Archive for category Hezbollah

the UN, NATO, and the trip-wire

I’m so sorry to write this missive as a lead article (for 15 minutes) but I don’t remember how to find the comments and respond to them. The lonely little side-bar response to my article I’ve not seen, except for half a sentence. It seemed to be saying that the old days are gone now, and so we need NATO and the JN. I agree. With NATO, it is the trip-wire provision that we go to war, automatically if any NATO nation is attacked, regardless of who the attacker is. This takes not only the United States Congress, but the president, as Commander in Chief, from the decision to go to war. I support both the UN and, if handled correctly, NATO. But President J. Reuben Clark and I oppose the automatic going to war. Just like the fools, the ancient general staffs of all sides in WW I. No one wanted that war. There was no Adolph Hitler in that war that destroyed the entire 20th century. Better to have shot the general staffs, who came to deserve exactly that. What President Clark called for, and I, are what the United States has always done, before NATO. That is, to have treaties of peace and friendship with our allies and then, should hostilities commence, such treaties would call for all parties to go to war, or not, as their constitutions provide. In this way, we don’t declare war against a nation, and surely all the people, have not yet been born. How, pray tell, do we justify going to war against, and for, people not, or no longer, live on earth. With a few caveats, ditto for the UN. No provision of law allows the UN to overreach Congress in the decision for war or peace. For anyone interested, read my book with the late Francis Wormuth, To Cain the Dog of War. It is by odds the best book ever written on the way we go to war. Every single war we’ve ever fought, including our wars against the Indian tribes, is there analyzed. Francis did not live to see this book in print. I worked two years after his death to finish it. And I updated it 4 or 5 times, alone. I still put my dear friend’s name first, because I am honored to be linked, now, forever. Something like Mormon marriage through time and eternity. ed firmage xoxo


The War Power, The Sergeant, the Senator: Treason or Heroism

The Sergeant who some years ago left his post in that unnecessary and unwinnable war in
Afghanistan is either a hero, a traitor, or just a terribly young man in the wrong war at the wrong time. He spent terrible years of torture and probably said things he didn’t really mean.

Some years ago in Vietnam, Senator McCain was shot down over Vietnam, another unconstitutional war, and equally unwinnable war, confessed repeatedly to things he later recanted, once safely in the United States, and is, quite rightly regarded, despite his confessions to American war crimes, a hero. The two cases are not quite completely on all fours, as we say in the law. But the similarity is sufficient to compare with each other and with the undergirding of law.

Presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama, who are visited by war, either their own or, like Obama, inherited from another (in Obama’s case two other) fools who preceded them, have always had this power. While not yet president, and without this act may well not have become president, Ronald Reagan communicated with Iran, telling them, in effect, just to refuse to deal with Carter on releasing our citizens from the U. S. Embassy in Iran, and await his presidency. Their deal (which killed Jimmie Carter’s hope for a second term and by the way was treason, meriting a firing squad.)

The 30, 60, 90 day notification of Congress is also unconstitutional, but not for the reasons the Republicans and Democrats alike, trumpet. Saint Paul, as I recall, said “this trumpet has an uncertain sound.” And I know he said that some leaders have “zeal without knowledge.” This is Republican and Democratic leaders on steroids, just like my former wife.

The reason the War Powers Act is unconstitutional is not what is now said by either Republicans or Democrats, as I told Joe Biden when he was both Minority Senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate and when he was chair. I testified before his committee a few times, and he called me at the law school sometimes to chat about this. The reason is simple. Due to both a few but very senior Democrats and almost all Republicans, Congress forced the Demo’s to give the president 30, 60, or 90 days to play with Congress’ army while he picked his nose. War has not been officially declared since FDR did it in WW2. George Bush (the first) and Colin Powell, in my opinion, got it right, constitutionally, by voting 50-50 in the Senate, and then the Dark Lord, Vice President Cheney, broke the tie and we went to war in Iraq the right way by law; and they had the smarts to stop when their limited mission was accomplished. And until this time, the President, as Commander in Chief, has no constitutional power to use the United States armed forces, save self-defense.

In the Framers’ mind that means only when the United States of America, not our allies, are attacked. For Utahns, the reason J. Reuben Clark, my hero and a great patriot, a rock-ribbed Republican who served under many Republican presidents, served variously as chief legal adviser to the Department of State (then, as an deputy Attorney General on loan from Justice to State,,,,,,now called Legal Adviser to the State Department; and Vice Secretary of State, and Ambassador to Mexico; and advised many presidents between world wars one and two, on all arms control treaties between those to dreadful wars) opposed NATO was because it delegated the war power to a generation not yet born and for the defense of people, and nations, not yet born. Neither the United Nations (Korean War) nor NATO (Ukraine?) can declare war for the United States of America. This is the statement of law, the War Clause, that makes this beyond debate. Remember, that it is also the sole right of Congress: not the President of the United States, nor NATO, nor the United Nations, that decides what constitutes International law, as well. So, both Constitutional Law and International Law, save an attack on the United States, inform us that Congress, not the president or these international bodies, who determines for war or peace.

So screw the people and the Congress and president now living. When the president, any president, has this army to use, that army will never return to Congress’ care. This is unconstitutional because it is an illegal attempt to delegate to the President a plenary power, given exclusively, textually, to the Congress. Like the power over interstate commerce (the road by which most civil rights legislation is constitutional), along with the equal protection and due process of law clauses of the 5th and 14th amendments. It’s as if Congress were to say to Obama, “Say, friend, we’re so damned tired of life in Washington, despite the cherry blossoms, we will do what the Supreme Court does, and reconvene when good weather returns. We’re going to go to Balboa Island, California, where it’s nice and sunny, in ocean or on the beach, and pick our nose and scratch our butts. And better yet, we have one in eight chances not to pick both with the same finger. Even though we’ve proven, time out of mind, that we in Congress cannot chew gum and pick our nose, simultaneously (a great blessing). So, pres., you now have the taxing and the spending power, and we’ll sweeten the loaf by throwing into the pot, since you do have to stick around in this shitty weather, and give you the power also to fund and provide for the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Navy. And don’t sweat it about financing things by the provision in the Constitution that spending bills begin in the House. Since you already have the taxing and spending power, do all this in the White House. P.S. please instruct the Treasury Department to deliver our checks, our salaries, and all the REALLY big bucks from the armaments industry and all those other lobbyists. We really have earned this right by selling our souls to the devil. Have a good life.

I say that both Senator and Soldier are bona fide heroes. Ed Firmage xoxox


Are You Ready for This?

USS Eisenhower

Recent developments indicate the USA will be ready to launch a strategic bombardment of Iran two weeks before Election Day.

The Bush administration wouldn’t attack Iran if they were reasonable and rational. But they aren’t, or they would never have invaded Iraq or allowed Israel to attack Lebanon. As the Boston Globe put it, “For political cynics who believe Bush, Cheney, and Karl Rove would stop at nothing to hold onto power, a first strike against Iran would be the ultimate pre-election ‘October surprise.’”

The USS Enterprise Carrier Strike Group and a destroyer squadron are already deployed in the Arabian Sea to conduct naval security operations and aerial missions over Afghanistan. Other warships in the Enterprise Strike Group include a destroyer, a frigate a cruiser, an attack submarine, and a fast combat support ship. The “Ike Strike” Eisenhower Strike Group, based in Norfolk, Virginia, is on its way to the region and scheduled to arrive October 21 with the aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower. It includes a cruiser, a destroyer, a frigate, a submarine escort, and supply ships. One of these two naval strike groups will position itself in the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea while the other naval strike group will position itself in the Persian Gulf, both off the Iranian coast.

The first news of the “Ike Strike” orders came from disgruntled naval officers who complained they were being sent to attack Iran without congressional authorization.

A third group of U.S. warships, Expeditionary Strike Group 5, left San Diego on September 13, bound for the Persian Gulf with 2,200 U.S. Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Pendleton. They have an air combat element of helicopters and Harrier jump jets. The flagship of this strike group is the assault ship USS Boxer. Other ships include a dock landing vessel, a transport ship, a cruiser, and two guided-missile destroyers. A Coast Guard cutter and a Canadian frigate are attached to this force.

According to, military planners could target limited air strikes at the most crucial Iranian nuclear facilities, or the United States could opt for a far more comprehensive set of strikes against a range of WMD-related targets, as well as conventional and unconventional forces that might be used to counterattack against US forces in Iraq. A substantial number of land-based aircraft are available in the region, including F-15Es, F-16s, and heavy bombers. Naval aircraft such as F-14Bs and F/A-18s are available aboard the carriers. Approximately 500 Tomahawk cruise missiles deployed on cruisers, destroyers, and submarines could also be used to strike fixed locations.

What does the Bush administration plan to do? Bluffing is not their style. According to Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel and one of the military’s most respected specialists on war simulation: “One source of the momentum in Washington for a strike on Iran’s nuclear program is the strategic observation that if such an attack is inevitable, then it is better done sooner than later.”

“The very ambiguity of the intelligence picture has become another argument for military options, because even if U.S. policymakers could agree on a firm policy red line, there would be no way of determining if and when Iran crossed that line. Vice President Cheney’s espoused calculation for dealing with global threats is that if there is even a 1 percent chance of a country passing WMD to a terrorist, the United States must act. Because there is a 1 percent chance Iran could pass WMD to a terrorist, the Bush administration finds itself obliged to reject nonmilitary options.”

What about the Congress?

President Bush has repeatedly insisted that the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force that preceded the invasion of Afghanistan was also an authorization for an unending “war on terror.” Read the rest of this entry »


The Dialogue About the US Support of Israel

The dialogue about the US Support of Israel against Hezbolla is drawing much condemnation from many highly respected academics and experts in foreign policy.

It has been suggested that the US unreserved support of Israel’s actions in Lebanon, has given Iran and Syria more permission than ever to pursue their goals in Iran. It has angered our allies in Europe, and led to comments like, “the lack of day light between Israel’s policies against Lebanon and the US ‘s policy has compromised the US credibility as a mediator in the Middle East process.

Did the IDF fail to distinguish between civilian and civilian targets?

It seems our untempered support for Israel’s pounding entire towns in Lebanon has also threatened Ehud Omert’s ability to lead Israel in the future.

Israel should remember that Americans puplic support for Israel is strong but closer to that of the Europeans, but not as strong as the US Israel support lobbies.  This can hurt Israel in light of the overwhelming disapproval of Bush and his advisors like Wolfowitz, Feith and Cheney.

Some would argue that Olmert shoud have thanked Bush for his support, but backed off just a little bit in “smashing” Hezbollah.

We need to know the truth about what has happened in this war. Did Israel over react because of US support? Have we together violated the laws of war and set back the foundation for peaceful settlement, or have we forsaken proportionality in a conscious strategy to move this conflict beyond diplomacy?

It is clear to us that air supremacy alone could have eliminated Hezbollah rockets. So it looks like Israel went beyond because of US prodding.
We don’t know what to believe.

Help us understand Jacques and Elisha, keeping in mind, everything Bush touches seems to go bad.

Love Cliff


Love and Kisses From Israel

I offer this unedited personal e-mail of today from my Israeli cousin Jacques for whatever perspective it may provide. Thank you Jacques- Love Cliff – 8.14.2006

Dear family and friends,

It has been some time since we communicated with you last.

Today is the first day of the cease-fire on the Lebanese front. After over a month of fighting, it is too early to assess the results of this first round. From the Israeli stand point, almost none of the objectives have been fulfilled: no return of the abducted soldiers, no dismantling of the Hizbollah terror group, no clear cut victory over it either, no insurance that missiles won’t rain down on us anymore, hesitating politics and army tactics which will need to be investigated later, over 100 dead so far.

Lebanon is left in a shamble with a week government unable to fulfill the agreement terms, a thousand dead, and an army who is no less than Hizbollah in uniforms. French, US and UN officials, as usual, did everything to get a castrated cease-fire agreement planting the seeds of the second round.
In short, as far from peace as ever!  Syria and Iran counting the points, providing arms to the terror and waiting patiently until they’ll decide to get in.

The West, instead of bowing to the Arab propaganda and condemning Israel for defending herself against unprovoked attacks, should have taken the opportunity to say, loud and clear: ” That’s it: no more terror, no more blackmail, enough with those regimes calling for the destruction of Israel etc…” and helped this tiny free country whose only goal is to live peacefully among its neighbors. If the Hizbollah is not disarmed right now and the Iran atomic program is not suppressed very soon, the civilized world is going to regret it dearly. I am not the only one to compare the situation to the fore years of  WWII, when the Germans reoccupied the Rhine’s West Bank and the western powers didn’t lift a finger , thus encouraging the mad man to go further and further along the path of all-out war.

Think a bit to what would have happened if the Moslems Terrorists would have succeeded blowing off 12 airliners between Great-Britain and the US? It’s all the same plot: destroying the western civilization and put Islam instead.

As far as family goes, Zeev , from Pierre and Michele, is serving deep near the Litani river in Lebanon with a crack infantry unit. Our David and Jonathan are relentlessly manning their UAV flight consoles, newly wed Moshe is also serving with a commando unit “somewhere up north”…13 months old Yaara decided to stand up and run as of last week, and is already training for the 2028 Olympics’ marathon! Her poor grand-father can barely keep pace with her already!

Dina and I went through interesting times, as our home and places of work were within missiles targets, but so far so good. We were fortunate not to have any young children to take care of, then no real incentive of temporarily leaving the northern area, as a lot of people did.

Hope you are all well. Keep sending news of yours, this is always most welcome.

Big kisses to all,

Dina & Jacques


Lovers’ Quarrel

It’s minimally heartening to see that even Condolezza has a “sell-out” limit. Not that it is forgivable, but it is understandable that a black women might decide to compromise her principles and training and develop a certain capacity for selling-out in order to succeed in a white man’s world.

Stolen from here. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has become increasingly dismayed over President Bush’s support for Israel to continue its war with Hezbollah. State Department sources said Ms. Rice has been repeatedly stymied in her attempts to pressure Israel to end strikes against Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon. The sources said the secretary’s trip to the Middle East last week was torpedoed by the Israeli air strike of a Lebanese village in which 25 people were killed.Condoleezza Scowls at Chimpy

“I’ve never seen her so angry,” an aide said. The U.S. response to the Israeli-Hezbollah war was said to have divided both the administration as well as the family of President George W. Bush. At the same time, it marked the first time since Ms. Rice became secretary of state that the president has overruled her. “For the last 18 months, Condi was given nearly carte blanche in setting foreign policy guidelines,” a senior government source familiar with the issue said. “All of a sudden, the president has a different opinion and he wants the last word.”

The disagreement between Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice is over the ramifications of U.S. support for Israel’s continued offensive against Lebanon. The sources said Mr. Bush believes that Israel’s failure to defeat Hezbollah would encourage Iranian adventurism in neighboring Iraq. Ms. Rice has argued that the United States would be isolated both in the Middle East and Europe at a time when the administration seeks to build a consensus against Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Instead, Ms. Rice believes the United States should engage Iran and Syria to pressure Hezbollah to end the war with Israel. Ms. Rice has argued that such an effort would result in a U.S. dialogue with Damascus and Tehran on Middle East stability. Read the whole article.


Hezbollah Launching Missles from Civilian Homes in Kana – Video

This is recent video of rockets being delivered and launched from civilain homes in Kana and Kafe in Southern Lebanon. For obvious reasons, we are concerned that this kind of information is not delivered by your US media. These terrorists are experts after many years in manipulating American media, and your media are experts at laziness and self-serving behavior.
View video (.wmv) in media player or download


Hezbollywood? Evidence Mounts that Qana Collapse and Deaths Were Staged

To the reader: I wonder if anyone else had seen of heard other suggestions about this? – Cliff
By Reuven Koret – July 31, 2006

It was to be a perfect Hollywood ending for Hezbollah. Just as the Israeli bombing of the village of Qana in 1996 brought a premature end to Israel’s Operation “Grapes of Wrath,” so too a sequel of Qana II could change, once and for all, the direction of Israel’s current summer blockbuster, “Change of Direction.” Ten years ago, world condemnation of an errant Israeli shell that hit a civilian compound forced then-PM Shimon Peres to curtail the offensive against terror bases.

The setting was also perfect: Kana was again being used as a primary site for launching rockets against Israeli cities. The IDF reported that more than 150 rockets had been launched from Qana and its vicinity at Israeli civilians, wreaking destruction in Kiryat Shmona, Maalot, Nahariya and Haifa. It was only a matter of time before the Israeli Air Force would come for a visit, using pinpoint targeting of the sites used to launch rockets, Hezbollah logistical centers and weapon storage facilities.

On the morning of July 30, according to the IDF, the air force came in three waves. In the first, between midnight and one in the morning, there was a strike at or near the building that eventually collapsed. There was a second strike at other targets far from the collapse building several hours later, and a third strike at around 7:30 in the morning. There too the nearest hit was some 460 meters away, according to the IDF. But first reports of a building collapse came only around 8 am.

Thus there was an unexplained 7 to 8 hour gap between the time of the helicopter strike and the building collapse. Brigadier General Amir Eshel, Head of the Air Force Headquarters, in a press briefing, told journalists that “the attack on the structure in the Qana village took place between midnight and one in the morning. The gap between the timing of the collapse of the building and the time of the strike on it is unclear.” Read the rest of this entry »


Why Are We All of a Sudden Again in a War?

A personal view by Elisha Haas
July 27 2006 – When one tries to understand the news coming from Israel in recent weeks one cannot avoid many questions. Why is Israel attacked now while so many territorial concessions where made recently and many more are promised? When so many peace plans are implemented? Why is the IDF unable to stop the barrage of missiles that keep half the country paralyzed for more than two weeks? Why do the Hezbollah men fight so bravely and vigorously? Why did Israel let them make all preparations at zero distance undisturbed? Is that a war or a short term episode of exchange of fire? Why do the persons that form the current government fail to understand that we are at war? Why do they not let the IDF fight in reasonable strength?

Israel is now at major war again. But this time the war is different. Not only because we are attacked by an organization that have no territorial claim from us, but mainly because we are attacked by a determined enemy, with a clear and sharply defined goals of the war, with deep conviction that these goals are achievable and with strong, ideological, religious leadership. Yet it seems that our leadership is not determined and does not have clear goals. The main body of the Jewish people of Israel are as strong as ever. But our prime minister is a person who declared very recently that “we are tired of fighting, tired of wining a war and tired of defeating our enemies”. Therefore, the IDF has to obey instructions from people who do not want to win, who try to escape the war, who are trying to manage a short term conflict, leading short sighted tactics without long term strategy. Thus they ignore the fact that the enemy practically declared a war whose end goal, which seems to the other side closer than ever, is the annihilation of the Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel, turning all of us into second class citizens, and thus open the road of the world of Islam to Europe.

Why are we is such situation?

Israel is caught in the middle between the old European hostility (the Christian anti-Semitism) and the growing Islamic anti-Semitism. This is not new. Both sorts of anti-Semitism are deeply rooted in the theological structures of both religions. Theologically there is no place for a sovereign Jewish state in the holy land at any time ever since the “irreversible” dispersion of the Jews.

This powerful theological resource is translated into active war via indoctrination efforts of their state-run schools, mosques and media organs. That is not new. The difference is that in the past 14 years the dream of “wiping Israel off the map” seems to the Moslem world closer to reality and they are immersed in an anti-Jewish, jihadist, genocidal conviction. We should thank the president of Iran for making things clear and public, we should take his words seriously when he declares his goal to eradicate Israel. We should also again and again read the covenants of various Palestinian factions where we shall find the same simply stated goals of the war. The question is what made them think that by now it is becoming closer to be achieved?

The difference is inside the Jewish state and it is reflected in the public media, the discourse and actions of its recent governments and even the politically appointed leadership of the IDF, which lost the unbeatable push of wining. These changes stem from the current ideology of a fraction of Jewish Israeli society, which lost the original Zionist destination.

History is an irreversible process. In that sense, the Churche’s theological claim that the dispersion of the Jews is permanent and irreversible fits the normal flow of events. The renewed gathering of Jews and formation of a sovereign Jewish state in the holy land is not normal. The new state was defined only on the religious sources of the newcomers which did not share any other characteristic and the first item in the planned constitution of the newly created state is the low of return, which is totally discriminatory low, far from being normal. That reflects the basic fact that the state of Israel was created in an abnormal process of a “reverse of history” and unlike “normal” states its only common basis is not territorial but religious.

For many Israelis who abandoned their religious origin there is strong dissonance between the aspiration for normalization and very structure and definition of their new, still taking shape, homeland. For them, it is even difficult to understand that the hatred to Israel is simply religious and they think that we can appease that hatred by concessions, giving up real estate and signing “peace” treaties. They refuse to understand that nothing can stop religiously based rejection of the Jewish state except force. Strong deterrence is the only asset that can create peace under this situation. But, alas, during the past 20 years, under the leadership of the second generation of Israelis, that deterrence is gradually and steadily wasted and now we are facing a concerted attempt by the global Islamic forces to make another major step towards the long-term goal of wiping Israel out. But, when

After few days of the current war our current PM delivered a programmatic message to the nation, his definition of the goals of war made me think that he does not understand the gravity of the situation. He did not define clear goals for the war and declared that all we want is “to live normally”. But this is not a national goal for a war; the Jews did not come to this crazy corner of the world just to have normal life. All over the free world every Jew can have normal life, much more than in this stormy corner of the globe. Our national goals can only be to establish the “abnormal” Jewish society that can practice its tradition of values of justice and Tzdaka. Thus, we are at war with an enemy that has very clear religious goals while the persons who at the place where the goals of war are given to the IDF lack the ability (and the will) to define them. This is a dangerous asymmetry.

How did this situation develop? Read the rest of this entry »


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