Thursday, August 31, 2006

Christian Zionism: Israel's Best Weapon? - Daniel Pipes

Christian Zionists are increasingly the bedrock of Israel's support in the United States, more solidly pro-Israel and more robustly Zionist than many in the Jewish community.

[O]ther than the Israel Defense Forces, America's Christian Zionists may be the Jewish state's ultimate strategic asset.

[New York Post]

Your humble Soundbiter

A picture which captures the Israel-Hezbullah War well


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Israel Changes Its Role in Mideast Script - Amotz Asa-El

Back in the 1930s, most Europeans remained deaf to warnings that Hitler was after them, preferring to delude themselves he was "merely" after the Jews. When Europe understood...that the Jews were merely Fascism's warm-up act, it was too late. Today a very clever Islamism is also telling Europe it merely wants the Jews, and, unfortunately, many Europeans still respond with the same moral understanding and political appeasement that only a few decades ago set their continent ablaze.

But the Jews - that stiff-necked lot - are no longer prepared to play their part in the script: They fight.

(Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Monday, August 28, 2006

In defense of Ehud Olmert - DAVID J. MARTIN
Olmert...must be applauded for his success. He orchestrated an unexpectedly strong reaction to Hizbullah with across-the-board support at home, and he was able to keep the United States on Israel's side for four crucial weeks.

In the current domestic and international climate these are significant accomplishments.

Intelligence about how strong Hizbullah had become was...lacking. This was not Olmert's fault. He took the most logical course of action. If Hizbullah was not terrifyingly strong, then the offensive could deal it a death blow. If Hizbullah was stronger than believed, then a weakening blow was crucial and the timing correct.

MY READING is that the stop-and-go nature of the offensive was not only a function of ineptitude in certain IDF quarters, but also a misreading of the willingness and ability of US President George W. Bush to stand behind Israel.

Let's not forget that Bush is embroiled in a situation in Iraq for which there may be no solution, and from which there may be no avenue of respectable return. Under these circumstances no one in Israel could have foreseen Bush's (welcome) position in the Lebanese war, nor his ability to control the State Department and stand up to the European Union.

Under these circumstances it would have been folly for Olmert to order a full-scale offensive - a move that could have quickly undermined US support.

It is all too easy to engage in our national sport of criticism. It is more difficult, but often necessary, to take a step back, to put oneself in the shoes of the decision-makers who must act in real time, without the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

As the Talmud says, "Do not judge your friend until you are in his position."

[Jerusalem Post]

Friday, August 25, 2006

Can't talk to 'em, gotta beat 'em

The Two Meanings of Multilateralism - Charles Krauthammer

Iran's nuclear program cannot be stopped by multilateral diplomacy. It will take military means. There will be terrible consequences from such an attack. These must be weighed against the terrible consequences of allowing an openly apocalyptic Iranian leadership to acquire weapons of genocide.

(Washington Post)

Arabs wisdom & Islamists with an inferiority complex

Hizballah Didn't Win - Amir Taheri

"Hizballah won the propaganda war because many in the West wanted it to win as a means of settling score with the United States," says Egyptian columnist Ali al-Ibrahim. "But the Arabs have become wise enough to know TV victory from real victory."
(Wall Street Journal)

Life and Death - Shelby Steele

Palestinians...seemed to prefer the aggrieved dignity of their resentments to the challenges of nationhood.

Islamic extremists don't hate the West because they are oppressed by it. They hate it precisely because the end of oppression and colonialism forced the Muslim world to compete with the West. Less oppression opened this world to the sense of defeat that turned into extremism. Islamic extremism is the saber-rattling of an inferiority complex.

The writer is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford.
(Wall Street Journal, 22Aug06)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Saddam on trial again

Saddam's WMD - Wall Street Journal Editorial

Saddam Hussein's second trial is...showing once again that the dictator used chemical weapons even if U.S. forces never found "stockpiles" of WMD after his ouster in 2003.

The horrifying testimony is a reminder that, despite the current problems in Iraq, the U.S. decision to topple Saddam was an act of pre-emptive global hygiene.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Security gaps

Time to Profile Airline Passengers? -Daniel Pipes

Noting the limited impact that losing 3,000 lives had in 2001 and building on my "education by murder" hypothesis - that people wake up to the problem of radical Islam only when blood is flowing in the streets - I predict that effective profiling will only come into effect when many more Western lives, say 100,000, have been lost.

[New York Sun]

Worth a thousand words:

This speaks directly to the moral equivalency folks.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Gulp again

The coming wars Caroline Glick

[Israeli leadership] are blind and deaf to all evidence that their way of appeasement has failed. There is no missile that is capable of penetrating their walls of self-deception and delusion.

With the Olmert government's stubborn insistence that Israel won the war it just lost, is clear that both our political and military leadership must be replaced as quickly as possible. Our enemies give us no time for hesitation. They plan their next wars in broad daylight as our leaders squawk in the darkness of their ideological stupor.

Be Prepared: A Boy Scout motto with profound implications

Halftime Assessment - Elliot Chodoff

Israel neither won the war nor did it lose, but a halftime tie with Hizbullah does not represent an impressive performance by the IDF.

The government and the IDF leadership have the rest of the halftime break to assess the errors of the first half and to make as many changes in the game plan as they can to assure that the score at the end of the next half leaves nobody in doubt as to Israel's overwhelming victory.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Exploiting Hizballah's weakness

A Moment to Be Seized in Lebanon - Charles Krauthammer

For all its boasts, Hizballah has suffered grievously militarily, with enormous losses of fighters, materiel, and infrastructure. Now is its moment of maximum weakness. That moment will not last long. Resupply and rebuilding have already begun.

If we are not working frantically behind the scenes to make sure that the UN gets real troops in quickly, armed with the right equipment and the right mandate, the moment will be lost. And with it Lebanon.

(Washington Post)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Squelched and under-reported

Devastation Fuels Lebanese Anger at Hizballah - Mark MacKinnon

As the returnees to Ainata in southern Lebanon took in the scope of the destruction, the victorious mood of a day earlier as they streamed back waving Hizballah flags quickly evaporated. In its place rose something new and rarely voiced: anger at Hizballah for having brought the ire of the Israeli army raining down on their village. Despite Hizballah's propaganda, there was no victory for the Lebanese people to celebrate, said local resident Ali Arbid.
(Globe and Mail-Canada)

On Balance, Israel Won This Round - Nadav Morag
Despite being cheered by many in the Arab world for its willingness to confront Israel...Hizballah's actions have only created greater fear among Arab leaders of Iranian attempts to create a "Shiite Arc"...
(Christian Science Monitor)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Two sobering assessments

The Triumph of Unrealism - George F. Will

Hizballah has willingly suffered (temporary) military diminution in exchange for enormous political enlargement.

Hitherto Hizballah in Lebanon was a "state within a state." Henceforth, the Lebanese state may be an appendage of Hizballah, as the collapsing Palestinian Authority is an appendage of the terrorist organization Hamas.
(Washington Post)

Why America Wants Hizballah Beaten Even More Than Israel Does
Henri J. Barkey

The Hizballah model represents the nightmarish metamorphosis of a well-supplied and trained militia. If it can work in Lebanon, the model can be emulated elsewhere around the globe...

Hizballah extends Iran's reach well beyond the immediate region and the Middle East...

The U.S. ...cannot afford to see the proliferation of Hizballah-like organizations deciding the fate of nations.

( Star-Lebanon)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Victory squandered...again

The countdown for Olmert has begun

Despite all its failings, including the recent ones, there remains only one institution that Israelis firmly trust, and that is the IDF.

[A]ll you have to do is read the headlines quoting anonymous senior officers telling the media that the government tied their hands. Everyone knows that the generals made a ton of mistakes themselves, without any help from the cabinet, but ultimately, in the popularity sweepstakes, the military beats the politicians hands down, every time.

Now Olmert will go down in history as the prime minister who didn't let the army finish the job.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The disquieting reality of World War III

Rattling the Cage: Regaining our faith in war

[T]hese [armed conflicts] are just the local fronts of the war we're preparing ourselves for. The developing consensus here is that it's only a matter of time until Israel, preferably fighting alongside the US, will have no choice but to go to war against Syria and Iran, and maybe against other Muslim enemies as well. Call it World War III or World War IV, that's what we're looking at, and more likely sooner than later - a no-choice war of survival against "Islamofascism" wherever it exists.

This is not a far-fetched possibility in the slightest.

It's not that Israelis like war, it's that they've regained their belief in war as the only solution, as their only salvation, and this belief may be stronger in them now than it's ever been before. It comes in the wake of their belief in unilateralism, which came in the wake of their (qualified) belief in the peace process.

Life in the Middle East is a bitch.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Leadership, in war and diplomacy
I have this to say to the government: If you do not bomb Hizbullah to kingdom come now, you will have lost the right to blame the allies of World War II for not bombing Auschwitz.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

"Sudden Jihad Syndrome"

Seattle Rampage Is a Case of "Sudden Jihad Syndrome" - Daniel Pipes

Mr. Haq's actions [in Seattle] are a clear instance of "Sudden Jihad Syndrome," whereby normal-appearing Muslims unpredictably become violent. His attack confirms my oft-repeated call for special scrutiny of Muslims. Because the identity of the next homicidal jihadi cannot be anticipated, Muslims generally need to come under heightened observation. I regret writing this as much as you dislike reading it, but it needs to be said and operated upon.

[S]udden jihad syndrome never erupts in isolation, but results from a steady diet of antisemitic, anti-Zionist, anti-Christian, and anti-American incitement fed by Islamist mosques, schools, voluntary associations, and media. Leftist demonizing of Israel further contributes to the problem. [New York Sun]

Concensus among the enemy

Poll: Nearly All Palestinians Back Hizballah (AFP/Yahoo)
Hizballah had the support of 97% of Palestinians, compared with 3% who said they were opposed to the group, according to a poll conducted by the Ramallah-based Near East Consulting group.
Some Israeli Arabs Back Hizballah Despite Deaths - Wafa Amr (Reuters) "Hizballah has raised up our heads and lifted our spirits," said Israeli Arab Ali Manna as he mourned two nephews killed in a Hizballah rocket attack.

Victory is not a dirty word

Corrective tactics

The sight of Israel being pounded daily by hundreds of rockets can be counted to hearten the jihadis, not those seeking a more moderate path for the Muslim world. By this logic, if a militia like Hizbullah can bloody Israel and survive, then the jihadis can claim that Israel is not invincible, and destroying Israel is a realistic goal.

This is an intolerable outcome for Israel.

Creating a perception of weakness and defeat can have real consequences. The common objective of addressing the underlying causes of the next war begins by ending this war with Hizbullah's indisputable defeat. [Jerusalem Post]

Monday, August 07, 2006

Quote from 2002 speaks volumes

A Matter of Timing - Mortimer B. Zuckerman
"If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide." [Nasrallah in 2002]
(US News)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A real Media War!

Reuters admits to doctoring Beirut photo
In the most recent in a series of online controversies to take on the mainstream media, a series of Web sites discredited a Reuters photograph of the fighting in Lebanon, forcing the news agency to issue an apology and remove the image from their archives.

The photograph by Adnan Hajj, which shows plumes of smoke rising from downtown Beirut after an IAF bombing, appeared to have been doctored to show more intense smoke and destruction over the city.

See also Video: Photo Fraud in Lebanon (

Friday, August 04, 2006

A new song? "All we are saying..."

Give War a Chance - Michael Goodwin
Peace is not always the best answer. Sometimes, deadly force is the righteous option. Like a schoolyard bully who deserves a thorough butt-kicking, Hizballah needs to be taught a lesson. They are not interested in compromise any more than a mad dog will share its bone.
Hizballah and its Iranian patrons don't want to make a deal with Israel. They want to destroy Israel. And then America and Europe and Christians. Can we talk to Islamic terrorists? Is there something we can say or do that will entice them to rejoin the human race? I don't think so.
Israel deserves our support and our gratitude. It is fighting for its own survival, and much more. It is fighting for the survival of the civilized world against the darkness.
(New York Daily News)

Terrorists Hiding Behind Babies - Naomi Ragen
Every single one of the 2,200 rockets launched into Israel [so far] is launched into populated towns filled with women and children. So don't cry to me about civilian casualties. (Ha'aretz)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

It Ain't Just There!

Federal Agents Focus on Hizballah Presence in Detroit - Niraj Warikoo
(Detroit Free Press)
Federal agents said this week they're keeping close tabs on Hizballah's presence in metro Detroit, where support for the militant group runs high among some Muslims and Arab Americans and there are concerns terrorist cells could be activated.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Money Talks!

Palestinians in Gaza Find Heroes in Hizballah - Greg Myre (New York Times)
At Palestinian souvenir shops in Gaza, the best-selling items for the past couple of weeks have been posters, T-shirts, buttons, and coffee mugs featuring Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah.