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17 January 2012

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bth

Col. what are your thoughts on the Thai discovery yesterday of the Hezbollah bombs or bomb plot there? I think a similar event occurred there in 1994. I guess my question is whether you think this is Iranian directed because I don't see what Hezbollah gets out of such an action.

JohnH

Exactly...it's all about Israel's freedom to misbehave.

Now that Israel is about to become a player in natural gas markets, it's time to cut off all aid, a clean break.

It's not like aid gave the US any leverage over their misbehavior.

noname

Suppose the israelis are just to frightened to let any positive scenario to slip in the spectrum of possible outcomes. Same old story.. our ass is bleeding - we stick to forceful tactics. Helpless guys.

confusedponderer

I would be reluctant to take the Thai arrests and the Hezbollah link as a given right now. There is a key line in the Guardian story on the matter:

Chalerm told Reuters: "A Lebanese suspect from the Hezbollah group has been taken into custody by Thai officials and police are investigating further.

"Following concern raised by the Israeli embassy about a possible attack by a group of Lebanese terrorists in Bangkok, Thai police officials have been co-ordinating with Israeli officials since before the new year."

He said the authorities had been following two Lebanese men, but did not say what had happened to the other, and also suggested that Thailand had no strong evidence linking the men to a planned attack.

"Technically, the two men have not committed any crimes under the Thai law, so we could only use the immigration law to keep this one suspect in custody," he said.

My hunch is, had the Israelis found a real terrorist, given their temperament and manifest inclination, they would have just killed him.

It may well be a harassment arrest, and/or, the Israelis, since they are so very clever, may well play the Thais, and/or the international audience and/or do something else on the side.

Farmer-don

Watched the Republican debate last night. It was a real eye opener for me. Ron Paul got booed when he said the US should have greater respect for the sovereignty of other nations and refer to the golden rule when dealing with other countries.
The audience did not see any relationship between the recession the US is in and it's foreign policy.
I find it constantly amazing that the citizens of the Strongest country in the world (by far), and that has no enemies on it's borders are always so scared!

The beaver

OT:

Only in Arabic speaking media but an english article here:
http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/01/13/the_curious_case_of_the_four_armed_americans_in_baghdad

Were they really American or may be the good boys and girls from Herzlia infiltrating the Shia community to look for the Iranians?

turcopolier

Farmer Don

"the citizens of the Strongest country in the world (by far), and that has no enemies on it's borders are always so scared"

Urban people who typically are democrats are "scared" of the big, bad jihadis. They are so afraid that they are willing to be enslaved in order to be what they imagine to be "protected." The kind of people you see at Repubican rallies are not "scared." They are just mean and looking to assert their power. pl

Charles I

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was interviewed on CB national tv news last night. Judging from the micro-expressions I observed, he was in smirking chimp mode through much of his patter.

He was dealy, alarmingly serious when he discussed Iranian nuclear "capability'.

He pronounced Iran definitively on the warpath to nuclear weapons, without any of the distinctions we recently canvassed here about weapon vs capability vs deliverability of a capable weapon.

He based his fear on "listening to what their leaders say". He discounted intelligence, which he relied upon during the Iraq WMD dog & pony show to urge Candian participation in Iraq.

His "judgement" was that Iran was weaponizing apace and their leaders had made it clear they would use a nuclear weapon for ideological or religious reasons.

This man is a true believer, surrounded by Dominionists preparing the 12 tribes for the future. He called Cast Lead "a measured response", which I suppose is literally correct. He has completely tilted Canada to an embarrassing and unseemly support of Israeli criminality and loony pronouncements.

He stated that sanctions could "bite" but could not prevent a weapon. He further sstated that he had been attempting to "light a fire" under his international cohort to prevent the mad mullahs from detonation.

He did not mention any fatwa.

The beaver

After India, Thailand is very popular with Israeli backpackers or mom/pop tourists during the long holidays.
Vice versa: Thai labourers working agriculture in Israel.
So Thailand is just "pleasing" Israel :(

The beaver

Charles I

I saw him last night - I was waiting for him to say that he relies on intel from Israel to know that the Iranians are lying about their bomb and that he was ready to send the boys and girls in their 50 y.o fighter jets to bomb the perpetrators of "Islamicism" (his word). He won't know aboutt the fatwa because the MSM does not talk about it and we know which news media he follows.

In the meantime the Russians,Indian and Chinese spies in addition to the usual suspects are lurking around and he is doing zilch.
So will Mackay lose his job for marrying an Iranian (albeit Canadian now) girl? Heck every ordinary Canadian has to abide by the ITAR rules and I have had to refuse employment from certain companies as a careful measure not to jeopardise that of my husband.

Charles I

I did hear him say that Iranian leaders "are lying".

He did not mention Israel once; he was not asked.

Thomas

Someone else is talking about certain mad mullahs:

“According to Western diplomats, in one recent outburst Mr. Ahmadinejad denounced advisers working for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's spiritual leader, as "a bunch of madmen".”

Mahmoud is taking his verbal shot at Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi and Mojtaba Khamenei, the heir apparent to Shah Poppy’s throne.

“A Western diplomat who has recently returned from Tehran said: "Iran is experiencing a major power struggle between those, like the supreme leader, who are totally opposed to any form of compromise with the West, and the Iranian president, who wants to adopt a more pragmatic approach and avoid an open confrontation with the West, which would only further damage Iran's fragile economy."”

The best course of action for the US is to knock off the BS and get out of the way so they can fight it out amongst themselves.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/rivals+clash+with+West+claims+Ahmadinejad/6004613/story.html#ixzz1jk9a9GSt

The Moar You Know

As a urban Democrat, I have to say this:

Ouch.

-and-

True.

I've had to go to a couple of the Muslim countries in the course of my work. My mother (a habitual Fox viewer and a post-Obama Republican) is always convinced I'm going to come home in a box minus my head. Utterly terrified of the "terrorists". She's not a stupid woman, but she's never been out of the states and she doesn't get that people are pretty much the same everywhere - the good and the bad.

Medicine Man

Col.:

Maybe this is a regional (national?) difference, but I've found the dynamic to be almost the opposite up here. Most of the conservatives I talk to, urban or rural, are members of the "scared of the big, bad jihadis"-club. Urban liberals tend to low-ball or ignore foreign threats in favor of obsessing over domestic issues.

turcopolier

MM

We are suffering from corruption of the language. Urban people here, whether conservative or liberal are afraid of the jihadis because it was their assumption before 9/11 that, like the British of the late 19th Century, they were immune from "interference" from the "wogs." 9/11 proved that to be untrue. Since most of them are "girlymen" in Ahhnold's phrase they are scared s------s of the jihadis. The Yahoo segment of the population in the rural areas, especially in my beloved Southland, are not "conservative." They are Jingoistic mouth breathers whose nationalism knows no bounds. Does that help? pl

Matthew

The false flag train is leaving the station. See http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/report-iran-planning-attacks-on-u-s-targets-in-turkey-1.407860

We will see one of these stories every day until Iran "attacks" us. Probably through a Jundallah operative. The MSM will not be suspicious.

It's Iraq Hysteria 2.0. War is now a certainty. Sad.

Medicine Man

Col.:

I like how you don't sugarcoat things. I understand your point now.

Matthew

Addendum: the propaganda machine is all over the map today. See http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action;jsessionid=2F37DBB9A86E48F3EEFB069D95E81339?newsId=268815

James ben Goy

Speaking of false flag, did Obama finally get a clue and cancel the exercises for fear our training partner would use them as cover while committing some atrocity in Iran, one that would be blamed on us? And one that was so egregious it would finally provoke an in-kind, immediate response?

confusedponderer

Put another way, Israelis know their way around the place, and have no reason to assume art student covers. After all, they're just tourists.

As for playing the Thais, I think it is technically not problematic for the Israelis to have the Thais police or intelligence service intercept compromising information.

There is no reason to give the Israelis the benefit of a doubt, given both their standing record and their interests. As a result, SOP should mean that whatever they say is to be triple checked.

Point is, the Thais probably don't have the capability to do the triple checks. I have a hard time, and I may do them a great injustice, imagining the Thai intelligence service checking up on the matter with their probably non-existent sources of their own in Lebanon. They will, in all likelihood, have simply to take the word of the Israelis for it. That makes it to me particularly suspicious.

Iirc Victor Ostrovsky wrote something to the effect that for the Israelis the Danes, no offence, are an intelligence service that falls in a similar category of services that can be played, because they are friendly and have no means of checking up on what the Israelis tell them.

mbrenner

The Cold War experience is instructive on this. Here's my attempt at a summary of what we learned.

1. Nuclear weapons only value has been to deter another nuclear power from using them against you.
2. Hiroshima/Nagasaki was the great exception. Atomic bombs were used in a straightforward compellent mode. Recall, though, the exceptional circumstance of total war, fear of high casualties from an assault on the home isalnds, and no previous experience with the effects of nuclear war.
3. Nuclear weapons' value in detrring a supeior conventionally armed foe is dubious. We did commit to that in NATO strategy via tactical nuclear weapons but the doctrine's credibility was always in doubt - among our allies especially. Extended deterrence is a dubious proposition. Conceivably it could work when the territorial integral of the nuclear armed country itself is threatened. In Isreal's case, it's very survial. We almost got a test of that proposition in 1973.
4. The presence of nuclear weapons does have a generally conservative effect on the conduct of two nuclear powers, as witness the fact that the US and USSR shied away from crises where they might have come to conventional blows.
5. it is not clear that they have the same effect on the behavior of proxies. Unless Hamas or Hezbollah could threaten the essence of Israel their readiness to act provocatively may not increase at all. Israeli military action against them in retaliation proobably would not be deterred by Iranian nuclear weapons either. The same probably holds for offensive action against in southern Lebanon or Gaza. This is reinforced by the local rather than strategic logic that likely will continue to govern the actions of all three parties.
6. I believe these propositions hold in the context of a nuclear Iran unless we accept the unjustified 'mad Mullah' hypothesis.

ephuis@planet.nl

Fully agree! You could not have said it better Pat!
Grtz..erik

Charles I

Sorry I forgot to post this helpful background reference, tho its about Iran rather than Israel.

"Iran at War: 1500-1988

Iran’s complex, violent military history encompasses two world wars, foreign intervention, anti-government revolts, border disputes, a revolution, a war against Iraq that lasted over eight years, and its desperate quest to become a nuclear power.

Following his award-winning book, Shadows in the Desert, which explored the military history of ancient Persia, in Iran at War Kaveh Farrokh turns his attention to modern Iran's wartime history. Beginning with the Safavid dynasty of the 16th and 17th centuries, he traces Iran’s political and military progress to its dramatic turning point in 1979. In doing so, Farrokh demonstrates how Iran’s current bellicosity on the world stage was shaped by centuries of military defeat and humiliating foreign influences from the likes of Russia and Great Britain.

Including illustrations and photographs, this book provides an unparalleled investigation into the bloody history of modern Iran."

http://www.amazon.com/Iran-War-1500-1988-General-Military/dp/B006QS2P4O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327111771&sr=8-1

Worth a read got the time.

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