The bombing of a UNIFIL convoy in southern Lebanon on Tuesday night was likely aimed at sending a message to the peacekeeping force to scale back its operations against Hezbollah, Israeli defense officials said on Wednesday.
UNIFIL’s mandate is up for renewal in mid-August and the attack is understood in Israel as a sign of Hezbollah concern that the force is looking to bolster its rules of engagement.
Some background on this story:
Six officers from the French contingent were wounded when an explosion targeted a convoy of four trucks traveling near the southern Lebanese town of Sidon. In May, a similar bomb attack took place wounding six soldiers from the Italian contingent just a few kilometers from the scene of Tuesday night’s attack.
Israel has been lobbying diplomats from countries which contribute to UNIFIL – particularly Spain, Italy and France – to get the UN to issue new rules of engagement for the peacekeeping force that will enable it to search Lebanese villages without prior coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).
And this is exactly what Hezbollah cannot allow, thus the bomb attacks. We'll have to keep an eye on this situation.
The next story is posted simply because I am always keeping a close eye on the actions of Jordanian King Abdullah:
Abdullah 'Refused to Meet Netanyahu'
Jordan's King Abdullah II recently turned down a request from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to hold a secret meeting in Akaba, according to Kuwaiti paper Al Jareeda.
Unnamed "well informed sources" told the newspaper that Netanyahu sent a special emissary to the king and requested the meeting, but the King refused
The sources said that the king is angry with Netanyahu over the position of his government on the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, and over statements by people close to Netanyahu that "Jordan is Palestine."
The king is also reportedly upset that Netanyahu insists on leaving the Jordan Valley under Israeli sovereignty.
This Is What A Collapsing Ponzi Scheme Looks Like
With defaults already piling up, the shadow inventory of homes has been growing rapidly, and given this new datathe number is going to skyrocket. As this chart shows, the total has gone up from 2 million homes in 2009 to 3.35 million as of April, a 67.5% increase already.
28% of US homeowners already owe more on their mortgage than their homes are worth. A recent survey by Fannie Mae found that 27% of American homeowners are considering walking away from their mortgage. A perfect storm is brewing. As prices continue to drop, with 10 million now at risk of default, a strategic default movement could devastate the “too big to fail” banks that caused this mess in the first place.
This is what a collapsing Ponzi scheme looks like.
Sharia Law Zones in the UK?
Islamic extremists have launched a poster campaign across the UK proclaiming areas where Sharia law enforcement zones have been set up.
Communities have been bombarded with the posters, which read: ‘You are entering a Sharia-controlled zone – Islamic rules enforced.’
Hate preacher Anjem Choudary has claimed responsibility for the scheme, saying he plans to flood specific Muslim and non-Muslim communities around the UK and ‘put the seeds down for an Islamic Emirate in the long term’.
‘We are going to go to all these same areas and implement our own Sharia-controlled zones.
‘We want to run the area as a Sharia-controlled zone and really to put the seeds down for an Islamic Emirate in the long term.’
U.S. military chief nominee warns Iran
The nominee to be the next chief of the US military on Tuesday warned Iran not to pursue nuclear weapons or sponsor attacks in Iraq, saying it would be making a "serious miscalculation."
Dempsey, now the US Army's chief of staff, saved some of his toughest criticism for Iran. In prepared testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, he called the clerical regime a "destabilizing force."
"With its nuclear activities and its surrogate activities in southern Iraq, there is a high potential that Iran will make a serious miscalculation of US resolve," said Dempsey, nominated to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Christian Rocker Sues MSNBC for Defamation
A $50 million defamation lawsuit has been filed against MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and the network on behalf of Bradlee Dean, a former heavy metal rocker who founded a ministry called, You Can Run But You Can’t Hide.
The lawsuit was filed by Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, “as a matter of principle” because Maddow allegedly accused Dean of calling for the execution of homosexuals – a claim which Dean denies.
Hizballah and Israel Five Years After Lebanon War
Five years have passed since the Second Lebanon War. Five years since the burnt forests, the Katyusha rockets, the blazing sunlight, and bitter lessons of that summer in 2006. A half-decade on, Israel has improved both its battle readiness and its knowledge of the enemy. As for Hizballah, it is both stronger yet paradoxically also more vulnerable and isolated than it was back then.
We continue to see the build-up for the approaching wars:
Today, the IDF has significantly improved its stance vis-a-vis Hizballah. Tactics and equipment have been modified, training has focused on specific countermeasures, and there is a far higher rate of combat readiness.
Yet Hizballah too has vastly increased its capabilities. It now possesses 60,000 short range missiles aimed at Israel. It has also, according to reliable sources, significantly improved its medium and long-range missile capabilities. The movement’s possession of the M-600 missile system gives it the ability to hit populated areas in central Israel. It is reported also to possess a number of Scud-D missiles which might possibly strike targets anywhere in Israel.
In February 2008 its most senior military activist, Imad Mughniya, was assassinated in Damascus. Hizballah, blaming Israel, wants revenge for this. This could be the spark for a renewed conflict.
Should conflict with Israel return, it would acquire dimensions that would make 2006 look like a small rehearsal. This time around, Israel would be likely to regard the conflict as a state-to-state war– the first between Israel and an Arab state since 1973.
For the moment, Israel and Hizballah-controlled Lebanon watch each other across the border. The frontier is unusually quiet, but permanently tense. So if war comes, Hizballah will enter it physically stronger than in 2006, but also politically more isolated, more exposed, and hence more vulnerable. As for Israel it will be at this point, and only at this point, that it will be possible to examine the claims of greater readiness, better planning and sharper intelligence against the test of reality.
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