Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sand on front steps cures Lesbianism - Who Knew?

I really don’t bother with these kinds of articles much. This one struck me as so bizarre and outlandish that I had to post it. I was reading it and suddenly had a vision of a million men rushing out to buy sand to pour on their front steps to protect their wives from "lesbianism", and then, I had another bizarre image of a million men/women rushing out to keep the front steps swept free of all sand.
Taken from Ynet story:
My wife has become a lesbian", a terrified husband told his rabbi. The rabbi gave him a sack and assured him: it contains special sand, simply pour it on your her lover's doorstep and when she steps on it she'll come running back.

If your partner shows lesbian tendencies and you want her to get rid of them, it's not a problem. All you have to do, according to a rabbi in Bnei Brak, is to pour "special sand" on her lover's doorstep and your wife will come running back.

This strange tale, which sounds as though it were taken from the Tales of the Wise Men of Chelem, began when a Bnei Brak resident was surprised to find out that his wife had lesbian tendencies and that she was cheating on him with another woman. She even informed him that she would like a divorce. The man panicked and turned to the city rabbi to seek his advice.

The Rabbi provided a quick magical solution: He gave him a heavy sack of sand and told him to pour it on the doorstep of his wife's lesbian lover, telling him that the moment his wife will step on it the curse will be lifted. "Your wife will come running back," he said
Things didn’t work out so well for the Hubbie or his son – read on if you want. In this day and age it is simply outrageous that people still buy this kind of nonsense. But then again, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised as millions of so-called educated people still read horoscopes and visit fortune tellers. Oddly enough, I was always taught that practicing magic and fortune telling was forbidden to any religious Jew – maybe the Rabbi was Reformed?

Armed Stand-off at the UK Embassy

Ynet News is reporting this:
Large police and Magen David Adom teams were dispatched to the British Embassy in Tel Aviv Thursday noon. Police reported that Nadim Injahz, a 28-year-old Palestinian collaborator from Ramallah, has entered the embassy's complex on Hayarkon Street, carrying a gun and threatening to hurt himself if he is not granted political asylum in Britain. Injahz demanded to be provided with a plane that will fly him from the Sdeh Dov airport in town to Europe.

An embassy employee told Ynet that Injahz was detected immediately upon entering the compound, and described him as a short and thin man. He added that the embassy's security guards have asked their superiors whether they should try and subdue the man themselves, but were ordered to leave the handling of the matter to the Israeli police. Special elite units and dozens of policemen arrived at the place. A police helicopter is circling over the area.

A police negotiation team is currently attempting to persuade Injahz to surrender himself. Police officers were equipped with bullet proof vests, for fear the suspect may shoot at their direction.

Lior Goldbrenner, who was at the scene, told Ynet that Special Police forces arrived armed with weapons. “Police from the senior rank of the Tel Aviv district are in the parking lot of the embassy, and they are preventing people from entering,” he added.
Goldbrenner said embassy workers are all outside of the building, and a police spokeswoman is at the scene. “The whole area is closed, but the road is open to traffic. Police are spread out along the street,” said Goldbrenner.

Tel Aviv police chief, Major General David Tzur said that Injaz is "a man that we know. He owns a gun and is threatening to commit suicide. He was a collaborator but he was disappointed and now he wants to leave the country."

Ynet has background on Nadim Injahz:
Nadim Injahz, detained in the protected wing of Ashmoret Prison, hopes he is never released. As far as he is concerned, he is better off in jail, where at least he has a roof over his head. For the past eight years, Injahz, 28, a Palestinian, has been seeking a quiet place to rest where his life is not in danger and he need not worry about getting arrested. Meanwhile, he alternates between the Palestinian Authority, where the Tanzim threaten to kill him, and Israel, where is categorized as an illegal alien.

At the conclusion of every jail sentence, representatives of the Israel Prison Authority drive him to the Tul Karem checkpoint and deposit him on the Palestinian side. Realizing that his life is once again in danger, Injahz inevitably escapes back to Israeli territory, where he is eventually arrested as an illegal alien and sentenced to prison. He serves his time and is released, and the process begins again.

In fact, Injahz is painfully aware that there is a way to break out of this vicious cycle. He can rehabilitate himself in Palestinian society and cancel the looming death threat by killing an Israeli. So far, Injahz has refused to do so, but he admits that time is running out.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Kofi Speaks in Ramallah Way

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was in Ramallah wherein he called upon Israel to open the Karni border crossing with Israel. Here’s what I call the money quote from Ynet News.
Annan noted in a press conference in Ramallah that he made his opinion clear during his meetings in Israel. Beyond maintaining life a way of life must also be maintained, he said, adding that the blockade on Gaza must be lifted and the crossings must be opened. Israel must not only allow goods in, but also allow Palestinians to export, he said.
It’s interesting to note how Annan is attempting to spin and frame the idea that the Israelis are controlling the Gaza Strip’s 'only border crossing', and therefore, Palestinian market access to the wider world is entirely subjected to the whim of the Israeli Administration. While the truth is a far different animal.

The Karni Border Crossing is not the only border crossing from the Gaza Strip into Israel but it the most vulnerable border crossing from the standpoint of Israeli security. The heavily fortified and somewhat smaller border crossing of Kerem Shalom has remained opened much to the dismay of the Palestinian Authority, who insist that isn't good enough, and demand access to the Karni border crossing or nothing.

Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority does maintain a border crossing directly with the Egyptians on the Gaza-Egyptian border. I am not sure why the Palestinian Authority insists on maintaining the fiction that the Gaza Strip has no border crossing with anyone else but Israel. Surely, it’s well past the time for Arab Palestinians to develop markets for their goods and services independent and outside of Israel! If I was the UN Secretary-General that would certainly be one of the messages I would insist on relying to the Palestinian Authority, besides buck up and stop whining.

And how utterly strange and perverse, for a UN Secretary-General to tell a sovereign nation who they must trade with! Imagine how well it would have gone over in Washington if Kofi Annan started to demand the Americans trade with Cuba or Iran - whether they liked it or not.

Hezboliberals – The Update

Once again, it’s The Western Standard who has come riding to the rescue and up to the microophone of free speech in Canada. This time, the Western Standard has decided to host the satirical website Hezboliberals, which a liberal party legal eagle hack bullied a blogger into pulling.

Erza Levant, in his own words:
I saw the satirical website and laughed pretty hard (my favourite line: "MP searches Middle-East for terrorism, finds Israel). But they weren't laughing over at Liberal headquarters. The party's in a bit of a snit right now over the issue of Israel and terrorism and they've lost their sense of humour.
The grown-up answer to a satirical website like that is to laugh it off. But the Liberal party is hurting right now, so it lashed out against the pranksters -- pressuring their internet service provider (ISP) to censor the site.
I'm not exactly holding my breath for the rest of Canada's media to take a stand here; these are the same folks who enforced the fatwa against publication of the Danish cartoons of Mohammed in February. And earlier this spring, the Liberals used similar threats to shut down the Youth for Volpe satirical site.

So, we're going to do at the Western Standard what we've become accustomed to doing: having a little bit more guts than our competitors. We're going to host that website. Not because we agree with it but because the Liberals think they can bully their opponents into submission.

Well, try bullying us. We weren't afraid of defying rioting mobs, and we sure as hell won't be afraid of taking on some Liberal lawyers. (Mr. Régimbald, our address for service of any writs can be found here.)

You can see the revived website here, hosted on our server. Whether you agree with the content or not isn't the point. This is about stopping a bully. And about having some fun with some thin-skinned pols who can dish it out pretty good, but can't take it.
Personally I love the Hezboliberal gear. No woman’s closet should every be considered complete without a Hezboliberal bourqa – nothing else screams “FATWA” like a fire-engine red bourqa.

Syria brings in the clowns

According to the Jerusalem Post, Chavez will be signing a document with Syria opposing American "imperialistic" aggression in the Middle East, which when you think of it - is mighty Che of both Assad & Chavez:
Thousands of Syrians lined the streets of their capital Wednesday waving banners welcoming Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who opened his visit with a pledge to stand by Syria in strong opposition to the US government's "imperialistic" aggression in the Middle East.

"We have the same political vision, and we will resist together the American imperialist aggression," Chavez told reporters upon his arrival at Damascus airport late Tuesday. On Wednesday, Syrian President Bashar Assad hosted Chavez at the hilltop People's Palace, where the two leaders strolled down a red carpet alongside a 21-gun salute. A marching band played both national anthems as the leaders reviewed the honor guard. Officials of both governments will sign a document opposing Washington's "aggression" in the Middle East, Chavez said.

Hugo Chavez cracks me right up. Assad is simply Chavez’s latest dictator of the day, but one thing to be said about Chavez is that he has never met a dictator he wouldn’t love or suck up to.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Cached in Canada. Caught in Action.

What’s next? Billrallah’s starts handing out counterfeit US$ bills ?

h/tip Dust my Broom & SDA

All Lip and No Bite

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced yesterday the creation of a limited investigation on Israeli-Lebanon war reports the Jerusalem Post:
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert nixed the idea Monday of setting up a full-blown state commission of inquiry to probe the recent war in Lebanon, opting instead to establish three committees - with lesser powers - to examine the political and military aspects of the war, as well as the home front's preparedness.

Olmert, speaking to local council heads in Haifa, began by listing what he said were the considerable achievements resulting from the war. However he added, "True, not everything worked as we wished; not everywhere were we prepared as we should have been; not everything clicked. There were flaws, there were failures. And even if the end result is positive, we must not turn a blind eye, we must not cover up and we must not continue as if nothing had happened." To this end, he said that three committees would be established to deal with different aspects of the war.

He said the first committee, to look at the performance of the political leadership, would be established by the government. It will probe how the government's decisions were made, and "anything else it sees fit." This committee will be headed by former Mossad head Nahum Admoni and include former navy commander Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yedidya Ya'ari, Prof. Ruth Gavison and Prof. Yehezkel Dror. Sources in the Prime Minister's Office confirmed that former Meretz MK Amnon Rubinstein turned down an offer to head the committee "for personal reasons."

The second committee will be set up by the Defense Ministry, to "carry out the necessary changes in the IDF's preparedness, fighting methodology and manpower needs." Olmert did not say who would lead this committee, but officials in his office said it would be based on a committee that Defense Minister Amir Peretz had already set up that was headed by former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Amnon Lipkin-Shahak.

The final committee will be headed by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, to look at the failures in the home front's preparedness. The prime minister said that after a great deal of deliberation he had decided against setting up a state commission of inquiry, which would have been headed by a Supreme Court justice and would have had the authority to subpoena witnesses. Its proceedings would have been similar to those of a court.

Olmert said that this type of commission would "not prepare for the future, which is to deal with the Iranian threat." Instead, he said, "it would paralyze the entire system. Everyone would then get a lawyer and concentrate on how to pin the blame on someone else." "We do not have the luxury of sinking into investigations of the past," he said. "We need to focus on the future and the Iranian threat."

His decision was immediately blasted by politicians from all sides of the political spectrum, including some within his own coalition. For instance, Labor MK Ami Ayalon said, "The Israeli public needs its confidence restored in its elected officials. Only a state commission has the teeth to assure the Israeli public that the matter is truly being investigated."

During his speech in Haifa, Olmert dismissed some of the criticism of the war's conduct and the calls for the establishment of a state commission of inquiry as politically motivated. He said he had ignored such criticism, but that some criticism was "genuine," and the country needed to channel it into a quick, constructive process of learning lessons.
Needless to say, Olmert’s announcement of the establishment of a two – (maybe three) level committees (with no teeth or no bite) rather than a state commission inquiry, has not been met with an overwhelming response of awe or relief.

To paraphrase political commenter Shtrasler (at Ha’aretz); it took Olmert less time to decide to go to war than to make a decision on a committee of inquiry.

Meanwhile in other news today, Israeli Prime Mininter Olmert accuses Hezbollah leader Nasrallah of “arrogance.” Turban meet Kippah.

But here’s another thought to ponder. Last year, when the Israeli government evicted 8,500+ Israelis Jews from their homes in the Gaza Strip; it committed 50,000 IDF soldiers to clear the “unarmed” Jews from their homes. And yet, to fight a war with a well armed militia the Olmert government was only willing to call up 30,000 IDF troops.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Scotland: East of Pluto

There might always be an England but there is a good possibility that Scotland will be self-imploding. Actually, I found the whole knife/sword ban in Scotland to be on the outer fringe of reason as it were, but when the Scottish police perceive the need to issue a charge against a football player for making the sign of the cross on a football pitch under the assumption that it is an act designed to provoke and incite a riot; I think it’s reasonable to assume that Scottish society has let go of the railings of sanity. Taken from the BBC:
Artur Boruc was cautioned for a breach of the peace over the incident at an Old Firm match at Ibrox in February. The Catholic Church called it "worrying and alarming" as the sign of the cross was a "gesture of religious reverence". However, the Crown Office said the decision was based on the player's behaviour, rather than a single act.

In addition to crossing himself, the player was alleged to have made gestures to the crowd at the start of the second half of the game on 12 February. Strathclyde Police investigated complaints that Boruc, 26, had angered a section of the crowd with his behaviour and they submitted a report to the procurator fiscal. However, as an alternative to prosecution, Boruc was cautioned. That does not leave him with a criminal record, although the information about the caution will be retained. The Crown Office said his actions "provoked alarm and crowd trouble and as such constituted a breach of the peace".

On Saturday, it said it had taken action "based on an assessment of behaviour, not one single act, which appeared to be directed towards the crowd which was being incited by that behaviour and which caused the police to intervene and calm the crowd". The Crown Office said a report had been sent to the fiscal as there were "clear guidelines" on the need for responsible behaviour from players taking part in such fixtures. "The procurator fiscal concluded that the effect of the behaviour of the player on the crowd was such as to require the consideration of criminal proceedings," it said.

Witness statements and the video of the crowd's reactions were examined, but the incident itself was not caught on camera. "The procurator fiscal concluded that it was necessary to bring clearly to the player's attention that conduct which involved gesticulating at and incensing the crowd at a football match amounted to the offence of breach of the peace and was unacceptable," said the Crown Office.

"The procurator fiscal took the view that in the circumstances criminal proceedings were not necessary on this occasion, which is why it was dealt with by way of an alternative to prosecution." However, Peter Kearney, spokesman for the Catholic Church, said the move to caution Boruc was "regrettable".
What amazes me is why a crowd at a football match would care if a player publicly crossed himself and then made a pulling gesture at his crotch to the crowd? And yet, this is what passes for provoking and inciting a crowd to riot and will get one “cautioned” by the police. Geez, what on earth would have happened if Boruc wore a kippah? I’d say the Rights were lucky to get out while they could.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Katyusha Special Reserve

Ynet News reports on the only good and decent consequence to come from the recent Israeli-Lebanon ceasefire:
The end of the war with Hezbollah came just in time to save a fast-growing Israeli industry: wine making. Growers were unable to tend their vineyards during the 34-day conflict as thousands of Hezbollah rockets pelted the Upper Galilee, Israel’s best grape-growing region. Luckily, the ceasefire last week came on the first day of the harvest.

Racing to salvage their crop, many growers are confident the season will be a huge success. “Beautiful, beautiful. Everything is perfect,” gushed Moshe Haviv, manager of Dalton Winery, before uncorking his newest favorite joke — whether guests would like to sample the “Katyusha special reserve.”

Dalton was among the hardest-hit wineries during the conflict — a direct rocket strike set part of the vineyard on fire. Yet Haviv expects his best year ever, with the help of great weather, a 20 percent increase in harvested land and growing international interest in Israeli wine.

Amen to that.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Oh where, oh where, did UNIFIL go....

Apparently, the Italians have decided to pony up and send 3,000 troops to fill the UNIFIL ranks in Lebanon reports Ha’aretz, but don’t get your hopes up that the Italians perceive the disarmament of Hezbollah as part of their mandate; in spite of two UN Resolutions to the contrary. Ha’aretz interviews the Italian Foreign Minister:
"This essentially depends on the Lebanese. If the government of Lebanon wants to, it is certainly possible, and we must encourage the government of Lebanon. We cannot act against the will of the Lebanese government. Hezbollah's disarmament is not only Israel's demand; it is also Lebanon's, because a democratic country cannot be sovereign if it does not have a monopoly over the army."

But what is really discouraging is this multi-facet approach the Italian Foreign Minister takes towards Hezbollah:
D'Alema disagrees with Israel's description of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization: "An organization that has 35 members of parliament and three ministers cannot be described solely as a terrorist group. Hezbollah is not considered a terrorist group by the European Union, nor in my personal view.

Hezbollah is a military organization, but also a force that participates in elections. The paradox is that we support Siniora, a democratic leader, and Siniora lauds Hezbollah as the defender of the Lebanese homeland. It is important to understand the complexity of the situation, because if you have a simplistic view of the enemy, you deal with him incorrectly."
Of course, that multi-dimensional organization has now been judiciously exercising its power to settle some very old scores by persecuting family members of former SLA soldiers who still reside in Lebanon. It has made for a rather novel refugee situation on the Lebanon-Israeli border as Lebanese civilians are seeking refuge and safety in Israel. Ynet News carries this account:
Eight family members from Lebanon, former members of the Southern Lebanese Army , arrived Thursday afternoon within 10 meters of the border next to Metula and requested IDF authorization to enter into Israel following Hizbullah threats to cause them physical harm. It turns out that this is a real phenomenon in which Hizbullah members threaten family members of former SLA members.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz instructed the IDF to grant the family members entry into Israel and ordered to offer them humanitarian aid, until their situation and the circumstances of their flight from Lebanon are examined. However, as of now, the eight have yet to gain entry into Israel.

An IDF force on the northern border reported the presence of the Lebanese refugees on the border to the commanders of the Northern Command and to the Kiryat Shmona police station. As of now, it has been decided that the issue will be handled only by the IDF.
One of the most annoying things in attempting to discuss terrorist organizations is that there is always an apologista on hand who attempts to invoke the 'he was good to his mother, father, dog, spider, fly' defense. Does it really matter how many free medical services/clinics Hezbollah provides for its members when it would not hesitate to inflict grievous bodily harm unto a woman and her three children, and then, subsequently deny the family medical care - all because 6 years ago her husband was a patriot and a soldier for a non-Hezbollah militia?

And, in case anyone is keeping score, Ha’aretz is reporting that French leader Chirac thinks that the UN Resolution 1701 calling for 15,000 UNIFIL peacekeepers is "excessive". The country is apparently "too small" for 15,000 UNIFIL forces, but as a show of support and a gesture of good will, France has ponyed up another 1,600 soldiers to supplement the 400 soldiers France has already committed to UNIFIL forces. If that isn't a disproportionate gesture of generosity by the French towards peace - what is?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Today is simply an outstanding day.

My new computer is up and running, but more importantly; all three children will be sleeping under my roof tonight safe and sound. And if I have any doubts about that - I can do the bed check thingy.

Tonight will also represent the first time since June that I will finally be able to sleep in my own bed. For years, I have shared a bedroom with the Last Amazon, and with her gone off to visit family on the east coast, I have found that the room was far too big without her there to sleep in it. Mind you, she probably had a good sleep all summer as she loathes Larry King, while I find Larry King the absolutely most incredible sleep aid known to man or beast. LK knocks both me and the cat out within 5 minutes, but he rubs the Last Amazon the wrong way every single time.

I understand that I have to share the children with family. I also understand that grandparents have rights too, but this summer I got a taste of what awaits after the children grow-up and move out, and does it ever suck. Silence can be deafening.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Inside the Room of Your Soul

I needed a change of pace and I haven’t done a quiz in a while. The Last Amazon loves these quizzes. I figure this was right up her alley.
What Your Soul Really Looks Like

You are quite expressive and thoughtful. You see the world in a way that others are blind to.

You are a grounded person, but you also leave room for imagination and dreams. You feet may be on the ground, but you're head is in the clouds.

You believe that people see you as larger than life and important. While this is true, they also think you're a bit full of yourself.

Your near future is in a very different place (both physically and mentally) from where you are right now.

For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.

I found this at Oceanguy whose soul is not as extroverted as mine - but I have read the The Guide of the Perplexed, though, I am now in worse shape than ever.

Breach of Trust Continues Unabated

Ha’aretz is reporting that the Reserve Officer’s protest movement continues to grow:
Support for the reserve soldiers' protests aimed at bringing down the government has widened, with the leader of a 1973 war protest joining the effort, along with parents of soldiers who fell in Lebanon during the past month of fighting.

Motti Ashkenazi, who as a young reserve officer after the 1973 Yom Kippur war spearheaded a protest that spurred a state inquiry and which hastened the end of decades of Labor rule in israel, joined with reservists at their protest tent in Jerusalem.

The reserve soldiers are demanding the resignations of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, and IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, over their conduct of the war.

Ashkenazi told Israel Radio that when he spoke to young men of his son's generation "about what is going on today in the army, I said, 'Just a moment, what are they talking about? They are talking about me and the wars in which I participated. "That is absurd," Ashkenazi said. "I feel that the earth is moving under our feet."
But Ashkenazi is not the only one. Now bereaved parents of fallen Israeli soldiers have added their voice to the protest as well. While the public calls for their heads of the Kadima coalition, this current Israeli administration continues to dither in the hopes that the public gets distracted. Unless there is an open revolt in the Knesset, this government will not fall but will continue to dither itself out of electoral existence.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Breach of Trust

Public pressure is mounting on the Kadima government coalition to launch a public inquiry into the successive failures of command in both the political and military sectors during the war with Lebannon. The latest group to bring its weight to bear against the government is the IDF’s reserve forces. The petition was presented yesterday to the government reports the Jerusalem Post:
In the letter, they described a severe breach of trust between the leadership and the soldiers. "The management of the war," they wrote, "caused us to feel that they were spitting in our face." The letter expressed frustration with the "indecision" that, the soldiers say, characterized their assignment in Lebanon. It also stated that the lack of a clear mission for their brigade in the final days of the war needlessly endangered their lives, Army Radio reported.

In a private meeting between Halutz and the commanders of the reserve Alexandroni Brigade, which fought in the western sector, the officers of the brigade criticized the army's management over the last month. Among other things, they described serious trust issues with the commanders, and told Halutz, "We need to rebuild the soldiers' trust in the system before it is too late." Many officers spoke about the inadequacy of the food and water supply in the battlefield.

On Sunday, Chief Infantry Officer Brig.-Gen. Yossi Hyman was the first senior IDF officer to admit the failure of the war in Lebanon. "I did not succeed in preparing the infantry well enough for war," he said, adding, "Sometimes we were guilty of the sin of vanity."
Hundreds of IDF reserve soldiers led a protest march/demonstration that ended outside the Prime Minister’s offices in Jerusalem as well. Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Peretz has suspended a military review panel created to delve into the defense forces performance in the Lebanon war - allegedly because the government might order a broader inquiry into the conduct of the war by the various branches of government officials. Fee, fi, ho, hum.

Monday, August 21, 2006

back to the stone ages - the update

Techno Stoner Guy was supposed to show up Saturday afternoon and after rushing to compress 8 hours worth of chores into 4 hours; TSG had his wife call saying he would not be able to make it till Sunday afternoon. By noon on Sunday, I am feeling very discouraged and in the middle of my angst attack TSG shows up and he’s early too. I take this as a very hopeful sign.

The verdict is that my hard drive is not only kaput, but it has fried sections on my mother board. Apparently, not only do I need a new motherboard but I need a new hard drive as well. But all is not lost as TSG just happens to have a spare processor lying around that he can install in Sally to give her a little oomph. He also happens to have some spare memory to spruce her up. The problem is that he has to go home and get it. Here it is Monday, and no sign of TSG. Sally is running, well 'running' it is the wrong word to use here - Sally is alternating between her two speeds; slow and a complete stop. But considering I bought her in 1998 it’s a miracle that she operates at all.

My new computer should arrive within the next 10 days but I now have a bet with my son that the new baby will arrive before TSG finds his home, locates his computer parts and returns to our house to perk up Sally. My son is young and he still has much to learn. I consider this a sucker bet in which I will reap the benefits of clean dishes, floors and bathroom without having to do the work myself. Blogging will be whenever I can bear to go through the process of engaging Sally to just do it.

Golan Heights on the block

I don’t know much about wine. My experience has been limited to the homemade wine family members have made and a brief run in with a bottle in the park when I was about 12. Neither experience left a good taste in my mouth. Ever since the Ontario CUPE boycott I have been buying Israeli wines – mostly reds, because if I have to drink wine that’s my preference.

Chris Taylor gave me a bottle of Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon that I ended up opening up on my birthday. At the time, it was the only Yarden wine in my collection. I could not believe how much I liked that wine. Subsequently, I have decided that in the perfect alternative reality I am running a vineyard in the Golan Heights and writing my book there. Why do I bring that up? Because the Golan Heights are apparently up on the chopping block which threatens not only my alternative reality but the security of Northern Israel reports The Jerusalem Post
Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter said on Monday that he was in favor of withdrawing from the Golan Heights in return for true peace with Syria. The former head of the Shin Bet told Army Radio, "We have paid similar territorial concessions in the past when we signed peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt."

"Any diplomatic initiative is preferred over war, whether in Syria or Lebanon," Dichter said. "With regards to Lebanon, conditions are even more welcoming than they are with Syria. Lebanon can today begin talks with Israel without the Syrians."
According to the minister, "Talks with Syria are legitimate. If there is someone to talk to on the other side, we should talk. Israel can initiate this or turn to a third party."

Dichter's comments elicited a flurry of responses from MKs - among them MK Effi Eitam (NU/NRP), a Golan resident, who protested that "withdrawing from the Golan Heights will only endanger the security of Israel." "Syria associates itself with the evil axis of Hizbullah and Iran, and its goal is to destroy Israel," Eitam said, and declared that Syria "cannot be a partner for discussion."
Is there an Israeli suicide wish or it confined to a few select members of the Kadima fraction?

Friday, August 18, 2006

back to the stone ages

Don’t ask me why, but my computer decided to fry its circuits this morning. I suspect it’s a bad bout with a virus; so much for firewalls and anti-virus software. I have enlisted the Techno-Stoner to come and see what can be done this weekend to get the machine up and running again. I cringe to think of the financial contribution I will have to make to the local grow-op community in order to get the Black Baron up and running again.

I could live without the Black Baron per say; it’s just that lying in some kind of cyber alternative dimension are approximately seven “unbacked-up anywhere else” chapters of my book and a great blog post on how and why I had to buy the Cadillac of toilet seats – kind of When Biology is Destiny Part 2: Adolescence. If nothing else I need the Techno-Stoner to run a salvage operation.

I am not completely without a computer. There is Pentium 2 Sally in the corner, and when I go home tonight I will hook her up to the internet, but how am I suppose to play online games with a Pentium 2? Needless to say, blogging will be slow and full of angst.

The Frightening Rise of MetroSexuals

A British business magazine has named McGirlieman “Personality of the Year”. I am speechless. Absolutely knackered, as in, a deer in headlights kind of way.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is the "Personality of the Year," according to a British business publication. Foreign Direct Investment magazine, part of the London Financial Times group, announced Thursday it selected the premier because of his efforts to promote research and innovation in the province.

McGuinty's push to secure new automotive investments and his plan to boost the province's electricity supply impressed magazine editors. The publication chose McGuinty as this year's regional winner for North America as well as the worldwide winner.
I suspected things might be rough in Britain but I had no idea they were so far down the road to perdition that dry as toast becomes “personality”.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Suha “Arafat” no more

Reports Ynet News:
Suha Arafat, widow of Yasser Arafat, secretly married Lahasn al-Trabulsi, the brother-in-law of the Tunisian president, a number of days ago, a Tunisian website reported.

As is fitting to the widow of the former Palestinian Authority chairman, this time Suha also married someone close to power. Al-Trablusi is the brother of Leila Ben Ali, who is the wife of Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. The sister and her husband gave their blessing to the marriage. The marriage followed a wave of stubborn rumors in Tunisia, according to which al-Trabulusi planned to marry Suha's sister.

However, credible sources said that he divorced a few months ago to marry Suha and not her sister, and that one of the main reasons for the wedding is that is his interest in Suha's large fortune.
I’d call this a step up for Suha. And Suha's personal fortune is estimated at US$4 billion which would certainly buy a lot of bread in Gaza Strip.

Just colour me stupid.

I am a die-hard Sci-Fi fan in both print and film/television media. I am not much of a Trekkie (never much cared for post-Spock era) or a Star Wars fan, but count me lock-step with Herbert, SG1 & Atlantis, Babylon 5, Firefly, Serendity, Dr. Who, Donaldson, Battle Star Galactica, Heinlein, Huxley, Goodkind, and Dick - just to name a few.

As a matter of fact, I will be spending my lunch hour curling up with Terry Goodkind’s latest book on a park bench in the garden of my office building with the Ipod going full blast. I may not be the brightest bulb, but at least I know how to enjoy a good gig when I get one. Of course, I have never understood why some people don't enjoy science fiction. I just marked it down to a failure of imagination. I may have to revise that theory - let me put a call into the Pegasus galaxy and get back to you.

UN Resolutions: Paper Tigers

UN Resolution 1701 is not even a week old and already its being subverted. The Jerusalem Post is reporting this:
Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah reportedly reached a deal allowing Hizbullah to keep its weapons but refrain from exhibiting them in public. Israeli officials called the arrangement a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which passed over the weekend and was approved on Sunday by the cabinet.

"The resolution is clear that Hizbullah needs to be removed from the border area, embargoed and dismantled," the official said. "If the resolution is not implemented, we will have to take action to prevent the rearming of Hizbullah. I don't think backtracking will serve any useful purpose. There has to be pressure on Hizbullah to disarm or there will have to be another round." Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is expected to raise the issue when she meets in New York on Wednesday with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
So the Lebanese Prime Minister has made a deal to Hezbollah to subvert the requirements of UN Resolution 1559 and 1701. But Saniora gets some UN backing for not disarming Hezbollah:
Annan angered Israeli officials when he told Channel 2 on Tuesday that "dismantling Hizbullah is not the direct mandate of the UN," which could only help Lebanon disarm the organization. Annan upset officials further when he said that deploying international forces in Lebanon would take "weeks or months," and not days as expected.
Tell me again how this is a sustainable ceasefire and not a lull until the next time. Make no mistake, nothing material on the ground has changed since UN Resolution 1701. I would suggest that any nation who is moved to donate foreign aid to help in rebuilding Lebanon’s infrastructure should tie the purse strings directly to the disarmament issue.

There is simply no point pouring taxpayer money into Lebanese infrastructure only to have it all go down the proverbial drain in 18 months time – better to buy lottery tickets for their respective citizens – or just put the money back into the pockets of those who earned it.

Update: For those who need a plainer statement of Hezbollah’s intention not to disarm or refusal to move north of the Litani River; the link can be found here.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Here comes the first call for next Intifada!

One of the consequences of the Israeli-Lebanon war is that the deterrence value of Israeli military might has been squandered. Memri translated this article from Hamas journalist Ibrahim Abu Heija published in al-Risala entitled, Victory in Lebanon toward a third Intifada.

Just tell me, what Arab country is not celebrating a Hezbollah victory?

I can never clearly remember if the sayings goes, “truth” is the first causality of war or is it innocence? No matter really because it’s so close in the wash that it might as well go down as a draw. Ynet reports Iranians took to the streets to celebrate Hezbollah’s victories:
Already Monday night thousands of Iranians took to the streets in celebration of what they defined as a Shiite and Hizbullah victory over the Zionist regime. In the streets of Iran , believers took advantage of the evening prayers to praise the Lebanese nation on Hizbullah's victory.

In parades toward the mosques calling "Allah is great, Khamenei is the leader," "Lebanon won with Hizbullah's help," Lebanon is victorious, Israel is destroyed," and "Hizbullah finally won." The daily internet newspaper Rooz Online, run by exiled Iranians, added that the marchers waived flags of Hizbullah and handed out miniature flags to children.

Basij, the volunteer army of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, declared a holiday following the ceasefire declaration. According to reports, most of the signs across Tehran were dedicated to blessing Hizbullah's victory, and were covered in pictures of Hizbullah's leader, Hasan Nasrallah. Alongside the celebrations, senior religious figure Ahmad Khatamei announced Tuesday that "if the United States or Israel attack Iran, Iran will shoot rockets at Tel Aviv."
While I concede the Israelis have lost this battle it should be understood that the defeat was the direct result of a political leadership failure by the Israeli government, and not, because Hezbollah guerrillas were able to penetrate with either gun, tank or missile inside the Israeli centre of gravity.

Monday, August 14, 2006

and so it goes….

According to Ynet News US President George W. Bush says Hezbollah was defeated in Lebanon:
US President George W. Bush said Monday that Hizbullah guerillas suffered a defeat at the hands of Israel in their month-long Mideast war. “There’s going to be a new power in the south of Lebanon,” Bush said.
Au contaire, says Nasrallah in Ynet News
But Hizbullah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said his guerrillas achieved a “Strategic, historic victory” against Israel. “We came out victorious in a war in which big Arab armies were defeated (before),” Nasrallah said.
Personally, I put this down to a Bushism – as in the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED fiasco.

Meanwhile the allegedly defeated Nasrallah has announced Hezbollah will finance rebuilding of homes in South Lebanon in this report from Ynet News:
He further said that he would work, instead of the Lebanese government, to rebuild damaged homes and would provide preliminary financial aid to south Lebanon residents whose homes had been destroyed
Lucky for Shi'ites, Hezbollah may be "defeated" but they are certainly not broke - nor will they disarm.

The UN ceasefire has not even been effective 36 hours and Syria’s Assad is positively inspired:
Syrian President Bashar Assad said his country is prepared for any war that may break out with Israel, adding that he is convinced that the chances for peace have decreased and that “the Golan Heights will be liberated by Syria.”

In other news, Palestinian "gunmen" kidnapped two Fox News employees. Probably just another foreign funding initiative for the "resistance".

Glass Half-Full/Half Empty

Perhaps, there is yet just the tiniest merest sliver of hope for the Palestinians – Israel Insider:
Two Palestinian families went after each other with knives and clubs at a wedding after one guest cursed the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrilla group, Palestinian security officials said Monday. Seven people were seriously wounded, they said.

It took police three hours to break up the brawl that erupted Sunday night in the village of Aqada near the West Bank town of Jenin after a critic called Sheik Hassan Nasrallah "a dog," they said.
All I can hope, it that the Anit-Hezbollah fraction gave the pro-Hezbollah a sound thrashing.

How long before the maddening crowd demands HRM dons a burqa?

If you needed more proof that Londonistan is just a few Imman and a couple of births away - the Daily Telegraph is reporting this:
A five-year-old girl's passport application was rejected because her photograph showed her bare shoulders. Hannah Edwards's mother, Jane, was told that the exposed skin might be considered offensive in a Muslim country. The photograph was taken at a photo-booth at a local post office for a family trip to the south of France. Because of the way the camera was set up, the picture came out showing Hannah's shoulders.

The family had it signed and presented it at a post office with the completed form but were told that it would not be accepted by the Passport Office. A woman behind the counter informed them that she was aware of at least two other cases where applications had been rejected because a person's shoulders were not covered.
Link in and take a gander at the inappropriate shoulder action that a British Passport Office has deemed too immodest for a 5 year old girl.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Ahmadinejad dons Pyjamas

As if the blogsphere wasn't crowded enough with angry bloggers in pyjamas Iranian President Ahmadinejad has started his own blog. Ynet News reports.

Iran's president has launched a Web log, using his first entry to recount his poor upbringing and ask visitors to the site if they think the United States and Israel want to start a new world war.

"Oh Almighty God, please, we beg you to send us our Guardian- who You have promised us- soon and appoint us as His close companions," wrote the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose speeches are riddled with anti-U.S. rhetoric, also described how he was angered by American meddling in Iran even when he was at elementary school.

Ahmadinejad swept to a surprise victory in last year's presidential race by promising the country's poor a fairer share of Iran's oil wealth and emphasizing his own humble origins that led many to vote for him as an "outsider" to Iran's ruling elite.

"During the era that ... living in a city was perfection, I was born in a poor family in a remote village," he wrote in a blog dated Friday, after opening with Islamic greetings. His origins as the son of "a hard-bitten toiler blacksmith" may have been humble, but he says he excelled at school where he said he came 132nd out of 400,000 in exams to enter university.

As well as promising a better life to the poor, Ahmadinejad has sought to bolster support by refusing to bow to what he says is Western pressure to stop Iran's civilian nuclear program. The West says Iran is building an atomic bomb.

Analyst Saeed Laylaz said the site -- available in Persian, Arabic, English and French at -- may be seeking to win support from abroad.
By the way, the Ynet News carries a warning from GIYUS that Israeli visitors may be infected with a virus when clicking on any of the left side links on his site. Brings new meaning to the phrase "cyber terror".

Ceasefire is about to become Peacefire

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that the Lebanese Cabinet meeting set to discuss how Hezbollah to implement the UN ceasefire resolution 1701 has been indefinitely postponed reports the Jerusalem Post:
A critical Lebanese Cabinet meeting set for Sunday to discuss implementation of the cease-fire between Israel and Hizbullah was postponed, a move that was likely to delay the dispatch of the Lebanese army to the south and an end of the fighting.
A top aide to Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said the meeting had been indefinitely postponed but would give no reason. Published reports said the Cabinet, which approved the cease-fire unanimously Saturday night, had been sharply divided over demands in the cease-fire agreement that Hizbullah surrender its weapons in south Lebanon. That disagreement was believed to have led to the cancellation of Sunday's meeting.
How much do you want to bet that the steadfastedness of the resistance fighters, as Lebanese Prime Minister Saniora refers to the Hezbollah terror offensive, has refused to turn over their weapons to the Lebanese Army?

Hezbollah Rally in Toronto

"We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies, we want that we will be able to live in an entirely different environment of relations with our enemies."
(Ehud Olmert Address at Israel Policy Forum, New York, June 9, 2005)

Israelis want to win but their current Prime Minister wants to lose. And so it goes that the Israeli Cabinet voted 24-0 to accept the UN Resolution 1701 and defeat with only a lone solitary cabinet minister abstaining.

Olmert might be tired of fighting and winning but that didn’t stop Montana and I from walking up the street to attend the Anti-Hezbollah counterrally held yesterday in Toronto. Early on Montana was enlisted to give Right Girl a break and he held up her end of an Israeli flag. All the usual suspects were in attendance on the Pro-Hezbollah side (including CUPE supporters). Right Girl and Relapsed Catholic have pictures.

By the time the Pro-Hezbollah supporters made it to the US Consulate the Israeli flag burning had begun.

 Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 11, 2006

Anti-Hezbollah Counterrally to be held in Toronto

I just got a notice last night about an Anti-Hebollah Counterrally to be held tomorrow:

Well, since I agreed to organize an anti-Hizballah counterrally for August 12th, here is the plan. It's encouraging to see that people are actually interested!

I would like it if we could meet at the Starbucks at 110 Bloor West (on the north side of Bloor, west of Bay). I will arrive there probably a bit before 12:30PM. Please come between 12:30 and 1PM, which is when the pro-Hizballah rally starts. At 1PM we will walk one block west to the Israeli consulate, which is where all the pro-Hizballah types are going to be hanging out.

If you're reading this, and you're interested in attending, please email me so that we can swap cellphone numbers.

DIRECTIONS TO STARBUCKS: If you're taking the Bloor-Danforth subway line, get off at Bay Station and walk west on Bloor until you see the Starbucks sign. If you're taking the yellow line, it's probably easier to get off at Museum Station, walk north on Avenue Road to Bloor, then walk east. If you're in the general area but still can't find Starbucks for whatever reason, call my cellphone for directions.

SIGNS AND MESSAGES: Please try not to put anything on a sign, or say anything to the media, which could possibly get you in trouble for hate speech (the legal definition of which can be found here.

MUSIC: I'm planning on bringing an acoustic guitar. Does anyone know any easy protest songs?[Lord God no!] If you do, please suggest them to me, and I will look them up and figure out how to play them.

PUBLICITY: It's too late to launch any kind of full-scale advertising campaign for our counterrally, but if you know anyone who might be interested in attending, please pass this along to them.

See you there!

-Aaron: aaron1310 AT

If you don’t have time to email Aaron, I wouldn’t sweat it. Just show up. Montana and I will be there. For some strange reason he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to let his mother go alone to a protest rally against a terrorist organization. Of course, he can’t understand why anyone would demonstrative in support of a terrorist organization. Frankly, I am a little loss for words to explain the rationale myself.

Every Crackpot Loves Company

I am always glad to learn that I am not the only crackpot in the world who thinks that the latest the UN ceasefire proposal will be a disaster for Israel. Ari Shavit from Ha'aretz goes one step further and suggests what course of action Israeli Prime Minister should take next, if the current ceasefire proposal is carried by the UN Security Council and accepted by the Israeli cabinet:
Ehud Olmert may decide to accept the French proposal for a cease-fire and unconditional surrender to Hezbollah. That is his privilege. Olmert is a prime minister whom journalists invented, journalists protected, and whose rule journalists preserved. Now the journalists are saying run away. That's legitimate. Unwise, but legitimate.

However, one thing should be clear: If Olmert runs away now from the war he initiated, he will not be able to remain prime minister for even one more day. Chutzpah has its limits. You cannot lead an entire nation to war promising victory, produce humiliating defeat and remain in power. You cannot bury 120 Israelis in cemeteries, keep a million Israelis in shelters for a month, wear down deterrent power, bring the next war very close, and then say - oops, I made a mistake. That was not the intention. Pass me a cigar, please.

There is no mistake Ehud Olmert did not make this past month. He went to war hastily, without properly gauging the outcome. He blindly followed the military without asking the necessary questions. He mistakenly gambled on air operations, was strangely late with the ground operation, and failed to implement the army's original plan, much more daring and sophisticated than that which was implemented. And after arrogantly and hastily bursting into war, Olmert managed it hesitantly, unfocused and limp. He neglected the home front and abandoned the residents of the north. He also failed shamefully on the diplomatic front.

It's strange to think that I am praying for Hezbollah to miss an opportunity to declare victory.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hezbollah holds a royal flush and Iran is about to share a border with Israel

I cannot think of a worse UN resolution for Israel than what Ha’aretz is currently reporting.
The UN Security Council will convene Friday to discuss the new proposal, which has been agreed to by the United States as well as France.

The sides are currently putting the finishing touches to the final wording of the resolution. The revised draft calls for a "progressive" Israeli withdrawal, a senior Lebanese political source said on Thursday.

"The Americans have moved their position. A deal with the French is very close in the next hours, but most likely on Friday," he told Reuters. "The breakthrough is based on the inclusion in the call for a cessation of hostilities for a progressive Israeli withdrawal from Lebanese territory to go simultaneously with the deployment of the Lebanese army backed by reinforced UN peacekeepers."

The source said the peacekeepers would mainly be reinforced by French soldiers. As part of the deal, Hezbollah would pull out from south of the Litani river. After 30 days, the source said, there would be a more comprehensive resolution that declares a ceasefire and sets out solutions for the Shaba Farms issue, the release of captive IDF soldiers, the release of Lebanese prisoners and the disarming of Hezbollah.

Otniel Schneller, an adviser to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said the UN was at work on a new approach. "A new proposal is being drafted, which has positive significance that may bring the war to an end," Schneller said.Both the American and French envoys to the UN briefed Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the progress in talks.

At the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said there could be a vote Friday on the resolution. "We're making progress and it's entirely possible we could have a vote tomorrow," Bolton said after a meeting with his French counterpart, Jean-Marc de La Sabliere. "We've closed some of the areas of disagreement with the French."

The terms of the resolution were agreed upon following talks between the five permanent members of the Security Council - U.K., France, U.S., Russia, and China.

The deal was coordinated with Israel and apparently with the Lebanese government. In his efforts to advance the cease-fire, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Welch departed Beirut on Thursday and arrived in Israel, where he updated Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on the latest diplomatic developments.

The resolution will stop short of requiring peacekeepers to disarm Hezbollah but will call for an embargo to prevent the group from bringing in arms from Iran and Syria, a senior Israeli official said on Thursday. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the resolution would also call for creation of "an emboldened UNIFIL", the UN force currently in Lebanon and long derided by Israel as ineffective.

But the official said: "The (international) force will not have any mandate to disarm Hezbollah."

So Israel concedes land to a bogus claim, obtains a formula for the possible “one day over the rainbow release of its soldiers, the missile threat from Hezbollah’s arsenal remains, and the Lebanese Army gets propped up by French forces, but no one disarms Hezbollah.

And what the hell is a more "emboldened UNIFIL" anyway? UNIFIL has been the embodiment of the words 'apathy' or 'inefficiency' or 'ineffectual' since its original deployment 28 years ago. So what does it really mean – it will only be characterized as only two out of the three given states at any one time? Fat lot of good the arms embargo will do - like Iran really cares! Remember the Silkworm.

Oh yeah, not only has Hezbollah survived but it has launched a successful coup d'état of the Lebanese Cedar Revolution and Iran is about to gain a border with Israel. If the Olmert Kadima government agrees to this resolution Israel will have mortgaged not only the current citizens of Israel but their children’s children as well and hundreds will have died in vain. With my luck, I will be bringing the Last Amazon to Israel right about time Iran will probably be launching an offensive. I must make a note to pack iodine pills and buy more life insurance.

Do I ever hope Ha’aretz is wrong. And for the record- Bush is such a wangster.

UK Terror Plot

Damn those Swedish Lutherans.

Now they have infiltrated and corrupted members of the British South Asian community with their nefariously subversive dogma.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Canadian Peacekeeper’s Day of Remembrance

Thirty-two years ago today in an unprovoked act of aggression Syria fired three missiles on UN Plane 51 carrying 9 Canadian Peacekeepers on a routine supply run from Beirut to the Golan Heights just after the plane had been cleared to land by Syrian air traffic control and had begun its descent. The time was 11:50 a.m.

The pilots, Capt. George Foster and Capt. Keith Mirau, managed to evade the first missile but a second missile hit the left engine, a third missile hit the fuselage. Everyone on board was killed. It was the single largest loss of life in Canadian peacekeeping history.

Syria detained the remains of the soldiers for days and has never formally apologized or paid compensation.

Pierre E. Trudeau was Prime Minister of Canada.

A Soldier's Prayer for the Fallen:

To fallen soldiers let us sing
Where no rockets fly nor bullets wing
Our broken brothers let us bring
To the Mansions of the Lord
No more bleeding, no more fight
No prayers pleading through the night
Just divine embrace, eternal light
In the Mansions of the Lord
Where no mothers cry and no children weep
We will stand and guard though the angels sleep
Through the ages safely keep
The Mansions of the Lord

Capt. George Foster, 44
Capt. Keith Mirau, 29
Capt. Robert Wicks, 39
Master Warrant Officer Gaston Landry, 35
Warrant Officer Cyril Korejwo, 47
Master Cpl. Ronald Spencer, 29
Cpl. Bruce Stringer, 23
Cpl. Morris Kennington, 30
Cpl. Michael Simpson, 26

Birds of an Iranian Feather

Reuters is reporting that Iranian Revolutionary guards were found among the Hezbollah dead today:
JERUSALEM, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard have been found among Hizbollah guerrillas slain by Israeli forces in southern Lebanon, Israel's Channel 10 television reported on Wednesday citing diplomatic sources.

It said the Iranians were identified by documents found on their bodies, but gave no further details on how many were discovered or when. Neither the Israeli military nor Hizbollah representatives in Beirut had immediate comment on the report.
Iran, like fellow Hizbollah patron Syria, insists its support for the Shi'ite guerrilla group is purely moral.

Israel says many of the rockets being fired against its civilian and military targets are Iranian made, and that Hizbollah fighters taking on its forces trained in Iran. Washington also accuses Tehran of actively funding Hizbollah.

Gee whiz. What a surprise. Let me guess - they replaced the UN military observers.

Let the “war crimes” cries begin in earnest.

My son Montana brought this Ynet News article to my attention. He thinks it is a sign that Operation Change of Direction is finally going in the right direction:
Fighters of the 51st Battalion of Golani received aid from an unusual source Tuesday.
A group of snipers hailing from states that had fought in battles in Chechnya and Afghanistan the joined the battalion as it entered Bint Jbeil for the second time after it suffered a serious blow two weeks ago when eight of its soldiers, including the deputy battalion commander, were killed. The snipers were called up in an emergency draft to the war.

The snipers, between 35 and 40 years old, immigrated to Israel at the beginning of the 90s and in the past few years have been considered excellent fighters. They were active in the past in operational activity in the Gaza division, but at a certain point finished their service in the division once the impression was created that they were "trigger happy."

The happy snipers will be deployed along side with the Golani brigade.

Raging Against the Night

Here’s an interesting article written by Lebanese journalist Michel Behe at Metula News Agency translated into English:

The politicians, journalists and intellectuals of Lebanon have, of late, been experiencing the shock of their lives. They knew full well that Hezbollah had created an independent state in our country, a state including all the ministers and parallel institutions, duplicating those of Lebanon. What they did not know – and are discovering with this war, and what has petrified them with surprise and terror –is the extent of this phagocytosis.

In fact, our country had become an extension of Iran, and our so-called political power also served as a political and military cover for the Islamists of Teheran. We suddenly discovered that Teheran had stocked more than 12,000 missiles, of all types and calibers, on our territory and that they had patiently, systematically, organized a suppletive force, with the help of the Syrians, that took over, day after day, all the rooms in the House of Lebanon. Just imagine it : we stock ground-to-ground missiles, Zilzals, on our territory and that the firing of such devices without our knowledge, has the power to spark a regional strategic conflict and, potentially, bring about the annihilation of Lebanon.

We knew that Iran, by means of Hezbollah, was building a veritable Maginot line in the south but it was the pictures of Maroun el-Ras and Bint J’bail that revealed to us the magnitude of these constructions. This amplitude made us understand several things at once : that we were no longer masters of our destiny. That we do not possess the most basic means necessary to reverse the course of this state of things and that those who turned our country into an outpost of their islamic doctrine’s combat against Israel did not have the slightest intention of willingly giving up their hold over us.

The national salvation discussions that concerned the application of Resolution 1559 and which included most of the Lebanese political movements were simply for show. Iran and Syria had not invested billions of dollars on militarizing Lebanon in order to wage their war, simply to give in to the desire of the Lebanese and the international community for them to pack up their hardware and set it up back home.

I bet he’d agree with me that Hezbollah can be aptly characterized as the Iranian Foreign Legion.

(h/t Israpundit)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


The IDF has taken to hijacking Hezbollah’s al-Manar television broadcast twice a day (7:30 am and at 7:30pm) reports Ynet News:
VIDEO - While Israel Defense Forces soldiers are fighting brutal battles in the villages of south Lebanon, the army is also fighting a fierce PR war against Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

The IDF took over the airwaves of Hizbullah's al-Manar television network as it showed Nasrallah's last speech and replaced the broadcast with propaganda footage. The video showed the bodies of Hizbullah operatives and asserted that fighters were fleeing from the battlegrounds.

Since the beginning of fighting in Lebanon the IDF has briefly taken control of the airwaves of al-Manar, Radio Nour, and Radio Sawt Al-Shab (the radio station of the communist party, which identifies with Hizbullah) to relay Israeli messages aimed at boosting deterrence, demoralizing Hizbullah and presenting Nasrallah as a liar and incapable leader. Clips broadcast on al-Manar made use of motifs taken from the world of Lebanon and Hizbullah, including quotes from Nasrallah.
The propaganda videos expose Nasrallah's lies regarding the number of casualties the organization has suffered in fighting against Israel. Likewise, a clip was produced showing "the escape legend" of Hizbullah fighters in battles in the south and in Baalbeck, weighed against a letter Hizbullah operatives sent to Nasrallah which he presented as a "Letter of the brave." In addition, the clip shows Israeli commando activities in Baalbek, as well as the report on the IDF take-over of al-Manar in a Lebanese newspaper.

I can’t help but wonder what the ratings are like. Now if only the IDF could take over the CBC I might be happy. There is also a sample video at the Ynet News link.

In keeping with my Psych Ops theme Ynet News is also carrying this report that suggests that Associate Press is suffering from the same kind of malaise that Reuters has succumbed too, though the difference lies in that AP is trying silent stoic route - probably in the hopes that it will all just go away.
A woman has made two appearances in photographs used by the Associated Press and Reuters, allegedly wailing over the destruction of her Beirut home. US bloggers have however noticed that photographs were taken two weeks apart from each other, according to times stamps on the images, and that the photographs were taken in different locations.

"Either this woman is the unluckiest multiple home owner in Beirut, or something isn't quite right," noted the author of the Drinking From Home blog.

In the first photograph, taken by Reuters, a woman is seen in front of a bombed out building in Beirut. "A Lebanese woman wails after looking at the wreckage of her apartment, in a building, that was demolished by the Israeli attacks in southern Beirut," Reuters said in its caption. The photo was dated July 22 2006.

A second photograph of a woman who looks exactly like the woman in the first Reuters image, even bearing the same scar on her left cheek, is then supplied by the Associated Press.

"A Lebanese woman reacts at the destruction after she came to inspect her house in the suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon," the Associated Press caption claimed. The date accompanying the photograph is August 5 2006, and the scenes behind the woman are different to those of the July 22 photo. After receiving "some emails" about the photos, the BBC removed the Associated Press image from its own website. The Associated Press has so far not responded to requests by Ynetnews for an explanation of the mysterious time gap.

Kind of makes you wonder what her insurance premiums were like – can one even claimed if your houses are bombed by the IAF? Maybe she can launch a suit against Hezbollah for damages. Personally, I have been waiting all day for the response from the Toronto Star's media critic cum blogger, who is being strangely silent about the Reutergate issue. I figure she got her mouth caught in her burqa.

Do all dead babies look alike?

For whatever reason, I just could not go to bed early last night, and subsequently, I was real late dragging my sorry self out of bed. The first day back after a long weekend finds my desk swamped, so blogging will be light until I get my “work” legs back under me. If you are looking for a read, try the 57th Carnival of Liberty by the Life, Liberty and Property blogs which is being hosted at Socratic Rhythm Method.

Or you could read the Islamic Republic News Agency report about the massacre of 40 –Oh, I mean, 1 Lebanese civilian in Houla yesterday. Be sure to take a good look at the baby pictured in the article. It’s probably just me, but I would have sworn that I saw the same dead baby at the Qana “Massacre” last week. Am I to infer that all dead Lebanese babies now look alike – or is it only to Iranians that they do?

(h/tip An Unsealed Room)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Hezbollah aka the Iranian Foreign Legion?

The Jerusalem Post is running this article on a high ranking Hezbollah operative that was part of the original mission to kidnap Israeli soldiers.
My mission was to prevent armored Israeli reinforcements from chasing after the kidnappers," Hussein Ali Suleiman, a Hizbullah operative captured by the IDF, said when describing his role in the kidnapping last month of reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.

Suleiman, 22, was captured several days ago by troops from the Golani Brigade operating in the southern Lebanese village of Ayta A Shayeb. Officers said that the operation was not related to the Hizbullah operative, who they said, surrendered to the troops after he realized that he was completely surrounded. Suleiman, a high-ranking officer revealed Monday, was part of the 100-man force that participated in the cross-border kidnapping on July 12.

A commander of an anti-tank rocket cell, Suleiman did not cross the border into Israel, but was part of an outer-envelope force that the Hizbullah deployed to prevent Israeli reinforcements from chasing after the abductors. Suleiman did not provide any new information regarding the condition of the Israeli soldiers being held by the Hizbullah.
In a videotaped segment of Suleiman's interrogation released on Monday by Military Intelligence, the Hizbullah operative revealed how he was recruited into the guerrilla group in 2000 and how he participated in a religious "brainwashing" seminar following which he was sent to Iran for tactical warfare training. He said that he was trained how to use a number of weapons, in the use of explosives and first aid.

So we have Iran offering weapons training to Lebanese Hezbollah operatives and this admission from an Iranian official that Iran has indeed been supplying missiles to Hezbollah (Jerusalem Post).
Iran admitted for the first time on Friday that it did indeed supply long-range Zelzal-2 missiles to Hizbullah. Secretary-general of the "Intifada conference" Mohtashami Pur told an Iranian newspaper that Iran transferred the missiles so that they could be used to defend Lebanon, Channel 1 reported.

The extent of Iran's intimate involvement in Hizbullah attacks is starting to emerge. According to the defense establishment, the reason Hizbullah has not fired long-range Iranian-made Fajr missiles at Israel is due to Teheran's opposition. Israel now understands that without direct orders from the ayatollahs, Hizbullah is not allowed to use Iranian missiles in attacks against Israel.

I think we can safely characterize Hezbollah as the Iranian Foreign Legion. I realize that it has now become the general prevailing opinion that Iran gave the green light to Hezbollah to launch an offensive against the Israeli state in order to take the heat off the Iranian nuclear program, but what if that is just not so?

Consider that Iran had just signed a pact with Syria a few weeks before the Hezbollah incursion into Israel which would cover Syria’s butt in event of a jam. But what if the real rationale for the Hezbollah offensive was to destabilize the Lebanese government so that the only viable political authority left standing was none other than Hezbollah? And with Hezbollah acting as the Iranian Foreign Legion controlling Lebanon implies that Iran now has an unfettered access to a de facto border with Israel – the state the Iranian president wants to wipe off the map.

I realize that there have been a few statement issues by Hezbollah officials expressing surprise at the fierceness of the Israeli response but with if that is just subterfuge? If we are to take the words of Hezbollah officials at face value (and considering their relationship with the truth is rather tenuous at best) - just how were they able to mobilize their resistance forces so quickly if so taken by surprise? And make no bones this is a well organized defense.

It is no secret that the Olmert government is one of the weakest Israeli administrations in some time, and furthermore, it’s saddled with a Defense Minister and Prime Minister who possess only a bare minimum military experience. It wouldn’t take an Einstein to figure out how the Israelis could be goading into taking an robust staunch - considering the Israeli response to the Hamas kidnapping of Corporal Shalit was to deploy two elite combat battalions. Just something to keep in mind as the UN Security council attempts to pass a ceasefire resolution without the complete demilitarization of Hezbollah as a fait accompli.

Succinctly Ironic

I am enjoying the last day of a three day weekend and can't be bother to blog more than quick links.

A building housing a staunch anti-war newspaper has been hit by an incoming Hezbollah rocket.

Women at war

Reuters has suspended the photographer who shopped his photoshopped pics to Reuters.

Israeli Arabs: Finish off Nasrallah

Syrian continues to yell from the mountaintop that they are spoiling for a fight with the Israeli state.

Hezbollah tries to encourage the Syrians by overshooting their rockets into Syria instead of Northern Galilee region of Israel.

Amateur hour leadership has yet to end in Israel. IDF ditches plans to reach Litani River.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

al-Reuters needs Photoshop 101

Imagine my surprise when I surfed into Ynet News this morning and discovered this article:

A Reuters photograph of smoke rising from buildings in Beirut has come under attack by American web logs following suspicions that the photograph was distorted to show more smoke and damage. The photograph shows two very heavy plumes of black smoke billowing from buildings in Beirut after an Air Force attack on the Lebanese capital.

Charles Johnson, of the Little Green Footballs blog, which has exposed a previous attempt at fraud by a major American news corporation, wrote : "This Reuters photograph shows blatant evidence of manipulation. Notice the repeating patterns in the smoke; this is almost certainly caused by using the Photoshop “clone” tool to add more smoke to the image." Johnson added: "Smoke simply does not contain repeating symmetrical patterns like this, and you can see the repetition in both plumes of smoke. There’s really no question about it."

A series of close ups are then posted on the blog, showing that "it’s not only the plumes of smoke that were 'enhanced.' There are also cloned buildings." The close ups do appear to show exact replicas of buildings appearing next to one another in the photograph. The Sports Shooter web forum , used by professional photographers, also examined the photo, with many users concluding that the image has been doctored.

Low and behold, the photographer that submitted this picture is one of the same photographers who did the Qana “Massacre” shoot. Apparently, Reuters is now issuing an advisory concerning this picture.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Hezbollah – Party of Satan

Don’t blame me – I didn’t say it but Ynet News is reporting a senior Saudi cleric has issued a fatwa calling Hezbollah the Party of Satan.

A senior Saudi religious figure, Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, published a fatwa establishing that "Hizbullah is not the 'Party of God' (the meaning of Hizbullah in Arabic), but the 'Party of Satan.'"

Al-Hawali is considered an extreme religious figure in Saudi Arabia. In the past Osama Bin Laden was among his students. In the fatwa published on al-Hawali's website, it was written that it is forbidden to pray for Hizbullah, or to support the organization in any way. Al-Hawali's position, from the Wahhabi stream in Saudi Arabia, exemplifies the prevailing historic rift between Sunnis and Shiites , who, in the eyes of the Wahhabists are apostates.

The Wahhabists seek to cleanse Islam from innovations and deviations, which, according to them, violate Islam at its core, such as worshipping holy men and their graves, or decoration of mosques. The controversy between Sunnis and Shiites is not absolute. For example, the Sunni Muslim Brothers in Egypt have declared their support of Hizbullah.

Al-Hawali's words are an addition to a previous fatwa issued two weeks ago in Saudi Arabia by the leader of the Wahhabi movement, Sheikh Abdullah bin Jabrin, which declared that it is illegal to support, join, or even pray for Hizbullah. In the same fatwa, Iran was condemned for her involvement and financing of terrorist organizations.

The Saudi fatwas are joined by a fatwa issued by a Kuwaiti sheikh after the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers on the northern border, in which a harsh condemnation of "the imperialist aspirations of Iran by means of the organization" was published.

Besides, it’s all bollocks ‘cause everyone knows G-d is a classic liberal – free will and all that.

Friday, August 04, 2006

"Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or LARK for short.

I was in the mood for a laugh. I found it here at Shiloh Musings:
You'll be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself, we are creating a new division of the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the "Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or LARK for short.
In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your personal care.

Your personal detainee has been selected and scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence next Monday.

Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint. It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant care-takers.

We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommended in your letter.

Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his "attitudinal problem" will help him overcome these character flaws.

Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling.

Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.

Read the whole thing here to see who signs the letter from the White House.

what she said

Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post on Amateur Hour is Over:
Of course that wasn't all Olmert said. He also told the Associated Press that Israel's "victory" against Hizbullah would pave the way for the implementation of his plan to transfer control of Judea and Samaria to Hizbullah's most ardent supporters - the Hamas and Fatah-led Palestinians.

Olmert's empty declarations of victory and his continued obsession with his plan to expel up to 100,000 Israeli citizens from their homes in Judea and Samaria and transfer the areas to the Palestinian Authority are not simply preposterous. They are dangerous.

On the domestic level, anyone who takes a look at both the IDF casualties and the IDF troops and officers themselves will see that talk of withdrawing from Judea and Samaria is a recipe for demoralization. Maj. Ro'i Klein, the deputy battalion commander from the Golani brigade who was killed in Bint Jbail last week, died heroically, when after calling out "Shema Yisrael" he jumped on a hand grenade to save the lives of his soldiers. Klein lived with his wife and two young children in the community of Eli that Olmert has slated for destruction.

So too, Lt. Amichai Merhavia, who was also killed in the battle, lived in Eli. In photographs making their way through the Internet, Merhavia is seen being beaten by police as he passively resisted the destruction of the Gilad Farm in Samaria in 2002. Last summer prior to the expulsion of Israeli civilians from Gaza and the withdrawal of IDF forces, Merhavia sent a private letter to Halutz. In it he explained why he believed the operation was wrong. Halutz reportedly ordered him thrown out of the army. His commanders intervened and Merhavia was placed on a three-week leave.

Between 30-50 percent of the IDF combat troops and officers in the regular army and the reserves are religious. A large percentage of them live in Judea and Samaria. By claiming that a victory in Lebanon will pave the way for them to be thrown out of their homes, Olmert signaled clearly that he doesn't understand the role of a national leader in wartime, and worse, he doesn't understand why victory is essential.

Indeed, his declarations of victory themselves indicate that he does not understand the nature of the war Israel is facing or the challenges it must contend with both regionally and internationally. By claiming that Israel has already won when it is absolutely clear it has not, Olmert sends terrible messages to both Israel's ally the US, and to Israel's enemies.

He tells the US that it doesn't have to take us seriously as a client. Since we're willing to pretend that we've already won, we tell America that we will accede to any settlement the State Department carves out with the French and the Russians - even if it involves a total Israeli capitulation replete with land giveaways to Hizbullah and the surrender of Israel's right to defend itself to some UN mandated multinational force made up of French dhimmis and Indonesian jihadists.

Olmert tells our enemies that they do not have to be concerned that Israel will defeat them because the prime minister of Israel is not planning on doing anything that would involve their actual defeat. This of course emboldens them to widen their attacks.

AND OUR enemies are in fact emboldened. Over the weekend, for the first time, Syrian forces detonated a bomb along the border at Kuneitra in the northern Golan Heights. On Monday, Assad ordered his army to ready itself for war. For the first time, this week Assad allowed Druse leaders in Damascus to openly call for a reconquest of the Golan Heights. And of course, Syria is actively assisting Hizbullah by resupplying its forces and providing logistics bases for them.

Rather than explaining to the world that Syria is in fact a participant in the war and should be treated as an aggressor, intent on pretending that the conflict is limited and so can be wished away Olmert and his government have all but given Damascus a clean bill of health. Not only did the government announce that it would not attack Syrian targets, it reportedly asked the anti-Israeli, anti-American government of Spain to engage the Syrians. And so, on Thursday Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos went to Damascus, ending Syria's diplomatic isolation initiated after it masterminded the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005. While there, Moratinos praised Assad's leadership and said that Syria "will play a positive role," in any cease-fire talks. Far from insisting that Syria be shunned for its aggression, Israeli incompetence is paving the way for Syria to be rewarded for it.

There’s more here. A lot more – and she’s calling for tough love.

Egyptian Judges want to Scrap & Attack

Ynet News is carrying this report out of Egypt:
Judges in Egypt called upon the government to dissolve its peace agreement with Israel, on the grounds that it is inconceivable for Egypt to coexist peaceably with Israel while the IDF operates in Lebanon. The judges expressed support of popular resistance against Israeli advances, which, in their eyes, is the only way to protect the Arab ummah (greater nation).

In a statement issued Thursday, Egyptian judges censured "the barbaric Israeli attacks on the Palestinian and Lebanese people." They also warned of American attempts "to rearrange the Middle East, based on the 'Greater Middle East' plan, via Israeli pride and American hegemony, in whose eyes the lives of hundreds of Arab children are not worth the wounds of one Israeli child."

The judges expressed their belief that the popular resistance is the only way to protect the Arab nation and their honor, and stated their support from "the bravery of Lebanese resistance fighters and the stance of Lebanese people of all denominations." The statement declared that it is inconceivable that the US will continue to be considered a friend or strategic ally of any nation in the region, after having proven itself to be the primary instigator of attacks on the Arab nation.

According to the judges, the US incited this attack, encourages it, and is the main beneficiary from it. They censured those trying to bring about war between Sunni and Shiites and labeled them "an agent with malicious motives." Likewise, they condemned anyone trying to provoke war between Muslims and Christians and anyone expressing doubt that an entrenched nation in the area (implying Iran) has nuclear know-how.
The Egyptian judges called upon judges from around the world to do their duty and aid in imposing values of justice and equality between human beings.

Anyone know if Louise Arbour has issued a statement in support for her Egyptian colleagues yet? If the world is lucky she’ll strike too.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Nasrallah will never make it on Jeopardy!

I realized that Hezbollah’s aim wasn’t the greatest but I had no idea that Hezbollah’s leader Nasrallah had no sense of geography until I read his latest threat to the Israeli state in Ynet News:
Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened to bomb Tel Aviv during a TV address Thursday night, should Israel attack in Beirut. "If you indeed do this, I say this clearly. I won't use terms I used up to now, past Haifa, but I will say clearly and in a way that is not open to interpretation: If you bomb our capital we'll bomb your capital. We'll bomb Tel Aviv and we can do this."

Tel Aviv isn’t the capital of Israel - Jerusalem is. Not that I would really want to see Jerusalem or any city under rocket fire but if a Hezbollah can lobby a missile to Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount it could end a considerable amount of conflict and tension. And how could the Palestinians get mad – Narallah’s their hero and he can do no wrong. Geeze, good thing I am not running the Mossad or I might be tempted to give Hezbollah a hand.

Batman Assad to the Cedar Rescue

The Euroweanies have enlisted Syria’s Assad to Beirut’s rescue reports Ynet News:
The European Union has enlisted Syria's help to end the fighting in Lebanon as Damascus pledged support to the Lebanese government's plan for a settlement.

EU envoy and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said following talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad Thursday, Damascus agreed to play a constructive role in settling the conflict by pressing Hizbullah to accept a ceasefire.

"We also agreed on backing the Lebanese government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora as time is ripe for intensifying diplomatic efforts by all parties," Moratinos said. He said Syria backs Siniora's seven-point plan to end the conflict. "Hizbullah's present stance is unanimous with the government, and Premier Siniora represents all Lebanese parties, including Hizbullah.

"We received Syria's response to be part of the settlement in this complicated region of the world and not be part of the problems." Moratinos said.

I just bet that Assad was simply thrilled to be invited back to Beirut courtesy of the EU. Talk about the cat swallowing the mouse and to hell with the whole Cedar Revolution thingie.