“…“Syria has become a convenient battlefield for everyone, a place to divide the Arab world, said Farid Khazan, a Lebanese lawmaker and a professor of political science at American University of Beirut. “You won’t be able to reshape that country without messing up the entire region.”Tensions between Sunnis and Shiites in Syria have already destabilized communities in northern Lebanon and Iraq, according to U.S. and Mideast strategists. In Jordan, officials fear that the rise of fundamentalist Sunni groups in Syria, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, could threaten King Abdullah’s monarchy……
The conflict has huge ramifications for neighboring countries. As violence rises, Syrians are fleeing in ever-larger numbers. Tens of thousands of Syrians have fled to Lebanon since Thursday, while thousands more are pouring into Iraq by land and by air, and Jordan says that more than 100,000 Syrians are now within its borders.
Lebanon has already had several sectarian clashes between supporters and opponents of Syria’s regime. Lebanon also is a stage for regional rivalries to play out between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which back feuding Lebanese political factions.
“I don’t think Lebanon has ever been through a situation this sensitive and complicated as right now. The divisions are very deep,” a senior Hezbollah official said. …”
Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin/WorldNetDaily, Iran says Internet now a ‘battlefield’: New army of ‘cyber-jihadists’ working on disruption strategy, 16 Dec 2011
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"The next war’s battlefield will be larger than the traditional theater of southern Lebanon & northern Israel
“On July 30, 2006, an Israeli warplane dropped its deadly munitions on an apartment building in the southern Lebanese town of Qana as part of its military operations against Hezbollah during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war. The aerial bombardment buried two large Lebanese families beneath the rubble — killing 28 civilians, including 16 children. The attack carried grim echoes of the 1996 Israeli shelling of a U.N. compound in Qana, which killed 106 Lebanese civilians and wounded 116 more…. In the five years since the second Qana massacre and the war’s conclusion, Lebanon and Israel have enjoyed a rare calm along their border. But both sides are aware that the possibility of renewed conflict remains high..
Should another war happen, we believe that it will be even larger and bloodier than the 2006 conflict. Our judgment is based on extensive field research in Lebanon covering the military preparations of both sides and analyzing their own assessments of the likelihood and nature of a future war. Over the past five years, we interviewed and spoke with dozens of Hezbollah members, including political leaders, advisors, commanders, IT specialists, and foot soldiers… In the five years since, Hezbollah has responded by swelling its ranks with dedicated cadres and reviving its multi-sectarian reservist units. It has also acquired long-range rockets fitted with guidance systems, which enable it to develop a target list of specific military and infrastructure sites in Israel. The organization is also believed to have received training on more advanced air-defense systems that could pose a threat to low-flying Israeli air assets, such as helicopters and drones. With the support of Iran, Hezbollah has made further advances in its signals intelligence and communications capabilities, which play an increasingly vital role in its ability to wage war against Israel. Hezbollah is expected to use these upgraded capabilities to attempt to take the offensive in a future conflict, extending the fight into Israel through land and seaborne commando raids. The next war’s battlefield will therefore likely be larger than the traditional theater of southern Lebanon and northern Israel.…”
The decamping to Britain of Libyan Foreign Minister and longtime Qadhafi loyalist Musa Kusa is a blow to the regime, despite its considerable successes on the battlefield. And Al Jazeera is saying that several other key officials are trying to make their exit.
Of course, the loss yet again of Ras Lanuf and Brega by the rebels will somewhat diminish their joy at Kusa’s defection. But however triumphant Qadhafi may be feeling must also be tempered (if he’s capable of tempered emotion) by the close aides who have bailed on him.
(Oh, yes, he apparently can’t find a Libyan to be Libya’s Ambassador to the UN, so he’s named a Nicaraguan Sandinista.)
Oh, yes: Miguel d’Escoto is a former Maryknoll Catholic priest. Obviously the right choice for Libya’s UN Ambassador. No wonder the Foreign Minister defected.
If it weren’t for the horrific bloodshed and rapes, it would be ludicrous.
I can only imagine the elation in Benghazi last night. Earlier this week I paid an extremely brief visit to eastern Libya, and watched morale see-saw back and forth according to the latest rumors from the battlefield. It looked like Qaddafi would just grind forward all the way to Benghazi, and almost everyone to whom I spoke was desperate for a no-fly zone (some also rejected “foreign intervention” at the same time, but appeared to associate the latter phrase with ground troops). As it seemed increasingly unlikely that anyone would intervene, there was a growing sense of abandonment. People would start to clutch at straws — any rebel announcement of a miraculous turnabout success, however unlikely it sounded, was greeted by joyful cries of Allahu Akbar and the discharge of firearms into the air. But now we may have a genuine tide-turning event, real deliverance from on high. I could see the crowds cheering on al-Jazeera, but I’m sure that it conveyed only a small part of the ecstatic sense of relief which Benghazi residents are now experiencing.
AP – With tensions mounting along their shared border, Israel’s military says Hezbollah is moving fighters and weapons into the villages of south Lebanon, building up a secret network of arms warehouses, bunkers and command posts in preparation for war.
AP – The students clapped and cheered as a Hezbollah fighter perched on a rocket launcher paraded past. Later, they snapped photographs with guerrila fighters, getting a firsthand account of the group’s tactics against Israel on the battlefield.
““The Arabs understand that they have no chance of beating the IDF on the battlefield and so they have developed the ability to bypass [the army] and hit the heart of the population,” he said.” And Israel defeats Arab armies on the battlefield AND they hit the heart of the Arab population. (thanks Sarah)
My article for Aljazeera net: “Yet, Israel faces many political and even existential challenges. A state that was arrogantly declared to be a “light unto the nations,” has become a symbol of aggression, war crimes, and ethnic and religious discrimination. A state that sought US support to maintain military superiority vis-à-vis Arab regimes was humiliated on the battlefield in south Lebanon in 2006 by hundreds of armed youngsters. A state that bragged for decades about the skills and superiority of its intelligence apparatus, botched an assassination attempt against Khaled Mishaal, the Hamas leader, and kidnapped a Lebanese farmer in 2006 because his name was Hasan Nasrallah (and it took Israeli ‘experts’ a few days to decide that this was the ‘wrong’ Hasan Nasrallah). A state that signed peace treaties with several Arab regimes and which maintains secret relations with many others, remains hated by the Arab and Muslim public. It seems that the stronger Israel gets, the more impotent it becomes in influencing its status in the region…It is possible that the next phase of the Arab-Israeli conflict may shift from the battlefield to international organisations and courts. In such a scenario, Israeli military superiority is rather obsolete.””