TOC Ready Room 29 March 2022: Eyes front (not back), on attacks in Israel

What’s wrong and right with the world.

This will be a brief Ready Room; basically little more than a string of tweets.  But it’s important. The subject is the terror attacks in Israel in recent days, which have now taken the lives of 11 people.  The first was a gruesome mass-knifing attack, the other two shooting attacks.

Terror using small arms is not unusual in Israel, but the attacks we’ve been seeing also don’t fit recent patterns. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 29 March 2022: Eyes front (not back), on attacks in Israel”

TOC Ready Room 15 Dec 2021: Contra-indicative speech; Trump’s F-bomb; military notes

What’s wrong and right with the world.

The strangeness of this hour has crossed a line in recent days.  It’s a line between some level of fealty to demonstrable reality, and none.

Over the last few years, we have repeatedly witnessed the media, and many politicians pushing a far-left agenda, twisting their speech into knots in order to not quite be lying when they present an untruthful picture of events.

In the last few days, they have liberated themselves from the constraint to not quite be lying.  One of the most noticeable instances of this is Rep. Liz Cheney’s dramatic reading on 13 December of text messages that flew on 6 January 2021 during the Capitol riot.  The text messages were turned over to the committee by Trump’s then-chief of staff, Mark Meadows.  (*Update*:  See new reporting from Wednesday, at the end of this section, on doctoring of a Jim Jordan text message by Adam Schiff.) Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 15 Dec 2021: Contra-indicative speech; Trump’s F-bomb; military notes”

Iran, U.S: Pre-talks posturing ropes in Israel, trash talk, Trump administration

Signals, intentional and not so.

Iran announced in early November that it would start talks on the Iranian nuclear program with the Biden administration and other world leaders this coming week in Vienna.

In preparation for the talks, Iran and the Biden administration have been sending smoke signals.

At a superficial level, the least ambiguous of these signals is probably one sent by Iran, in which the commander of the IRGC, Hossein Salami, stated that Iran “decides for USA and runs its policy”: Continue reading “Iran, U.S: Pre-talks posturing ropes in Israel, trash talk, Trump administration”

Paris, the Russian airliner, Lebanon: ISIS is enlarging the war

The center cannot hold.

The house of war comes to Paris. (Image: EPA, Etienne Laurent via UK Guardian)
The house of war comes to Paris. (Image: EPA, Etienne Laurent via UK Guardian)

his will be a quick update tonight, with less of the usual analysis, because I just don’t have time.

I have no doubt that ISIS is behind the recent attacks that have been spreading out around the Syria/Iraq theater.  ISIS has claimed responsibility for all of them, and it is credible that ISIS is behind them (although they are being executed through ISIS affiliates in each local area.  The core leadership of ISIS doesn’t have to be involved in planning or managing each attack, and I assume unless it’s proven otherwise that it is not).

But this is not a minor campaign of pinpricks from single-venue terror attacks, randomly distributed here and there.  This is a full-blown campaign: a strategy on ISIS’s part. Continue reading “Paris, the Russian airliner, Lebanon: ISIS is enlarging the war”

Game change: Russia can now warn Israel against IAF operations over Syria

No going back.

The game-changers. Russian air defense soldiers man their weapon system, the S-300, in a recent drill. (Image via defencerussia.wordpress.com)
The game-changers. Russian air defense soldiers man their weapon system, the S-300, in a recent drill. (Image via defencerussia.wordpress.com)

A recent report in Arabic media suggests that Israel has agreed to coordinate the IAF’s operations over Syria with Russia, and claims that Russia has warned Israel against conducting strikes in Syria in which Russian soldiers may be killed.  Israel Matzav has the story here.

The reflexive inclination is to focus on whether this particular report is accurate, and what the narrow, immediate implications are.  The big-picture implications, however, are actually much more important.

Short-term/tactical

But let’s quickly address the first questions.  The tone of the Arabic reporting, even in pidgin translations, is triumphalist against Israel, and we should exercise due skepticism of any particulars.

That said, the concerns reportedly raised by Russia are valid and reasonable, if Russia is going to be operating in Syria.  The Arabic report is by no means unrealistic. Continue reading “Game change: Russia can now warn Israel against IAF operations over Syria”