The Rockets of Hezbollah

I usually avoid politics on LibraryPlanet.com. I even have another place to write about them, but since that site needs some work done right now, I am going to break with my usual modus operandi and do it here. Dave Winer wrote a post yesterday, and in the proud tradition of Scripting News, it disappeared and then reappeared later. During the disappearance, I send Dave an e-mail concerning one sentence in the post.
bq.If I’m not mistaken, Hezbollah didn’t start firing rockets into Israel until they were attacked by Israel. – “Dave Winer(Israel is wrong)”:http://www.scripting.com/2006/08/01.html#israelIsWrong Since Dave did not choose to correct his statement, I thought I would share my findings with you. Please note as I noted to Dave, this is not supposed to be a comprehensive list. * Israel fires rockets into Lebanon. UPI NewsTrack (May 28, 2006): pNA.
bq.JERUSALEM, May 28 (UPI) — The Israeli military responded to rockets fired from Lebanon Sunday with airstrikes on two militant strongholds in Lebanon. The military also exchanged artillery fire with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, The New York Times reported. The newspaper said the shooting began when a militant group in Lebanon fired several Katyusha rockets into northern Israel around 4 a.m. Sunday. * Israeli paper alleges Hezbollah helping Palestinians improve rocket capabilities. BBC Monitoring International Reports (March 9, 2006): pNA.
bq.Hezbollah explosives experts have arrived in the Gaza Strip in order to help the Palestinian terrorist organizations that are operating there. According to worrying information received by the defence establishment, the experts intend to improve the range of Qassam rockets and manufacture more lethal explosive devices. * Hezbollah guerrillas attack Israeli troops in Chebaa Farms. The America’s Intelligence Wire (Feb 3, 2006): pNA.
bq.The television said Hezbollah fighters attacked the Israeli military outpost of Roueissat el-Alam with rockets and shells. A Hezbollah statement said the outpost took “direct hits” from the shelling, but did not mention any casualties. * Hezbollah’s strategic threat to Israel. Patrick Devenny. Middle East Quarterly 13.1 (Wntr 2006): p31(8).
bq.The Hezbollah missile threat to Israel has expanded not only in quantity but also in quality. In recent years, the group’s operational artillery reach has grown. * Hizbullah-Israeli border exchanges intensify. Nicholas Blanford. Jane’s Intelligence Review 17.3 (March 2005): p20(3).
bq.Lebanon’s Hizbullah organization, the Islamic Resistance, has increased activity around the Shebaa Farms, intensifying the pattern of retaliatory exchanges with the Israel Defense Force (IDF). * Fighting breaks out on Lebanon-Israel border: 7 May.(News Digest)(Brief Article). MEED Middle East Economic Digest 48.20 (May 14, 2004): p3(1).
bq.New clashes erupt between the Israeli Defence Force and Hizbollah in the Shebaa farms area, close to the border between Israel and Lebanon. Israeli jets attack Hizbollah bases after fighters from the group fire rockets and mortars into Israel. * Hezbollah shells Israeli positions in disputed southern Lebanon border area. The America’s Intelligence Wire (Oct 27, 2003): pNA.
bq.Hezbollah guerrillas shelled Israeli positions in a disputed southern Lebanese border area on Monday for the first time in two months, security officials said. The Lebanese officials said Hezbollah forces fired a volley of rockets and mortar shells at the Israeli military outposts of Roueissat el-Alam, al-Samaka and Ramtha inside the Chebaa Farms area. * User Friendly – Syria gets lucky. Janine Zacharia. The New Republic (April 29, 2002): p13.
bq.The recent upsurge in violence against Israel — both from Palestinian suicide bombers in the West Bank and Hezbollah rockets in southern Lebanon — may have temporarily quieted the Bush administration’s rhetorical offensive against Iraq. * Flare-up along Israel-Lebanon boundary. United Press International (Oct 22, 2001): p1008295u0452.
bq.Hezbollah guerrillas on Monday fired rockets and mortars at four Israeli positions in the hills above the Shabaa Farms in the northern Golan Heights, UNIFIL and Israel defense sources said. * Hezbollah attacks Israeli troops. United Press International (June 29, 2001): p1008180u4728.
bq.Hezbollah guerrillas attacked an Israeli patrol in a disputed area on the border Friday, wounding two Israeli soldiers and triggering retaliatory shelling, Hezbollah and Lebanese security sources said. The attack was the first by Hezbollah since April 14, when the group fired rockets on an Israeli tank in the Shabaa region — the same area that was the site of Friday’s attack — killing the tank’s commander and prompting retaliatory Israeli attacks on the Lebanese side of the border. * Israel, Lebanon, and peace. (future of peace negotiations in wake of recent Arab terrorism against Israel) (Editorial). National Review v44.n5 (March 16, 1992): pp16(2).
bq.As Middle East peace negotiators reconvened in Washington in the last week of February, Israeli helicopter gunships swooped down on the motorcade of Hezbollah leader Sheikh Abbas Musawi in southern Lebanon and blew him up; Shiite radicals stepped up their attacks on Israelis along the Lebanese border; Israel launched a major ground incursion and then pulled back; and Katyusha rockets landed on a kibbutz, killing a five-year-old girl.

Rights and Wrongs

I was preparing to write about the recent events at the “Montgomery County Public Library(Security Officers Overstep in Maryland Library Incident)”:http://www.ala.org/al_onlineTemplate.cfm?Section=alonline&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=116848 and the “Newton Free Library(Public’s help sought in terror threat)”:http://www.dailynewstribune.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=70071, when as interesting as those stories, I came across this.
bq.The would-be terrorist who threatened Brandeis University from a computer in the Newton library, far from relying on an expectation of privacy and the “right to be left alone” while sending surreptitious emails from a public building, loses those constitutional protections once he conducts his informational transactions in the public marketplace. As Heather Mac Donald, a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, recently testified before the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, “like it or not, once you’ve disclosed information to someone else, the Constitution no longer protects it. This diffuse-it-and-lose-it rule applies to library borrowing and Web surfing as well, however much librarians may claim otherwise. By publicly borrowing library books, patrons forfeit any constitutional protections they may have had in their reading habits.” The librarians, and their alarmist counterparts at the ACLU, point to what they fear will be an inevitable gutting of Fourth Amendment protections to library-goers, Internet surfers, and bookworms everywhere. But they minimize the necessity for changing responses to security threats in the post 9/11 era, and overlook the fact that publicly accessible computers in libraries do not and should not afford a cover of secrecy for terrorists. – “Richard L. Cravatts(Librarians Hard At Work Protecting the Privacy Rights of Terrorists)”:http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=5519 While it is certainly wonderful for “Dr. Cravatts(Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D.)”:http://www.suffolkmkt.org/rcravatts/ and “Ms. Mac Donald(Heather Mac Donald)”:http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/mac_donald.htm to be able to ignore nearly 220 years of legislation and case law, unfortunately, Librarians are not afforded that luxury. Instead we are bound by the procedures laid out at the Local, State and Federal level. If Congress wants to give the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Department of Homeland Security or any other agency the right to seize library records at any time, they certainly have the power to do so (provided that the courts agree with them on the constitutionality of said seizure). But as that time has not come, and I doubt that it ever will as many on both the right and left have concerns over unchecked federal power, we are left with doing things that are legally within our authority. In both the cases above, the librarians simply did what they were supposed to do.

Extending the Patriot Act

bq.The House appears likely to make main parts of the act permanent, but in what form remains unclear. The Rules Committee met into the night on Wednesday to consider dozens of amendments offered by Democrats to impose more limits on the government’s surveillance powers in terrorism investigations. Ultimately, the committee decided to include 20 of 47 offered amendments in the bill that the House will consider. Nine of the amendments were offered by Republicans and six by Democrats; the remaining five were bipartisan. The committee refused to include an amendment to prevent the Justice Department from obtaining library and bookstore records, as well as several other amendments to force reconsideration of certain Patriot Act provisions in 4 years instead of 10, as is proposed in the final bill sent to the House. – “Eric Lichtblau and Scott Shane(House to Take Up Patriot Act Extension)”:http://tinyurl.com/9rfoh Personally, the library records portion of the Patriot Act has never interested me much because there is still no proof that it has ever been used and it is unlikely that anything would be obtained anyway. But making the Act permanent I have been against from the very beginning. Hopefully, someday the War on Terror will end and things will return to normal. Requiring periodic renewal rather than hoping for repeal is much more appealing to me.

Monuments of Blood

bq.Another successful landmark has been reached in our occupation of Iraq: The World Monuments Fund has just placed the country on its list of the Earth’s 100 most endangered sites. (“Widespread looting, military occupation, artillery fire, vandalism, and other acts of violence are devastating Iraq, long considered the cradle of human civilization.”) This is the first time that the Fund has ever put a whole nation on its list and so represents a singular accomplishment for the Bush administration, which knew not — and cared less — what it wrought. – “Chalmers Johnson(The Smash of Civilizations)”:http://www.mojones.com/commentary/columns/2005/07/the_smash_of_civilizations.html I guess it should be pointed out that none of the “8 million people slaughtered(Committee of the Missing)”:http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3068304/ under the regime of Saddam Hussein were asked their opinion.

Kings Cross

Before today, I thought of Kings Cross Station as the place where the train ride in “4:50 from Paddington(4.50 from Paddington)”:http://www.deliciousdeath.com/58/58a.html began. Or where Harry Potter and his fellow students got on the train to Hogwarts via “Platform 9 3/4(Platform 9 3/4, King’s Cross Station)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/skaran/23299720/. From now on, it will always have a “darker meaning(Eyewitness from Kings Cross)”:http://www.lse.co.uk/ShowStory.asp?story=OL714945G&news_headline=eyewitness_from_kings_cross.

London

We are having a staff meeting this morning so I took the opportunity to get up early and get dressed. Having a few extra minutes, I chose to go online. A quick look through my Live Bookmarks led me to “Terrorist Acts in London(Terrorist Acts in London)”:http://binarybonsai.com/archives/2005/07/07/terrorist-acts-in-london/. For the first few seconds, I thought it was a prediction of what could happen during the Olympics. Then I realized it was something else. Isn’t it odd how insignicant one’s personal concerns are at a moment like this?

9/11 Myths

A lot of frivolous and ridiculous charges have swirled over the events of that day ever since it happened. Popular Mechanics has taken a serious look and “debunked(9/11: Debunking The Myths)”:http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/defense/1227842.html?page=1 them all.

Lost at Los Alamos

The “Los Alamos National Laboratory(Los Alamos National Laboratory)”:http://www.lanl.gov/ has a reputation for losing things. “Incidents(Los Alamos Disks Slipped)”:http://www.defensetech.org/archives/000679.html took place in 2000, 2002, and 2003. But things were even more serious in 2004.
bq.In an announcement last Friday, the lab confirmed that “two items of Classified Removable Electronic Media (CREM) were discovered missing from the Weapons Physics Directorate” inside the lab on July 7 during a special inventory being done for an upcoming experiment. The two disks didn’t turn up in several searches, which are continuing, according to the lab. – “Todd R. Weiss(Los Alamos lab again missing computer disks with classified data)”:http://www.computerworld.com/securitytopics/security/story/0,10801,94586,00.html Or were they?
bq.The confusion, it turns out, was created by inventory bar codes produced for computer disks that have never been written, a department official told AFP on condition of anonymity. – “Sci-Tech Today(U.S. Admits Missing Los Alamos Disks Never Existed)”:http://www.sci-tech-today.com/scnce/story.xhtml?story_title=U-S–Admits–Missing–Los-Alamos-Disks-Never-Existed&story_id=30166&category=scnce Perhaps they should hire a librarian.

How Propaganda Breeds Hate

I happened to be in the room earlier when some books were being unpacked. Among them was “The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0152054456/ref=pd_bxgy_text_1/103-6890508-0880626?v=glance&s=books&st=*. I flipped through it and thought it a rather unlikely account, but was not concerned about it. It was a short time later that I happened to read “Alia’s Mission( Alia’s Mission)”:http://www.brokenkode.com/archives/alias-mission/. I was going to leave what I write below as a comment, but I decided instead to write it here, and let Trackback do it’s job. It is probably a little harsher than what I usually write around here, but I felt it is important to say it. Khaled, you really ought to take some time to examine “the facts(Media blamed for exaggerating loss of antiquities)”:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/05/22/wloot22.xml before you get so upset over some long discredited “propaganda(Hoaxes, Hype and Humiliation)”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A52824-2003Jun12&notFound=true. Only “26 items(Looted Antiquities from The National Museum of Iraq – A Provisional List)”:http://minervamagazine.com/exclusives/iraq_01.php have ever been confirmed as missing, and they may be included in some “3000 objects(Archaeologists Warn of Iraq War’s Devastation)”:http://www.afsc.org/pwork/0304/030416.htm that had been stolen from Iraqi museums and sites by 1996. The biggest problem in the world day are the people who allow “hatred(Internet and Tragedy)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2001/09/tragedy to blind them to facts. I sincerely hope you will rethink what you wrote.

Traveling with Almanacs

A message for librarians: If you are going traveling anytime soon, be sure to leave the “almanac(FBI urges police to watch for people carrying almanacs)”:http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/12/29/fbi.almanacs.ap/ back at the library in your reference collection. Update: or your “fish(The fish that threatened national security)”:http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/03362/255283.stm, either.