Israel Resource Review 20th September, 2006


Middle East News Line

The United States has determined that Iran has brought to Iraq advanced weaponry used by Hizbullah in the war against Israel.

Officials said U.S. military intelligence has detected the use by Iraqi insurgents of advanced Russian-origin anti-armor systems. They also reported the delivery of Chinese-origin rockets to Iraqi insurgency groups aligned with Iran.

"It's hard to say in our part of the world that we operate in as to whether or not people have given U.S. a hint about things to come," U.S. Central Command chief Gen. John Abizaid said.

In a September 19 briefing, Abizaid said U.S. troops have found in Iraq the Russian-origin RPG-29 rocket-propelled grenade, used by Hizbullah against Israel's military in the war in August. He said the RPG-29, designed to penetrate Western main battle tanks and armored personnel carriers, was modified by and produced in Iran.

"The first time we saw it [RPG-29] was not in Iraq," Abizaid said. "We saw it in Lebanon. So to me, it indicates, number one, an Iranian connection."

At this point, Abizaid said, the U.S. military found a single RPG-29 system in Iraq. He said he did know whether other such weapons were in Iraq.

Iran was also believed to have smuggled Chinese-origin rockets to Iraqi insurgency groups. Abizaid said the unidentified rockets were long-range and appeared to have been taken from Iranian Army stockpiles. "It looked brand new to us," Abizaid said. In 2005, Iran introduced a new shape-charge improvised explosive devices designed to penetrate the belly of U.S.-origin Abrams MBTs. Officials said the IEDs were smuggled by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, responsible for the training and equipping of Shi'ite insurgency groups in Iraq.

Abizaid said Iran has the most powerful military in the Middle East. He said Teheran has developed hit-and run tactics as well as nonconventional weapons to battle the U.S. military in Iraq and the Gulf. The general said Central Command would maintain forces in Kuwait and other areas of the Gulf region to respond to Iran or another threat.

"Number one, they have naval capacity to temporarily block the Straits of Hormuz, and interfere with global commerce if they should choose to do so," Abizaid said. "Number two, they've got a substantial missile force that can do a lot of damage to our friends and partners in the region."

"Number three, they have a pretty robust terrorist surrogate arm that could in the event of hostilities cause problems not only in the Middle East but globally," Abizaid continued. "And number four, they have a very substantial land army that, while it's not offensively worrying, is certainly capable of conducting asymmetric warfare."

Abizaid said Hizbullah has played a role in developing the capabilities of Shi'ite insurgency groups in Iraq. The leading Iranian-sponsored insurgency organizations were identified as the Badr Brigade and the Mahdi Army.

"There are clearly links between Lebanese Hizbullah training people in Iran to operate in Lebanon, and also training people in Iran that are Shia splinter groups that could operate against us in Iraq," Abizaid said. "These linkages exist, but it is very, very hard to pin down with precision." =

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Commentary: UN capers . . .
Arlene Kushner

There it is again. Yesterday, Kofi Annan, in his last address to the UN as secretary-general, makes the infamous link: As long as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains unresolved, "passions everywhere will be inflamed."

Are we to truly believe that all over the globe there is unrest because here in little Israel we don't pull out of Judea-Samaria and tell the Palestinians it's theirs for a state?

This skunk, this man of dishonor, goes out with dishonor by speaking thus. Great dishonor. For he didn't block the shameful address to the UN of Ahmadinejad -- who genuinely represents a threat to the world. How much lower can this world body sink? But here in the Middle East, we are the problem, you see.


I strongly recommend a piece written yesterday in The Jerusalem Post by Anne Bayefsky, who is a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute and editor of There is, she explains, an alternative to the UN being proposed: the United Democratic Nations - an international organization of democracies, by democracies and for democracies, which would truly monitor and expose human rights abuses around the globe.

"A world war is being waged," writes Bayefsky, "and the UN is not on our side. It is a tragedy in view of its beginnings and its promise, but the tragedy will be far greater if we refuse to say: Enough."

She exposes with clarity the profound moral corruption of the UN:

A 1991 resolution distinguishes between terrorism and the "legitimacy of the struggle of national liberation movements."

Just this month the UN adopted its first "Global Counterterrorism Strategy." However, it has declined to define terrorism or to sanction states that harbor or assist terrorists. And it omitted reference to the state sponsorship of terrorism. Its approach is not to combat terrorism; it prefers to advance "measures to address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism." Allow me to translate: the UN wants to reduce youth unemployment, prevent defamation of religions, and eradicate poverty. Because, you see, these are the things that cause terrorism. As mealy-mouthed and wrong-headed and politically-correct approach as you are likely to find.

"The UN's top human rights body for six decades, the Commission on Human Rights, was charged with identifying and responding to human rights abuse. During that time, 30 percent of all its resolutions condemning a specific state for human rights violations were directed at Israel, while not one resolution was adopted condemning states like China, Syria, or Zimbabwe. In recent years, Libya served as its chair.

"In the name of enhanced credibility, the commission was replaced this past spring by a Human Rights Council. Its members include Cuba, China and Saudi Arabia. Since June, the council has adopted three resolutions and held two special sessions critical of human rights violations in specific states. Now 100% of them are on Israel. "

" . . . UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan recently decided to go to Iran and shake hands with President Ahmadinejad. The message Annan delivered, in his own words, was that 'the international community should not isolate Iran.' Ahmadinejad has embraced genocide, called for the eradication of a UN member state, denied the truth of the Holocaust even though its ashes form the cornerstone of the UN itself, and broken his treaty obligations to end the pursuit of nuclear weapons. Yet the secretary-general still believes the president of Iran does not deserve isolation. "What does such a message do for winning the war? It tells us to appease, apologize and run away."

" . . . America has tried to galvanize legal and political forces by calling the millions dead, displaced and dying in Sudan "genocide." But the UN reported last year that events in Darfur didn't meet its criteria for genocide."

" . . . America has named Hezbollah a terrorist organization. But the UN refuses to do so - notwithstanding the 3,900 missiles directed at Israeli civilians this summer.

"On the contrary, said Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch-Brown: 'It is not helpful to couch this war in the language of international terrorism' - this because Hezbollah is 'completely separate and different from al-Qaida.'"

" . . . America attempted to introduce minimal qualifications for membership on the Human Rights Council relating to actual human rights performance. The General Assembly rejected the idea out of hand.

I will not dilute the powerful import of this message by turning to other subjects. Time enough tomorrow. The world is close to the abyss and too many nations that should have the fortitude and moral courage to respond before it is too late are failing to do so. A terrifying -- and totally bewildering -- time. Has the world learned nothing since Hitler? Or since 9/11?

In Hebrew, an abbreviation for United Nations is "oom." It is well known here in Israel that Ben Gurion, with great contempt, used to refer to "oom shmoom." In later years it was said he failed to take the UN seriously enough. But you know what? He was right.

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