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Is It All the Same War??

Annie

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http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=2866

DEBKAfile reports: IranÂ’s national security adviser Ali Larijani flies to Damascus aboad special military plane Wednesday night as war tension builds up around Hizballah kidnap of 2 Israeli soldiers

July 12, 2006, 11:18 PM (GMT+02:00)

Larijani is also IranÂ’s senior nuclear negotiator. He will remain in Damascus for the duration of the crisis in line with the recently Iranian-Syrian mutual defense pact. His presence affirms that an Israeli attack on Syria will be deemed an assault on Iran. It also links the Israeli hostage crisis to IranÂ’s nuclear standoff with the West.

The White House released a statement holding Syria and Iran responsible for Hizballah abduction and demanding their immediate and unconditional release.

The Syrian army has been put on a state of preparedness.

DEBKAfileÂ’s military sources add that the Iranian air force, missile units and navy are also on high alert.

DEBKAfileÂ’s counter-terror sources report Hizballah acted on orders from Tehran to open a second front against Israel, partly to ease IDF military pressure on the Hamas in the Gaza Strip. This was in response to an appeal Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal made to the Iranian ambassador to Damascus Mohammad Hassan Akhtari Sunday, July 9.

DEBKAfileÂ’s Iranian sources report TehranÂ’s rationale as composed of three parts:

1. Iran shows the flag as a champion and defender of its ally, Hamas.

2. Sending Hizballah to open a warfront against Israel is the logical tactical complement to its latest order to go into action against American and British forces in southern Iraq.

3. Tehran hopes to hijack the agenda before the G-8 summit opening in St. Petersberg, Russia on July 15. Instead of discussing IranÂ’s nuclear case and the situation in Iraq along the lines set by President George W. Bush, the leaders of the industrial nations will be forced to address the Middle East flare-up

Any Israeli decision taken at prime minister Ehud OlmertÂ’s high level consultation in Jerusalem Wednesday night must take this turn of events into account before deciding on limited air strikes against Hizballah and Lebanese civil targets without delay.

Our sources also report that immediately after NasrallahÂ’s statement to the media, HizballahÂ’s leaders went into hiding, their bases were evacuated and their fighting strength transferred to pre-planned places of concealment. Ahead of the abduction, Hizballah ordnance and missile stocks were transferred to the Palestinian Ahmed JibrilÂ’s tunnel system at Naama, 30 km south of Beirut, which was built in the 1980s by East German engineers.

The Israel navy has long tried to smash this coastal underground fortress from the sea without success.

Israel began calling up an armored division, air crews and technicians from the reserves Wednesday night. DEBKAfileÂ’s military experts: If IsraelÂ’s leaders opt for an anti-Hizballah operation on the lines of Operation Summer Rain against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the IDF can expect the same measure of success as it has had in recovering Gilead Shalit and ending the Qassam missiles barrage
 

Bonnie

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Hezbollah, natch.

By Michael Ledeen

No one should have any lingering doubts about what’s going on in the Middle East. It’s war, and it now runs from Gaza into Israel, through Lebanon and thence to Iraq via Syria. There are different instruments, ranging from Hamas in Gaza to Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon and on to the multifaceted “insurgency” in Iraq. But there is a common prime mover, and that is the Iranian mullahcracy, the revolutionary Islamic fascist state that declared war on us 27 years ago and has yet to be held accountable.
It is very good news that the White House immediately denounced Iran and Syria, just as Ambassador Khalilzad had yesterday tagged the terrorist Siamese twins as sponsors of terrorism in Iraq. For those who doubt the Iranian hand, remind yourself that Hezbollah is a wholly owned subsidiary of the mullahcracy (with Syria providing some supplies, and free run of the territory), and then read what Iraq the Model had to say yesterday, Wednesday:

Hizbollah is Iran's and Syria's partner in feeding instability in Iraq as there were evidence that this terror group has a role in equipping and training insurgents in Iraq and Hizbollah had more than once openly showed support for the “resistance” in Iraq and sponsored the meetings of Baathist and radical Islamist militants who are responsible for most of the violence in Iraq.

Notice, please, that he says Iran “sponsored the meetings of Baathist and radical Islamist militants...” He is talking Sunnis here, the same Sunnis who, according to CIA deep thinkers and scads of academic experts, cannot possibly work closely with Shiites like, ahem, the mullahs of Tehran. Iraq the Model isn’t burdened by this wisdom, and so he just reports what he sees on the ground in his own country.

Notice also that over the weekend there was a “security summit” in Tehran, involving all of Iraq’s neighbors, at which Iran’s moonbat President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made one of his trademark understatements about Israel. “The existence of this regime will bring nothing but suffering and misery for people in the region,” he mildly commented, and then said that the anger of the people might soon “lead to a vast explosion that will know no boundaries.”

Sounds to me like he knew something before the rest of us. As well he should, because Iran has been quite busy in Lebanon of late. The Lebanese Tourism Ministry’s Research Center announced an amazing statistic in early July: in the first six months of the year, 60,888 Iranian tourists visited Lebanon. No other Asian country came close (the Philippines ranked second, with a bit over 12,000). I don’t think that there’s enough disposable income in mullahland to cover the expenses of more than ten thousand people a month headed for the Beirut beaches. Do you think, as I do, that a goodly number of those “tourists” were up to no good? Maybe some of them were working for the Revolutionary Guards Corps? Or were Hezbollah operations people? I’ll bet you your favorite farm that one of them was the world’s most wanted man, Imad Mughniyah, the operations chieftain of Hizbollah, the world’s most lethal terrorist organization.

Actually I wonÂ’t bet; it would be unethical. We know that Mughniyah flew to Damascus a while back with Ahmadinejad, and went to Lebanon to work with his buddies.

In this war, there is no meaningful distinction between Iran and Syria, they work in tandem. ItÂ’s just that Iran gives the orders and Syria obeys.

There’s a lot of fanciful analysis of the recent expansion of the war, revolving around a general “why?” and a more specific “why now?” Someone said that Iran was trying to distract world attention from the upcoming U.N. showdown over the mullahs’ atomic program, which seems silly to me. A U.N. debate serves Iran’s interest. It deflects attention from our growing awareness of Iran’s centrality in Iraq, and the urgency of going after the regimes in Tehran and Damascus. That is where Iran’s doom lies, not in the endless charade about the nukes.

I don’t think it is worth our time and energy to try to answer the “why now?” except to agree with Allahpundit who remarked that there does seem to be something special about dates numbered “11.” The important thing to keep in mind is that both the Gaza and northern Israel attacks were planned for quite a while, which means that Iran wanted this war, this way. It isn’t just a target of opportunity or a sudden impulse; it’s part of a strategic decision to expand the war.

Iran has been at war with us all along, because thatÂ’s what the worldÂ’s leading terror state does. The scariest thing about this moment is that the Iranians have convinced themselves that they are winning, and we are powerless to reverse the tide. As I reported here several months ago, Khamenei told his top people late last year that the Americans and Israelis are both politically paralyzed. Neither can take decisive action against Iran, neither can sustain prolonged conflict and significant casualties. Meanwhile, the Supreme Leader said, the terrorists are all working for Iran, and we will expand the terror war.

DonÂ’t think for a moment that they worry about victims in Gaza or Lebanon. They are delighted to see Israel fighting on two fronts, because they will use the pictures from the battlefield to consolidate their hold over the fascist forces in the region. After a few days of fighting, I would not be surprised to see some new kind of terrorist attack against Israel, or against an American facility in the region. An escalation to chemical weapons, for example, or even the fulfillment of the longstanding Iranian promise to launch something nuclear at Israel. They meant it when they said it, donÂ’t you know?

The only way we are going to win this war is to bring down those regimes in Tehran and Damascus, and they are not going to fall as a result of fighting between their terrorist proxies in Gaza and Lebanon on the one hand, and Israel on the other. Only the United States can accomplish it.

Last week, President Mikheil Shaakashvili of free Georgia came to Washington and reminded us–not that it was much noticed — of America’s revolutionary mission. But President Bush heard it. “I just sent over to President Bush the letter that Georgian freedom fighters sent...seven years ago, and it never made it to the White House. It was intercepted by KGB and all the people who wrote it were shot,” Mr. Saakashvili said during a visit with the president in the Oval Office. “I'm sure lots of people out there in Korea (and he might well have added, Syria and Iran) are writing similar letters today. And I'm sure that those letters will, eventually, (arrive)...because that's a part of the freedom agenda that President Bush has and we strongly believe in.”

As do millions of Syrians and Iranians. And you know what? Millions of Arabs all over the Middle East do too. Give them a chance to fight for their freedom, as we did with the Georgians. The longer we dither, the more likely it becomes that we will sadly and unnecessarily find ourselves in a military confrontation of some sort, with all the terrible consequences that entails.

Faster, please. Your options are narrowing. You cannot escape the mullahs. You must either defeat them or submit to their terrible vision. There is no other way.


http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NDE4MDA3NDUyYjA0ZGY1MzQ4NjM5NjM1MWY4NDVkZGM=
 
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Annie

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CNN and FOX are both reporting that Hezbollah is trying to get the two Israeli soldiers transferred to Iran. They seem bent on a regional war.
 

Bonnie

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Kathianne said:
CNN and FOX are both reporting that Hezbollah is trying to get the two Israeli soldiers transferred to Iran. They seem bent on a regional war.


I just that heard that as well!! Iran is trying to provoke Israel and start a middleast war. What a mess!!
 
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Annie

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Probably best round up. Lots of links, including one to Ledeen that Bonnie already put up:

http://austinbay.net/blog/?p=1291
7/13/2006
UPDATED: Israel’s “Revised Peace In Galilee”: No targets are immune
Filed under:
— site admin @ 7:09 am

The on-going Israeli military operation in Lebanon isn’t as extensive as Arik Sharon’s 1982 “peace in Galilee” offensive.

This new war, however, could have major strategic implications.

The Middle East –the entire world– has changed since 1982. There is no Cold War, there is no Saddam. Lebanon has also changed. Many Lebanese are ready for Hezbollah to enter history’s dustbin. The Lebanese have also experienced twenty years of Syrian occupation and thuggery. Hezbollah remains a creature of Syria– a Syrian tool bought and paid for by Iran.

At the moment Israel’s Lebanon action is much more than a raid. The VOA reports notes the air and sea blockade. So does the BBC. The BBC reported that Israel struck 40 Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, but an Israeli spokesman said “no targets are immune.”

The Boston Globe notes an Iranian trap for Israel. The column correctly identifies TehranÂ’s diplomatic game: IranÂ’s Hezbollah proxies engaging Israel deflects political attention from IranÂ’s nuclear shenanigans.

The Globe warns of “a reflexive military response” that plays into Iran’s trap.

That’s a vague enough term– vague enough that it can mean almost anything. (Here’s the tactic: If the Israelis get bogged down in a political-military quagmire, the Globe can say “we told you so.” If the Iraelis succeed then of course the Israelis didn’t respond “reflexively.”)

That said, the Globe editorialist doesnÂ’t want innocent Lebanese to suffer for TehranÂ’s sins, which is reasonable and laudable.

For this reason, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and possibly Syria are also in a trap.

The relative lack of western criticism of Israel is an indicator. Apparently Israel has an opportunity to hammer Iranian and Syrian proxies.

Israel may also escalate by striking Syrian intelligence targets throughout the region–sending the message that supporting proxies can cost the supporter.

Israeli escalation past a certain point escalation puts Tehran in a bind: if TehranÂ’s mullahs fail to react militarily they begin to look impotent. Promises of future bombs wonÂ’t suffice.

IranÂ’s mad mullahs may gain by drawing the Israelis into a military incursion followed by months of diplomatic posturing replete with threats and accusations (and pictures of destroyed Lebanese homes). The madmen do not gain if Israel decides to launch a relentless, multi-front offensive, that includes an Iranian front.

Risky? Of course. But Iranian nukes are also risky, and even Russia and China acknowledge that.

In the context of an on-going war with Iranian proxies in Lebanon, if Tehran’s mullahs threaten mass anihilation one too many times the Israelis could strike several Iranian nuclear facilities. This would not be a “pre-emptive strike” but a “deep strike” on Hezbollah’s deep pockets ally and supplier.

The diplomatic component of this scenario: the Israelis make the case that in the post-Saddam, post-Beirut Spring Middle East, proxy wars are no longer tolerated. The Iranians will not be able to respond to Israeli strikes in kind. They will be exposed as weak hotheads and they will have lost at least part of their nuclear investment.

“No targets are immune.” Will Israel continue to restrict that statement to Lebanon?

Syria needs to pay attention. A shift to “no proxy war” would put it in a vise between Israel and Iraq.

UPDATE: See this earlier post–”re-setting the chess board.”

UPDATE 2: I just read Michael LedeenÂ’s fine essay at NRO. He see the big war. He says it must be fought.
 
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Annie

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I just noticed this is from yesterday, but it sums up what I'm seeing today. Links at site:

http://proteinwisdom.com/index.php?/weblog/entry/20665/
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
“Widening Into War?: The Israeli Response in Lebanon and Gaza”

Constant updates at Pajamas Media and Hot Air, where Allah uses wire reports to confirm Debka’s earlier report that “Iran’s national security adviser Ali Larijani flies to Damascus aboad special military plane Wednesday night as war tension builds…. Iranian air force, missile units and navy are also on high alert…. Israel began calling up an armored division, air crews and technicians from the reserves Wednesday night.”

The Iran-Syria defense pact. The upcoming G-8 Summit. IranÂ’s nuclear ambitions. Hosni Mubarak. The muted US/EU reaction to IsraelÂ’s military response.

ItÂ’s like watching a Frederick Forsyth novel unfold in real-time. Only with heavy casualties and the remote chance of a nuclear winter in July.
Posted by Jeff Goldstein
 

F41

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Kathianne said:
CNN and FOX are both reporting that Hezbollah is trying to get the two Israeli soldiers transferred to Iran. They seem bent on a regional war.
Iran is trying to provoke a direct response from Israel, in return I believe will draw in the U.S. This is what they (Iran) have been wanting all along.
 

Bonnie

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F41 said:
Iran is trying to provoke a direct response from Israel, in return I believe will draw in the U.S. This is what they (Iran) have been wanting all along.

And of course Israel and the US will be blamed by Islam as the provocators..
 

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Where the hell is Britain, France, Germany and hey how about the rest of our allies in this mess? This shit is getting out of control, if it has not already gone out of control. WW3 here we come.
 
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Annie

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USMCDevilDog said:
Where the hell is Britain, France, Germany and hey how about the rest of our allies in this mess? This shit is getting out of control, if it has not already gone out of control. WW3 here we come.
They've said, "Israel must stop its disproportionate response..." For the Europeans, that is restraint.

From The New Republic :shocked: :

http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=w060710&s=halevi071206
The New Republic Online
ISRAEL'S NEXT WAR HAS BEGUN.
Battle Plans
by Yossi Klein Halevi
Only at TNR Online
Post date: 07.12.06

The next Middle East war--Israel against genocidal Islamism--has begun. The first stage of the war started two weeks ago, with the Israeli incursion into Gaza in response to the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier and the ongoing shelling of Israeli towns and kibbutzim; now, with Hezbollah's latest attack, the war has spread to southern Lebanon. Ultimately, though, Israel's antagonists won't be Hamas and Hezbollah but their patrons, Iran and Syria. The war will go on for months, perhaps several years. There may be lulls in the fighting, perhaps even temporary agreements and prisoner exchanges. But those periods of calm will be mere respites.

The goals of the war should be the destruction of the Hamas regime and the dismantling of the Hezbollah infrastructure in southern Lebanon. Israel cannot coexist with Iranian proxies pressing in on its borders. In particular, allowing Hamas to remain in power--and to run the Palestinian educational system--will mean the end of hopes for Arab-Israeli reconciliation not only in this generation but in the next one too.

For the Israeli right, this is the moment of "We told you so." The fact that the kidnappings and missile attacks have come from southern Lebanon and Gaza--precisely the areas from which Israel has unilaterally withdrawn--is proof, for right-wingers, of the bankruptcy of unilateralism. Yet the right has always misunderstood the meaning of unilateral withdrawal. Those of us who have supported unilateralism didn't expect a quiet border in return for our withdrawal but simply the creation of a border from which we could more vigorously defend ourselves, with greater domestic consensus and international understanding. The anticipated outcome, then, wasn't an illusory peace but a more effective way to fight the war. The question wasn't whether Hamas or Hezbollah would forswear aggression but whether Israel would act with appropriate vigor to their continued aggression.

So it wasn't the rocket attacks that were a blow to the unilateralist camp, but rather Israel's tepid responses to those attacks. If unilateralists made a mistake, it was in believing our political leaders--including Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert--when they promised a policy of zero tolerance against any attacks emanating from Gaza after Israel's withdrawal. That policy was not implemented--until two weeks ago. Now, belatedly, the Olmert government is trying to regain something of its lost credibility, and that is the real meaning of this initial phase of the war, both in Gaza and in Lebanon.

Still, many in Israel believe that, even now, the government is acting with excessive restraint. One centrist friend of mine, an Olmert voter, said to me, "If we had assassinated [Hamas leader] Haniyeh after the first kidnapping, [Hezbollah leader] Nasrallah would have thought twice about ordering another kidnapping." Israel, then, isn't paying for the failure of unilateral withdrawal, but for the failure to fulfill its promise to seriously respond to provocations after withdrawal.

Absurdly, despite Israel's withdrawal to the international borders with Lebanon and Gaza, much of the international community still sees the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers as a legitimate act of war: Just as Israel holds Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners, so Hamas and Hezbollah now hold Israeli prisoners. One difference, though, is that inmates in Israeli jails receive visits from family and Red Cross representatives, while Israeli prisoners in Gaza and Lebanon disappear into oblivion. Like Israeli pilot Ron Arad, who was captured by Hezbollah 20 years ago, then sold to Iran, and whose fate has never been determined. That is one reason why Israelis are so maddened by the kidnapping of their soldiers.

Another reason is the nature of the crimes committed by the prisoners whose release is being demanded by Hezbollah and Hamas. One of them is Samir Kuntar, a PLO terrorist who in 1979 broke into an apartment in the northern Israeli town of Nahariya, took a father and child hostage, and smashed the child's head against a rock. In the Palestinian Authority, Kuntar is considered a hero, a role model for Palestinian children.

The ultimate threat, though, isn't Hezbollah or Hamas but Iran. And as Iran draws closer to nuclear capability--which the Israeli intelligence community believes could happen this year--an Israeli-Iranian showdown becomes increasingly likely. According to a very senior military source with whom I've spoken, Israel is still hoping that an international effort will stop a nuclear Iran; if that fails, then Israel is hoping for an American attack. But if the Bush administration is too weakened to take on Iran, then, as a last resort, Israel will have to act unilaterally. And, added the source, Israel has the operational capability to do so.

For Israelis, that is the worst scenario of all. Except, of course, the scenario of nuclear weapons in the hands of the patron state of Hezbollah and Hamas.
 

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