mi-sh'nichnas Av Me'atin b'Simcha
When Av comes, joy is decreased 1
Terrorists also shot at combat medics, preventing them from evacuating the injured for more than six hours. Rescue personnel carried wounded soldiers off the battlefield under heavy fire, bringing them to the four combat helicopters that flew the wounded soldiers to safety as heavy fighting continued on the ground.As their families and their nation mourn their loss, the Velez family in Texas is also mourning their youngest son who was killed in Afghanistan a year after his brother was killed in Iraq.
After his brother's death, the military gave Andrew Velez the option of not returning to combat, Roy Velez said. But Andrew Velez told his father he wanted to return to fight, his father said.May all the fallen soldiers rest in peace and may their families find comfort.
"You always do it for your buddy next to you," Roy Velez recalled his younger son saying.
Roy Velez last talked to Andrew Velez on the phone Saturday. His son told him he'd had "six close calls" as they tracked Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, and that he was tired. He was scheduled to return for 10 days of leave during the last week of August. "He said, 'Daddy, I'll see you in August,'" Roy Velez said.
Andrew Velez joined the Army about five years ago. He graduated in 2002 from Estacado High School in Lubbock. During his school years, he wrestled, played football and basketball and ran track. He also loved playing golf.
His older brother, Jose, joined the Army after graduating from the same high school in 2000 and hoped to attend medical school one day. He played football and was an honor student.
After his death, Jose Velez was awarded two Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star and a Silver Star. But burglars stole them all from his parents' home in June.
On Monday, the medals were replaced, thanks to the assistance of U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, Roy Velez said. "And today at 12:30 I learned my other son was killed in action," he said late Tuesday.
Andrew Velez's survivors include his wife, Veronica Velez; a daughter, Jasmine Jade, 5; and two sons, Jordan Davis, 3, and Jacob Andrew, 2.
"We are just the first wave of Islamic warriors from Iran," said Amir Jalilinejad, chairman of the Student Justice Movement, a nongovernment group that helped recruit the fighters. "More will come from here and other Muslim nations around the world. Hezbollah needs our help."
Military service is mandatory in Iran and nearly every man has at least some basic training. Some hard-liners have more extensive drills as members of the Basiji corps, a paramilitary network linked to the powerful Revolutionary Guard.
Other volunteers, such as 72-year-old Hasan Honavi, have combat experience from the 1980-88 war with Iraq. "God made this decision for me," said Honavi, a grandfather and one of the oldest volunteers. "I still have fight left in me for a holy war."
"I've lived here 40 years," said Biton, 44, head of the residents association at the collective farm in Avivim, on the border with Lebanon, which has become one of the main launching sites for Israeli army attacks into Lebanon. "Hezbollah hasn't pushed me out. They've tried before."Shimon Biton became a bus driver on the same route where he was attacked and his father killed. He held that job for 18 years. Survivor of '70 attack won't leave war zone
It was Palestinian guerrillas who penetrated the Israeli perimeter from Lebanon early on May 22, 1970, and used a bazooka to ambush a school bus. Biton was 7. He and his father were on the bus, which was taking children to a school in nearby Rehinia. The dead included eight children and four adults. Biton's father was killed, and Biton's injuries kept him in a hospital for six months.
The Avivim bus attack taught Biton and others in the community a lesson that holds to this day:
"That we need to stay here," said Biton. "I learned that this is the state of Israel and you need to stay here at all costs. ... It's something you don't forget."
Beijing has warned Washington not to proceed with a reported deal to sell fighter jets to Taiwan, indicating it would impact on regional security and harm Sino-US relations, state media said on Friday.
"The Chinese side has taken note of the report and lodged serious representations to the United States," China's foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.
The China Times reported on Monday that a Taiwanese delegation had proposed the procurement of 66 advanced fighter planes during an annual military meeting with Washington early this month.
If the report is confirmed, it would be the biggest arms deal Washington has offered Taiwan since 2001 when US President George W. Bush agreed to provide the island with eight diesel-powered submarines, 12 P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft and an improved version of Patriot missiles, the paper said.
Taiwan's defense ministry has declined comment on the report.
The new fleet of F-16C/D fighters aim to reinforce the air force's combat capability before it can acquire so-called "third generation" fighters from the United States, the paper said.
The United States in 1992 agreed to sell Taiwan 150 less sophisticated F-16A/Bs, but refused to provide F-16C/Ds which have a longer range and powerful ground attack capability.
In addition to 146 F-16A/B fighters, the air force has 128 locally produced Indigenous Defense Fighters and 56 French-made Mirage 2000-5s, along with 60 or so aging F-5 Tigers.
Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has pledged gradually to increase military spending to around three percent of gross domestic product, up from 2.5 percent currently.
China has repeatedly threatened to invade Taiwan should it move towards formal independence, prompting the island to seek more advanced weaponry.
China announced in March its military budget for this year would rise 14.7 percent to 35 billion dollars, the latest in a series of double-digit annual increases dating back to the early 1990s.
A Pentagon report last year estimated that China's defense spending was two to three times the publicly announced figure and that the cross-strait military balance was tipping in Beijing's favor.
Bush met briefly in Washington on Thursday with China's top military officer and highlighted Sino-US cooperation on issues like North Korea and military matters, the White House said.
General Guo Boxiong was visiting the United States as part of a US-Chinese effort to expand cooperation between their militaries.
To stop the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah/Iran in Lebanon, the international community has suggested deploying a multinational force in southern Lebanon.Read the whole thing. The only possibility for long-term success is to allow Israel to finish the job, possibly with the help of Lebanese Christian militias. If the people with the strongest motivation to destroy Hezbollah are not to do it, then who will? Those who wish to replace Israeli action with Egyptian/Turkish/NATO/UN inaction are living in a fantasyland.
Unfortunately, no-one seems to have thought through the implications. The Israeli position, as put to the BBC yesterday by Israel's Ambassdor to the United Nations Dan Gillerman, is that the international force would not just count missiles flying overheard, but proactively disarm Hezbollah. In the absence of an international effort to disarm Hezbollah, therefore, Israel will do the job.
As Sheikh Nasrallah has made clear, any attempt to disarm Hezbollah will be met with open warfare:But if anyone, no matter who, even thinks about disarming the resistance, we will fight him like the martyrdom seekers of Karbala. This is because any such step is an Israeli act, and any hand reaching for the resistance's weapons is an Israeli hand – and we will chop it off. We are ready for discussion [on the basis of] the national interest, [but] under no circumstances will we agree to discussion in the Israeli framework."
This is not an empty threat. It is worth a brief look at the experience of the last peacekeeping force in Lebanon, the MNF of 1982-4. That particular force did not have a mandate to disarm any particular sect or militia, but to support the Lebanese government and army in establishing order and separating the warring parties.
The American, French and Italian troops faced terrorist attacks from Shi'ite and (to a lesser extent) Druze militias almost immediately. The bloodiest day of the Shi'ite campaign against Western forces came on October 23, 1983, when two truck bombs struck American and French barracks in Beirut. 241 American and 58 French servicemen were killed. The U.S. Embassy was bombed twice, in April 1983 and September 1984. And throughout the MNF's deployment, the Americans, French and Italian faced numerous smaller attacks. The Multinational Force in Lebanon lost over 350 killed and a similar number wounded before it withdrew in 1984. Remember also that, throughout this period, Hezbollah were routinely hijacking airliners, kidnapping Westerners and murdering Americans who fell in to their hands.
Note that this all occurred while Hezbollah was fighting Israel in southern Lebanon, and other militias. Any international force mandated to disarm Hezbollah would face the full wrath of the group. And they would likely strike in the following ways.
Yates will be committed to a state mental hospital, with periodic hearings before a judge to determine whether she should be released. If convicted, she would have faced life in prison.What do you guys think, should she have stayed in jail or should she be in a mental hospital?
Yates' attorneys never disputed that she drowned 6-month-old Mary, 2-year-old Luke, 3-year-old Paul, 5-year-old John and 7-year-old Noah in their Houston-area home in June 2001. But they said she suffered from severe postpartum psychosis and, in a delusional state, thought Satan was inside her and was trying to save them from hell.
Another woman said that killing people is wrong, even if those people are members of a group like Hizbullah. “They should not kill them, but negotiate with them,” she said. Asked whether she was afraid of the constant missiles on her home city, the woman said, “Personally, I am afraid sometimes, but I can’t believe they can really hurt me.”Of course the missiles won't hurt her, her tin helmet and invisible shield work miracles.
As the threats come from all fronts and with the backing of Syria and Iran, we are once again faced with our unique reality: We have no place to go. Ask my mother. She was expelled from Iran in 1957 for being Jewish. Now, the Iranians want to force her to migrate again.
I am bothered by the high Lebanese death toll as are most Israelis, but we must also remember that Hezbollah set the tone for this conflict when it asked for hundreds of people in exchange for one Israeli soldier. This war was declared against us and against the Western world. With oil prices rising daily, it's an economic war. With anger still lingering after the Muhammad cartoons, it is a cultural war. Most of all, though, it is a war against a progressive world, and Israel has turned back the clock 24 years to fight it.
I too am turning back the clock. Eighteen years after finishing my military service -- almost two decades after swearing that I would never again wear a uniform -- I called the Israeli consulate in New York and gave them my phone number. If the army needed me, I told them, I would be the first on a plane back to Israel.