Tag Archives: Hizbullah

Not-so-simple Syria, and taking back Iran, one gas pump at a time.

My correspondent over at Giyus.org continues to provide beneath-the-surface insights on Middle Eastern matters. The latest two include another expert interview, and some aspects of life inside Iran that we don’t often hear about.

In the first item, a Tel Aviv university professor analyzes Syria’s recent history and current standing as a pivot point between Iran, Lebanon, and terrorist interests in the region. He also provides the first answer I’ve seen as to how the secular regime in Syria is able to stay (more or less) on the same page with the ultra-Islamists in Iran.

Here is a cross-post of the interview in its entirety:

220px-Syrian_soldier_aims_an_AK-47 Focus on Syria – using terror for political gains in the Middle East

In the complicated realm of the Middle East, Syria plays a central role. Giyus.org sat down with Professor Eyal Zisser, an expert on the modern history of Syria and Lebanon, to get a better understanding of Syria and the way it uses terror to advance its political goals in the region. Prof. Zisser is the head the department of Humanities Studies in Tel Aviv University; he is a frequent speaker and writer on this subject.

Giyus.org: What’s Syria role in the region and how is it impacted by the rising power of Iran?

Professor Zisser: Syria has a central role in the Middle East. First of all, it has a central geographic location practically at the heart of the region. Secondly, Syria borders Israel and plays a major part in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Its conflict with Israel allows Syria to maintain close relationship with Hamas and Hezbollah and help them out.

The Assad family has been in power since 1970. During this period Syria became a stable country, strong from the military and political perspective. Syria is involved in Lebanon and with the Palestinians, but most of the attention it gets from the Western world is due to its close ties with Iran.

This Syria-Iran alliance allows Iran to benefit from Syria’s central location and provides a gateway for Iran to Israel’s immediate vicinity. Syria, on the other hand, benefit from the rising power of Iran. By partnering with Iran, Syria seems stronger in the eyes of the West.

Giyus.org: Iran is ruled by a deeply religious Islamic regime, while Syria is completely secular – does that impact the relations between the states?

Professor Zisser: At the moment the political gains for both countries outweighs the religious differences. In the long term this is definitely an issue that can cause tension between Syria and Iran. However, since this alliance was forged 30 years ago, both countries have dealt with much greater threats to their existence so it is in their best interests to partner and over look the religious issue.

Giyus.org: What are some of the major threats facing Syria in recent years?

Professor Zisser: The list is very long. In the 80s Israel entered Lebanon in the first Lebanon war. This then created problems in Lebanon, the front yard of Syria. This last decade since September 11th attacks was marked by the war on Terror. Bush invaded Iraq and was considering an invasion to Syria as well.

In light of these threats Syria needs Iran as an ally to back her up. In the eyes of Syria, Israel and the US are a strategic threat, much more so than Iran.

Giyus.org:  What are the motivations behind Syria’s support of terror organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah?

Professor Zisser: Syria views terror as a tool to achieve its political goals. Syria does not have a strong army and is using its terror support to show its presence and make the West take it into account as a major player in the Middle East.

On top of that, by supporting terror organizations Syria is keeping radical Islamic terror at bay. Bashar al Assad said that radical Islam is a great threat for Syria since it is a secular regime. By supporting anti Israel terror organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, Syria stays on the "right side" of Islamic terror organizations like Al Qaeda.

And of course, by supporting Hamas and Hezbollah, Syria gains popularity in the Arab street as the main backer of the resistance forces against Israel.

Giyus.org:   Moving from supporting terror to peace – what’s Syria strategic stand with regards to the peace process with Israel?

Professor Zisser: Syria would like to see the peace talks move forward but is not willing to take any actions as condition for the talks. Syria refuses to stop supporting terror as a condition to resuming the peace talks. If and when there will be peace talks Syria might be willing to discuss its terror activities.

However, when we think of a possible peace agreement between Syria and Israel, it will be more like a friendly divorce agreement than a unity in a marriage. There is too much suspicion on both sides for this to be a warm close peaceful relation. But there can be a lasting peace where each country minds its own business.

Giyus.org: How does Syria view the efforts by the US and the European Union to bring it closer to the West?

Professor Zisser: There is actually a great disappointment in Syria from the Obama administration. Syria expected Obama to start talks and advance the relationship but this didn’t happen.  Despite the rhetoric about engaging Syria, there is still no US Ambassador in Damascus (the last US Ambassador left in 2005 after the assassination of PM Harriri in Lebanon).

The US on the other hand demands that Syria make some changes that demonstrate they are heading for peace. The US would like to see Syria sending Hamas’ leader Mashaal away from Damascus, or stop assisting anti American terror in Iraq. Syria refusal to take these steps makes it very hard for the US to make real advances.

As for the European Union, while they can offer some benefits, Syria does not view them as a strategic partner.

Since these advancements from the EU came with no conditions, it only convinces Syria that supporting terror organizations pays out. They believe that they can convince the world to accept them as they are, as long as they stick to their guns and continue supporting terror activities.

Giyus.org:  How does Syria view its relations with Lebanon?

Professor Zisser:  Lebanon is very important to Syria which views it as its own front yard.  While they were kicked out of Lebanon a few years ago, they are now gradually increasing their involvement again.

Lebanon is a highly fractured country and Syria is the only one that can keep the balance and help maintain stability. Since this is in everyone best interests and no one wants to see Lebanon torn apart in a civil war again, Syria has been allowed back in the game.

Syria is willing to meddle in the Lebanese swamp and is the only one that can keep Hezbollah in its place. Hezbollah’s weapon route from Iran goes through Syria. This gives Syria great leverage over Hezbollah since they can cut off their weapon supply at any time.

Giyus.org:  Will there be any impact to the expected UN tribunal announcement regarding Hezbollah’s involvement in the assassination of Harriri?

Professor Zisser:  No one has an interest to burst the Lebanese bubble. Not the US, or France, which were behind the tribunal in the first place, nor the regional Lebanese players which know their power limitation.

The main question is if Hezbollah is willing to accept an indictment. It’s clear that even if there is a report accusing Hezbollah of involvement in the assassination, nothing will be done about it. But at the moment Hezbollah is not willing to accept any report claiming the organization or its people were involved.

It is not clear how far Hezbollah will go with its reaction on this issue but I don’t feel it will escalate to a new civil war. It’s much easier to bury a report by the UN and ignore it than to start a civil war over it.

Giyus.org:   What was Syria role in previous internal Lebanese conflicts such as Hezbollah’s coup in 2008?

Professor Zisser:  Until 2008 there was a strong anti Syria camp in Lebanon which included the Druze and Sunni and was backed by France and Saudi Arabia. When Hezbollah took over key areas in Beirut in 2008, as a reaction to an anti Hezbollah resolution in the government, the anti Syria camp was left alone in the field against the Shiite Hezbollah army.

Knowing their own power limitations, the anti Syria camp realized they cannot stand up to Syria alone. So they turned around and decided that Syria must be engaged again since they are the only ones that can maintain balance in Lebanon. The Druze and the Sunnis camps have made their peace with Syria, basically paving the road for Syria’s involvement in internal Lebanese politics once again.

Giyus.org: Syria is also bordering Turkey – how would you describe the relations between these two countries?

Professor Zisser:  Syria and Turkey enjoy close relations these days. They have strong economic ties and Turkish PM Erdoğan is a close ally. This was not always the case. In the past Syria and Turkey were enemies and Syria supported the Kurds anti Turkey terror activities. Since Syria stopped supporting the Kurds, the relations with Turkey have greatly improved. The recent Islamization process which Turkey is going through has also brought the two countries closer.

Giyus.org: Can you describe the daily life of the people in Syria?

Professor Zisser:  Syria is a totalitarian regime which is becoming more aggressive over the years. The hopes that Bashar al Assad, as a young leader, would bring about change have faded.

In the Middle East, before you seek the right to speak your mind, you seek the right to walk safely in your street. Take a look at Iraq, at Lebanon, personal safety is not granted. The people in Syria know very well where they live and realizing the alternative is chaos, therefore they stick with their dictator regime to gain stability and safety. It’s a choice between two evils – a tyrant regime or chaos in the streets.

Giyus.org: What keeps Assad’s regime in power? Why doesn’t it collapse like the Soviet Union?

Professor Zisser:  There is no real opposition to the Assad regime. Most people are very passive and there are no demonstrations against the ruling party. Assad power base relies on this passiveness and the fact that it brings stability. Of course the security forces play an important role as well.

Assad’s anti Western and anti Israel rhetoric is also very popular in the Syrian street. This unites the people in Syria against Israel and the West further strengthening Assad’s control.

From an economic perspective things have been rather good so again no cause for people to make a change.

This is an ethnic family based regime, similar in concept to the regime of Castro in Cuba or North Korea.

Other than Israel, there are no democracies in the Middle East – it’s all dictatorships which last a long time. The only dictator that lost power is Saddam Hussien and if September 11th attacks didn’t happen Saddam would probably still rule over Iraq.

Assad keeps a tight ship, and Syria has been stable throughout the years. While so many changes have happened in Israel or the US, Syria has shown remarkable stability and this stability is at the base of their power.

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Another report from behind closed doors in Iran provides further insight on how internal pressures continue to be more strongly felt (and feared) by the regime than we may currently realize.

Here also in its entirety is IsraeliGirl’s message:

Green_Arch Staple prices rise in Iran and the regime cracks up on opposition

Things in Iran have been difficult enough. But as sanctions bite, the regime is now forced to raise prices on basic staples. As the regime is well aware, the most potent challenge to Iran’s ruling system may be as simple as a shopping list.

Iranians – both rich and poor – have long benefited from blanket subsidies on natural gas, electricity, petrol, water and many staple foods. As sanctions target Iran’s limited refining capabilities, Iran was recently forced to import refined fuel, despite owning one of the world’s biggest oil reserves. As a result most drivers expect a rise of 400% in gasoline prices creating immense pressure at petrol stations across the country.

In the food department, bread prices are up more than fivefold, cooking oil more than double, cuts of lamb about triple from last year.

Price supports have long buoyed Iranians, with average households receiving $4,000 worth of fuel and electricity payments a year. Taking these benefits away can shake up the regime’s stronghold significantly.

Although the government promised payout to low income families to soften the impact of higher prices, Ahmadinejad threatens that any problems will be the fault of criminals and “economic seditionists” – the government’s opponents at home and abroad who want to bring him down.

In anticipation of unrest and protests, the Iranian regime has cranked up the pressure on human rights activists, political activists, students and leaders of the Green Movement.

This week, the Iranian regime arrested a large number of students and journalists, blocked websites (including the website of former president Mohammad Khatami, one of the leaders of the Green Movement), attempted to prevent meetings between the heads of the Green Movement and increased security measures in the streets of Tehran and other cities in preparation for the planned government subsidy reforms.

Giyus.org have learned increased measures have been taken against lawyers, specifically those representing political and human rights activists, student activists, foreign nationals detained in Iran, and juveniles sentenced to death.

The sad case of Nasrin Sotoudeh is a good example – the human rights lawyer was arrested on Sep. 4th. Sotoudeh, who was the attorney for Nobel Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, represents human rights activists and juveniles facing the death penalty. Since her arrest, Sotoudeh has been held in solitary confinement and for some time has not been allowed family visits.

She faces charges of "acting against national security" and “congregation and collusion with intent to disrupt national security.”

The systematic actions of the Iranian regime against lawyers are in flagrant violation of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, which state that lawyers should be allowed to practice “without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference” and should be accorded freedom of speech.

So as the regime goes ahead with its economic plan the Iranian people will pay the price for the atrocities of the Ayatollahs or as Ahmadinejad recently warned:

“You have only one option: That’s recognizing the right and greatness of the Iranian nation,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said in a speech broadcast live on state television. “Should you choose this path, nations may forgive you … but if you want to continue the previous path of arrogance … these people (the Iranian nation) will pursue you until you end up in hell.”

Let’s hope the people in Iran will find the strength to take back their country.

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Love-hate triangle: Syria, Iran, & Lebanon

Is Lebanon about ready to collapse? Awaiting the outcome of the tribunal examining the 2005 assassination of then Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri, some observers see a potential conflagration in that country if Hezbollah feels they’ve been put on the spot by being held responsible for the murder. Will Hezbollah use the occasion to assert complete control of the state? Will Syria take occasion to reassert the control it had largely relinquished the year of the assassination? Syrian dictator Bashar Assad is reported to have recently made aggressive statements to that effect. And what about Iran?

In case no one has noticed, I have used this blog more as a soap box than a platform for in-depth analysis, but sometimes that’s just not enough. I thank blogger IsraeliGirl for publishing an interview a couple of weeks ago with Lebanon expert Dr. Omri Nir of Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University and Ben Gurion University. As you might surmise, the interview covers the landscape in considerably greater detail than I am able to here. If I would dare begin to summarize Dr. Nir, I might say something about Iran having created Hezbollah nearly thirty years ago to serve a relatively straightforward purpose (to export the Islamic revolution to Lebanon), but that since that time Hezbollah has morphed into a hybrid creature, partly its own, partly Iran’s, partly Lebanon’s and maybe partly Syria’s, but not really anybody’s. Armed and aimless, and all the more dangerous. And unpredictable.

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While we’re discussing Iran, we have to wonder how it can think it has the energy to run matters in Lebanon or anywhere else when it is having to batten down the hatches at home. The West is well aware of the pressures from within forced by the street revolts following the 2009 elections; we might not be so well acquainted with the troubles Iran faces from internal jihad. (Yes, Virginia, there are Islamists who do not feel that the Islamic Republic is Islamist enough. It’s never enough for these folks. There were also published reports recently of a “terrorist attack” at an important Iranian missle base. Evidence suggests that it was not a terrorist attack at all—that Iran’s claim is merely an attempt to deflect attention from what may be the real cause of the blasts, like, say, maybe an Israeli sabotage hit. We won’t go there.)

But it’s apparently worse than that. The latest reports indicate that Iran feels it necessary to take aggressive action against the threats posed by such horrible things as the university-level study of law, management and human rights, not to mention the arts, cinema, music and books. It’s that bad. Read the details in IsraeliGirl’s report on the subject. “If a regime change will happen in Iran it will come from within,” she says. Or, if I may say, by books not bombs. If Stuxnet doesn’t do it, maybe social studies will.

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Bushher_gets_loaded_maybe_RS All right, since I brought up Stuxnet – a report two days ago indicated Iran’s scientists have fixed the problem and have begun loading the Bushehr reactor. I’m still not so sure. I mean, if it really was Israeli cyber sabotage, I suspect it won’t be that easy to stop them. Then again, while all fingers were pointing at Israel, Israel was saying, “Who, me?” As I keep saying, we’ll see.

See you around,

lineman

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Obama’s Unofficial In-house Jihadist

Well, he’s not unofficial as far as high ranking, uh, officials in the Obama administration go – it’s just that he’s not officially the White House jihadist yet; give it a few days.

Cropped for LM brennan_from_fox I’m talking of course about the top counterterrorism official in the White House, John Brennan. According to this NY Times article his official designation is “assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism,” but that was apparently just something they came up with to get around the need for Senate confirmation. (If you’re wondering why, keep reading.) I think maybe we should just call him “terrorism czar;” it’s an easier handle to use, and more descriptive of his actual function within the administration.

4LM_Final_day_of_the_war_sees_Katyusha_rockets_in_Haifa So anyway, whatever we should call him, Brennan first came to my attention as having said last week, basically, that Hezbollah is not really such a bad bunch, after all. That we should be paying less attention to the admitted terrorists dominating the organization, and begin reaching out to the “moderates.” As many have pointed out since that statement, Hezbollah is an organization dedicated to the complete destruction of Israel (and anyone else who gets in its way), by means of terror, aggressive military action, mass extermination of civilian populations, or whatever else seems handy at the moment, and saying that the group contains moderates is, well, to put it mildly, an oxymoron of the highest caliber. And to say we should be “reaching out” a hand to them is to say we really would like to be left with a bloody stump, or probably worse.

Ok, we could at this point give the man the benefit of the doubt and just say he’s an idiot (don’t bother asking why an idiot is occupying a top level position in the Obama administration – that’s another topic), but he’s not stopping there. A few days after the news of his fondness for the Hezzies came out, it also came to light that he thinks of Jerusalem not as Jerusalem, but as Al-Quds. For those of you who don’t follow such matters (and perhaps I should begin to wonder why I do), Al-Quds is the Arabic name for the capital of Israel, and as one observer put it,

No one refers to Jerusalem in the English language as Al-Quds, unless they have a specific political, anti-Israel agenda – in this case, pandering to Israel’s enemies, who will draw comfort from the use of the term Al-Quds by a senior U.S. government official.

Or, simply, whether one uses “Jerusalem” or “Al-Quds” is simply a matter of preference and loyalty, not stupidity.

So now, if we haven’t yet caught on, we should be really wondering where this guy’s loyalties lie, and whether he might perhaps be dangerous to not only Israel, but to the US as well. Well wonder no more! His latest revelation is that jihad is not actually a program of ongoing warfare against western society, but sort of a self-improvement program for Muslims. What a lovely thought! Now we can relax all of our defenses and welcome Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, and all these other armed to the teeth hell-bent on destruction self-help groups to come help themselves to ourselves and everything we have or stand for. Maybe we can even invite them to a guest appearance on Oprah before they behead us.

In case you’re wondering if maybe Brennan has a point there, here is what the Quran itself has to say on the matter:

The hadiths of Bukhari and Muslim contain entire books on jihad, and the Qur’an is littered with verses devoted to it. It’s not a pretty sight. The first verse of the Qur’an that deals with jihad is 002.190, for which the Qur’an translated by Al-Hilali and Khan provides the following footnote:

Al-Jihâd (holy fighting) in Allâh’s Cause (with full force of numbers and weaponry) is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its pillars (on which it stands). By Jihâd Islam is established, Allâh’s Word is made superior (His Word being Lâ ilaha illallâh which means none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh), and His religion (Islam) is propagated. By abandoning Jihâd (may Allâh protect us from that) Islam is destroyed and the Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honor is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihâd is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim, and he who tries to escape from this duty, or does not in his innermost heart wish to fulfill this duty, dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite.

(Many thanks to Droog’s Concise Guide to Islam for that brief but authoritative description!)

4LM from NYT John Brennan, the top White House counterterrorism adviser meeting with Obama in May. So we really should not be wondering at this point which side Brennan is on. I think it is not stretching the point at all to refer to him as the unofficial jihadist for the White House. (Or as one eloquent tweeter put it, Ambassador for Al Qaeda to the United States.) And as I said at the start of this post, give it a few days & maybe it will become official.

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Yes, we had no 140s…

…yesterday, that is. And just a few today. All three items that I have for you this evening come by way of Unity Coalition for Israel, an excellent source for news having to do with Israel and the Middle East from a perspective I unabashedly share.

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Some information I have not seen elsewhere concerns Washington, D.C. based Saudi reformer and director of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ali Alyami. He is quoted as saying

ali-Aliyami "Democratizing Saudi Arabia is the key to democratizing all Arabs and Muslims. The best, easiest, cheapest and quickest way to achieve this formidable undertaking is to empower Saudi women who are already in the forefront in challenging their ferocious political, religious, economic, social and educational environment. Due to Saudi Arabia’s centrality to Islam and its possession of the largest known oil reserves, Saudi Arabia plays a major religious and economic role in the lives of both Muslims and non-Muslims. Empowering Saudi women will resonate throughout Arab and Muslim societies."

Kind of radical, isn’t it? But not in the usual way we think of when we put “Muslim” and “radical” in the same sentence. We need to remind ourselves now and then that, while Islamism in the radical sense is indeed an enemy of civilization, that does not mean that we ought to pre-judge all – or even the majority of – Muslims. Turn here for the rest of the commentary by Phyllis Chesler of PajamasMedia.

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By the same token, we need not swing the opposite direction and say, ‘Oh, poor misjudged Muslims.’ We must, if only for the sake of our own survival, be observant and ready to speak when we see a danger that others may not see. One dangerous situation I had not known of involves the takeover of the British underworld by Muslim gangs since 9-11, at least according to this article from The Sun via UCI. The key phrase that jumped out at me here was the quote, "The reality is that Asian gangs don’t give much of toss about religion, but with Islam comes fear, and with fear comes power.”

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One more thing, which I touched on earlier, is with regard to the national enemies of Israel (Muslim or otherwise) having a problem with Israel defending itself without waiting for an invasion from the outside. (In particular with reference to the assassination in Dubai last month of self-confessed murderer Mahmoud Mabhouh, which we are still not saying was done by Mossad – but we don’t know that it wasn’t.)  UCI passes along this comment from Guy Bechor of Ynet:

“We are currently facing an odd situation the likes of which we have not seen for many years: Israel’s enemies are in panic, or is it paranoia, for fear that Israel will be attacking them.” Hezbollah is convinced that it will suffer a blow at any moment, Hamas is still licking its wounds, Syria is concerned, and Iran’s foreign minister already declared that Israel is a "nation of crazy people" with "mad leaders" who may launch a strike.

Meanwhile, the frightened Lebanese turned to the UN, to UNIFIL, and to French President Sarkozy and asked for France’s protection against the "terrible" Israel. However, the French announced that as long as Hezbollah is armed, they will only ask Israel to refrain from destroying Lebanon’s civilian infrastructures and no more than that. All this was published by the Arab media.

On the other hand, our borders are quieter than they have been in many years.

So how do we explain this bizarre Middle Eastern paranoia? The IDF is training today as it has not done in dozens of years. Every day, from morning till night: Tanks, airplanes, helicopters, live-fire drills and soldiers running around. The Lebanese watch this from across the border, as do the Syrians, and they are becoming anxious: What are the Israelis plotting over there? Is there something we don’t know?

The Israeli restlessness prompts anxiety among our enemies, and this is good, of course. It’s called deterrence

You don’t say?

See y’all in a day or few.

lineman

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“I know you have the videos proving we did it, but that doesn’t mean we did it.”

Huh!? Run that run by me again?

Picture Credit Michael Freund

Southern Lebanon was rocked by an explosion Monday  which appears to have  killed at least five Hezbollah terrorists.  Hostile activity?  No.  It looks like they blew themselves up while attempting to hide rockets intended for use against Israel.  Again.  I mean, blew themselves up again.  This was the second time this year.  Lebanese officials and Hezbollah claim it was "a garage accident"  (gee, oops – sorry!), but the Israeli Defense Forces released a video (watch it here) showing Hezbollah operatives loading weapons from the “garage” onto a transport truck.  Try not to do things like that under the IDF’s noses, fellas; you know they’re watching you.

So what it boils down to is that Hezbollah was secretly moving some weaponry around – weaponry they aren’t allowed to have under the cease fire agreement negotiated through the United Nations to end of the Second Lebanon War – and, in magnificent gang-who-couldn’t-shoot-straight flair, dropped the, uh, ball, and blew themselves up.  Yep, garage accident, that’s what it was.

OK, but the reason I’m writing this post today is that when confronted with the video evidence Hezbollah said that the evidence is wrong.  Well, they’re not saying the evidence was falsified or anything, but that the map is wrong. That is, the incident didn’t take place where it did.  The map is lying, you see.  The Litani River isn’t where it is.  Oh, and it was really Israel’s fault. The explosion was actually from an Israeli shell left over from the war.  A shell that had been sitting there for three years, not noticed, obviously, until the Hezbollah stalwarts were doing, uh, they were doing stuff in their “garage,” and, well, uh, this shell just blew up, you see.

No, frankly, my dear, I don’t see.  I don’t have a clue as to how you guys can get away with such bull. Maps lie? Hey, Nasr, maps don’t do anything, they are just tools, like anything else. And the Litani didn’t move over 10 miles just because you say so.

It would be really easy for me to say right now that y’all are just bald-faced lying.  But maybe you’re just nuts. Naw – you’re lying.

Now, please, dear world, try not to swallow everything they dish up. It only encourages them. And we don’t want them to blow themselves up any more than they have already, do we?

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The Web 2.0 War is Winnable

Jewish Internet Defense Force, 1; Hizbullah, 0

Screenshot of Nasrallahs Facebook page, courtesy JIDF

Screenshot of Nasrallah's Facebook page, courtesy JIDF

Just in time to begin talking about a few things in the news, and what sort of difference bloggers like you and me can make in national matters, we get this encouraging news from the Jerusalem Post, July 29: Social media users successfully face down Nasrallah on Facebook.

It appears that somebody got Nasrallah fired from Facebook. Not that the poor guy was ever qualified for the job in the first place. But somebody had to point that out. And somebody did. Yes, it is possible to make an impact with keyboard and mouse. One wonders what will happen next.

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