2006-08-11

Morning Report: August 11, 2006

What next? Israel's leader, facing an unprecedented crisis of confidence, must decide quickly which course to take in Lebanon; but the Israelis seem to be getting ready to shift tactics in favor of a more mobile approach.

Islamic fascists in Iran threaten terror attacks against the West. The Counterterrorism Blog reports: 'Hossein Shariatmadari, the president of the conservative Iranian Kayhan newspaper, wrote in his newspaper on July 31, 2006 an article where he asked "young Muslims to attack Zionists, Zionist centers as well as the embassies of the countries supporting Israel such as the U.S., the U.K., etc." and nobody really cares. Shariatmadari is a mouthpiece for the regime in Tehran, and is appointed personally by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini.' Go to the link to read about the Iranian regime's European hostages. (CTB)

PA crumbling? Vital Perspective: 'MediaLine reports that there are increasing signs from Gaza and Ramallah that the Palestinian Authority will soon be disbanded. The ongoing rift between the Hamas-led government and the Fatah-backed, de-jure leader of the Palestinians Mahmoud Abbas means nothing is being done for the people, particularly in Gaza. ...' (VP)

Israeli opinion on Olmert. "Hurry up and wait" is a well-known military adage, but it took Ehud Olmert to elevate it to a strategic doctrine. Ari Shavit in Ha'Aretz: 'If Olmert runs away now from the war he initiated, he will not be able to remain prime minister for even one more day. Chutzpah has its limits. You cannot lead an entire nation to war promising victory, produce humiliating defeat and remain in power. You cannot bury 120 Israelis in cemeteries, keep a million Israelis in shelters for a month, wear down deterrent power, bring the next war very close, and then say - oops, I made a mistake. ... There is no mistake Ehud Olmert did not make this past month.' Jerusalem Post: 'No one, except perhaps Hizbullah, wants Israel to be stuck in Lebanon again. We can expect that more ground forces will probably mean more casualties among our soldiers, even if such an operation succeeds in significantly reducing the barrages of short-range missiles that are terrorizing the north. On balance, however, the price Israel will have to pay to degrade Hizbullah further will be considerably lower than the one it will pay in the future if it ends this war now.' Yechiel Spira in Arutz Sheva: 'It appears that United Nations efforts are concentrating on halting Israeli military operations throughout Lebanon, but no effort is being made to eliminate the Hizbullah threat. The draft agreement only calls for pushing Hizbullah north of the Litani, not far enough from Israel’s northern border to place Hizbullah rockets out of range from northern Israeli civilian population centers.' Not too surprisingly, The Intelligence Summit reports: 'Israel's government is losing domestic support for its conduct of the conflict against Hizbullah guerrillas in Lebanon, and doubt is growing among Israelis that they are winning the war, according to polls published Friday. The army's failure to end incessant attacks is likely one reason for the drop in the government's popularity figures.' (various)

Russia on Hezbollah weapons: Who, us? As reported here last night, some sources are reporting that powerful anti-tank weapons - the Sagger AT-3A missile, the Metis-M 9K115-2 and the Kornet ATGM - are claiming as many as two Israeli tanks daily. This appears in the wake of a recent Russian deal to sell weapons to Syria. Russia, however, claims to be "bewildered" by suggestions that it had any part in arming Hezbollah. Perhaps in response - or as a sign of a shift in tactics - Israel is keen on getting some new antipersonnel weapons: 'Israel has asked for the M-26 artillery rockets scheduled for early 2007 to be airlifted now, according to the They are designed for rapid consignment to the US army by C-141 Galaxy transports. Fired in 12-rocket barrages, they carry hundreds of grenade-like bomblets that scatter and explode over a broad area (compared with Hizballah’s Katyusha rockets, each of which contains 40,000 tiny steel balls). DEBKAfile’s military sources add: the M-26 is the last word in this type of rocket. It can be loaded 80 percent faster than the weapons used by the IDF – no more than 5 minutes. This enables a rocket crew to load, shoot and run to safety before the attack, lending the weapon its “shoot and scoot” capability. Israel is asking for the rockets now because it has been unable to suppress Hezbollah’s Katyusha rocket attacks which are killing Israeli civilians every day. The cluster rocket can penetrate Hizballah fortifications. A senior US official said the M-26 is likely to be released shortly, along with other arms. ....' (various)

Attacks on Israel continue. Arutz Sheva: 'A Kheiber-1 302mm long-range rocket landed in Haifa in the last wave of attacks. no injuries were reported.' Jerusalem Post: 'A katyusha rocket directly hit an eleven story building in Kiryat Shmona Fiday afternoon. MDA staff evacuated one person in moderately condition.' (A7, JPost)

Welcome Newstex readers! Morning Report is pleased to announce that Dreams Into Lightning is now indexed on Newstex.

Commentary. Vital Perspective summarizes Yousef Ibrahim's article in the New York Sun:
* Lebanon and Iraq are full-blown crises, both driven by Shiite and Sunni jihadists. In Iraq, the Shiites and Sunnis are fighting each other, but they occasionally join hands in an effort to defeat the American project. In Lebanon, the Shiite Hezbollah terror group has dragged the country into a war with Israel, but in the process is returning Lebanon to the combined influence zone of Iran and Syria while destroying its Western-friendly government.
* In Gaza, a jihadist Palestinian Arab terror group, Hamas, is engaged in a second-front war with Israel.
* In Egypt and Jordan, two countries that have signed a peace treaty with Israel, the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood is ramping up the pressure, organizing demonstrations and a huge press campaign in support of the ongoing Hezbollah and Hamas wars.
* From his hideout in Afghanistan, Ayman al-Zawahiri has announced a union of al-Qaeda with Gamaa Islamiya of Egypt, the terror group that assassinated President Sadat. Gamaa Islamiya is urging all jihadists to support their Shiite Hezbollah brethren in Lebanon, and pushing for all jihadists in Iraq to fight Americans.
* In Baghdad last week, the Iraqi Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr organized the largest anti-American, anti-Israel demonstration in the world, in the very heart of the Iraqi capital.
* Yesterday, the world was reminded once again how far the jihadist tentacles extend, as Britain announced the arrest of 24 Muslims on the verge of launching the biggest attack on airplanes and passengers since the September 11, 2001, assault on America.

VP adds that "there is no evidence these jihadists have coordinated their actions, but they are waving at each other under what will surely be a unity banner. How could they not?"

The anti-victory left has made much of the claim that our various enemies on various fronts are disparate groups and not a single, unified force. The message, of course, is that "there is no real external enemy", which is a central pillar of leftist thinking: the target of attack must at all times be the West's own leadership.

Tactically, it matters how our enemies are connected with one another, if indeed they are. But in the global war for civilization, it makes no difference at all. Because, unlike the left, our ultimate objective is not to stand against something but to stand for something.

To win the battle on the ground, we need to find out where the Katyushas and Saggers are coming from and put a stop to it. To win the battle for the future, it is necessary to continue building - and defending - a positive culture with positive values. This means engaging in scholarship, creativity, and constructive debate across all segments of the pro-civilization world: liberals, conservatives, neoconservatives, atheists, evangelicals, gay activists, feminists, and people from every religion and philosophy.

The nihilistic left, like the moribund Palestinian Authority, has no positive program and nothing to offer. It can only go on creating enemies until it eats itself alive. For the rest of us, there is more to life than this. Whether our enemies are few or many, we must defeat them and make sure that they do not threaten us again. And we must go on with our lives. We've got a world to build.