Uncle Osama Wants You!

Don't spend any time worrying about the much-publicized "union" of the Egyptian militant group, Gamaa, and al-Qaida. Apparently, a few rogue members of Gamaa have joined up with Osama's crew, but the majority (read: most) of Gamaa is staying put.

Why? Well, their goals and viewpoints aren't the same at all. While Gamaa was engaged in some guerilla warfare against the Egyptian government in the 1990's, they were suppressed by Egypt and many of their members were jailed for many years. Since then, they have pretty much abided by the terms of their release, in which they were made to promise not to use violence to overthrow the government.

They also had to write on the blackboard 1,000 times "I will not overthrow Egypt; I will not overthrow Egypt..."

Come to think of it, maybe Lebanon could take a lesson from their Egyptian neighbors. Snuffing Out Insurgents 101.

In other news, the city of Qiryat Shemons was hit yesterday by more than 20 Katyusha missiles, killing 12 Israeli soldiers.

Qiryat Shemons, also being called Kiryat Semona by the Western press corps (I don't know why this is), is located just east of a 2,000 ft ridgeline which separates Lebanon and Israel. The city is evacuated, except for the military. While precariously close to Lebanon, for some strange reason the city is known as a tourist destination. Maybe for "extreme" vacations?

The Katyusha is manufactured by Iran and is similar, at least in accuracy (or lack of accuracy), to the Scud missile, also manufactured by the Iranians. It is only accurate within a little less than a mile, which is perfect for bombing a city, but not perfect for being able to control civilian casualties. I'm not sure Hezbollah is real concerned about civilian casualties, though, so I am sure they are OK with it.

Looks like Syria wants into the game now. Their president announced that they were more than willing to engage in "regional warfare" and that Syria was "at the disposal" of Hezbollah.

No surprise here. They are just making it official, since it is well-known that Syria is supplying arms to Hezbollah. All this does is just move the war a little closer to Iraq, which borders Syria to the east. If this continues to escalate, it will suck in most of the Middle East, and then we're looking at some serious end-times stuff going on.

Of course, it's really just a matter of time when this will happen. Maybe not this go-around, but it will happen.

So, if you have booked travel to the Middle East, you may want to shy away from Israel, Lebanon, and Syria. Jordan is OK, since they take a hands-off stance most of the time, and Egypt is OK, although I would bet they will be the next to jump on the "kill the Israeli" bandwagon.


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