Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Israel/Lebanon War Updates

Updated throughout the day.

- Big news from Gaza: Gaza groups ready to deal on cease-fire, release of Shalit. But, as always, there may be stumbling blocks in this deal being brokered by Egypt.

Ibrahim Al-Naja said the factions were ready to stop the Qassam rocket fire if Israel's ceased all military moves against the Palestinian factions in Gaza. They are also ready to release Shalit in exchange for guaranteeing the future release of Palestinian prisoners.
PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas will present the understandings among the Palestinian factions to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at their meeting on Tuesday, Palestinian sources said.

- As I wrote about on Monday, the issue of some type of international force in Lebanon is a rather thorny one. This sums it up quite well and should be titled, 'What if they called for an international force and nobody wanted to go?'

Support is building quickly for an international military force to be placed in southern Lebanon, but there remains a small problem: where will the troops come from?

The United States has ruled out its soldiers participating, NATO says it is overstretched, Britain feels its troops are overcommitted and Germany says it is willing to participate only if Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia which it would police, agrees to it, a highly unlikely development.

That's what happens when so many bloody wars are going on at the same time. Read the article. The situation is such a mess. Meanwhile, people are dying as these countries squabble. Is anybody thinking about that while they're busy playing political games?

- Eugene Robinson takes on Bush and his worldview.

Bush, Rice et al. refuse to see that their crusade against terrorism can never be won by military action alone, because a victory in the war of arms can also be a defeat in the war of ideas.

I believe it was Dan Gillerman, Israel's ambassador to the UN, whom I heard say on CNN yesterday that there is no military solution to all of this. Why doesn't Israel stop bombing Beirut back to the 1980s then? This 'bomb first, talk later' plan really is futile.

- This looks almost exactly like an occupation, n'est-ce pas?

Israel says it will keep control over an area in southern Lebanon until an international force can be deployed.

Defence Minister Amir Peretz said: "We have no other option. We have to build a new security strip that will be a cover for our forces."

And someone please tell Rice to save her crocodile tears:

Earlier, Ms Rice had expressed concern for the suffering of "innocent people" in the fighting during her tour of the Middle East.

Right. And I'm the Queen of England. "Concern", my ass.

A staunch warning from Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has appealed to the world to stop the Israeli offensive saying that if not it could engulf the entire Middle East in war.

Are you Rapture Ready?

hat tip to two commenters, Wayne and knb, for the following:

- Regarding possible Canadian participation in a proposed NATO force to be sent to Lebanon, PM Stephen Harper had this to say:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday he would prefer not to send Canadian troops, adding that any future ceasefire would be better enforced by Middle Eastern countries.

That's not very reassuring. Why couldn't he simply say 'no' and be done with it?

- Lebanese, Egyptian and Israeli 'officials' have all confirmed that the bodies of some Iranian Revolutionary Guards who have died in Lebanon will be flown back to Iran. You can read more about the history of Iranian Guards in Lebanon here (reprint of a Washinton Post article, April 13, 2005).

- Israel is being accused of using human shields in Gaza:

The Israeli army has been accused of using Palestinian civilians as human shields in an operation in northern Gaza.

According to the Israeli human rights group, B'tselem, six civilians including two minors were subjected to the illegal tactic during an incursion into the town of Beit Hanoun last week.

- Five Myths that Sanction Israel’s War Crimes.

- Shimon Peres pisses me off. He just said, in response to a question by Wolf Blitzer, that the news which reported television towers were hit by Israeli missiles was 'propaganda'. Holy crap! Sorry, Peres, but we have actual pictures. I swear every time he's been on CNN since this began, he's been a blatant example of the worst kind of Israeli propaganda. I may have to do a roundup of his quotes if I can keep my head from exploding in the process.

- Alan Dershowitz really needs to stop making such an absolute fool of himself: How the UN legitimizes terrorists

more to come...

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