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DAILY ALERT

Wednesday,
August 9, 2006
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In-Depth Issues:

Iran Smuggling Uranium from Africa; Iran-Linked Sleeper Cells Eyeing UK Nuclear Plants - Jon Swain, David Leppard, and Brian Johnson-Thomas (Sunday Times-UK)
    Iran is seeking to import large consignments of bomb-making uranium from the African mining area that produced the Hiroshima bomb, a UN investigation has revealed.
    A July 18 report said there was "no doubt" that a huge shipment of smuggled uranium 238, uncovered by customs officials in Tanzania, was transported from the Lubumbashi mines in the Congo.
    Tanzanian customs officials said it was destined for the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, and was stopped on October 22 last year during a routine check.
    The Shinkolobwe uranium mine that produced the material in Lubumbashi, capital of mineral-rich Katanga province, has officially been closed since 1961, but UN investigators have told the Security Council they found evidence of illegal mining still going on at the site.
    It has also emerged that terror cells backed by Iran have been conducting reconnaissance at some nuclear power plants in Britain in preparation for a possible attack.


IDF Broadcasts Hizballah's Dead on Al-Manar TV (Ynet News)
    The IDF took over the airwaves of Hizballah's al-Manar television and replaced the broadcast with scenes of bodies of Hizballah operatives and assertions that fighters were fleeing from the battlegrounds.
    Since the beginning of fighting in Lebanon, the IDF has briefly taken control of the airwaves of al-Manar, Radio Nour, and Radio Sawt Al-Shab (the radio station of the communist party, which identifies with Hizballah) to relay Israeli messages aimed at boosting deterrence, demoralizing Hizballah, and presenting Nasrallah as a liar and incapable leader.

    See also Israel Fights Propaganda War Over Phones - Donna Abu-Nasr (AP/Washington Post)
    Hassan al-Harakeh answered his phone one evening to hear a deep voice asking: "How long will you go on supporting the gang of Hassan Nasrallah?" It was Israel calling, with a message denouncing Hizballah and its leader.
    Cell phones and land lines across Lebanon have been ringing with automated, recorded messages - part of a propaganda war being waged in Lebanon.
    The sophisticated campaign has given the impression that Israelis are everywhere, not just in planes overhead or on the front lines of the ground battle against Hizballah.


Al-Qaeda Claims Backing in Egypt - William Wallis (Financial Times-UK)
    Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's number two, has announced that Gama'a al-Islamiya, the main militant group behind Egypt's bloody 1990s insurrection, has joined his global jihad.


11 Egyptian Students Vanish in New York - Dan Mangan (New York Post)
    Eleven Egyptian students who were supposed to travel to Montana State University in Bozeman after flying to JFK airport late last month disappeared in New York, spurring federal authorities to issue a nationwide alert, officials said Monday.


How China's Secret Deals Are Fueling War - Stephen Pllard (Times-UK)
    Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan have strong ties to China, which they may see as a counterbalance to American power in the Middle East.
    While Iran is the power and arms supplier behind Hizballah, the issue of where Iran's arms come from has been ignored.
    China has sold Iran tanks, planes, artillery, cruise, anti-tank, surface-to-surface, and anti-aircraft missiles as well as ships and mines.
    It is also Iran's main supplier of unconventional arms and is thought to be illicitly involved in supplying key elements in Iran's chemical and nuclear weapons program.


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  • U.S., France Split on Lebanon Cease-Fire Resolution - Colum Lynch and Robin Wright
    The U.S. and France have split over key provisions in a compromise resolution to end hostilities between Hizballah and Israel, according to European and U.S. officials. France wants to incorporate ideas from Lebanon's new proposals, particularly on deploying Lebanese troops alongside a more robust version of the UN force now in Lebanon as a means to expedite an Israeli withdrawal, and settling the status of Shebaa Farms. The U.S. thinks a strong international force needs to be in place before an Israeli withdrawal to ensure that Hizballah is not able to resume control of southern Lebanon or shoot at Israeli forces as they pull out. The Bush administration also does not want to offer more specific language on Shebaa Farms for fear it would be seen as a reward to Hizballah. (Washington Post)
  • Israeli Death Toll Hits 100 - Ian MacKinnon and Stephen Farrell
    Four weeks into the conflict, Hizballah rockets are still raining on northern Israel as the number of Israeli soldiers and civilians killed topped 100 on Tuesday. But Israel is not wobbling. It is almost the reverse. The greater the setbacks, the greater appears to be the country's resolve to finish the job. Support for the war in Israel remains unwavering, with the overwhelming majority of Israelis believing that the war was forced upon them, and that the sacrifices are worth making to destroy Hizballah and avert endless conflict. (Times-UK)
        See also Left or Right, Israelis Are Pro-War - Steven Erlanger
    The harder Israel's war with Hizballah has been, the more the public wants it to proceed. The public wants the army to hit Hizballah harder, so it will not threaten Israel again. Within Israel, the sense is nearly universal that this war is a matter of survival, not choice, and its legitimacy is unquestioned. (New York Times)
        See also 93% of Jewish Israelis Support Lebanon Campaign - Ephraim Yaar and Tamar Hermann
    The Jewish citizens of Israel currently believe almost unanimously - 93% - that the campaign in Lebanon is justified, according to the July Peace Index survey carried out on 31 July-1 August. (Steinmetz Center for Peace Research-Tel Aviv University)
        See also Israeli Reservists Ready for Action - Martin Patience (BBC News)
  • Hizballah's Hidden Stronghold Sends Death Across the Border - Nicholas Blanford
    Two loud bangs echo through the UN peacekeeping headquarters in the coastal village of Naqoura and twin trails of white smoke are seen curving in a southward direction as Hizballah's latest salvo of rockets streaks across the border into Israel. Hizballah squads are still firing dozens of rockets a day into Israel from locations lying just a few hundred yards from the border. One such position lies between the villages of Naqoura and Alma al-Shaab, where Hizballah over the past three years has established an unseen, but clearly formidable, military infrastructure of weapons depots, tunnels, and bunkers. (Times-UK)
        See also On the Lebanese Border - Ralph Peters (New York Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Israeli Cabinet Set to Approve Ground Push in Southern Lebanon - Herb Keinon
    The security cabinet is expected Wednesday to approve an expanded ground operation up to the Litani River, and perhaps beyond. Diplomatic officials said Israel had not come under any U.S. pressure to shelve plans for an expanded operation. According to these officials, the U.S. position that Israel has the right to defend itself was firm. The UN cease-fire resolution is not expected to be voted on until Thursday at the earliest. While the Arab League is trying to alter the resolution, Israel has made it clear that it would not accept a call for an immediate withdrawal of IDF troops. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also IDF Spokesman's Update: Force Deployment in Lebanon
    The IDF is currently operating in Lebanese territory with a force of eight brigades, of which three are reserve brigades, along with engineering and armored units, assisted by artillery and air force. Israeli engineering units continue to destroy forward-line fortifications Hizballah erected along the border area. The IDF is prepared to expand its ground activities according to the decision of the political echelon. (IDF Spokesman)
  • Five IDF Soldiers Killed Tuesday in South Lebanon
    Staff Sgt. Noam Meirson, 23, from Jerusalem, was killed Monday in Bint Jbail, a month before he was to get married. Staff Sgt. Malko Ambao, 20, of Lod, who was killed Tuesday near Bint Jbail, immigrated to Israel in 1991 from Ethiopia. Major Yotam Lotan (res.), 33, of Kibbutz Beit Hashita, was a youth counselor. Staff Sgt. Philip Mosko, 21, of Ma'ale Adumim, immigrated with his family from Moscow in 1991. Captain Gilad Balachsan (res.), 29, is from Carmiel. (Ha'aretz)
  • Hizballah Fires 160 Rockets at Northern Israel Tuesday
    Hizballah fired at least 160 Katyusha rockets into northern Israel on Tuesday. Two people were wounded when a rocket hit a home in the Israeli Arab village of Fasouta. Rockets landed in Acre, Nahariya, Ma'alot, Safed, Tiberias, Kiryat Shmona, and the northern region of the Golan Heights. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Hizballah Fires Long-Range Rockets at Israel Wednesday
    A Syrian-made 302-mm Khaibar-1 missile exploded in Haifa Wednesday. Earlier, Hizballah terrorists in Lebanon fired four long-range rockets that landed between Beit Shean and Afula. The Israel Air Force immediately destroyed the launchers used to fire the rockets, near Tyre. Palestinian sources said five rockets landed in a Palestinian village in the West Bank. (Ynet News/Jerusalem Post)
  • IDF Catches Hizballah Terrorists with Anti-Aircraft Missiles - Yaakov Katz
    IDF reservists took captive two Hizballah terrorists Monday in Bint Jbail as they were setting up anti-aircraft missiles to use against Israeli aircraft. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Anti-Aircraft Missiles Shot at IDF Planes At Least Once a Day - Tovah Dadon
    Israel Air Force commander Col. A. said in a press conference that "at least once a day, Soviet or Iranian-made anti-aircraft missiles are being launched at IDF planes." (Ynet News)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Fight to Curb Rocket Fire Expected to Continue After UN Resolution - Ron Ben-Yishai
    When the UN passes a resolution sometime this week, Israel can prepare for continued fighting because Hizballah will not stop fighting in southern Lebanon as long as IDF soldiers are there. Therefore, Katyusha fire will continue. The IDF's goal now must be to reduce Katyusha fire and to prevent Hizballah from redeploying in southern Lebanon before the area is given over to Lebanese army and international force control. In order to achieve this goal, the IDF must establish its presence on the ground, in addition to air operations; not at outposts, but troops that will be in motion all the time. The main thing is to curtail further Katyusha attacks. In order to do this we must comb every village in southern Lebanon.
        IDF soldiers dipping their toes in the Litani River will not help bring an end to the rockets. This can be done by pointed fire from relatively short-range, by IDF forces who have taken critical vantage points near Hizballah staging areas. It is a fact: Missile fire has fallen dramatically in areas the IDF now operates in. This is also true in villages that our troops have only encircled, not entered. Lt. Col. (res.) Ron Ben-Yishai is a veteran military analyst. (Ynet News)
  • Overwhelming Force and Proportionality - Uzi Arad
    An established principle has been that the use of force, once its necessity was determined, should be implemented through a concentration of overwhelming force. While serving as Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Colin Powell adopted the Powell Doctrine, establishing the principle of overwhelming force as a necessary condition for waging war. Powell described this strategy as used against the Iraqi army in 1991: "First we're going to cut it off, then we're going to kill it." It is evident that this, in its simplest form, should be Israel's strategy against Hizballah.
        For limited objectives, proportionality may suffice. But when the strategic objectives are far-reaching, as those of the current campaign are, proportionality will defeat its purpose. The removal of Hizballah's rocket threat is not achievable through proportionality or in installments. It is achievable only through a combination of all military actions necessary to destroy the capabilities and infrastructures, including the command system, of the enemy. The entire rationale of deterrence rests on a disproportionate response.
        Israel must create a situation whereby no residual rocket threat capability by Hizballah remains. Any delegation of the task not completed by Israel to a multi-national force may prove to be a pipe dream. The fate of Hamas in Gaza must be the fate of Hizballah in Lebanon. The writer is the Founding Head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy of the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. (Ynet News)
  • A Way Forward in Lebanon - Editorial
    Whether a deal is accomplished with one UN resolution or two may not really matter; nor should things be held up on the question of whether the international force is considered an extension of the existing, feckless UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). What does matter, though, is that the Israelis not be forced to withdraw until a serious new force arrives - one that, unlike UNIFIL, is well-led, well-trained, and able and willing to stand up to Hizballah. Such a force must deploy not only to the south but to the Syrian border as well, to prevent unauthorized arms shipments. Leaving a vacuum for Hizballah almost guarantees renewed conflict, and neither the present UN force nor the Lebanese army acting alone can fill the vacuum. (Washington Post)
        See also The Cease-Fire Stakes - Editorial (Wall Street Journal)
  • Hizballah Will Be Right Behind Redeployed Lebanese Army - Betsy Pisik
    "What do Americans really think of us?" asks Hizballah member Abou Ali in Sidon. "They think we are like al-Qaeda?" Abou Ali's plans for a new Middle East include a rebuilt southern Lebanon patrolled by the national army, with Hizballah backing, and friendly relations with a neighboring country called Palestine - occupying what is now Israel. He says the Lebanese army may protect Lebanese citizens at the border, but armed Hizballah forces will be right behind them, where they have always been, in towns and villages. (Washington Times)
        See also Questions for a Multinational Force - Barry Rubin
    What happens when Hizballah forces resist being disarmed? Would there be inspections of arriving vehicles and planes to see if they are carrying rockets or other arms to Hizballah? If the force found such items, could it confiscate them? If the force comes across Hizballah or other terrorists in southern Lebanon, does it shoot at them or just write a report? Will the force destroy any fortifications Hizballah tries to rebuild in southern Lebanon? (Jerusalem Post)
  • Observations:

    The Struggle Against Islamic Fascism - President George Bush (White House)

    President Bush said Monday:

    • "[UN Resolution] 1559 clearly laid a way forward for there to be a strong democracy in Lebanon, which will more likely yield the peace. And there is a level of frustration around the world with organizations that will take innocent life to achieve political objectives....We must deal with this movement with strong security measures, we must bring justice to those who would attack us, and at the same time, defeat their ideology by the spread of liberty."
    • "And it takes a lot of work. This is the beginning of a long struggle against an ideology that is real and profound. It's Islamo-fascism. It comes in different forms. They share the same tactics, which is to destroy people and things in order to create chaos in the hopes that their vision of the world becomes predominant in the Middle East."
    • "Part of the challenge in the 21st century is to remind people about the stakes, and remind people that in moments of quiet, there's still an Islamic fascist group plotting, planning, and trying to spread their ideology. One of the things that came out of this unfortunate incident in the Middle East is it is a stark reminder that there are those who want to stop the advance of liberty and destabilize young democracies. And they're willing to kill people to do so. I repeat, this whole incident started because Hizballah kidnapped two soldiers and launched rocket attacks. And it's been unfortunate that people on both sides of the border have lost life. And we're committed to helping the Lebanese government rebuild."
    • "On the other hand, what we won't do is allow for a false hope. We believe that it's important to challenge the root cause now. We thought we had done so with 1559, but 1559 wasn't implemented. In other words, there was a way forward to deal with the problem. And now there's another chance to deal with the problem, and that's the role of the United States, working with others, to not only remind people about the problem, but to come up with solutions in dealing with the problem. And the solutions that we are working on with our friends are, in our judgment, the best hope for achieving stability and peace."


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