Quick Roundup 82

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Fire Condoleeza Rice

When Condi Rice first replaced Colin Powell, I thought we'd start seeing the State Department begin to act to further American interests for a change. Instead, things looked pretty much the same there until recently, when all it took for Rice to capitulate in Lebanon was for her to see a few of the inevitable images of war casualties. Robert Tracinski says what needs saying:

This has already been ruthlessly dissected by many American and Israeli commentators. See, for example, an excellent editorial in Monday's Washington Times on Hezbollah's use of "human shields," which includes a link to photos of Hezbollah guns and missile launchers positioned in residential apartment blocks. Even better, a hard-hitting column in an Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, quotes an Israeli paratrooper who sums up Hezbollah's tactics: "They are a lousy army. They only win when they hide behind baby carriages."

Both of these articles identify the proper response: point out that Hezbollah is responsible for all civilian casualties in this war, and refuse to allow those casualties to hobble the war effort. Stop rewarding Hezbollah for using civilians as human shields.

Instead, faced with a gory new story about civilian casualties, our own Secretary of State panicked and pressured Israel to agree to a mini-cease-fire, suspending its air war for 48 hours (which Israel, thankfully, did not fully do). According to the New York Times when Condoleezza Rice heard about a new group of Lebanese civilians killed in an Israeli airstrike--with images of the corpses splashed across TV screens in Lebanon and across the Arab world--she "appeared shaken." She then immediately pushed for the Israeli cessation, while "American officials scrambled to try to counter the wrenching TV scenes of the devastation at Qana."

Secretary Rice has [sic] a reputation as an intelligent, hard-charging woman who doesn't scare easily. Over the past few months, she has blown that reputation, caving in to Iran and its European sympathizers--and now allowing herself to be panicked into appeasement by predictable images of Lebanese civilian casualties. The Iranians have not been playing a sophisticated diplomatic game--yet they have consistently outplayed Secretary Rice. [bold added]
While Tracinski does not actually call for the firing of Rice, I am very glad he brought up the idea.

Geneva Violation!!!! (Where's the Left?)

As an aside, further evidence of Hezbollah's barbaric war tactics came up yesterday in the comments to another post. First, the Software Nerd points to a video (and below) of UN "Ambulances" being used as troop transports by Hezbollah. Second is this news story, which I encountered via The Drudge Report, concerning Hezbollah missile attacks by non-uniformed personnel from suburban areas.

Oddly enough, I have yet to hear of any protests from the left over such plain violations of the same Geneva Conventions they so merrily trotted out when Korans were alleged to have suffered from "maltreatment" at Gitmo. In case they've forgotten:
In order for the distinction between combatants and civilians to be clear, combatants must wear uniforms and carry their weapons openly during military operations and during preparation for them.

The exceptions are medical and religious personnel, who are considered non-combatants even though they may wear uniforms. Medical personnel may also carry small arms to use in self-defense if illegally attacked.

The other exception are mercenaries, who are specifically excluded from protections. Mercenaries are defined as soldiers who are not nationals of any of the parties to the conflict and are paid more than the local soldiers.

Combatants who deliberately violate the rules about maintaining a clear separation between combatant and noncombatant groups -- and thus endanger the civilian population -- are no longer protected by the Geneva Convention. [bold added]
Oh! But that's the same thing many (if not all) of the the terrorists at Gitmo did: Not wear uniforms during combat. No wonder the left ignores such silly details. They'd feel less self-righteous.

(And oh by the way: Get a load of how the Koranimals act in Gitmo.)

Hitchens on Yellowcake

Today, I was going to basically link-dump a bunch of things I encountered and haven't had time to blog. There'd be more, but for a browser crash (Oof!) while my wife was checking her email. In any event, I ran into this Christopher Hitchens piece a few days ago, "Case Closed: The Truth About the Iraqi-Niger 'Yellowcake' Nexus".

While I disagree that Iraq was the right place to start fighting back against the Islamic Axis, I do think we had the right to invade at any time and that this right did not depend, as President Bush made it seem at the time, upon Iraq's intent to build a bomb.

Nevertheless, Hitchens does a very important service in demolishing the left's attack upon this reasonable intelligence estimate.
To summarize, then: In February 1999 one of Saddam Hussein's chief nuclear goons paid a visit to Niger, but his identity was not noticed by Joseph Wilson, nor emphasized in his "report" to the CIA, nor mentioned at all in his later memoir. British intelligence picked up the news of the Zahawie visit from French and Italian sources and passed it on to Washington. Zahawie's denials of any background or knowledge, in respect of nuclear matters, are plainly laughable based on his past record, and he is still taken seriously enough as an expert on such matters to be invited (as part of a Jordanian delegation) to Hans Blix's commission on WMD. Two very senior and experienced diplomats in the field of WMDs and disarmament, both of them from countries by no means aligned with the Bush administration, have been kind enough to share with me their disquiet at his activities. What responsible American administration could possibly have viewed any of this with indifference?
Remember this the next time the left cries wolf by accusing an American administration of crying wolf.... Hitchens links to his past pieces on this story at the end of his article.

Question #1: Will Mel Gibson be crucified in court ...

... or will he rise from the dead? The man is doing his best to make Trey Parker and Matt Stone look like documentarians.

Question #2: Which of the above is your favorite image of Mel Gibson?

(Brought to you a day late, courtesy of Blogger.)

-- CAV


Apollo said...

"They are a lousy army. They only win when they hide behind baby carriages."

Id have to say I disagree that they are a lousy army, if I were Hezbollah Id do the same thing. Read those sentences again, slowly; he admits that they win, that’s why they do it.

Hezbollah has a clear view of their entire strategic situation; they know that when Israel accidentally kills civilians because of what they do, it’s Israel that will pay the price. And I think that we all have to admit that nothing is going to change that.

Another thing, Israel SHOULD suspend the air campaign for one simple reason, it doesn’t work. When has air power ever won against a 4GW entity?

According to some strategists, “Over-emphasis on air power, in contexts under which air power has typically failed”, is a “classic sign” of military defeat.

If Israel is just going to wage a limited air war against Hezbollah instead of going “all out” against them, then it shouldn’t fire a single shot and just declare defeat.

”Israeli high command continues to express its faith in the foxfire of air power to destroy Hezbollah, but, as always, it’s not working. Lebanon is taking a pounding, to be sure, but Lebanon is not Hezbollah. Slowly, reluctantly, Israel is edging toward a ground invasion of Lebanon, for which Hezbollah devoutly prays.”

The Lebanese people and government let Hezbollah exist yet Israel doesn’t call them the enemy, why is that? Israel better quickly designate who its enemies are, Is Lebanon’s government (the same government who doesn’t do anything to stop Hezbollah and lets them operate in their border) Israel’s enemy? Are the Lebanese people (the same people who get more and more behind Hezbollah eveytime Israel accidentally kills civilians) Israel’s enemy.

As long as Israel doesn’t call Lebanon the aggressor and their enemy, Lebanon will continue to be seen as the “innocent” victim caught in between the fighting between the two supposedly morally equal armies (Hezbollah and the IDF).

If Israel does choose to go to war, it better fight to win as fast as possible. And not engage in a long drawn out bombing campaign like it’s doing now; that just degrades their strategic situation with ought accomplishing anything.

By the way, from what I know Hezbollah seems to be pretty good at waging war, so don’t count them out because they lack technology.

“They’re not fighting like we thought they would,” one soldier said. “They’re fighting harder. They’re good on their own ground….”
“It will take the summer to beat them,” said (Israeli soldier) Michael Sidorenko….
“They’re guerrillas. They’re very smart.”

William S. Lind a military theorist says,

"“Guerrillas” may not be exactly the right term here. As best I can determine ,………, Hezbollah thus far seems to be waging a conventional light infantry fight for Maroun al-Ras. The line between guerrilla and light infantry tactics is thin, but Hezbollah seems to be putting up a determined fight for a piece of terrain, which guerrillas usually don’t do, because they can’t. The fact that Hezbollah can points to how far this 4GW entity has evolved."

Gus Van Horn said...


Hezbollah's advantage and Israel'srefusal to name Lebanon as an enemy are, of course, one and the same.

I don't completely dismiss air strikes (Not that you did.), provided they are used to soften up an enemy in preparation for a ground invasion.

Thanks for the links. They do look interesting, but it will be some time before I get to them.


Apollo said...

I would just like to say that I dont agree with eveything in those articles, but I do agree with some. "Real-Politik" just ain't my thing.