Sunday, August 06, 2006

---Iran Admits Long-Range Missiles Given to Hezbollah, Cease Fire?, No Life on Mars?, NASA May Lose DSN, and Other Stories 

...also see HeartBreakLog: "The Plan"

Iran admits it gave long-range missiles to Hezbollah
Iran: We supplied Zelzal-2 to Hizbullah | Jerusalem Post
The missiles are capable of reaching Tel Aviv from the Lebanese border. An Iranian official said that the missiles were to be used to defend Lebanon, whatever that means to the Iranian government. It looks like the Israeli air strikes destroyed most of the long range missiles and/or their launch systems early in the conflict. The remainder apparently haven’t been used because the Iranian theocracy told Hezbollah not to. The larger missiles would probably also require larger, less mobile launchers and more sophisticated command systems than the simple Russian artillery rockets that the terrorists have been using, which should make them more vulnerable to air strikes.

Deal for conditional cease-fire in Lebanon progresses in the U.N.
My Way News[AP] - U.N. Draft Breaks France-U.S. Impasse
The deal demands unconditional return of the Israeli hostages, which was the nominal cause of the Israeli incursions into Lebanon over three weeks ago. Hezbollah insists that all Israelis leave the country before it will discuss the deal. A lot of the points of the U.N. negotiations are TBD, such as the exact makeup of an “international force”---decidedly not the impotent UNIFIL “peacekeepers” who spent the last several decades passively watching the terrorists stack ammunition in their bunkers to kill Israelis with.
It isn’t clear how enforceable the prohibitions on arms sale to the terrorists would be, since the deal would allow sales of arms to the “legitimate” Lebanese army, which was prepared to fight with the Iranian terrorists on several occasions. As usual, "after everything is said and done, more will have been said than done".

[My Way News - U.S. Delays Action on Mideast Peace Deal As could have been expected...Lebanon and the Arab nations, speaking on the Security Council through Qatar, demanded that Israel be forced to withdraw immediately after a cease-fire. This would, of course, make the entire bloody episode pointless, since the terrorists would immediately return to their previous positions and rebuild their rocket launching infrastructure while the U.N. quibbles about the "international force". Also not surprisingly, the Lebanese-Arab demands also include a return of land by Israel---something called the "Chebaa Farms". The Lebanese PM also proposed a preposterously small "international force"---about 2,000 men---and 15,000 Lebanese soldiers be used to occupy southern Lebanon immediately. Thus the "international force" can assume the positions of criminal impotence formerly held by the U.N. peacekeepers, the Lebanese can rebuild the destroyed terrorist infrastructure, and the terrorists can comfortably resume training and stockpiling weapons as they return to the more sustainable peacetime levels of random killing of Israeli civilians which Iran clearly prefers.]

In other news:
My Way News[AP] - Israeli Commandos Renew Attack on Tyre
Israeli “naval commandos” attacked a terrorist installation thought to be a command center for long-range missile launches.
Demonstrating its journalistic integrity and neutrality, the AP article notes: “Given the determination of both Hezbollah and Israel to look victorious when the conflict finally ends, the worst of the fighting may still lie ahead....
...and the difference between very well-armed terrorists and an irregular brigade of a foreign army of occupation specializing in assymetric warfare is....
My Way News[AP] - Missiles Neutralizing Israeli Tanks
...not a whole lot, in the case of the Iranian-controlled Hezbollah “guerillas”. The Iranian terrorists have some of the most sophisticated antitank weapons in the world, according to several sources. These include the Russian-made “Metis-M” and “Kornet-E” missiles, which the Russians helpfully supplied to the Iranian client government in Syria for ease of distribution to known terrorists in Lebanon. Several of the cutting edge Israeli “Merkava” tanks have been struck by these advanced weapons, and many of the unexpectedly heavy Israeli casualties were due to these attacks.
AT-13 Metis-M - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia FAS: AT-7 Metis Saxhorn AT-13 Metis-M
To summarize, the Metis-M is a lightweight, man-portable antitank launcher which uses ATGM’s capable of defeating advanced armor systems, including explosive-based “reactive” armor. To re-emphasize a really important point about this weapon, it is made and exported by Russia to a number of countries including Syria.
Army Technology - Kornet E - Anti-Armour Missile AT-14 Kornet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Kornet missile system is evidently a bit heavier and more capable. It uses a laser guidance system instead of wires, which makes it somewhat more flexible. This is evidently similar to the missiles that the U.S. Army swears were not in the Iraqi arsenal, and did not disable a couple of M1-A1 Abrams tanks in the last war against Iraq. To re-emphasize a really important point about this weapon, it is made and exported by Russia to a number of countries including Syria.

MissileThreat :: Russia Backpedals Missile Proliferation to Syria, Hezbollah
...and that evidently isn’t all the Russians would love to be selling to Syria, if certain other countries, including the countries most likely to be attacked with the missiles, would mind their own business.

Jane's: Syria "will intervene" in conflict if Israel invades Lebanon
Jane’s press statement quotes Israeli sources on the presence of the Russian anti-tank missiles in Lebanon, as well as sophisticated Iranian-made “signal intelligence” equipment. While the Israeli military continues to hope for reasonable judgment by Bashar Al-Assad, the level of involvement of Iran and its client government in Damascus and their technology suppliers in the terror war against Israel is ominous.

Appalling stupidity at the U.N.....
FOXNews.com - U.N.'s Malloch Brown Questions Hezbollah's 'Terror' Designation - The Executive Branch
...is, of course, hardly even newsworthy, but its implications are at least as ominous as the growing threat in Lebanon itself.

ter·ror·ism n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons. (from Dictionary.com)

FOXNews.com - In Iran, Relax and Learn to Enjoy the Bomb FOXNews.com - Ahmadinejad and Bush: The Nuclear Shadowboxers FOXNews.com - Iranian President's Got Game. But Which Game?
This is a series of opinion pieces on public attitudes and the political situation in Iran, among various segments of Iranian society. While the comparison of George Bush to Amindobi....Amenigaba...the Iranian president are mostly silly and unconstructive, the perceptions of the Iranian people of the relative intellectual power of their leader and the status of the centralized theocratic power which actually runs the country are sort of worth knowing about.

Life on Mars fans striking out....
Spaceflight Now | Breaking News | Peroxide snow on Mars may make planet inhospitable
...with the revelation of new data that appear to predict that the formation of hyper-oxides---such as hydrogen peroxide---in dust storms on Mars may do for higher organic constructs what they do for lifeforms appearing in minor cuts on Earthlings’ fingers....sterilize the Martian soil of them.

SPACE.com -- NASA Scrambling to Compensate for Deep Space Network Breakdown
Age and poor maintenance planning for the major elements of the mission-critical Deep Space Network has resulted in the breakdown of one antenna and the possible loss of another to repairs. This could result in loss of scientific data from Mars and Saturn missions in progress. A GAO report criticizes NASA management and questions whether the DSN will be able to keep its commitments.

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