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Tuesday, October 31, 2006
What the...?! Even though Hamas is bad, we shouldn't be backing proven murderers and vicious terrorists! This world is going mad!
U.S. preparing Abbas guard to take on Hamas
The Bush administration has undertaken efforts to arm and train the Presidential Guard of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in order to prepare it for a potential violent confrontation with Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip.
According to information received in Jerusalem, the American security coordinator in the territories, General Keith Dayton, appeared before representatives of the Quartet in London last week and presented them with a program for bolstering the Palestinian presidential guard. The program calls for Egyptian, British and perhaps even Jordanian instructors to train the force loyal to Abbas.
However, Palestinian sources say that the training of a "Special Presidential Guard" started already a month ago, under the guidance of an American military instructor.
The training is taking place in Jericho, at a compound near the InterContinental Hotel, and involves men from Force 17, an elite Fatah force traditionally assigned the protection of the Palestinian Authority Chairman.
According to reports, 400 Force 17 troops have been involved in the training since August.
The Palestinian Authority Chairman's office has recently barred the access of reporters to the compound.
Palestinian sources say that the training program is part of Dayton's recommended initiative for the reinforcement of Abbas' forces, and which involves the transfer of $2 million to set up the necessary training
According to foreign press reports, the United States would like to see the number of men in Force 17 grow from approximately 3,500 to 6,000. Conscripts in the force range from 18 to 22, and undergo basic training for three months. Some are then selected for the Presidential Guard.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Great resource for mapping terrorism worldwide:
Via Pajamas Media:
October 30, 2006 1:00 PM
The MIPT Terrorism database has an interactive map that lets the reader examine terrorist incidents all around the world. Overlays are customizable and incidents can be viewed in different ways. Reader challenge: what is the difference in terrorist incidence between Afghanistan and Pakistan? Use the map and find out.
Thankfully, no one was hurt.
Via Israel Matzav: Kassam rocket just misses 'strategic facility'
Palestinian terrorists fired a Kassam rocket fired from the Northern Gaza Strip this morning that just missed a 'strategic facility' in Ashkelon. YNet reports that the rocket landed in a field just south of the facility and that there was 'slight damage' to the site. The few employees who were present at the site at the time fled to secure areas before the rocket hit.
There are three strategic facilities in Ashkelon:# The Rotenberg Power Plant, Israel's second-largest generating station which supplies an estimated quarter of the country's needs.Unlike Sderot, where Kassams fall daily, Ashkelon has been quiet of late due to intensified IDF activity that has prevented Kassams from being shot from the relevant area of the Northern Gaza Strip.
# The Ashkelon Seawater Reverse Osmosis Plant, the largest desalination plant of its kind in the world. Launched last August (2005), the facility is ramping up to provide an annual flow of 100 million cubic litres of water, an estimated 15 per cent of domestic demand.
# The Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company, which controls three oil pipelines reaching to the port cities of Eilat, Ashdod and Haifa.
Major Terror Attack Stopped in Israel
A group of humiliated, oppressed Palestinians was caught Sunday evening, on their way to commit another mass murder in Israel: 5 terror suspects caught in Wadi Ara. (Hat tip: Joel.)
A major terror plot was thwarted after security forces spent hours conducting car-to-car searches for a bomber over scores of kilometers of highway between Caesarea and Wadi Ara on Sunday evening.
Traffic was jammed all along the major traffic artery after almost six hours of closures and searches.
The police finally reported that they had arrested five suspects, four Palestinians and one Israeli Arab, and discovered a car carrying explosives. Police safely detonated the explosives in the car. Security concerns prevented the police from releasing any further details about the plot or the suspects.
In the early afternoon, security forces received firm intelligence that a terrorist had reached the area en route to carrying out an attack. Most of the residents of Wadi Ara are Israeli Arabs, and it adjoins the Menashe region of Samaria. Its proximity to the West Bank and demographic makeup make it relatively easy for a terrorist to infiltrate and reach nearby cities.
Friday, October 27, 2006
You may have heard of the help Hezbollah is receiving from Iran and Russia. Here are some pictures of a central Hezbollah intelligence office captured by Israel in Southern Lebanon. It is amazing what Hezbollah has and what their capabilities are. It sure looks like they have had (and currently have) active help from Iran, and I also believe from the Russians. (hat tip: Northeast Intelligence Network)
1. Mobile observation stands, attached to batteries, located in a house in the village of Mis A'Jabal.
2. Hizballah signal intercept station used to monitor and record IDF communications.
3. Real-time analysis center monitoring strategic vantage points.
4. Hezbollah aerial map of the northern border with marked IDF positions (or deployment of IDF forces).
The creative genius of Dilbert, Scott Adams talks about his fight with Spasmodic Dysphonia, where the brain turns off normal speech - he couldn't talk normally for 18 months. He is an optimist, and continued the fight...
The Dilbert Blog: Good News Day
Charles at LGF reminds us of what liberalism accomplishes when left unchecked. Child murderers become freedom fighters, and anti-semitism is "education". God save us from ourselves.
UC Irvine: "One Person’s Hate Speech is Another Person’s Education"
The University of California Irvine has been the subject of many posts at LGF, because the school plays host to one of the most unabashedly radical Muslim Student Union groups in the US. And now the anti-Jewish incitement has reached such a fever pitch that on the weekend of October 8, a student housing building was defaced with swastikas.
What? You didn’t hear about it on the news? Apparently, deranged expressions of antisemitism on California campuses are not really news any more.
In response to this event, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Manuel Gomez held a meeting and demonstrated exactly why UC Irvine has degenerated into a pit of hatred:
Some of the Jewish students at the meeting revealed that they and others had been subject to verbal and physical intimidation at the hands of MSU members, and that they had previously reported these claims to campus security. In light of this, some students asked that Drake place restrictions on where MSU events are held, saying that if their events were held in classrooms as opposed to public spaces, their effect would not be as broad. However, Chancellor Drake told Jewish students at the meeting that he cannot restrict any club, that it would be “violation of law to prohibit certain speech.” Gomez emphasized that though hate speech may be present, he would not seek to curtail it, as “one person’s hate speech is another person’s education.”
Omri Ceren has more details on this appalling story: More Nazi Imagery on UC Irvine’s Campus.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
The future is coming, and it's not looking very pretty.
Via Winds of Change.NET:
by Joe Katzman at October 25, 2006 7:46 PM
Bret Stephens analyzes the four-corner friction in Gaza (Hamas/Iran/Syria, Fatah, Egypt, Israel), that looks likely to herald a full scale clash before long. The only question is who will be participating.
I will note here that those who predicted the emergence of Gaza as a terrorist fortress following Israeli withdrawal have been proven correct. How the coming drama unfolds, and finishes, will determine whether the pullout turns out to be a wise strategy, or a costly mistake. Those looking for the best available summary of Israel's plan can find it here. At the same time, one is reminded that nothing ever goes 100% to plan when dealing with human beings.
The Syrian Clapping Brigade may appear fearsome, but it's the rest of the Syrian army that should be watched closely.
Via Yoni the Blogger:
Report: Syria ups military alert level
Oct. 25, 2006 11:23 | Updated Oct. 25, 2006 17:03
Report: Syria ups military alert level
By JPOST.COM STAFF
The Syrian Defense Minister has raised the army's alert level following IDF training exercises in the Golan Heights on Monday.
According to a report published on Wednesday in the Qatari newspaper, Al-Watan, Damascus became worried after IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz visited the area as part of a surprise inspection.
# What was behind Halutz's surprise visit to the Golan?
The report also stated that the Syrians were concerned about the addition of the right-wing Israel Beiteinu party to the government coalition.
Halutz made a surprise visit to the 36th Division in the Golan Heights Monday morning as part of a comprehensive inspection to be conducted throughout the week.
Some 60 officers and military staff members who accompanied Halutz will be evaluating the level of readiness and fitness in the division and its units.
Via Yoni the Blogger:
Expert: Prepare for war
Middle East experts give their forecasts for the coming months in the region, warn of 'terrible deterioration' on Israel's northern border
Published: 10.25.06, 18:28
The coming months will present Israel with strategic threats from three different directions, Dr. Boaz Ganor, founder of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism told Ynetnews.
The first threat, stemming from the Shiite alliance of Iran and Hizbullah, will result in "terrible deterioration" on Israel's northern border, according to Ganor.
"The year 2007 is going to be a critical year, as the international arena will do its utmost to narrow down the nuclear capabilities of Iran. It could be done by using more affirmative sanctions, or even a military campaign," Ganor said. "And the ramification of such an attempt, even if it's only sanctions, will cause a terrible deterioration of the situation on the northern border, where Iran will use its proxy Hizbullah to retaliate against Israel, and make clear that Israel has to pay for any activities against Iran," Ganor added.
Turning to the Palestinian arena, Ganor said that "the Palestinians are now at the stage of shaping their self-identities," a process he described as ultimately "positive." They are torn between "terrorism and violence against Israel, definitely the concept used by Yasser Arafat under the Oslo accords," as well as today's "Islamic radical terrorist organizations," and the "alternative option, which is actually being represented by (PA President Mahmoud Abbas) Abu Mazen," based on the idea that "terrorism and violence will never fulfill the Palestinian national interest."
"The problem is that this is not a smooth process. It involves battles within the Palestinian arena. And I think in the coming months this may spill over into Israel," Ganor said.
Ganor then pointed out the "third process, which I have to admit that many Israelis, including decision makers and security services in Israel underestimate, is the threat of global jihadists against Israel," posed by al-Qaeda and its affiliates.
"In my view, in the coming months, global jihadists will try to launch what we call a major attack against Israel. Zawahiri (deputy leader of al-Qaeda) has announced that. I tend to believe him. The activities of al-Qaeda and global jihadist movements are surrounding Israel, from Sinai, Amman, Jordan, some involvement in Lebanon, and ongoing and growing involvement in Gaza Strip. And it's only a matter of time before they infiltrate Israel soon. So this is in my view a very negative process and I have to admit that… we are under-prepared," Ganor added.
'Very little time until next war'
In a document made available to Ynetnews by Professor Moshe Sharon, an expert on Islamic history at the Hebrew University, Sharon declared that the next war Israel would have to fight was almost here.
"Today it is clear to everyone who is prepared to confront unadorned reality, and they are the majority of people in Israeli society with the wish to live, that we have to take advantage of the short period of time left to us to prepare the army for the inevitable next war. It is already on the way," Sharon wrote.
He added: "Hizbullah is the immediate enemy. No one will disarm it because it has no intention of disarming and there is no one to coerce it to do so. The UN is collaborating with Hizbullah and none of its member nations has any interest in dealing with it."
"The Shiite of Hizbullah has taken control of Lebanon with the generous help of Iran and Syria and it will not relinquish it even if this means bringing about its total destruction. Lebanon will gradually be emptied of its remaining Christian population and zealous Islam will have achieved an important objective: One of the only two non-Muslim countries in the Middle East will just disappear," Sharon said.
"Islam came into being as a fighting religion. Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, imposed his authority, first and foremost, by means of his military strength. He understood that even when speaking in the name of Allah, this must be accompanied by tens of thousands of fighters with drawn swords," the professor added.
"The Muslims consider the State of Israel to be an advance position of the "House of War" established on Islamic territory conquered from Islam. Israel, therefore, must first disappear. All paths to that end are legitimate," Sharon said.
Describing peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan as tactical breaks in their war against Israel, Sharon declared: "The Egyptian authorities turn a blind eye, or worse, allow the unimpeded flow of arms, above and below ground, to terrorist organizations in Gaza. Is it necessary to ask, to fight against whom did Egypt create an army of close to a million soldiers?"
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I know most of you readers (ok, both of you: Gil and Mom) [update: and Zwicker :) ] are wondering if the Democrats even have a strategy on how to execute the War on Terror. Suprisingly, they do, and here it is:
Heh, there's more.
DEMOCRATS' WAR ON TERROR STRATEGY FAQ
Q. What is the Democrats' strategy for the War on Terror... I mean, other than raising the minimum wage and other gay things?
A. I'm glad you asked that. Ours is a spectacular strategy designed to strike fear into the hearts of our enemies. Imagine you're a terrorist in Iraq, angry at the world because of the lack of concern of climate change, and you head out to attack the American forces. When you reach their camp, though, you find... nothing!
Q. What? Where did the Americans go?
A. Yes, that's exactly what the terrorist will ask himself. "There were supposed to be Americans here!" he'll say. "But now there is no one! It's like something out of the Twighlight Zone!"
Q. Do they even have Twlighlight Zone reruns in the Middle East?
A. You're missing the point! Think of how devastating it will be to our enemies when they see how we can just disappear at will. They'll fear us like gods!
Q. I dunno. This sounds a lot like a "cut and run" strategy.
A. But it's not! It's a "Ninja Magic" strategy! You know how ninjas can suddenly throw down a smoke bomb and then just vanish? That's what the American military will be like! They'll be just like ninjas, and everyone is scared of ninjas.
Have you gotten on the vlogging scene yet? Well, why not? Are you still sporting that nifty 14.4 baud Packard Bell modem? Well, if you have anything slightly faster, you must visit Hot Air and check out Michelle Malkin's latest Vent, This is CNN.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Via Yoni the Blogger:
2 Qassams hit Sderot; no injuries
2 Qassams hit Sderot; no injuries
Rockets land in open fields; no injuries reported. Army estimates Palestinians responding to Beit Hanoun incident
Published: 10.23.06, 22:07
Two Qassam rockets fired from north Gaza toward Sderot Monday evening landed in open areas in the western Negev city.
No injuries were reported but the Sderot Municipality said several residents suffered from shock. Damage was caused to two vehicles.
The Color Red alert system was activated just before 9:30 p.m., and loud explosions were heard a short time later. The alert level in Sderot has been heightened due to the IDF’s activity in Gaza, and it was estimated that the Palestinians will attempt to respond to the operation in Beit Hanoun, in which seven locals were killed and 30 others were wounded.
Anniversary of Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing
On this day in 1983, 241 American servicemen were murdered in their barracks at the Beirut International Airport, by a suicide truck bomber sent by Iran and Hizballah: 1983 Beirut barracks bombing.
The failure of the United States to strike back for this terrorist attack—and for a long line of previous and subsequent attacks—undoubtedly emboldened our enemies:
President Reagan assembled his national security team and planned to target the Sheik Abdullah barracks in Baalbek, Lebanon, which housed Iranian Revolutionary Guards believed to be training Hezbollah fighters. But Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger aborted the mission, reportedly because of his concerns that it would harm U.S. relations with other Arab nations.
From Hot Air (a great 'vlogging' site):
The numbers are bad — an average of 112 cars torched each day through the first six months of the year — but the anecdotal evidence is worse. Two different cops, two different news articles. Quote:
“The attacks of the last few weeks show (the gangs) are very well prepared and using military-like organization,” said Gaelle James with the Synergie-Officiers police union.
“First, it was a rock here or there. Then it was rocks by the dozen. Now, they’re leading operations of an almost military sort to trap us,” said Loic Lecouplier, a police union official in the Seine-Saint-Denis region north of Paris. “These are acts of war.”
That last link describes an operation where 50 “youths” in masks rushed out from behind trees and stoned a police car, cracking one cop’s face open. Yesterday in Grigny, between 30 and 50 more masked “youths” commandeered a French bus, ordered everyone off, and set it on fire.
When the firefighters showed up to put it out, they stoned them. Among two people arrested: a 13-year-old.
Total number of attacks on police in 2004: 3,842. In 2005: 4,246. Through the first six months of 2006: 2,458. An official from one police union says the “youths” are known to yell “Allah Akbar” while attacking.
Note this, too:
Police unions suspect that the recent attacks may be an attempt to spark new riots.
“We are getting the impression these youths want a ‘remake’ of what happened last year,” said Fred Lagache, national secretary of the Alliance police union. “The youths are trying to cause a police error to justify chaos.”
To counter Dr. Evil's machinations...
Via Defense Tech: Airport Defense: Lasers, Microwaves
Cheap, low-tech, easy-to-use, and utterly lethal, shoulder-fired missiles have become a terrorist weapon of choice, killing more than 640 people in 35 attacks on civilian jets. And so far, countermeasures have proven too finicky and too expensive to widely deploy. So the Department of Homeland Security is trying out instead a pair of new defenses, seemingly straight of science fiction: laser guns and microwave blasters.
Miguel Carrasco's Real World: 10 Biggest Computer Flops of all time
Over the years, computers have changed the way we live today! In order to get us there, many hardware and software companies have pushed the envelope to create what we use today. Although we currently live in an age of amazing hardware and software achievements, these products did not come at no cost. Below is a list of some of the worst flops in computer history.
Via Jihad Watch:
Burka-clad woman unchecked at airport
It could have been Osama bin Laden himself, for all authorities knew or cared. Keystone Kops Alert from Eurabia, via the Copenhagen Post, with thanks to Fjordman:A reporter from daily newspaper B.T. dressed in a burka was able to pass through at Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport without being asked to reveal her face to security personnel.
Burkas are an item of Muslim clothing worn by women and exposing only the hands and eyes of their wearers. B.T.'s female reporter was required only to pull down the outfit's veil past her nose when passing through the security checkpoint.
The reporter flew from Copenhagen to London Stansted airport, where she was required to fully reveal her face to security personnel there - both on the incoming and return flights.
Police acknowledged that the woman should have been checked more thoroughly, but said the incident will not lead to any procedural changes for airport security.
Via Pajamas Media:
Those of an age-challenged persuasion and strangely without any perceptible ethnic or religious affiliation continue to burn vehicles in France. Media the world over throws in the reporting towel and defaults to ‘We don’t know who they are, but they sure are young.’ (Google News)
Friday, October 20, 2006
Rapid Fire, 10/20/06
Thursday, October 19, 2006
NoKo Informs China of Three More Nuke Tests
Here we go again. From the Kyodo News:(Kyodo) _ North Korea has informed China that it is prepared to conduct "as many as three additional tests" following the first nuclear experiment Oct. 9, CNN television reported Wednesday.
Quoting U.S. intelligence analysts and officials, CNN and Fox News said U.S. spy satellites have detected activities which could be preparations for nuclear explosion tests at three North Korean sites.
VDH: Darfur—the Good Iraq:
George Bush would be attacked the minute he put a soldier on the ground by the very humanitarians who are calling him to now act on the implicit premise that since there are no American economic or security interests in Darfur, we therefore should intervene.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
"I will not address sensitive issues, if we will do this or do that, but the Iranians should be afraid," Olmert told reporters following his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov in Moscow.
"The Iranians need to be afraid that something will happen that they do not want to happen to them," Olmert continued.
"We don't have the privilege to allow a situation in which Iran has the capability for unconventional weapons," he said.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Via Pajamas Media:
Via Pajamas Media:
October 16, 2006 8:29 PM
Popular Mechanics (hat tip: Glenn Reynolds) points out that North Korea’s biological and chemical mass casualty weaponry far exceeds the potential of its nuclear arms. “The consensus among weapons inspectors, intelligence analysts, academics and others I have interviewed—–which is backed up by the available open source material—-is that North Korea has developed anthrax, plague and botulism toxin as weapons and has extensively researched at least six other germs including smallpox and typhoid."
Friday, October 13, 2006
Or would you rather talk about the Foley non-scandal, or discuss the latest episode of Lost?
The slaughter goes on unabated in the Darfour region of Sudan. We have a bigger problem in this world than bills, car payments, and teenage smoking. We have many Islamists who want to kill every person who is not like them. They have started and perpetuate a kampf, a jihad, a struggle, to rid the world of undesirables. You and I are among those undesirables, and targets of their murderous rage. We can not fight this danger if we do not see that there is a danger in the first place. And those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
I wonder how hard they are 'battling'
Via Pajamas Media:
Troops battle 10-foot marijuana plants "Canadian troops fighting Taliban militants in
have stumbled across an unexpected and potent enemy -- almost impenetrable forests of 10-feet-high marijuana plants." (Breitbart / Reuters) Afghanistan
Rapid Fire 10/12-13/06
This Rapid Fire includes some articles from yesterday.
- Sweet - Dragon skin for the Army.
- Terror of the Day - Four Kassams In and Near Sderot
- Same old song: "Like an old-fashioned record stuck in a groove, the Security Council's song is "cross the line, negotiate . . . cross the line, negotiate . . . cross the line, negotiate . . ." The most attentive listeners to this song of appeasement are North Korea and Iran." (Marc Shulman @ American Future)
- Proposed resolution is a neutered one: there's no military option, and there's not a significant diplomatico option either. (HotAir)
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Heh. That's the point!
UN: Increase in Israeli checkpoints disruptiveGreat metaphor choice, Jan.
Israel's network of military checkpoints and road barriers in the West Bank has grown by 40 percent in the past year, a UN agency said Wednesday.
These physical obstacles are carving up the West Bank into separate parts, with travel between them becoming more and more difficult, said David Shearer, head of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Jerusalem.
UN officials in Geneva, meanwhile, expressed concern about the ongoing closure of the Gaza Strip, including the crossing between Gaza and Egypt.
"It cannot continue like it is now without a social explosion that will hurt everybody, including Israeli security," said Jan Egeland, the UN humanitarian chief.
In this week-old article, Caroline Glick writes that all signs point to war:
As the storm of war approaches
NoKo Rapid fire 10/11/06
- Not atomic: "A very well-placed government source told me Tuesday afternoon that the North Korean explosion was non-nuclear. The explosion may have been an actual nuclear test — this is unknown — but the source reports the outcome was non-nuclear. The source stressed the importance of bearing in mind that though the explosion occured in North Korea — if it was actually a test and not merely a dictator clamoring for attention and influence — the test may have been by or for the Iranians." (Michael Yon @ The Corner)
- Was North Korea’s Blast a Suitcase Nuke? Not Likely.
As a jittery world fumbles to respond to the North Korean “atomic” test, Pajamas Media’s Washington Editor and terrorism expert Richard Miniter examines a subject not far from everybody’s mind - the suitcase nuclear bomb: “North Korea’s surprisingly small blast – estimated at less than one kiloton – has produced three reactions across the web. It was dud (or misfire), a fake (perhaps using a synchronized detonation of some 800 tons of TNT) or the world’s first suitcase-sized nuclear explosion.
While one of the first two seems most likely, the third possibility is the most frightening… ” (continued)
Would-be bomber killed near Karni
A suicide attack was thwarted Tuesday night after IDF troops shot and killed a Palestinian wearing an explosives belt after he tried to infiltrate into Israel from the Gaza Strip, the army announced Wednesday.
The Palestinian was spotted by soldiers after he tried to enter Israel near the Karni Crossing. He was shot and killed. Soldiers later found his body, strapped with an explosive belt ready to be detonated.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Via Pajamas Media:
Spurred by the three fatal school-killings in the last month, a conference discussing the prevention of violence in schools starts today in Chevy Chase, MD with President and Mrs. Bush in attendence. One of the conference panelists is Craig Scott, brother of Columbine High School shooting victim Rachel Scott. (Rocky Mountain New)
NoKo Nuke Rapid Fire - 10/10/06
Call or bluff? (Confederate Yankee)
Fake, big dud, suitcase bomb or sales demonstration by the Iranians? (Astute Bloggers)
How big of a bang: “You would think that especially for someone with as many insecurity problems as Kim Jong Il, he would want as big a bang as his scientists could make. It isn’t like they were hiding their intentions to detonate a bomb.” (Clayton Cramer)
If it wasn’t a hoax we should perhaps act as if it’s one anyway: “If nothing else, this will annoy the North Koreans. And if the test was real, this mockery will encourage them to set off another nuke to prove us wrong, causing a waste of valuable nuclear material.” (Glenn @ Instapundit)
Monday, October 09, 2006
The Belmont Club: Was North Korea testing a suitcase nuke?
Uhh, I hope not.
Update: Just as an aside, the above post brings previous news stories which put the suitcase nukes at a yield of only 1-kiloton.
Just to put that in perspective, if you would load up four 747's to their gills with TNT (including filling their fuel tanks), then blew that up (~2,000,000 lbs of high explosives), that would be the equivalent to what one guy can carry in a backpack nuke weighing under 100 lbs.
US detects second N Korea 'blast'
US intelligence has detected an explosion of less than one kilotonne in magnitude in North Korea but has not been able to determine whether it was nuclear or not, a senior intelligence official said.
The official, who asked not to be identified, said that first-time nuclear tests historically have been in the several kilotonne range.
“We are aware that there was a sub-kilotonne explosion in North Korea,” said the official. “We have not been able to determine at this point whether it was in fact nuclear.”
Via Counterterrorism Blog:
Stratfor: No "Satisfactory Military Solution" to North Korean Test
Stratfor has issued an important new analysis examining U.S. military options against North Korea. It concludes that "an overt military strike -- even one limited to cruise missiles -- is not in the cards. The consequences of even the most restrained attack could be devastating."
Stratfor points out that North Korea acquired a nuclear capability out of desire for regime preservation. This fact makes any military option perilous because "it is quite conceivable that Kim Jong-Il and his advisors -- or other factions -- might construe even the most limited military strikes against targets directly related to missile development or a nuclear program as an act threatening the regime, and therefore one that necessitates a fierce response." North Korea could retaliate using the 10,000 fortified artillery pieces currently trained on the South Korean capital of Seoul; it also has over 100 No-Dong missiles capable of hitting deep into South Korean territory or else targeting Japan. The artillery alone could be devastating for South Korea. As William C. Triplett II noted in his 2004 book Rogue State, North Korea is capable of firing "between 300,000 and 500,000 artillery shells per hour on the Seoul metropolitan area."
The options for countering this artillery fire, Stratfor notes, are not good. An air campaign aimed at dismantling the artillery would take a long time, and Seoul and the South Korean economy could be severely damaged in the interim. Moving troops into North Korea would be enormously costly: "Fifty years of concerted military fortification would make Hezbollah's preparations in southern Lebanon look like child's play. Moving U.S. and South Korean armor into this defensive belt could break it, but only with substantial casualties and without the certainty of success."
In war game scenarios, the defeat of North Korea requires its army to move into South Korea, where it "would be vulnerable to U.S. and South Korean airstrikes and superior ground maneuver and fire capabilities." But even in that best-case scenario, there are still substantial barriers. The war-gaming has assumed 30 days for the activation and mobilization of U.S. forces for a counterattack, with U.S. and South Korean forces maintaining an elastic defense in the interim. Stratfor notes three problems with this approach:The first is that the elastic strategy would inevitably lead to the fall of Seoul and, if the 1950 model were a guide, a much deeper withdrawal along the Korean Peninsula. Second, the ability of the U.S. Army to deploy substantial forces to Korea within a 30-day window is highly dubious. Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom both required much longer periods of time. Finally, the U.S. Army is already fighting two major ground wars and is stretched to the breaking point. The rotation schedule is now so tight that units are already spending more time in Iraq than they are home between rotations. The idea that the U.S. Army has a multidivisional force available for deployment in South Korea would require a national mobilization not seen since the last Korean War.
The bottom line is that, in Stratfor's words, there doesn't appear to be "a satisfactory military solution."
NoKo Rapid Fire
- Paul Johnson: ‘There arose out of the pit the smoke of a great furnace’
- Natural Family Blog: North Korea Tests Nuclear Bomb (good links)
- Online Book: Nuclear War Survival Skills, by Cresson H. Kearny. (yup, I'm an alarmist)
- Freaky-Deaky Op-Ed by NoKo 'spokesman', three days ago.
The New News Media, Pajamas Media:
North Korean Crisis, 2 (October 9, 2006)-- Bush statement
We've always suspected Noth Korea had the bomb, but there was always some doubt in the back of our minds that Il was just a blustering bully exaggerating his own strength. Well, it turns out he has nukes, and he tested them. There are a ton of links, but all you have to do is go to any news page, and you'll get a lot of info. As always, I recommend LGF for important news stories and insightful comments from people who know a lot more about these things than I do.
Bush will be giving a statement in twenty minutes. (9:45 eastern).
I truly believe this is really, really, bad news. But then again I am a self avowed alarmist. Well, like Andy Grove says, "Only the paranoid survive."
Friday, October 06, 2006
From Defense Tech:
Israeli military chiefs are being taken out to the woodshed for relying on airpower during the summer campaign in Lebanon. "But after-action data and battlefield imagery are revealing great advances in the ability to respond to asymmetric threats," says Defense News' Barbara Opall-Rome. Thanks largely to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), "more than 90 percent of the medium-range missile launchers used by Hizbollah were destroyed almost immediately after they fired their first weapon."
By the third night [of the war], the IAF [Israeli Air Force] attained full operational capability of
the world’s first Boost Phase Launch Intercept (BPLI) force[maybe it's more of a "a search and destroy operation," as Bill noted in the comments -- ed.] a tightly linked network of manned aircraft and UAVs that saturated the airspace to hunt and immediately kill small, mobile, medium-range missile launchers.
It didn't work against the terror group's teeny-tiny Katyusha rockets. But Israel’s BPLI capability did managed to knock out "more than 100 launchers during the more-than month-long war." UAVs "like the Elbit Hermes 450S Zik, the Shoval (Heron-1/Crusher) and Searcher-2 built by Israel Aircraft Industries" did the lion's share of the work.
“This was the first large-scale use of UAVs, not only for providing a continuous presence over the entire battle area, but in [assisting the direction and delivery of] smart munitions to these very small, well hidden, moving targets,” said Isaac Ben-Israel, a retired IAF major general and former director of Israeli defense research and development...
“This is not like a targeted killing where we have two weeks to plan,” Ben-Israel said. “Here, there’s only a matter of seconds between the time the terrorists emerged to launch these missiles to the time when they returned to their hiding places among innocent civilians. Those medium-range missile launchers became suicide launchers. They were destroyed either before or immediately after they fired their first missile.”
The Israeli Air Force also got better about detecting -- and taking out -- Hezbollah drones. By tweaking "multiple radars never designed to detect such small, slow-moving, pinpoint targets.... F-16C fighter pilots on air patrol [were able] to blast the [unmanned] offenders from Israeli and Lebanese skies with Python-5 dogfighting missiles."
According to Israeli military data, Hizbollah launched four Iranian-made Ababil UAVs during the war. One apparently exploded upon launch; another penetrated Israeli airspace, but crashed just south of the Lebanon border; and the other two were downed over the sea southwest of Haifa and near the area of Tzur in southern Lebanon.
Remnants of the downed drones showed that at least one was equipped with nearly 10 kilograms of explosives, which Israeli intelligence sources believe was destined for Tel Aviv. According to officials here, the UAV that crashed upon launch may have carried a payload of up to 50 kilograms.
Examination of cockpit imagery from one of the engagements shows detection of the target at extremely short range — close enough for the pilot to actually see the UAV. From an extraordinarily low altitude of less than 2,000 feet and at very low speed, the pilot launched his Python-5, which immediately arched and locked on to its target. Imagery shows the missile maneuvering at nearly 90 degrees for a matter of seconds before blasting the gnat-sized target with its explosive warhead.
“This is an historic first for us, and professionals will understand how complicated the mission is. It’s not the classic engagement of an F-16 versus a MiG, where you have a competing aircraft and radar. In this scenario, it’s not plane against plane, but rather network against an asymmetrical target you can barely see,” said the senior IAF official.
In bringing an absurdly unjournalistic sob story by the AFP about the 'plight' of the palestinian people, Charles at Little Green Footballs tells it like it is, in a few-paragraph troll-hammer that makes you want to stand up and shout "Amen, brother!"
Notice: in AFP’s simple-minded summation of the Palestinians’ “bleak situation,” there is not even a hint of acknowledgment that at every step of the way, the Palestinians have brought this situation upon themselves.
The intifada didn’t just “break out.” It was a politically calculated terror war launched against Jewish civilians by Yasser Arafat and the surrounding Arab states, with the full support of the Palestinian people. And when that terror war failed to break Israel’s will, the Palestinians overwhelmingly elected the genocidal terrorist gang Hamas to be their “government,” running on a platform to destroy Israel.
Recently, they had another chance to create the beginning of a functioning society, when Israel withdrew from Gaza. International investors purchased the numerous high-tech greenhouses Israel had built and operated at great profit (giving employment to numerous Palestinian families), and presented them to the PA as a gift. The response: the greenhouses were burned and looted by marauding mobs, and the no man’s land where Gaza meets the Israeli border is now used mostly for firing rockets into Israel, in attempts to murder more Jewish men, women, and children. At random.
People who genuinely want to build a functioning society will start building it. You can’t stop them. But the Palestinians have proven time and again that destroying the Jewish state takes precedence over creating a hopeful future for their children.
My tears are all dried up when it comes to the plight of the Palestinian people. I’ll save my sympathy and support for those who deserve it.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
A good article on the need to investigate your child's school safety yourself; do not assume someone else is doing it for you. This article has some good questions to ask your child's school. If there are no answers for some of them, help your school develop procedures to address them.
Via Family Security Matters:
Exclusive: Do Not Rely On Government to Protect Your Children: Do It Yourself
...According to de Becker, “Rather than relying on government, you can make at least as vigorous an inquiry of your child’s school as you would of your child’s babysitter. Below is a list of questions that can guide your evaluation of a school. The school should have a ready answer to every one of these questions. If they don’t, the mere fact of your asking (which can be done in writing) will compel them to consider the issues. There may be resources the school feels would improve the safety of children, possibly even resources they have long wanted, and your own participation in the process can help them implement those improvements.”He suggests parents ask these questions:
- Do you have a policy manual or teacher's handbook? May I have a copy or review it here?
- Is the safety of students the first item addressed in the policy or handbook? If not, why not?
- Is the safety of students addressed at all?
- Are there policies addressing violence, weapons, drug use, sexual abuse, child-on-child sexual abuse, unauthorized visitors?
- Are background investigations performed on all staff?
- What areas are reviewed during these background inquiries?
- Who gathers the information?
- Who in the administration reviews the information and determines the suitability for employment?
- What are the criteria for disqualifying an applicant?
- Does the screening process apply to all employees (teachers, janitors, lunchroom staff, security personnel, part-time employees, bus drivers, etc.)?
- Is there a nurse on site at all times while children are present (including before and after school)?
- What is the nurse's education or training?
- Can my child call me at any time?
- May I visit my child at any time?
- What is your policy for when to contact parents?
- What are the parent notification procedures?
- What are the student pick-up procedures?
- How is it determined that someone other than me can pick up my child?
- How does the school address special situations (custody disputes, child kidnapping concerns, etc.)?
- Are older children separated from younger children during recess, lunch, rest-room breaks, etc.?
- Are acts of violence or criminality at the school documented? Are statistics maintained?
- May I review the statistics?
- What violence or criminality has occurred at the school during the last three years?
- Is there a regular briefing of teachers and administrators to discuss safety and security issues?
- Are teachers formally notified when a child with a history of serious misconduct is introduced to their class?
- What is the student-to-teacher ratio in class? During recess? During meals?
- How are students supervised during visits to the rest-room?
- Will I be informed of teacher misconduct that might have an impact on the safety or well-being of my child?
- Are there security personnel on the premises?
- Are security personnel provided with written policies and guidelines?
- Is student safety the first issue addressed in the security policy and guidelines material? If not, why not?
- Is there a special background investigation conducted on security personnel, and what does it encompass?
- Is there any control over who can enter the grounds?
- If there is an emergency in a classroom, how does the teacher summon help?
- If there is an emergency on the playground, how does the teacher summon help?
- What are the policies and procedures covering emergencies (fire, civil unrest, earthquake, violent intruder, etc.)?
- How often are emergency drills performed?
- What procedures are followed when a child is injured?
- What hospital would my child be transported to in the event of a serious injury?
- Can I designate a different hospital? A specific family doctor?
- What police station responds to the school?
- Who is the school's liaison at the police department?De Becker refers to not relying on the government. Parents in search of information on school emergency preparedness will find the going tough when using the U.S. Department of Education (www.ed.gov) or Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) Web sites. The information is not easily accessible. It is better to use your county as a jumping off point. Most have emergency management brochures that can be downloaded from the Internet.But when it comes down to the details, it is up to parents and schools to connect, to communicate, and to know what the plan is.
Via Pajamas Media:
October 3, 2006 3:10 PM
In from the Cold says the attack on the Amish school, coming on the heels of similar incidents raises the question of how to secure these institutions against a Beslan-style tragedy. He claims the only measure which has worked, as proven in Israel — which is arming the school staff — is unthinkable to the school districts.
I have to update my emergency kit (it's been over a year and a half), and if you don't have a kit, make one. At least stash some basic stuff, like water bottles and some food. Your kit can be really simple (water and granola bars) or be very comprehensive (radio, flashlights, plastic bags, bleach, etc...).
Via Pajamas Media:
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Here's a great post by Omri at Mere Rhetoric:
Syria Gives Israel Ultimatum. Isn't That Cute?For a man who's air force would last about 10 seconds against the IAF, jerkoff over here is awful bold:Syrian President Bashar Assad continued to give clashing messages to the international community with an announcement that he was ready to negotiate with Israel. In an interview with Spanish newspaper El-Pais on Saturday, the president said it would take six months to reach an agreement with Israel. If a peace agreement would not be reached, he added, war would break out.
Bashar Assad has the same ability to unilaterally launch an international conflict that we have to launch an international conflict. If Tehran wants a war in six months, they will activate Hezbollah and there will be a war in six months. What's that you say? The UN will make sure that Hezbollah is unable to launch a war in six months (actually, obviously you didn't say that since you read this blog - but let's pretend that you did). Actually, not so much with the Hezbollah not being able to start a war thing:How very festive. "OK, good day of repentance and making peace everybody. Now let's celebrate murdering some Israeli civilians, huh? How about a rousing chorus!" And here's one last block quote from this morning's news - this time that Syria and Iran helped Hezbollah during the war:Only two days after Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Hizbullah leaders announce that their weapons threatening Israel will remain along the border. Muhammad Fanish, a minister representing Hizbullah in the Lebanese government, announced that the organization "will never give up its arms nor its role of fighting the occupation." According to him, Hizbullah won't abandon its role "as long as there is occupation of even one foot of our land." Fanish, energy and water minister in the Lebanese government, spoke Monday at a festive meal breaking the Ramadan fast.During the fighting in Lebanon Hezbollah received direct intelligence support from Syria, using data collected by listening posts jointly manned by Russian and Syrian crews. Hezbollah was also fed intelligence from new listening posts built on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, which are operated jointly with Iran. This information was confirmed in recent reports by the defense journal Jane's. Syria's centrality to the collection and transfer of intelligence to Hezbollah is based on separate agreements Damascus signed with Moscow and Tehran on intelligence cooperation.
If true, I am appalled that we even offered 900-1,000 bad guys for Shalit. There must be no negotiating with terrorism. It only invites more terror. Tellingly, Hamas didn't even take this lopsided deal. It means either 1) Hamas is looking for a fight, and is not interested in a negotiated solution, or 2) Shalit is already dead, and they can't agree to any solution.
Egypt: Hamas turned down offer to exchange prisoners for Shalit
By Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondent, and Reuters
Hamas turned down an Israeli offer to free between 900 and 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for captured Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abu Gheit said Monday.
"Egypt succeeded in securing a swap deal with Israel to free [Palestinian] women, children, elders and those who have been serving long prison terms in exchange for the soldier," Abu Gheit told Al Arabiya television.
"A deal that could have guaranteed freeing 900-1,000 prisoners - but sadly they have decided to keep holding him [Shalit]," said Abu Gheit.
Just don't forward this article to the Iranians. It's a hypothetical article, though.
HOW AN ATTACK WOULD UNFOLD / A military assault on nuclear plants in Iran remains an option for U.S.