Beyond the Cusp

January 29, 2015

Hezballah Cross Border Attack Threatens to Elevate Conflict

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Two IDF soldiers were killed when each of the vehicles they were patrolling the border road with Lebanon were struck each by an anti-tank rocket. Six other soldiers were injured and have been transported to Ziv Hospital in Tzfat. No information was relayed initially after they were evacuated to Rambam Hospital for treatment. Information released through journalist Rassan Ben Jiddo shortly after 1:00 PM issued the claims the Hezballah took credit for these attacks. There was also news reports claiming mortar fire had erupted along the border. The two IDF soldiers killed were Major Yochai Kalangel and Sgt. Dor Nini pictured below.

 

IDF Soldiers Major Yochai Kalangel and Sgt. Dor Nini killed by Hezballah anti tank rockets hit in unarmored vehicles on border road

IDF Soldiers Major Yochai Kalangel and Sgt. Dor Nini killed by Hezballah anti-tank rockets hit in unarmored vehicles on border road

 

After calm returned to the border region, Hezballah made calls for calm after firing at the least six anti-tank rockets at light vehicles which is against the Geneva Conventions though it is doubtful that such violations will be reported by many in the mainstream media as the violations were against Israelis and not perpetrated by Israelis. Hezballah terrorists attacked an IDF post along the border earlier in the day yesterday without reports of injuries or other casualties. During these exchanges of fire a Spanish United Nations peacekeeper was killed. Israeli Channel 2 reported that Hezballah had requested for UNIFIL to inform the Israelis that they had made a request for calm as they were finished firing and now desired to call an end to hostilities before there was any serious response from the Israeli Defense Forces to their instigations.

 

Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to the reports of these attacks upon IDF forces while touring the Sderot which is situated appropriately on the border with Gaza where the Prime Minister related to the damages inflicted by the IDF upon Hamas forces and their infrastructure during this past summer’s conflict between Israel and Hamas in response to their constant cross-border rocket launches and the resultant destruction of the Hamas tunnel systems and other infrastructure disabled or destroyed during the fifty days of fighting noting, “Anyone who tries to challenge us in the north should look at what happened to Hamas, not far from here, which was recently dealt the hardest blow it has received since its creation.”

 

These attacks from Hezballah emanating from the Sheba Farms region, within Syria near the Golan Heights and across Israel’s northern border with Lebanon will eventually lead to another exchange should Hezballah continue their recent escalations. Their claims that today’s attacks were revenge for the air attack by the IAF which struck their positions in southwestern Syria which resulted in six fatalities including claiming the lives of a senior Hezballah commander as well as an Iranian IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) General, the special military arm from Iran responsible for terror and other attacks throughout the world and the very group which was implicated in the Buenos Aires, Argentina 1994 bombing of the AMIA, Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA; Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) about which Alberto Nisman was the prosecutor recently discovered murdered in his apartment as we reported here and here. The Israeli strike was made to interdict to prevent a serious rocket attack from within southwestern Syria which was being assembled by the Hezballah and IRGC forces at two locations late last week. Hezballah protested the strike referring to it as an unjustified and unprovoked attack on troops which posed no danger to Israel and were simply operating within Syria in defense of the Syrian government of Bashir al-Assad. Iran has also threatened to attack Israel with a thunderous assault like lightening unlike anything Israel has ever seen and that Israel will be completely unable to defend against the attack due to its swiftness and devastating results. The setting up rocket launching positions which were obviously aimed to target Israel and not being targeting any positions within Syria was only prevented from potentially causing serious damages to IDF positions along the Golan Heights or even worse, striking inside Israel in the Galilee where the potential for civilian casualties would be significant thus the immediate and swift response by Israeli jet fighters taking out the launchers and personnel before they were able to launch their rockets. That was what Hezballah and Iran referred to as an unprovoked attack on their personnel who were simply carrying out exercises which were of no threat to Israel.

 

On another front on these fatal attacks on IDF vehicles and personnel, it has been rumored and is being investigated by the IDF that the vehicles struck in yesterday’s attacks were unarmored vehicles which are not for use on the border. There are claims that by mistake unarmored Isuzu dMax jeeps were the issued vehicles and are not outfitted with sufficient armor for border duties. As the vehicles were struck with anti-tank missiles the type of vehicle may not have necessarily saved these soldiers’ lives as even armored vehicles are insufficiently up-armored to resist anti-tank missiles which are designed to penetrate at least a dozen inches of armor plate and some even twice that much armor and lighter vehicles and APCs are usually armored with a maximum of six inches of armor plate equivalent. The difference would be if the vehicles were supposed to be outfitted with the Trophy Active Protection System developed by RAFAEL Armament Development Authority, that would have made a difference. Had the vehicles of any thickness of armor also been a vehicle protected by the Trophy System then whether the vehicle was armored would have been inconsequential as no anti-tank missile would have been able to even reach the vehicle still capable of exploding or doing any serious damage. Prime Minister Netanyahu commented later in the day after being briefed on the extents and numbers of IDF soldiers and young Israelis which the fact that all of these soldiers are also young men who have families and represent the future for Israel and each one lost is a loss felt by the whole nation as the majority of Israelis feel as if we are all family and not merely countrymen. It is because much of the nation as a whole mourns the loss of each and every soldier and many take the loss of each young man or woman in the defense of our small nation so precariously perched at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea at its eastern edge with nothing but enemies desiring to kill every last Israeli as their holy mission. It was speaking for the nation which has been deeply wounded that Prime Minister Netanyahu stated to the media and the nation filled with mourners this day stating, “Those who committed these acts will pay the full price for their actions. For a long time Iran has been using Hezbollah to establish a terror front against us on the Golan. We are aggressively acting to prevent this. The government of Lebanon and the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria are responsible for attacks on Israel that emerge from their territory. Our single goal is to defend Israel and Israelis. We have acted this way in the past, and will continue to do so.”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 21, 2015

Prosecutor’s Fate Mirrors Western Culture

 

Yesterday’s article about the reported suicide death of Alberto Nisman, the Argentine prosecutor investigating the terrorist strike on the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), did our best to convey our suspicions that suicide was the least likely manner in which he lost his life. First thing with the sun rising over the Rocky Mountains came the first inklings that perhaps Alberto Nisman had not taken his own life. There were his friends who related that he was a positive and upbeat individual who loved life and lived it well. This added to the fact that his death came mere hours before he was scheduled to appear before the Congress of the Argentine Nation to give witness on the progress and particulars of his probe into the greatest singular crime of the last century. Adding to the evidence against his committing suicide his appearances in an interview where he appeared to be really looking forward to this appearance where he had stated that his investigation against Kirchner was “likely to kill me,” horribly prophetic. Well, the initial reaction in Argentina was anything but passive as friends, coworkers and the general public were all up in arms demanding a more thorough investigation be made into the suspicious death of this prosecutorial investigator. Slowly the day passed and the evidence slowly put to lie the suicide theory as the cause of death of Prosecutor Alberto Nisman. The first evidence beyond the fact that Alberto Nisman was an unlikely candidate to have committed suicide was the admission that there was no suicide note left, a sure sign against suicide as the note is much more than a simple Hollywood convention. The final knife in the heart was the fact that the firearm found in the room did not belong to Alberto Nisman and everybody knows that one would find it rather difficult to borrow a friend’s handgun with which to commit suicide. By the end of the day yesterday the Argentine government had turned from blaming the death of Prosecutor Alberto Nisman on a suicide into making it the next urgent investigation for the Argentine Prosecutors Office.

 

The problems with the investigation by Alberto Nisman are that it was making some powerful people uncomfortable. The fact that those people included the present and a past President of Argentina, former President Carlos Menem and current President Cristina Kirchne, made it a very poor move if personal longevity is one of your desired aims. Alberto Nisman was a man of fate, truth and integrity who went where the facts led him and damn the implications and potential to make people of power feel threatened and thus very uncomfortable by his findings. The fact that his investigation had also led to include Iran, Hezballah and the clandestine relations between certain political entities and Faustian deals over oil and influence and he boldly went where no man had before chasing only the truth. He knew the costs could be high and that the information he had gathered and their implications might even lead to his being murdered but he kept with his faith that such was not possible because Argentine society was not that of some tin pot dictatorship or third rate banana republic but a modern democracy under the rule of law. Unfortunately for Alberto Nisman somebody somewhere whose toes he had trod upon did not hold such a high view of the nation and the supremacy of the rule of law as he ended up dead on the floor of his room by a strange firearm mere hours before making witness to some truths before the national Congress where those secrets he had uncovered were about to be revealed and placed under the light of day and made clear for the eyes of the nation and the world. Now he had been silenced which only adds one more crime to the list of crimes Alberto Nisman had investigated, and also made a strong statement which those who will be tasked with investigating his death and those who will be assigned to complete his investigations will keep foremost in their minds as they carefully tread around implying any people of influence as they will never know for sure if that person is the same who already bought silence with the death of a human being. Nobody will desire these posts and whoever is so tasked may consider finding a new line of work rather than take such a risky tasking. Hopefully there will be another person of courage and dedication which is at least of a similar bravery that Alberto Nisman displayed and an immutable nerve to chase truth and do that which is required to complete the task with honesty, integrity and a thoroughness and toughness which casts all other concerns aside following down every lead to its final arrow which flies truly to home in on those guilty of crimes against the state and the AMIA bombings. Where such a person can be found is a hard task to answer as people such as Alberto Nisman are a rare and precious breed.

 

The fact that a man of such integrity and honesty was laid waste in a moment of selfish thuggery is a sad commentary of our world. That there was someone of high rank and influence would sink to murder a countryman even if they called upon a person of lesser morals, though which would have been the person of lesser morals is questionable, and take the life of a modern day knight who only sought to complete his assignment to its conclusion and follow the truths where they would take him is a sad testimony, period. Western society used to have leaders who would have simply taken the accusation and at the least made a deal to tell all and resign quietly melting into obscurity with their reputation ruined and reaping the scorn of their countrymen. Apparently holding on to the trappings has become more important to some in whom the people have chosen to place their trust and such a person betraying the people’s trust by the taking of the life of a public servant who was doing what the people through their government had tasked him to perform is one of the saddest accusations against those who are offered up as a valid choice to lead one of the democratic nations in our modern world. Murder to silence an accusation was something expected in monarchies, dictatorships and other lesser forms of governments and certainly not of a democratically elected governance, yet that is what we have witnessed yesterday in Argentina. The fact the there were likely also terrorist entities involved and that some of those very terrorist entities may now be placed in high and honorable positions within the government of Iran does introduce another angle which must be considered. There is little doubt that there was probably involvement in the AMIA bombing of Hezballah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) which train and occupy a town in the tri-border (Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay intersecting region) area in South America and the central area for terrorist activities in the Western Hemisphere and that these also may have had some part in the assassination of Alberto Nisman. The IRGC and especially the al-Quds force, which is the special forces units of the IRGC, are also a training and testing grounds for promotion into high level government positions within the Iranian theocracy such as Mohsen Rabbani who was the cultural attaché of the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires and has since been promoted to head the Oriental Thought Cultural Institute in Qom, Iran after having started in the IRGC. Even had the assassination of Alberto Nisman been carried out by Hezballah, a probability which cannot be ignored, there was still likely somebody within the Argentine government or well connected to the current government who would have arranged the infiltration of the Hezballah terrorist who performed the strike and then facilitated the exit before the dawn revealed the results of the deed. Any way that this horrific crime was carried out it reflects on the barbarity which still remains in the halls of power even in the democratic institutions of the modern world. Such a commentary on our modern world places into question exactly how modern that world really is. Obviously we have yet to grow beyond the self-preservation which often reveals the worst side of any of us but when it involves somebody in high office in whom a great amount of trust has been placed by the people all the more difficult it is to swallow that bitter pill.

 

Let us pray that the murderer of Alberto Nisman is brought to justice and all involved in what is very likely a web of intrigue, criminality and depravity involving who knows how many people of immoral criminals. May another prosecutor who takes their pursuit of truth and deep faith in the law have the desire to find the hidden truth and then bring those involved in the massacre of 85 people and the injuring of 300 others in the horrific crime to be finally brought to trial and to justice and forced to pay for their heinous crimes. We should also hope that the murderer of Alberto Nisman and any accomplices both before and after the act be rounded up and face the cold judgment of the court and be made to pay for the crime of murder for the sake of denying justice and depriving the people of Argentina of a hero of heroes in the offices of the prosecutors which was exemplified by Alberto Nisman like few have done before and likely few will accomplish going forward though such is in short supply and never more needed than in the unraveling of the tangled web woven from murder and deceit. There is a hole in the fabric that is Argentina and that hole will be difficult to mend as it is the hole made by the loss of a truly complete and honest servant of the people and of law and the order it produces for their society, a hole which takes time and others of equal or greater firmness in tackling the challenges of toeing the straight line of following the truth wherever it may lead, sometimes truth is the most difficult of things to hold oneself to following. Good luck Argentina as you now have the unenviable task of setting to not only finding the murderer of an honest public servant but also the finding of a straight and honest man who is willing to follow leads wherever they should lead, and able to discern truth from obfuscations, but also having the intelligence to find the minutia and the obscured and from then piece together the whole cloth from which they were severed and torn in an attempt to keep any investigator chasing their tail in circles made of smoke, mirrors and the fog of concealment mixed with the confusion intended to dizzy even the straightest of men such that no one could conceivably make sense and rooting the truth whence it was buried. One need be intelligent and stalwart with a singularity of purpose to complete the task for which Alberto Nisman was murdered. Unfortunately, the powers that be are more likely to seek the Argentine version of Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau than they are Sherlock Holmes or better yet, another Alberto Nisman, the best choice of all.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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