US/Russia Strike Reciprocal Deal on Tactical Nuclear Weapons Deployment In Afghanistan and Chechnya
October 6, 2001 8:54 AM   Subscribe

US/Russia Strike Reciprocal Deal on Tactical Nuclear Weapons Deployment In Afghanistan and Chechnya From, Israeli site "approved" by USA Today. Does anyone know how credible Debka really is? Over the last few weeks, they've reported some interesting things, sometimes first, sometimes alone.
posted by ParisParamus (21 comments total)
I have been following them for about the past two weeks after seeing them posted in wish they had details for the headlines they post.
posted by Oxydude at 9:07 AM on October 6, 2001

This story has details, below. Some stories are saved for their subscription newsletter.

What I wonder about the actual story is how much is it calculated to just scare and neutralize potential resistance in Afganistan/Chechnya.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:15 AM on October 6, 2001

I use them with some regularity for my blog. I get annoyed that their articles do not come with URLs for specific pieces, and I am not rich enough to subscribe to the fuller version.
They are in some way affiliated with a right of center newspaper, the name at present escapes me, but I don't think they would be long in the intelligence game if they were consistently found wrong, mistaken, lying.
They are very pro-Israel but this is understandable since the two guys that founded it are Israelis.
posted by Postroad at 9:16 AM on October 6, 2001

Counter-intelligence! I don't think an actual "nuclear gernade" (which is what they were getting at I think) even exists beyond the proof of concept stage. All that radiation would root Bin Laden out of those caves pretty quickly. That is if he survives the initial doses.
posted by geoff. at 9:24 AM on October 6, 2001

The story gives four cases where nukes would be used:

1.  To counter a move by Bin Laden’s men first bring out nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against the US force fighting inside Afghanistan.

2.   If a chemical or biological assault by the Taliban against Pakistan.

3.  Should groups of bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network – either in Central Asia or the Balkans – wield these weapons of mass destruction against US military targets or US nuclear arms in other parts of the world.

4.  If using them is the only way to save heavy American combat casualties.

One through three sound pretty much like existing policy from the Gulf War. Four sounds like the rationale for Hiroshima. The only really new, fascinating thing in the article is the claim that U.S. forces were deploying tactical nukes on former Soviet territory, which is a bit of a mind-bender.
posted by gimonca at 9:36 AM on October 6, 2001

NY Observer...article expanding on Debka in New York weekly newspaper.
posted by Voyageman at 10:42 AM on October 6, 2001

Also on Debka: "China Moves Muslim Troops into Afghanistan to
Support Taliban and Bin Laden Against US Assault" – really? (The story hasn't been posted yet.) This flies in the face of everything I know about China's position in the region.

I love sites like this, but you really have to treat everything they say as pure speculation.
posted by D at 10:46 AM on October 6, 2001

***BREAKING NEWS*** U.S. President GWB has been finally caught by Osama in Laden.

posted by HoldenCaulfield at 11:31 AM on October 6, 2001

have to agree with D.
posted by newnameintown at 12:11 PM on October 6, 2001

The Chinese have indeed moved many many troops to the border. Thereis no indication they are there to help the Taliban:
posted by Postroad at 12:51 PM on October 6, 2001

The use of small tactical nukes is current military strategy. The feature essay in Joint Force Quarterly (not available online) explains the differences between modern US military and that of sixty years ago. The current military is designed to fight a prolonged conventional war on two fronts with a strategic line of 2000 miles — as opposed to 300 miles in WWII. One of the many innovations that makes such a war possible is tactical nukes.

Now, you can question whether the military actually needs to do any of this — whether they need to have massive military machine that can fight two wars all over the planet and bring to bear nukes if they deem it necessary. I thought it was politicians’ jobs to keep us out of wars, not constantly in them.

I’ve been trying to think of the longest period the US gone without fighting or supporting a war somewhere on the planet. Post WWII, it couldn’t longer than a few years.
posted by raaka at 1:43 PM on October 6, 2001

Debkafile claims that foreign correspondents covering the Middle East read their stories. I'm a correspondent covering the ME, and I've asked around among colleagues since sept 11: who reads Debkafile? The result: the experienced correspondents I've talked to don't read Debkafile and the reason is simple: the pro-Israel bias of Debkafile is far too obvious to take them seriously and so much more amateurish than that of other media outlets, their reporting is so full of factual and ethical mistakes, that it's very difficult to trust their "intelligence" information. It seems to be very likely that Debkafile makes up "intelligence" info just to strengthen their argument, to make them look trustworthy.

Their (biased) reporting is pathetic. The Israeli government spokesmen and websites do a much better job "representing" Israel. To see why I call their pro-Israel bias too obvious and "amateurish", compare their writing to much more subtle (and effective) pro-Israel writing, like in the MERIA Journal. Or read articles by the experienced defence-specialist Ze'ev Schiff in the Ha'aretz newspaper (in my opinion the best newspaper in the Middle East). Read and compare...
posted by igor.boog at 2:37 PM on October 6, 2001

igor nailed it. Debka may have some items of interest, but the more specific their information, the more likely it is to be completely bogus. It's best to consider them an arm of the Israeli disinformation apparatus.
posted by dhartung at 3:05 PM on October 6, 2001

Someone on Free Republic referred to DEBKA as "the Art Bell of the war on terrorism." I think that about sums it up.
posted by aaron at 3:05 PM on October 6, 2001

I doubt that the Israeli govt would use so flashy an outfit for disinformation, esp when one must subscribe to it. Here is the group they are affiliated with, a right-wing paper for sure, and of course also very pro-Israel. In passing, though, the jounrlaist who reported that pros don't use Debka reminds me of the many whjo said no one took Drudge with any seriousness--yet they, like tabloids, often scoop the pros. check it out.
posted by Postroad at 3:18 PM on October 6, 2001

i saw some articles which were nothing but bs, and i seriously question it's credibility.
posted by incubus at 4:43 PM on October 6, 2001

Thanks, I was beginning to think I was the only one who noticed Debka's rather obvious bias, lack of supporting facts and tendency to insert utter speculation and commentary into "news."
posted by scottandrew at 9:16 PM on October 6, 2001

I’ve been trying to think of the longest period the US gone without fighting or supporting a war somewhere on the planet. Post WWII, it couldn’t longer than a few years.

I know that I've seen a really detailed chronology sometime in the last year detailing all of our dalliances around the world. The US has been pretty busy ever since it's inception.

This is a little vague, but PBS's Frontline has a decent chronology overview. It looks like the longest outbreak of peace was between the Civil War and the Spanish American War - a little over 30 years.

There's a chronology of American Military involvement in Latin America, but it only covers the last century. Obviously, Latin America was pretty popular in the first 30 years of the 20th century.

Ah, now this looks pretty good. Although, it does just lump The Indian Wars together from 1775-1890, which while technically true, is a little misleading. Impressive that it's been updated to include events of 9/11.
posted by warhol at 9:34 PM on October 6, 2001

the jounrlaist who reported that pros don't use Debka reminds me of the many whjo said no one took Drudge with any seriousness--yet they, like tabloids, often scoop the pros.

There is another very important reason to distrust Debkafile. When a reporter gets information from an anonymous source, he has to find another non-anonymous source who confirms the information. If that is not possible, he has to find at least 1 or 2 other anonymous sources who confirm the info, and then negotiate with his editor about the risk of publishing (depending on the importance of the story). When is decided to publish, the reader has to be informed clearly of the anonimity of the source and the risk that the information may not be correct.

Very simple rules in journalism, rules that exist for very obvious reasons. It's true that many media outlets don't take those rules seriously and only think about sensation and about the scoop.

But the more a media outlet pretends to be a very trustworthy gatherer of "intelligence" information (the more important and hard to get the info is), the more it has to live up to those rules. And Debkafile obviously doesn't. I don't care when I make a mistake in reporting on the result of the soccer match Germany-Finland. But when a source gives me important "intelligence" on military or political events in the Middle East, I have to double check and double check.

I don't take Worldnetdaily seriously either. They are less amateurish than Debkafile but still. Example: today on their website they call Islam an often "secretive" religion. Big headlines about Jihad and about "the fastest growing religion in the world"... Wow. But Islam is not "secretive" at all. Political, militant, terrorist (whatever) groups can be secretive, but this being secretive has nothing to do with Islam. The only Islamic sect that is really secretive is the Druze. Worldnetdaily obviously tries to create a fearful image of Islam... (And of course I'm willing to give you more examples to support my opinion on this...)
posted by igor.boog at 2:23 AM on October 7, 2001

There was peace between the Civil and Spanish-American wars? Too bad nobody told Custer.
posted by gimonca at 3:30 PM on October 7, 2001

They're now reporting: US Preparing Shortly to Hit Second Target-Country – Either Bin Laden Bases in Somalia or Iraq.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:07 AM on October 9, 2001

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