August 04, 2006


FROM BEIRUT TO JERUSALEM: Lee Smith, recently of Beirut, Lebanon, is now filing dispatches from Jerusalem.

THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF of Kuwait's Arab Times says Hezbollah has found itself in a quagmire. (Hat tip: Stephen Meyer by email.)

WIDENING THE WAR AGAIN: Israel is bombing Christian and Sunni areas in Lebanon.

EVISCERATED: Al Bawaba says Hezbollah's social network is torn to shreds. (Hat tip: Tony Badran via email.)

BELT OF DESTRUCTION: Here are aerial photographs of the "belt of misery," Hezbollah's stronghold in Beirut's southern suburbs, before and after the war began.

INSIDE THE MIND OF THE ISRAELI LEFT: Many of those who pushed for Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 now say they were wrong.

NOT OVER SOON: Iran says it will supply Hezbollah with surface-to-air missiles. "Iranian authorities conveyed a message to the Hezbollah leadership that their forces would continue to receive a steady supply of weapons systems."

Posted by Michael J. Totten at August 4, 2006 02:19 PM

How disingenuous can you get Michael? Your buddy Hezballah.Profile (let's not forget that he has admitted he's friends with Hezballah supporters) said that Israel is bombing Christians and Sunnis. He did not say they were bombing Christian and Sunni areas. Nice whitewashing.

You've been lying with (and for) dogs Michael. Their fleas are yours now.

Posted by: afshin at August 4, 2006 02:56 PM

afshin is banned for trolling.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 4, 2006 03:02 PM

Notice to the rest of you: If you want (and maybe you don't) any information coming out of Lebanon, you are just going to have to deal with the fact that the writers will not be Israeli partisans. That's just life. K?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 4, 2006 03:04 PM

'The mind of the Israeli left':

We are a rather motley crew. I have been voting left for 20 years, but I find little common ground with Four Mothers.

I - and probably many others - think in legalist terms. Settlements on occupied ground where the original population is given no civil rights is a war crime. It should be opposed.

War is legitimate when it's for the defence of sovereign territory. This is the case now. (Saying it's legitimate does not mean it's clever).

Posted by: Disk on Key at August 4, 2006 03:11 PM

Can someone tell me how Iran supplies Hezbollah? Who's airspace are they using? Turkey's? Saudi Arabia's? Iraq's airspace seems unlikely.

Posted by: Kim Hartveld at August 4, 2006 03:42 PM

... that would be whose, not who's.

Posted by: Kim Hartveld at August 4, 2006 03:43 PM

Did you notice the L.A. Times editorial where Syria presents itself as a stabilizing influence in the middle east and a foe of world wide terrorism? The op-ed makeover campaign of Syria in the American media would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

Posted by: kevin peters at August 4, 2006 03:55 PM

Israeli's "hack" into Lebanese TV.

No one should miss this.

Posted by: 30yearProf at August 4, 2006 03:56 PM

thanks so much Michael for blogging through this, and for introducing us to so many others' sites for perspective. My "world" bookmark folder is huge now. Without the internet this war we are seeing (or enduring) would be so vastly different.

Posted by: ortho at August 4, 2006 04:08 PM

The ME is utterly infuriating, not in the fact that they decry the Israelis for the deaths that they inflict while trying to avoid civilians, but because they march on the streets supporting a monster like Nasrallah who purposely kills civilians.
Joe in an earlier thread made a comment about how many Hizbollah get away, because the Israelis warn. Krauthammer makes the point that because the Israelis warn, the ones that get away are Hizbollah..
But all is fair in war. Or so says Liang and Xiangsui, 1999, in Unrestricted Warfare. Well for some.
Purpose of Unrestricted warfare, ‘Propose tactics for developing countries…to compensate for their military inferiority vis-à-vis the US during a high tech war.
These Chinese military strategists say, the first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules, with nothing forbidden. And assert that strong countries would not use the same approach against weak countries because “strong countries make the rules while rising ones break them and exploit loopholes.

This is bleeding obvious about Iran and Hizbollah to all but the most racist.

"The direct result of the destruction of rules is that the domains delineated by visible or invisible boundaries which are acknowledged by the international community lose effectiveness. This is because all principals without national power who employ non-military warfare actions to declare war against the international community all use means that go beyond nations, regions and measures. Visible national boundaries, invisible internet space, international law, national law, behavioral norms, and ethical principles, have absolutely no restraining effects on them."

They describe the means, one which is a very effective tool against Israel by Hizbollah and the LEBANESE,

"Lawfare" is a form of warfare waged by using the nascent field of international law to attack an opponent on moral grounds.
The book notes that powerful nations take a prerogative to make their own rules, but at the same token bind themselves with them. A second actor could circumvent these regulations because it is not similarly bound by them. Thus, it would be a serious disadvantage to the powerful nation, allowing the smaller nation comparative freedom.’

And what is the role of the west and the northern based NGOs, in assisting Hizbollah and Iran.

“Lawfare could be used in concert with "media warfare" (i.e. propaganda) to bring enormous public pressure against an operation by a target power. Such an attack would weaken the enemy's resolve, as contrasted with the strengthening of resolve that follows a traditional offensive action. Such methods are best used in an orchestrated campaign.”

Israel is required to be, and treated as a strong country by the international community. Well go on declaring them weak, and they move to this this strategy, so beloved by Hizbollah and Iran (and from which the Lebanese have for so long averted their gaze). Go on forcing them into a losing position and they may be left with no choice but to claim the right to practice unrestricted warfare themselves. They really mean NEVER AGAIN.

Lebanese may be loving Hizbollah and getting some strange reward out of seeing Israel painted as the monster, in such places as Europe. Here in Australia their standing is going the other way. But if you don’t do something more than wail, put together documenation for Israel’s war crimes, those who you would have agree to their destruction might hit you even harder.

In the face of the success of the “media warfare” Michael, how the hell do you expect Israel to take on Syria. Only when they decide that the rules are not for them either, and adopt unrestricted warfare will they do that.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council Akbar Rafsanjani has expressed his country’s support to Saudi Arabia’s proposal for a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah. This indicates Tehran has started worrying it may lose the war and wants to retreat.

And maybe the rescue of the ME could come from the people of Iran, as they struggle quietly against the monkey’s support of Hizbollah and his grand sick ambitions. Tehran has its own people not supporting it in Lebanon either. Anybody aware of whether the Kurda and Ajzeris and Arabs in Iran are still attacking the Persians.

Posted by: Ros at August 4, 2006 04:17 PM

I am still not clear on whether Israel is losing; is winning; has been losing and is starting to win; or what. I'd appreciate any sources that have insight into this or at least some smart, non-axe grinding observations.

Posted by: Hal at August 4, 2006 04:45 PM

The "belt of misery" looks untouched except for Hizb'allah facilities.

Calling it that just looks like more Arab crybaby hyperbole.

Posted by: Daryl Herbert at August 4, 2006 04:54 PM

I've never posted to Michael's blog before, but really enjoy the intelligent discussion.

In the satellite picture, note that the before was in color while the after was in b&w. If this wasn't due to some technical reason, i.e. the NYT intentionally removed the color, the bias displayed would be rather disappointing for this newspaper of record.


Posted by: David Goebel at August 4, 2006 05:11 PM

On a more carping note, considering Hizbollah’s sinking of a Cambodian ship when trying to get the second Israeli ship, their accuracy when aiming at Israel and hitting paddocks or the West Bank, I won’t be flying in any airlines that have to use that airspace.

Posted by: Ros at August 4, 2006 05:29 PM

As I read about the destruction of Hizbullah Lebanon, I can't help but think:
1) Had Hizbullah been building up businesses, instead of rockets, in the last 6 years they could have advanced hugely,
2) The Leb Shia 'undecided' about Hiz will, after this ends, inevitably hate Israel more; but quite likely also hate Hiz more. It's not at all clear that "more Israel hate" is any worse than what is there already, but more Hiz hate can really weaken Hizbullah.
3) As the Leb Shia return to ruins, because Hiz wanted war instead of peace, it seems likely a lot more Shia will say war is not worth it. Not certain, but likely.

International aid should specifically NOT go to "Hizbullah", only to non-Hiz Shia leaders, who renounce war with Israel.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at August 4, 2006 05:36 PM

The "belt of misery" looks untouched except for Hizb'allah facilities. Calling it that just looks like more Arab crybaby hyperbole.

It has been called that for a long time.

I have been to the Hezbollah suburbs. They are, indeed, miserable places compared with Beirut proper.

The suburbs are right next to the road into the city from the airport. The Lebanese government erected a gigantic wall topped with razor wire along the edge. One British friend who visited me in Beirut said "it looks like the government is trying to wall off the animals."

In the satellite picture, note that the before was in color while the after was in b&w. If this wasn't due to some technical reason, i.e. the NYT intentionally removed the color, the bias displayed would be rather disappointing for this newspaper of record.

NYT didn't take the pictures. They are satellite photos. Lots of satellite photos are in black and white.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 4, 2006 05:45 PM

But Michael, why can't it be said that the "belt of misery" stayed miserable -- because of Hiz?

Aren't most Lebanese able to see that truth? -- I actually think, unless there is a "surrender" in the war, many Arabs will NOT see this truth.

The Iran nuke issue being involved means that, in 5 years or so, Tel Aviv gets nuked.
Tel Aviv gets nuked.

I really, really don't want this to happen.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at August 4, 2006 05:54 PM

But Michael, why can't it be said that the "belt of misery" stayed miserable -- because of Hiz?

What makes you think this can't be said? It gets said all the time. It's obvious.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 4, 2006 05:56 PM

What the hell is this crap? You think because you spend one week at Instapundit you can get away with a bloody link roundup?

You can do better than that, or you might find yourself dropped of in a New York deli with a Mel Gibson mask on...

Posted by: John Jenkins at August 4, 2006 06:04 PM

I'm working on six projects all at the same time. Thanks for understanding, John.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 4, 2006 06:06 PM

Hey, I got a response in two minutes, so they can't be that pressing ;-).

Besides, it's a joke...

Posted by: John Jenkins at August 4, 2006 06:08 PM

Politico-Military wisdom doesn't appear to have evolved.

In 1865, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman said: "We are not fighting armies but a hostile people, and we must make young and old, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war ... I would make this war as severe as possible, and show no symptom of tiring till the [enemy]begs for mercy ... The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over."

Posted by: 30yearProf at August 4, 2006 07:49 PM

Let me second Ortho, Michael. Please keep giving us voices pro and con from the Lebanon side of the line. Here in the states all the newsies are openly pro or con too, but most have never been there or even know anyone of the ordinary type that have. It gives a lot of perspective to read the opinion of someone, who living there may actually have a clue.

Posted by: Dawnsblood at August 4, 2006 07:53 PM
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