Synagogue attack in Australia sparks fears of racial tension
Australian police have stepped up patrols of Jewish and Islamic sites, fearing racial tensions over the conflict in the Middle East had triggered an attack on a synagogue overnight.
Witnesses told police they saw a group of "Middle Eastern men" laughing and running down the street shortly after the synagogue in Parramatta, western Sydney was stoned late Sunday.
Blocks of concrete were also thrown at two cars parked on the property, smashing windows.
Leave it to the media to not point out the connection between this attack on Jews and al Qaeda's instructions to Muslims a few days prior.
Also today the media was wetting its collective pants over some civilian casualties in Qana, Lebanon. Odd how they don't seem to care so much when it's Israeli civilians being hit. I guess they take their orders from the UN, which also doesn't care about Israeli casualties.
In fact, it appears that Hizb'allah not only hides behind civilians, they like to set up operations right around UN posts...
The words of a Canadian United Nations observer written just days before he was killed in an Israeli bombing of a UN post in Lebanon are evidence Hezbollah was using the post as a "shield" to fire rockets into Israel, says a former UN commander in Bosnia.
Those words, written in an e-mail dated just nine days ago, offer a possible explanation as to why the post -- which according to UN officials was clearly marked and known to Israeli forces -- was hit by Israel on Tuesday night, said retired Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie yesterday.
The strike hit the UN observation post in the southern Lebanese village of El Khiam, killing Canadian Maj. Paeta Hess-von Kruedener and three others serving as unarmed UN military observers in the area.
Just last week, Maj. Hess-von Kruedener wrote an e-mail about his experiences after nine months in the area, words Maj.-Gen. MacKenzie said are an obvious allusion to Hezbollah tactics.
"What I can tell you is this," he wrote in an e-mail to CTV dated July 18. "We have on a daily basis had numerous occasions where our position has come under direct or indirect fire from both (Israeli) artillery and aerial bombing.
"The closest artillery has landed within 2 meters (sic) of our position and the closest 1000 lb aerial bomb has landed 100 meters (sic) from our patrol base. This has not been deliberate targeting, but rather due to tactical necessity."
Those words, particularly the last sentence, are not-so-veiled language indicating Israeli strikes were aimed at Hezbollah targets near the post, said Maj.-Gen. MacKenzie.
"What that means is, in plain English, 'We've got Hezbollah fighters running around in our positions, taking our positions here and then using us for shields and then engaging the (Israeli Defence Forces)," he said.
That would mean Hezbollah was purposely setting up near the UN post, he added. It's a tactic Maj.-Gen. MacKenzie, who was the first UN commander in Sarajevo during the Bosnia civil war, said he's seen in past international missions: Aside from UN posts, fighters would set up near hospitals, mosques and orphanages.
I'm sure Kofi is happy the mainstream media is covering his ass on this one.
Back to the issue of Hizb'allah hiding behind civilians. I honestly don't have much sympathy for those who were harmed in the Qana incident. Israel has made it clear that Hizb'allah is the target, that anywhere Hizb'allah is firing from is a primary target and that civilians should get out of the area. While it's no fun to have to abandon your home, if you allow terrorists to operate from your home, you should expect that there will be consequences.
The Lebanese made a deal with the devil a number of years ago. Hizb'allah was and is using Lebanon as a base for terror operations and the Lebanese people decided that they'd rather not put forth the sacrifice to rid their country of the Islamic terrorists. So they had a number of years of relative peace as Hizb'allah operated freely within Lebanon. Now, they pay the price for allowing the cancer to grow within their borders. To blame Israel for not wanting to be attacked is, alas, typical but insane. The Lebanese people were cowards against Hizb'allah and they are to blame for forcing Israel to fight Hizb'allah when it should have been the Lebanese fighting for their own sovereignty.
I think that the IDF public affairs group did an excellent job in explaining why the Qana incident is not something Israel should take heat for. Not only are there questions as to whether the Israeli attack caused the deaths
An IDF investigation has found that the building in Qana struck by the Air Force fell around eight hours after being hit by the IDF.
"The attack on the structure in the Qana village took place between midnight and one in the morning. The gap between the timing of the collapse of the building and the time of the strike on it is unclear," Brigadier General Amir Eshel, Head of the Air Force Headquarters told journalists at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, following the incidents at Qana.
Eshel and the head of the IDF's Operational Branch, Major General Gadi Eisnkot said the structure was not being attacked when it collapsed, at around 8:00 in the morning.
The IDF believes that Hizbullah explosives in the building were behind the explosion that caused the collapse.
but the area was being used as a base for Hizb'allah rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. So whatever the actual cause of the collapse, the area was a valid target and the civilians had been previously warned to leave Hizb'allah areas. Here's is the text and images from the IDF press release (click on the arrow in the second image to launch the video clip):
IDF Response to Event in Qana Village
Sunday 30/07/2006 21:53
Following the incident that occurred this morning, Sunday 30/07/06, in Qana, the IDF reminds in response that the attack was conducted as a result of the continuation of rocket launchings against Israeli communities from the area attacked. All the villages in the area, including Qana, were warned in advance against staying in areas from which rockets are fired.
The IDF regrets injury caused to uninvolved citizens, although it is a direct result of Hezbollah's exploitation of the citizens of Lebanon as human shields.
Cities on which rockets were fired from Qana. Graphics: IDF Spokesperson
It must be remembered that 18 Israeli citizens have been killed so far as a result of rocket attacks, and hundreds have been injured. The responsibility for every injury caused to Lebanese citizens in these areas rests on the shoulders of the Hezbollah organization, which utilizes citizens as human shields, and on the shoulders of the government of Lebanon which fails to prevent this.
And finally, a VERY jealous Zhid salutes Lance Corporal Galen Wilson, USMC...GOOD SHOOTING, SOLDIER!
USMC sniper metes out swift death in Iraq
By ANTONIO CASTANEDA, Associated Press Writer
Sun Jul 30, 12:57 PM ET
He was 5 when he first fired an M-16, his father holding him to brace against the recoil. At 17 he enlisted in the Marine Corps, spurred by the memory of 9/11. Now, 21-year-old Galen Wilson has 20 confirmed kills in four months in Iraq Â and another 40 shots that probably killed insurgents. One afternoon the lance corporal downed a man hauling a grenade launcher five-and-a-half football fields away.
Wilson is the designated marksman in a company of Marines based in downtown Ramadi, watching over what Marines call the most dangerous neighborhood in the most dangerous city in the world.
Here, Sunni Arab insurgents are intent on toppling the local government protected by Marines.
Wilson, 5-foot-6 with a soft face, is married and has two children and speaks in a deep, steady monotone.
After two tours in Iraq, his commanders in the 3rd Battalion, 8th Regiment call him a particularly mature Marine, always collected and given to an occasional wry grin.
His composure is regularly tested. Swaths of central and southern Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, are dominated by insurgents who regularly attack the provincial government headquarters that Marines protect.
During a large-scale attack on Easter Sunday, Wilson says, he spotted six gunmen on a rooftop about 400 yards away. In about 8 seconds he squeezed off five rounds Â hitting five gunmen in the head. The sixth man dived off a 3-story building just as Wilson got him in his sights, and counts as a probable death.
"You could tell he didn't know where it was coming from. He just wanted to get away," Wilson said. Later that day, he said, he killed another insurgent.
Wilson says his skill helps save American troops and Iraqi civilians.
"It doesn't bother me. Obviously, me being a devout Catholic, it's a conflict of interest. Then again, God supported David when he killed Goliath," Wilson said. "I believe God supports what we do and I've never killed anyone who wasn't carrying a weapon."
He was raised in a desolate part of the Rocky Mountains outside Colorado Springs, "surrounded by national parks on three sides," he says. He regularly hunted before moving to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as a teenager. His brother also serves in the military.
Guns have long been part of Wilson's life. His father was a sniper in the Navy SEALS. He remembers first firing a sniper rifle at age 6. By the time he enlisted he had already fired a .50-caliber machine gun.
"My father owned a weapons dealership, so I've been around exotic firearms all my life," said Wilson, who remembers practicing on pine cones and cans. "My dad would help me hold (an M-16), with the butt on his shoulder, and walk me through the steps of shooting."
Technically, Wilson is not a sniper Â he's an infantryman who also patrols through the span of destroyed buildings that make up downtown Ramadi. But as his unit's designated marksman, he has a sniper rifle. In the heat of day or after midnight, he spends hours on rooftop posts, peering out onto rows of abandoned houses from behind piles of sandbags and bulletproof glass cracked by gunfire.
Sometimes individual gunmen attack, other times dozens. Once Wilson shot an insurgent who was "turkey peeking" Â Marine slang for stealing glances at U.S. positions from behind a corner. Later, the distance was measured at 514 meters Â 557 yards.
"I didn't doubt myself, if I was going to hit him. Maybe if I would have I would have missed," Wilson said.
The key to accuracy is composure and experience, Wilson says. "The hardest part is looking, quickly adjusting the distance (on a scope), and then getting a steady position for a shot before he gets a shot off. For me, it's toning everything out in my head. It's like hearing classical music playing in my head."
Though Wilson firmly supports the war, he used to wonder how his actions would be received back home.
"At first you definitely double-guess telling your wife, mom, and your friends that you've killed 20 people," Wilson said. "But over time you realize that if they support you ... maybe it'll make them feel that much safer at home."
He acknowledges that brutal acts of war linger in the mind.
"Some people, before they're about to kill someone, they think that Â 'Hey, I'm about to kill someone.' That thought doesn't occur to me. It may sound cold, but they're just a target. Afterward, it's real. You think, 'Hey, I just killed someone,'" says Wilson.
Insurgents "have killed good Marines I've served with. That's how I sleep at night," he says. "Though I've killed over 20 people, how many lives would those 20 people have taken?"
Wilson plans to leave the Marines after his contract expires next year, and is thinking of joining a SWAT Team in Florida Â possibly as a sniper.