2006-08-16

Morning Report: August 16, 2006

Waiting. Latest developments in the interbellum.

Lebanon: Army units to deploy. Debka: 'Lebanese units plan to deploy north of the Litani Wednesday and start moving south Thursday – provided PM Siniora clinches a deal with Hizballah’s Nasrallah. They are discussing the juxtaposition between Lebanese and Hizballah deployments in the south and along the borders with Syria, on the assumption -which the Israeli government refuses to acknowledge: the beefed up UNIFIL force is a non-starter. Only three Muslim nations have offered contingents, Indonesia, Malaysia and Morocco. The main component from France is no longer in the running, as French foreign minister Philippe Douste-Blazy informed Beirut Tuesday. Other countries dropped out too after learning that Fouad Siniora will neither disarm Hizballah nor end its presence in the south, having bowed to Nasrallah’s threats.' (Debka)

Lashkar-e-Taiba aka Jamaad-ud-Dawa in Britain. Counterterrorism Blog:
Yesterday, in response to reports in the Washington Post and the New York Times implicating Pakistani earthquake relief funds in the latest airliner bomb plot in Great Britain, Abdullah Muntazir--a prominent spokesman for the Islamic militant organization Jamaat-ud-Dawa (a.k.a. Lashkar-e-Taiba)--denied playing any role in the plot and further insisted that the group is "totally based in Pakistan" and has no presence abroad in the United Kingdom, nor does it collect money in Europe.

While it remains to be seen exactly how Jamaat-ud-Dawa funds played into the latest UK terror plot, there is ample and undeniable evidence that the group has been actively raising funds and recruiting in Western Europe and North America. What is even more ironic/humorous about Muntazir's current denials is that previously--in an inexplicable contradiction--he has openly acknowleged that LeT/Jamaat-ud-Dawa recruited British nationals of South Asian descent and trained them in jihad tactics. The following is an excerpt from an expert witness report I submitted earlier this year on behalf of British Crown Prosecutors in the criminal case of Regina v. Mohammed Ajmal Khan, Palvinder Singh, et al. (Snaresbrook Court):

In order to obtain advanced military technology and to recruit Westernized operatives, LeT has relied upon a global network of militants and supporters—with primary focus on North America and the United Kingdom. ...

Full article at the link. (CTB)

Halutz says he didn't know about time constraints. Ha'Aretz: 'The decision to expand the ground operation in Lebanon and advance to the Litani River was not made with the knowledge that the fighting would end within 48 hours, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Wednesday. "When we began the operation, we did not know we only had 48 hours. We knew a diplomatic process was set to begin, but we didn't know we'd have to stop after 48 hours," Halutz said. He noted that when the decision to expand the fighting was made, the United Nations Security Council had not yet approved a resolution on the cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah. He also said the operation had been planned for Wednesday, but was delayed by two days due to diplomatic efforts being made. Halutz hinted that the expansion of the operation was meant to apply pressure on the UN. ...' (Ha'Aretz)

Iran Focus: IRI was behind Hezbollah attack. No big surprises here, but Iran Focus is reporting: 'Iran masterminded the July 12 attack on an Israeli military squad by the Lebanese militia Hezbollah which ignited a major military offensive against the group by the Jewish state, Iran Focus has learnt. A well-placed source inside the clerical establishment told Iran Focus that prior to the start of hostilities Tehran dispatched several top officials including the chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to attend a summit in Syria which took place on July 4 and focused on ways to upset the regional balance in the Middle East. Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of the founder of the Islamic Republic, travelled to the Syrian capital last month, staying in Damascus between July 1 and 6 under the cover of pilgrimage to a revered Shiite Muslim shrine.' (Iran Focus)

Al-Qaeda's third-ranking man was behind airline plot: Pakistani source. AKI/DAWN via The Intelligence Summit: 'Al-Qaeda’s number three was the mastermind behind the plot to blow up transatlantic flights, an intelligence source in the Pakistani capital has said. "It is not Osama bin Laden and it’s not Ayman Al-Zawahiri, but someone close to the rank of Abu Faraj Al-Libbi," the source told Pakistani daily Dawn. It is an Afghanistan-based Al Qaeda connection, the source said requesting he not be named and adding that al-Qaeda’s link to the London airline bombing plot was established. Abu Faraj Al-Libbi, a third-tier Al Qaeda operative was believed involved in an attempt to assassinate President Gen Pervez Musharraf and was arrested in Mardan in May 2005. Seventeen people had died in the failed attack in Rawalpindi in December 2005.' (TIS)

Briefly noted. Condi says the US and Israel won and Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran lost, but Tammy isn't impressed.

Commentary. Citing Daniel Pipes, Alexandra von Maltzan writes: 'Pipes says that Western Governments "need to see public relations as part of their strategy"; that Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations like Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood clearly do. This is undoubtedly true. But the part that struck me is that it shouldn't be so. ... The question we must ask: How is it possible that in a nation, where 'success' has been elevated to a quasi-religious status in virtually all parts of society and activities, almost half its population rejects, what throughout human history used to be not just any, but the number one source for individual pride and self-esteem, the economic and military might of that, their very own, nation. When we begin to understand the answer to this question, will be also understand that public relations efforts are not the cure, but more often than not completely counterproductive.'

What is it that you would fight for? As an individual, what would you fight for? Probably most liberals of good conscience would have no trouble answering this question, and no doubt their answers would be both sincere and noble. The missing link is the individual's identification with the nation - the recognition that she or he has a stake and a positive role in the nation as a whole, including its government and including its security and including its defense. It's up to the individual to forge that link - but upon it, the well-being of society depends.