Thursday, April 06, 2006


Israel said to be feeling nostalgic for Syria

Officers report a sharp increase in border incidents between Hizbollah fighters and Israeli units on the northern border [of Israel]....

The situation is now regarded as so serious that many senior Israeli officers openly admit to missing the restraining influence of Syria over Hizbollah. —Con Coughlin writing in "Iran's spies watching us, says Israel" for the Daily Telegraph

Wondrous as this quote is, I'm afraid the story is a bit of propaganda to justify—and prepare the British for—an attack on Iran. The aptly named reporter "Con" Coughlin is to the Daily Telegraph as Judith Miller was to the NY Times.1

Aside from the laughable narrative of Israeli military officers regretting Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon, Coughlin paints a picture of Israel practically supine in the face of Hizbollah, who have ceased to be agents of Syria and are now agents of Iran.

Senior Israeli military commanders say Iran has spent tens of millions of pounds helping its close ally, Hizbollah, the Shia Muslim militant group that controls southern Lebanon, to set up a network of control towers and monitoring stations along the entire length of Israel's border with south Lebanon.

"This is now Iran's front line with Israel," a senior Israeli military commander said. "The Iranians are using Hizbollah to spy on us so that they can collect information for future attacks. And there is very little we can do about it."

In comparison with these vile Iranian puppet masters the Syrians2 were sweeties—

"When the Syrians were in Lebanon it was easy for us to control Hizbollah," said an officer with Israel's northern command. "If things got too tense we could put pressure on Damascus and the Syrians would act quickly to calm things down."

"Iran is playing a very dangerous game of cat and mouse on our northern border and it could easily spiral out of control at any moment," said the officer.

Yes, such as at the moment when the U.S. or Israel launches an attack on Tehran.

And apparently the Israeli air defenses are vulnerable—

In recent weeks Hizbollah sent unmanned aircraft on reconnaissance missions over the border to photograph sensitive Israeli military installations. The spy planes returned to base before being detected by air defence systems.

What were the planes made of? Balsa and rubber bands?

Related post
Israeli troops in "Iraq" (3/6/06)


1In 2000, David Leigh wrote in the British Journalism Review—

[R]eaders of the Sunday Telegraph were regaled with a dramatic story about the son of Col Gadafy of Libya and his alleged connection to a currency counterfeiting plan. The story was written by Con Coughlin, the paper’s then chief foreign correspondent, and it was falsely attributed to a “British banking official”. In fact, it had been given to him by officers of MI6, who, it transpired, had been supplying Coughlin with material for years.

2In 2004 the blogger at Flit (right-wing judging from the links) noted Coughlin's efforts against Syria,

I find it remarkable that [Glenn] Reynolds and many others continue to give credence to Telegraph reporter Con Coughlin's breathy scoops, when as Henley pointed out some time ago, the guy has been a funnel for British intelligence trial balloons for years, apparently, and his post-Iraq war work seems calculated to bolster Bush and make the case for a new Syrian war.

Sure enough, Coughlin is the only reporter to play up David Kay's alleged statements that Iraqi WMDs are now in Syria... statements Kay goes out of his way to disavow in other interviews with Reuters and the Times. And, of course, that is the only version of the Kay story you will see on numerous pro-war websites today.

When you're a whore, shamelessness is an absolute must. [back]

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