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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Archive for the ‘Lebanon’ Category

How The U.S. Have Tried To Make Friends With Iran

Posted by Atilla89 on October 8, 2008

Many people believe that from 1979 onwards, the only contact that America has had with Iran is through proxy wars in Lebanon and Iraq. The view is completely wrong and in fact the opposite is true. While it would be correct to say that America has had a frosty relationship with Iran, this hasn’t stopped them from trying to be allies since the moment Iran, as we know it today, was born. More from the Jerusalem Post:

Almost 30 years ago, president Jimmy Carter tried to show what a nice guy he was by pressing the shah of Iran not to crush the revolutionaries. After the monarch fell, national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski met top officials of the new Islamist regime to pledge US friendship to the government controlled by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9f/Khomeini_Famous_Portrait.jpg

Ruhollah Khomeini

This may seem strange, but don’t forget at this time, Khomeini was seen to have the majority of popular Iranian support, it would seem only natural to support the guy that everyone else likes. Plus don’t forget that Iran still hadn’t kidnapped anybody or started up Hezbollah, yet. However this all changed when only:

Three days after the Brzezinski meeting, in November 1979, the Islamist regime’s cadre seized the US embassy and its staff as hostages, holding them until January 1981. This was our introduction to the new Middle East of radical Islamism. Carter continued his weak stance, persuading the Teheran regime that it could get away with anything. The hostages were only released because Iran was suffering desperately from an Iraqi invasion and feared Carter’s successor, Ronald Reagan, as someone likely to be tougher.

This is just one of the many reasons why I view Carter as the worst U.S. President in history. As usual, Carter lost whatever backbone he had and instead of trying to get rescue the hostages (he held off until April 24, 1980 and even then the attempt failed) he negotiated with a rogue state, even when it was obvious that he was failing. Now this is where relations between Iran and America get really interesting:

On September 29, while [US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates] giving a lecture at the National Defense University in Washington, someone asked him how the next president might improve relations with Iran. Gates responded: “I have been involved in the search for the elusive Iranian moderate for 30 years.” Then Gates revealed what was actually said at Brzezinski’s meeting, in which he has been a participatant, summarizing Brzezinski’s position as follows: “We will accept your revolution… We will recognize your government. We will sell you all the weapons that we had contracted to sell the shah… We can work together in the future.”‘

Knowing this completely changes the view that America has always rejected diplomacy with its enemies. After reading this, it becomes clear that it was America who made the first move to try and open diplomatic relations with the new regimes only to be rebuffed and taken advantaged of.

Far from persuading Khomeini that the US was a real threat, the US government made itself appear a pitiful, helpless giant, convincing Teheran – as Khomeini himself put it – that America couldn’t do a damn thing. His revolution and ideology were too strong for it.

Now if this isn’t enough to persuade you how futile it is to try and negotiate with these people, maybe this will help:

Former US Marine Col. Timothy Geraghty was Marine commander in October 1983 when suicide bombers attacked the barracks of US peacekeeping forces in Beirut, killing 242 Americans. He now reveals that a September 26, 1983 US intelligence intercept showed Iran’s government ordering the attack through its embassy in Lebanon. The timid response to that operation set a pattern leading directly to the September 11 attack.

America has tried to help them, negotiate with them, only give them weak sanctions and after all that they get attacked in their own embassy and lose valuable military personnel to Iranian made and supplied bombs in Lebanon and Iraq. Maybe its time to take a real stand against terrorism and nuclear proliferation?

Posted in Hizbullah, Iran, Islamism, Lebanon, Middle-East, Military, Religion, Terrorism, U.S. Politics, US, War | 2 Comments »

Waltz With Bashir Review

Posted by Atilla89 on September 28, 2008

I just came back from seeing this movie and was really blown away. Everything just fitted together, the animation, the soundtrack (mostly early 80s pop rock) and especially the way it ended. The way the animation suddenly gives way to graphic news archive footage just shocks the system in a really touching way. As you would have realised, I have little sympathy for the Palestinian situation then and now, however, seeing human suffering regardless of the context still affects me. I won’t bore you an outline of the plot, you can see it on wikipedia, however, the animation flips between the main character (Ari Folman), who is also the director of the film, trying to find out what happened to him in Lebanon and the events and experiences of the different interviewees in Lebanon. The film is quite violent but not in a Saving Private Ryan way, it is violent in the fact that yes there is lots of blood and dead bodies but there is a sort of unreality attached to it as well. It’s very easy to imagine that this is just a TV show for kids if it wasn’t for the subject being shown.

There has been some discussion on how the film portrays the Sabra and Shatila massacre. In my view it sticks fairly close to the truth, it doesn’t go on like some leftist film and point to Israel as being the only one to blame yet it doesn’t disregard that Israel, specifically Ariel Sharon played a part in allowing the Phalangists (Lebanese Maronite Christians) militiamen to enter two Palestinian refugee camps and ignoring the reports of mass killing that took place there. I personally would recommend people to go see this movie although make sure you do go in with an open mind and be prepared to have a whole lot more questions then answers.

Official website can be seen here.

https://i2.wp.com/livingincinema.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/waltz-with-bashir-001-433.jpg

Posted in Arabs, entertainment, IDF, Israel, Lebanon, Middle-East, Military, War | 1 Comment »

The Prisoner Exchange Of Samir Kuntar

Posted by Atilla89 on July 16, 2008

Let me first start by saying that this move is absolutely disastrous both politically and morally. In effect what the Israeli government is doing is handing a political victory to Hezbollah, who, I have no doubt will be touting this as a victory over the evil Zionists, etc…

A man rolls a picture of...

A man rolls a picture of Samir Kantar at a printing shop in the southern port city of Tyre, Lebanon, on Monday. Photo: AP

During February of this year, I stated that:

‘Israel would never let someone like Barghouti free, a person, as it says above, who killed that many people. If Israel where to ever do that, I would have lost faith in the justice system of Israel.’

I stand by what I said then and have now lost a lot of respect for the justice system and especially President Shimon Peres.

‘President Shimon Peres signed the pardon of Lebanese prisoner Samir Kuntar late Tuesday evening, less than twelve hours before the swap with Hizbullah that will bring back to Israel MIAs Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.’

Not only does this have consequences in terms of helping bolster the popularity of Hezbollah, but it also has consequences in terms of future decisions regarding hostages. What about the next time a hostage is taken? Do we give up more prisoners? These kinds of actions start a precedent in which it is very hard to escape. Imagine the plight of the parents the next time a solider is taken. What if the Israeli government refuses to negotiate this time? There would be mass protest and calls of government hypocrisy.

As well as this, actions like these may make solider loose faith in their government to the degree that some may not be willing to carry out missions reasoning that the government is going to let these killers go free anyway so why bother?

I fully emphasise with the families of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser and their pain of not knowing what has happened to their sons; however, I can’t support this decision, especially since it involves scum like Samir Kuntar.

‘Kuntar burst into Haran’s apartment building in the dead of night, seizing Smadar Haran’s husband Danny and their daughter Einat, 4 years old. Desperate to save their two-year-old girl Yael, Smadar Haran huddled with her in a crawl space in the attic. “I will never forget the joy and the hatred in the voices [of Kuntar and his men] as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades,” she later recalled in the Washington Post.

“I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed,” she wrote in 2003. “So I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. ‘This is just like what happened to my mother,’ I thought.”

Smadar Haran’s personal torture had only begun. She would later learn that Kuntar had dragged her husband Danny and older daughter to the beach nearby, where he shot Danny execution style, making sure that her father’s death would be the last sight her little girl would ever see. Kuntar then took the butt of his assault rifle and brought in down on Einat’s head, crushing it against a rock. Smadar Haran would later recall, “By the time we were rescued from the crawl space, hours later, Yael, too, was dead. In trying to save all our lives, I had smothered her.”

After reading this I hope the decision of whether to support this move morally should be made easier.

Posted in Arabs, Hizbullah, IDF, Israel, Lebanon, Middle-East, Military, Terrorism, War | 2 Comments »

The Syria-Israeli Peace Process

Posted by Atilla89 on May 31, 2008

A few days ago I mentioned that I talked with Mr Dor Shapira about the chances of peace between Israel and Syria in regards to Israel returning the Golan Heights. I also linked you to this article which summed up the peace talks in a couple of sentences:

Cynics might also suggest that Israel’s beleaguered prime minister, Ehud Olmert, is using talks with Syria as a diversion from his troubles with the police in connection with allegations of corruption and money laundering.

A new peace process could divert international attention and persuade the major powers that making peace is more important than bringing Hariri’s killers to justice [Syria].

Now I’ve just looked at another article which confirms what I quoted above and also gives a few new interesting angles. It should be obvious now that even though Assad and Olmert are trying to get some sort of ‘peace’ and use it for their own political advantage its not going to happen as there are just to many factors that are coming into play.

First, not many people both in Israel and in the international community believe that Syria will actually honor any sort of agreement with Israel. Why should they? Most of their support comes from Iran which is absolutely committed to Israel’s destruction. Syria is Shiite, while most of the Middle East is Sunni, who else would they turn to if they isolate themselves from Iran, which is what Israel is asking for.

Second:

Assad reminds Israelis far more of Arafat than of Sadat. So far, Assad has refused even to hold direct negotiations with Israel, preferring Turkish interlocutors. Give me the Golan, he is in effect saying, and then we’ll see what kind of peace develops between us.

Not only is this guaranteed to have no positive outcome of the negotiations, it doesn’t take into account the fact that a lot of Israelis actually like the Golan with its natural beauty far more then they like the urban wasteland that is Gaza or the vast deserts of the Sinai.

View of the Golan Heights

View of the Golan Heights

Of coarse the most pressing issue of giving back the Golan Heights is the military strategic value that they hold. If Israel has no guarantee that Syria won’t break its links with terrorists, who says they won’t go back to their old game of shooting at Israeli civilians and soldiers alike from the Heights?

View of Syria from an Israeli Bunker

The article summarizes the situation quite nicely which shows just how correct the quote at the top is.

Israel’s Olmert hopes that peace negotiations will deflect attention from his own woes — allegations of corruption dating in part from his days as Jerusalem’s mayor. Other Israelis, though, are wondering how helping Assad destroy Lebanon and escape justice can possibly be confused for Israel’s national interest, let alone for a peace process.

Posted in Arabs, Hizbullah, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Middle-East, Military, Syria | 1 Comment »

Talk With Spokesperson For The Israeli Embassy In Australia

Posted by Atilla89 on May 27, 2008

So sorry about the large gap between posts, I have been very busy with work and the like. I have another big load of work coming up in the next few weeks so regular posting won’t be back for a while yet, here’s a few tasters just to let you know that I’ve not given up on this blog. Anyway, two really nice articles from FrontPage.

  1. Iraq Rising
  2. Behind the Israel-Syria Talks

Just to let you know, last Wednesday (May 21), I heard Mr Dor Shapira, spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Canberra discuss the future of Israel for the next 60 years. I didn’t really learn that much primary because he went into the history of Israel, of which I am quite versed. Interestingly, one the questions asked was (paraphrasing here), what sort of contingency plan is there if talks with Fatah don’t work out (or Fatah is taken over by Hamas)? Mr Shapira didn’t really have an answer for it. He went on about trying to keep Fatah going but eventually admitted that Israel would be in ‘deep shit’ if that happened. I myself asked the question what sort of chance is there for Israel and Syria making peace? The answer that I got was its not likely that peace would achieved, it is doubtful that Syria would want to cut its relations with Iran and all the other terrorist groups. He also mentioned that it was a kind of cycle, every three years or so there would be talks but no real action.

That’s pretty much all the exciting things that have happened to me this week, yay… Once again hopefully I will have some more posts for you all.

Posted in Arabs, Fatah, Hamas, Hizbullah, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Middle-East, Palestine, Syria, Terrorism, Uni | 1 Comment »

Daily Kos Hits Earth’s Core, Digs

Posted by Atilla89 on May 14, 2008

Sorry guys for the large break. I’ve had a lot of work to get through, but know the worst is over, yay! Israel has made it to her 60th birthday which is something to celebrate, even if there those who can’t appreciate it, here and here, hat tip to LGF.

My favourite of these links is the Daily Kos one, just read this and laugh.

It thus emerged as a major power and a formidable challenger of existing Arabic powers that will decide the fate of the world, coordinated assassination of President Kennedy which unnaturally led to the hasty re-evaluation of American foreign policy for adjustion that align with the interests of Israeli state for total compatibility in irreversibly entangled alliance.

Posted in Antisemitism, Arabs, Hamas, Hizbullah, IDF, Iran, Israel, Jews, Lebanon, Middle-East, Military, Palestine, Terrorism, U.S. Politics, UN, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

A Time To Mourn And A Time To Remember

Posted by Atilla89 on May 8, 2008

I’m sure you’ve all heard by now of the cyclone in Burma which devastated the country. What I find so appalling is that the ruling military Junta is not allowing any foreign aid into the country! The obvious reason of course is they don’t want the UN to come in with aid and then see the human rights violations that have been committed. I’ve just recently found out that approximately 80,000 people have been killed by this cyclone.

“The storm came into our village, and a giant wave washed in, dragging everything into the sea,” said one man in his 20s, who had trekked in from Kanyinkone village. “Houses collapsed, buildings collapsed, and people were swept away. I only survived by hanging on to a big tree. “Only about 20 per cent of the people survived in our village. I am the only one who survived in my family. My wife and my two children died in the storm.”

The Labutta district was hard hit when Nargis and its huge storm surge slammed ashore on Saturday, devastating the low-lying Irrawaddy delta. “The waves were so strong, they ripped off all my clothes. I was left naked hanging in a tree,” said one teenage survivor. Based on stories from people emerging from the countryside, only about 20 per cent of people in the area survived, Labutta residents said.

Absolutely disgusting. As for remembering, its Israel’s birthday in a few days, yay! Israel has been celebrating its dependence in a very IDF way, with Paratroopers from around the world jumping in Israel. Also, here is a very interesting and special story from a man who served in the 2nd Lebanon War. Some of the things he and his men had to cope with are just incredible. Its interesting because the person being interviewed, Dr. Yehuda David, believes that Israel could have won the war if given 3 more days.

Posted in Burma, Hizbullah, IDF, Israel, Jews, Lebanon, Middle-East, Military | 1 Comment »

Happy Pesach and Chag Sameach!

Posted by Atilla89 on April 19, 2008

Just wishing everybody a happy Pesach and Chag Sameach! I am definitely looking forward to this Pesach as my mother will be making her trademark (and best) chocolate Matza’s as well as this, the Seder which I will be going to will have around 40 people! Before I leave, here’s the link for Michael Totten’s new post about the tribes in Iraq and how the Marines are trying to use them to contain a sustainable democracy.

Captain Jones and Mayor of Karmah.jpg

Captain Quintin Jones and Mayor Abu Abdullah

Also I leave you with another link to an article written by Margot Dudkevitch from Infolive.tv about the amount of weapons that are being smuggled into the Gaza Strip through the most interesting ways.

In recent months,  Iran has increased its efforts to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip via the sea and also tunnels between Egypt and Gaza, sending the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups there not only weapons and rifles but advanced Iranian made rockets and mortar shells.

A report in the Jerusalem Post says that many of the weapons are too big to smuggle through the tunnels built underneath the Philadelphi Corridor linking Egypt and the Gaza Strip, and therefore resort to dropping them off the waters in Gaza in waterproof sealed tubes.

Posted in Hamas, Hizbullah, IDF, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jews, Lebanon, Middle-East, Military, Palestine, Religion, Terrorism | 1 Comment »

Former Mossad Operative Talks Of Muganiyah’s Demise

Posted by Atilla89 on February 16, 2008

A very interesting interview here from infolive.tv examining the assisination of Muganiyah.  I am not sure if the video will be taken down so watch it while you can.

Dr. Mishka Ben-David, former senior Mossad operative and author of a number of bestselling novels talks with Infolive.tv about the assassination of Hizbullah commander Imad Muganiyah. While Israel has denied all involvement, Ben-David, taking into account his past  experiences, talks of  the repercussions  such an operation may have, Hizbullah’s response, and the months of intelligence gathering such an operation requires. 02/14/08

Posted in Hizbullah, IDF, Israel, Lebanon, Middle-East, Syria, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

Analysis Of Imad Mugniyeh’s Death

Posted by Atilla89 on February 15, 2008

Now for the big post of today, what are the consequences of Mugneyeh’s death? Who will be affected and what is the supposed link between him, Iran and 9/11? FrontPage Magazine has decided to get Kenneth R. Timmerman, the New York Times bestselling author of Countdown to Crisis, The French Betrayal of America, Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America, and Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq to answer these questions.

Kenneth R. Timmerman

You can view the whole article here, as I will only be adding my comments to part of it.

FP: So who do you think is responsible for Mugniyeh’s killing? What is their motive?

KT: The list of Mugniyeh’s enemies is long. Hizbullah, of course, has accused the Israelis [edit: naturally]. It won’t be long before they accuse us, too. One of my sources who grew up with Mugniyeh and remains close to his family in Lebanon, told me yesterday morning that Hizbullah surveillance teams picked up the arrival at Beirut airport of an 8-man U.S. paramilitary team just two days before Mugniyeh was killed.

Now that is interesting, lately, the U.S. hasn’t really given a damn about a Hizbullah, pretty much leaving them for the Israelis to deal with. More involvement with Lebanon perhaps? Or it could be a desire for the U.S. to get more involved in Syria (or Iran), considering that Hizbullah is an important tool of both Syria and Iran. Keep in mind that it would be wise to take this with a grain of salt, the reliablilty on that statement above would not be good in my opinion.

I saw a report just yesterday suggesting that the Rev. Guards lured Mugniyeh into a trap into Damascus, to make sure that he never revealed the extent of his involvement with al Qaeda in the 9//11 plot. This was a secret the Iranians would have liked to ensure that Mugniyeh carried to his grave.

I’ve got news for them, though: the word is out. Just take a look at pages 240-241 of the 9/11 commission report, which describes in elusive terms the travel of eight to ten of the “muscle” hijackers in and out of Iran in the company of a “senior Hizbullah operative.” That operative was none other than Imad Mugniyeh.

So this is an alternate explanation. This seems more plausible as it would make sense from an Iranian point of view, however there is some possible doubt over it simply because I am sure the Iranians would have read the 9/11 commission report. If their guy was already blamed then why bother to hide their connection if the U.S. government already knew of it. I mean sure they would have liked Mugniyeh to carry his secrets to the grave, but to me it seems like killing the patient to cure the disease. Mugnieyh would still be very useful despite the risks in keeping him alive and away from U.S. hands, the Iranians would still be able to do this, that’s why this interests me.

FP: In other words, you are saying that Mugniyeh was involved with the 9/11 terror attack and so was Iran – and the Iranians might have very well killed him so that the full extent of their own involvement would not become known.

KT: There is absolutely no doubt that Mugniyeh and his masters in Iran were directly and materially involved in the 9/11 plot.

First, there is the evidence discovered very late in the day by the 9/11 Commission, which I describe in detail in Countdown to Crisis. What is astonishing is that this information has not been widely publicized. I spoke again just yesterday with one of the top investigators involved in reviewing the highly-classified U.S. intelligence reports on Mugniyeh’s involvement in convoying 9/11 hijackers in and out of Iran prior to 9/11. He was astonished when I told him that few people were yet aware of this. “That’s like saying you didn’t know that Jesse James was a crook,” he said.

That’s why it doesn’t make sense to me for the Iranians to kill off a very good and respected operative (terrorist), because like it says above, everyone in  the U.S. intelligence community already knows about the link. It would make sense to kill  him off straight after 9/11, but not now  7 years later when  America is bogged down in Iraq and there is no chance of a military invasion.

The Iranians were TERRIFIED on the day of 9/11 and for the next month that the United States would “connect the dots” and discover their involvement to the 9/11 plot, as I reported in Countdown to Crisis. Senior Iranian government officials were making desperate phone calls to relatives in the United States, asking them to rent apartments for family members so they could get out of Tehran before what they assumed would be a massive retaliatory U.S. military strike.

As I said earlier, it would make sense then but not now. I don’t think that the Iranians actually had a hand in this (as crazy as that may sound), I personally think that either it was Israel, regardless of whether they are denying it or not (that goes for the U.S. as well) or one of the anti-Syrian groups in Lebanon. Of course, we can’t rule out the possibility of an unknown player, but I think that is less likely.

Of course, as we know now, that U.S. retaliatory strike never occurred – because the CIA and other U.S. government agencies succeeded in burying the information they had collected (or the case of our technical agencies, that they had siphoned up).

I believe when Americans realize the full extent of the Iranian government involvement in the 9/11 plot, they will demand action from their president – no matter what party affiliation that president may have.

And I really hope they do.

FP: What ramifications does this assassination have for Hezbollah? For Lebanon? For the terror war in general? There will be retaliation won’t there?

KT: Hezbollah is no longer a small gang of bang-men and two-bit thugs, but a world class terror operation with extraordinarily good intelligence, state-of-the-art communications, and networks spanning the globe. Hizbullah always retaliates when one of their men gets whacked. And with the exception of their top leader, Hassan Nasrallah, no one was more important than Mugniyeh to their organization.

One of my sources, who is close to the top Hizbullah leadership, told me recently that Mugniyeh won the personal loyalty of Hizbullah fighters and the leadership in the early 1990s when he almost single-handedly financed Hizbullah’s operations through drug-smuggling in the tri-state border zone in South America. When Hizbullah would send their fighters to train in Revolutionary Guards camps in Iran, it was Mugniyeh who personally shook their hands and congratulated them on graduation day.

This is just another reason why I don’t believe that Iran or Syria would knock off a top operative like that. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Today, February 14, is the third anniversary of the assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafic Hariri, and his supporters are planning a huge demonstration in Beirut. Hizbullah is also planning a huge demonstration, to bury Mugniyeh. The possibility that the two groups could clash is very great. Just the morning of Mugniyeh’s death, a leader of the anti-Syrian coalition, Walid Jumblatt, warned Hizbullah that the coalition would disarm Hizbullah. “If you want war, then we’ll have war,” he said. Things are not going well in Lebanon, and this has just turned up the heat on a pressure-cooker already about to explode.

That is the main reason why I believe it was an anti-Syrian group that may have done this. They have much more to gain by knocking him off then anyone else in the region. Why should America and Israel get their hands dirty when they already have these groups in Lebanon and Syria already set up and good to go? America has enough problems in Afghanistan and Iraq, while Israel has its hands full dealing with the PA and Hamas.

FP: This is a great day of celebration and joy for Americans, Israelis and all those on the side of freedom, right?

KT: Without any doubt. State Department spokesman Sean Mccormack said it nicely on Wednesday. “The world is a better place without this man in it. One way or the other he was brought to justice.” Other U.S. government officials have made similar comments. This is a man who prided himself on never carrying out two terrorist operations that were identical to each other. 

Posted in Hizbullah, Israel, Lebanon, Middle-East, Syria, Terrorism, U.S. Politics | 2 Comments »