pink slip

Bad boyfriends. For some reason groups like Hamas and Hezbollah always seem to chase after the wrong sorts of boyfriends, in these instances the allure if Iran and Syria. Its a typical pattern. Through back channels, these groups do actually talk to everyone and for what its worth, countries like Norway do advise them to smarten up and act responsibly because the current trajectory will lead to the scrap pile. But somehow, they seem to have to go through Byzantine and complicated processes where dignity, pride and honor have to unfold over long stretches of time implicating the trauma, misery and even death of its citizens in an unnecessary manner. The latest volleys from Hasan Nasrallah replicates the usual rhetoric, but in truth they know and everyone knows that they cannot destroy the Zionist beast or whatever the lunar month in question calls it.

Hamas and hezbollah can launch fifteen pound missile warheads which seem almost primitive, read near Medieval relics from feudalism when Israel has 500 and 1,000 pound warheads that can turn the corner of a building to strike targets. But they keep on; Khaled Mashaal’s seemingly benign turn to embrace  ”temperancy” and something approaching diplomacy is a reflection that pink slips are being considered. Hezbollah as well increasingly appears to be approaching its expiry date and if the United States eventualy makes a deal with Iran, the abandnment of the two girlfriends is going to be a significant component of the package. But why shouldn’t Hamas be not marginalized? They are at least as legitimate as Abou Mazen of the PA and its a secret of Polichinelle that everyone denies talking with them, but actually does.

( see link at end) …Hizbullah leader Hasan Nasrallah threatened on Friday to strike multiple targets in Israel, including Tel Aviv. Speaking on the occasion of the completion of the Waad project, aimed at rebuilding parts of the southern suburbs of Beirut that were damaged in the July-August 2006 war between Lebanon and Israel, Nasrallah said Hizbullah could target Tel Aviv in any future war with the Jewish state.

Image: Read More: ---During the campaign Israel's Air Force flew more than 12,000 combat missions, its Navy fired 2,500 shells, and its Army fired over 100,000 shells. Large parts of the Lebanese civilian infrastructure were destroyed, including 400 miles (640 km) of roads, 73 bridges, and 31 other targets such as Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport, ports, water and sewage treatment plants, electrical facilities, 25 fuel stations, 900 commercial structures, up to 350 schools and two hospitals, and 15,000 homes. Some 130,000 more homes were damaged. One million Israelis had to stay near or in bomb shelters or security rooms, with over 250,000 civilians evacuating the north and relocating to other areas of the country. The rockets caused billions in damage. Following the hostilities there were calls for resignation of the Israeli government, but PM Ehud Olmert refused to resign. Defense Minister Amir Peretz and Chief of General Staff Dan Halutz resigned as did more junior officers. The Winograd commission was appointed to investigate the conflict, but did not have the judicial authority of a government committee of inquiry. An interim Winograd report severely criticized Olmert, accusing him of a "severe failure in exercising judgment, responsibility and caution." Hezbolla admitted however that they were surprised by the extent of Israeli reaction, and in remarks on Iranian television that got passed the censor, Hassan Nasrallah admitted that the entire conflict was initiated and controlled by Iran. ---Peter Howson art. Redemption.---

“We are capable of not only hitting specific targets in Tel Aviv but also any place in occupied Palestine,” he said, according to a report in the Lebanon-based Daily Star. “The era has come when we survive while they will be doomed to extinction,” Nasrallah added. “For every building that is destroyed in the southern suburbs, several buildings will be destroyed in Tel Aviv in return.”

He said that “The era when our homes get destroyed and theirs remain [intact] is over.”…

Image: Read More: Eric Fischl sculptures. ---His first guest was Hassan Nasrallah. The telling thing here isn’t that Assange would conduct the Hezbollah leader’s first Western interview since 2006: any journalist would jump at that chance. The telling thing, about Assange, is that Nasrallah chose to talk to him. Time for some more transparency. Assange has been accused of anti-Semitic conspiracy-mongering. When Yossi Melman was set to interview him for Haaretz, as Melman reported in Tablet Magazine, Assange insisted that he not be asked about anything related to his beliefs about Jews (after which Melman declined to conduct the interview). WikiLeaks’ Russian representative is one Israel Shamir, an anti-Semitic Holocaust doubter (and former Jew) whose twisted beliefs were profiled by Will Yakowicz. The subject of Russia brings us to Russia Today, the propagandistic, Kremlin-funded network, as Michael Moynihan reported, on which Assange’s talk show appears. It’s a curious outlet for a self-styled lover of freedom. Assange does ever so slightly press Nasrallah on Hezbollah’s shameful support for the Assad regime in Damascus; Nasrallah, naturally, dissembles and worse—he argues that the opposition should play ball with President Assad, who, Nasrallah insists, is genuinely interested in reforms.---

This week, a senior Israeli military officer warned that any Hizbullah retaliation to an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would prompt Israel to launch a war in Lebanon.Read More:

Despite all the flag waving, and even Nasser type prophesizing of the unwashed dining in leisure on Dizengoff street, the truth is that even Tehran realized the extent after the Lebanon war, of the depth of disaster at the feet of Hezbollah. And no doubt Nasrallah had to suck it in as well after grasping the degree of damage both to organization, physical property and the safety of those he was entrusted with. Most of his better grade, more competitive weapons were destroyed before being employed. Their deterrent charm was shaken, iand it became clear that a quiet border is in their interests; it was a very misguided assumption that Israel would refrain from overwhelming force, against what they not incorrectly perceived as a proxy for Iranian interests.   Both Hexbollah and Hamas have to do more than recycle the anti-Zionist tripe of Hannah Arendt. For Hamas, They need infrastructure. State of the art water desalination is a key to the region , as well as the natural gas infrastructure to develop the gas fields off its coast. But, bellicosity, missiles and the usual string of second class bad acting is not going to leave these projects unscathed in conflict. No one really wants a major war anymore. That was over in 1973 finishing with the abominable destruction in the Valley of Tears, and capped with the air embarrassment in the Bekaa Valley in 1982.

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( see link at end) …Hamas has begun to reorient itself towards the resurgent Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and is seen as increasingly unlikely to join a regional war should Iran come under attack. Unlike Sunni Hamas, Hizbollah remains far more dependant on its fellow Shia patrons in Iran but its popularity in the Arab world has suffered because of its support for the Assad regime in Syria, which has long backed the group.Hoping to drive a wedge between Hizbollah and Lebanon’s Sunni and Christian communities, the officer urged the Lebanese people not to be drawn into a war for which they, rather than Iran, would bear the brunt of Israel’s anger. ”The situation in Lebanon after this war will be horrible,” the officer, a senior commander on Israel’s northern border with Syria and Lebanon, said.

Image: Eric Fischl. Nick's Picnic. ---In his remarks Nasrallah added, “Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan said that Hizbullah has firepower that is not found in 90 percent of the world's countries. It is not a minister or a journalist who said it, but the head of the Mossad. Whether this is true or not, only Allah knows. It is enough for us that Israelis believe it.”---Image:

“They will have to think about whether they want it or not. I hope that Iran will not push them into a war that Iran will not pay the price for but that Lebanon will.”Israel drew international condemnation in 2006 when it last launched military action against Hizbollah in an offensive that is believed to have killed more than 1,000 people, many of them civilians. But the officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, suggested that Israel had taken too cautious an approach in the conflict, leading to the deaths of dozens of Israeli soldiers. No such mistake would be made in the next conflict, he said, especially as Hizbollah had built military sites in the centre of many villages and towns in southern Lebanon. Pointing to a satellite map of the town of Khiam, he identified a series of buildings that the movement had allegedly taken over for military purposes….

Image: Read More: ---series of meetings between Khaled Mashaal, the leader of Hamas’s political branch, and Mohammed Badie, the General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Egyptian chapter. In these meetings, Badie called on Hamas to show temperance and moderation in its dealings with Fatah and Israel. Badie, the paper reports, stressed the importance of “acting temperately, in coordination with Fatah and Israel, in hopes of arriving at a solution that will accommodate the founding a Palestinian state.” Badie also made a point of saying that this approach does not come in such drastic conflict with Hamas’s present positions, since not only is the organization in a present state of truce with Israel, but it has also expressed a willingness to co-exist with Israel within the confines of the ’67 borders, were the Palestinian Authority to receive full aerial, naval, and terrestrial sovereignty of its territories, the paper says.---Pter Howson art.---Read More:

“In these villages where Hizbollah has infrastructure I will guess that civilians will not have houses to come back to after the war,” he said. ”The Lebanese government has to take this into consideration. Many of the villages in southern Lebanon will be destroyed. Unfortunate, but we will have no other solution. The day after (we attack) the village will be something that it will take 10 years to rebuild.” Since the war in 2006, Hizbollah has acquired a stockpile of 50,000 rockets of greater sophistication and range than it had before and is capable of striking at Tel Aviv, more than 70 miles away, according to Israeli intelligence assessments. The conflict in Syria has also made it easier for Hizbollah to smuggle weapons into Lebanon, the officer said, and there is concern that some of the Assad regime’s stockpile of chemical weapons could end up in the group’s hands. Read More:


Read More: The denials are very much spin:The US views Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007, as a terrorist organisation and will not deal with it. A former presidential candidate, Mr Kerry was visiting Gaza with US congressmen Brian Baird and Keith Ellison in the first such visit to the Hamas-run Strip since 2007. The men are not likely to meet Hamas.

( see link at end) …Despite his shrewdness, Nasrallah has been a compulsive gambler for whom only one step separates success from catastrophe. For many years, he won, but in the summer of 2006, his winning streak was broken. First, he kidnapped two Israeli soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, sparking war with Israel; second, he chose after that war to challenge the Lebanese government of Fouad Siniora, plunging Lebanon into a long crisis and Hezbollah into the murky waters of Lebanese politics.

Nasrallah’s gambles have transformed Hezbollah’s identity and standing. The group gained the respect of many Lebanese, Arabs, and Muslims as it acquired the sheen of victory as a resistance movement. Now, however dominant Hezbollah is, it is developing into just another Lebanese political party, corrupted by its participation in day-to-day politics. Yet inside Lebanon, its record includes the terrible destruction it brought on the country through its unilateral actions. Worse, it is viewed increasingly as a narrowly-focused Shi‘i force serving as a tool, if not a fifth column, of Iran with the aim of advancing a host of Iranian interests—inside Lebanon, against Israel, and across the Sunni divide.Read More:

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