2006-08-15

Morning Report: August 15, 2006

Wait for the ricochet. The abortive Israel/Hezbollah war leads to a redrawing of lines and a strengthening of sides - and an old disease crops up in Britain.

Big Pharaoh on Hezbollah war fallout. Big Pharaoh quotes bloggers on Nasrallah. Raja: 'It is true that Hizballah survived this onslaught, and in so doing, was able to achieve an unprecedented feat. However, it failed to accomplish anything else, and nomatter how much better it prepared for this war, could not have accomplished more. On that note, I have a message I wish to convey to Nasrallah (and I think I speak for the majority of Lebanese when I say this): Enough. ... The Israelis are now taking their Prime Minister to task for his folly. It would be a BIG shame if the Lebanese (including your own constituents, Mr. Nasrallah) do not take you to task. Did you really pose a deterrence to Israel? Could they have inflicted any more damage to the country? Were you the one who prevented them from doing so? Were your arms worth the price all of us paid? Can Lebanon continue like this? Will Lebanon be able to get back on its feet if you do not alter your own course? And finaly, can you and your organization, Mr. Nasrallah, really survive without Lebanon?' Charles Malik (formerly Lebanon.Profile) has this to say:
I didn't believe Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah when he said Hezbollah has more than 15,000 missiles.

I didn't believe any of the Hezbollah cheerleaders who claimed that Hezbollah soldiers are as good or better than most of the premier special forces units outside of the Western world. I took it as a given that they are the best fighting troops amongst the Arab countries, which is not saying much, but better than Iran, Pakistan, India? ...

Former UNIFIL spokesman Timur Goksel regularly spoke and speaks about the professionalism of Hezbollah. ...

I always doubted him. I believed him to a degree, but I thought he was exaggerating, even when we spoke just after the 12 July conflict began.

I was wrong.

Citing Michael Totten and Lisa Goldman, Malik says, "I realize just how much damage Hezbollah has inflicted on Israel." There's much more at the link, and it's well worth reading. And go to Big Pharaoh's post for more links. (various via BP)

MosNews: Hezbollah had Russian weapons? We're shocked! Via The Intelligence Summit, MosNews notes with some pride: 'Abandoned Hezbollah positions in Lebanon yesterday revealed conclusive evidence that Syria — and almost certainly Iran — provided the Russian-made anti-tank missiles that have blunted the power of Israel’s once invincible armor, the Daily Telegraph reported. After one of the fiercest confrontations of the war, Israeli forces took the small town of Ghandouriyeh, east of the southern city of Tyre, on Sunday evening, hours before a ceasefire brokered by the United Nations took effect. ... The discovery helped to explain the slow progress made by Israeli ground forces in nearly five weeks of a war which Hezbollah last night claimed as “a historic victory.” Israeli political and military leaders are facing mounting criticism over the conduct of the offensive, which was intended to smash the Iranian-backed Shia militia. Outside one of the town’s two mosques a van was found filled with green casings about 6ft long. The serial numbers identified them as AT-5 Spandrel anti-tank missiles. The wire-guided weapon was developed in Russia but Iran began making a copy in 2000.' The article adds: 'The Kornet was unveiled by Russia in 1994. It is laser-guided, has a range of three miles and carries a double warhead capable of penetrating the reactive armour on Israeli Merkava tanks. Russia started supplying them to Syria in 1998.' More information at the link. (MosNews via TIS)

Debka: "Nasrallah is already carving out Lebanon's future." Debka:
Tuesday morning, an Israeli spokesman emphasized that Hassan Narallah “must” obey the Security Council resolution. If he failed to do so, Israel “would have to do the job.” DEBKAfile’s exclusive sources in Beirut report that Nasrallah’s machinations represent a reality which is a world away from this kind of rhetoric:
1. He has notified Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora that the only concession he is willing to make with regard to the Hizballah presence in South Lebanon is to avoid exhibiting his fighters’ weapons in a demonstrative fashion.
2. Hizballah forces in the South will not oppose the deployment of Lebanese troops and a strengthened UNIFIL force, so long as they understand who their hosts are, namely Hizballah. The inference here is that foreign peacekeepers’ steps will be dogged by Hizballah fighters. This action nullifies the injunction to the Beirut government to assert Lebanese sovereignty in every part of the country, which was stressed by the US president in his speech.
3. Siniora must stop referring to Hizballah’s disarmament else Hizballah ministers and MPs will topple his government by withdrawing their parliamentary support.

Full article at the link. (Debka)

Anti-semitism in the U.K. It'll never be the title of a catchy punk-rock tune, but DFME links Jamie Glassman at the Times:
There have always been anti- Semitic jokes. But you know times are changing when you go along to a stand-up show at the Pleasance Courtyard at the Edinburgh Fringe and you hear audience members shouting “Throw them in the oven” when the comic suggests kids should stop playing Cowboys and Indians and replace it with Nazis and Jews.

Stand-up comedy is as good a prism as any through which to look at the changing attitudes in our society. If my past few days are anything to go by then it is becoming increasingly acceptable to hate the Jews. Again.

I’ve seen two comics so far who have been happy to amuse their crowds with Holocaust gags. I’m not sure which to be the more concerned about.

One was a left-leaning angry Australian conspiracy theorist, Steve Hughes, whose show The Storm is an assault on all things Western. “I want to bash Condoleezza Rice’s brain to bits and kill that f****** Jew Richard Perle.” ...

But what is going on in Edinburgh now is no satire. For me, Hughes represents a growing trend among left-thinking people in this country and around the world to accept as dogma that those on the Left should hate Bush, Blair, American imperialism, Israel and, while we’re at it, the Jews. It is a cultural trend that I’ve found increasingly evident but never before has the Jew-hating element been so overt. This week has confirmed that my Jewish paranoia is not entirely unfounded. As the old saying goes: “Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me.”

Read the rest at the link. It's no joke. (The Times via DFME)

Assad vows to recapture Golan Heights. As previously noted here, Syria's Bashar Assad has declared that he will retake the Golan from Israeli control. YNet: 'Syrian President Bashar Assad said his country is prepared for any war that may break out with Israel , adding that he is convinced that the chances for peace have decreased and that “the Golan Heights will be liberated by Syria.” In a special interview with Egyptian newspaper Al-Osboa, Assad said “if Israel launches a war against Syria, it will pay a heavy price.”' Read it all at the link. (YNet)

Commentary. No doubt Israel's enemies in Tehran and Damascus will see the unfinished war in Lebanon as a chance to buy time and rebuild their strength for a final assault on Israel. But the final outcome may not be up to Assad and Ahmadinejad. The Israeli public will demand more decisive action from this government - or from the next one - and opinion is building against Hezbollah on both sides of the border.

The forces of fascism, racism, and anti-semitism won't go down without a fight, but they will go down. They may think they have outsmarted progress by camouflaging themselves in the guise of "liberalism" and "progressivism", but true progress will prevail and true liberation will come - if we have the will for it.