Hamas declares cease fire
Not to be out done by Israel, Hamas too has declared a "unilateral" cease-fire:Hamas announced an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip Sunday and gave Israel, which had already declared a unilateral truce, a week to pull its troops out of the territory following a three-week war.Had to chuckle at the demand
Breaking: Unilateral Israeli Cease Fire begins at 7pm EST (UPDATED)
That according to a CBS email alert.More when I can find it. My guess is they’re going to shut it down in place (assuring they’re in well defended positions) and see if Hamas can manage to behave for a few days before they pull out.UPDATE: The NY Times says:Mr. Olmert, who s
Not the "Iranian Unit"!? Tell me it ain’t so!
Even terrorists have their "elite units". In this case, Hamas’s best turned out to be less than advertised.The so-called "Iranian Unit" of Hamas has been destroyed, according to Gaza sources cited Thursday by the Haaretz daily. The sources said most of the unit’s 100 members were killed in fighting in the Zeytun neighborhood of Gaza City.The terrori
Hamas cuts and runs
With the methodical 20 day Israeli offensive now reaching deep into Gaza City, the brave Hamas fighters who have no qualms about setting up their rockets among women and children, using them as human shields and misusing ambulances to move their fighters around are cutting and running from the IDF:ISRAEL’s cabinet was preparing to endorse a ceasefire
Anti-Iraq War or just knee-jerk Anti-War?
Armed Liberal cites Spencer Ackerman wondering if the jig is up for some of the left:...[F]or at least four years, there’s been something of a dodge taken by liberals when discussing Afghanistan. To speak broadly, liberals have endlessly invoked the mantra that the real center of the war on terrorism is in Afghanistan, rather than in Iraq. But that’s been a
Disproportionate my A**
It is well known that Hamas has dug tunnels under the border between Egypt and Gaza through which they smuggle weaponry. As an aside: imagine how much "food and humanitarian aid" could have come through that same route had they decided to spend their money on that instead of weapons - and, most likely, they would have been able to bring it in overland vs tunnels to boot.Anyway, the estimate is that there are about 300 tunnels in use. Addition
Carter’s version of the War in Gaza
Jimmy Carter starts his article in the Washington Post this way:I know from personal involvement that the devastating invasion of Gaza by Israel could easily have been avoided. After visiting Sderot last April and seeing the serious psychological damage caused by the rockets that had fallen in that area, my wife, Rosalynn, and I decl
Hamas has no desire to negotiate "peace"
Rabbi Michael Lerner claims, in the TimesOnLine, that Israel’s response to the Hamas provocations is something which is within its rights, but stupid:Israel’s attempt to wipe out Hamas is understandable, but stupid. No country in the world is going to ignore the provocation of rockets being launched from neighbouring territory d
The left - drawing false parallels
Peterr at FireDogLake points to a quote by Munib Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land in which he likens the security wall Israel erected to the Berlin wall: [W]ho would have imagined that less than two decades later we would be back to building walls? I have no doubt that the Separation Wall in the Holy Land wi
LA Times columist’s predictable "blame Israel" (and Bush) column
Rosa Brooks manages a rather stunning feat - she proves she has a marginal grasp on the obvious while then proving she hasn’t a clue about the present Israeli/Palestinian problem.The Obvious? The title - "Israel Can’t Bomb Its Way To Peace".My guess, Ms. Brooks, is you won’t find anyone in Israel who disagrees w
Israel: the "proportionality" argument - again
It seems like each time some terrorist group attacks Israel and Israel responds we have to go about explaining "proportionality" again. That’s because it is obvious some self-appointed  
The Blunt Truth About Afghanistan
That truth, according to counterinsurgency expert David Kilcullin is, "it’s winnable, but just barely".The four reasons he gives in a New Yorker interview are as follows:Well, we need to be more effective in what we are doing, but we also need to do some different things, as well, with the focus on security and governance. The class
Yon on Iraq - We won!
Insty just had a phone call from Michael Yon who is back in Iraq checking it all out and writes:"THE WAR IS OVER AND WE WON:" Michael Yon just phoned from Baghdad, and reports that things are much better than he had expected, and he had expected things to be good. "There’s nothing going on. I’m with the 10th Mountain Division, and about half of the guys I&r
Dealing in truth in Afghanistan
From a departing British commander in Afghanistan:The departing commander of British forces in Afghanistan says he believes the Taleban will never be defeated.Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith, the commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade, whose troops have suffered severe casualties after six months of tough fighting, will hand over to 3 Commando Brigade Roy
Saudi Arabia and the "War on Terror"
Michael Totten makes a very important point that is easily missed in all the election year rhetoric:Senator Barack Obama said something at the presidential debate last week that almost perfectly encapsulates the difference between his foreign policy and his opponent’s: “Secretary of Defense Robert Gates himself acknowledges the war on terrorism started in Afghanistan
Afghanistan is a very different war
One of the more serious mistakes one can make when considering the war in Afghanistan is to think it is just like the war in Iraq and can be prosecuted the same way.That’s not to say more troops wouldn’t help the situation. They would. That’s not where the two wars are different. Nor are some of the counter-insurgency goals, such as protection of the population, not common goals between the two conflicts.It has to do more w
Al Qaeda "October surprise" poll
With almost 300 votes, the results of our reader poll about whether al-Qaeda would strike the US before the election are:1. Which ticket would an al-Qaeda attack benefit?McCain/Palin 82%Obama/Biden 12%Neither 6%2. Who do you think al-Qaeda would prefer to win the US presidential election?McCain 3% Obama
Well at least there weren’t any snipers
Brave Joe Biden knows where bin Laden and the "gates of hell" are. If you want to know, you need to go back to Afghanistan with him where his "helicopter was forced down":"If you want to know where Al Qaeda lives, you want to know where Bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me," Biden said. "Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down, with
Michael Yon in Afghanistan
I had an opportunity to participate in a live interview with Michael Yon in Afghanistan. He is currently embeded with British troops there. Kevin Whalen, on WRKO’s "Pundit Review radio" invited me to hang around to talk with Michael, an opportunity I eagerly grabbed. Yon does some amazing work and apparently is going to be in Afghanistan for the next year. If you’re interested in
The backstory
Terrific background piece by Michael Totten on the Russo-Georgian war. Take the time to read it.
Georgia, regime change, and casus belli
This is one of those "I must respectfully disagree" moments...Earlier today, McQ made the following point in his post, "Is Georgia Worth Going to War Over?":But one thing [it] does point out is that Russia believes if "regime change" is a legitimate reason for the US to invade another country, it is certainly just as legitimate for Russia to do so.And while you
Anti-war protests: Not much has changed in some places
An interesting vid shot at UC Santa Barbara earlier this month. It is a rather revealing look at what constitutes the state of the anti-war movement at this time. It is not a pretty picture. They’re uninformed, ignorant of the terms they throw around, and prone to childish acts like spitting on those asking the questions.Welcome to the "criminal state" where "fascists" somehow allow freedom of speech and none of those involved in this march had any
Al Qaeda diverting terrorists from Iraq to Afghanistan?
Consider this:Senior leaders of al-Qaida may be diverting fighters from the war in Iraq to the Afghan frontier area, the top American commander in Iraq told The Associated Press on Saturday.If true, that one sentence blows away many of myths that have fueled the left’s criticism of the war in Iraq.A) Ir
Tough Luv - Kos style
I swear, it is fun to read that blog at times. Between the strike and some of the off-the-wall diarists it’s amazingly entertaining.Take this guy for instance: It has been almost a hundred-fifty years since the United States has fought a war on its own soil, and in that one America invaded and fought itself. It only took one incredibly destruct
Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and the GWoT
Some interesting news or opinion about each area.Iraq:Basra, as I mentioned some time ago, seems to be going in the toilet, thanks to the British. Remember how they mocked the US effort early on and claimed their "soft cap" approach was much more effective? Well if Basra is an indicator of the success of that approach, they need to rethink it. Ralph Peters addresses that and much more about Iraq in a very interesting interv
Meanwhile in Afghanistan
Good grief.Afghanistan has its own set of problems, that’s for sure. But a competent enemy doesn’t seem to be one of them at the moment:Two battles killed more than 165 Taliban fighters and a U.S.-led coalition soldier in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday as President Hamid Karzai prepared to discuss the escalating viole
OBL to say "hi" on 9/11
Or so some say: Terror leader Usama bin Laden plans to address Americans on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in a new video, according to a terror monitoring group.SITE Intelligence Group said an Internet announcement of the plan included a photo of the al-Qaeda leader from the upcoming video — his beard, which in previous messages had been streaked with
Learning from history
I’ve been reading a book called The History of Invention by Trevor Williams. A lot of people would describe it as a “coffee table” book; large, great production quality, and with many colorful illustrations. It’s also an in depth look at technology and how it has affected human history. The subtitle is "From Stone Axes to Silicon Chips". It was written in 1987. I’m finding it t
War: Pro and Con
Ezra Klein reviews the arguments George Packer said had been made for and against the Iraq war...For War1. Saddam is cruel and dangerous.2. Saddam has used weapons of mass destruction and has never stopped trying to develop them.3. Iraqis are suffering
Petraeus: See you in September, you hack
And by that time the usual suspects will have done their level best to try and destroy General Petraeus’ credibility.If you don’t believe me, you should see the reaction to a Petraeus interview with Hugh Hewitt. Now granted, Hewitt, who likes to self-identify himself as a "center-right" kinda guy is pretty much a Republican homer, but an interview is an interview. The test of how Petraeus did is how he answered the questions.As a
Where’s the bright line in the war debate?
Kevin Ferris notes that Robert "Buzz" Patterson, a retired Air Force Colonel and former White House military aide, has authored a book that is anything but nuanced or subtle. From the title on, it is red meat for the right. But he asks some questions, or at least Ferris poses some questions, which need answers because they get to the crux of the argum
The face of the enemy as seen through a child’s eyes
Since we have some rumblings among Democrats about abandoning Afghanistan to its fate as well as Iraq, a little reminder of the evil we face in both places. This time the story comes out of Afghanistan: The story of Juma Gul [a 6 y.o., Afghan boy], who says he thwarted an effort by Taliban militants to trick him into carrying out a suicide bombing against U.S. troops provoked tear
Polishing up those National Security credentials (update)
Hot Air points out that the inevitable is beginning to happen.The "real war" on terror, you know, the one in Afghanistan, the one war that all the Democrats supported and think is the right thing to do?Well not so much anymore: Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), a senior defense authoriz
(HT: Blackfive)
This is an ex-senior Taliban commander
How often do you see a headline like this from the AP? Taliban chief’s death a big U.S. victoryThe killing of the top Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah, a one-legged fighter who orchestrated suicide attacks, beheadings and an ethnic massacre, marks a major victory for the U.S. campaign at a time of flagging Afghan support over civilian killings.
Meanwhile in Anbar, pieces and parts everywhere
Fallujah just isn’t the same friendly town it once was for al Qaeda:Uh, scratch three.
Another conference in DC
And this one is most likely the antithesis of the one I just attended:Every morning, representatives from a cluster of antiwar groups gather for a conference call with Democratic leadership staff members in the House and the Senate.Shortly after,
George Tenet’s attempt to clean up his legacy
It has almost become predictable and George Tenet is no exception. As quoted in Dale’s post, even Arianna Huffington recognizes the ploy - which, btw, isn’t limited to "Bush administration" flunkies. It is retire or get fired and then, before the administration in questions is out of power, write their own versions of events and get it out there first.Legacies aren&rsquo
The "R" Word
Arianna Huffington, of all people, points out a problematic issue with George Tenet’s new book.Does this sound familiar? A senior Bush administration official plays a key role in selling the Iraq war debacle to the American public, resigns a few years later, and then tries to distance himself from Bush and the war by writing a book or
Tenet and the truth
Reading a few reviews and excerpts of George Tenet’s soon to be released book, I get the feeling that he’d really like to have us ignore the intelligence failure and instead conveniently blame the whole Iraq thing on the neo-con cabal in power at the time, as has become so popular with certain portions of the political spectrum.However, it
Evidence mounts Iran fueling wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
Iranian made IEDs have been found in Iraq, along with Iranian munitions. Now an Iranian arms shipment bound for the Taliban in Afghanistan has been intercepted:A shipment of Iranian-made weapons bound for the Taliban was recently captured by allied forces in Afghanistan, the Pentagon’s top officer said Tuesday.It was the first time t
Investigating the circumstances leading to the Brit Hostage situation
I’m glad to see the Brits are wasting no time investigating the circumstances surrounding the capture of their boat teams by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard:Item 1:One clear failure was the inadequate protection provided for the boarding party, which was equipped with only side-arms and travelling in two rigid inflatable boats (RIBs). The inflatables w
I get tired of this
In another in a long line of "Iraq is like Vietnam" comparisons, The Guardian says the US Army is "lagging behind Iraq’s insurgents tactically". That was apparently based on a statement by a "senior officer" who said the enemy they faced was "smart, agile and cunning".It’s also utter rubbish. However, having laid out their premise th
Shades of Jefferson Davis
A cross-dressing Taliban Mullah (not that there’s anything wrong with that) was captured today in Afghanistan:Afghan soldiers have captured a Taliban leader who tried to flee a security operation in the south dressed in a burqa, NATO said on Wednesday.Tuesday’s capture in Kandahar pro
Sunni or Shiite?
How up to date are you on the intricacies of Islam, and the ideologies of our Islamist enemies? Why not find out?
OK, this is just hilarious ... (UPDATE)
After I had a little fun with Carla at Preemptive Karma, she published a rebuttal taking "Paul L" at "Quando" to task something fierce. Boy, Paul, I bet your ears are burning ... BURNING, old buddy!Uh, Paul? Could you point us to "Quando" so we could see what all the fuss is abou
Of cows, Goebbels, and goosestepping morons (UPDATE)
Some blog called "Preemptive Karma", which bills itself as a place where "sacred cows are slaughtered daily" has taken this "winger" to task for ’grousing’ about MoveOn.org. The post to which she objected is found here.Now I have to admit, for the most part, I’m all for sacred cow slaughtering. But I do set some conditions. A) there must be a cow involved
Edward’s War Vote: "The Clintons made me do it" (UPDATED)
Ok maybe it’s not quite that drastic but its close. While being interviewed on Meet the Press, John Edwards was asked why he voted for the war and why he was so wrong:SEN. EDWARDS: For the same reason a lot of people were wrong. You know, we—the intelligence information that we got was wrong. I mean, tragically wrong. On top of that I’d—beyond that, I went back to form
Bush’s speech
Let’s just say I want to believe it because, as mentioned, I want to see success in Iraq. I’m just not ready, even after his speech, to buy completely into this surge.However, it was good to see him admit that, hey things haven’t gone so well and therefore "it is clear we need to change our strategy in Iraq."Well, yeah, I’m just not too sure this is the best way to change that. And yes, I do believe him to be right wh
Heh ... yeah, Glenn, it’s a different argument
Sure it is:In reaction to my post yesterday about Greenwald’s revival of the "new and improved" chickenhawk meme:That response would be valid if I had asserted the generic "chicken hawk" claim as they describe it — that, as a general proposition, anyone who supports the war must
Reviving a bankrupt argument
Glenn Greenwald revives the "chickenhawk" meme in a "new and improved" form, or so he believes:As I’ve pointed out before, I don’t personally subscribe to the [chickenhawk] view, expressed as a general proposition, that there is something immoral or illogical about supporting a war that you don’t volunteer to fight in
Heads should roll
The word filtering out of Afghanistan is a perfect example of why those of us who supported the war in Iraq now find ourselves criticizing the post-war effort there. Hardly anyone disputes the necessity to go into Afghanistan given the presence of the al Qaeda hierarchy and the fact that Afghanistan’
Facts are Inconvenient Things
Note to anti-war activists: If you’re going to criticize the US for its part in the Global War on terror, you’ll sound a lot less silly if you get your facts in order.
Not Getting it Done
At the moment, I’m reading Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, by Thomas Ricks. There’s nothing, really, in the book that we didn’t already know. And nothing, really, that we haven’t complained about here over the past couple of years.But there is something about reading it all condensed into a single vo
MEMRI begins "Islamist Websites Monitor"
Interesting little game going on. MEMRI reports that the Arabic website al-Moheet is claiming the Dean of the Shari’a Academy of America, Dr. Al-Sayed Al-Seely, praised those who carried out the September 11 Attack:On October 4, 2006, an Islamic website published an interview with the dean of the Shari’a Academy of America in which the latter avoids
More Opinions on the NIE
It appears that Dean Barnett had the same unenthusiastic reaction I did to the release of the National Intelligence Estimate.The heavily awaited National Intelligence Estimate has turned out to be “The Heaven’s Gate” of government reports. I say this not because The Estimate vindicates the Bush administration and humiliates the New York Times. The Estimate
NIE Declassified
In case you weren’t aware of it, the leak of the NIEs conclusions has led the president to declassify a portion of it. That extract can be found here, in PDF format.The first key judgment:United States-led counterterrorism efforts have seriously damaged the leadership of al-Qa’ida and disrupted its operations; however, we judge that al-Qa’
Bill Clinton and the Osama finger wag
Chris Wallace got Bill Clinton all riled up in an interview that aired today. In it Wallace had the temerity to ask Clinton why he didn’t do more to catch Osama bin Laden.In fact the question was:CW: When we announced that you were going to be on FOX News Sunday, I got a lot of email from viewers, and I’ve got to say, I w
An Antidote to the Western Way of War?
Andrew J. Bacevich is professor of history and international relations at Boston University. He’s also a retired US Army colonel, who writes regularly on military affairs, not only in newspapers, but in respected professional military journals like the Armed Forces Journal. He is often controversial, and is almost always interesting to read. In writing for The American Conservative, however, he  
You can run, but you can’t hide
It started off as a routine day for a couple of insurgents. Drive to work, set up the mortar, blow a few things up and go home:Two men were detained and a small cache discovered after Coalition Forces observed, with an unmanned a
The "new kind of fascism"
"George Orwell once remarked that "fascism" no longer seemed to mean much of anything, other than "objectionable"."So says the Wikipedia entry on "neo-fascism". I think that’s a pretty fair summary of how the term is being melded with another identifier/modifier: "Islamic". For most it is a better description in terms of an enemy than "terrorist" or the war in which we’re en
"Baby Killer" is back in vogue
Not to put too much emphasis on this but it appears a certain element of our population, despite all the rhetoric to the contrary, doesn’t "separate the warrior from the war".The soldier was walking to a convenience store when a sport utility vehicle pulled up alongside him and the driver asked if he was in the military and if he had been in any action.The driver t
A Mystery That Surpasseth All Understanding
Germans are shocked, apparently, to be the intended targets of an Islamist bombing plot.A Lebanese student suspected of planting a train bomb that failed to explode had contacts in Hamburg, authorities said Tuesday, the latest link to the northern port city where three of the Sept. 11 suicide pilots prepared for their attacks.The planned
A Ray of Sunshine
Thomas Sowell is in a fine mood.It is hard to think of a time when a nation — and a whole civilization — has drifted more futilely toward a bigger catastrophe than that looming over the United States and western civilization today.Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran and North Korea mean that it is only a matter of time before th
Elitism v. Populism
Arnold Kling writes that he perceives that there is widening gulf between the opinions of political elites, and popular opinion among Westerners in general.I suspect that the popular frustration is widespread. My guess is that popular sentiment is turning against elite opinions like these:* The world’s Muslims share our desire for peace and democracy.* Eq
Way to go, Canada
Peter Worthington of the Toronto Sun does a little well deserved chest thumping concerning a recent engagement between Canadian combat troops in Afganistan and the Taliban.Canada 70, Taliban 0.From accounts of the battle, the incoming RCR commanding officer, Lt.-Col. Omer Lavoie, worked out a plan with the outgoing CO of the
The UN, Israel and Lebannon
Kofi Annan wants a peace keeping force in the south of Lebannon with "teeth":UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is expected to recommend Monday that the rules of engagement of the enhanced UNIFIL force to be deployed in Lebanon include opening fire on Hizbullah where necessary, The Jerusalem Post has learned.Sounds impre
The Dawn of Peace in the Mideast
Some fellow named Daoud Kuttab, who is apparently a media studies professor of some sort at Al-Quds University, is giddy with the prospect that a Hezbollah victory will lead to lasting peace in the Mideast.Wars are won not only on battlefields, but also in people’s minds. So, while Hezbollah has not decisively won its current war with Israel, by maintaining i
Three Counts for an Indictment
Gerard Baker of the Times of London lays three charges on the Bush Administration for making the Global Wart on Terror, among other things, more difficult.The first count is that the Administration failed to diligently exercise it power in reconstructing Iraq, leading to the current crisis there.
Win, or Get Out
The exodus of conservatives from the pro-war Bush camp continues.They are increasingly frustrated with the recent collapse of order in Iraq, and with the President’s apparent unwillingness to do what is necessary to stop it. Today, it’s National Review’s Rich Lowry who’s sounding off. He writes that Iraq is not yet Vietn
Israel/Hezbollah: Claiming victory
The sides in the latest Middle Eastern dust up are each claiming victory. I’ve seen a lot of condemnation of Israel and how they fumbled all of this badly. Olmert has been pilloried as inept and ineffective. Nasrallah is declaring it to be a "divine victory".So who did come out on top? Good question. Conventional wisdom seems to be that Hezbollah comes
What’s the over/under on the Lebanese cease-fire?
How is this ever going to succeed?The first [Lebanese] infantry units were preparing to head south yesterday when Hezbollah demonstrated who exercised the real control by announcing that it had no intention of surrendering a single weapon. General Michel Sleiman, the commander-in-chief of the Lebanese Army, and his lieutenants had been invited to join in Cabinet meetings
Catch 22: The cease-fire conundrum
I figured something like this would finally emerge as a problem:Crucial Lebanese cabinet talks on disarming Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon under a UN-brokered ceasefire have been put off.A truce between Israel and Hezbollah is due to come into force at 0500 GMT.The postponement, amid reported divisions, seriously complicates the establishment of a
(UPDATED) The Israeli ground offensive has begun
Or at least that is what CNN is saying. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, not happy with the UN cease-fire resolution, has ordered it to ’go’. That certainly is a pretty definitive way to say "no".Gideon Meir, a senior Foreign Ministry official, left the door open for a quick halt to the offensive."If, in a couple of hours, such a resolu
It doesn’t fall as trippingly off the tongue as "9/11", but Bernard Lewis wonders if Iran has something awful planned for 22 Aug 06:In Islam, as in Judaism and Christianity, there are certain beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time—Gog and Magog, anti-Christ, Armageddon, and for Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of the Hidden Imam, ending in th
Gloomy Hawkishness
Stanley Kurtz is gloomy. Very gloomy. He sees problems everywhere, and for a long time.No, I don’t think our venture in Iraq has gotten us into this mess. I think this mess has gotten us into Iraq. And the mess will not go away, whatever we do. Our Islamist enemy has proven himself implacable — unwilling to relent in the face of either do
A View From Lebanon
Fouad Siniora, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, is mightily vexed by Israel.A military solution to Israel’s savage war on Lebanon and the Lebanese people is both morally unacceptable and totally unrealistic. We in Lebanon call upon the international community and citizens everywhere to support my country’s sovereignty and end this foll
"An organized mess"
I was reading the latest Ralph Peters column from the Israeli/Lebanon border. A couple of things he notes caught my eye. The first concerns the title of the post. As Peters stood there talking with an IDF infantry brigade staff he asked the operations officer how it was going:Asked how the fighting was going, an operations offi
Jordanian King Enraged over war: I call BS
Seriously. This is malarkey:King Abdullah of Jordan has publicly criticized the United States and Israel over the fighting in Lebanon.He told Jordanian newspapers he was enraged by the war, and that continued fighting only weakened the voice of Middle East moderates such as himself.He argued Israel’s attempt to destroy the militant Hezbollah group
Getting behind the news reports
Seems like a typical Israeli "atrocity" (per Robert Fisk- btw, did anyone else notice the death toll at Qana suddenly dropped to 28 today, from 57 yesterday?) if you just take the report here at face value:The IAF fired missiles in northern Gaza on Tuesday, killing
Lebanon in a nutshell
Go read the Jon Lee Anderson article in The New Yorker about the situation in Lebanon. It is a long but excellent piece that gives one a fascinating look and a better understanding of some of the dynamics at work in that benighted state.To me, however, these were the money quotes:I met a Western diplomat in Beirut. He told me that, while both Hezb
Baalbeck: Stepping it up in Lebanon
CNN has issued a news alert:Israeli forces are operating in Baalbeck area, northeast Lebanon — about 50 miles from Lebanese capital, Beirut, and near border with Syria. Baalbeck is, as you might imagine, very near the Bekka valley.
Israel’s lack of options
Israel faces a problem. That problem has to do with what happens after it finishes with Hezbollah. Its choices are not good choices, and much of that has to do with the situation in the Middle East and the rest of the world.Israel must face Hezbollah because its survival depends on confronting groups and nations bent on its destruction and defeating them (or at least seriously degrading their ability to attack them). The one truth that has been apparen
"A word means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less"
I’ve been out of town for awhile, but I can’t let the recent ’chickenhawk’ eruption escape unnoticed. It is positively disgraceful.Not content with inaccurately smearing Patterico and Glenn Reynolds (read Greenwald’s comment and OXR’s  
Qana: Not the IDF?
The chief of staff of the Israeli Air Force is questioning whether the IDF was, in fact, responsible for the civilian deaths at Qana.There is an unexplained gap of about seven hours between the one Israeli air strike that hit the Qana building housing the civilians, which took place around 1 A.M. Sunday, and the first report that the building had collapsed, said the chief of staff
Israel and Qana and "net wars"
The inevitable has happened. Fighting an enemy who insists on locating itself in civilian areas, Israel has found itself in what can only be described as a situation looking for a place to happen. It has struck targets in the town of Qana in southern Lebanon and the result has been the death of 57 civilians, t
UN Ambulance picks up Gaza fighters
This video is interesting because A) it shows the value of the "new" media and the internet and B) demonstrates why ambulances in Gaza and Lebanon, even those bearing UN markings, aren’t trusted by the Israelis for good reason.But what do you expect ...  
Nasrallah in Damascus?
DEBKAfile is reporting that Hezbollah’s head, Hassan Nasrallah has crossed over into Syria and is attending what DEBKAfile is calling a "war council" which includes a senior Iranian official, leaders from Hamas and is supposedly sanctioned and chaired by Bashar Assad, president of Syria:DEBKAfile reports a war council in Damascus chaired by Syrian president Bashar Assad, attended by H
The World of Order
Thomas Friedman, whose wisdom is usually locked behind the TimeSelect wall, is out and about in the Deseret News. And he has a plan for peace in the Mideast.Even though it had members in the national cabinet, Hezbollah built up a state-within-a state in Lebanon and then insisted on the right to launch its own attack on Israel that exposed the entire Lebanese n
Iraq: The Wrong War?
The National Journal’s James Kitfield makes the argument that invading Iraq was the wrong choice to further the Global War on Terror. The real enemy, argues Kitfield, was—and is—Iran.After 9/11, with U.S. military forces having quickly toppled the Taliban and routed Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and with much of the world united in what was
Murtha: We can support Iraq from Okinawa. Okinawa!?
I first read about this among various milblogs yesterday and I thought, "surely he really didn’t say we could successfully support our effort in Iraq from Okinawa?" There has to be some overreaction or mischaracterization or contextual problem with what I’m seeing and hearing. No one, espeically a guy with a military background, would make that sort of claim.Well, I was wron
VDH Friday. A reminder
Are you reading Victor Davis Hanson’s commentary ant NRO every week? If you aren’t, then you should be.
98% boredom, 2% stark terror
Many folks who’ve "seen the elephant" describe their experience in a war zone in those percentages. It’s a bit of a joke of course, and not necessarily accurate, but conveys a point. Max Borders has a fascinating interview with an former Marine sergeant who embedded himself with his old Marine reserve unit when it went to Iraq. Read it. In my estimation he pretty mu
Kerry: Troops out by end of ’06
John Kerry has an op/ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer today in which he makes the usual and increasingly invalid comparisons to Vietnam to bolster what can only be characterized as a weak rational for pulling our troops out of Iraq by the end of the year:Half of those whose names are inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial were lost after America’s l
Moral relevance: the west and the war
Ed Koch takes a run at the self-flagellation the West puts itself through each and every time something like Haditha or Abu Ghraib appears. He points out that our enemies have no such qualms whatsoever and, in fact, celebrate their inhuman excesses and cruelty.In sharp contrast, Western countries constantly flagellate themselves when civilians are injured or killed in the course of defensive military ac
Winning in Iraq making a comeback?
If the polls are any indication, it certainly seems to be:In the wake of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s death, President Bush is seeing improvement in public confidence that the Iraq war is winnable, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows.The new poll found that 48% believe the United States probably or definitely will win the war, up from 39
Why Zarqawi’s death is important
I don’t think any reasonable person believes that getting Zarqawi is going to end the foreign terrorist jihad in Iraq, especially if they understand it comprises a relatively small portion of the violence in Iraq. On the other hand, it seems terribly bad form to pretend it wasn’t important, doesn’t have at least a psychological effect on our enemies or his
Trying too hard for the ’60s
Back in the ’60s when I was in ROTC, it wasn’t the most popular program in which to find one’s self. An unpopular war was raging and the draft was on the mind of every young man of draft eligible age. ROTC was simply one of many convenient symbols available for protesters of that age to target. Additionally, ROTC was mandatory for the first two years.Now, of course, ROTC is a totally voluntary program ... just like military service.
Same as it ever was...
There’s a War on, troops in the field, and lives at stake. Yet, in Congress, politicians are criticizing the war effort with statements like... "The administration’s campaign has been a disaster...""[The administration’s campaign] escalated a guerrilla warfare into a real war, and the real losers are the [citizens and civilians].""I had doubts about the [campaign] from the beginning. I didn’t think we had done enough in the dip
Guantanamo Bay
The LA Times has an excellent editorial that mentions the recent National Journal story on Guantanamo Bay...It is becoming evident that the majority of the men held in Guantanamo were not, in fact, captured in battle. A study of individual detainee cases published recently by the National Journal argued persuasively that more than half of the de