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27 April 2010


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The Scud story sounded fishy to me right from the start.

Is Feltman a Bush leftover who has burrowed himself, or is a he a career guy?


Leave Iceland alone. They have had their fair share of hardships recently.


And as for the question as to why Hezbollah would need or want Scud missiles, or why Syria would give them to them ... isn't this ... line of ... argument ... Saddam! Saddam had Scuds! Saddam's Scud missiles hit Israel! Existential threat! Ahmedinejad! Assad! Nasrallah! Al Qaeda? Anyway! Munich 1938! Appeasement! ... compelling ... proof?

All these items are inextricably linked (by me).

Patrick Lang


Both. pl

Clifford Kiracofe

1. So Israel via apparent (transparent) calculated disinformation is attempting to interfere with improvement in US-Syrian relations at a critical juncture and a top US diplomat is promoting the Israeli line....

But isn't this consistent with Feltman's tenure as Ambassador in Lebanon etc.?

"He served in Embassy Tel Aviv as Ambassador Martin Indyk's Special Assistant on Peace Process issues (2000-2001)."

Why was he promoted to his present position in the first place?

2. Is Israel planning yet another attack on Lebanon, to include Syria this time?

3. Is he the one engineering what is reported as a "secret understanding" between the US and Israel about Jerusalem and settlements? The US position has consistently in the past been that such settlements are illegal under international law per se. Has the Obama Administration abandoned this historic US position?

Phil Giraldi

Feltman is a career diplomat but most definitely a hard liner, most evident during his time as ambassador to Lebanon under Bush. State Department friends tell me that his career was promoted by the usual neocon players and it is my understanding that he was retained in his post by Obama as a favor to AIPAC and its friends in congress.

I have been told that the scuds story is BS, being floated by Israel for the usual reasons. Scuds are big and hard to hide and move and there is no evidence that any made the journey from Syria to south Lebanon.

R Whitman

Is there an undercurrent here. The Syrians desperately want to qualify as an associate member of the EC. They are slowly but sucessfully reforming their economy to be acceptable. The Landis Blog is very informative.

The Israelis also want this status but they have been told by Brussels that they are a non-starter until the Israel/Palestine mess is settled.

Is making Syria look bad part of the equation??


Feltman and Hiatt, blatant Neocon tribal advocacy for Israel. WaPo has become the print equivalent of Fox News.

Kathryn Graham would be horrified.

The beaver

FWIW: Feltman was Martin Indyk's Special Assistant on Peace Process issues back in 2000 and he is tapped to become the US envoy to Syria but I guess that this does not bode too well with the Syrians after what he said in 2006 whilst in Lebanon.
He is also an admirer of Lee Smith from the Hudson Institute and often quotes his opinions,such as this one:

Anti-Americanism is an Arab constant, the region's lingua franca, from Nasser to Nasrallah it has not changed in over 50 years.

I guess when a former IDF member said that Israel should topple Syria, everyone from the secretive society of agents on this side of the Atlantic must follow suit:

Hannah K. O'Luthon

This is slightly off topic, but
does seem to represent, if true, a parallel development, with, once again, the U.S. in the position of ingenuous dupe:

Indeed there is a certain elegance in implementing Netanyahu's "out clause" via what must be a controlled leak to Maariv.
Obviously, independent confirmation or refutation of the Maariv story would be of interest.

David Habakkuk


As you say, the story always sounded fishy -- the scare tactics are all too familiar, and the Scuds hardly seem the kind of missiles which the Israelis have real reason to fear.

You may remember a discussion on the blog a bit over three years ago, prompted by Colonel Lang's post 'The Tabouleh Line Revisited'. In it, I harked back to some comments at the time of the Lebanon War by the former CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia, Ray Close, who had argued that the availability of missiles of steadily increasing range and accuracy to Hizballah from Iran posed an ever-increasing threat, leading pressures to try to get to the United States to do something decisive about Iran.

What followed were some fascinating exchanges among people who -- unlike me -- understood the relevant technicalities -- to which you made most interesting contributions.

On a thread in January this year, there was a good deal of discussion of the possibility that the availability of MANPADs could be a 'game changer' in favour of Hizballah, should there be a new war.

Is there any hard information available about how far the range at which Hizballah can expect to hit targets within Israel, and the accuracy with which it can hope to do so, has improved?

More generally, is there any hard information about how far the problems in devising accurate low-cost guidance systems which were identified in those exchanges are being resolved?


Speaking of missiles,
check these Club-K's out.




Mr. Feltman needs to be removed from all further State Department posts except for the mail room, along with his clearances revoked. And Mr. Feltman needs to register himself as an agent for a foreign government under FARA, as he has obviously based on his actions been doing work on behalf of a foreign government.

Cloned Poster

Interesting French Blog here on this subject:




Do you know Col. Mo Ralston? I just attended a class where he was part of the training cadre, and he kept making this same point over and over again. Is this something that is being pushed by the high levels of government all over now?


Col. Lang,

My gut feel is that if Israel had hard evidence of the movement of Scuds on their transporters or their whereabouts they would have bombed them in a heartbeat, no waiting, no agonising, no ultimatums and no warning. They would then have released the videos to the world.

What say you?


Scuds just ain't Hizballahs style.

And hell, if you have access to Zelzals, why would you want a Scud? Its like asking a surgeon to put away his scalpel and use this hammer.

The only people who need Scuds as a weapon are the friends of Israel in the US trying to scuttle Obama's dealings with Syria.

David, I refer you to Nasrallahs last speech. It may not be "hard" evidence but the man simply does not boast that which he cannot deliver.

Patrick Lang


I think it is baloney. pl

Patrick Lang


Never heard of him. He believed the Israelis about the Syrian SCUDS? If so, he is quite gullible. pl


Colonel, Phil,

What alarms me regarding Mr. Feltman is his reported 'close associations' with Israeli Intelligence and some of their 'nefarious ops' operating inside Lebanon.


Right on cue:

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday accused Iran and Syria of arming Hezbollah with increasingly sophisticated rockets and missiles, saying the militia's arsenal undermined stability in the region.
"Syria and Iran are providing Hezbollah with rockets and missiles of ever-increasing capability," Gates said at a joint news conference with his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak.
"And we're at a point now, where Hezbollah has far more rockets and missiles than most governments in the world, and this is obviously destabilizing for the whole region and we're watching it very carefully."

How propagandized we have become. Destablizing for the whole region? The world even, maybe even the whole cosmos. Missiles with ever increasing capability? Soon they won't even have to shoot them, just think them.

The feeling around here is that the Zionist state will attack Lebanon... again, not Syria.



He seemed to know you. He said he was in the DIA and a member of the West Point Colonels association - ring and all. You must be famous in that circle. ; )

It was a DoE class with a focus on weapons of mass destruction. Interesting stuff, if something that kept me up searching eBay for a chemical suit. They had a captured Iraqi scud there as well, so that's when that came up.


As far as Hizballah goes, the Scuds are a game changer, but not to the degree that they could be.

Hizballah's motto has always seemed to be "Keep your promises, because then your threats carry as much weight as anything else you say."

Do you think the scuds are there just to lure the Israeli Army in there for another mauling? It doesn't seem like Hizbollah's infantry capability has gone down, nor has Israel's tactics changed.

Patrick Lang


I taught there. That's the extent of it. pl

William R. Cumming

WOW SCUDS are liquid fueled. I thought they were solid fuel rockets?

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