Saturday, March 29, 2003

IDF radio says that an American organization "Judicial Watch" has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court and European police against the French president, on the suspicion that he aided in the creation of Iraq's nuclear program. The allegation is based on the 1975 picture, in which Mr. Chirac (than a PM) is seen visiting with Saddam Hussein (then DPM) at a French nuclear reactor.
The complaint also includes allegations against members of the French government of fraudelent activities in the management of the Iraqi economy in recent years.
Iraqi VP Ramadan denies his country is receiving arms from Syria or Iran.He spoke on Iraqi TV (reported by IBA). IBA says that Syria rushed to support the denial.
Ramadan also allegedely accused Arab countries of not only failing to support Irag, but of supporting the US and GB. He went on to accuse UN SG Annan of stealing money from the UN "Food for oil" fund."
Israel's Channel 1 (IBA) correspondent Dan Samama says, upon his return from Kuwait last night, that the missile that hit Kuwait yesterday was American.
(Via Walla).
Update: NYT report. (Thanks to R.)

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Is Baby Assad stupid? Well, he is no genius, but read that report, and see if you can guess why I don't think he is so stupid after all.
Just a little something to amuse you. Many thanks to Imshin.
Walla (Hebrew) quotes London's al-Hayat as saying that the war on Iraq has interrupted plans by senior Iraqi officers to start a military/civilian uprising against the regime.

Yes.
Walla (Hebrew) quotes Sky, saying that the coaliton forces captured the TV and radio stations in Basra.
Iraqi forces are retreating from Kirkut, says Kurdish radio, quoted by Walla (Hebrew).

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

I keep having problems with my posts that rely on information obtained by listening to Israeli radio on the web. People keep asking for links, because they want more details, or they want to ensure that I don't make stuff up. These sentiments are just fine with me, and I'd love to oblige, but in many instances it is impossible. What I can do is provide links to the web sites of the two radio stations I listen to, which also happen to be the two major radio stations in Israel. Both have text versions of some of their news items, but both are in Hebrew.

The first, and probably the oldest is Kol Israel (Voice of Israel), which is the radio branch of IBA. They are very reliable, at least as far as news related to Israel are concerned. On their web site there are links to news in English, French and Spanish. The English version is different from the Hebrew one. I don't know about the other two.

Then there is the IDF radio (Galaz). This is an excellent station, also very reliable. The web site is entirely in Hebrew.

Another source that I occasionally use is Israel's second largest news paper, Maariv, the first being Yediot Ahoronot (YNet). Maariv is not as reliable at times, but no major concern. YNet now require payment, so I stopped reading. All four of the media I listed here are fairly balanced politically - most of the time. This cannot be said of Haaretz (left) and Jerusalem Post (right).

Another interesting source of news is Israel's financial news paper Globes. It is the Israeli equivalent of the WSJ, but I don't know if they have any political bias. Enjoy!

Update: I added Walla to my Hebrew news sources. It is a news aggregate portal, using both Israeli and non-Israeli sources.
Russian FM Ivanov: "Now it is clear how far from reality were the attempts to present the military operation as a victorious march for the liberation of the Iraqi people, without casualties and destruction" (Via IDF radio). There is more, but it is too aggravating to read, let alone to translate.
German human rights organization: 62 Iraqi army officers were executed for refusing to fight. (Walla, quoting Haaretz and DPA).
IDF radio: Britain's ambassador to Israel said today that the danger of an Iraqi attack on Israel has been substantially lowered. I hope he is right, but somehow I feel differently.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

From Walla: Australian highschool students attacked policemen while demonstarting against the war. They threw plastic chairs, bottles and eggs at the police, and broke street signs.
IBA radio: American planes attacked al-Qaida bases in Northern Iraq.
SKY news reports that the Baath party's offices in Basra were bombed by the allies. (Via Walla and IBA).
It sounds from FOX TV report that the Iraqi TV was taken down by the US. They quoted some US sources as saying that the reason it has not been done until now was that Iraqis protected that TV station with civilian human shields. Apparently now the US have found a way to take it down without harming the civilians.
Before everyone gets too excited over this uprising, I just wanted to offer some perspective: the Shiite sect is the nastier one in Islam (that is if one does not count the Wahabbis, of course). Those are the guys that hit their foreheads with rocks, and spread the blood all over their faces. The Iranian Mullahs are Shiite, and so is the Hisbullah. I am not saying that an anti-Saddam uprising is not a good thing, but there are other elements of the bigger picture to keep in mind, Iran being one of them.
Note: I originally posted this over at CP-OpEd, and got several comments strongly disagreeing.
Wolf Blitzer of CNN has just interviewed Richard Gaiford over the phone on the Basra uprising. He called him a "British embed", without mentioning his news organization (SKY, FOX's sister) even once. I think CNN is seeing the beginning of the end.
From Walla: Israeli military sources say that the Scud launchers in Western Iraq have not been destroyed.

Walla also quotes BBC as saying that guns and ammo have been found in a hospital in Nassarya.
Walla says that a spokesman from the British forces ha confirmed fighting between the population and Saddam's supporters. Walla did not cite their source. Update: Haaretz has more. Earlier the British government said it was not aware of the uprising.
In case anyone was wondering where I am, I am mostly at the Command Post (link on the left). I just don't have the time to post all the tid-bits of news on both sites. I'll be back here with any news not directly connected to the war in Iraq, opinion=rants, dog's pictures, etc. Don't touch that remote!

Monday, March 24, 2003

Walla (Hebrew): a senior French Muslim leader warned today that the war in Iraq will outrage the French Muslim community, and will undermine the French government's efforts to advance a tolerant Islam.
IDF radio says that the US informed the Israeli government about the hits. It is still unclear whether those were real or fake(?) launchers, and whether they were Scuds or other.
Israel senior military source is quoted as saying that although the Allied forces have captured the H-2 and H-3 airfields, there are still "problematic" Iraqi forces in the area, thus the level of alert remains high in Israel.
I am here to offer a few grains of salt. Many people tend to think that because we are in the information age, the information we get is more reliable. This, IMO, could not be farther from truth. All the technology does is allow more information to travel faster. The point is that it does the same for disinformation. It has even more potential of being true in a time of war. This makes me more skeptical than ever about any information from any source. So, although I don’t regard a Pentagon briefing on the same level as I do a report from some Arab news outlet, I do think that both at different times are likely to disseminate both information and disinformation. The big difference between the two, besides one being ours, and the other the enemy’s, is that the Pentagon and the White House are mostly newsmakers, while various news outlets are mostly news reporters I say “mostly”, because as we well know, both often step into each other’s realm. Just something to think about, while listening to both.

Also, some news is considered news by merely being reported. For example, this little item is there mostly because of its source, which gives it a potential for being a lie. If it is a lie, than the news is: “Syria is lying”, rather than: “a bus has been hit”. This puts Syria in a position of a (minor) newsmaker. This is also my explanation why I occasionally post items from sources that many would consider unreliable. However, I do not read (or link) Debka. They are not affiliated with any newsmakers, although I would not be surprised that some newsmakers do use them to disseminate information/disinformation. Another reason I do not read them, is that they mostly deal with analysis/predictions (i.e. speculations). When they report breaking news, it is almost never exclusive. And yes, I am with Steve - again.

Anyway, we report - you decide;-)
IBA radio: Syrian news agency says that yesterday 5 Syrians were killed and 10 injured by an American air-to-surface missile that hit the bus in which they were trying to escape Iraq. They say it happened on the Iraqi side of the border with Syria. The US command is quoted as saying that they only target military, not civilians.
Update.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

IDF radio: Berlin police arrested 6 Muslims, from Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia, suspected of planning a suicide attack against Israelis/Jews or Americans.
This Russian site says that the Russian Black Sea fleet is getting ready to move to the Indian ocean after the war, and is naming specific ships. Sources from the fleet are saying that time of the deployment depends on the situation around Iraq, but they say that plans for their posssible participation in coalition's [post-war] peacekeeping operations are being discussed. I am trying to remember if there is a Russian expression equivalent to "eating your cake, and having it, too"...
A Russian news site quotes a Japanese TV station as reporting that the US has asked Japan to send troops to Iraq after the war, to help the occupying coalition forces. Tokyo does not rule out such a mission, but under condition that this will be aproved by the UNSC.
Several thousands of Israeli Arabs have joined their brethren in the PA to protest the war in Iraq.
The "Command Post" has moved here. Please adjust your bookmarks. And if you have not visited yet, you have been missing the most up-to-date news on the war, so go now.
IDF radio: Labor leader Mizna called abu-Mazen, and congratulated him on becoming a PM. Pathetic.
Maariv: Yemen has officialy refused to expell Iraqi diplomats per US demand, calling it "interference in Yemen's internal affairs".
British forces have found a cache of missiles and warheads, abandoned in bunkers by Iraqi forces in the Basra area, following the battles there. (IBA)
My ISP's "back bone" has been down since last night, and it seems will be for at least another day. I am using my old dial-up, with which I do not have an e-mail account. So it allows me to access the Internet, and to receive e-mail, but not to send.
Via IDF radio: al-Jazeera has retracted its claim that an American pilot has been captured by the Iraqis.