DAMASCUS, Syria — U.S. and Israeli officials have reacted negatively to reports that Syria has transferred Scud missiles to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
Israel has called the development a “game-changing” move by Syria which has the potential to tip the region into a military conflagration.
“Syria claims it wants peace while at the same time it delivers Scuds to Hezbollah, whose only goal is to threaten the state of Israel,” said Israeli President Shimon Peres recently to an Israeli radio station.
Meanwhile, both Syria and Hezbollah are denying that any such transfer of armaments has taken place. However, high-level officials within the Syrian regime spoke to Qnion senior correspondent Jacob Tafnis yesterday evening, quietly confirming that Syria had been considering the move.
“We will not say that any Scuds have gone into Lebanon… yet,” said one official, asking to remain anonymous. “But we reserve the right to assist our neighbor whether or not they are interested in our assistance.”
When asked what the effect of such a move might be on Syrian engagement with the U.S. and the upcoming appointment of Robert Ford as ambassador to Damascus, the official responded: “We are confident that nothing is going to stop President Obama from engaging with us,” citing a recent article in Haaretz that alluded to Obama administration officials saying that “the Scud transfer made a U.S. diplomatic presence in Syria all the more necessary.”
“You see?” the official said. “The more we send weapons to Lebanon, the more they want to engage us,” he chortled happily. “I can tell you that we also have plans to establish a nuclear weapons facility in Gemmayzeh, a chemical weapons plant in Burj al-Barajneh, and a dedicated airstrip for unmanned drones right at the Beirut International Airport,” adding with a conspiratorial wink, “but you didn’t hear that from me.”
Meanwhile, in Gemmayzeh (Beirut’s popular nightlife district), rents are reported to be rising in anticipation of the new nuclear weapons plant, while local residents are hoping that the radiation will convince revelers to take their boisterous partying across town.
Scud has the shape of a giant BIC pencil?
maybe to sign a peace treaty!!!
Palermo april 2010
I see Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of “Smart Power” is paying off nicely.
We’re so lucky to have such an astute foreign policy “expert” leading the US.
For what its worth.
I don’t get it.
Lebanon’s defense based on deterrence (mirroring the successful to date Iranian model) appears to be being bolstered, and this is somehow viewed as conspiratorial and underhanded?
I expect this kind of thing from the pro-Zionist spin doctors. But from certain Lebanese whose homeland it potentially benefits?
Perhaps this is the result of ignorance, so I’ll attempt to better inform. SRBMs (such as the Iranian Shahab) offer an attractive alternative to fielding expensive and vulnerable air force assets. They are easier to field, mobile, relatively cheap to purchase, maintain and operate, require far less training and are more survivable. As such, they provide a suitable asymmetric response to an enemy’s first strike bombardment, offering a better bang-for-the buck deterrent factor in defense from attack.
It appears that any future IASF air campaign directed against the people of Lebanon will involve a higher price on the attacker than that paid in 2006. Perhaps this will make them think twice before attacking. It’s worked so far for the Iranians, and they’ve successfully faced down a far more powerful belligerent in the Persian Gulf, for many years now.
Pirouz says:” Perhaps this is the result of ignorance, so I’ll attempt to better inform. ”
Lebanon is truly blessed to have such magnanimous wise friends. If a handful of Scuds are to protect a country then no country is vulnerable. How come no one has figured this marvelous solution prior to Pirouz?
Qnion senior correspondent Jacob Tafnis report is simply tafniss, there are no such a thing in Syria, anonymous official or private source etc… as for the scuds, do you really think such a massive piece of weaponry can be transferred across the borders undetected ? In Lebanon there are no secrets!
“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them”
I’m pretty sure no amount of radiation would keep Beirut’s nightlife enthusiasts away from Gemmayzeh! In fact, even more people will flock to newly opened venues such as The Nuke or The Mushroom Cloud; it would be “the bomb”, so to speak.. 🙂
Good addition to the Qnion!
Come on now Pirouz…Let’s not get dilusional!
“Lebanon’s defense based on deterrence (mirroring the successful to date Iranian model) appears to be being bolstered…”
Are you kidding yourself? Ghassan is so right!
I think all this talk is foreplay between Syria and Israel!! 😀
Tafnis was misinformed.
Al Siyassa is now quoting Syrian opposition sources in Europe stating that Assad is not planning to build weapons plants in Gemmaizeh but rather to store Saddam’s WMDs there.
Al Rai is also now reporting similar, suggesting that the Syrian Army has been using Salafis mounted on unicorns to lead and protect the convoy of weapons to Gemmaizeh. Its Syrian sources are saying they believe it will be hard to detect the men and materials among the area’s passel of long-haired men and amid its haze of mysterious chemicals.
From his window at the Daily Star, Michael Young himself witnessed the stabling of the unicorns, and is now convinced that the Syrian Army intends a permanent base at the College du Sacre Couer. He was unclear as to why the Syrian officers were dressed as nuns.
Further, the Jerusalem Post is citing these reports, and adding that the IAF was prepared to hit the unicorn convoy along the Damascus Highway, but called off an operation at the request of the US officials from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Mythological Species Program, who raised concerns about the unicorns, as well other ecological issues.
Story developing …
We’ve got two davids now, it seems.
Unicorns are pretty.
But only one in your heart, habibi … 🙂
The State Department: We will neither confirm or deny the existence of unicorns, but these reports, if true, are troubling and would constitute a threat to the Administration’s pursuit of regional peace.
Senate Republicans: We intend to use Ambassador Ford’s nomination process to ask the Administration why it puts the lives of unicorns above those of the residents of the Middle East’s only democracy. Engagement is not a strategy, as no amount of flashy oratory or diplomatic maneuvering can make a unicorn out of a mule.
Syrian Embassy, DC: Does this mean nobody is coming to the Meridian tonight for our Syrian National Day party? We were just kidding around, guys, and it’s not like those weapons ever left Syrian territory or like they would suddenly become operational if they did. Don’t you guys know what a joke is? Or rust, for that matter?
Hizbullah: Everything the Syrians give us is crap. We are better off on the black market in Eastern Europe. Did I just say that? Crap, again.
Story developing …
First off, the fallacy in your statement is the use of the word “Lebanon’s defense strategy”.
These missiles were not requested or acquired by the Lebanese government, but rather by a non-state actor. That is not at all the same thing.
And that’s before we even get into debating your logic of deterrence.
Yes Bad Vilbel, the Lebanese government does not want any missiles or any arms and has never wanted to build a strong military because in Lebanon the politicians have to make sure that the sects are more powerful than the state. Does that mean that no Lebanese has the right to defend his/her homeland when the so-called “State” refuses to do so? The fact of the matter is that the arsenal of the resistance is acting as a deterrent, whether you like it or not, and whether the corrupt Lebanese politicians like it or not, and certainly whether “Israel” likes it or not.
The state refuses to do so? Or the state is not ALLOWED to do so?
There is a big difference.
Let us not be disingenuous here.
I am all for Lebanon defending itself from foreign aggression. But you and I know VERY well that this discussion is not really about that. There is no real Lebanese state, for all intents and purposes. Let’s not sit here and pretend that “The Lebanese” asked for missiles from Syria/Iran, or for US security help for that matter. Let’s call this what it is: Various, non-state, foreign sponsored factions, being armed by their sponsors, for whatever purposes said sponsors may have in mind (be it the Iranians, the Syrians, or the Americans or Saudis).
Let’s not fall into the fallacy that any of this is to protect the nation or the nation’s interests. Be honest with yourselves for once.
Nour, make up your mind, You either want to belong to the state and abide by its laws , as bad as they might be, or you want to oppose. Either choice is fine and legitimate but for heavens sake make up your mind. Stop the charade , you cannot have your cake and eat it too. If you do not want to annex the state by force then you have no choice but to abide by its regulations.
I have a question about the use of the word “resistance” in the context of Lebanon and Hizbollah referring to, presumably, Israel. Is “resistance” a translation from a word in Arabic that makes more sense? In English, the word seems silly as there is no one for Hizbollah to resist. Israel isn’t occupying or invading Lebanon and appears to have o interest in Lebanon other than to prevent rockets or missiles being fired at it or to punish Lebanon for allowing itself to be used as a staging ground for attacks against Israel. In other words Hezbollah isn’t resisting anything. From the Lebanese perspective, Hezbollah is the cause of the need to resist. In other words, without Hezbollah, there is no conflict with Israel (not really true – I am assuming the refugee camps aren’t used to do anything to Israel either). If Hezbollah wants to arm itself to invade Israel and rescue Palestinian lands, they should pick an English word that is more descriptive. Resistance implies that someone is doing something to them, which they oppose. But Israel is doing nothing to Hezbollah and appears to want nothing more from Lebanon than to be ignored.
“For heavens sake” what state are you talking about? Abide by its regulations? That’s funny.
Nour, rest assured that you can have your cake and eat it too.
For all those who are against the accrual of weapons, missiles and perhaps other armaments of similar nature, by Lebanon I would like to point out that since 2006 Zionists have abstained from practicing what their have become addicted to, their favourite past time, hitting at and encroaching into Lebanon at will.
The balance of terror works; it has proved to do so post-WWII and still holds true today.
For those who wish to dilute this accuracy, indeed necessity, of this strategic fact by suggesting that the weapons are not bought by the government, I refer them to the OFFICIAL position of the state of Lebanon pronounced by the Parliament, Government and Presidency, that mandates “the people, state and resistance’ with the defence of Lebanon.
Now some wish to deem the current State of Lebanon as a non-state, I wouldn’t argue too much. I will only say that once one is in a hole, the wise thing is not to dig deeper! It is similarly unwise for one to cut the nose in spite of the face!
“…I refer them to the OFFICIAL position of the state of Lebanon pronounced by the Parliament, Government and Presidency, that mandates “the people, state and resistance’ with the defence of Lebanon….”
You are correct. However please enlighten us on how those words and sentences were obtained! May 7th 2008 ring a bell?
Please let’s stop fooling ourselves!
I believe the same OFICIAL position was prevailing before 7th of March.
I do agree with you though on the nee to stop fooling ourselves.
Yes it was the “official” position after February 14th memorable day!! Also, lest we forget the occupation of downtown for over a year; kidnapping of all state institutions including shutting down the parliament and blocking the timely election of the president! You are right I should have mentioned how those “offical” stances were extracted! Should I mention burning of tires and creating terror in January 2007? or dozens of assasinations and explosions? No I guess you don’t care how that official stance was obtained do you?
I do accept your retraction of the historically erroneous statement.
Civil disobedience is a ‘right’ for all, I would have thought, hoped rather, that you would agree, rather than the act of subduing by the force of killing and intimidation in the pursuance of the ‘unified weapon’.
As to the issue of bombing and killing, I thought that the jury is still out of this one in the shape of the special court. You would not want to pre-empting ‘justice’ by going back to the much-used-and –abused notion of ‘political accusations’; this in no way guarantees ‘justice’, in fact it may well hinder it ‘big time’.
…and I still agree with you about the need not to keep “fooling ourselves”.
So that’s how you describe all the lootings and killings from Januarry 2007 and May 7th carnage. Civil disobedience! If a deal is “brokered” under the intimidation at the barrell of a gun; that deal is null and void my friend. Only mafiosos would boast that they have the support of the people they terrorized. So keep on spinning and don’t “FOOL YOURSELF”!!
While reading your contribution I actually thought you are part of the ‘onion’, then I read further and figured out that you might be asking a ‘serious’ question!
Apart from the areas of Lebanon that is still occupied by the Zionist state and the near-daily incursions (the last of which occurred only yesterday 17 April 2010 by launching a light bomb over a village that was hosting a civilian congregation), not to mention the habitual incursions into our sovereignty and actual invasions and occupations (too many to mention here starting from 1948, 1967, 1968, 1878, 1982, 1990, 1996 etc.); one can talk about the waters of Lebanon that the Zionists feel is up for grabs (did you know that water, as a source, is considered by the Zionists as fair game and in a sense ‘international’, hence could be acquired by war or peace!).
No, the resistance has a duel responsibility: 1) endeavour to reclaim the land and resources taken from Lebanon under a status quo of ‘strength’, and 2) make it costly for the Zionist gangs to try and impose their will on Lebanon again.
This I call RESISTANCE. Everything tried so far, conventional warfare, diplomacy and appeasement haven’t yielded one thing that a free spirited human liberal being yearns for. Just review, or read, the history books!
You answered my question but in a way that seems a little weird. For example, you mention Lebanese land occupied by Israel (you say “Zionist state” but I assume you mean Israel). I thought Israel no longer occupies any Lebanese land and hasn’t for years.
Perhaps the Israelis are evil as you seem to think, but they would have to be crazy to attack Lebanon for no reason. They sem pretty clear in saying that all they want from Lebanon is a quiet border. In other words, if you and the people living in your territory leave them alone, they will leave you alone. As far as I can tell, all of the grievances you list are a result of someone from the Lebanese side of the border, poking at the Israelis.
Perhaps water is a legitimate issue – if Israel raided Lebanon for water, I can see why you would like to resist that. So can you explain this some more: “one can talk about the waters of Lebanon that the Zionists feel is up for grabs (did you know that water, as a source, is considered by the Zionists as fair game and in a sense ‘international’, hence could be acquired by war or peace!)” It doesn’t really make any sense as written and it is hard to understand the connection between this and Hezbollah militarizing the Southern of your country. Is an Israeli raid imminent? Do they already control some Lebanese water? Is this a theoretical concern or has something already happened?
“Zionist gangs.” That is a great phrase.
Everything will be fine when the Arabs both lose their desire to eradicate Israel and hold their leaders responsible.
Well, it’s good to see that right after my plea for people to quit being disingenuous, the bar is raised even more by some who insist on rationalizing a perverted narrative and worldview.
I guess there is no point carrying much of a dialogue. Is there.
Case in point, this beauty of contradicting logic:
– The state refuses to protect us, so we have the right to get our own weapons.
– What do you mean it’s not “official”? The state says so in its ministerial statement!
Which one is it? Is the state refusing to protect you? Or is it protecting you? Pick one.
Not to mention the lovely mafioso logic of “I have the support of the people (at gunpoint).”
I have been interested in finding out what the Zionist gangs have been up to, and I now understand why Questionmarks is so upset. Apparently, the Zionist gangs are planning to place a synagogue on top of the Kaabah since (1) it was built by Abraham and thus belongs to the Jews and (2) also as revenge for Muslims putting a mosque on top of their Temple site. I don’t think they expect the synagogue to last very long, but it will probably be something they can give up in negotiations over Jerusalem.
Things are not making sense. The only reason why the SCUDS would be worth the effort for Hezbollah would be non conventional war heads.
Somebody thinks that war is in his interest. Who is playing the role the Russians played in 67?
We can rule out the US for sure.
The Lebanese and Syrians do not want a war.
Could Netanyahu be thinking that a war now would be good? There is a small chance but it is highly unlikely. The facts tend to come out in Israel and he would lose the elections if it turned out he was pushing for war. Furthermore, Bibi has proven to be extremely economic growth oriented, so he would not risk a war know.
That leaves the Iranians who probably think that if Syria, Lebanon and Israel duke it out, they would not be hurt and maybe the sanctions will not materialize against them.
When we see Nasrallah making such stupid moves like what Nasser did pre 67, we must be very careful. Things could get out of hand quickly.
An astute planner (the Mullahs seem to be so far) would rather create the grief and distraction/destruction for Israel by using the pasdaran’s Lebanese wing (HA) to relieve the pressure on them…As for Syria it is the slimiest and most atrocious regime; which seems to have been ageeable for Israel since 1974(rather than the alternative!! )
“When we see Nasrallah making such stupid moves like what Nasser did pre 67, we must be very careful.”
Update yourself, AIG. In 2006, 34 of your Merkava tanks have been destroyed in only 1 day. Indeed you must be very careful.
AIG…you are correct that this Scuds bidness doesn’t make sense. Uzi Rubin, a founder of the Arrow system bluntly said: “This is a nonsense move. What do they need scuds for?” Miltary analysts are similiarly puzzled as the considerable technical requirements for launching scuds would provide Israel with the equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel.
Unless, this Israeli “intel” can be seen as a causus belli for another Israeli attack on Lebanon (and Syria). I am always amused that Israelis are “unaware” that their own military strategerists believe that crippling the ability of Hezbollah and Syria to launch their weapons prior to an assault on Iran is a very very good plan.
That calculation does make “sense”. Even tho the American King’s anti-missile capacities (see “Juniper Cobra 10”) can’t possibly shield all of you and yours from retaliatory strikes.
Other than terse announcements of tests and gas mask distributions, etc from the Homeland Command, there is little actual discussion in Israel about the possible consequences to Israelis . It as if you Israelis are participating in an exercise of collective self-delusion that Zionism conveys a special immunity from the laws of cause and effect. Hubris summons Nemesis.
BTW, those pushing for more war(s) are your own countrymen and most disturbingly, some of your influential American cousins. The latter group has no hestiations about sacrificing shabbos goyim soldiers in their quest to destroy Israel’s selfmade “enemies”. Even worse, they are blithely indifferent to the potential of many Israeli martyrs of the homeland that they would love to it’s death.
Frankly, AIG, over the years I’ve been watching this situation, I’ve slowly come to realise that the greatest exisential threat to Israel’s survival is the American “Disapora” and their useful & ambitious tools that populate Congress, thinktanks and the MSM. Not to mention their Christian “Zionist” dybbuks.
May the gods save you from your saviors.
Frankly, AIG, over the years I’ve been watching this situation, I’ve slowly come to realise that the greatest exisential threat to Israel’s survival is the American “Disapora” and their useful & ambitious tools that populate Congress, thinktanks and the MSM.
Israel’s “greatest exisential threat” is not the “American ‘Disapora’ and the useful & amitious tools that populate Congress”, etc.
Israel’s greatest existential threat is Iran: a country that has threatened Israel’s existence, arms terror organizations to the teeth not only on Israel’s borders, but also in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also is undermining the IAEA.
Other threats are not “existential”, but no country would allow random missile attacks and terror attacks inside their borders.
If it wasn’t for the “ambitious tools that populate Congress”, Israel would have been gone long ago.
The least you can say about the Syrian diplomats is that they are hilarious.
“Washington has given Damascus countless opportunities to come over to the Western camp” (FP’s post mentioned by AIG#36)
How could hilarious and stupid Syria dare to refuse “coming over to the Western camp” and choosing its allies independently from American’s interests & superior cleverness?
The article mentioned by AIG is ideologically biased and factually speaking very poor.
How could hilarious and stupid Syria dare to refuse “coming over to the Western camp”…
Are you saying Syria HASN’T refused to “come over to the Western camp”?
You are challenging very simple facts. Syria has refused to split with the resistance/jihadist camp in Iran, including all their satellite terror organizations.
Once again, Syria picks the wrong horse and the Syrians (and the region) will suffer.
Since you are among those that I consider to constitute the greatest “exisential threat” to Isreal’s future, I certainly don’t expect that such a firmly ensconced dogmatist would recognise the dangers posed by himself and his fellow travelers.
Really, for the most part, you American Zionists are not worth bothering with. You have nothing new to offer and those who aren’t quite deliberately meddling in Israeli affairs, either internal or external, are deliberately blinding themselves to the very real and growing threats to Israel’s democratic values.
When Israelis such as Ehud Barak state that Iran doesn’t constitute an “exisential threat”, why would I or anyone else take your relentless silliness seriously? When Avigdor Lieberman states that Pakistan and Afghanistan are more dangerous to Israel than is Iran, why do you imagine that your endless & stale blather has any credibility whatsoever?
Typical of the vast majority of American Zionists, you don’t know WTF you’re talking about.
Really, for the most part, you American Zionists are not worth bothering with.
Then why are you “bothering” to respond?
You have nothing new to offer…
What “new” do you have to “offer” Lally? Are you more in awe of the “new” strategies of Dr. and President-for-Life Dr. Bashar Asad?
…the very real and growing threats to Israel’s democratic values.
What threat is there to Israel’s democratic values? You may not know this, but there are more freedoms in Israel than any of your favorite Middle East thugocracies.
When Israelis such as Ehud Barak state that Iran doesn’t constitute an “exisential threat”, why would I or anyone else take your relentless silliness seriously?
Easy. Ehud Barak is one person. Just like the NIE report was found to be flawed, so can one individual. Of course, my “silliness” is shared by a good many Americans, European, and even Arab countries.
When Avigdor Lieberman states that Pakistan and Afghanistan are more dangerous to Israel than is Iran, why do you imagine that your endless & stale blather has any credibility whatsoever?
Please post a link showing that A.L. said Pakistan and Afghanistan are “more dangerous” than Iran.
Typical of the vast majority of American Zionists, you don’t know WTF you’re talking about.
I know. Our government-controled press and media keep us in the dark;)