Saturday, March 22, 2003

IDF radio cites Iraqi official as saying that Iraqis have captured a foreign pilot. He says that the pilot is neither American nor British.
IDF radio cites Hezbullah TV as saying that several US soldiers were captured today by the Iraqis, in the same incident that 4 of them were killed wounded. Has anyone seen this anywhere else?

The report says that the pictures of the captured soldiers will be shown soon, and says that the incident took place during an ambush, when RPGs were fired at the US vehicles. It also says that the US force was attempting to capture an area in Western Iraq which is believed to contain an uranium-enrichment plant.
Some news from Israel. Not really news, just business as usual: Arab terrorism against the Jews of Israel continued over the past day, as has the Israeli war to counter it. Several attempted attacks were either prevented by security forces or failed to achieve their aims for other reasons. And elsewhere: In foreign terrorism news, authorities in Germany arrested five Moslems who were working to recruit local Arabs for terrorist attacks. Police in Berlin have raided several buildings in connection with the terrorist threat, including at least one mosque.
IBA radio says that the US is flying forces to the H-2 and H-s airfields that have been captured eralier. Those are located in the Western part of Iraq, the area from which Scad missiles were launched at Israel in the last Gulf war.
They are also saying that large US forces will be flown into Northern Iraq, now that the Turkish airspace has been open.

Friday, March 21, 2003

If you have not visited Amitai Etzioni blog yet, you really should. Some very thought-provoking posts there.
When I was a child, my grandmother used to tell me all kinds of stories that had to do with history, Jewish history in particular. As Jewish history goes, some of these stories involved violence against Jews. Some of her stories came from personal experience, like the pogrom that took place in her home town of Orsha in Belorussia, when she was about 3 years old. She remembered people going from house to house, killing Jews. She said that some gentiles stood in front of her house to protect it, saying: "We won't let you kill Mendel [my great-grandfather]". I remember her explaining why they liked him, but don't remember what the explanation was.

There was another story that she occasionally told me, which not only was not personal, but I cannot imagine where she got it at all, because this kind of information was not commonly available in the Soviet Union. The story was that during WWll Romanians rounded up some Jews, cut them up, put them in barrels, with the word "Kosher" on them. I never heard this story anywhere else, and never actually believd it. That is, until I read this just now: Remarkably, roughly half of Romania's 750,000 Jews survived the war, but the country's early, spasmodic acts of anti-Semitic violence stand out even in the general inhumanity of the Holocaust: during a pogrom in Bucharest in early 1941, Jews were forced to crawl through a slaughterhouse where they were butchered like cattle, beheaded and stamped "fit for human consumption." That book review is apparently from the NYT, BTW.

I really want to say more about this, but I just cannot put it into words.

I was not looking forward to this war in the positive sense, but I know it is necessary, and thus I wanted to get on with it. Still, I never expected it to "fix" the Middle East, or the world. So, since it has started, although I am relieved from all the tension of anticipation, I still have this heavy feeling that I just cannot explain to non-Jews. The only way I can put it into words is this: there is no place in the world that is completely safe for anyone. No, even worse: this whole world is absolutely unsafe for all human beings, in large part through their own fault. But somehow, Israel is the safest unsafe place for the Jews. Does this make any sense?
IBA radio reports that the Marines forces on their way to Baghdad were met with "fierce resistance" from the Iraqis, who shot anti-tank missiles at the Marines just after they crossed the border from Kuwait. British artillery is said to be pounding the Iraqi forces at this time.
Update: IDF radio radio reports the same, citing Reuters.
Update: ABC has it.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

I'll be posting an occasional short news item on the Command Post.
IBA radio says that the Fao peninsula was taken over by the British commandos, citing eye-witnesses in Kuwait.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

I am getting more and more nervous. British Airlines are the only ones so far to cancel their flights to Israel beginning tomorrow. I am hoping that the one my crazy husband is flying with will be next, and soon.
Update: I think the last two posts have been eaten by Blogger. Anyway, I am republishing them. So far Mr. Alisa, as my friend Jennifer put it, is on the plane on the way to Israel, as usual - every three months or so. He says he will be issued a gas mask at the Ben-Gurion airport upon arrival. Well, that's nice to know. I hope he remembers how to put one on from his army days. On the other hand, I hope he gets something a bit more modern: his army days were quite some time ago...
My nephew sent me pictures of himself with his mask on. Here is one:



Makes the whole thing a little bit too real...
In case you were wondering, (or not, as the case may be), I am alive. It's just that I have two dogs at home who do not get along at all (and that is an understatement), a kid on a spring break who has plenty of things to do (but not the things that he wants to do, i.e. school work), a husband who needs lots of help getting ready for the trip to Israel tomorrow (using the word "we" a lot, as in: "Oh, we forgot to buy this or that for my grandson/father/son/daughter in law/brother/friend), and the messiest house I had in a long time as a consequense of all of the above. I just wanted to let you know this, because I'd like to think that this information is absolutely vital to you. Anyway, if I actually manage to post anything of interest to anyone other than myself this week, it should be considered a great accomplishment, under the circumstances.