Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Israel/Lebanon Headache

A couple quick things on the conflict...


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...

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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.

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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.

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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...

7 comments:

Smitty said...

One of my favorite pieces, as reported by CNN, is that there is "a sense among European and Arab leaders that the United States was buying time for Israel in its offensive against Hezbollah."

Where do you think they get that idea from??

Punchy said...

376 civilians + 50-60 women and babies = one fucked up war.

the Iz needs to back the fuck up from this crap. I'm no fan of the indiscriminate rocket launching, but DAMN, the Iz is using LASER-GUIDED MISSLES. How they then hit a building packed with women and babies is simply inexcusible.

It's as if they WANTED to hit this ____*

*--fill in: UN building, bridge, ambulance, building with women and children, fleeing car, random structure with random people inside...

daniel said...

Do you really belive that israel wanted to hurt children and babys?
is this sound right to you?

if you check the facts, you will see that:
1. israel announced to the entire area, hours(!) before the attack
that they are going to bomb the building

2. the building collapsed 8 hours AFTER (!!) the israeli attack !

if you ask me, hizballah was hoping for this incident to happend
so the world will condemn israel on the issue.

if you want to learn more, you can watch this very short film
which will give you better understanding on the conflict

Take a look at this short video clip to see who the world is dealing with.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HlaVpqUXF0

Justine said...

Here's a video about the coverage of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict in the US. I'm always shocked by how unfair the coverage is to Palestinians. I'm Irish and watch Irish, UK and US TV news and also read newspapers from all three (I'm procrastinating). It's worth checking out this video.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7828123714384920696

Justine said...

To be honest. In Europe we watch completely different news to people in the US where Israel/Palestine is concerned. Hence the dissonance between most/all Europeans and the far right in the US. CNN is far closer to Fox on this topic than anything I ever watched in Ireland, UK or mainland Europe.

Mr Furious said...

Daniel,

There's no question in my mind that Hezbollah initiated this conflict. And they did it to provoke Israel into a disproportionate response. Israel didn't disappoint.

I know Israel needs to defend itself. I know they are in a difficult position, and fighting an enemy that cheats. But they have punished all of Lebanon brutally for the acts of a few.

This reflects a problem I've always had with Israel...they punish Lebanon or the Palestinian Authority (or whoever) for not controlling what basically amounts to the criminal element in their midst by destroying the police station, Defense Ministry or what have you. Effectively rendering that authority impotent to controlling anything. Thereby guaranteeing this cycle continues...

In the case of the current conflict it has been taken to a whole other level.

How is methodically destroying the entire infrastructure of Lebanon supposed to do anything to bring Hezbollah under the control of the government? That country is now crippled in nearly every possible way, and will have to devote all resources to basic survival. In the meantime, Hezbollah has barely been scratched—I'd argue their power and stature has been increased.

That strategy sucks and seems doomed to fail.

Mr Furious said...

As far as "warning" Lebanese people with leaflets, that ain't good enough. That is a CYA move at best. Many of these people have no where to go—and have to take their chances. Israel seems to consider anyone who failed to flee fair targets, regardless of circumstances.

Blind people, old people, children. You are not going to win the PR battle when they end up in the rubble from your bombs.

Even the people who have left are now among nearly a million refugees wandering around a country with no airports, bridges or roads, and nothing left to go back to.