And now for a quick commercial break

On LBC, every night and especially during the news broadcast there is a very interesting ad that inevitably attracts our senses. It’s the first commercial break and reporters have just finished talking about the most awful stuff happening during the day in Lebanon (destruction of infrastructure, killing of civilians, economic disaster etc.) when the nice music of a Schubert sonate (if I’m not mistaken) captivates the mind of the consumer who sees young kids drawing during class time as (cute) teacher watches over them with tenderness. One kid shows the drawing of a sun while the cellist strikes his strings, then another cuts a rectangle inside the piece of paper, stands up and sticks it on the window from which you can see the sun appearing with the trees outside the window, inside the rectangular space. Then the slogan (in Arabic and not very well translated sorry can’t find the expression in English): “As cloudy as the sky can get the sun of Lebanon will shine again”, Bank Audi…

I still don’t know if this can be called war profiteering.

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Remarks from Nasrallah’s latest speech

Hezbollah’s SG Hassan Nasrallah confirmed yesterday in a TV speech that some Lebanese factions are giving information to the Israeli forces. He did not mention names, unlike we in this blog who pointed out that 20 Lebanese Forces (LF) members were arrested a couple of days ago with a whole set of material resembling those found with MOSSAD agent arrested a month or so ago (do you remember this story my friends?). What we wrote at the time seems interesting in this regard.

In any case, this seems to explain why Israelis were sometimes shooting where they thought Hezbollah fighters would be found although it turned out there aren’t any (like today’s massacre in Qana, but also so many others before). As pointed out before, all the locations hit by the Israeli army by plane were emptied by Hezbollah but also by most civilians that Hezbollah advised to leave.

Just for you to know, they are still arresting LF members. And I’m sure there may be other parties involved – not specifically linked to a Lebanese political party – that are giving information to Israeli war planes. As a matter of fact, I don’t think the MOSSAD cell that was found sometime ago in Lebanon is the only one. There are many others, but it seems that no one could infiltrate Hezbollah’s group, and this is kind of impressive to say the least.

Pizza IDF

Who said that the IDF has no gratitude or feelings for that matter…
(Thanks Jassem)

Revisiting the US/Israel synergy: Israel obeys to US in this case

This is exactly what is at stake: Israel is playing by American rules. The US thought for the past two years that it could do away with Hezbollah’s arms with the sole help of the newly “elected” 14 of March government. When the latter failed – as they also failed in so many other issues – the US went on to plan B, which is to use the Israeli army in order to do so by force. Plan B was supposed to enter into effect in September at the latest according to reliable soures. Hezbollah knew about it and was preparing for the invasion as press reports showed during the last couple of days. Most of the Southern Suburbs were emptied from Hezbollah’s sensitive material and also from most of its population. Likewise for the south, or else you would have had much more killing incured by the Israelis.

The US is still putting into effect the neoconservative plan to restructure the Middle East. As a good background, an exhaustive article was found by a friend of mine (merci stefane), of which i would stress the following (sorry no time to translate):

Les opérations militaires de Tsahal sont supervisées par le département états-unien de la Défense. Celui-ci détermine l’essentiel de la stratégie et le choix des cibles. Le rôle principal est imparti au général Bantz Craddock par ailleurs commandant du South Command. Craddock est un spécialiste des mouvements de blindés, comme il l’a montré durant Tempête du désert et surtout lorsqu’il a commandé les forces terrestres de l’OTAN au Kosovo. C’est un homme de confiance de Donald Rumsfeld, dont il a dirigé l’état-major particulier et pour le compte duquel il a développé le camp de Guantanamo. En novembre prochain, il devrait être nommé commandant de l’European Command et de l’OTAN. À ce titre, il pourrait diriger la force d’interposition que l’OTAN pourrait déployer au Sud-Liban en plus de celles qu’elle a déjà installées en Afghanistan et au Soudan.

Now Israel is in trouble, thinking that it could deal with Lebanon as it dealt with Gaza. Watch how Israeli officials are starting to worry as the US is still not calling for a cease fire (see the reports after the Rome summit). Funny, that Israel needs the US to call for a cease fire. What I presumed happened is that some elements in the Israeli army assured the US that they could take out Hezbollah in a couple of days. Of course this did not happen and the screams of other eminent Israel top ranking army officials calling for restraint got muted.

In any case, the US is still desperate to find a solution that could weaken Hezbollah as much as possible, and so is giving Israel a chance to show its usefulness as a strategic ally. Though the Red light is: don’t go regional folks, we’re still not ready yet. But anything can happen as of now. I think there is a double political track being played. the official one: diplomacy and talks about international force and finding solutions for the Leb/Israeli issue, the unofficial one seems to say: IDF continue striking, maybe amidst the destruction created (because we can’t take them by land), we may weaken them “un tant soit peu”, and thus change the rules of the official track.

Hizbullah and civilians …

Here is a good piece on how Hizbullah operates militarily in Lebanon … While my knowledge of this subject is highly limited, the article confirms what I had always suspected from my very superficial understanding of the issue and travels in southern Lebanon and serves as a strong counter-weight to recent Israeli efforts to blame civilians deaths on Hizbullah’s guerilla tactics:

So the analysts talking on cable news about Hezbollah “hiding within the civilian population” clearly have spent little time if any in the south Lebanon war zone and don’t know what they’re talking about. Hezbollah doesn’t trust the civilian population and has worked very hard to evacuate as much of it as possible from the battlefield. And this is why they fight so well — with no one to spy on them, they have lots of chances to take the Israel Defense Forces by surprise, as they have by continuing to fire rockets and punish every Israeli ground incursion.

And the civilians? They see themselves as targeted regardless of their affiliation. They are enraged at Israel and at the United States, the only two countries on earth not calling for an immediate cease-fire. Lebanese of all persuasions think the United States and Israel believe that Lebanese lives are cheaper than Israeli ones. And many are now saying that they want to fight.

Most Disgusting Thing I Have Read …

This, courtesy of the Doctor Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post op-ed pages:

Israeli soldiers die so that Lebanese civilians will not…