Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dogging the Dogs of War

Hizbullah continues firing rockets into Israel, hitting Tiberias this time. The concern is that Hizbullah has even longer range rockets or missiles, that could reach as far as Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.

Glenn Reynolds notes that the international human rights groups and that the Geneva Conventions apply only to Israel and the US, and never for their benefit.

The Israelis have determined that it was an Iranian missile that hit the ship last nite. Two Israeli soldiers were killed, and two remain missing. Bill Roggio has more details on the attacks on the Israeli ship. One of the Israeli soldiers was identified as Third Petty Officer Tal Amgar, but the story also notes that Iran has about 100 soldiers in Lebanon as well. So, in addition to their proxy army in Hizbullah, Iran may be directly engaging Israel.

The United States has called on Syria to rein in Hizbullah, and Israel has given Syria 72 hours to stop Hizbullah and secure the release of the Israeli soldiers, or else Israel would take offensive actions it deems necessary. In other words, Israel would begin attacking Syria.
'Hizbullah made the same mistake'

The report also mentioned that President George W. Bush has repeatedly put much of the blame for the recent escalation on Syria.

“It is no coincidence that the Hizbullah operation comes at a time when the international community is working to impose sanctions on Iran due to its nuclear program and settle the score with Syria by establishing an international court to try those behind the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri,” the Pentagon source said.

According to the source, Hizbullah made the same mistake as Hamas when it did not predict the ramifications of its actions and ignored the regional and international changes since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

The source said that Israel has indicated that it “will not end its military activity until a new situation is created that will prevent Syria and Iran from using terror organizations, such as Hamas and Hizbullah, to threaten its security.”
Israel is dropping anti-Nasrallah leaflets in Southern Lebanon, which makes sense since their fight is with Hizbullah, not necessarily all of the Lebanese, many of whom are sick of Hizbullah and Syria's influence. Syria, for its part, says that it will assist Lebanon and Hizbullah. That's the reason Israel is hitting both, but that simple point goes over Assad's head.

Meanwhile, Hugo Chavez has to open his yapper and unleashes the usual anti-US pablum blaming the US and Israel for an impending holocaust. Never mind that it was terrorists funded by his buddies in Syria and Iran that are causing this situation, it's got to be the Americans fault. No wonder the hard lefties in the US love Chavez. He's as dependable as he is dangerous to US interests.

There's also a report that Hizbullah leaders are leaving Beirut following the airstrike against the Hizbullah headquarters in Beirut. Rats scurrying away from a sinking ship.

The Los Angeles Times is trying to separate Hizbullah's actions from that of Syria or Iran. They're trying to lay the groundwork for claiming that Israel's actions will go too far if Israel strikes at either, despite the fact that Hizbullah is funded by, receives equipment from, and obtains safe havens in, Syria and Iran. At the same time, Ed Morrissey wonders whether Assad is in full control of the situation and that some of his generals are bypassing Assad.

While the UN continues to try and find ways to stop Israel's self defense, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert has told Kofi Annan that Israel will stop when Hizbullah is disarmed. Now, that's an open ended committment considering who else is involved in supplying them with those rockets.

Has Israel already begun to strike at Syrian targets in Syria? According to some eyewitness accounts, that's exactly what has happened. (HT Manker at LGF) I think we'll need to get confirmation of this from official sources. Syria has had this coming for years, but that doesn't mean that Israel has started its offensive against Syria just yet.

The primary bloggers to check with are Carl in Jerusalem, Israellycool, Dave Bender, Meryl Yourish, Euphoric Reality, Pajamas Media, and Hot Air. Check back with them regularly for updates.

Michael Totten is distraught over the conflict engulfing Lebanon and concerned about Israel taking out its anger on Lebanon when it should be directed at Syria and Iran.

Others blogging the ongoing conflict: Michelle Malkin, Sister Toldjah, Leaning Straight Up, Kesher Talk, Blue Crab Boulevard, Tammy Bruce, Don Surber, The Moderate Voice, The Jawa Report, Pajamas Media, Security Watchtower, Powerline, USS Neverdock, and Meryl Yourish.

It now appears that Israel targeted areas within Lebanon along the Syrian border. They had not crossed the border yet. That may still come, and Syria and Hizbullah have assets throughout Lebanon.

The Israeli ship damaged in the missile attack has limped back into Ashdod. The INS now says that an Iranian-made C-802 missile launched from Lebanon struck the ship. Initially it was being towed towards Israel, but the sailors managed to restore power and it sailed into port under its own power.

The Spanish PM, claims that the violence is only fueling the radical Islamists. Yes, that's right. Everything was going just fine before Israel retaliated against Hamas and Hizbullah. Keep forgetting that Israel was being bombarded by Hamas kassam rockets and Hizbullah attacks repeatedly without suffering the consequences of their actions, and then both terrorist groups launched daring raids invading Israel to attack Israeli military outposts, killing 10 Israeli soldiers and taking three into Gaza and Lebanon respectively. I'd call the Spanish PM a mo-ron, but that would be a grave disservice to mo-rons the world over.

Israel is installing Patriot missile defense batteries in Haifa in response to the onslaught of Hizbullah rockets and missiles fired into Northern Israel. The IDF has also eliminated coastal radars in Lebanon. No sense in letting Hizbullah see what Israel is up to.

The Lebanese people are stepping up their criticism of Hizbullah. Good. Now, this is funny: the Arab League is declaring the peace process dead. Now, not when Hamas and Hizbullah were busy invading Israel and killing Israelis, but now when Israel is going and taking care of business against both Hamas and Hizbullah.

Newsweek wonders whether Israel could have acted any differently. Well, sure they could. They could have sat back and taken all those rockets and missiles, the captures of their soldiers, and the killing of soldiers and civilians with a smile. Maybe then the world might have been more sympathetic to Israel's plight.

Then again, they might have called on Israel to make even more concessions, empty Israel's prisons that are holding Palestinian terrorists and those who have Israeli blood on their hands.

The Israelis could have freed up all kinds of money being held from Hamas despite the fact that Hamas calls for Israel's annihilation (so does Hizbullah).

Or, maybe Israel could have skipped Lebanon and gone right for Damascus and Tehran, where the real power brokers behind Hamas and Hizbullah are operating with immunity thus far. Hamas and Hizbullah send their minions to kill Israelis from Gaza and Lebanon, and somehow Israel has to do things differently?

Maybe Newsweek ought to reframe the question as follows:

What can Hamas and Hizbullah do differently to avoid further bloodshed.

That's a real simple question right now, and it's even got a real simple answer. The two terrorist groups have to cease and desist - stop firing their rockets and missiles into Israel, disarm, and release the three Israelis they're holding.

Period. Hamas could have avoided this entire mess had they released Shalit right away. They did not. Israel struck hard. Hizbullah decided to get in the fight, and are suffering for it as well. They too can avoid being destroyed with those simple steps. But where's the pressure from world opinion? On Israel.


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