Friday, August 11, 2006

US enabling Israeli weapons fix again.

The WaPo reports today that an agreement to vote on a Lebanon cease-fire resolution at the UN is very close. The French and the Americans have gone back to the drawing board and, among other things, the US has backed down on the idea of a "robust" force moving into southern Lebanon to violently disarm Hezbollah.

There a few other little things to be worked out; like what difference its all going to make if the Lebanese government doesn't go along with the resolution. Robin Wright reports that "China's deputy ambassador, Liu Zhenmin, said that 'the problem is that the Lebanese they do not accept any reference to Chapter 7.'" This is the part that authorized the possible use of force. That's a pretty big problem.

I still don't understand how the UN is going to go into southern Lebanon and root out Hezbollah if the Israelis haven't been able to do it in a month of fighting. And if Hezbollah isn't brough in on this -- and Syria and Iran aren't a part of it -- all a UN force is going to do is get caught in the cross fire between both sides. Hezbollah certainly doesn't having any problem firing on whoever is in their way and we know the Israelis have nothing but contempt for everything UN.

But not to worry, Condi is on the job and a senior US official says, "We're pushing for a vote. [Rice] doesn't care if they have to work through the night. . .If work needs to be done, she'll do that. If she needs to bring it to closure, she'll close. And if she only needs to vote, she'll vote." After all the good work she's done so far, don't you just get the idea this is all going to end well?

As Condi keeps insisting, the US is an "honest broker" who is working diligently for "an enduring peace" so those "birth pangs" the new Middle East can do their magic. So why is the US sending more weapons to Israel? The NYT reports that the US is set to ship "short-range antipersonnel rockets armed with cluster munitions, which it could use to strike Hezbollah missile sites in Lebanon, two American officials said Thursday." We're working around the clock to get a fair deal for both sides and we're sending an emergency shipment of weapons so Israel can kill more civilians?

Don't worry, though, "if the shipment is approved, Israel may be told that it must be especially careful about firing the rockets into populated areas, the senior official said." See? You know how seriously they've taken the US call for "restraint" so far.

The weapons Israel want are particularly nasty. Many of the 19,000 or so Lebanese civilians Israel killed in the 1982 invation were killed by cluster munitions. The Israelis were so out of control with using them that even the Reagan administration banned them from using them (for a little while anyway).

David Siegel, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, says: "As a rule, we obviously don’t fire into populated areas, with the exception of the use of precision-guided munitions against terrorist targets." Obviously!

So you can trust them to use these horific weapons only on Hezbollah fighters (If they can ever find one ) and not civilians, right? NO.

Human Rights Watch reported a few weeks back that:

"Israel has used artillery-fired cluster munitions in populated areas of Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said today. Researchers on the ground in Lebanon confirmed that a cluster munitions attack on the village of Blida on July 19 killed one and wounded at least 12 civilians, including seven children. Human Rights Watch researchers also photographed cluster munitions in the arsenal of Israeli artillery teams on the Israel-Lebanon border."

Dumb bomb:

The bomb in question is anything but smart: "The M26 Rocket is launched from one of the 12 tubes in the launch pod. The rocket is 13 feet in length, and has a range of 10-32 kilometers. The standard M 26 rocket is unguided. The rocket warhead contains 644 of the M77 submunitions. When all 12 rockets in a pod are fired, 7,728 submunitions are dispersed over the target area." [Mennonite Central Committee]

An article in the LA Times back in 2003 about the US using M-26' in Iraq says the bomb creates duds about 16% of the time leaving hundreds of bombs laying around and hanging from trees. This according to Mark Hiznay, senior researcher in the arms division of Human Rights Watch in Washington.

So, even if Israel dosen't use these bombs in civilian areas, the hundreds of duds will kill civilians later on, long after the war. Which should be in about 24 when Condi gets that big peace deal done, right?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Media goes 'koo koo for ko ko puffs' on terrorism story again.

The WaPo reports:

"British authorities said Thursday they have disrupted a sophisticated and well-advanced terrorist plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners using liquid explosives, arresting 21 people who police said had planned to commit mass murder over the Atlantic Ocean. In the United States, the Homeland Security Department raised the terrorist threat level to 'Code Red,' the highest alert stage, for U.S.-bound flights originating in the United Kingdom and to 'Code Orange,' the second-highest level, for all other commercial flights operating in or destined for the United States."

Well. . . Code Red, you know it must be serious. Because it's not like the UK has any credibility problems with these frantic, over-the-top declarations of terror plots being thwarted. It seems to me that not long ago, back on June 2, the Brits raided a house in Forest Gate London with 250 police officers claiming it was a bomb factory. They even managed to shoot one of the "suspects, " Mohammed Abdul Kahar, who was later released along with his brother with no clarges. And, though, they found nothing in their house to justify the raid or the shooting of an innocent man, Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman of the Metropolitan Police Specialist Operations still said they had "specific intelligence" on the house. (Even though they found nothing.)

So, when Deputy Commissioner, Paul Stephenson says today that "We are confident that we have disrupted a plan by terrorists to cause untold death and destruction and commit mass murder," you've just got to wonder. [MET] Just searching the BBC news site for "terror suspects released" brings up all kinds of stories about other mistakes by the Brits.

2 December 2004: "A 24-year-old man arrested under the Terrorism Act has been released by police in Manchester. Aboker Hussein-Younis was questioned after police found suspicious documents in his car during a routine stop and search on Monday."

10 March 2005: "A terror suspect held without charge since 2001 has been freed on bail, with eight more suspects due to be released. "

27 July 2005:"A man arrested at Luton airport under the Terrorism Act has been released to continue his journey, police said. The police were called after reports that the man, who was due to fly to Nimes in southern France, looked like one of the London bomb suspects."

1 August 2005: "A man arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act at Stockport station has been released without charge. The 25-year-old from Middlesex was detained on Sunday evening after he was reported to be acting suspiciously, Greater Manchester Police said."

And it goes on and on.

The way the media is eating this stuff up with a soup laddle you'd think something had actually happened. Could they ever approach a story like this with even a minimum of skepticism?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Teddy Bear ready willing and able, to kick you ass!

It looks like things are going so well in the war against Lebanon that the IDF has changed commanders, for the "big push." The AP reports:

"In a sudden shake-up, Maj. Gen. Moshe Kaplinski was inserted over the head of Maj. Gen. Udi Adam, the commander of the northern front, as the senior battlefield officer. The appointment came Tuesday night, hours before Israel’s Security Cabinet approved a major expansion of the military operation in Lebanon. "

The idea is that the IDF better have something to show for all this death and desstruction before W. is dragged kicking and screaming into supporting a cease-fire. The Agonist reports the thinking like this: An Israeli government minister, Gideon Ezra, said at a meeting to discuss moving to the Litani river that:

"We should wait and continue the fighting. I estimate they can be broken down. Israel cannot belittle even one quarter of a rocket, not to mention hundreds and thousands. Even one rocket a week makes the entire north crazy. If we stop now, it's like we didn’t do a thing."

Now the gloves are really going to come but don't worry, Gen. Kaplinski, or "kaplin" for short" is known as a "charismatic teddy bear," and was one of Sharon's favorites. So you even though he will rain biblical revenge upon the Lebanese like nobodies busisnees, he'll do it like a teddy bear.

'Kaplin' was in the elite Golani brigade which was infamous in the first Intifada, for carrying out Yitzak Rabin's 'force, might, beatings' policy in the occupied territories. Since the Palestinians came out with children throwing stones the idea was to beat the crap out of them instead of shooting them outright; that came later.

David Hirst writes:

"The commander of the elite Givati brigade would order his soldiers to "break their [the rioters] legs so they won't be able to walk and break their hands so they can't throw stones. [jeruselem post 1989] The precitce become so institutionalized in another regiment, the Golani, that medical orderlies were instructed to be present at bone-breakings, considered 'educational' in purpose, so as to ensure that no 'irreversible medical damage was caused.' [haaretz 1 october 1990 shahak translations]"

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Support our troops not the clerics:

You know, I keep hearing in the mainstream press about "extremists in both parties" are causing the polorization of politics these days. Particularly in the Lieberman/Lamont race I've been hearing a lot of this. It's as if, in the minds of the "centrists," wanting to bring the troops home and holding those who got us into the mess in Iraq accountable is extremism equivilant to the religious nuts who will loyaly follow W. to Armageddon. "Liberals" in the Democratic Party who are demanding that their Party stop rolling over every time Karl Rove says 'boo!' and take a moral stand on this disaster in Iraq -- which has has killed 30,000 Iraqis almost 2,600 US troops and wounded 19,000 -- are the weirdos.

What's so extreme about wanting our troops to stop coming home in flag drapped coffins and in pieces? How could the Party be so divided over an issue that is so clear? Either you are with George Bush and you are willing to stand by as we lose two or three soldiers every other day for -- another year -- or two -- or even longer hoping someday the Iraqis will be able to stop slaughtering eachother. Or you believe American military families shouldn't have to wait anxiously for the knock on the door everytime they hear that an American has been killed in Iraq.

The people in Iraq who are running the Iraqi government are mainly made up of religious fanatics who will turn on us the minute they feel secure enough to do so. Things are getting so out of hand over there that John Hendren reported yesterday on NPR that religious clerics are now issuing fatwas requiring Iraqis to put diapers on sheep, so the naked sight of their backsides won't be so enticing. Another edict demands that vegatabe stands not arrange their wares in sexually suggestive positions. One grocer was actually shot and killed for making his tomatos look too sexy.

This is not a joke, this is the type of people we're over there fighting and dying for. The former PM of Iraq, Ibrahim al-Jafari, wouldn't even shake the hands of woman because they were unclean. One of the main parties in charge of the government is called the "Supreme Councel for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (sciri)

How many Democrats in Congress would say they support that? Why not support the troops instead and bring them home!
hit counter script Top Blog Lists Favourite Blogs Top List
My Zimbio
Top Stories