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News ::
Hizballah misfires first missile of Iraqi shipment (english)
30 Dec 2002
Modified: 01 Jan 2003
The powerful blast that reverberated across eastern and central Lebanon Sunday, December 29, was caused by the explosion of a big surface missile in Hizballah hands and of Iraqi origin.

The powerful blast that reverberated across eastern and central Lebanon Sunday, December 29, was caused by the explosion of a big surface missile in Hizballah hands and of Iraqi origin. Reporting this, DEBKAfile’s exclusive military and Lebanese sources reveal that the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group has recently taken delivery of a shipment of surface missiles, presumed to be medium-range, from the Iraqi army. The blast occurred at a Hizballah training camp near a village called Janta in the northeastern section of the Beqaa Valley close to the Syrian frontier. This camp is also used by the group as a testing ground for new weapons, short range missiles and explosive devices. The blast was heard at a distance of 20 km indicating a warhead of one ton at least.

According to our sources, the missile exploded suddenly, catching the Hizballah team handling it unawares and causing a large number of casualties, as indicated by the long line of ambulances and rescue teams reported by witnesses to be racing to the blast scene from northern and central Lebanon. Among them were Syrian military rescue vehicles. The Hizballah quickly sealed off the ravaged area, allowing no one through but the rescue teams, their own operatives and Syrian officers.

Military sources consulted by DEBKAfile ascribe the missile explosion to three possible causes:

A. One of the recently delivered Iraqi missiles exploded accidentally while being unpacked and stowed in an underground bunker by Hizballah teams.

If this is what happened, then the missiles were armed when they made their way from northern Iraq through Syria to eastern Lebanon – either because the consignment was approved by the Iraqi leadership in great haste, leaving no time to disarm them, or to enable the transport crew to target Israel if attacked from the ground or air.

B. One of the missiles was set up for launching against Israel and exploded prematurely. For the Hizballah, shooting even one missile into northern Israel would have gained the group enormous prestige in its Arab and Muslim milieu, while Israel would have found it hard to justify a large-scale response to a single missile. Had it landed in an open space, the Hizballah would have claimed it was misfired.

Our Lebanese sources report that the Iraqi ruler, Saddam Hussein, is leaning hard on the Hizballah secretary general, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, to open a warfront against Israel in the hope of easing US military pressure on Iraq.

C. The Hizballah was setting the missile up for a practice launch when it blew up. This is unlikely as the Beqaa Valley is not the logical place for testing medium or long range missiles. From there they can only be fired at Syria, Israel or the Mediterranean. Of the three, Israel would make the most sense.

Hizballah officials and media have been working overtime to play down the missile mishap and divert attention from the heavy casualty toll and massive destruction it engendered – a far cry from the blaze of glory that Nasrallah envisioned would be his when he staged his first missile attack on the Jewish state, whether the weapon he launched was supplied by Syria, Iran or Iraq.
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Debka is unreliable, linked w/ israeli intell (english)
31 Dec 2002
Who knows? The story could be true or not, but I guess it's a distortion or a fabrication. Do a google on the words
Debka israeli intelligence for a critical view of DEbka.

By the way, I've noticed an increase in pro-war israel-aligned articles on the indymedia's lately, maybe we're attracting a wider audience

Of course, the best way to deal with a troll article is to not even open it -- don't waste time commenting like I'm doing now..

Article on Debka follows, I removed some para's on Talonsoft
-------------------------------------------------------

Israeli Website Mixes Fact And Fantasy
The Guardian - April 3, 2001

Tasteless computer games are one thing, but Brian Whitaker says that fantasy masquerading as journalism is far worse

Scanning the news on the internet at the weekend, I was alarmed to see at the top of the list a headline saying: "Talonsoft announces Arab-Israeli Wars".

...

Computer games may be realistic, but at least they do not purport to be anything other than a game. If some of the players can't tell the difference, that's not necessarily the makers' fault.

It's a different matter, however, when fiction purports to be journalism. There's a website called debka.com that describes itself as "an internet weekly on intelligence, politics and terrorism" and "the decision-maker's indispensable tool".

For a subscription of $120, you can have it emailed every week - which at least suggests its content is worth paying for. Debka, which is based in Jerusalem, hints at having exclusive access to Israeli intelligence sources and makes a habit of mis-spelling Arabic names.

A banner at the top of each page says: "We start where the media stop" - a claim that few could disagree with, since Debka blends fact, fantasy and propaganda in ways that make it difficult to separate one from the other.

One of Debka's recurring obsessions is its belief that the PLO, Hizbullah, Syria, Iraq and Iran have all joined a secret alliance against Israel. Many of its stories are tailored to support this theory.

Anyone who has witnessed the repeated failure of Arab countries to agree on a united course of action about any issue of importance ought to have serious doubts about the likelihood of such an alliance.

Nevertheless, some elements in the Israeli government and military seem intent on promoting the idea that it exists - and Debka supports them in their efforts.

The motive of these elements is not entirely clear. Some suggest they are seeking to provide justification for an attack on Lebanon and Syria. Perhaps more likely, they may be trying to persuade the US to grant Israel a free rein in the region and provide it with more weapons.

But there certainly is a political motive behind the stories of a PLO-Hizbullah-Syrian-Iraqi-Iranian alliance, and they should be treated with suspicion unless supported by more evidence than Debka is able to provide.

A recent "special exposé" of the new Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, gives a flavour of Debka's journalistic methods and content:

As a child, Debka says, Bashar "was always rather strange - virtually uneducable, quick-tempered and given to petty cruelties against animals and weaker playmates. No one bothered to correct his ways, never imagining he would ever come to high office."

The death of Bashar's elder brother (whom many people had expected to become the next president) suddenly changed all that, Debka says. His ailing father, Hafez al-Assad, desperately sought to prepare Bashar for the presidency.

According to Debka, he "turned to the adept image-makers of British and French intelligence, asking them to fabricate for the youthful Beshar [sic] a Western-educated, modern Arab intellectual facade."

As a result, Debka says, Britain cooked up a fictitious story that Bashar had studied ophthalmic surgery in London - though why the British were so obliging in this matter is not explained.

The Americans and Israelis knew about the Syrian-British scheme, Debka adds, but agreed to keep quiet when both Bashar and Hafez al-Assad promised to be nice to Washington and to "sign peace with Israel on acceptable terms".

Debka complains: "After several months in power, Beshar shows no sign of keeping either of those promises."

The only evidence cited by Debka to support this fanciful tale is that "the young Syrian president studiously avoids contacts with foreigners and medical people", so as not to reveal "his lack of medical knowledge and halting English."

It adds: "When he cannot avoid these contacts, he listens and nods but says little." The rest of the story is attributed to unnamed "intelligence sources".

Intelligence sources are always a useful standby in the absence of any firm evidence: the nature of their work not only suggests they have special knowledge, but also provides an obvious reason why they cannot be identified.

People who are not identified cannot be held reponsible for what they are reported to have said.

One of the problems with Debka is that its stories usually have just enough of a factual basis to sound plausible - indeed, some of them may even be true. They are also sufficiently well told and interesting to trickle out into popular gossip and occasionally into the mainstream media.

Unprovable (and probably spurious) claims about threats to Israel from Iranian Republican Guards in Lebanon and Hizbullah guerrillas in the occupied territories which originated in Debka have recently re-surfaced in two respected publications: Jane's Foreign Report and the Saudi-owned daily, Ash-Sharq al-Awsat.
See Also:
• Re Debka Article: Caveat Emptor - Reader Beware!
Debka is all propaganda (english)
31 Dec 2002
Debka spins all real or made-up story to fit with right-wing, Zionist propaganda. This is a hate mongering group that is primarily interested in demonizing all Arab/Moslem, countries.

Their ideal scenario would have the American military bomb all such countries. This would simplify the goals of the Sharon expansionist policies. The American pro-Israeli and pro-war media happily reports many undocumented rumors from such racist sources and ignorant taxpayers are fooled into paying billions of dollars to support the brutal Israeli governmentÕs genocidal policies.
Funny (english)
01 Jan 2003
To those of you who condemn debka....

I find it really funny that of all the flights of fantasy stories on this website you only choose to condemn this one. All of the propoganda agaisnt the US and Israel recive not a word of condemnation or scrutinity but If some one say something remotely agaisnt islmaic countries then there hate filled liars.

You have all become what you are fighting agaisnt

All you people are a left wing version of FOX news "News Biasesd and unbalanced".