Saturday, August 05, 2006

The beginning of the end?

Is this the end of the madness? The end of the destruction? The end of the killing? Is this when we wake up from this nightmare, hoping it will never happen again?
For the first time all parties are talking about a cease-fire. The United States and France agreed on a UN Resolution which calls for an end to the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, but would allow Israel to defend itself if attacked. However, this resolution does not call for an immediate cessation of hostilites - a point which could become a very dangerous game to play since anything could happen during that period. Israel did after all state it wants to continue fighting for up to two weeks to seriously diminish Hizbullah's military capability.
Hezbollah on the other hand said it will agree on a cease-fire if Israel ends its offensive and withdraws its army from Lebanon. Israel is unlikely to do this as it has stated before that it will 'occupy' south Lebanon until a multi-national force fills in the gap.
So is this the beginning of the end, or is this just another "I hope" that will go directly to the garbage? Hezbollah will never agree to a cease-fire with bullet points on it which state that Israel could attack the group whenever it has been attacked. And Israel is willing to do anything to effect deterrence. This has become a war of perceptions and it is unlikely that either Israel or Hezbollah would let the other win that propaganda battle.
And now there is talk about letting the Lebanese Army disarm Hizbullah. If anything I would much rather prefer that happen since it is a Lebanese group, but I have hard time believing that the army has enough punch to do so without a pre-fabricated agreement. A current U.N. force already in Lebanon could initially monitor implementation of the resolution, but a more robust international force would be deployed to support Lebanese forces in providing security and implementing a permanent cease-fire.
Where am I getting to? Well even though there is serious talk about cease-fire for once from all parties, it still is a lot of talk and nothing else. And I honestly don’t comprehend how this issue can be resolved quickly when looking at the speed of these discussions. And that’s if all parties do actually agree on something concrete. By the time they decide on that something there will be more dead, more destruction and more nightmares that the Lebanese will have to deal with. When all this is finished, we will wake up to realize that it wasnt a nightmare, but the pure reality of life on this earth. Luckily, we will always have our Cedar to look up to. That's if it will not be blown up too.


Anonymous David said...

Tehran Sends Archterrorist Mughniyeh to Rescue Hizballah

August 5, 2006, 4:57 PM (GMT+02:00)

In the middle of the fourth week of the Lebanon War, the tide began to turn in Israel’s favor. DEBKAfile’s military sources report the battlefield finally responded to the effect of Israel’s air might, its tank columns, the pounding by mobile artillery and naval craft and its repeated armored infantry assaults.
After losing 44 fighting men, more than 30 civilians, many thousands of wounded and billions of dollars of damage, finally, the Israeli military was given the chance to do what it does best: focus its firepower instead of spreading it out thin over too many targets.
The setbacks of the first three weeks were partly due to tactical incompetence and laggard decision-making on the part of prime minister Ehud Olmert and defense minister Peretz. Israeli troops therefore spent too long in abrading combat against stubborn Hizballah resistance in such places as Maroun er Ras and Bint Jubeil. But as soon as Israeli ground forces shifted to the massive, long-distance firing mode which they knows best, the impact on the warfront was immediate. The battle went their way with a minimum of casualties. In places where Israeli troops adhered to the close combat tactics practiced in the first three weeks, they continued to suffer high casualties.
Hizballah soon showed signs of distress. Lacking the weapons and resources to stand up to IDF’s precise-shooting juggernaut, their commanders quickly pulled their men out most combat sectors of South Lebanon and ordered them to regroup in five places:
1. The Western Sector and the center of Tyre.
2. The Wadi Hajar pocket east of Tyre.
3. The Central Sector surrounding Bint Jubeil, where the outcome is still unresolved after many days of fighting.
4. The Wadi Saluki area northwest of the northernmost Israeli town of Metullah.
5. The Eastern Sector, including al Khiam, the Shabaa Farms and Mt Dov, which has seen little fighting - although last week Israeli forces began - then stopped - a major offensive before it got underway.
These pockets are now the main launching-pads for rockets fired into Israel.
Outside, there is no ground fighting in South Lebanon but for Israeli air strikes.
Hizballah also has also been using the Tapuach and al-Haroub areas south and northeast of Sidon for shooting rockets. It is from this region that Hizballah fired the long-range Khaibar-1 missiles at Hadera Friday night, August 4, which came 45 km short of Tel Aviv. Saturday morning, Sidon’s 200,000 inhabitants and its outlying villages up to the Zahrani River were warned to leave their homes and head north to escape the coming Israeli air offensive.
Until the Khaibar attack on Hadera, the concentration of Hizballah’s rocket launchers and stores in and around Sidon had been immune from Israeli attack – largely because Olmert and his senior ministers refused to increase the number of ground troops deployed in Lebanon. The military commanders had to do their best with the limited numbers available.
In other words, with the right manpower level, Hizballah’s abilty to fire rockets can be dented, notwithstanding claims by Israel officials and generals that there is no way to do this when most of Hizballah’s 13,000-rocket stockpile remains intact.
But even cutting down on the daily 200-plus rocket blitz on northern Israel is
not plain sailing because:
First, Neither the Israeli Air Force nor any other air force is capable of completely halting rocket fire from the ground. In the relatively small distances between Lebanon and Israel, the short-range Katyusha rockets have the effect of medium-range weapons, while the short-to-medium range rockets perform like long-range missiles.
Second, Israel does not have enough infantry on the ground to make substantial inroads on Hizballah’s rocket-firing capabilities.
Third, Iran and Syria are constantly restocking Hizballah’s diminishing supplies of rockets of all types, launchers and operating manpower by a round- the-clock airlift from Iran via Syrian military air fields. Some of the incoming supplies are destroyed by Israeli air attacks as they cross into Lebanon, but a substantial part is conveyed to Hizballah by smuggling networks employing mules to traverse Lebanese mountain paths. Even if 2,000 have been wiped out and a similar amount has been fired, no one knows how many are left in stock because it is replenished. As long as that corridor is not severed by bombing the Syrian stopover air facilities, Iran will continue to top up Hizballah’s stockpile. Therefore, the rocket offensive cannot be reduced by very much.
Fourth, Israeli forces do not operate in all parts of South Lebanon.
Hizballah’s withdrawal to five pockets in South Lebanon affords the IDF certain tactical advantages - although liabilities too.
The Advantages:
It is now possible to carve the region the Israeli army controls into three sections, western, central and eastern, a tactic familiar from the Gaza Strip, for encumbering Hizballah guerrilla movement between the sections. The goal is to confine Hizballah to the five pockets and place them under blockade. They can then be made to capitulate or face liquidation.
The Liabilities:
Leaving the two banks of the Litani River, the Nabatea plain and Hazbaya to the north of the river in Hizballah hands leaves a route open for its reinforcements to come through and to strike Israeli forces from the rear.
Nonetheless, by Thursday, August 3, Hizballah was showing signs of being in trouble.
A. Local Hizballah village commanders signaled repeated appeals for more manpower and ammunition. The appeals were not met because outside forces cannot break through the defense lines held by the advancing Israeli troops. The village commanders were therefore told by their superiors to fight to the last man and last bullet and reserve the last grenade for suicide.
B. Hizballah’s shadowy leader, the long-wanted Imad Mughniyeh, was hurriedly appointed commander of the southern front as a last resort to save South Lebanon from falling to Israel.(picture from the 1980s)
DEBKAfile’s military and counter-terror sources maintain that this appointment raises the conflict to a new and dangerous level on several counts.
Mughniyeh, wanted for a quarter of a century by the FBI for the huge bombing attacks he orchestrated on the US embassy in Beirut and American and French troops, as well as a spate of hijackings and murders, is important enough to take orders from no-one ranking lower than Iran’s supreme ruler, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Those orders come through the Revolutionary Guards commander Gen. Rahim Safavi.
Therefore, placing Mughniyeh at the head of Hizballah forces in South Lebanon confronts prime minister Olmert uncomfortably close to Iran’s supreme leader; ranges defense minister Peretz opposite his Iranian counterpart Mustafa Najer and chief of staff Lt. Gen Dan Halutz opposite Gen. Safavi, while on the warfront, Israel’s war leaders face the formidable Mughniyeh, Tehran’s secret weapon for rescuing Hizballah from collapse.
Informed circles in the West have a high opinion of Mughniyeh’s military, intelligence and tactical skills. His hand was seen in the transformation of al Qaeda’s 2001 defeat in Afghanistan into a launch pad for its anti-US campaign in Iraq and many other ventures in the terror war against America. After the death of Abu Musab al Zarqawi, Mughniyeh is rated the world Islamic terror movement’s most outstanding field commander.
Therefore, while the appointment is a measure of Israel’s belated military success in the Lebanese war, it also brings the conflict ever closer to two dangerous orbits – Tehran and al Qaeda. Mughniyeh is the only undercover agent in the Middle East who enjoys the complete personal trust of Khamenei and Osama bin Laden, on both of whom he is in a position to call for aid.
On the diplomatic front, even if the United States and France can get together on a unified UN Security Council ceasefire resolution, DEBKAfile’s military sources report that neither Iran nor Hizballah has any intention of complying with a resolution dictated by the United States, France and Israel

1:03 AM  
Blogger funkyfantom said...

Truth to power? What a lame cliche.
People reading this might be interested
in opening their eyes to the biased pro-Hezbollah mainstream media (reuters, bbc, etc.)

Here is a great example of how Hezbollah supporters working for Reuters are putting crudely faked photos on the wire

I call this "Lies from Power".
The Emperor has no clothes.

4:04 AM  
Anonymous another voice from Lebanon said...

funkyfantom, please,

BBC and Reuters are pro-Hezbollah now?? BBC and Reuters are the most respected name in media worldwide, and they are decidedly not in favor of Hezbollah. If that's how you interpret fair and humane coverage, then there really is no hope for you.

In terms of the photos, your case is pretty strong that they're enhanced. But you know what, I don't care if there are extra billows of smoke doctored in. What I really care about is the death toll. And I am pretty sure, as a Photoshop expert myself, that the dead baby in the picture is real.

5:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another voice,

Yes, BBC and Reuters are pro-Hizbollah. And BBC is not well respected anymore. But if you compare these outlets to al Manar... they are not as bad.

Regardind photos from Qana, there is a big chance that the whole situation was created by Hizbollah for propaganda purposes.

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what? propaganda...and what of Qana in 1996? was that propaganda too? Israel has a track record, people....wake up.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BBC the Independent, the guardian and reuaters are well known collaborators of Hez they just like to support these bastards as it pisses the US and inflate the conflicty further.

its becoming a joke now and I as a UK resident decided not to read or listen to these 'media' institutes of hate.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous another voice from Lebanon said...

Being critical of the IDF's actions does not automatically make one "pro-Hizbollah". For example, Human Rights Watch has repeatedly issued reports condemning IDF's actions in Lebanon because they violate human rights and international law. This does not make Human Rights Watch "pro-Hezbollah."

Same for BBC, the Independent, the Guardian, and Reuters. Being critical of Israel does not make one "pro-Hezbollah" or "anti-Semitic" or even "pro-Lebanon".

So what interest does BBC and the international press have in being, as you claim,"pro-Hezbollah"? In the US, most of the media is dominated by the money and power of the pro-Israel lobby. This explains their pro-Israel bias; it is well-documented and there is academic scholarship to support it.

But sorry, "pissing off the US" is not a legitimate interest for any media organization--ask any self-respecting journalist. You'll have to come up with something better than that to support your claim.

I'm curious, though, which media organizations you believe are giving fair and accurate coverage to the situation?

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No news sources are fair and accurate in my opinion, that is why you have to scour all sources, and get info from all sides, then try to piece together an opinion for yourself.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous another voice said...

so which sources do you scour?

4:13 PM  
Blogger Mr Wrath said...

Mostly I will start out on MSNBC or CNN and read there. When I find a topic interesting, I start looking online for information from pretty much any and every source.

You'll find a blog such as this that shows you what people in Lebanon are really thinking instead of believing what the news says is the "word on the street". Forums and blogs are good for that type of info, and actually probably the easiest part of current events to find info on since you can talk directly to people other countries.

For past events leading up to current events, or factual reports on current events, it is a bit harder to find any truth. I think we can ALL agree that you basic "news" is worthless because of the need for sensationalism. One example I remember complaining about was MSNBCs intro when they talked about the Iraq war...they had theme music and everything, and it sounded like a pro-wrestling intro as the words came at you one after the other IRAQ......WAR......2004!!! pretty sad really.

Like I said, as the anon, I just look everywhere I can, digest what I found, and form an opinion as best I can. Wikipedia is a pretty interesting idea for stuff from history, and has some good articles...people that were any situation often make personal sites talking about it...

I really think anything I say, people will say it isn't the truth, but all I can do is search for info, combine all of it together in what sounds like the most logical opinion for me.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:52

It is possible that the whole situation was created by Hizbollah, but then why did Israel admit to it and apologize?
Also, then if it is possible for Hizbollah to set something like this up for propoganda, it is also possible for Israel to set something like this up. They have done this in the past. For instance, a while before the kidnapping of the two soldiers, there were supposedly two rockets fired from inside of Lebanon at Israel. However, Hizbollah denied the whole thing. For a terrorist group who usually claims these kinds of things, it was a little out of character. Then people started asking around and found a group of Israeli sympathizers living in southern Lebanon who eventually admitted to the whole thing. Now that is what I call faulty propoganda.

1:53 AM  
Blogger Terry Crane said...

I belive I said this before - do not expect much from "international forces". Hezbollah is there nurtured bu Iran to to disarm at first request, but to act geo-political influence. They will shoot to kill at anyone who will try to disarm them. French didn't fight Hitler on their own soil, you think they are ready to die for your prosperity? Think again. Only Lebanese and Israeli need Hezbollah out, so they will fight until you take over - and it doesn't look like you are prepared to take control over your country.

BTW, in reality Iran doesn't need Israel, threatening Israel is just a card in much bigger oil-related game. About that later

10:21 AM  

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