UPDATED SUN. Jan. 13, 2008
We'll nuke Iran - Bush promises Israel
Thu, 01/10/2008 - 16:08 - Wire Services - US President George W. Bush promised Israel's opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu that the United States will join the Jewish state in a nuclear strike against Iran, Israel Radio reported today.
Former Prime Minister Netanyahu, opposition Likud party's hardline chairman who opposes the US-backed Annapolis peace process, reiterated to President Bush his stance, that a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iran's nuclear installations was the only way to stop the Islamic nation's nuclear weapons ambitions.
"I told him my position and Bush agreed," Netanyahu told Israel Radio.
During their 45-minute meeting at King David hotel in Jerusalem Netanyahu also told Bush that "Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people and will remain under Israeli sovereignty for eternity."
President Bush issued a stark warning to Iran over Strait of Hormuz incident, saying that "all options are on the table to protect our assets."
“There will be serious consequences if they attack our ships, pure and simple,” Bush said during the joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem. “And my advice to them is, don't do it.”
Bush criticized those who interpret the National Intelligence Estimate, which found that Iran gave up its nuclear weapons program in 2003, as a sign that Iran was no longer a threat.
"Let me remind you what the NIE actually said," Bush stold reporters. "It said that as far as the intelligence community could tell, at one time the Iranians had a military -- covert military program that was suspended in 2003 because of international pressure. My attitude is that a non-transparent country, a country which has yet to disclose what it was up to, can easily restart a program."
Israeli Military up in Arms over Bush-Olmert Plan for Major Operation in Gaza on Behalf of… Palestinian Authority
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
President George W. Bush gave Israel the nod for its long-delayed military operation against Hamas in the Gaza before he ended his 50-hour visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah on Friday, Jan. 11 – except that his provisos stop the Israeli military short of its objectives, namely stamping out the Palestinian missile campaign, halting smuggling and eradicating Hamas military stockpiles, as reported here by DEBKAfile’s military sources:
1. Israeli forces must limit their invasion to two or three strips abutting the Gaza-Israeli border of the 365 sq. km square Hamas-ruled territory on Israel’s southwestern border. Those sources identify those strips as the northern pocket of Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahiya and the fringes of the Jebalya camp; the southern areas east of Khan Younes up to the Sufa and Kerem Shalom crossings; and sections of the Philadelphi border strip with Egypt, up to and excluding the Mediterranean coast.
Operationally, this means the Israeli army may push back the Qassam missile launching sites from the border and distance this harassment from the Israeli population, but may not destroy terrorist arms and missile caches and their means of production.
Israel is also enabled to deal only partially with the smuggling system for the weapons, explosives, fighters and cash, which nourish the Gaza Strip’s Palestinian terrorist groups through Sinai.
2. The IDF must operate only in sparsely-populated areas and desist from actions that may cause extensive Palestinian civilian casualties.
3. The IDF will not capture the main cities, e.g. Gaza City, Rafah and Khan Younes.
4. After clearing captured areas of Hamas, Jihad Islami and other Palestinian terrorists, the Israeli army must pull out and hand the cleansed territory to the forces of the Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Israel must enable the passage of those forces from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip and allow them to establish military bases for launching their offensives to recapture the entire Gaza Strip, thereby reversing Hamas’ success in forcing their retreat six months ago.
Point 4 was tagged onto the list during the US president’s talks with Abbas in Ramallah Thursday, Jan. 10.
The Palestinian leader proposed that Bush’s assent to an Israel counter-terror operation in the Gaza Strip be exploited for the IDF to prepare the ground for his Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority to regain its control of the lost territory.
It was agreed between Bush, Abbas and Olmert, that the details of this plan be worked out after the US president returns home at the end of his Middle East tour.
The Bush-Olmert understanding entrusted defense minister Ehud Barak with leading and charting the Gaza operation, determining its timeline and being responsible to Washington for the IDF not stepping out of the above preset boundaries.
It will also be up to Barak to decide whether to pursue the objective in phased offensives.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the Olmert government’s acceptance of this plan has stirred outrage in the IDF high command, general staff, southern command and the security establishment.
For the first time in its 60 years of independence, Israel’s national army is being pressed into service to capture a territory on behalf of a foreign entity. They ask by what authority did the prime minister and defense minister sign off on a plan which is an immoral distortion of the IDF’s longstanding mission.
The notion that members of Israel’s people’s army, which is duty bound to defend the state, may be ordered to fight and lay down their lives in the service of the Palestinian Authority, presents every serviceman with an irreconcilable dilemma.
It might be easier if they were permitted to eradicate the Palestinian missile threat and war machine, stock, lock and barrel. But this is ruled out by Bush.
The IDF found it difficult enough to recover its equilibrium from the political task to forcibly evict Jewish communities from the Gaza Strip foisted on it by the Sharon-Olmert-Livni government in 2005. Today, Israeli policy-makers, the United States and the Palestinian Authority are contemplating saddling the soldiers with another political undertaking: to turn around the Fatah’s defeat in its internecine war with Hamas.
Israeli generals and security chiefs caution the government against accepting this perilous and self-destructive adventure and point to its glaring flaws.
Its very conception has distorted the peace process so that the burden of its success rests on the IDF’s shoulders. If a military campaign succeeds in gaining control of parts of Gaza on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, peace talks will resume with Abbas’ standing much enhanced. But if the results are mixed, like in the 2006 Lebanon War under Olmert’s direction, the Palestinian leader will drop Israel and the United States like hot coals, turn coat and seek an understanding with Hamas for a re-united front against Israel.
Already, since the plan was floated, Israel-Palestinian talks have petered out and become irrelevant, while negotiations for the release of the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit have been put on ice. Hamas will on no account discuss terms for his release with a large-scale Israeli offensive hanging over Gaza.
Another of the plan’s fundamental flaws is that the Palestinian Authority is in effect leaderless, rudderless and is bereft of the professional security strength for following up on the deal.
The Bush-Olmert-Abbas plan would have the Israeli military pull their irons out of the fire when it is common knowledge that once inside Gaza, PA security forces will quickly disintegrate and be swallowed up by the far more resolute Hamas. It was therefore proposed in Bush’s talks in Ramallah and Jerusalem that the Israeli Air Force and artillery provide support for the Palestinian takeover of the Gaza Strip, a tactic the US army employs for local forces in Iraq.
For the Israeli Defense Forces, this proposal is totally unacceptable.
For one thing, the Palestinian Authority’s security services are riddled with wanted terrorists.
Furthermore, Abbas and his elite officials are not considered representative by the bulk of the Palestinian people (who in Jan. 2006 voted Hamas into office). Neither are they trusted to execute complicated strategies.
Finally, the Bush-Olmert policy of placing all their bets for a Middle East breakthrough on the inept Mahmoud Abbas condemns their plan to failure.
At the dinner Olmert hosted in honor of the US president Thursday night, several ministers pointed out these hard facts to Bush and told him bluntly that he is gambling all his hopes for peace on a non-existent entity called the Palestinian Authority.
The US president answered: “I agree. That really is a problem.”
GENESIS CHAPTER 12 - VERSE 3
ג וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר; וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה. 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'
|As Bush sticks his nose in Israeli politics, protesters tell him to butt out|
| Updated 01/10/08 22:17 Israel time|
Bush blatantly urged ministers to back PM Ehud Olmert, whom he described as a strong leader, and keep him in power. Minister Eli Yishai of the Sephardi religious Shas party told Bush that he is "not willing to compromise on Jerusalem" and "cannot make peace with half of the Palestinian nation, which is all that is ruled by ... Abbas," he added. A small but fierce protest rally nearby branded Israeli leaders as traitors.
Corbon 9mm 100-grain "PowRball" +P and Browning Mk III Hi Power
By Stephen Camp
Visually similar to the Glaser Safety Slug, Corbon's PowRball is an entirely different round. It weighs 20-grains more, but retains the round nose profile for reliable feeding. It is a +P round and has an advertised velocity of 1475 ft/sec.
This round should feed reliably in any 9mm that will feed ball and externally is very similar to the Glaser Safety Slug. It's said to react very consistently in 10% ballistic gelatin regardless of barriers before striking the gelatin.
Using a Browning 9mm Mk III with factory barrel, I tested this round for accuracy at two distances as well as for expansion. Chronograph data is based on a 10-shot average fired 10' from the chronograph screens.
100-grain 9mm PowRball
Average Velocity: 1473 ft/sec
Extreme Spread: 49
Standard Deviation: 17
High Velocity: 1494
Low Velocity: 1445
At 15 yards, I fired a group, slow-fire, to see how it would group from the Hi Power. I also fired a 5 shot group with Corbon's 125-grain +P JHP for comparison. Point of aim was the inner sphere. I also fired 5 sets of controlled pairs at 10 yards with the PowRball. Both targets are displayed. The controlled pairs were fired as quickly as I could obtain a "flash sight picture" while using a two-hand hold and Weaver stance.
It should not necessarily be inferred that the PowRball is a better grouping load than the 125-grain Corbon JHP, although that's what happened in this instance. The spread in the latter is probably due to me, not the ammunition nor the Hi Power; it was the first group I fired. The "important" thing is to note that the PowRball at its higher velocity and lower bullet weight does hit a little bit lower. As most defensive scenarios will be closer than 15 yards, this divergence of POI to POA is probably moot. As the 5 sets of controlled pairs show, the ammunition is easy to handle from the Hi Power.
When fired into water, the PowRball shed its jacket every time. Water will make this happen more than gelatin as the fluid more easily gets between the lead bullet and the jacket. I recovered the expanded PowRball bullet and jacket fragments shown on the left side of the picture and those on the right from another shot. The bullet was not recovered as it completely penetrated the last jug of water! The expanded PowRball in the middle was recovered after "scientific mud expansion" testing. The recovered bullet and fragments on the left weighed 94.5-grains. The expanded bullet measured 0.59 X 0.64." Believe it or not, the PowRball recovered from the "scientific mud" weighed about 75-grains even with the dirt particles on it.
Though not "bad," the felt recoil on the 100-grain PowRball was "sharper" than that of the 125-grain Corbon +P JHP. To me, the felt recoil of the PowRball and the 115-grain JHP are about the same. This is not surprising as the velocities are very similar.
From the same Mk III
Corbon 115-grain JHP +P: 1411 ft/sec
Corbon 100-grain PowRball +P: 1473
Corbon 125-grain JHP +P: 1258
Folks who do the serious gelatin testing report that the PowRball averages about 12" penetration in 10% ballistic gelatin and does so consistently, regardless of barriers.
Though the Mk III in the background reliably feeds about any JHP I've tried, the PowRball has both a rounded ogive and LOA that mimics FMJ. Shown with a Corbon 125-grain JHP, most would agree that the PowR ball would be more likely to feed well in a wider number of 9mm pistols.
With its "ball" profile, this PowRball should have no trouble in negotiating this Hi Power's feed ramp. For self-defense, a handgun's reliability is paramount. You get it with the PowRball and a cartridge capable of being put exactly where you want it should the rare need for a very precise "rescue shot" be necessary.
I was favorably impressed with the PowRball for a personal protection round for the private citizen. I would do some testing before using it myself, but I believe that it would make a potent 9mm load. In "scientific" terms, it has quite a bit of "whammy" and with decent placement, should "stop" a felon about as quickly as any commonly used defensive round and perhaps, quicker.
The 9mm 100-grain PowRball grouped well and was more consistent shot to shot than their .45 ACP, 165-grain PowRball that I tested several months ago. Both rounds feed reliably.
From a 5" 1911, it had an average velocity of 1220 ft/sec, but an extreme spread of 119, which resulted in a standard deviation of 40.
This 165-grain Corbon PowRball expanded well in water testing and was both reliable and accurate, but did not prove as consistent in standard deviation as did the 9mm version. The .45 ACP PowRball was the first caliber Corbon released this design in. More calibers are to follow.
For those concerned about feed reliability with a defensive load as well as over-penetration, the PowRball is a very viable choice. Both the 9mm and .45 ACP versions penetrate approximately 12" of ballistic gelatin and should remain inside the average human torso assuming a solid hit. Both "passed" the dreaded "4 Layers of Denim" testing routinely done by those seriously studying terminal ballistics and bullet performance.
I think it will be a winner and might make a viable choice for those wanting the same performance under a wide number of conditions, but who are unable to obtain or use several of the law enforcement only loads.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi.
American President George Bush approaches from behind, and puts his hands on her shoulders.
President Bush begins mas-
saging Chancellor Merkel's shoulders with his fingers.
Chancellor Merkel begins lifting her shoulders to escape President Bush's grasp.
Grimacing, Chancellor Merkel lifts her arms, makes both hands into fists. President Bush releases her.
President Bush walks away with a blank look but no apology. Chancellor Merkel lowers her fists.
|Friday, January 11, 2008|
NO BREAKTHROUGHS: Bush ends Israeli peace mission without marked success.