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Wednesday, August 30, 2006




Terrorist vs Political Side

JPost

"Hamas and Hezbollah are not al-Qaida," Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema said in an interview with Corriere della Sera published Tuesday. "Besides their well-known responsibilities for terrorist actions, they have a political side, they are engaged in assistance." --> Full Post

"IRA and ETA have become political movements from (being) terror groups," D'Alema said, referring to groups that have carried out terrorist attacks in Northern Ireland and in Spain. "We must encourage this metamorphosis in the Middle East," D'Alema said.

The fact that Hamas and Hezbollah have a political side and are engaged in assistance makes them similar to communist movements and national socialists , which means particularly dangerous, since apart from their political programs, they are coming with parallel social structures. This is to say that they are not just players on the political scene, they are pushing an alternative model of society based on their fundamentalist ideologies and religion. And they are doing this not even in the sense of transforming the existing order, but of replacing it with one of their own making.

ETA and IRA indeed went some way to transform themselves into political movements. Were they ever known for their parallel social structures or assistance?

The difficulty of converting Hezbollah into a political movement is not that Hezbollah wants to be a terrorist army. The problem is that it wants to be a state of its own design.

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Sinking the First Arab Spring

While in our previous confrontations with Hezbollah the method of targeting infrastructure paid off well and quickly, it was clearly misfunctioning this time. --> Full Post By the end of the third day of the war any reasonable person, except the IDF generals and the cabinet, could notice that there is nobody in Lebanon these days both interested and able of restraining Hezbollah. When one sees Sanyora weeping for god knows what time on tv, one can easily get the idea of what sort of government the lebanese got there.

If Hezbollah agreed to the ceasefire on these terms and since then was sticking to it despite the fact that on several occasions the IDF soldiers shot dead Hezbollah's men or carried out raids deep inside Lebanon, its probably because they indeed could nt go on with this war any longer. But its hard to believe that they got this perception because of the lebanese government or infrastructure.

It might happen because they lost too many of their best fighters and started running out of rockets. But not in the sense that they are casualty averse as israelis, but rather because they still needed forces for next confrontations with us or for possible troubles with other lebanese factions. Nobody can allow oneself to lose most of one's fighting capability, even if this consists by 100% of kamikadzes. If only for tactical reasons.

But its a very big question if they might have been so close to this, since the IDF was reporting that the Hezbollah's best forces were positioned around Litani, the area the IDF reached only in the last days of the war.

If anything, it was probably due to the huge destruction in the shiite areas, when Hezbollah started seeing its mini Iran quickly disappearing in the thin air with its people being expelled to the christian and sunni areas. And this raises another question - what actually is infrastructure? Because for Hezbollah infrastructure is probably less about bridges in Beirut and elsewhere and more about homes and small shops of its rural shiite constituencies in the south.

This means that Hezbollah indeed has infrastructure. Its not some kind of virtual reality as Al Kaida. By tunneling under houses of Bint Jbel and other places Hezbollah actively encouraged the IDF to hit them at the spot where it hurts most for them, because its the well being of its shiites, and its ability to create and protect it, that is the razon d'etre of Hezbollah in the eyes of the shiites.
By its insistance on urban warfare, Hezbollah lured the IDF into doing just that by its own hands.

But whatever were the Hezbollah's reasons, its very possible that we have just finished destroying the only country in the region with the potential of becoming a modern western style society in the foreseeable future. This is not in the sense that we bombed into pile of rubbish the more advanced areas of the christians and sunnies, but in the sense that we hit hard the transportation infrastructure and scared off investors and tourists for the next decade.

In case the lebanese economy would collapse and with it a political crisis or civil strife would follow, this would mean that we have also accomplished a feat, and of a very dubious value, of sinking by our own hands the first arab spring and with it our best chances to get some normality among our neighbors.

Its the christians and sunnies who would pack their stuff and go elsewhere, if anything like this happens. Its us who may end up being stuck here with a huge sadr city of shiite fanatics led by these lunatics Nasrallah and Kassam.

It may be not in the interests of Israel to be looking for another round with Hezbollah, as some people seem to be suggesting recently. Because Lebanon may not survive another visit by the IDF. Making Lebanon a failed state equals to giving it back to Syria. And in general i would say that sinking the first arab spring is not a good way to be remembered in history.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006




It's the Arabs, Stupid

The debate raging in Israel these days around the question of who won the summer war, if at all, is pointless in my view. It's just the matter of how one defines a victory. The outcome of this war was so indecisive that it's a plain waste of time to even debate such a question.

For sure if one means by a victory a clear perception of defeat on the other side, this war was an unmitigated fiasco. And in general, when it comes to Arabs, nothing short of the crushing blitz krieg the style of 1967 can easily persuade them that they lost the battle. I remember meeting Israeli Bedouins a couple of years after the first gulf war and they insisted that Saddam fooled the Americans and won the war by escaping from Kuwait after inflicting heave casualties on the Yankees.

The Israeli leaders are clearly playing into the hands of Nasrallah by making void and ridiculous declarations of victory. After messing for a month with a guerrilla force of a few thousands fighters, unable to stop Katyusha attacks, the best tactics should be to pretend than nothing happened.

Instead Olmert compared this war to 1967 and said something in the sense that he is free but Nasrallah is still hiding in a bunker. Blowing the achievements of this military campaign out of any proportion by such comparisons just fires up the imagination of the Arabs.

Some people in the region have apparently lost their sleep these days from thinking of what could have happened if instead of 3,000 Hezbollah fighters, 30,000 or more, would have been put to the battlefield equipped with the same weapons and tactics. The Syrians are reported to have sent people already to Hezbollah for being trained in this style of warfare.

Without any doubt Olmert does not come up with these statements to impress the Arab public. They are meant for the Israelis angered by the blunders of the war. But this disregard for the consequences of his words in the interests of influencing the domestic public is just another reason to send him and his company home before they do even more damage.

Finally I hate the masochistic soul searching of the Israelis over imaginary or real defeats and shortcomings. The same way I disprove the senseless celebrations of victories the Arabs practice across the border.

There are lessons to be drawn from this war and some of them are very obvious.

1) We turned the tables on Nasrallah by going into a full scale war. Nasrallah would have to rethink his tactics of engaging Israel by military means. They worked for as long as we agreed to stick to low intensity warfare at the border. Hezbollah cannot allow itself another provocation now because there is no way they can be sure if we are back to our usual policy of limited responses or we would go deep into Lebanon again for another month of air attacks and artillery shelling.

2) We have just created the impression in the region that the IDF has lost quite a few teeth over years. Otherwise Asad wouldn't be talking like he does now and the Palestinians wouldn't get that enthusiastic about smuggling anti tank missiles into Gaza.

3) Years of neglect should be reversed in terms of our capabilities against ballistic and similar threats, be they in the form of anti tank missiles and Katyushas, or in the form of long range Iranian missiles and Syrian scuds. Ballistic warfare is the name of the game now. Even when it comes to fighting guerrilla warfare, as is the case of Hezbollah.

Now when it comes to our leftists, something happened to them or we have just never noticed how much of the mindset of our neighbors they gradually adopted over years. It can drive to madness any sane person to read articles celebrating IDF achievements and calling for negotiations with Syria in the wake of this great victory. Or to listen to Amir Peretz bragging about how impressively this war demonstrated our deterrence capability since it's not us, Israelis, who he should care to have persuaded in this. It's the Arabs, you stupid.

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Saturday, August 26, 2006




Surprises

That life is full of surprises was very convincingly demonstrated by the last war. There seems to be hardly left somebody in the region who was nt surprised in this way or another.

For example Hassan Nasrallah and his deputy Naeem Kasam were surprised by the scope and intenstity of the israeli reaction to the Hezbollah cross border raid.

"We were surprised by the size and strength of the Israeli reaction. We expected that the IDF would bomb areas close to the border for several days and only cause minimal damage," Kasam said in an interview with Lebanese newspaper A-Nahar.
--> Full Post

This makes one to immediately start wondering if the lebanese have daily news programs, CNN or at least some newspapers in their country. Its hard to believe that Lebanon lives in blissfull unawareness of what s going on in the region around them.

Because if the lebanese got some of these for sure they have been watching Gaza where on the next day after Shalit abduction the IDF took out bridges and the only power plant. A few days later Gaza was invaded by hundeds of soldiers using tanks and massive firepower.

Nasrallah and his friends got at least ten days before the raid to watch the IDF assault on Gaza proceeding unabated. Ten days is more than enough for a person of average intelectual ability to be sure about the consequences of his actions.

If anything Hezbollah should have been surprised by the fact that the IDF has limited itself with air attacks for so long instead of massively invading Lebanon on the third day of the war.

It appears that many lebanese themselves were shocked by the IDF addiction to destroying the lebanese infrastructure. I find it absolutely incomprehensible that anybody in Lebanon should be surprised by this. In my memory all confrontations between Hezbollah and Israel were accompanied by attacks on the lebanese infrastructure.

For example when Israel killed Abas Musawi, the confrontation was proceeding in the following manner. Hezbollah retaliated with katyusha attacks on Kiriat Shmone and other places. Israel announced to the south lebanese that they should flee their villages. The sea blockade was imposed. Then ground forces invaded Lebanon. Power plants and bridges were targeted. Then, as always, israeli pilots misidentified their target in Kana killing about a hundred of unarmed civilians and the international community demanded an immediate ceasefire. I am not sure that the sequence of events was exactly like this but one thing is clear - there was nothing particularly surprising about the basic pattern of this war. It was more or less the same as the previous ones. Even the names of places and targets are the same.

Some people expressed surprise that it was actually Olmert and Peretz who inflicted the most devastating war on Lebanon.

Peretz is well known for his anti war activism during the 1982 war. During that war he joined other protesters shouting 'Sharon. Sharon. How many babies you murdered today'.

Neigher Olmert has ever been known as a military leader. In fact he campaigned during the last elections with his isolationist disengagement plan.

But this surprise is absolutely unfounded. Lebanon was devastated precisely for the reason that the current israeli leadership was very reluctant to fight this war.

The military elite was reluctant to proceed with the ground offensive prefering to satisfy itself with air attacks. After running three times thru the same list of targets there was very little left to bomb but katyusha attacks continued as if nothing happened. This made IAF desperate. In this desperation IAF destroyed bridges, roads , targeted the airport and killed an undetermined number of fleeing civilians in an attempt to hunt down Hezbollah soldiers who were also supposed to be using cars to move themselves across South Lebanon.

In fact were the ground offensive started shortly after the beginning of hostilities the IDF would not have been in such a desperation to stop supplies to Hezbollah from Syria by destroying the whole of Lebanon's transportation infrastructure. In short if the lebanese are thinking that they paid a high price for confrontation with an extremely tough and agressive israeli leadership they are wrong. Just the opposite is true.

Actually the deliberate targeting of the lebanese infrastructure worked very well in the previous wars. But the reason for this was most probably the syrian de-facto control of Lebanon. With thousands of syrians working in Lebanon and with Hariri allied with Syria, Asads had no interest in having the lebanese economy destroyed.

This time it was different because Syria was out of Lebanon. Its very possible that the syrians were actually interested that the lebanese would see what the war with Israel means without the syrian presence in the country and so were deliberately instigating Hezbolah. So Israel has been bombing Lebanon for four weeks running and inflicted an enormous damage on the lebanese economy, but Olmert and Peretz apparently did nt notice that there was nobody in Lebanon both able and interested to prevent escalation. They apparently did nt notice that Syria has left Lebanon a while ago. Another surprise.

Finally some people are surprised by the recent behavior of the syrian president who is now openly threatening Israel with war. That the arab media would be insanely celebrating the percieved Hezbollah's victory is not surprising. But the syrian president is supposed to be surrounded by generals who should have explained to him why Hezbollah's surving the IDF assault says very little in practical terms about the Syria's ability to reproduce a similar 'victory' on the nationwide scale.

Many find it surprising that the syrian president has indeed convinced himself as a result of this war that Israel is no more than a spiderweb, as Nasrallah claims it to be. But once again Bashar Asad is ophtalmatologist by training, his understanding of military matters is probably very limited and so there is nothing surprising about this.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006




Nasrallah Wins the War

Last updated: August 23, 2006

Aug 23, 2006

The war is won Hezbollah-style

The front page of today's Economist





The King Pyrrhus of Epirus is credited with the phrase - Another such victory over the Romans and we are undone.

Its modern version - Another such victory over Israel and there would be no Lebanon.

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Monday, August 21, 2006




Protest petition by IDF reservists back from the war

by Haaretz.com

The following is the text of a petition signed by IDF reservists who served in the Spearhead Brigade in Lebanon, in protest at the handling of the war by the government and senior military officials:

We, fighters and commanders at the Spearhead [Hod Hachanit] Brigade, were called up to enlist under an emergency mobilization order [Tzav 8] on July 30, 2006. Our attendance was complete in all battalions.

As we were signing on the battle equipment and weapons, we knew that we were signing for much more. We left behind wives and children, girlfriends and families. We put aside our jobs and livelihoods; we were prepared to carry out our mission under the most difficult of conditions, in heat, thirst or hunger.

At the back of his mind, each and every one of us knew, that for the just cause of protecting the citizens of Israel, we would even put our lives on the line.

But there was one thing we were not and would not be willing to accept: We were unwilling to accept indecisiveness. --> Full PostThe war's aim, which was not defined clearly, was even changed in the course of the fighting.

The indecisiveness manifested itself in inaction, in not carrying out operational plans, and in canceling all the missions we were given during the fighting. This led to prolonged stays in hostile territory, without an operational purpose and out of unprofessional considerations, without seeking to engage in combat with the enemy.

The "cold feet" of the decision-makers were evident everywhere. To us the indecisiveness expressed deep disrespect for our willingness to join the ranks and fight and made us feel as though we had been spat on, since it contradicts the principles and values of warfare upon which we were trained at the Israel Defense Forces.

The heavy feeling that in the echelons above us there is nothing but under-preparation, insincerity, lack of foresight and inability to make rational decisions, leads to the question - were we called up for nothing?

We are now on the day after, and it seems that the immorality and the absence of any shame are the fig-leaves to be used in order to cover up for the blunders. The blunders of the past six years and the under-preparation of the army have been carried on our backs - the backs of the fighters. In order to face the next battle prepared - and this may happen soon - a thorough and fundamental change must take place.

The crisis of confidence between us as fighters and the higher echelons will not be resolved without a thorough and worthy investigative commission under the auspices of the state. When the commission completes its task, conclusions must be drawn both on the level of strategic planning and national security, and on the personal level of the parties involved.

We paid a heavy price in order to fight and come out of the battle victorious, and we feel this has been denied of us. We will all attend calls to enlist in the future for any mission we will be required to complete, but we would like to know that these missions will be part of a clear objective and will be carried out by striving to engage in combat.

As soldiers and citizens we expect a response at your earliest convenience,

We the undersigned

Fighters and officers of the Spearhead Brigade

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Sunday, August 20, 2006




Bunkers and Tunnels Revisited

Today Hezbollah proudly displayed to the media what it has been digging for six years in the South.

It is indeed tunnels dug under houses inside villages and towns. The entrances were perfectly concealed right in the middle of kitchens and living rooms. No chance soldiers fighting street battles would be able to spot them during the battle. And to uncover such a system means checking painstakingly every single house.

The tunnels were equiped with everything up to the equipment to eavesdrop on IDF communications. The guide showed where the translator ( from hebrew to arabic) was supposed to be positioned.

Without doubt IDF was wasting needlessly loads of time in Bint Jbel and Eit ash Shaab. The hezbs were moving freely right under their feet between the houses.

IDF should learn the lesson - bulldozer is going to be the ultimate weapon of our next confrontation with Hezbollah.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006




Warning

The police is staging a weeklong operation to locate and remove remains of fallen rockets in the north. Residents are advised to exercise caution and warned to the possibility of encountering peaces of ammunition that failed to explode.

The warning having been issued, the whole of the north immediately headed to fields and open spaces searching for fragments of katyushas to take home as souvenirs.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006




This round appears to be over



A man and his sister examining damage to their home caused by a direct hit from a Hezbollah rocket in Kiryat Shmona. (Reuters)




Take it easy, guys. The next round may be much worse.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006




Martin Kramer on Bashar Asad


Some dictators inspire awe and fear. . . Our boy still has some way to go  -->  Bashar Watch

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Monday, August 14, 2006




Lebanese Dreams

The moderate lebanese blogs are very rationally discussing how hard Hezbollah was hit and that despite Nasrallah's rethorics they are finally going to put this iranian gennie back into its bottle.

Charles from Lebanese Political writes - I Was Wrong: Hezbollah is Much More Powerful than I ever Imagined.

Still he finds reasons to be opimistic. I think these guys are strangely delusional. After all those years of analysing the lebanese political scene Charles still has little idea about the man he is writing about. He would outplay them all.

Ghassan is posting on Vox's blog:

"Vox,
I am in agreement with you on the issue that this might be our last chance to get it right and establish the basis of a modern democratic Lebanese republic. We will not succeed if we fail to disarm HA. It is as simple as that."

I think Ghassan is right. Its their last chance.

But i think they are in total disarray to prevent it from slipping out of their hands.

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Weakness

Israel can not go on with this shit of screening for hours our funerals with soldiers crying all over the place. Its like waving a red cloth in front of the horde of bulls.

We are the only ones in this region who count first their own casualties and then the losses of their enemies. The arab street is exctatic. They dont mind their civilians. They dont mind the economy that is thrown back by a decade. They count only dead IDF soldiers and 3500 rockets Nasrallah slammed into Israel. Their forums went totally mad.

Those who want to survive in this region should be ready to kill and to get killed. Wars can not be planned on the basis of not exposing the soldiers to danger. The generals can be punished for not doing enough to protect their soldiers but they can not be punished for sending soldiers to war when it comes. The ground offensive should have started after the first week when it became clear that air force is not enough.

We will pay for our weakness ten times. We d better to have done it this time when the price to pay was still low.

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This won't be over when it's over

Channel 2 by Ehud Yaari.

Asad says to the egyptians - the war in Lebanon shows that negotiations is not the only way to regain the Golan. The Golan would be freed by the syrian hands.

Nasrallah refuses to discuss the Hezbollah arms. Says - even the israelis dont demand more than demilitarization of the South.

Threatens others - my people are boiling with anger, i barely control them.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006




Bulldozers Destroy Eit ash Shaab

Channel 1

IDF is finally doing something that it should have started with on the first day. Soldiers were dying in house to house battles in villages across South Lebanon only to discover on the next day that the hezbs are back and kicking. This time the IDF brought bulldozers that started leveling the place with the ground. Much of Eit ash Shaab is already in ruins.

Its impossible to know how many soldiers got killed directly or indirectly because of this needless messing with villages and towns. The fact that Hezbollah has developed such a taste for urban warfare should nt have served as an invitation for the IDF to follow the suit.

Many villages/towns were repeatedly retaken by the IDF lacking enough ground forces to be able to establish control over these places and the damn thing is that the army should nt have been trying to do it from the beginning. Take the place, move the remaining civilians out and bulldoze everything to the ground.

Its the IDF's responsibility to avoid unnecessary deaths of its soldiers in retaking already secured areas. Its Hezbollah's to care for housing and social services for its shiite support base in Eit ash Shaab.

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Making Profits

My Little Prophesy

Within the next few months the palestinians would be digging bunkers/tunnels and smuggling in anti tank missiles and katyushas.

Then the pals will drag us into a full scale confrontation with them in the West Bank/Gaza. And it would be a poor parody on South Lebanon because they are just monkeying after other people with little imagination.

And they will kill dozens and hundreds of us and the IDF will kill them by hundreds and thousands.

Then we and them will get tired of this shit and will go for another round of negotiations which would most probably break down once again over the right of return controversy.

*************************

PS

The coolest thing about living in the ME is that there is always action going on somewhere. You always get something to see in the news. Life is never boring here.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006




IDF storms to Litani

Channel 10

IDF changes tactis. Hundreds of soldiers are airborne by helicopters deep in South Lebanon. The biggest operation of this kind since the 1973 war. Thousands soldiers cross the border into Lebanon.

Troops pass by villages/towns without trying to capture them. Any source of hostility including small arms fire is immediately targeted by IAF.


Update

Retired IDF Southern Command Chief Brigadier-General Tzvika Fogel. The main defense line of Hezbollah is not in South Lebanon but to the north of Litani. If IDF is thinking in terms of destroying as much of Hezbollah military capabilities as possible , then South Lebanon is not enough

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The Hunter and the Prey

The Channel 2 was presenting a report of the new software called 'hunter' currently being live tested by the IDF. The commanders seating in front of computers are waging war by moving a mouse. Live videos streamed from drones are mapped to the topographical maps. The location of forces is mapped too by using GPS transmitters.

8 armed people are detected entering a house in one of the South Lebanese villages. The IDF troops are just 150 meters away. The 'hunters' mark the house with a mouse click and its said that the field commanders as well as the helicopter pilot have their maps synchronized in the real time. The pilot should just press the button and shoot.

Now the israeli part of hunting starts. The 'hunters' start calling field commanders to check if they are absolutely sure that these are not their soldiers. Then the helicopter mission is suddenly canceled by somebody because of the possibility of anti aircraft missile. One of the 'hunters' insist on calling the person to get the helicopter back. In short it takes 3 hours before the rocket is finally shot into the house !!!

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Friday, August 11, 2006




Who killed our profits ??? ( or prophets )

Absolutely hilarious post on Haaretz today. Check comment #50.

I do not think u know what u are talking about or even read any islamic history ....one question you should ask your self ...which nation killed profits ...over and over ....????

Its probably an old as world accusation of jews in slaughtering messengers of god. But you are free to give the story a more sofisticated marxist twist, if you want, and think that he accuses jews in causing the economic stagnation in muslim countries.

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Anti Tank Missiles II

Chief armour officer (not sure how to translate it from Hebrew) appeared on Channel 2 to explain the situation with anti tank missiles. Basicly he said the 'merkava' proved itself as one of the best protected tanks in the world.

He said - no surprises in terms of types of anti tank rockets used by Hezbollah. They were only surprised by the number of missiles Hezbollah used until now. He said hundreds were fired and dozens hit the tanks. But, he said, only several tanks have been actually destroyed.

Answering a question he said that its regular soldiers who cope less well with anti tank weapons. The curent generation has no experience with anti tank missiles because they are rarely used by the palestinians in West Bank/Gaza. And managing this danger includes not only technology but operating tanks accordingly. The reservists remember this threat well from their previous wars and so they are more disciplined in taking necessary precautions.

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No end right now

Israel is totally disappointed with the ceasefire draft as its taking shape right now. The political level is giving up on diplomacy at this stage. The IDF is instructed to go on with the full scale ground offensive.

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Fighting Hezbollah

Israel is totally disappointed with the ceasefire draft as its taking shape right now. The political level is giving up on diplomacy at this stage. The IDF is instructed to go on with the full scale ground offensive.Yesterday Channel 2 was screening some stuff produced by a reporter embedded with paratroopers in bint jbel or elsewhere. The thing that one starts pondering after watching this shit is how actually we have nt lost more soldiers than we did already .

The town is scattered across rugged terrain, village landscape, no real buildings just small houses, thick vegetation . One can see barely beyond a few meters around himself. No wonder the day before the hezbs managed to sneak to the house undetected and opened fire on soldiers from entrances in the fence

Not only the soldiers are sent to fight street battles but the political leadership repeatedly freezes ground offensive , immobilizing troops and making them stationary targets for hezbollah anti tank missiles. Several high ranking officers made this point repeatedly - from the moment IDF stops moving it becomes a target, if it does nt attack itself it is being attacked.

The whole issue of anti tank missiles will erupt into a fierce scandal after the war. It appears that earlier some military officials have been making unsubstantiated claims about the level of ptotection the IDF tanks have against these weapons.

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Bunkers and Motorcycles

Israel is totally disappointed with the ceasefire draft as its taking shape right now. The political level is giving up on diplomacy at this stage. The IDF is instructed to go on with the full scale ground offensive.The picture emerging now is of a war waged from bunkers. The equipment captured in Hezbollah bunkers includes eavesdropping equipement, visual surveillance cameras and termocameras. IDf even claimed to find a list of phone numbers of IDF officers in the Hezbollah command center in Bint Jbel. The relative sofistication of Hezbollah intelligence and information equipment surprised experts.

The bunkers, some dozens of meters deep, are everywhere from hillsides to houses inside bint jbel and other towns. Some are interconnected by tunnels. IDF even showed a plustic boulder covered by mud used to cover an entrance. Hezbs sitting inside bunkers dont need to go out to see what s happening. They use cameras night vision and other equipment to monitor surroundings. This is how they are able to reappear behind the backs of the IDF in areas that presumed to be cleared.

Weapons caches are discovered everywhere which means that apparently Hezbollah fighters don t mess around carrying all these rockets on their backs. They are using weapons from the nearest store and then just move on.

Extensive use of motorcycles is reported.

The clip recorded by IAF, screened yesterday by the channel 10, showed katyusha launcher firing from bushes while his operator is running to the road where another hezb is waiting for him on a motorcycle. The two immediately move into narrow alleys of a nearby village or town ( the launcher was set just a few dozens of meters from the place ) . IDF drone continues to follow them and within a minute the pair disappears in a house opposite the mosque. In a few seconds the house disappears in a huge cloud of smoke. The blast was so powerfull that i am wondering whether it was the drone who actually carried out the strike or they called on one of the IAF F-16's.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006




The end is near

Ehud Yaari is reporting that he knows from reliable sources that the security council is close to ceasefire formula that satisfies both US and France.

Sanyora already let it be known that he accepts it... though without much enthusiasm.

Surprisingly no mention of swaping hostages according to Ehud.

The draft does nt mention disarming Hezbollah only establishing a mechanism to prevent arms supplies unauthorised by the lebanese goverment.

The IDF is supposed to withdraw within a week from South Lebanon.

No multinational force. The UNIFIL force would be strengthened by american instructors and french soldiers that would assist the lebanese army in redeployment to the south.


Update 1

Shimon Peres on channel 2 about possible ceasefire agreement.

He stresses the point of Hezbollah removing its forces from South Lebanon. The Lebanese Army is taking positions in the south. UNIFIL is only assisting.

He says - we were thinking there is a Hezbollah state within the state of Lebanon. Surprisingly it appears that the opposite is true.


Update 2

Ehud says the soldiers would be transfered to the lebanese government who would return to Israel. he did nt say whats going to happen to the lebanese prisoners in Israel.


Update 3

The ceasefire agreement apparently includes the release of captured soldiers without condition. I would be surprised if Hezbollah agrees to it. The ceasefire may be more far away that it appeared in the beginning

If ceasefire agreement takes effect 2500 french soldiers would be immediately dispatched to Lebanon to join the UNIFIL in the south.

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Israeli Cows 'Invade' South Lebanon

The grass is greener in Hizbullah-controlled territory. Literally.

Dozens of hungry cows whose pasture land in northern Israel has been reduced to ashes by the daily rain of rockets found a hole in the border fence and moved to Lebanon for healthier grazing, the Yediot Aharonot reported Thursday.

According to the daily, the more than 3,000 rockets that have been fired by Hizbullah have set fire to 100 sq km of pasture where cows used to graze.

The cows used a breach made in the border by Israeli units who have been battling the group since the start of a massive offensive in Lebanon on July 12.(AFP)


Good. At least the cows are not yet digging bunkers and tunnels there.

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Proclaimed un monstruooo muy monstruoso at 3:59 PM

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Hezbollah Rocket Arsenal

It was extensively commented in Israel that accuracy of Hezbollah rockets strikes over days declined considerably. Out of close to 200 they are shooting daily now , most hit fields and open spaces. Several possible reasons were given for this from the possibility that their best crews got hit to the ongoing ground operations by IDF.

Hezbollah used a dozen of rockets from its midrange arsenal none of which hit a thing with some landing at the palestinian territory. IDF claims that its midrange and long range arsenal of Hezbollah that presents the least problem. These rockets are moved on big trucks and destroyed at almost 1:1 ratio. That means they shoot once and in a few minutes an IDF plane comes and takes them out.

Hezbollah apparently has close to 30 long range iranian missiles and IDF claims less than a dozen survived without a single one being shot.

According to IDF the problem is short range katyushas. These can be easily hidden everywhere. They dont need big trucks or specialized launchers. They can set to fire with timer and generally are more difficult to detect from the air. Hezbollah has thousands of them all across south Lebanon.

The bottom line is the hezbs are no rocket scientists. In military terms Hezbollah is stuck somewhere between being a guerilla force and being a professional army. In terms of rocket warfare they clearly overplay their hand with their midrange and long range arsenal. Until now they could nt direct them properly and the rate at which IDF destroys their launchers, often together with their crews, makes the whole thing a costly adventure. These are weapons of the real armies, they are not for Hezbollah.

When it comes to short range katyushas then its a very different story.

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Anti Tank Missiles

15 soldiers died today in south lebanon. This is going to be no small war.

Even if IDF is inflating the number of Hezbollah guerillas operating south to litani, there is little doubt there are thousands of them, not hundreds.

99% of the casulaties are caused by anti tank missiles used as well against groups and individual soldiers. Hezbollah established new style of rocket based guerilla warfare - short range katuyshas and anti tank missiles.

Hezbollah elite units are apparently more like special forces using guerilla tactics, many are iranian trained and serving in the hezbollah army is their professional occupation. Hezbollah soldiers, including reservists, are not a ragtag militia of occasional guerilla fighters. It is a professionally trained force.

As reported by IDF soldiers the hezbs dont match them in firefights and face to face encounters in which they invariably get killed. But their tactics of shooting anti tank missiles from hilltops is proving to be effective. These rockets can travel up to several kilometers and are laser guided. They allow hezies to inflict casulaties without fighting IDF face to face. Almost no IDF casualties from bullets and grenades despite clashes in villages all across the security zone during the last days.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006




News

Channel 10 (in subtitles during the game)

IDF estimates around 8000 hezbs are fighting south to litani.

IDF claims that on the bodies of some hezbollah soldiers killed today they discovered iranian papers. They say its iranian revolution guards.


Jpost.com ... unidentified high ranking officer


Hezbollah called up its reservists in anticipation of ground offensive. Several thousands more are positioned to the north of litani .


Update

Apparently IDF estimates that hezbollah mobilized around 8000 troops all in all. 3-4 thousands of them are in south Lebanon. The rest is elsewhere but probably most of them are positioned north to Litani.

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Monday, August 7, 2006




Good links to information about the current war between Israel and Lebanon

Superb post by a first class egyptian blogger

In praise of the human spirit

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Michael Totten ... Hezbollah experience

Gives a very good insight into what is Hezbollah

Guess Who’s Coming to Iftar

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Lebanon primer from the 'Lebanese Political Journal' Blog

Short and informative

Lebanon: A Primer

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From BeirutSpring blog by Mustafa

The transformation of the sunni politics in Lebanon

The Great Sunni Makeover

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Great insight into the minds of the young lebanese ... By Jad Mouawad

(New York Times)

Beirut’s Young

(registration is free)

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Hezbollah's Other War by Michael Young

(New York Times)

Hezbollah's Other War

(registration is free)

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How the lebanese are seen by israelis ... posted on a lebanese blog by israelis

The blog had also a section of what the lebanese think about the israelis. But the responce was very weak. By that time most lebanese did nt want to know about the israelis' existence not to mention thinking about them.

How the lebanese are seen by israelis

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Proclaimed un monstruooo muy monstruoso at 3:18 PM

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We are angry

Quite a lot of people got killed yesterday. Something like 15. Was very surprised to wake up this morning and discover the whole country out of their mind from anger.

The TV news said that Haifa arabs were demonstrating yesterday in front of the hospital shouting anti nasrallah and anti islamic (!!!) slogans.

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Sunday, August 6, 2006




Hezbollah

A lebanese friend asked me to post on his blog about aoun and hezbollah

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My guess is that aoun is a strong individual who can not accept playing secondary roles. He wants to be a leader. Splitting with march 14 movement and setting up his own party was the only way for him to become a leader in his own right. This is my guess of course, the lebanese should know better.

But the price that lebanon may be made to pay for Aoun's flirting with nasrallah may happen to be enormous.  --> Full PostIsrael is an external force in relation to lebanon. It comes and goes. Hezbollah remains and its arms and its very present structure is a much more serious problem for lebanon than israel itself.

While hezbollah is repeatedly called a state within a state, this definition clearly obscures seeing what hezbollah really is - Hezbollah is not just a state within a state. The south of lebanon is their state. The state in the south is them.

I would say that what is regularly overlooked when discussing hezbollah problem is its totalitarian streak. The illusion that just disarming hezbollah would do the trick or that hezbollah can be talked up to do something constructive stems from this miscomprehension about hezbollah true nature.

I think many lebanese dont understand what is hezbollah.

Hezbollah is not a political party.

Hezbollah is not a sectarian ethnic movement.

Hezbollah is ideology.

Its ideology with the most uncunning ability to merge political, social and military into one big monolithic bloque at the practical level. Hezbollah is a system with a potential to become a totalitarian entity.

The lebanese see it as one of their many parties and movements. But its not one of them. Its a thing of a different nature.

it may be true that many other lebanese sects are running social services and practiced having their own militias. But its not enough. You need an ideology to make it into potential for something much worse than ethnic sectarian movement.

You need ideology... not just ideology ... a total ideology ... And Hezbollah got it.

it is when you have a worldview , an ideology , into which you can integrate political social military and other aspects of the society that this totalitarian shit becomes possible.

An ideology without this integrating ability is a political party. Without ideology this integrating ability is a sectarian movement.

But i would be dead if what i see now is not the same movie i spent 20 years of my life living in. Its not fully developed yet. Its just starting. But i can smell it - this is it.

its just a question of time. Of how many people would grow up in their schools. For how many people their social services would be their father and mother.

Totalitarianism is an ideology which permeats social fabric and hezbollah is it.

its just starting. It can transform itself it easily into something less dangerous. If for example this wave of fundamentalism would exhaust itself, hezbollah may lose its teeth.

But under current conditions it can quickly become something noone would recognize in the end. Its worse than iran. Iran is rotten from within but hezbollah is apparently not corrupt. Their ideological drive is still fresh. They are fresh as if they started just yesterday and its not a good sign.

Its still not that bad. But it may become very bad.

It depends greatly on the situation in the world and the arab/muslim world.

But whatever the case there is a potential here for the situation in which aoun would enter history books as a local lebanese version of chamberlain.

i would say that there is already a momentum developing inside this system called hezbollah that would make it explode in the face of the lebanese very soon. The ideology of hezbollah coupled with their deep involvement in education on the territories under its control is already laying foundations for next generations of young shiites who would be breathing hezbollah as their life-force.

The momentum has been already created and its my intuition that the whole system would be progressively radicalizing itself in the coming years. Hezbollah got a human face in nasrallah who is joking and talking like one of the people but people who may rise to prominence inside hezbollah later or eventually replace nasrallah may happen to be much worse.

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Saturday, August 5, 2006




Dellis

Absolutely hilarious debate i had with one idiot on the Guardian forums . . .

dellis:


the whore of israel disguises the aid that it grants to its pimp in various ways........ the standard 3/4 billion every year is the minimum ......... don't forget to add the varying amount 4/8 billion is free weapons like tanks/f16 warplanes/ apache helicopters / bullets (with each ragheads name on it)....... oh yes, the whore also gives about 2 billion to the dictator of egypt to keep the ordinary ragheads in their place so that they don't do anything to it's pimp ...... same for the jordanian dictator ....... check out these sites....... www.csmonitor.com/2002/1209/p16s01-wmgn.html ............ www.washington-report.org/html/us_aid_to_israel.htm ................ www.stop-us-military-aid-to-israel.net ....

nobody:


its such a shame that the last two pimps could not make a better use of the whores money by converting their countries into another two silicon valleys

dellis:


nobody - they don't get as much as israel gets ...... just enough to buy torture equipment, thugs and some for a rainy day in the dicktators swiss account .......

nobody:


ah... good ... i started worrying a bit cause we started running out of torture equipment recently

nobody


we well dispatch shimon peres to washington to ask for more funds for two other pimps ... so that after byung torture equipment the guys will have something left for their silicon valleys and nanotechnology

dellis:


israel doesnt need much torture equipment coz it just blasts the little ragheads to pieces instead of capturing them ....... good job you got all those f16's /apaches/missiles to do this with ....... well you do want to reward the dicktators with a bonus occasionaly don't you - straight into the account .....

nobody:


yep we do ... but the guys just keep horrendously mismanaging their economies ... its heart breaking to see what they are doing with our bonuses

dellis:


it's not 'horrendous mismanagement' but excellent planning of their economies ........ they are supposed to remain in that state so that they can't threaten the pimp in any way ........ if there are any signs of improvement (as iraq & lebanon were in the past) they are immediatly 'planned' to the stone age ......

nobody:


wait dellis ... i got confused a bit ... u wanted to say 'they can t threaten the whore' ... i started losing the track a bit about who is who in this whorehouse

dellis:


you confused yourself when you introduced 2 new pimps (egypt & jordan)....... there is only 1 pimp (israel) and only 1 whore (usa) that will do anything for it ........ the 2 dicktatorships are not pimps - thay have no control over the usa ....... the reason that they get paid by the whore is because the pimp ordered it's whore to do so...... simple really ......

nobody:


ah ... i got u .. then may i call the dicktators 'doormen' to complete the picture of the whorehouse ???

nobody:


anyway dellis

i should move on ... thank u ... it's always a pleasure to have fruitful intellectual discussions with nice and highly intelligent individuals ... i ll be looking forward for the next forum to see you presenting your highly original interpretation of the socio economical realities of the middle east in the context of the american geopolitics ...

have a nice day

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Friday, August 4, 2006




Stabilizing Factor - II

The french newly discovered stabilizing factor is now calling for destruction of Israel as a solution to all ME problems

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Thursday, August 3, 2006




Brazilian peacekeepers

Mustafa posted today this on his blog:

No matter how this crisis ends, there will be without doubt some kind of peacekeeping force that will assist the Lebanese army in the south of Lebanon. Here are my ten cents on why they should be Canadian, Brazilian and Japanese.

We won’t trust the neighboring countries to send their soldiers because they might never leave. This discounts Syria and Jordan. Turkey brings ugly colonial memories, so they are out too (sorry, I know you want the job, but we’re not comfortable with it). The Arab countries and Iran are too involved and partial. Sub-Saharan Africans won’t scare anybody (with my deepest respect to Ghanaian peacekeepers in the UNIFIL).

I should say that I have never heard that Brazilian soldiers ever succeeded to scare anybody. Though i admit - nobody can beat the brazilians when it comes to carnivals

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Tuesday, August 1, 2006




Stabilizing Force

French FM said today that Iran is a stabilizing force in the middle east. I am now waiting for the french to call on el kaida to do peace keeping in the region.

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Proclaimed un monstruooo muy monstruoso at 3:58 AM

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