This News May Undermine International Stabilization Force

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There have been several thousand UN observers stationed in Lebanon for 28 years. Their role was not peacekeeping — but they have been at least an institutional “toe in the door” in Lebanon and the neighborhood around Israel.
Today, at least two UN observers were killed in a strike by Israel. Kofi Annan called the Israeli strike “apparently deliberate” — and Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Daniel Ayalon called Annan’s comments “outrageous.”
Tensions are high in every corner of this conflict, and the deaths of innocent people in this conflict assure future waves of blowback.
And besides, what nations want to contribute to an “International Stabilization Force” now? It will be hard enough to convince UN member nations to contribute troops to such a force — but also tough to get them to continue to disarm and incapacitate Hezbollah militants. Add Israeli air strikes to the mix, and the incentives to get such a force together are nearly impossible to imagine.
More later.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

28 comments on “This News May Undermine International Stabilization Force

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    Testing.

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  4. anon says:

    The AP has gotten a copy of the UN report. It turns out there were 10, count ’em, 10 calls made by UN
    officers in the area to Israel asking them to stop the airstrikes as they were very close to the UN outpost. An Irish UN military officer said he called his Israeli counterpart 6 times with very specific information, presumably the exact location of the outpost. This was no “inadvertant” mistake. If, on the off chance it turns out it was a true mistake, that does not speak well of the ability of the IDF to communicate with itself.

    Reply

  5. Pissed Off American says:

    « Wash Post Pentagon Correspondent Tom Ricks & Former State Dept Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson on Friday | Washington Note | Brzezinski: Israel’s Actions in Lebanon Essentially Amount to “the Killing of Hostages” »
    Comments: This News May Undermine International Stabilization Force
    one more bit of evidence that Israel really does NOT want peace. they continue to establish conditions that make peaceful resolution impossible, then loudly blame the other side for not being a “partner.”
    if this indeed was a deliberate strike (and after 2 weeks of hearing the IDF tout its “precision” and “carefulness”) one would conclude it was done with the intent of precluding the deployment of UN forces. this will “force” Israel to do the job itself, take control of the territory from the Israel border to the Litana River (and, incidentally, its water) under a new occupation strategy.
    hmmmmm. obviously this has been planned for some time.
    Posted by susan at July 25, 2006 10:11 PM
    I also wonder about the sanity (but not the courage or compassion) of anyone manning a convoy of humanitarian supplies. We read of ambulances, hospitals, fleeing civilians and now NATO forces being fired on. Would Israel decimating a few trucks full of food and medicine surprise in the least? Does that drunk in the bar that’s had a beer knocked over, his wallet lifted and his wife hit on really need to shoot everyone in sight to make things even?
    Posted by steve duncan at July 25, 2006 10:30 PM
    Sorry, UN forces, not NATO (they’re next, if they show up).
    Posted by steve duncan at July 25, 2006 10:32 PM
    I did a post on Agoravox (agoravox.fr), a french citizen reporters site, asking about why the international justice dimension of this conflict is not in the Agenda (you know, Geneva Convention and all that stuff). I had 209 comments pros and cons Israel, but no one on this issue. The fact is that the only way it will be fixed is by negociating a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. I know it is not an easy task but continuing military operations is not the solution, it is part of the problem.
    Posted by Michel Monette at July 25, 2006 10:48 PM
    lee cowan had a report on cbs tonight of a red cross truck delivering humanitarian supplies to trapped lebanese. he said their request to follow the truck as it made its way to places under siege was denied because the driver had been told by israelis that ANY vehicle accompanying the truck would result in the destruction of the entire convoy.
    oh yeah, and fwiw, a couple of days ago i read that frank luntz was advising the israelis on the p.r.
    Posted by linda at July 25, 2006 11:16 PM
    A Little Analysis:
    The Mid East is always in a state of unrest, ergo Peace as we know it means that Israel is always under attack by the following:
    Rockets
    Mortars
    Hezbollah
    Sunnis
    Shia
    Scuds
    Suicide Bombers
    Car Bombers
    Syria
    Iran
    The U.N.
    France
    Russia
    Liberals
    Some of it is blatant and some is mere drivel. But this is called Peace. You forge a cease fire and you end up with the above. Continously and neverending. This is Peace in the Middle East, when you are surrounded by terrorists who want to kill you only because you happen to be above ground. And it will never stop.
    As for the U.N. here is Abba Eban’s take: “If Algeria proposed a resolution that the earth was flat and Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 120 to 3, with 27 abstentions”.
    Posted by Finest at July 25, 2006 11:47 PM
    The stance that the US administration has taken,namely, not calling for a ceasefire, shipping extra “rush order” weapons, etc to Israel to continue bombing innocents while taking a fake, “we’re not getting involved” stance is shameful. Worse yet is saying that we’re sending humanitarian aid to Lebanon. I mean, how about stopping the destruction so the aid wouldn’t be needed? (THAT would take too much common sense)
    Our administrations deplorable actions in this case will definitely come back to haunt us. (can you say September 11th?) More likely though, I almost expect to see things starting to blow up ‘Jerusalem style’ in NYC, LA, and/or DC. But I’m sure this won’t bother Bush and his ilk, it will only be us “little people” who pay the price, not them, just like on Sept 11th and in the Iraq war.
    We are basically powerless to change Bush Admin policies no matter how much we talk about it. Just get your emergency gear in order.
    Posted by karen at July 25, 2006 11:53 PM
    Ahh, the perfect gentleman.
    Some pretty wideswaths cut in the worldwide ethno and social fabric there. Your analysis started to waver around Scuds, but you pulled in back at the UN and Europe. And finally spluttering out ‘Ll…Liberals’ – pure genius.
    Love it when they get up a head of steam.
    Posted by canucklehead at July 26, 2006 12:02 AM
    Well, I guess they paint those red crosses on the vans so that the Israelis can zero in their targetting……
    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/IMAGES/ambulancehit.jpg
    Posted by Pissed Off American at July 26, 2006 12:33 AM
    The militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from Israel, which sent ground forces into its neighbor to look for them. The forces were trying to keep the soldiers’ captors from moving them deeper into Lebanon, Israeli government officials said on condition of anonymity. [Forbes 7/12/06]
    ++++++++++++
    The Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement announced on Wednesday that its guerrillas have captured two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon. “Implementing our promise to free Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, our strugglers have captured two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon,” a statement by Hezbollah said. “The two soldiers have already been moved to a safe place,” it added. The Lebanese police said that the two soldiers were captured as they “infiltrated” into the town of Aitaa al-Chaab inside the Lebanese border. [Hindustan Times 7/12/06]
    ++++++++++++
    The Lebanese Hezbollah movement announced Wednesday the arrest of two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon. Lebanese police said that the two soldiers were arrested as they entered the town of Aitaa al-Chaab inside the Lebanese border. Israeli aircraft were active in the air over southern Lebanon, police said, with jets bombing roads leading to the market town of Nabatiyeh, 60 kilometers south of Beirut. [Bahrain News Agency 7/12/06]
    +++++++++++++
    TRANSLATION: According to the Lebanese police force, the two soldiers were captured in Lebanese territory, in the area of Aïta Al-Chaab close to the border, whereas Israeli television indicated that they had been captured in Israeli territory. [fr.news.yahoo 7/12/06]
    +++++++++++++++++
    In the afternoon, the scene changed in the streets of southern Lebanon, which was the target of 32 Israeli raids that mainly targeted areas near the area where the two soldiers were captured in Aita al Chaab, close to the border with Israel. [news.monstersandcritics.com 7/12/06]
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    According to the Lebanese police force, the two Israeli soldiers were captured in Lebanese territory, in the area of Aïta Al-Chaab, near to the border with Israel, where an Israeli unit had penetrated in middle of morning. [AFP 7/12/06]
    +++++++++++++
    It all started on July 12 when Israel troops were ambushed on Lebanon’s side of the border with Israel. Hezbollah, which commands the Lebanese south, immediately seized on their crossing. They arrested two Israeli soldiers, killed eight Israelis and wounded over 20 in attacks inside Israeli territory. [Asia Times 7/15/06]
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    TRANSLATION: In a deliberated way, Tsahal sent a commando in the Lebanese back-country to Aïta Al Chaab. It was attacked by Hezbollah, making two prisoners. [voltairenet.org 7/18/06]
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Only weeks ago, an entire reserve division was drafted in order to train for an operation such as the one the IDF is planning in response to Wednesday morning’s Hizbullah attacks on IDF forces along the northern border. [JPost 7/12/06]
    ++++++++++++++++++
    Israel’s military response by air, land and sea to what it considered a provocation last week by Hezbollah militants is unfolding according to a plan finalized more than a year ago.
    In the years since Israel ended its military occupation of southern Lebanon, it watched warily as Hezbollah built up its military presence in the region. When Hezbollah militants kidnapped two Israeli soldiers last week, the Israeli military was ready to react almost instantly. [SFGate 7/21/06]
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    Do you get it yet?
    Israel sent troops across the border into Lebanon. They then claimed the captured invaders were “kidnap victims” and launched their attacks.
    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/israeli_solders.html
    Posted by Pissed Off American at July 26, 2006 12:59 AM
    “as we know it means that Israel is always under attack by the following:
    The U.N.
    France
    Russia
    Liberals”
    Do people seriously believe this crap, or is it just some scheduled trolling?
    Seriously, I don’t mind the thought of there being a bunch of Freepers wankers going around trolling sites on liberal hit list. What bothers me is the possibility that there are genuine people out there that seriously believe this nonsense – that all progressive, or even non neo-conservatives, and the entire UN actually want to deny Israel a right to exist / lawful response.
    Posted by Will at July 26, 2006 01:07 AM
    Do people seriously believe this crap, or is it just some scheduled trolling?
    Seriously, I don’t mind the thought of there being a bunch of Freepers wankers going around trolling sites on liberal hit list. What bothers me is the possibility that there are genuine people out there that seriously believe this nonsense – that all progressive, or even non neo-conservatives, and the entire UN actually want to deny Israel a right to exist / lawful response.
    Posted by Will
    Don’t mind Finest/Brian/David/Zeke/MP…..he’s currently in the throes of an identity crisis.
    Posted by Pissed Off American at July 26, 2006 01:11 AM
    Damn, this son of a bitch Bush makes me want to apologize to the world for our actions. For the first time in my life I am ASHAMED to be an American.
    Posted by Pissed Off American at July 26, 2006 01:15 AM
    I read “Pretext for War” but had forgotten this part…I just saw it quoted on another site and think it is worth notice because Isr is once again claiming “accidents and outrageous”..so in judging who is lying, the UN or Isr it’s helpful to look at history….
    (pages 141-144 from Bamford’s ‘A Pretext for War’ book):
    …About the same time, beginning on April 11, 1996, a series of shock waves rumbled through the Muslim world as a result of Israel’s massive bombardment of Beirut and southern Lebanon, which Israel had by then been occupying for fourteen years. Known as “Operation of Grapes of Wrath,” it was the first time Israel had attacked Beirut since Ariel Sharon’s ill-fated 1982 invasion of Lebanon. According to Israeli writer Israel Shahak, the real purpose of the attack was to capture as much Lebanese territory as possible.
    “It is quite obvious,” wrote Shahak, “that the first and most important Israeli aim to be established in the ‘Grapes of Wrath’ is to establish its sovereignty over Lebanon — to be exercised in a comparable manner to its control over the Gaza Strip.”
    Two days after it began, on April 13, ambulance driver Abbas Jiha from the village of Mansouri was busy rushing patients wounded in the fighting to a hospital in the town of Sidon. On his return to Mansouri, panic had broken out and explosions were taking place. People began pleading for him to take them to Sidon. Jiha quickly squeezed four of his children into his ambulance along with ten other people, including a family, and began driving toward Sidon.
    Suddenly, an Israeli helicopter began chasing his ambulance. Minutes later, two missiles were fired, one of which exploded through the rear door, engulfing the vehicle in fire and smoke and hurling it sixty feet through the air. Thrown clear, Abbas Jiha began running toward the flaming heap of twisted metal. “My God, my God,” he screamed, shaking his fist at the sky, “my family has gone.” In all, six people were killed, including Jiha’s nine year-old daughter and his wife.
    Israeli officials later admitted the ambulance had been targeted but claimed, falsely, that the vehicle was owned by Hezbollah and was transporting one of the group’s fighters. Jiha had no connection with terrorist groups, and the thought that Israel could target an ambulance packed with innocent people, including many children, outraged Muslims throughout the Middle East.
    On April 18, one week into Operation Grapes of Wrath, a reporter for London’s newspaper The Independent was traveling in southern Lebanon with a United Nations convoy. Robert Fisk, Britain’s most highly decorated foreign correspondent, spent a quarter of a century covering the Middle East and was the recipient of the British International Journalist of the Year Award seven times, including for 1996. As the vehicles were approaching the small village of Qana, Fisk could hear the sound of artillery, he recalled.
    The convoy had stopped at Qana that morning and noticed it was crowded with about eight hundred refugees. They had been transported there for their safety by armored UN vehicles from nearby villages that had come under Israeli bombardment. When the convoy finally arrived in Qana shortly after two in the afternoon, fire was everywhere and proximity shells were bursting in the air. Antipersonnel weapons designed to explode about two dozen feet above ground, they would shower down razor-sharp shrapnel, butchering anyone beneath.
    “It was a massacre,” wrote Fisk in a front-page story. “Israel’s slaughter of civilians in this terrible 10-day offensive — 206 by last night — has been so cavalier, so ferocious, that not a Lebanese will forgive this massacre. There had been the ambulance attacked on Saturday, the sisters killed in Yohmor the day before, the 2-year old girl decapitated by an Israeli missile four days ago. And earlier yesterday, the Israelis had slaughtered a family of 12 — the youngest was a four-day-old baby — when Israeli helicopter pilots fired missiles into their home.”
    The Israeli government later claimed the attack on the UN refugee camp at Qana was a mistake. But a formal, top-level United Nations investigation came to a different conclusion. “It is unlikely” that Israeli gunners simply erred, said the report, and demanded that Israel pay $1.7 million in damages. “Contrary to repeated denials,” said the report, “two Israeli helicopters and a remotely piloted vehicle were present in the Qana area at the time of the shelling.” Amnesty International also conducted an investigation of the massacre, and they concluded “that the IDF [Israeli Defense Force} intentionally attacked the UN compound.”
    Arieh Shavit, a columnist for the Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz, noted: “How easily we killed them [in Qana] without shedding a tear. We did not denounce the crime, did not arrange for a legal clarification, because this time we tried to deny the abominable horror and move on.” And the international edition of Time magazine noted, “Around the Middle East… Qana is already a byword for martydom. The southern Lebanese village figures as a shrine drawing up to 1,000 pilgrims a day: busloads of schoolchildren, Cabinet ministers from Beirut, even a daughter of Iran’s President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Black banners overlooking rows of graves decry the ‘barbarity’ of Israel.”
    While largely ignored by the American press, the massacre at Qana was front-page news in London, much of Europe, and throughout the Middle East, where the story continued for days. Already burning with hatred for America and Israel, the pictures of headless Arab babies and other grisly photographs that appeared throughout the media were likely the final shove, pushing bin Laden over the edge and leading him to dedicating his life to war against what he would call the Israeli – United States alliance. From then on, he would often use the massacre at Qana as a battle cry, and it would become the match lighting the fuse that would eventually lead to the World Trade Center on a Tuesday morning five years later…. “”
    Let’s face it, Israel is as much a terrorist “state” as any other we have labeled as terrorist. If not for the fact we have no fair and free press coverage of the truth in the ME, public opinion would have dumped Israel from our welfare list long ago.
    But….there is always the internet…as least for now.
    Posted by Carroll at July 26, 2006 01:17 AM
    “as we know it means that Israel is always under attack by the following:
    The U.N.
    France
    Russia
    Liberals”
    Do people seriously believe this kind of thing, or is it just some scheduled trolling?
    Seriously, I don’t mind the thought of there being a bunch of Freepers weenies going around trolling sites on a liberal blogroll. What bothers me is the possibility that there are people out there that genuinely believe this nonsense: that people like Clemons have an anti-Israel agenda, and that all progressive, or even non neo-conservatives, and the entire UN actually want to deny Israel a right to exist / lawful response.
    I mean how would such people learn these absurd “lessons”? Do the parents sit them down one day and say, ‘you know Billy ignore the majority consensus against terrorism, it’s never enough and Israel cannot EVER overreach in political, moral or legal terms EVER. Years of UN resolutions is just the surfacing of racism inherent in international community. Also, you should realise that only the most conservative Jews count as Jews. Reform Judaism doesn’t count because it is tainted by the modern political philosophy of liberalism, which is inherently sympathetic to terrorism against you. Naturally, that means about half of the political spectrum in the modern world hates you irrationally.’ etc etc
    It seems so absurd and contrary to reason, that it’s hard to understand how even a kid could believe such a selective and one-sided fiction.
    Posted by Will at July 26, 2006 01:22 AM
    It is not necessary to mention the act of terror witnessed by Mr. Fisk. It is only worth mentioning he was present. Mr. Fisk is ALWAYS present at acts of terror or he makes them up. (For some reason he’s only witness to acts of terror that fit into his agenda.) It is also worth noting Fisk’s extraordinary prescient reporting from Baghdad, claiming coalition forces were being routed and nowhere near the city. This is his sterling legacy.
    By the way I forgot to list other enemies of Israel:
    Hamas
    Al Aqsa
    Berkeley
    Pacifica Radio
    Posted by Finest at July 26, 2006 01:33 AM
    During the Cold War, the nations under the USSR and China umbrellas, coupled with all the Muslim nations (who, by themselves, outnumber the Jewish nations), could reliably outvote Israel and its supporters. So Israel had to repeatedly ignore those votes. Now, because Bush squandered US legitimacy in the Middle East with an unwarranted invasion of Iraq, once reliable allies are voting opposite our positions, so Israel bears the brunt of that in the UN.
    But it’s hardly the case that Israel’s a poor little innocent in the global sphere. It remains exempt from oversight of its nuclear program, which might be the fourth largest in the world. It’s 3 tats for every tit policy of deterrence, which it’s employed for decades, has had no demonstrable positive impact. They survive, but they likely could do so more civilly without instigating fresh emnities. But since Sharon came to power, they’ve wielded their strength with little diplomacy or balance, treating the Palestinians as lessers, much as a master treats his slaves.
    They haven’t even been considerate of us, their biggest protector, as spy scandals over the years have demonstrated. And now they target UN forces – not the UN decisionmakers – as if those troops guided the UN’s rhetoric.
    Hezbullah should be condemned. But Israel’s course, led by PNAC, is also worth condemning. Targeting civilians is a war crime. And launching strikes so heavy that such casualties are predictable establishes intent despite their denials. Like the errant knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, saying ‘terribly sorry, didn’t mean to’ does not eliminate their culpability.
    Admittedly, it’s tough and oppressive to establish a nation in the midst of a region where all the neighbors try to dive you out. But Sadat turned the corner as has Jordan, and peace initiatives can work. The course Israel has chosen in the past decade-plus, has gained it nothing more effective than the peace initiatives did.
    Aggression begets aggression. Israel made progress wielding a sword and an olive branch. Wielding two swords, Israel’s progress has reversed.
    Posted by Kevin Hayden at July 26, 2006 01:43 AM
    ‘finest’ your rebuttal to the story on qana is to attack fisk… that is a very poor response, but i suppose it’s as good as you can do.. perhaps you would like to rebuttal this comment too >>The Israeli government later claimed the attack on the UN refugee camp at Qana was a mistake.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    This filthy excuse for a human who doesn’t want to be an “honest broker” is not fit to be a US representive, ….when I see excretment like this speaking in the name of the US congress it makes me see red. It is exactly these kind of public statements and thinking in our policies in the ME that are responsible for a large portion of the American hatred we see today.
    And he is not alone, 80% of our congress is just as guilty.
    Vote them ALL out… or put them on a marshmellow stick and roast them, I don’t care how it’s done just get rid of them.
    Posted by Carroll at July 26, 2006 02:58 AM
    IAF strikes are not much of a concern for multinational forces – disturbing as this one is.
    The difficulties of disarming Hezbollah – or coexisting with a heavily armed Hezbollah without becoming their poodles – are what make the mission almost impossible.
    Posted by Perry Kazanstakis at July 26, 2006 04:25 AM
    Something I have noticed for some time is how Israeli spokespeople always tag on this line to the tail end of all their speeches about a “settlement” with Palestine…
    …the usual blah,blah.blah…and then.. “the Palestines must honor ALL PREVIOUS AGREEMENTS”
    I knew there must be something in that “all previous agreements in the Oslo accord” insistance by Israel because it is in every speech they make…
    I wonder if this could be it:..among other things
    “Under an agreement signed a decade ago as part of the Oslo accord, four-fifths of the West Bank’s water is allocated to Israel, though the aquifers that supply it are largely replenished by water falling onto Palestinian territory.”
    Now, what if Isr had to pay for that Palestine water or if Palestine just refused to sell it to them after they establish statehood?
    I have always maintained that Israel economics was the main reason they couldn’t afford to let Palestine become a state in control of their own resources and trade …because then Isr wouldn’t be able to skim off Palestine… and the only way Isr has managed to exist so far is by stealing what they need, having US business sent to them by congress and having the US strongarm trade agreements for them in the ME.
    I have a feeling that is going to change though as the US bites the international dirt and loses all it’s influence and power.
    Posted by Carroll at July 26, 2006 04:54 AM
    POA: I welcome the posts by “Finest”–it’s our daily dose of Fox News. It reminds me of what Oscar Wilde said about newspapers: he only read them to see what the stupid people were saying.
    Posted by Matthew at July 26, 2006 06:09 AM
    so, these r the guys who can place a missle in the backseat of a car travellng 50 kph and they ‘accidentally” kill two u.n. observers?
    we will be judged severly for supporting the zionist thugs!!
    Posted by ted church
    Yep. I’ll tell ya what amazes me. These assholes keep telling us that Hizbollah is purposely killing civilians because their missiles are so inaccurate. Well, considering that far more Lebanese have been killed than have Israelis, whats THAT say about “purposely killing civilians”??? Bottom line, I am no fan of Hizbollah, or ANY entity that is willing to lob missiles into their neighbor’s back yard. But Isreal’s actions are FAR MORE CALCULATED to inflict damage to civilians. The targeting of infrastructures. The targeting of bridges. The targeting of ambulances. And whats up with thier “razing” of Palestinian farmlands??? How is that targeting Hamas, or aiding in securing the release of the so called “kidnapped” Israeli soldiers???

    Reply

  6. ted church says:

    so, these r the guys who can place a missle in the backseat of a car travellng 50 kph and they ‘accidentally” kill two u.n. observers?
    we will be judged severly for supporting the zionist thugs!!

    Reply

  7. Matthew says:

    POA: I welcome the posts by “Finest”–it’s our daily dose of Fox News. It reminds me of what Oscar Wilde said about newspapers: he only read them to see what the stupid people were saying.

    Reply

  8. Carroll says:

    Something I have noticed for some time is how Israeli spokespeople always tag on this line to the tail end of all their speeches about a “settlement” with Palestine…
    …the usual blah,blah.blah…and then.. “the Palestines must honor ALL PREVIOUS AGREEMENTS”
    I knew there must be something in that “all previous agreements in the Oslo accord” insistance by Israel because it is in every speech they make…
    I wonder if this could be it:..among other things
    “Under an agreement signed a decade ago as part of the Oslo accord, four-fifths of the West Bank’s water is allocated to Israel, though the aquifers that supply it are largely replenished by water falling onto Palestinian territory.”
    Now, what if Isr had to pay for that Palestine water or if Palestine just refused to sell it to them after they establish statehood?
    I have always maintained that Israel economics was the main reason they couldn’t afford to let Palestine become a state in control of their own resources and trade …because then Isr wouldn’t be able to skim off Palestine… and the only way Isr has managed to exist so far is by stealing what they need, having US business sent to them by congress and having the US strongarm trade agreements for them in the ME.
    I have a feeling that is going to change though as the US bites the international dirt and loses all it’s influence and power.

    Reply

  9. Perry Kazanstakis says:

    IAF strikes are not much of a concern for multinational forces – disturbing as this one is.
    The difficulties of disarming Hezbollah – or coexisting with a heavily armed Hezbollah without becoming their poodles – are what make the mission almost impossible.

    Reply

  10. Carroll says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/25/AR2006072501324.html
    Quoting Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) ..on what Israel is doing in Lebanon
    …said that language “urging restraint to protect civilian life” would have been interpreted “as a slap at Israel” — and that at a time when world opinion is predictably against the Jewish state, the United States must stand firmly on Israel’s side.
    “I am very sensitive to Lebanon’s budding democracy. I’m very sensitive to the delicate balancing act we’re in, and I grieve for civilian casualties,” Engel said.
    But he added: “I DON’T WANT TO BE AN HONEST BROKER. I want to be a friend and ally of the only democratic government in the Middle East that is besieged by its enemies.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    This filthy excuse for a human who doesn’t want to be an “honest broker” is not fit to be a US representive, ….when I see excretment like this speaking in the name of the US congress it makes me see red. It is exactly these kind of public statements and thinking in our policies in the ME that are responsible for a large portion of the American hatred we see today.
    And he is not alone, 80% of our congress is just as guilty.
    Vote them ALL out… or put them on a marshmellow stick and roast them, I don’t care how it’s done just get rid of them.

    Reply

  11. sandstone says:

    ‘finest’ your rebuttal to the story on qana is to attack fisk… that is a very poor response, but i suppose it’s as good as you can do.. perhaps you would like to rebuttal this comment too >>The Israeli government later claimed the attack on the UN refugee camp at Qana was a mistake.<<

    Reply

  12. Kevin Hayden says:

    During the Cold War, the nations under the USSR and China umbrellas, coupled with all the Muslim nations (who, by themselves, outnumber the Jewish nations), could reliably outvote Israel and its supporters. So Israel had to repeatedly ignore those votes. Now, because Bush squandered US legitimacy in the Middle East with an unwarranted invasion of Iraq, once reliable allies are voting opposite our positions, so Israel bears the brunt of that in the UN.
    But it’s hardly the case that Israel’s a poor little innocent in the global sphere. It remains exempt from oversight of its nuclear program, which might be the fourth largest in the world. It’s 3 tats for every tit policy of deterrence, which it’s employed for decades, has had no demonstrable positive impact. They survive, but they likely could do so more civilly without instigating fresh emnities. But since Sharon came to power, they’ve wielded their strength with little diplomacy or balance, treating the Palestinians as lessers, much as a master treats his slaves.
    They haven’t even been considerate of us, their biggest protector, as spy scandals over the years have demonstrated. And now they target UN forces – not the UN decisionmakers – as if those troops guided the UN’s rhetoric.
    Hezbullah should be condemned. But Israel’s course, led by PNAC, is also worth condemning. Targeting civilians is a war crime. And launching strikes so heavy that such casualties are predictable establishes intent despite their denials. Like the errant knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, saying ‘terribly sorry, didn’t mean to’ does not eliminate their culpability.
    Admittedly, it’s tough and oppressive to establish a nation in the midst of a region where all the neighbors try to dive you out. But Sadat turned the corner as has Jordan, and peace initiatives can work. The course Israel has chosen in the past decade-plus, has gained it nothing more effective than the peace initiatives did.
    Aggression begets aggression. Israel made progress wielding a sword and an olive branch. Wielding two swords, Israel’s progress has reversed.

    Reply

  13. Finest says:

    It is not necessary to mention the act of terror witnessed by Mr. Fisk. It is only worth mentioning he was present. Mr. Fisk is ALWAYS present at acts of terror or he makes them up. (For some reason he’s only witness to acts of terror that fit into his agenda.) It is also worth noting Fisk’s extraordinary prescient reporting from Baghdad, claiming coalition forces were being routed and nowhere near the city. This is his sterling legacy.
    By the way I forgot to list other enemies of Israel:
    Hamas
    Al Aqsa
    Berkeley
    Pacifica Radio

    Reply

  14. Will says:

    “as we know it means that Israel is always under attack by the following:
    The U.N.
    France
    Russia
    Liberals”
    Do people seriously believe this kind of thing, or is it just some scheduled trolling?
    Seriously, I don’t mind the thought of there being a bunch of Freepers weenies going around trolling sites on a liberal blogroll. What bothers me is the possibility that there are people out there that genuinely believe this nonsense: that people like Clemons have an anti-Israel agenda, and that all progressive, or even non neo-conservatives, and the entire UN actually want to deny Israel a right to exist / lawful response.
    I mean how would such people learn these absurd “lessons”? Do the parents sit them down one day and say, ‘you know Billy ignore the majority consensus against terrorism, it’s never enough and Israel cannot EVER overreach in political, moral or legal terms EVER. Years of UN resolutions is just the surfacing of racism inherent in international community. Also, you should realise that only the most conservative Jews count as Jews. Reform Judaism doesn’t count because it is tainted by the modern political philosophy of liberalism, which is inherently sympathetic to terrorism against you. Naturally, that means about half of the political spectrum in the modern world hates you irrationally.’ etc etc
    It seems so absurd and contrary to reason, that it’s hard to understand how even a kid could believe such a selective and one-sided fiction.

    Reply

  15. Carroll says:

    I read “Pretext for War” but had forgotten this part…I just saw it quoted on another site and think it is worth notice because Isr is once again claiming “accidents and outrageous”..so in judging who is lying, the UN or Isr it’s helpful to look at history….
    (pages 141-144 from Bamford’s ‘A Pretext for War’ book):
    …About the same time, beginning on April 11, 1996, a series of shock waves rumbled through the Muslim world as a result of Israel’s massive bombardment of Beirut and southern Lebanon, which Israel had by then been occupying for fourteen years. Known as “Operation of Grapes of Wrath,” it was the first time Israel had attacked Beirut since Ariel Sharon’s ill-fated 1982 invasion of Lebanon. According to Israeli writer Israel Shahak, the real purpose of the attack was to capture as much Lebanese territory as possible.
    “It is quite obvious,” wrote Shahak, “that the first and most important Israeli aim to be established in the ‘Grapes of Wrath’ is to establish its sovereignty over Lebanon — to be exercised in a comparable manner to its control over the Gaza Strip.”
    Two days after it began, on April 13, ambulance driver Abbas Jiha from the village of Mansouri was busy rushing patients wounded in the fighting to a hospital in the town of Sidon. On his return to Mansouri, panic had broken out and explosions were taking place. People began pleading for him to take them to Sidon. Jiha quickly squeezed four of his children into his ambulance along with ten other people, including a family, and began driving toward Sidon.
    Suddenly, an Israeli helicopter began chasing his ambulance. Minutes later, two missiles were fired, one of which exploded through the rear door, engulfing the vehicle in fire and smoke and hurling it sixty feet through the air. Thrown clear, Abbas Jiha began running toward the flaming heap of twisted metal. “My God, my God,” he screamed, shaking his fist at the sky, “my family has gone.” In all, six people were killed, including Jiha’s nine year-old daughter and his wife.
    Israeli officials later admitted the ambulance had been targeted but claimed, falsely, that the vehicle was owned by Hezbollah and was transporting one of the group’s fighters. Jiha had no connection with terrorist groups, and the thought that Israel could target an ambulance packed with innocent people, including many children, outraged Muslims throughout the Middle East.
    On April 18, one week into Operation Grapes of Wrath, a reporter for London’s newspaper The Independent was traveling in southern Lebanon with a United Nations convoy. Robert Fisk, Britain’s most highly decorated foreign correspondent, spent a quarter of a century covering the Middle East and was the recipient of the British International Journalist of the Year Award seven times, including for 1996. As the vehicles were approaching the small village of Qana, Fisk could hear the sound of artillery, he recalled.
    The convoy had stopped at Qana that morning and noticed it was crowded with about eight hundred refugees. They had been transported there for their safety by armored UN vehicles from nearby villages that had come under Israeli bombardment. When the convoy finally arrived in Qana shortly after two in the afternoon, fire was everywhere and proximity shells were bursting in the air. Antipersonnel weapons designed to explode about two dozen feet above ground, they would shower down razor-sharp shrapnel, butchering anyone beneath.
    “It was a massacre,” wrote Fisk in a front-page story. “Israel’s slaughter of civilians in this terrible 10-day offensive — 206 by last night — has been so cavalier, so ferocious, that not a Lebanese will forgive this massacre. There had been the ambulance attacked on Saturday, the sisters killed in Yohmor the day before, the 2-year old girl decapitated by an Israeli missile four days ago. And earlier yesterday, the Israelis had slaughtered a family of 12 — the youngest was a four-day-old baby — when Israeli helicopter pilots fired missiles into their home.”
    The Israeli government later claimed the attack on the UN refugee camp at Qana was a mistake. But a formal, top-level United Nations investigation came to a different conclusion. “It is unlikely” that Israeli gunners simply erred, said the report, and demanded that Israel pay $1.7 million in damages. “Contrary to repeated denials,” said the report, “two Israeli helicopters and a remotely piloted vehicle were present in the Qana area at the time of the shelling.” Amnesty International also conducted an investigation of the massacre, and they concluded “that the IDF [Israeli Defense Force} intentionally attacked the UN compound.”
    Arieh Shavit, a columnist for the Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz, noted: “How easily we killed them [in Qana] without shedding a tear. We did not denounce the crime, did not arrange for a legal clarification, because this time we tried to deny the abominable horror and move on.” And the international edition of Time magazine noted, “Around the Middle East… Qana is already a byword for martydom. The southern Lebanese village figures as a shrine drawing up to 1,000 pilgrims a day: busloads of schoolchildren, Cabinet ministers from Beirut, even a daughter of Iran’s President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Black banners overlooking rows of graves decry the ‘barbarity’ of Israel.”
    While largely ignored by the American press, the massacre at Qana was front-page news in London, much of Europe, and throughout the Middle East, where the story continued for days. Already burning with hatred for America and Israel, the pictures of headless Arab babies and other grisly photographs that appeared throughout the media were likely the final shove, pushing bin Laden over the edge and leading him to dedicating his life to war against what he would call the Israeli – United States alliance. From then on, he would often use the massacre at Qana as a battle cry, and it would become the match lighting the fuse that would eventually lead to the World Trade Center on a Tuesday morning five years later…. “”
    Let’s face it, Israel is as much a terrorist “state” as any other we have labeled as terrorist. If not for the fact we have no fair and free press coverage of the truth in the ME, public opinion would have dumped Israel from our welfare list long ago.
    But….there is always the internet…as least for now.

    Reply

  16. Pissed Off American says:

    Damn, this son of a bitch Bush makes me want to apologize to the world for our actions. For the first time in my life I am ASHAMED to be an American.

    Reply

  17. Pissed Off American says:

    Do people seriously believe this crap, or is it just some scheduled trolling?
    Seriously, I don’t mind the thought of there being a bunch of Freepers wankers going around trolling sites on liberal hit list. What bothers me is the possibility that there are genuine people out there that seriously believe this nonsense – that all progressive, or even non neo-conservatives, and the entire UN actually want to deny Israel a right to exist / lawful response.
    Posted by Will
    Don’t mind Finest/Brian/David/Zeke/MP…..he’s currently in the throes of an identity crisis.

    Reply

  18. Will says:

    “as we know it means that Israel is always under attack by the following:
    The U.N.
    France
    Russia
    Liberals”
    Do people seriously believe this crap, or is it just some scheduled trolling?
    Seriously, I don’t mind the thought of there being a bunch of Freepers wankers going around trolling sites on liberal hit list. What bothers me is the possibility that there are genuine people out there that seriously believe this nonsense – that all progressive, or even non neo-conservatives, and the entire UN actually want to deny Israel a right to exist / lawful response.

    Reply

  19. Pissed Off American says:

    The militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from Israel, which sent ground forces into its neighbor to look for them. The forces were trying to keep the soldiers’ captors from moving them deeper into Lebanon, Israeli government officials said on condition of anonymity. [Forbes 7/12/06]
    ++++++++++++
    The Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement announced on Wednesday that its guerrillas have captured two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon. “Implementing our promise to free Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, our strugglers have captured two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon,” a statement by Hezbollah said. “The two soldiers have already been moved to a safe place,” it added. The Lebanese police said that the two soldiers were captured as they “infiltrated” into the town of Aitaa al-Chaab inside the Lebanese border. [Hindustan Times 7/12/06]
    ++++++++++++
    The Lebanese Hezbollah movement announced Wednesday the arrest of two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon. Lebanese police said that the two soldiers were arrested as they entered the town of Aitaa al-Chaab inside the Lebanese border. Israeli aircraft were active in the air over southern Lebanon, police said, with jets bombing roads leading to the market town of Nabatiyeh, 60 kilometers south of Beirut. [Bahrain News Agency 7/12/06]
    +++++++++++++
    TRANSLATION: According to the Lebanese police force, the two soldiers were captured in Lebanese territory, in the area of Aïta Al-Chaab close to the border, whereas Israeli television indicated that they had been captured in Israeli territory. [fr.news.yahoo 7/12/06]
    +++++++++++++++++
    In the afternoon, the scene changed in the streets of southern Lebanon, which was the target of 32 Israeli raids that mainly targeted areas near the area where the two soldiers were captured in Aita al Chaab, close to the border with Israel. [news.monstersandcritics.com 7/12/06]
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    According to the Lebanese police force, the two Israeli soldiers were captured in Lebanese territory, in the area of Aïta Al-Chaab, near to the border with Israel, where an Israeli unit had penetrated in middle of morning. [AFP 7/12/06]
    +++++++++++++
    It all started on July 12 when Israel troops were ambushed on Lebanon’s side of the border with Israel. Hezbollah, which commands the Lebanese south, immediately seized on their crossing. They arrested two Israeli soldiers, killed eight Israelis and wounded over 20 in attacks inside Israeli territory. [Asia Times 7/15/06]
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    TRANSLATION: In a deliberated way, Tsahal sent a commando in the Lebanese back-country to Aïta Al Chaab. It was attacked by Hezbollah, making two prisoners. [voltairenet.org 7/18/06]
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Only weeks ago, an entire reserve division was drafted in order to train for an operation such as the one the IDF is planning in response to Wednesday morning’s Hizbullah attacks on IDF forces along the northern border. [JPost 7/12/06]
    ++++++++++++++++++
    Israel’s military response by air, land and sea to what it considered a provocation last week by Hezbollah militants is unfolding according to a plan finalized more than a year ago.
    In the years since Israel ended its military occupation of southern Lebanon, it watched warily as Hezbollah built up its military presence in the region. When Hezbollah militants kidnapped two Israeli soldiers last week, the Israeli military was ready to react almost instantly. [SFGate 7/21/06]
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    Do you get it yet?
    Israel sent troops across the border into Lebanon. They then claimed the captured invaders were “kidnap victims” and launched their attacks.
    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/israeli_solders.html

    Reply

  20. Pissed Off American says:

    Well, I guess they paint those red crosses on the vans so that the Israelis can zero in their targetting……
    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/IMAGES/ambulancehit.jpg

    Reply

  21. canucklehead says:

    Ahh, the perfect gentleman.
    Some pretty wideswaths cut in the worldwide ethno and social fabric there. Your analysis started to waver around Scuds, but you pulled in back at the UN and Europe. And finally spluttering out ‘Ll…Liberals’ – pure genius.
    Love it when they get up a head of steam.

    Reply

  22. karen says:

    The stance that the US administration has taken,namely, not calling for a ceasefire, shipping extra “rush order” weapons, etc to Israel to continue bombing innocents while taking a fake, “we’re not getting involved” stance is shameful. Worse yet is saying that we’re sending humanitarian aid to Lebanon. I mean, how about stopping the destruction so the aid wouldn’t be needed? (THAT would take too much common sense)
    Our administrations deplorable actions in this case will definitely come back to haunt us. (can you say September 11th?) More likely though, I almost expect to see things starting to blow up ‘Jerusalem style’ in NYC, LA, and/or DC. But I’m sure this won’t bother Bush and his ilk, it will only be us “little people” who pay the price, not them, just like on Sept 11th and in the Iraq war.
    We are basically powerless to change Bush Admin policies no matter how much we talk about it. Just get your emergency gear in order.

    Reply

  23. Finest says:

    A Little Analysis:
    The Mid East is always in a state of unrest, ergo Peace as we know it means that Israel is always under attack by the following:
    Rockets
    Mortars
    Hezbollah
    Sunnis
    Shia
    Scuds
    Suicide Bombers
    Car Bombers
    Syria
    Iran
    The U.N.
    France
    Russia
    Liberals
    Some of it is blatant and some is mere drivel. But this is called Peace. You forge a cease fire and you end up with the above. Continously and neverending. This is Peace in the Middle East, when you are surrounded by terrorists who want to kill you only because you happen to be above ground. And it will never stop.
    As for the U.N. here is Abba Eban’s take: “If Algeria proposed a resolution that the earth was flat and Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 120 to 3, with 27 abstentions”.

    Reply

  24. linda says:

    lee cowan had a report on cbs tonight of a red cross truck delivering humanitarian supplies to trapped lebanese. he said their request to follow the truck as it made its way to places under siege was denied because the driver had been told by israelis that ANY vehicle accompanying the truck would result in the destruction of the entire convoy.
    oh yeah, and fwiw, a couple of days ago i read that frank luntz was advising the israelis on the p.r.

    Reply

  25. Michel Monette says:

    I did a post on Agoravox (agoravox.fr), a french citizen reporters site, asking about why the international justice dimension of this conflict is not in the Agenda (you know, Geneva Convention and all that stuff). I had 209 comments pros and cons Israel, but no one on this issue. The fact is that the only way it will be fixed is by negociating a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. I know it is not an easy task but continuing military operations is not the solution, it is part of the problem.

    Reply

  26. steve duncan says:

    Sorry, UN forces, not NATO (they’re next, if they show up).

    Reply

  27. steve duncan says:

    I also wonder about the sanity (but not the courage or compassion) of anyone manning a convoy of humanitarian supplies. We read of ambulances, hospitals, fleeing civilians and now NATO forces being fired on. Would Israel decimating a few trucks full of food and medicine surprise in the least? Does that drunk in the bar that’s had a beer knocked over, his wallet lifted and his wife hit on really need to shoot everyone in sight to make things even?

    Reply

  28. susan says:

    one more bit of evidence that Israel really does NOT want peace. they continue to establish conditions that make peaceful resolution impossible, then loudly blame the other side for not being a “partner.”
    if this indeed was a deliberate strike (and after 2 weeks of hearing the IDF tout its “precision” and “carefulness”) one would conclude it was done with the intent of precluding the deployment of UN forces. this will “force” Israel to do the job itself, take control of the territory from the Israel border to the Litana River (and, incidentally, its water) under a new occupation strategy.
    hmmmmm. obviously this has been planned for some time.

    Reply

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