush's wise leadership. "It read like a campaign document."
Maybe she should get a blog like the rest of us.
Hebrew speakers wanted
YNet is reporting that Iran is looking for Hebrew speakers
to work as translators, intelligence agents and as part of its propaganda machine against Israel. Not surprisingly, many 'Palestinians' and 'Israeli Arabs' are lining up to proffer their services:
The main source of Hebrew speakers is Palestinian students studying abroad or Palestinian terrorists sent for military training in Iran and Lebanon.
One of the most prominent centers for Hebrew studies is located at Iran's embassy in Beirut, where Hizbullah members learn Hebrew at the Islamic Culture and Education Center.
The embassy owns a vast library of Hebrew newspapers and books, including even children's' books. It was there that Hizbullah had trained, with the aid of Palestinians, a large group of fighters who were placed in charge of tapping Israeli communication systems, in a bid to collect intelligence on the "Zionist enemy" before and during the Second Lebanon War.
According to the Shin Bet, Israeli Arab students studying out of the country are an attractive target for Hizbullah, because it is easier for the organization to recruit and train them abroad.
Only recently a young Israeli Arab woman who was studying dentistry in Jordan was arrested at the Allenby Bridge border crossing on suspicion of collaborating with Hizbullah. The woman admitted in her investigation she was contacted by the group's agents in Amman and was offered to serve as its agent in Israel.
Iran is one of the few countries in this region outside of Israel that actually still has a Jewish community. I wonder how many Iranian Jews are permitted to study abroad.
Iran fighter purchase overstated?
Former Spook says that while Iran desperately needs the new jets that they plan to purchase
from Russia, the cost of parts, the need to train those who maintain and operate the planes and the lack of storage facilities combined with the weak Iranian economy make it unlikely that the scale of the purchase
will be what was reported on Monday.
For example, Iran is now the world's only operator of the venerable F-14 Tomcat, and recent steps by the U.S. have further curtailed parts availability, even on the black market. Countries that still fly the F-4 and F-5 are also retiring those airframes, meaning that parts for those jets are increasingly scarce as well. The MiG-29 is much newer, but unlike American manufacturers, Russian aviation firms don't include a comprehensive support package as part of the deal. Parts and maintenance are "extras," and Iran's relatively low mission-capability rates for its MiG-29s suggests that Tehran (predictably) scrimped when it acquired those Fulcrums.
Beyond that, there's the issue of who will actually fix the jets once they join the inventory. Iran's cadre of experienced F-4, F-5 and F-14 mechanics are reaching retirement age, or they were purged by the clerics years ago. While fourth-generation jets (like the SU-30) are easier to maintain, it takes mechanics and crew chiefs a while to become proficient on their new aircraft. Support from the manufacturer (Sukhoi) could certainly ease that transition, but that level of assistance comes at a price--one that Iran has refused to pay in the past.
That's why we're a bit skeptical of the reported arms deal. Buying 250 Flankers, even over a period of time, is an expensive proposition. And despite high oil prices, Iran's economy is under a severe strain right now, making it even less likely that Tehran will commit--let alone, follow through, on an arms deal worth $75-$100 billion, dwarfing the combined value of of the recently-announced U.S.-Saudi arms deal and projected military support to Israel over the next 10 years.
The leak of this Israeli intelligence inquiry is hardly surprising, given Tel Aviv's concerns about the Saudi arms purchase. By highlighting the reported purchase, Israel could pressure the U.S. to provide additional military aid in the years to come. The long-range SU-30 poses a potential threat to Israel, particularly if IL-78 Midas tankers
are part of the package.
But that poses another challenge for Iran. Developing even a modest, long-range strike capability against Israel will require months (even years) of training after the Flankers and tankers arrive in country. At the present time, long-distance training flights (with air refueling) remain exceptionally rare in the Iranian Air Force, suggesting that tactical capabilities in that area are low to non-existent.
Additionally, there's the question of when Russia might be able to deliver the jets. At the recent Paris Air Show, a Sukhoi rep told reporters that his company has orders for 242 SU-30MKs, scheduled for delivery to India, Algeria and Algeria through 2014.
The MK is the basic "export" version of the two-seat Flanker strike variant. India and China are actually purchasing upgraded models (the MKI and MKK variants, respectively) and Beijing's purchase was not included in the figure cited by Sukhoi. However, it is worth noting that both the Indian and Chinese programs have lagged behind schedule. Biarring a major ramp-up of Flanker production, Iran might have to wait in line for its aircraft.
To date, Ahmadinejad's regime has managed to survive their poor economic situation
by severely repressing its people
under the guise of Sharia law. While many surveys have shown that he is unpopular, there are no real signs that he is in danger of being unseated, and as long as the Mullahs back him, I doubt he will be unseated. Recall that there were riots and several gasoline stations in Iran were burnt when they introduced gas rationing a month or two ago. We haven't heard much about that lately, have we?
Ahmadinejad seems willing to pay any price to destroy the Jewish state. That includes making his people suffer so that he can pay the cost of supporting Syria and Hezbullah, developing nuclear plants - and purchasing jet fighters - even if things don't always proceed as quickly as he would like. Former Spook may be right that the deal will eventually be smaller than announced, but I would bet on Iran getting at least some of those jets and fuel tankers. He doesn't need 250 to deal with Israel. And no one else in this region will care if God forbid we are hit.
There is no one like a true believer....Read it all
Olmert plans to lose?
The London-based Arabic daily al-Hayat
is reporting this morning that Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert
Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen
are holding 'secret' talks on the big three 'final status' issues
: borders, Jerusalem and 'refugees.'
The newspaper also reported that the two discussed the issue during their recent meeting in Jerusalem and decided that there was a need for deep discussions on the more "burning issues."
The source reportedly said that the talks were focusing on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, the Palestinian refugee issue, West Bank settlements and the future of Jerusalem.
"There were talks on these issues but as yet there has been no breakthrough on any of them," the source was quoted as saying.
However, the Prime Minister's Office was unaware of the report, a PMO spokeswoman told The Jerusalem Post.
Combining that report with Olmert's release of terrorists
, granting immunity to terrorists
, inviting the Jordanian army
into Judea and Samaria and recognizing the 'right of return
' all lead me to believe that Emmanuel Winston may be on to something
It takes careful planning to lose a war in order to achieve your goals. That "planning" seems to be currently in formation for Israel by many interests, both in and out of Israel. Those in power have longed for the opportunity to fulfill years of thwarted yearning to transfer the Land G-d gave to the Jews over to the Muslim Arabs. Read the whole thing
For the conspirators, they assume certain benefits, which justify inevitable losses.
The losses would be soldiers and civilians killed or maimed in the arranged transfer of the Land. They would be acceptable as expendable losses, particularly if they were religious settlers. The conspirators have demonstrated a consistent open doctrine of making Israel wholly secular on the theory that an un-Jewish State would be less offensive to the Arab Islamists.
The benefits for the conspirators? They think they will be liked by the world if they de-Judaize their Jewish State.
The "problem" for these conspirators is that there are currently 250,000 residents in Judea and Samaria alone - plus 250,000 million Jews in that part of Jerusalem occupied and desecrated by Jordan from 1948 to 1967. Don't forget the several million supporters who live in the whole of Israel and may not wish to trust the plotters, the Muslim Arabs nor the so-called Quartet.
So what are the plotters to do?
How about starting a war designed to be lost -- such as last summer 2006 when Hezb'Allah launching 4000 of its 15,000 Katyusha Missiles into the civilian communities of Northern Israel including as far as Haifa and Safed -- from the Hezb'Allah bunkers carved under Southern Lebanon?
So, what methods would the plotters select to advance their scheme to transfer the Land?
How about cutting Israel's military budget severely, as has already been done?
How about cutting the IDF's combat training and only train Israeli soldiers to war against the Jewish population in those areas to be made "Judenrein" (Jew-free) and transferred to the Muslim Arabs, as has already been done?
How about appointing some officers to the IDF who are PC (Politically Correct) and make them Generals like Avram Mitzna or Ehud Barak or Yitzhak Rabin in their time ... Leftist officers committed to the Leftist doctrine of re-partitioning the Jewish Land to benefit the Muslim Arab Palestinian "Jihadists"?
How about following then Prime Minister Ehud Barak's call to abandon the Golan Heights because, as he said, Syria could mount an attack and kill Israeli soldiers and civilians living on the Golan?
Then let us recall the year 2000 when Prime Minister Barak ordered the IDF to run away from the South Lebanon Security Belt, in the middle of the night, leaving behind valiant Allies and valuable equipment to fall into the hands of the Hezb'Allah. This small man has always been frustrated in his desire to abandon as much of the Land of Israel as possible. He is now the leading member of the Labor Party again and Olmert has made him Minister of Defense to replace the inept Amir Peretz. He has perfect positioning to deliberately use mismanagement to throw the next War (expected this summer by most military experts).
The Arabist U.S. State Department now has four perfect collaborators in Olmert, Peres and Barak - and, of course, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni who is scheduled to replace Olmert. All four are dedicated to re-partitioning the Jewish State of Israel and de-Judaizing her.
. While it borders on conspiracy theory, unfortunately a lot of it is all too plausible (as you will see if you follow the links I inserted above).
Why less Arabs support suicide bombings
Neo-neocon (it's worth checking out the link just to see her picture with the green apple in her mouth
!) follows up on a Real Clear Politics article by Michael Barone in which he reviews a series of recent Pew Polls
One small and somewhat tangential detail of Barone’s column caught my eye, and that was this:
…the Pew Global survey showed sharply reduced numbers of Muslims saying that suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified as compared with 2002. That’s still the view of 70 percent in the Palestinian territories. But that percentage has declined from 74 percent to 34 percent in Lebanon, from 43 percent to 23 percent in Jordan, and from 33 percent to 9 percent in Pakistan.
That’s quite a trend. What does it represent?
She comes up with an answer which is almost a bullseye:
My theory is quite simple: the targets of suicide bombings have changed since 2002. Back then, during the height of the Second Intifada, suicide bombings were mainly directed against Israel. Now their victims are mostly Arabs.
I’m unable to find a website detailing the exact figures comparing the demography of suicide bombing targets, then and now. And, of course, it depends on how one defends “suicide bombings.”
In a certain sense, 9/11 was a suicide bombing (or at least a suicide attack), but it’s not usually conceptualized that way. The term, and the public perception of it, is usually limited to the sort of modus operandi that was popularized by the Palestinians vis a vis the Israelis: explosives in a backpack or strapped to the body, or an explosion-laden car with driver still in it, detonated in a crowd of innocent people in a public or semi-public place, destroying both the victims and the perpetrator in one horrific moment of carnage designed to strike fear and trembling into the heart and mind.
Back in 2002 we were treated to statements by public figures such as Egyptian psychiatrist Dr. ‘Adel Sadeq, chairman of the Arab Psychiatrists Association and head of the Department of Psychiatry at ‘Ein Shams University in Cairo, who glorified the “ecstasy” of suicide bombers and praised them as a tool of the defeat of Israel (watch the video here to view Sadeq’s peculiar affect, and see my previous post about him here, containing a fuller transcript of his words).
That was then; this is now. Israel’s security fence is in place and has had its intended effect: a tremendous drop in the number of suicide bombings in Israel in the last few years.
Well, sort of. The 'security fence' is not completely in place yet and while it has helped reduce suicide bombings I believe that what has really kept the suicide bombers from entering Israel's large cities has been the concerted IDF action that takes place nightly in Judea and Samaria - action that the Olmert-Barak-Livni government
is considering suspending
- or may in fact have suspended
- as a 'gesture' to 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President
Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen
It also only partly explains why 70% of 'Palestinians' (a number that ought to give Israeli politicians some pause in making 'concessions' but probably won't) still favor suicide bombings. On the one hand, much fewer 'Palestinians' are dying in suicide bombings than Iraqis, and that might be keeping the approval percentage high. On the other hand, much fewer Israelis are being killed in suicide bombings (bli ayin hara - warding off evil eyes) which makes you wonder why the 'Palestinians' haven't tired of trying yet. Maybe the 70% number can be explained as 'wishful thinking'?
Let's go to the videotape!
Remember those 'juicy' videotapes
that were found in Fatah headquarters when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip six weeks ago? Well, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that some of them may be released as soon as Tuesday
, and when they are, it will not be pretty.Hat Tip: Charles Levinson
Hamas leaders say they acquired thousands of paper files, computer records, videos, photographs and audio recordings containing valuable and potentially embarrassing intelligence information gathered by Fatah. For more than a decade, Fatah operated a vast intelligence network in Gaza established under the tutelage of the Central Intelligence Agency. Read it all
The exact nature of the threat posed by the intelligence grab in Gaza -- including any damage to U.S. intelligence operations in the Palestinian territories and the broader Middle East -- is difficult to ascertain. U.S. and Israeli officials generally tried to play down any losses, saying any intelligence damage is likely minimal.
But a number of former U.S. intelligence officials, including some who have worked closely with the Palestinians, said there was ample reason to worry that Hamas has acquired access to important spying technology as well as intelligence information that could be helpful to Hamas in countering Israeli and U.S. efforts against the group.
"People are worried, and reasonably so, about what kind of intelligence losses we may have suffered," said one former U.S. intelligence official with extensive experience in Gaza.
A U.S. government official said he doubted serious secrets were compromised in the Gaza takeover. Other officials said they had no reason to believe that U.S. spying operations elsewhere in the Arab world had been compromised.
Close ties between Hamas and the governments of Iran and Syria also mean that intelligence-and-spying techniques could be shared with the main Middle East rivals of the Bush administration. As the White House prepares to lead an international effort to bolster Fatah's security apparatus in the West Bank, the losses in Gaza stand as an example of how efforts to help Fatah can backfire.
The compromised intelligence Hamas says it now has ranges widely. The group alleges it has videos used in a sexual-blackmail operation run by Washington's allies inside Fatah's security apparatus. But the group also says it has uncovered detailed evidence of Fatah-controlled spying operations carried out in Arab and Muslim countries for the benefit of the U.S. and other foreign governments. Hamas also alleges that Fatah intelligence operatives cooperated with Israeli intelligence officials to target Islamist leaders for assassination.
"What we have is good enough for us to completely reveal the practices [of Fatah-controlled security services], both locally and throughout the region," said Khalil al Hayya, a senior Hamas official in Gaza, who has assumed a leading role on the intelligence issue for the Islamist group.
Michael Scheuer, a former top CIA counterterrorism analyst who left the agency in 2004, said the U.S. had provided the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority with "substantial help" in training as well as computers, other equipment and analytical tools. Other former intelligence officials confirmed that the U.S. gave Fatah-controlled services sophisticated intelligence-gathering equipment, including eavesdropping technology, though these officials wouldn't provide more precise details about the technology.
Some of the most potentially explosive claims from Hamas center on the alleged activities beyond the Gaza Strip of Palestinian agents loyal to Fatah. Mr. Hayya alleged the CIA utilized Palestinian agents for covert intelligence operations in other Middle Eastern countries. Hamas, he said, now possesses a roadmap detailing the names and actions of "those men whom thought were going to continue to be their hand across the region."
Some former U.S. intelligence officials who worked closely with the Palestinian Authority confirmed that such overseas spying arrangements beyond Gaza existed with the Palestinians in the past and said they likely continued, bolstering the credibility of Hamas's claims.
Whitley Bruner, a longtime CIA officer in the Middle East, recalled that "some of our first really good information on [Osama] bin Laden in Sudan" in the early 1990s "came from Palestinian sources." Before leaving the agency in 1997, Mr. Bruner participated in many of the first cooperative sessions organized by Mr. Tenet between the CIA and the Palestinians.
"It's not unlikely that continued to do things for the U.S. well beyond the territories," Mr. Bruner said. "Palestinians are embedded all over the place, so they have access to things that the U.S. doesn't."
Others are more circumspect. Bruce Reidel, who worked for nearly 30 years as a U.S. Middle East specialist, both as a CIA intelligence officer and as an adviser to Presidents Clinton and Bush, said there is sure to be "quite a treasure trove of materials that would document relationship with the CIA." Mr. Reidel said during his time in government, which ended in 2005, "the Palestinians were always trying to prove that they had unique access and information," but he said he was skeptical of Hamas's claims that such operations ventured far beyond Gaza and the West Bank.
Mr. Hayya alleges that while many officials from Arab and Muslim nations knew Mr. Dahlan was cooperating with U.S. intelligence agencies inside the Palestinian territories, many of those same leaders "are going to be amazed and surprised when they discover had actually worked against them for the Americans." He wouldn't directly answer a question about which nations were allegedly being spied on, but he said Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had the most to be concerned about from potential disclosures.
An Israeli leftist almost comes face-to-face with reality
The Washington Post's post-global has a brief piece by one Hanna Rosin, an Israeli leftist who lives - where else - in the US. Ms. Rosin was recently in Israel visiting her right-wing relatives when she happened to catch Farfur the 'Palestinian' Mickey Mouse on Hamas television. It almost caused her to have an epiphany
"Tomorrow's Pioneers," which runs on a Hamas affiliated station, is not some nutcase cable access show. It's "educational television," the Hamas equivalent of Sesame Street or Baby Einstein, the kind of show that appeals to parents who think kids today spend too much time with their Game Boys. In some episodes Farfour tells kids to study hard for their exams and drink their milk. In other episodes he shows them how to hold an AK-47 and launch a hand grenade.
This is the hardest thing to get your head around. Martyr culture is not just for the hopeless youth of refugee camps. I remember once visiting a West bank school that was the Fatah-affiliated equivalent of Maret- a tony outpost for the children of professors and accountants. Even there the most prominent space was reserved for the Martyr's Wall, a collection of photos and bloody mementos of neighborhood kids who'd been killed while fighting the enemy. No youthful aspirations exist outside the context of the noble death wish. For a fourteen-year-old, to aspire to be just an accountant is shameful, a betrayal. To be a martyr is the ultimate goal.
We are once again in one of those moments when some American official is gamely setting out to tackle the Middle East peace process (in this case Condi Rice) But if anyone has one spark of hope for the success of such a process, the Martyred Mouse will kill it off. Even the most willfully blinkered lefty Israeli (such as myself) just has to throw up her hands at a preschool program that includes among its vocabulary phrases "murderers of innocent children" and "criminal plundering Jews." This seems only one step short of the child soldiers of Uganda, kidnapped by the Lord's Resistance Army. " "We will annihilate the Jews," one young female caller told Farfour."I will commit martyrdom."
Fortunately, in the next paragraph, Rosin returned to her 'senses.'
One bit of good news: " Israel's Education Ministry announced Sunday that it had approved a textbook for use in the state's Arab schools that for the first time described Israel's 1948 war of independence as a 'catastrophe' for the Arab population," the New York Times reports. Hardly a radical concession, but still very controversial in Israel. The Education Minister, my relatives would point out with disgust, is of course a longtime, loyal Laborite.
And a founder of
Peace Piece by Piece
I wonder if Ms. Rosin is friendly with Olmert's son Shaul, who lives in New York
By the way, when there's an election here, people like this charter airplanes to come here to vote (no absentee ballots unless you're in the army or the diplomatic corps). There are left-wing airplanes and right-wing airplanes. And with the number of leftists living abroad these days, those numbers can change the election results. Amazing, isn't it?
The Saudi delusion
US Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice continues to delude herself
that the Saudis are going to thank the US for selling them $20 billion in arms by playing a positive role in the 'peace process.'
The New York Times reported Saturday that the Pentagon was trying to ease Israeli concerns about the arms deal to Riyadh by asking the Saudis to accept "restrictions on the range, size and location of the satellite-guided bombs," including a commitment not to store the weapons at air bases close to Israeli territory.
Officials who asked not to be identified told The Jerusalem Post said Monday that, due to links to different issues in the region, the US restrictions on the smart bombs might make it more difficult for Rice to rally the Saudis to play a more public role in supporting the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process.
Rice issued a statement Monday announcing, "a renewed commitment to the security of our key strategic partners in the region. To support our continued diplomatic engagement in the region, we are forging new assistance agreements with the Gulf States, Israel and Egypt."
"This effort will help bolster forces of moderation and support a broader strategy to counter the negative influences of al-Qaida, Hizbullah, Syria and Iran," she added.
Rice also announced that the US would soon include a new 10-year military assistance agreement with Israel and is also beginning discussions with Egypt on a 10-year, $13 billion military assistance agreement.
Rice did not spell out the size of the arms deal to Saudi Arabia, but said: "Further modernizing the Egyptian and Saudi Armed Forces and increasing interoperability will bolster our partners' resolve in confronting the threat of radicalism and cement their respective roles as regional leaders in the quest for Middle East peace and in ensuring Lebanon's freedom and independence. We plan to consult closely with Congress and our allies on the specifics of these agreements."
It wouldn't matter if the Saudis got $0 in weapons or $100 billion in weapons - there is no way in the world they will play any kind of active role in getting Israel 'recognized' by the Arab world or in resolving (as if it is capable of resolution) the 'Middle East conflict.'
The Arab League also met today in Cairo and produced its usual belligerent statements:
Monday's draft statement stressed that peace cannot be achieved unless Israel fully withdraws from all occupied Arab territories, solves the Palestinian refugee issue and allows the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital. The ministers also called on the international community to exert pressure on Israel to release more than 10,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
Anyone see any Arab undertakings there? I don't.
And then there are the relations among the Arabs themselves. Not all of them are happy about American largesse towards Saudi Arabiaa (okay, Iran is technically not an Arab country):
Also Monday, the state broadcasting company reported that Iran's foreign ministry spokesman criticized US plans to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia, saying it would undermine security in the Middle East.
"What the Persian Gulf region needs is stability and security," Mohammad Ali Hosseini was quoted as saying on the Web site of the state broadcasting company. "Americans have been trying to disturb it by selling weapons to the region."
But Iranian nukes are likely to bring peace, love and stability. Tell me about it....
Speaking of paranoia
Lebanese President Fouad Siniora today criticized the Bush administration
for the new defense package that will allegedly transfer $30 billion in arms to Israel over the course of the next ten years.
"Prime Minister Fouad Saniora has learned with great dismay, surprise and astonishment" about the U.S. defense package to the Jewish state, a statement released by his office said.
"Continuing to back Israel in such a manner will escalate crises and increase feelings among the Arabs and Muslims that their just causes are ignored while Israel's interests are protected," it said.
"This will raise the feeling of frustration among the Arabs and Muslims, and will therefore boost extremist movements which were born and are feeding on the feeling of (U.S.) bias in favor of Israel."
"We were hoping that the American efforts would rather help promote peace," Saniora said in the statement.
"If these funds were allocated to consolidate peace (in the Middle East) and bridge the gap between the peoples of the region, or spent on peaceful projects then the American message would have been different," he said.
"This is a very negative message to the Lebanese and Arabs.
"It will boost Israel's aggressiveness and arrogance ...it will allow the Israelis to continue to think that they can avoid the requirements of a just and comprehensive peace by maintaining military superiority," he said.
Someone needs to remind weepy Fouad
who started last summer's war and how. I wonder which gap he has in mind: the one between the rich Saudis who attacked the US on 9/11 and the poor 'Palestinians' that Siniora keeps locked in 'refugee camps' and doesn't allow to become citizens and work? No, he undoubtedly means the gap between the rich Jews who produce technology and the poor 'Palestinians' who produce suicide bombers. As if money will make the 'Palestinians' stop blowing up.
Note that much of Siniora's spiel is justifying in advance terrorism to come.
Isn't this guy supposedly busy dealing with Hezbullah? How does he have the time for this kind of ad hominem attack?
What the 'Palestinians' fear
Dr. Sanity makes a pretty good case that the Islamic (including 'Palestinian') refusal to face up to reality is a form of paranoia
The "Pat Tillman was deliberately murdered by the Bush Administration" and "The Jews are behind the genocide in Darfur" stories are both perfect examples demonstrating how the bacteria of paranoid stupidity is spread. The infecting agent is usually a true believer who cannot face some unpleasant aspect of reality (i.e. that always "unpleasant truth") that is starting to trickle out into the open. It must dammed up immediately. The paranoid gum is handy and easy to use--just chew it up and plaster it over the hole.Read the whole thing
For the political left, the gum is a creative conspiracy theory that links the Bush Administration to anything bad in the world--in this case to discredit a celebrity military hero who died under tragic circumstances, but who died fighting for his country. Such a bizarre distortion of the cirucumstances of his death serves to undermine his bona fides as a real patriot while demonizing the entire Bush Administration and the war on terror. It is simply another manifestation of BDS.
The second story is a manifestation of the deep-rooted dysfunction of the religion of Islam, which has mired a good portion of the world in it medievalism. In order to rationalized its backwardness and the failure it has been societally and culturally, the Jews serve as the handy scapegoat on which they can blame all their own societal failures. To do otherwise would mean they would have to question some very basic assumptions about their fantasized superiority.
In making paranoid pronouncements, the paranoid person always takes himself or herself extremely seriously. Rarely do the 9/11 Truther, the Pat Tillmaniac, or the Islamoparanoid present themselves to a mental health professionals seeking help; or even complaining about their psychological projections, no matter how bizarre or dysfunctional they may be. That is because for them, the paranoia and the accompanying projections explain away and rationalize so much about their failures as individuals and cultures.
The insane asylum we call the Middle East and all its affiliates in Africa and Indonesia where Islamic delusion runs rampant have a fully formed paranod fantasy that explains their lack of progress and their dysfunction in the real world. Likewise, the lunatic left also subscribes to their own special convoluted explantions of dysfunction and lack of power. In both cases, if the object of their projections did not exist, they would have to invent them because their world view cannot be held together without the gummy glue of the paranoid fantasies that connect all their dots.
Everything can be explained by paranoid logic. In fact, paranoia is really nothing more than the use of reason and logic in the service of the irrational and bizarre.
Has you ideology continually and repeatedly failed in the real world and resulted in death and misery for all who implement it? Take heart! It is not your fault or your ideology's! Either it wasn't implemented virutously enough; or there were evil [Republican, Neocon, Male, White, Christian, Jewish] forces (choose one or more) that have been plotting against it!
- Are you poor? Someone must have robbed you of what you are entitled to!
- Are you angry and experiencing hatred, but like to think of yourself as a loving, compassionate sort of person? Then the object of your hatred magically becomes the one who hates...you!
- Is your genius not universally recognized? You must have powerful enemies that prevent you from achieving the success you know should be yours.
- Have you made mistakes in your life? Someone has clearly tricked you into acting a certain way otherwise you wouldn't have.
The above mental gymnastics allow the paranoid person to externalize blame and avoid responsibility for his situation in life, as well as his own feelings. It is always someone else's fault and not his. It is always someone else who is experiencing the objectionable feelings, and he is always the victim of it.
In the example above where the Darfur Minister of Defense lays the blame for the genocide on the Jews, he is just drawing from a similar tradition that runs through the most dysfunctional threads of Islam. The Jews are responsible for the misery of the Palestinians (it is never the Palestinians own fault); the Jews ritually eat the blood of Muslim babies; plot to destroy Islam; and are guilty of all sorts of atrocities and convoluted plots to take over the world (reference the Protocols of the Elders of Zion).
It is useless to point out the truth to people in the grip of these kind of paranoid delusions. It is just so easy to attribute one's own cynical motives and unacceptable feelings to others, particularly when such attribution is culturally sanctioned.
It is inconceivable to paranoid persons that people actually exist who view the situation differently from them. It is inconceivable that they could be wrong about their perception of reality. Con men always think others are out to con them. In fact, most paranoids consider themselves the ONLY reality-based community, because they get to define what reality is and it is always what they happen to feel. And it is always about making sure they feel good and virtuous and self-righteous.
I'm no psychologist, but Pat (the Dr.) got me to thinking: if the 'Palestinian' refusal to face reality is paranoia, they must fear something. What do they fear? I have a few suggestions and you can feel free to add your own in the comments:
1. They fear that if they ever actually got a state it would look exactly the same as the other 22 Arab dictatorships.
2. The Arab leadership fears that if the Arabs - including the 'Palestinians' - face up to the fact that their narrative is false
, the Arab governments will be overthrown.
3. They fear that most 'Palestinians' actually have no interest in 'returning' to a 'State of Palestine
4. They fear having to compete with the Jews on the same playing field, economically, socially and academically.
5. The people fear that they have been used by the Arab leaders for the last sixty years; the leadership fears that they people will discover that they have been used.
Until I read Pat's post, I would never have described the way the 'Palestinians' live their lies as a 'paranoia.' But now that I think about it, she sure seems to be right.
Fayyad's doublespeak the tip of the iceberg
DEBKA reports that Salam Fayyad's call for 'resistance' that is not 'armed struggle' is a sham, that his problems go much deeper
than his supporting or not supporting 'armed struggle' and that Israel was 'taken aback' by Fayyad's speech.
“Resistance” is the Palestinian euphemism for armed terror including suicide bombing. The separate Fatah administration on the West Bank omitted the term “resistance” from its platform – at first. As a result, Mahmoud Abbas and Fayyad were hailed as moderates and partners for peace dialogue, while Fayyad, a former Washington banker, was seen in Washington and Jerusalem as a new species of Palestinian leader, who differed from his predecessors who routinely employed diplomatic language which sat easily on Western ears and reserved their true sentiments for Arab audiences.
Monday, to an Arab League audience, Fayyad showed his true colors. This is also an old Arafat trick - saying one thing in English and another in Arabic. CiJ]
He was certainly catering to the violent Fatah-Al Aqsa Brigades, Hamas and Jihad Islami, who have vilified him for turning away from armed operations against Israel. The Popular Resistance Committees branded him and his ministers traitors and threatened his life.
But additionally, DEBKAfile’s Palestinian sources report, Fayyad made a point of reverting to traditional Palestinian “resistance” ideology as a signal to Egypt and the Saudis that his Fatah has enough common ground with Hamas to resume dialogue for a shared government, which would rule from both Ramallah and Gaza.
Until then, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert had proffered a series of supportive gestures, maintaining that the Fatah government had turned a new leaf. None of those gestures was acclaimed by West Bank Palestinians; nor did they change their lives for the better.
In contrast, Hamas’ security forces have brought a degree of law and order to the streets of the Gaza Strip and cleared them of mob rule. West Bankers resent the fact that with all the financial aid and arms provided by Americans and Israeli sources, the suits in Ramallah have not delivered: The Abbas-Fayyad administration’s control does not extend beyond Ramallah and Jericho and it has failed to bring order to West Bank towns.
A senior Israeli officer complained that Olmert’s reprieve of 178 wanted terrorists of the Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades has been a disappointment; none have enlisted for their government’s action against Hamas and Jihad Islami West Bank networks. Not a single Aqsa Brigades squad has disarmed. [They said they would not disarm. CiJ]
Cooperation between Palestinian and Israeli security forces has not resumed.
Most West Bank towns continue to be ruled by local affiliations of Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades, Hamas, Jihad Islami and other terrorist groups. They have been put on the payroll of the Fatah government, which does not stop them pocketing funds from Iran and Hizballah as well.
Mahmoud Abbas continues to stand on shaky ground, according to DEBKAfile’s military sources, notwithstanding the crutches extended him by the US and Israel. As an Israeli officer put it, if Hamas and Jihad Islami were to rise up on the West Bank, they would give Fatah’s military and security arms another beating, like the one in Gaza. But for the moment, all sides are respecting the status quo for the sake of keeping American-Israeli assistance on tap.
Someone please remind me why the US and Israel are investing in Abu Mazen and Fayyad....
Orwellian doublespeak from the 'Palestinians'
Shortly after the Oslo declaration of principles was signed in 1993, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat made one of his many jihad
-promoting speeches which the delusional foreign minister (now President) Shimon Peres promptly reinterpreted as a call for a 'jihad for peace
The 'Palestinians' learned their lessons well from Peres. After his life was threatened by fellow 'Palestinians'
because Fatah's platform allegedly omits the word mukawama
or 'armed struggle,' 'moderate' 'Palestinian' Prime Minister Salam Fayyad today backtracked. In true Orwellian style, Fayyad called for 'resistance' that was not 'armed struggle.' Kind of like a 'jihad for peace
Palestinians have a legitimate right to resist the Israeli "occupation", even if the term "resistance" does not appear in the new Palestinian Authority platform, PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad said during a press conference in Cairo on Monday.
Fayad, who is representing the Palestinian Authority during an Arab League conference in Egypt, explained that the term "resistance" was excluded from the platform because it was too often associated with "armed struggle."
"What is the essence of resistance, especially in light of the current occupation?" Fayad asked. "Does it not begin with all possible efforts to strengthen the permanence of the Palestinian citizens on their land? That is precisely the government's agenda."
As if the 'Palestinians' have ever resisted in a way that was not violent.... But just give them a
and they will learn to resist non-violently.
Olmert opens the door to the 'right of return'
Now that he's made plans to weaken our military defenses
, Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert
is going to work to make sure that we are overwhelmed demographically by the descendants of 'Palestinians' who left Israel in 1948 'returning.'
For the first time in the history of the State of Israel, Olmert has agreed to allow descendants of 'Palestinians' who left in 1948
to 'return' to the State of Israel. He has opened Pandora's box.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s latest “good will gesture” to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has smashed Israel's long-standing policy rejecting the “right of return” for the generations of descendants of Arabs who fled Israel during the 1948 War of Independence.
Olmert decided to allow the immigration into Judea and Samaria of 41 Iraqi descendants of such Arabs who lived in British Mandatory Palestine. All have claimed to have family members living in the PA-controlled areas.
Government officials assured reporters that each of the would-be Arab immigrants would undergo a thorough security check before entering the Jewish State. Officials added that a smaller group of Iraqis who asked to be allowed to join family members living in Gaza was rejected.
Arab countries have long demanded that Israel absorb more than five million Arabs from foreign countries who claim to be descendants of the approximately half a million Arabs who fled during the 1948 war in Israel, when the surrounding Arab countries tried to destroy the nascent Jewish state.
The article doesn't say why these 'Palestinians' are suddenly coming here now from Iraq, but I am going to be that this has something to do with it
. My guess is that the 'Palestinians' are those living in limbo on the border between Iraq and Jordan, and that Olmert's 'gesture' is going to save the rump king Abdullah
from an embarrassing situation in which he refuses to admit 'Palestinians' from Iraq to his 'country' which is 70% 'Palestinian.' At the rate we're going, maybe Olmert will agree to take the rest of the 'Palestinians' from 'Jordan' too.
Russia to sell 250 long-range fighter jets to Iran
The Israeli government is 'looking into' reports that Russia has agreed to sell 250 Sukhoi-30 long-range fighter jets
(pictured) to Iran.
According to reports, in addition to the fighter jets, Teheran also plans to purchase a number of aerial fuel tankers that are compatible with the Sukhoi and capable of extending its range by thousands of kilometers. Defense officials said the Sukhoi sale would grant Iran long-range offensive capabilities.
Government officials voiced concern over the reports. They said Russia could be trying to compete with the United States, which announced over the weekend a billion-dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
Despite Israeli and US opposition, Russia recently supplied Iran with advanced antiaircraft systems used to protect Teheran's nuclear installations. At the time, Moscow said it reserved the right to sell Iran weapons, such as the antiaircraft system, that were of a defensive nature.
The Sukhoi-30 is a two-seat multi-role fighter jet and bomber capable of operating at significant distances from home base and in poor weather conditions. The aircraft enjoys a wide range of combat capabilities and is used for air patrol, air defense, ground attacks, enemy air defense suppression and air-to-air combat.
DEBKA reports that the number of fuel tankers is twenty and that the tanker in question is the IL-78 MKI (being towed by an IAF fighter in the accompanying picture). DEBKA adds that delivery of the first planes has been stipulated before the end of 2007
The transaction, Russia’s largest arms deal in 30 years, will endow Iran with a long-range aerial assault capability. The Sukhoi can sustain a four-and-a-half hour raid at its maximum range of 3,000 km against long-distance, marine and low-lying ground targets across the Persian Gulf and Middle East, including Israel and Lebanon.
The fuel tankers extends the Su-30MKM’s assault sustainability to 10 hours and its range to 8,000 km at altitudes of 11-13 km. The closest comparable plane in the West is the American F-15E fighter bomber. Iran’s acquisition of an exceptionally large fleet of the Russian fighter-bomber will elevate its air force to one of the two largest and most advanced in the region, alongside the Israeli Air Force.
Iranian air crews are already training on the new Sukhoi aircraft, ready to start flying them early next year with only a short delay after delivery. DEBKAfile’s sources report that Moscow is selling Tehran the same Sukhoi model as India received earlier this year. The Iranians leaned hard on New Delhi to let them have the Israeli avionics and electronics the Indian Air Force had installed in the Russian craft. India refused. [India is smart. They realize that they need to be able to buy Israeli arms in the future and that they won't be able to if they give those systems to Iran. CiJ]
Russia began delivering the same craft in June to Malaysia, which also sought Israeli avionics without success. The Su-20MKM has won the nickname of “Islamic Version of Sukhoi.”
Its two-member crew shares the workload. The first pilot flies the aircraft, controls weapons and maneuvers the plane in a dogfight. The co-pilot employs BVR air-to-air and air-to-ground guided weapons in long-range engagements, sweeps the arena for enemy craft or missiles and performs as command-and-control in group missions.
Some of the plane’s systems are products of the French Thales Airborne Systems company. Moscow’s contract with Tehran for the sale of the Su-30MKM must therefore be cleared with Paris. [I don't understand something. Why is it that France has to clear the deal, while Israel apparently would not have had to clear the sale of the Israeli avionics installed by India had India chosen to sell them? Are our arms salespeople doing such a poor job of negotiating that we don't have a veto? CiJ]
There is no decision in Jerusalem about asking Paris to withhold its consent to a deal which would substantially upgrade the long-range air assault capabilities of the Islamic Republic whose leaders want to wipe Israel off the map. However, President Nicolas Sarkozy is in mid-momentum of a diplomatic drive in the Arab and Muslim world and unlikely to be receptive to an Israeli approach. The only chance of aborting the Russian sale would be to route the approach through Washington.
No. I think the Israeli government would be insane not to approach the French and not to approach them openly
. If France under Sarcozy is so willing to sell Israel down the tubes for their Arab friends (i.e. it's the same old France it was under Chirac), let's get that out in the open now so that we know where we stand and we stop pretending they're on our side. If (when) the French look to their wallets first (as usual), we can always ask the Bush administration to try to deal with the Russians. But I believe we actually have a better chance of succeeding with France than we do with Russia.
A new level of insanity
Israel's Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert has reached a new low in his willingness to endanger the lives of Israel's citizenry for the sake of his illusory 'peace process.' The Jerusalem Post is reporting this morning that Olmert is 'considering' allowing Jordanian troops into Judea and Samaria to 'fight terror.' Now, we are not even going back to 1967. We are going back to the 1948-67 period when the Jordanian and Egyptian armies assisted in terror attacks by the Fedayeen
What Olmert has in mind, and what has been raised in recent meetings with Jordan's King Abdullah II, is not the Badr Brigade - a group of Palestinian soldiers inside the Jordanian Army - but rather "regular" Jordanian Army troops, Beduin who have experience fighting terrorism.
The Badr Brigade is a unit in the Jordanian Army composed of 1,500 to 2,000 Palestinians who receive salaries from the PLO. The introduction of the Badr Brigade into the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to support Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has been talked about endlessly and without any concrete results for years.
But Olmert, in recent meetings, has raised the possibility of introducing regular forces from the Jordanian Army. He has said this could be an effective way to help Abbas create a semblance of security in the West Bank.
The idea is likely to be raised when Olmert and Abbas meet next week, just days after Wednesday's planned visit by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Olmert and Abbas met two weeks ago and - in addition to discussing day-to-day security issues - reportedly discussed final-status issues.
"We have started very seriously to talk with Mr. Abbas on a peace process and questions that can allow a Palestinian state to be established," Olmert said last week. The "discussions will continue at the pace we have agreed upon, and we are in agreement for them to continue until they bear concrete results," he added.
Imagine this scenario: Olmert takes down the roadblocks, and 'Palestinian' terrorists come into Jerusalem and carry out a suicide bombing. Or a 'Palestinian' sets up a Strella
shoulder-held surface-to-air missile and shoots down a plane taking off from Ben Gurion Airport (or better yet, a pirate radio station
that interferes with air traffic control and causes a plane to crash). What are the odds that the Jordanian army will even let Israel arrest the perpetrators
without international incident, let alone actually go in and destroy the terror infrastructure. This is beyond the insanity of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
. This is suicide.
But just when you thought it couldn't get worse, it gets worse. Olmert tells us what he believes to be the model of a 'successful' 'international force.' And you won't believe what he has in 'mind':
Olmert said the performance of the expanded UNIFIL peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon since the Second Lebanon War had shown that an international force could be effective, given the right mandate and the right make-up of forces. He said the German, Italian and French units had been much more effective in southern Lebanon than forces from Muslim states such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
Olmert said the south Lebanon model was encouraging in looking at future scenarios for the West Bank.
"Perhaps when we leave territories in the West Bank, an international force could be one to think about," he was quoted as saying by one of the participants in the meeting. "Perhaps an Arab army in the West Bank."
When Olmert has talked in recent weeks in closed meetings about an Arab force, he has meant a Jordanian force.
Let's look for a minute at the 'force' that Olmert is calling effective
and the model he considers encouraging:
A report submitted to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Tuesday describes the border between Lebanon and Syria as being 'porous' to the smuggling of arms and other goods.
According to the report, "the present state of border security is insufficient to prevent smuggling, in particular smuggling of arms, to any significant extent." The assessment team stated that "not a single on-border or near-border seizure of smuggled arms has been documented."
"The procedures used to control arriving vehicles are inadequate," the report stated. "Lack of such standards and the absence of risk analysis/profiling serves to limit the ability of customs officials to target potential smugglers and prevent the smuggling of weapons and explosives or other dangerous items."
The report was compiled during an inquiry that lasted from May 27 to June 15 at four operational border crossings, a fifth crossing to be opened in July, Beirut's international airport and its seaport.
UN inspectors also concluded that the Lebanese Army was not trained to intercept smugglers and its deployment along the border with Syria was not designed to prevent the smuggling of weapons and other goods.
"The lookout points and checkpoints are spread out according to traditional military doctrine and their aim is to provide territorial defense, not check smuggling," read the report.
There are more reports on the in
effectiveness of the UNIFIL force in Lebanon here
. Those ought to be enough to convince you that the UNIFIL force deployed in southern Lebanon is not a model we ought to emulate.
I wish Olmert could be dismissed as a dimwit. He can't. He is a slick, dangerous and ruthless man who will stop at nothing to give the country away. He's not
Livni who is short on intelligence and incompetent
. Olmert is far more dangerous. And now for the cherry atop the sundae:
While there is widespread speculation a NATO force would be deployed as part of a peace agreement, Olmert's idea for an Arab force in the West Bank is something that could be implemented well before a final-status agreement was finalized.
Maybe once 'Palestine' is established, Olmert and his family
will be interested in living there.
Now that I have said my piece I can go eat my breakfast. I would have retched if I had eaten before I read and blogged this article.
Haveil Havalim # 127
Haveil Havalim # 127 is up. You can find the latest edition from Soccer Dad himself by going here
Israel to release 600 more 'Palestinian' terrorists?
The 'Palestinian' news agency Maan is reporting this evening that 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President
Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen
and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert
are discussing the release of another 600 'Palestinian
being held in Israeli jails.
Saudi newspaper Al Jazeera has quoted Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Ashraf Ajrami, speaking in Ramallah, saying that "Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the Palestinian Authority Chairman will discuss a new list of prisoners in their next meeting, according to new criteria."
It is also reported that Ajrami said he will "meet with the Israeli internal security minister Avi Dichter and General Matan Vilnai to assign the criteria for the release of the prisoners."
Speaking to Ma'an, however, Ashraf Al Ajrami denied the al Jazeera newspaper reports published about a promise made by the Israeli government to President Abbas to study the release of 600 prisoners in the next few weeks
Commenting on published reports, the minister declared, "all the news about the release of prisoners is baseless." He further stated that "Israel has no intention to release any prisoner at the current time".
Recall that the last time, Olmert had trouble finding enough terrorists
who met the criteria for release. Maybe this is another trial balloon?
14-year old escapes kidnapping
A 14-year old boy from Sanhedria, a Jerusalem neighborhood near ours, escaped an attempted kidnapping by three Arab men today by jumping out of the car into which he had been forced. Most of the reports I have seen indicate that the boy jumped out at a red light before the car left the city. But this report from Maariv
(link in Hebrew) indicates that he managed to jump out of the car at the Harel Bridge near Mevasseret Zion, which would be outside the city and most likely on the Jerusalem - Tel Aviv highway (which passes under the bridge, albeit on a steep incline. The boy then got another car to pull over, borrowed the driver's cell phone and called his mother.
We live with constant threats that the 'Palestinians' wish to kidnap Israelis - including civilians - and hold them for ransom or worse. Still, an incident like this, which is being taken seriously by the police (who are looking for a white Volkswagon into which the boy was forced) are rare.
'Our 'friends' the Saudis'
If this is what the US considers a friend, what does it call an enemy?
Douglas Farah reports that six years after 9/11, the Saudis remain an obstacle
to fighting terrorism:
Two recent stories shed a clear light on the huge damage the Saudi royal family and business elite continue to do in hindering meaningful progress is shutting down the hate speech, bigotry and twisted theology that drive the jihadist movement, financed by these actors.
The first was in the Wall Street Journal by Glenn Simpson, outlining the role of the al Rajhi family and banking institutions in funding radical Islamists, and what the U.S. knew about the activities.
In every case when U.S. officials could and should have been raising the issue publicly to force action, the administration opted for “quiet diplomacy,” resulting in nothing.
While there is only circumstantial evidence the Al Rajhi network directly aided terrorists, it is clear that Islamic banks, while mostly doing legitimate business, are the institutions extremists rely on. Why? In part because they are sharia compliant, and in part because the Islamic banks are largely exempt from Western (pagan) banking regulations, and have virtually no transparency requirements.
The article drops another interesting tidbit in the middle: That Saudi Arabia has never set up the commission, promised several years ago, to oversee Saudi charities, the lifeblood of many Islamist groups.
And, my sources tell me, they never set up the Financial Intelligence Unit either, and there has been virtually no cooperation on the financial side at all.
In essence, we still have the rivers of money flowing to spread wahhabism around the world, with no control, oversight or interest in stopping the spread of that venom. Hardly bolsters the claim of the Saudis being a “strong partner in the war on terror.” I wonder what a weak partner would look like.
The second shoe to drop is the splits with the Saudis over Iraq-a mess to be sure, and one with no easy answers. As the International Herald Tribune reports, the Saudis are intent on crippling the Shi’ite led government there and trying to use apparently forged documents with U.S. diplomats to convince them it is all an Iranian plot, let by the prime minister.
And perhaps it is, the waters are murky enough for many interpretations.
But aside from using apparently-forged documents to go after prime minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki (and there is plenty to go after there), the most interesting thing is the number of Saudis still making their way to Iraq to fight U.S. troops. And, of course, the very little effort the Saudis put into stopping them.
With friends like this, who needs enemies? Read the whole thing
The Jerusalem Post nails it
with tomorrow morning's editorial:
It his hard to escape the impression that we are witnessing the return of a "realist" US foreign policy that Bush spent the last six years working to discredit and displace. If Iran is the center of the axis of evil, then Saudi Arabia is the center of the axis of "realism" and the pre-9/11 worship of "stability" as the strategy for safeguarding Western interests.
None of this is to deny that a potential confluence of interests has developed between the Sunni Arab states, Israel and the US in confronting Iran and its proxies. It is not even to deny that the West should prefer the existing Saudi regime to one that Iran might want to see in its place, or that the Saudis have a role to play in pushing back the Iranian threat.
What we would argue is that throwing weapons at the Saudis, in classic pre-9/11 fashion, is not the solution. Instead, the West should start demanding that the Saudis pull their own weight in the struggle that they say is a common one.
These demands should include helping the US in Iraq, cracking down on "private" funding for extremism, ending their dalliance with Hamas, and taking serious steps toward normalization with Israel, including the ending of the constant barrage of anti-Israel resolutions in the UN. These Israel-related demands should not be seen as doing Israel a favor, but as a central part of ending Saudi complicity in the Islamist jihad against the West, of which the quest to destroy Israel is just one part.
Media bias, California style
In a puff piece about surfers on Gaza's beaches
, the Los Angeles Times comes up with this gem:
If surfing is a quest for freedom, nowhere is such a pursuit more relevant than in Gaza, an overcrowded, poverty-stricken strip of land on the Mediterranean controlled by Hamas and cut off from the rest of the world by Israel.
The last time I checked, Gaza has a border with Egypt, which is not cut off by Israel. The Egyptians won't let the 'Palestinians' into or out of their country either. In fact, it is Israel that is arranging for those who are stranded in Egypt to return to Gaza
, to the dismay of the 'Palestinians' since Israel is not allowing those who would bring suitcases of cash for the Hamas government with them to enter Gaza.
In any event, it is not Israel that is cutting Gaza off from the rest of the world. It is also Egypt.Hat Tip: Soccer Dad