Tuesday, August 08, 2006

NP - Black Eyed Peas feat. Sergio Mendez - Mas Que Nada

I've been saying this for a while, that to see it as Hezbollah attacking Israel out of the blue is preposterous. This has been going on for quite some time. This was always just an excuse that Israel's used to go into Lebanon - although I dont think its going as planned for them.

I like George Monbiot. Whatever he's got to say is definitely worth reading, and he writes the article I've linked to. I've pasted bits of it here. (also check www.monbiot.com)


Since Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000, there have been hundreds of violations of the "blue line" between the two countries. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) reports that Israeli aircraft crossed the line "on an almost daily basis" between 2001 and 2003, and "persistently" until 2006. These incursions "caused great concern to the civilian population, particularly low-altitude flights that break the sound barrier over populated areas". On some occasions, Hizbullah tried to shoot them down with anti-aircraft guns.

In October 2000, the Israel Defence Forces shot at unarmed Palestinian demonstrators on the border, killing three and wounding 20. In response, Hizbullah crossed the line and kidnapped three Israeli soldiers. On several occasions, Hizbullah fired missiles and mortar rounds at IDF positions, and the IDF responded with heavy artillery and sometimes aerial bombardment. Incidents like this killed three Israelis and three Lebanese in 2003; one Israeli soldier and two Hizbullah fighters in 2005; and two Lebanese people and three Israeli soldiers in February 2006. Rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel several times in 2004, 2005 and 2006, on some occasions by Hizbullah. But, the UN records, "none of the incidents resulted in a military escalation".

On May 26 this year, two officials of Islamic Jihad - Nidal and Mahmoud Majzoub - were killed by a car bomb in the Lebanese city of Sidon. This was widely assumed in Lebanon and Israel to be the work of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. In June, a man named Mahmoud Rafeh confessed to the killings and admitted that he had been working for Mossad since 1994. Militants in southern Lebanon responded, on the day of the bombing, by launching eight rockets into Israel. One soldier was lightly wounded. There was a major bust-up on the border, during which one member of Hizbullah was killed and several wounded, and one Israeli soldier wounded. But while the border region "remained tense and volatile", Unifil says it was "generally quiet" until July 12.


On July 12, in other words, Hizbullah fired the first shots. But that act of aggression was simply one instance in a long sequence of small incursions and attacks over the past six years by both sides. So why was the Israeli response so different from all that preceded it? The answer is that it was not a reaction to the events of that day. The assault had been planned for months.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "more than a year ago, a senior Israeli army officer began giving PowerPoint presentations, on an off-the-record basis, to US and other diplomats, journalists and thinktanks, setting out the plan for the current operation in revealing detail". The attack, he said, would last for three weeks. It would begin with bombing and culminate in a ground invasion. Gerald Steinberg, professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University, told the paper that "of all of Israel's wars since 1948, this was the one for which Israel was most prepared ... By 2004, the military campaign scheduled to last about three weeks that we're seeing now had already been blocked out and, in the last year or two, it's been simulated and rehearsed across the board".

A "senior Israeli official" told the Washington Post that the raid by Hizbullah provided Israel with a "unique moment" for wiping out the organisation. The New Statesman's editor, John Kampfner, says he was told by more than one official source that the US government knew in advance of Israel's intention to take military action in Lebanon. The Bush administration told the British government.


Can anyone dispute, then, that Israel had this in mind all along, and was just waiting for an excuse? But I dont know if things are going their way. First, Israel is like, we're gonna eliminate Hezbollah. Then the rhetoric was that they'd disarm Hezbollah. Now its that they'll push Hezbollah away from the border.

Another point I'm been wondering about, the actions of Hezbollah and Israel, what are the wider consequences in the region? Well, a very high number of lebanese support Hezbollah for now. Christians, druze, shias, sunnis. Outside of Lebanon, the arab masses, often suspicious of hezbollah because theyre a shia group "controlled by syria and iran", are now backing them. Theres some unity being created there. In Iraq, the so-called allies of the US, the shias, have been protesting in support of Hezbollah. This is clearly humiliating for the USA, who want to portray themselves as friends of the people (the sunnis have been quite silent though, which is something of a shame: if they were to display their unity with the shias, it would be a very strong message to the USA). All this makes the situation very, very interesting.

Heres another interesting article which I dont have a comment, but anyone interested should read in their own time. It basically talks about who's supported Israel since its creation, and the attitude and approach its had towards its neighbours. Worth a look.


Posted by illogicist at 9:09 AM


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