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08 September 2014


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I hope that by "preparing" they mean "preparing contingency plans for something they hope doesn't happen", not premeditatively preparing for aggression against Lebanon. I hope for Lebanon's sake that Hezbollah is smart enough not to start something with Israel (or allow itself to be suckered into looking like they've started something with Israel).



If Israel launches unprovoked attacks on Hezbollah, doesn't that put them in a defacto alliance with the Islamic State, Al-Nusra Front and other Sunni jihadists who have recently expanded their warfare against Alawites and Shiites into Lebanon from Iraq and Syria? Is this a part of the "New Sykes Picot" deal between Israel and the Saudis and other GCC countries? I recall that Jordan's King Abdullah II warned of the growing threat of a "Shiite Crescent" spreading from Iran through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Col. Lang is 100 percent correct to point to the severe deficiencies in Israel's so-called strategic thinking. Bullying is not a replacement for sound strategic thinking and it appears that Israel failed in its efforts to bully Hezbollah and Hamas in the past and is repeating the same errors. Einstein was purported to have said that the definition of insanity is trying to do the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

What baffles me is that there are some serious and competent intelligence analysts and military thinkers in Israel who have made it clear that they believe Netanyahu is dragging Israel down the road to oblivion. Throughout the latest Gaza war, Efraim Halevy, former head of Mossad repeated over and over again that Hamas is not IS and that Israel should be prepared to negotiate with Hamas against a far more menacing threat of a spread of the Islamic State brand of jihadism into Gaza and the West Bank. What are these self-described Israeli patriots waiting for to dump Netanyahu and install a sane government that can cut a deal with the Palestinians before it's too late? Is the power of the Zionist ideology so over-powering that it paralyses even the most rational Israeli actors?


Remember teh 2006 Lebannon War and the surprise that Hezbollah gave the IDF. An Israeli soldier who participated in the war said that Hezbollah fighters were "nothing like Hamas or the Palestinians. They are trained and highly qualified. All of us were kind of surprised".

And does the IDF really expect to be able to "maneuver swiftly and decisivly" in the face of exptected heavy anti-armor defenses?



Maybe the only cure for insanity is a severe blow to the ego. If the IDF launches another attack on Lebanon and there is significant retaliation that damages not only infrastructure but also the psyche of the gung-ho likudniks, they may really change their tune. Israel needs competent adversaries that can inflict significant damage before they would be willing to sue for peace.


Israel is providing intel on IS...

The Western diplomat said Israeli spy satellites, overflying Iraq at angles and frequencies unavailable from U.S. satellites, had provided images that allowed the Pentagon to “fill out its information and get a better battle damage assessments” after strikes on ISIS targets.

Israel had also shared information gleaned from international travel databases about Western citizens suspected of joining the insurgents, who could be potential recruits for future attacks in their native countries.

“The Israelis are very good with passenger data and with analyzing social media in Arabic to get a better idea of who these people are,” the diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

But the Israeli-supplied intelligence would reach the U.S. partner “with the Hebrew and other markings scrubbed out” to avoid raising hackles among Arabs, Turks and perhaps even the Iranian forces who also view ISIS as a foe, the diplomat said.



HA are a little busy right now so if Israel can come back at a more convenient time that would be wonderful.

Seriously though, Israel has tried three times this year to get Hizballah into a fight, the last one being exploding a booby-trapped device in Southern Lebanon. But the next war is going to be too big and too important for them to be suckered into it.


After the 2006 war Nasrallah promised that would be the last war fought against Israel on Lebanese soil. Make of that what you will but keep in mind Nasrallah has always kept his promises so far.



"Israel had also shared information gleaned from international travel databases about Western citizens suspected of joining the insurgents,..."

So where did they get this raw data and how do we actually verify any of it is accurate?


C. Tuttle

a "western diplomat" interviewed in Jerusalem. Would this be Dan Shapiro, the Likudnik US ambassador to Israel? I find it hard to believe that Israeli spy satellites have capabilities that the US has not. A crock. pl


Thru the backdoor channel of Narus and Verint, Fred...!




Sir, It probably is Shapiro, but, I wouldn't under-estimate Unit 8200's prowess...!


There could be some substance to the allegation of Israel supplying satellite intelligence. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ofeq

Babak Makkinejad


I do not credit this, Israelis announcing that they will attack Lebanon?

Would that be before during, or after their attack on Iran?

Paul Escobar

To all,

Oh, how completely un-surprising.

- Iran has a president who is not demonized - and is actually viewed as "our kind of guy" in the west.
- Negotiations between Iran & the United States continue to progress in a calm & cordial manner.
- The media widely discusses potential & ongoing co-operation between Iran & the United States in their confrontation with ISIS.

So naturally, Israel will incite a war with Iran's key ally & religious brethren in Lebanon (Hezbollah).

This will allow Israel's propagandists to once again flood western airwaves and dictate the narrative (as they did mere months ago, when they attacked Gaza on false pretext).

All the aforementioned progress in U.S.-Iranian relations will be blurred & supressed. We will get a rehash of "Iran = Nazi-Germany 2.0". Followed by more ungrateful holocaust guilt-tripping and manipulation into future aggression.

Let us hope western reaction surprises Israel,
Paul Escobar


I would add that Binney, Drake and Klein were all crucified on the AIPAC altar, for trying to blow the whistle on Israeli misbehavior...!



I have no doubt that Israel has recon satellites, but the thought that they have satellites with better capabilities than the US is absurd. They have been sucking at our teats in that for decades. pl


Sir, I'm positive they're seeing all our raw feeds, and then enhancing it with their own organic Sat imagery...!



This is 'just in time' for the US elections.

Medicine Man


The problem is that a not-insignificant percentage of the Israeli population is so radicalized that Netanyahu may be following this dismal course in order to satiate them.


Your credit card billing and reconciliation is outsourced.

To a low bidder who profits in another way.

robt willmann

The Times of Israel story is most likely propaganda, unless Israel wants to attack Hizbullah in order to force them to pull their personnel out of Syria where they are helping Assad and back into Lebanon to help defend it. Once Hizbullah is out of Syria, then Isis, whether on its own or as a client of Israel and/or the U.S., can then more effectively attack the government of Syria in furtherance of the policy of both the U.S. and Israel to overthrow the Assad government.

The problem for Israel is that Hizbullah probably now has better ground defenses than before and apparently has better rockets and missiles. Thus, Israel could get so tied up fighting Hizbullah that if Isis is not a client of Israel or the U.S., Isis could turn around and take some shots at Israel. What will Israel do then, invade both Lebanon and Syria? Who will Israel be fighting in Syria? Isis or the Assad government? Both at the same time? First one, then the other?


I'd posit that the Israelis are skimming off all that butterfat too, Col...! ;-)


It may not be a question of better, but of orbit inclination.


Actually, they don't necessarily have to be better satellites to still be useful. We only have so many satellites in the sky, and in most cases a given satellite in low earth orbit will only pass over a particular site once or at most twice per day (due to orbital dynamics). So, with a given number of satellites, you only get so many overflights, and having access to data from other satellites, even if lower spatial resolution can provide better temporal resolution (more frequent data points).

There's a commercial companies some acquaintances of mine run out in Silicon Valley called Planet Labs. They're building a "flock" of 100 "Dove" satellites. Little cubesats that are only ~30x10x10cm (about the size of a bread loaf). These have small cameras on board that have resolution not much better than Google Earth, but with their fleet of 100 in operation, they'll be able to take a picture of every point on the earth at least once per day, without having to specifically point at them. Basically it's a "raster scan" of the whole planet every day.

Are their optics anywhere near as capable as much larger satellites? Of course not--physics limits how much resolution you can get out of a 8-9cm diameter mirror. But it can still be a useful augmentation to other commercial and military earth observation assets.

So while I normally don't often take the Israeli military's side on much, I think the claim that they're augmenting our spysat assets isn't entirely farfetched (though they're probably overselling the criticality--I'm sure Israel has even fewer assets than we do, so they're probably just filling in the occasional gap).

Food for thought.




OK. I stand corrected. It just seems odd to me to have them do anything useful for us. I accept your points about orbits, angles, etc. I would have thought that something in a geosynchronous or geostationary orbit would be possible given the severity o the case. And then, there are air breathers... pl

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