Thursday, August 17, 2006

All The News That's (un)Fit To Print

While I haven't had time to keep up on blogging this find by Ariel over on Blogs of Zion is a gem. The sad truth is that it's probably pretty close to accurate.

Lots more on the media war against Israel coming soon.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Iranian Malware Update

Despite The Register publishing an article claiming that Iranian President Ahmadenijad's does not spread malware, it turns out I have been able to confirm this. Actually, the Register article headline claims it's false but the actual text of the article says no such thing:
"The most likely explanation is that there is some scripting on the site that, although not malicious, triggers an alert from Symantec's firewall software," said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at UK-based net security firm Sophos.

"It is possible that malicious content has once been on the site, but has since been removed. It is also theoretically possible, though very unlikely in our opinion, that the malicious content targeted visitors from an Israeli address," she added.

So, it could have been there and been removed from the site or else hidden in code she can't find from the U.K. Not a convincing argument that it's all a hoax, is it?

I have lots of family and friends in Israel, including one information security expert, so I did check it out. Yep, the code was there. Is it still there? Nope. Was this real? Yep. Was it removed once this story spread across the blogosphere? Yep. FWIW, I doubt the madman of Iran is computer savvy enough to have done it for himself.

FWIW, I am writing this from a computer running Ehad Linux and the Hebrew version of Firefox

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Ahmadenijad Blog Contains A Little Surprise For Israeli Readers Using Windows and Internet Explorer

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad now has his very own blog. That's fine. The content is entirely what you might expect with one notable exception. Several Israeli bloggers, including Yael K.'s Step By Step, which I read regularly, report that if you access the Ahmadenijad blog from an Israeli IP address the site sends you a little gift, a cyberattack in the form of a virus or trojan (reports vary) designed to exploit an Internet Explorer vulnerability.

To quote Yael:
Does Iran now use the Internet to harass Israeli citizens? To take advantage of the increasing Iranian-Israeli dialog online?

In a word: yep. The attack is smart enough to mostly ignore IP addresses from anywhere other than Israel, though it has been reported to have been triggered from Spain as well.

My one little piece of advice for friends and readers in Israel: Ehad Linux, an Israeli Linux distribution based on Mandriva 2006, is really quite easy to install and use. (Yes, I plan to write a review.) Those of us who run Linux have been blissfully immune to all the security nonsense which routinely plagues Windows users.

No, installing Linux is not a security panacea. You still need to patch regularly and become educated about keeping your system secure. It is, however, a very good start.

[NOTE: This piece is a first. It appears not only in Blogs of Zion, but in the O'reilly Linux Dev Center blog as well.]

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Wise Words

Unfortunately, there will be another round [in this war] because the government's just demands weren't met. The [kidnapped] soldiers weren't returned home, the Hizbullah was not disarmed. Right now, we are in an interim period between wars, and there is no one who will prevent our enemies from rearmed and preparing for the next round.

We were a responsible opposition. We aided in every way, including in the media war. Our public duty is to tell the truth, because unfortunately there will be another round.

We were living in a coma, and received an alarm warning telling us to return to reality as it is, and to return to ourselves and to those values that will secure our existence in the future.

These words are excerpted from former Prime Minister and opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu's speech to the Knesset plenum (in translation) as reported by The Jerusalem Post. Sadly, he is absolutely correct. Without the return of Israel's kidnapped soldiers, as called for in UN Resolution 1701, and without the disarming or Hizbullah, the acceptance of the resolution and the cease fire it called for were a major mistake. The United Nations has never, ever been trustworthy and has always sided with Israel's enemies. Why should anyone think this has changed?

[NOTE: This piece also appears in Blogs of Zion.]

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Latest Israeli Attack On Beirut?

Courtesy of the blog Esser Agoroth, here is a photo of the latest brutal Israeli attack on Beirut:

Hey, it's every bit as real as the stuff Reuters publishes which ends up in your local newspaper. Heck, if anything this piece of fauxtography is more creative than what Reuters used and every bit as believable.

OK, it's a fake. As other blogs have pointed out there is no Star of David on the Enterprise so it can't be real.

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Photos Of the Destruction In Haifa

Photographer Lenny Maschkowski has been taking pictures all over the Haifa area right after every rocket attack, sending them out in PowerPoint presentations which circulate among Israelis all over the world. I've been receiving them from one of my cousins in Israel.

Now Bert at Dutchblog Israel has posted some of the photos of the destruction for all the world to see. To quote him:
Just to give you an idea of the devastation caused by the various rocket that have landed in and around Haifa, and of their deadly load. These are the kind of things that Israel should leave unanswered, if we are to believe many European leaders and officials.

I think not, and I think this illustrates perfectly well why Hizbullah must never be allowed to rearm and redeploy along the border no matter what anyone in the so-called world community or the media might say.

Meanwhile the Israeli daily Yediot Ahranot reports that Israeli casualties and losses often go unreported, especially in the British media. Their report is especially critical of The Guardian and the BBC. I guess those two were too busy fabricating stories about Israel massacring Lebanese civilians. No wonder so many people in the U.K. have such an incredibly distorted view of the Middle East.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Media and the Massacre That Wasn't

Yesterday it was widely reported that Israel deliberately massacred 40 innocent Lebanese civilians. Reuters, the BBC, and others falsely reported that the IAF hat targeted a funeral procession. Then it was 40 Lebanese killed in air strikes. The only place you'll still find that reported is in The Guardian. No other even vaguely reputable western media outlet still carries the story. Why? The total number of people actually killed in Lebanon by these attacks: just one. Even the BBC eventually corrected their story, with a small note at the bottom noting the previous error. Reuters published an apology. That won't undo the damage done but at least they don't maintain a blatant lie on their website the way The Guardian does.

Yael K., commenting on the BBC coverage, wrote in her blog:
And how about those 40 people killed in a deliberate Israeli massacre yesterday, hmmm? Oh, ooops, you mean it was really only 1? And amazingly, from my own observation of the BBC yesterday to see how this would be handled since they had a screaming headline about the massacre of 40 civilians --it took them several hours after the ticker on Ha'Aretz was showing that the number had been revised to just one person for them to change it. And no, of course they didn't make it a headline: the 40 massacred headline got changed to Israel bombs...and in the text description beneath there was a little note that it was one person and not 40 as previously reported. Of course.

The BBC is notorious for anti-Israel bias, but The Guardian wins today's "to hell with the truth" award, beating out CNN and The Washington Post for having the least regard for facts.

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The Latest Wild, Unsubstantiated Charge Against Israel (CNN, Washington Post)

When charges were made that Hizbullah was deliberately using civilian casualties for PR purposes at Qana the charge came from Lebanese sources and even from members of the Lebanese armed forces. That charge was backed up with lots and lots of evidence. Do mainstream media outlets like CNN and The Washington Post investigate these charges? Heck, no! They are too busy vilifying Israel to be bothered with something as petty and trivial as the truth.

Their response: make the same charge about Israel with no evidence whatsoever. First a CNN anchor claimed Israel could shoot down all of the 150-200 Katyusha rockets fired by Hizubullah each day. Now Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks, appearing on CNN, claimed Israel is deliberately leaving Hizbullah rocket launchers intact to kill Israeli civilians for PR purposes. Video is available in this article, which is definitely recommended reading.

CAMERA's outrage is something I very much share:
One wonders who these "military analysts" are and why they have apparently not gone on the record. And why has Ricks so far not written the story in the Post? Can it be that his claims are too much even for the Washington Post to publish?

Whatever the reason, the fact is that a reporter who thinks that Israel would intentionally allow Hezbollah's Katyushas to rain down on Israeli civilians would believe anything about Israel, no matter how monstrous or unfounded. And any reporter who believes that reserve Israeli soldiers would follow orders to not attack rockets that are aimed at their children and wives, and that these soldiers would not immediately go to the Israeli media with the story, is an idiot. Furthermore, Israel encouraged its civilians to leave the danger zones, which is why thousands of Hezbollah rockets have killed relatively few civilians. If Israel cynically wants its civilians to die, why would Israel do all it could to get its civilians out of harm's way?

How can anyone believe that CNN is a reputable news sources? It seems to me that their bias is now so extreme that they do little if anything to hide it. If Mr. Ricks remains a reporter with The Washington Post that would speak volumes about their regard, or lack thereof, for the truth.

[NOTE: I've also posted this piece on Blogs of Zion.]

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An Excellent Analysis By Binyamin Netanyahu

Vide of an excellent analysis of the current situation by former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sky News can be found here courtesy of Aharon on Blogs fo Zion. Well worth watching...

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Counting Civilian Casualties

If you read, watch, or listen to news reports about casualties in Lebanon you always learn about innocent civilians killed. They are poor farmers or villagers. All the victims in the war seem to be civilians even though Israel only targets Hizbullah strongholds and sites were rocket fire originates.

Tell me this: how can you tell that all these people are civilians? Hizbullah fighters don't wear uniforms, do they? Of course they don't. They're not a regular army. So... some, possibly many of these "civilians", at least among the Shiite Muslims killed or injured, are actually Hizbullah.

Think about this: Where do these civilian casualty numbers come from? Local leaders, witnesses, or the Lebanese government are the sources. In other words, Hizbullah, at least in part, helps with the counting. Might the numbers of civilian casualties be rather inflated? Here is some evidence to indicate just that:

Bottom line: lots of media bias, lots of inflated casualty numbers, and many of those dead civilians in Lebanon aren't civilians at all.

[NOTE: This piece is also posted at Blogs of Zion.]

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

War Crimes Committed At Qana

In today's Wall Street Journal, Orde F. Kittrie, professor of international law at Arizona State University, wrote an excellent article titled War Crime At Qana? [subscription required]. His argument is that, indeed, war crimes were committed. Here are some relevant excerpts:
The Qana tragedy has intensified accusation that Israel's actions in Lebanon violate international law. . . . but there is no evidence Israel has committed any war crimes. In contrast, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria have clearly violated international law . . .

International law has three major prohibitions . . . one forbids deliberate attacks on civilians. Another prohibits hiding forces in civilian areas . . . A third prohibition, the proportionality
restriction . . . involves a complicated and controversial balancing test . . . governed by 'customary international law', it [hinges] on the intent of the combatant.

At Qana, . . . the aircraft did not deliberately target civilians; but Hezbollah rockets are targeted at civilians, a clear war crime. . . . If Hezbollah used Lebanese civilians in Qana as human shields, the Hezbollah not Israel, is legally responsible for their deaths. . . . Hezbollah and Iran--which provides this terrorist group with arms, direction and over $100 million a year--are in continual violation of international law. Their calls for Israel's destruction violate the international genocide treaty's prohibition of 'direct and public incitement to commit genocide.' . . .

Israel is acting in self-defense . . . the track record of many Israel's most powerful accusers--including China, Russia and the European Union--is not nearly as good at balancing civilian risk against military goals. . . . Compared with how China, Russia and the EU have dealt with non-existential threats . . .Israel's responses to the threats of its existence have been remarkably restrained rather than disproportionately violent.

It seems that there are two standards of international law among Israel's accusers at the U.N. and elsewhere: one for Israel and one for everyone else.

[NOTE: This piece also appears in Blogs of Zion.]

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Members of the Lebanese Forces Speak Out On Qana and Hizbullah (Part 2)

The first piece on The Ouwet Front (the Lebanese Forces blog) attacking Hizubullah was the strongest, a rant truly from the heart titled "The sad truth about Hezbollah tactics…" Here are some powerful excerpts:
For the last two weeks, we have been screaming that HA are hiding amongst civilians to attack Israel…we posted on boards, we mass mailed, some wrote to news papers and major news channels…


Today, the proof is with you, in front of you and yet some of you refuse to see…you refuse to see that HUMAN BEINGS are being used as SHIELDS…yes HUMAN BEINGS…kids, women, infants…


You vowed Jihad on the Israelis…but the whole country has not…you vowed their destruction and care less if in the process you loose your life…but the whole country has not…

Lebanon and the Lebanese Mr. Nasrallah are people that want to live…we want peace…we do not want to be torn to pieces or suffocated by imploding bombs…

When those people stayed in Qana despite the warnings issued by the Israelis to evacuate, they did so because they had put their faith in the men of the resistance…they believed that those men would protect them, would keep them safe from the Israeli enemy…

Alas…they discovered, and it was too late when they did, they discovered that those men who were supposed to protect them, were in fact hiding behind them.

They discovered that those men were taunting the Israeli by firing at him from behind inhabited buildings, daring him to reply…your men, Mr. Nasrallah, were playing Russian roulette but with the gun aimed at the heads of the innocent victims instead of theirs…


Pray tell me, were you counting on the public outcry to force the Israelis into a cease fire and thus claim your victory??? Like what happened in April 1996??? Is this what you were aiming at when you fired rockets from the vicinity of the UN post not three days ago, causing a retaliation that killed four UN soldiers???

The outcry wasn’t strong enough…lets do a Qana II…it will have an impact for sure…it never fails…people are so gullible…we get the cease fire and come out as heroes…and in the way we cause Israel to suffer humiliation…

Some victory for Lebanon Mr. Nasrallah…

The thing is that it didn't work for Hizbullah. Not at all. There is no cease fire and now the truth is coming out. This also strongly reinforces Alan Dershowitz' claim that Hizbullah actually wants massive Lebanese casualties for propaganda purposes.

Huge thanks to Yael K. who made me aware of this.

[NOTE: This piece also appears on Blogs of Zion.]

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Members of the Lebanese Forces Speak Out On Qana and Hizbullah (Part 1)

The Ouwet Front is a blog which describes itself as "Personal Views and Opinions of Lebanese Forces Members". They've had lots to say about Qana, and none of it is at all kind to Hizbullah. They, in fact, blame Hizbullah for the deaths at Qana rather directly.

In one post they echo the Israeli claim that Hizbullah was firing missiles from Qana, even linking Israeli military video showing the missiles being launched. In another post titled "How Hezbollah hides in civilian buildings" they add:
May Hezbollah and Nasrallah rot in hell for what they are doing. If Israelis were war criminals, Hezbollah are ruthless killers.

They once again provide a link to video proving their point.

These Lebanese servicemen also make an appeal:
Anyone who has substancial info, eye witness accounts, pictures or any kind of proof of Hizbullah using and abusing civilians please mail them at :

We strongly condemn the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, we strongly condemn any invasion against our country or interference in our internal affairs BUT we cannot tolerate a LEBANESE party using innocent Lebanese civilians as human shields for purposes that only serve terrorist countries like Iran and Syria.

May the truth prevail.

I don't feel Israel has any choice when it comes to attacking Israel. I will be posting photographic evidence of why very shortly. In any case if Hizbullah had not attacked Israel in the first place and if they did not persist in these attacks right up until the present there wouldn't any need for Israeli military action in Lebanon.

[NOTE: This post also appears in Blogs of Zion.]

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Who Is Really Responsible For the Carnage At Qana?

The Lebanese website Libanoscopie, which is anti-Syrian in its viewpoint, directly accuses Hizbullah of deliberately planning the Qana massacre, and of even deliberately bringing disabled children to the side to be killed, all for the benefit of the propaganda machine. The article, which is in French, says, in part:

Mais pourquoi une bavure pareille, une erreur ? Un massacre prémédité ? Une source généralement bien informée nous raconte sa version :

« Le Hezbollah, coincé par les 7 points proposés par le premier ministre Fouad Siniora, qui mettait un plan de déploiement de l’armée libanaise sur tout le territoire et essentiellement au Sud Liban, et donc le désarmement de la milice du parti de Dieu, a voulu faire échouer ces négociations. Il a mis en pace un plan machiavélique en créant un événement qui lui permettrait d’annuler ce projet. Sachant très bien qu’Israël n’aura pas d’état d’âme pour bombarder des cibles civiles, des militants du Hezbollah ont installé une base de lancement de roquettes sur le toit d’un immeuble à Cana et y ont entassé des enfants infirmes dans la ferme intention de voir une réplique de la part de l’aviation israélienne et créer une nouvelle situation, utilisant le massacre de ces innocents pour reprendre l’initiative des négociations. »
Ajoutant : « ils ont utilise Cana qui a déjà été un symbole d’un massacre d’innocents, ils ont fomenté un Cana 2 ».

For those who don't speak French, here is a translation courtesy of the Israeli daily Yediot Ahranot:
"We have it from a credible source that Hizbullah, alarmed by Siniora's plan, has concocted an incident that would help thwart the negotiations. Knowing full well that Israel will not hesitate to bombard civilian targets, Hizbullah gunmen placed a rocket launcher on the roof in Qana and brought disabled children inside, in a bid to provoke a response by the Israeli Air Force. In this way, they were planning to take advantage of the death of innocents and curtail the negotiation initiative," the site stated.

The site's editors also claimed that not only did Hizbullah stage the event, but that it also chose Qana for a specific reason: "They used Qana because the village had already turned into a symbol for massacring innocent civilians, and so they set up 'Qana 2'." Notably, the incident has indeed been dubbed "The second Qana massacre" by the Arab media.

Ariel Beery's comments in Blogs of Zion pretty much sum up my thoughts:
Shocking? Shouldn't be. Any one who is willing to strap bomb-vests upon their children and send them to their deaths is a true believer. And Qana was simply Martyrdom by other means.

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