Tuesday, August 29, 2006

---UNIFIL Gives Hezbollah a Hand, Atlantis in Trouble 

Now, about that whole “U.N. Mandate” thing....
Weekly Standard: "What did you do in the war, UNIFIL? "
Evidently, UNIFIL “peacekeeping” forces indulged in public postings of very detailed reports of Israeli Defense Forces troop movements, reinforcements, armament, and location of troop concentrations throughout the recent conflict in Lebanon. These appear to be the documents in question: UNIFIL: United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon - Press releases
Apparently, UNIFIL did not deem it appropriate under its “mandate” to make similar apprisals of Hezbollah terrorist movements, or to pass along information on precise locations of the infamous rocket batteries which might have helped to locate them and so save lives and property of the Israeli civilians under attack. On cursory inspection, the reports do seem to have some references to incidents in which terrorist forces attempted to deliberately draw IDF fire onto UNIFIL positions. The UNIFIL observers, however, apparently remained true even at the risk of their lives to their “mandate”---although what that actually is remains to be determined by the rest of the world---and supported the terrorists to the end.

A rock and a hard place....
Spaceflight Now | STS-115 Shuttle Report | Crawler problems add hours to rollback time
The Shuttle Atlantis is in a somewhat precarious position at the moment. After an especially heavy lightning strike to the pad arrestor system---which showed up as surges in some critical STS systems, and the approach of a tropical storm to the Florida east coast, managers decided yesterday to roll the spacecraft back into the VAB. Unfortunately, the crawler allocated to make the move suffered a hydraulic failure and had to be left in High Bay 2, where the stack was to be sheltered. Now NASA is left with a thorny decision; whether to leave Atlantis at the launch pad---with lightning protection---or try to make it all the way around to the other side of the VAB---which will now take three hours longer than originally planned---before thunderstorms approach the complex. If lightning threatens while the stack is in transit, workers could be forced to abandon the largely unprotected spacecraft on the roadway---with the complex and irreplaceable ISS truss assembly on board---and seek safety. Maybe NASA will stay lucky, or maybe not....
[NASA has now decided the the threat from tropical storm Ernesto is manageable, and has ordered Atlantis returned to the launch pad:
Spaceflight Now | STS-115 Shuttle Report | Atlantis returns to launch pad]
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