Condoleeza Rice's trip to the Middle East—"Mission Accomplished"
Ceasefire delay Israel's green light
...Israeli officials said they regarded the failure of an international conference to reach agreement on a cease-fire plan as clearing the way for further assaults on Hezbollah.
Justice Minister Haim Ramon told Israeli radio, “We received yesterday at the Rome conference permission from the world, to continue this operation, this war, until Hezbollah won’t be located in Lebanon and until it is disarmed.’’
Mr. Ramon also raised the possibility of an expanded air assault, saying “all those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah.’’
Permission from the world? Or do you mean every country in the MidEast and Europe supporting an immediate ceasefire, and the U.S. and Israel working alone to scuttle that?
If it were actually true that there are no innocent people caught in the crossfire in Southern Lebanon (as Israel claims), I'd say, "Fine. Finish this shit once and for all." But the fact that U.N. observers and children continue to be killed belies Israel's claims.
Excellent work, Madame Secretary. Witness the power of this fully armed and operational battle station. You may fire at will, Israel...
Estimated death tolls:
Lebanon: At least 423 people have been killed in Lebanon - including 376 civilians reported by the Health Ministry and security officials.
Israel: "The deaths of the soldiers yesterday brought to 51 the number of Israelis killed in the campaign, according to the military." Keep in mind, the 51 Israelis killed includes 33 soldiers, five of whom were killed by friendly fire. It should also be pointed out that many of the soldiers have died in Lebanon.
It was not easy to find a breakdown of the Israeli casualties, and many sources are just lumping everyone together saying things like "the conflict, which has killed over 470 since it started..."
It should be made clear that despite the "hundreds of rockets launched into Israel by Hezbollah," less than 20 Israeli civilans have been killed. Lebanese civilans are being killed at twenty times that rate, by an organized military.
The Baseball Crank is unabashedly on Israel's side, but he raises some good points here about the rules of engagement changing...
I also agree with him on much of this. Democrats "boycotting" the Iraqi Prime Minister's speech before Congress for "failing to denounce Hezbollah" was stupid. They should have boycotted it because the speech was likely written by the Bush Administration.
John Cole took Kofi Annan to task for claiming Israel deliberately bombed the U.N. outpost, and he unleashed a torrent of contrary comments. Some good stuff in there. It has since devolved into a "Darrel" thread...