The D-N-I continues its reflection on the changing nature of warfare and its impact on Israel. I echo many of their concerns with what can come down. Basically, I see it happening one of three ways:

1. Israel pushes Lebanon to collapse, leaving a power vaccum that is filled even more by Hezbollah.

2. Hezbollah holds off Israel enough to claim a tie, if not outright victory, leading to the conclusions outlined in the article.

3. The world intervenes in a way that resets the situation to something close to the status quo, which at best gives Hezbollah the tie.



If you haven’t heard of the Galchenko siblings, you need to check them out. The best way to see them first is to check out the videos linked to from Time Magazine. Number 9 is my personal favorite.


So What

Fine, the Thais may not be the smartest, but those shopping malls are freakin’ unbelievable.



I read Beirut Notes’ post and could only shake my head. The first thought that came to mind were those trite sayings you hear as a child, like “If jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?” and “Two wrongs don’t make a right”.

Hezbollah may serve Iran and Syria, but the majority of its supporters are poor and miserable people who need welfare. Be patient and unite and defend your brothers even if they are wrong.

It’s precisely this attitude that landed Lebanon in the position it is now. Had the Lebanese disarmed Hezbollah over the last six years and taken control of the border, we wouldn’t be in this mess.


I HEART Contradictory Headlines

Imagine my surprise this morning when, upon checking TechMeme, I had two back-to-back articles with the following headlines:

US to continue its control over ICANN
United States cedes control of the internet – but what now?

I’ll let someone else figure it out.


There Goes the VA

Business Week had a phenomenal article about how the Veteran Affairs transformed itself in to a strong provider of health care, holding down cost while providing increased quality and outpacing private health care providers.

Unfortunately, now that this activity has been brought to the attention of the Bush Administration, I’m sure el Presidente will see the need to take immediate corrective action. Having competent leadership in place while not allowing unqualified cronies to run any part of the US Government is clearly unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

I look forward to having this travesty corrected immediately so that our government is unable to deliver any services to its citizens (excepting, of course, fat no-bid contracts to rich friends).


Appeasement from the West

I was listening to the BBC podcasts as I was driving around in my car today and, in one of the interviews with a British government minister, I recall a line from the minister that really stood out.

It’s not like anyone’s questioning the right for Israel to exist.

Yet, in all honesty, that’s exactly what’s at issue with the conflicts in both Gaza and Lebanon. If you listen to real interviews with members of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the citizens of the territories, many of these individuals are denying Israel has a right to exist. A two state solution to the Palestinian crisis is not out of reach. Instead of launching attacks against Israel, the Hamas-led Palestinian government could have demonstrated that they were going to be adults and attended to the needs of their citizens. Instead, they demonstrated only that they can behave like small children. Their rise to power combined with the Israeli pullout was an opportunity to show the world that the Palenstinians could be trusted and were capable of building their own state; instead, it confirmed that the doubters who argued the Palestinians would never be able to stand on their own were correct.

Lebanon, likewise, finds itself in a similar predicament. The Lebanese government could have taken steps to disarm Hezbollah after Israel pulled out in the year 2000. Instead, Hezbollah continued to exist, to plan and develop its capabilities. It launched attacks on the pretext that Israel still occupied territory. What territory? The disputed border with Syria over the Golan Heights? The Palestinian cause?

The truth, which Western leaders so often like to forget, is that Israel itself is the disputed territory in the minds of many in the Middle East. Western leaders who ignore this fundamental fact to pressure Israel to capitulate do so at everyone’s peril.

P.S. Who ever thought I would come to agree so strongly with the Bull Moose on this point?

Updated to add: My only fear is that Israel will push Lebanon to collapse, creating yet another destabilized land within an already unstable region. Building governments out of the ruin is much harder than supporting and developing existing ones, a la Afghanistan and Iraq.


DJ Ted Stevens Techno Remix

If you haven’t heard Ted Stevens’ remarks on the Internet and Net Neutrality, this classic techno remix version is a good way to catch up.



When I went to unlock the door to my house this evening, I had a surprise waiting for me wrapped around the doorknob. I was lucky enough to receive a complimentary copy of the June issue of Awake! magazine.

Intrigued, I came inside and took a look at what exactly I was holding. The cover had a painting of three children playing in the Autumn leaves with a dog, while two dads stood slightly behind them perched on their rakes. In the distance there was a tree-lined lake, across which a sailboat floats lazily, with rolling hills off to the horizon.

Slapped in the middle of this idyllic Autumn scene is what must be this month’s headline article: WHEN WILL TERRORISM END. And in the bottom left corner there is a teaser “WHAT WAS THE ORIGINAL SIN PAGE 28”.

Interestingly, after several pages recaping what, from my extremely quick scan, the article comes back to the question answered on the cover. It closes with the paragraph

So, as terorist threats proliferate and nations shudder because of violence, the solution for lovers of peace is to trust in Jehovah. No problem exists that he cannot solve. He will remove injury, suffering, and even death. The Bible states: “He will actually swallow up death forever, and the Soverign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces.” (Isiah 25:8) The precious lands of many peoples, now filled with pain and fear as a result of terrorism, will soon overflow with the fruitage of peace. That peace, promised by the God “who cannot lie,” is what mankind desperately needs. –Titus 1:2; Hewbrews 6:17,18.

Cold comfort for those stuck in a war zone.

P.S. I am relived to know the original sin was not sexual relations.


Surreal Commercials

I’ve been watching a lot of CNN lately, and in the morning I’ve had the luxury of seeing one of the most bizarre and iritating commercials in quite a while.

If that’s not enough, you can check out the extended version.

Around the same time I first saw this commercial, I also got to hear a great Jews for Jesus radio commercia (no link to the actual commercial yet)l. At that point I figured someone was just messing with my radio and TV, but no, these ARE real.