Wednesday, July 26, 2006
CHASING OUT THE WITNESSES : BOMB THE UN, BOMB THE RED CROSS
THE NEW NEW WORLD ORDER TARGETED THROUGH THE MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT
By Darryl Mason
Israel targeted a Lebanese Red Cross ambulance yesterday, with a missile and follow-up strafing fire. The message sent is simple : Nobody is safe. Get out.
Four UN observers were killed in an Israeli bomb attack on a long established UN outpost inside Lebanon. The intention is clear. They don't want any witnesses for what happens next.
Israel has killed an estimated 250 UN observers and workers in "accidents" over the past 25 years. More than 100 medical workers and ambulance drivers have been killed in Gaza and the West Bank by Israel in the past five years.
That's a hell of a lot of "accidents" for one of the most advanced and high-tech militaries in the world.
From 'The Fourth World War' blog :
Israel ramps up the war fever in the Middle East, and Iran and Syria are now being war-pimped as responsible for all the chaos in the region. They're not, of course, and Bush, Howard and Blair know this for a fact, but they have to be perceived as the major threat to excuse what comes next - the outbreak of total war across the Middle East.
But the dangers of even a wider conflict, a spreading world war, are great.
Iran, with or without nukes, is a powerful ally for China and Russia in the Middle East, and the US knows it. Iran is already supplying Russia and China with oil and gas, and China and Russia are both expanding plans to ramp up the country's aging infrastructure.
Will either Russia or China tolerate an attack on Iran by Israel, or the US? Not likely. And why should they?
Then there is, of course, Iran's stunning new alliance with the Shiite-dominated government of Iraq.
It was never supposed to be this way, not for the US at least. China and Russia, however, probably saw it all coming from early 2003. It was clear that any true democracy in Iraq was going to be dominated by Shiites, and these Shiites would team up with the Iranians to broaden their reach of power and influence. It is interesting to note that both Russia and China started to seriously do business with Iran shortly after the War On Iraq began.
A new war across the Middle East now seems inevitable, and there is likely to be some strange or unlikely attack or mystery bombing soon enough that will pull Iran and Syria into the conflict that rages now between Israel and, presumably, a few thousand Hizbullah fighters in Southern Lebanon.
Think the Gulf Of Tomkin incident that the US perpertrated to get themselves into full blown war in Vietnam. Somebody will blow up something and then blame it on someone else.
It's beyond clear that Israel and her allies, or at least the war hawks amongst her allies, wants to go right down to the mat with Iran. But the US, under President Bush, has been reluctant to get this part of the War On Terror truly going.
Bush decided diplomacy was the best way to go, and this infuriated the war pigs of Washington and Tel Aviv.
It is clear that Iran and Syria don't want wars with the West (despite the rhetoric), or even a larger conflict with the West's bulldog, Israel, now fully let off its leash. But either Iran or Syria, or both, will most certainly get the blame for the Big Bang that seems likely to be coming soon.
A few soldiers being taken prisoner in a conflict zone just isn't a big enough event to spark the wider war of the Middle East.
And some new outrage will be needed soon. A more powerful set of images for the world's media than the horrors thrust onto the innocents of Lebanon that are now convincing much of the world that Israel has joined the Rogue States Club, through its purposeful targeting of civilians and uniquely civilian infrastructure.
The only way for Israel's actions to stop being seen as completely over the top and brutal is for something far bigger to happen to make everyone forget about a few hundred dead civilians in Lebanon.
This new wider war will be as much about the United States, and Israel, holding on to their domination of the Middle East, by proxies, and proxy war, than it will be about fighting terror.
The War On Terror, once again, is the excuse for what comes next.
Iran and Syria, and China and Russia, are being told, "Don't get too comfortable with each other. You can't just get together and form a new new world order and ignore us, the West. Lock us out, cut us off, and let Lebanon become your new reality."
The next few weeks will be the key to how the rest of the year, and decade, unfolds.
Bring It On?
It's already here.
Monday, July 24, 2006
LEBANON VILLAGE OCCUPIED AS NEGOTIATED END TO WAR DRAWS CLOSER
SHIA POWER SPREADS ACROSS THE MIDDLE EAST
By Darryl Mason
Israel launching one of its biggest military strikes in history may have come as a surprise to millions of people in the Middle East. But for a select group of international media, US congressmen and the elite of the world's most influential think tanks, the smashing of Lebanon was old news before it even began two weeks ago.
Israel made firm plans to strike at Hizballah and to step back into Lebanon more than twelve months ago, and under a strict secrecy agreenment, began briefing those they deemed most important of what they were going to do, and the basics of how they were going to do it.
They told these journalists, politicians and opinion makers what they had in mind, which boiled down to a three week, three stage plan to try and diasrm and disable Hizballah.
This news is interesting and controversial for any number of reasons.
It means that Israel probably would have moved vi9lently on Hizballah and Hamas regardless of whether or not any IDF soldiers were kidnapped.
That IDF soldiers were kidnapped was supposed to be the key to the start of this current bloody confrontation, according to the governments of the US, the UK, Israel and Australia.
In fact, the kidnapping of the soldiers "started it" according to President Bush, Australian Prime Ministe John Howard and UK PM Tony Blair.
They had obviously been fed the script well in advance.
So the kidnapping of the IDF soldiers was not the start of Israel's major attempt to crush the two groups but merely the catalyst for the events of the past fortnight.
Hizballah actually helped Israel to launch its war plans by kidnapping two IDF soldiers, providing the headline-grabber that made it easier for Israel to do what it intended to do and had, in fact, been planning to do for more than twelve months.
From the San Francisco Chronicle :
More than a year ago, a senior Israeli army officer began giving PowerPoint presentations, on an off-the-record basis, to U.S. and other diplomats, journalists and think tanks, setting out the plan for the current operation in revealing detail. Under the ground rules of the briefings, the officer could not be identified.
In his talks, the officer described a three-week campaign: The first week concentrated on destroying Hezbollah's heavier long-range missiles, bombing its command-and-control centers, and disrupting transportation and communication arteries.
In the second week, the focus shifted to attacks on individual sites of rocket launchers or weapons stores. In the third week, ground forces in large numbers would be introduced, but only in order to knock out targets discovered during reconnaissance missions as the campaign unfolded.
The plan unfolds now much as Israel designed it last year.
Go To 'The Fourth World War' For The Full Story.
UK journalist Jason Burke is widely regarded as one of the best writers on Al Qaeda and the 'War On Terror'. Here he writes on the spreading power of the Islmaic Shia and the growing reality of a Shia Resurgence across the Middle East.
Israel Bows To International Outrage And Agress To PeaceKeeping Forces
Ten or 15 per cent of the world's 1.4bn Muslims are Shia. The differences with the majority Sunnis are doctrinal, cultural and often political, and date back to a schism over who would succeed the Prophet Muhammad 1,400 years ago.Five major elements underpin the new Shia revival. The first is the sudden militancy of Iran, which has been led aggressively onto the world stage by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This new Iranian confidence is itself based on internal developments but also three main external factors: the removal of the Taliban from its eastern border in 2001; the removal of Saddam (a chauvinist Sunni) from its border; and vastly increased oil revenues.
The second major element of 'the Shia comeback' is the new power of Iraq's Shia who, though 65 per cent of the population, had been ruled by the Sunni minority for at least 400 years. Now the 'National Unity government' of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdad is dominated by Shia friends of Iran.
Iran has profited enormously from chaos in Iraq. A recent report for the American Institute of Peace, a Washington think-tank, pointed out that Iran's leaders meet with Iraq's most influential personality, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who will not meet Americans.
The report continued: 'Iraq's leaders visit to Tehran to negotiate on substantive issues such as border security and joint energy projects. Iranian businessmen are investing heavily in Iraq's overwhelmingly Shia southern regions, and Iran's intelligence operatives are embedded throughout Iraq's nascent security forces and within the Shia militias that have tremendous street power in the south, especially in the city of Basra.'
Israel To Agree To "Temporary Peace" As Plans For EU Troops To Go Into Border Region Solidify
Israel Now Ready For Ground War
Robert Fisk : One Week In The Life And Death Of Beirut
Jerusalem Post Editorial : The Weekend The War Got Complicated
Syria Warns It Will Join The War If Israel Gets Too Close To Its Borders
Sunday, July 23, 2006
ENTIRE VILLAGES LAID TO WASTE, 1000s INJURED
ISRAEL USES TERROR TO TRY AND STOP TERROR
"BEIRUT IS TO DIE"
Australian Prime Minister, John Howard : "Israel has the right to defend itself."
From the Los Angeles Times :
They would bury their dead in mass graves, the doctors decided.
The government hospital had run out of room for human remains by Friday. More than 100 bomb-wrecked bodies were already crammed into poorly refrigerated container trucks, and more corpses were pouring in daily.
So they built cheap coffins of pine. Bulldozers carved 6-foot-deep trenches into a desolate lot littered with old telephone poles.
"I've been a doctor for years, and I've never seen anything like this," said Nabil Harkus, a slight man who stood over a trio of unidentified corpses and spoke with slow, intense rage.
"They can't fight Hezbollah because Hezbollah is not an army," he said, referring to the Israeli warplanes overhead. "They kill the people because they think it's the only way to stop Hezbollah."
The Lebanese government has confirmed the deaths of about 350 people in the fighting, but rescue workers here warn that the tally is probably much higher. Relentless bombing has wrecked roads and rendered communication so spotty that no one knows how many people have died.
Soubiha Abdullah rocked back and forth as she waited for the bodies of her family to be pulled from a heap of remains. The doctors had given her rubber gloves and a surgical mask, which she wore over her head scarf.
She had come to identify and bury 24 members of her family, including her sister and her sister's nine children. They died trying to escape their village; Israeli planes had attacked the road as they drove.
In the 75 villages surrounding Tyre, at least 180 people have been killed, according to the district's Red Cross office. The International Committee of the Red Cross says those are only the ones it knows about and that there may be more.
In the village of Srifa, just 10 minutes outside Tyre, 60 to 80 corpses remain trapped in the rubble of a building, according to the Red Cross.
"There's no way to get them out," said Qasim Chaalan, a Red Cross volunteer. "The firemen are afraid to go to that area, and they're the ones with the equipment."
At least one Red Cross ambulance has been hit by an Israeli missile, Chaalan said, and there have been near-misses as well.
Rescue workers have decided that there's no point in risking their necks to pick up a corpse.
"They'll take the risk if there's a wounded casualty," he said, "but not if there's just a body."
In Tibnin, hard against the border with Israel, about 1,200 wounded have been rushed to a hospital that has no doctor, said Stephane Sisco, a physician with the French humanitarian group Doctors of the World. He sat in an army office in Tyre on Friday, pleading for help getting to the border.
His prospects didn't look good.
"Too many people are dying because we can't get to them and give medicine. It's the same with food," Chaalan said.
"Most times the volunteers are just sitting by themselves and just crying because they can't do anything for these people."
UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair : "Israel has the right to defend itself."
From the New York Times :
The morbid reality of Israel's bombing campaign of the south is reaching almost every corner of this city. Just a few kilometers from the Rest House hotel, where the United Nations was evacuating civilians Thursday, wild dogs gnawed at the charred remains of a family who were bombed as they were trying to escape the village of Hosh, officials said.
Officials at the Tyre Government Hospital inside a Palestinian refugee camp said they had counted the bodies of 50 children among the 115 in the refrigerated truck in the morgue...
With the roads and bridges to many surrounding villages bombed out, few families have been able to come to the hospital to claim their dead.
Even if they could make the journey, they fear they would be hit by airstrikes along the way, Husseini said. Emergency workers have been unwilling to risk recovering many bodies strewn along the road. Instead, they have been left to rot.
At the hospital, members of the medical staff now find themselves dealing with the dead more than saving the living.
"This hospital is working like a morgue more than a hospital," said Hala Hijazi, a volunteer whose mother is an anesthesiologist at the hospital.
For Ali and Ahmad al-Ghanam, brothers who have taken shelter in a home just a few blocks from the morgue, the refrigerated truck full of bodies is a vivid reminder of the attack that killed 23 members of their family.
When Israeli loudspeakers warned residents to evacuate the village of Marwaheen on Saturday, the families packed their belongings and headed for safety.
Twenty-four people piled into a pickup truck and drove toward Tyre, with the brothers trailing behind them.
As the pickup raced to Tyre, Ali al- Ghanam said, Israeli boats shelled their convoy, hitting the pickup but wounding only the women and children in the back.
Within minutes, however, an Israeli helicopter approached, firing a missile that blew the pickup to pieces as the passengers struggled to jump out...
US President Bush : "Israel has the right to defend itself."
The United States is rushing a "special delivery" of laser-guided missiles to Israel, as the world reels in horror at the savagery of the Zionist state's air borne attack on the mostly defenseless people of Lebanon.
Intelligence experts in the US military are denying Israel has taken out half of Hizbullah's military strength. Some believe Israel has destroyed less than one third of Hizbullah's total weapons capability.
The decision to quickly ship the weapons to Israel was made with relatively little debate within the Bush administration, the officials said. Its disclosure threatens to anger Arab governments and others because of the appearance that the United States is actively aiding the Israeli bombing campaign in a way that could be compared to Iran’s efforts to arm and resupply Hezbollah.
...Israel’s request for expedited delivery of the satellite and laser-guided bombs was described as unusual by some military officers, and as an indication that Israel still had a long list of targets in Lebanon to strike.
The new American arms shipment to Israel has not been announced publicly, and the officials who described the administration’s decision to rush the munitions to Israel would discuss it only after being promised anonymity.
David Siegel, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, said: “We have been using precision-guided munitions in order to neutralize the military capabilities of Hezbollah and to minimize harm to civilians...."
....an arms-sale package approved last year provides authority for Israel to purchase from the United States as many as 100 GBU-28’s, which are 5,000-pound laser-guided bombs intended to destroy concrete bunkers. The package also provides for selling satellite-guided munitions.
An announcement in 2005 that Israel was eligible to buy the “bunker buster” weapons described the GBU-28 as “a special weapon that was developed for penetrating hardened command centers located deep underground.”
American officials said that once a weapons purchase is approved, it is up to the buyer nation to set up a timetable. But one American official said normal procedures usually do not include rushing deliveries within days of a request. That was done because Israel is a close ally in the midst of hostilities, the official said.
Israel said its air force had dropped 23 tons of explosives Wednesday night alone in Beirut, in an effort to penetrate what was believed to be a bunker used by senior Hezbollah officials.
A senior Israeli official said Friday that the attacks to date had degraded Hezbollah’s military strength by roughly half, but that the campaign could go on for two more weeks or longer.
“We will stay heavily with the air campaign,” he said. “There’s no time limit. We will end when we achieve our goals.”
The US gave Israel a window to get their job done and they failed.
The media coverage across the world this weekend of the shocking scale of human and civilian infrsastructure wreckage in Lebanon has been appropriately negative of Israel's actions.
At least $3 billion worth of damage to buildings, roads, airports, communication networks, water and sewerage systems, schools, hospitals and tourist resorts, more than 300 dead and more than 3000 injured.
There are already serious rumblings of international corporations who have had their business interests smashed by Israel planning to sue the state for damages.
This week, world leaders outside of the US, the UK and Australia will ramp up their disgust at what Israel has done, and Israel will find little sympathy.
A week ago they clung to the moral high ground. But no longer. Beirut was an international city, a major tourist resort drawing millions of visitors from across the world. Now significant blocks of Beirt have been completely destroyed. A crime beyond inhumanity.
Journalist Robert Fisk :
How does this happen to Beirut? For 30 years, I've watched this place die and then rise from the grave and then die again, its apartment blocks pitted with so many bullets they look like Irish lace, its people massacring each other.
I lived here through 15 years of civil war that took 150,000 lives, and two Israeli invasions and years of Israeli bombardments that cost the lives of a further 20,000 people. I have seen them armless, legless, headless, knifed, bombed and splashed across the walls of houses.
Yet they are a fine, educated, moral people whose generosity amazes every foreigner, whose gentleness puts any Westerner to shame, and whose suffering we almost always ignore.
....what are we saying of their fate today as the Israelis — in some of their cruellest attacks on this city and the surrounding countryside — tear them from their homes, bomb them on river bridges, cut them off from food and water and electricity?
We say that they started this latest war, and we compare their appalling casualties — more than 300 in all of Lebanon by last night — with Israel's 34 dead, as if the figures are the same.
And then, most disgraceful of all, we leave the Lebanese to their fate like a diseased people and spend our time evacuating our precious foreigners while tut-tutting about Israel's "disproportionate" response to the capture of its soldiers by Hezbollah.
I walked through the deserted centre of Beirut yesterday and it reminded me more than ever of a film lot, a place of dreams too beautiful to last, a phoenix from the ashes of civil war whose plumage was so brightly coloured that it blinded its own people.
It is the slums of Haret Hreik and Ghobeiri and Shiyah that have been pounded to dust, sending a quarter of a million Shiite Muslims to schools and abandoned parks across the city.
...did the tens of thousands of poor who live here deserve this act of mass punishment? For a country that boasts of its pinpoint accuracy....what does this act of destruction tell us about Israel? Or about ourselves?
And So Much For Intelligence : Israelis Discover Hizbullah Have Massive Underground Vietnam-Style Network Of Tunnels, Fortifications : Major Invasion Of Lebanon Looms
The Epic Journey Of One Canadian Family Out Of The War Zone
Saturday, July 22, 2006
14,000 IRAQIS CIVILIANS HAVE BEEN KILLED THIS YEAR
IRAQ DEPUTY PM BLAMES US/COALITION FORCES FOR HALF OF ALL CIVILIAN CASUALTIES
By Darryl Mason
"I call on all Iraqis of every sectarian and ethnic community to realize the magnitude of the danger threatening the future of the country and to unite and forsake hatred and violence. Replace it with love and peaceful dialogue to resolve our conflicts."Iraq's leading Shiite cleric, Al-Sistani, July 20, 2006, after more than 40 bodies showing signs of torture were found on the streets of Baghdad.
Iraqi government ministries are now telling the United Nations and humanitarian groups just how many civilians are being killed in Iraq.
And the figures are way beyond even anti-war group estimates, usually drawn from news reports, and widely debased by the pro-war crowd as being exaggerated.
More civilians are dying in Iraq from horrific acts of violence than before the democratic elections in February.
And the new civilian death tolls do not include the 32,000 deaths US President Bush admitted to during a press conference late last year.
A variety of figures and statistics drawn from this article in the UK Independent detail a mind-numbing slaughter in the arena of World War 2 casualty numbers for European nations.
Another article, this one from the Times Of London, also details the truth of the War On Iraq. One province has been handed over from coalition authorities to Iraqi forces, but this is no guarantee that the violence will cease. Almost all of the remaining 17 Iraqi provinces are either currently experiencing a stunning storm of violence, or are recovering from a recent series of massacres and horror crimes.
Iraq is now a country that is being quickly and effecitvely depopulated.
If Iraqis aren't being blown to pieces in the streets of Baghdad, executed by US snipers, beheaded by rival religious factions or murdered in failed kidnappings, the people of Iraq are simply packing up their families and valuables and fleeing the country.
* 3,149 civilians died in June alone.
* 1595 civlians went to the central morgue in Baghdad during June. Some bodies are brought in by family members. Other times, trucks stop outside and piles of human corpses are dumped onto the footpath in a rotting heap.
* 14.ooo men, women and children not involved in the isurgencies have died since Jan 1, 2006.
* Security forces trained by the US and Australian forces are some of those believed to be carrying out sectarian, revenge, or extortion killings.
* Gangs are kidnapping, raping and then killing children.
* More than 1 million Iraqis have fled their country. Syria has taken in over 350,000 refugees. Another 450,000 have gone to Jordan.* 40% of all Iraqi professionals - doctors, teachers, engineers, technicians, cooks, accountants amongst the many - have left Iraq, many vowing never to return. Without professional workers, a country cannot teach and train its next generation to increase the GDP of their country.
* More than 100 doctors and 160 nurses have been killed.
* Despite thousands of people being wounded in Baghdad alone each and every month, there are only 30 intensive care beds available in the city's main hospitals.
* Civilians suffering what most Australians would regard as non-life threatening wounds are dying simply because hospital facilities are so poor and so understaffed and undersupplied with essentials.
Attacks on US troops by insurgents in Baghdad have risen by more than 40% in the past few weeks, with senior military confirming at least 34 attacks per day.
The leading Shiite cleric, Al Sistani, has urged all Iraqis to stop attacking coalition forces and each other as the genocide continues to spiral out of all control.
"We have not witnessed the reduction in violence one would have hoped for in a perfect world," U.S. spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said at a news briefing Thursday. "The only way we're going to be successful in Baghdad is to get the weapons off the streets."
Caldwell said militias and death squads have responded to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's call for a crackdown by intensifying attacks to derail Iraq's new unity government.Last month, al-Maliki announced a security plan for Baghdad, including up to 50,000 police and soldiers on the streets, more checkpoints, and raids in neighborhoods where violence is high. But with surging attacks in the capital - including the kidnapping of high-ranking Iraqi officials - leading politicians from Shiite and Sunni parties have declared the plan a failure.
The deputy prime minister of Iraq made an extraordinary claim yesterday, saying the US and Coaltion forces were responsible for half of all the civilian deaths due to "raids, shootings and clashes with insurgents" - more than 1200 civilian deaths a month, on average.
"They came to protect the people and democracy and all the problems we have today are because of them. It is a loss for Iraq..."Japanese Troops Leave Iraq Under Media Blackout
The Civil War In Iraq That No-One Will Now Deny Is A Reality
In the past 10 days, while the world has been absorbed by the war in Lebanon, sectarian massacres have started to take place on an almost daily basis, leading observers to fear a level of killing approaching that of Rwanda immediately before the genocide of 1994.
On a single spot on the west bank of the Tigris river in north Baghdad, between 10 and 12 bodies have been drifting ashore every day.
In Kufa, a city on the Euphrates 90 miles south of Baghdad, (a) suicide bomber drove his vehicle into a dusty square 100 yards from a Shia shrine at 7.30am. He knew that poor day-labourers gathered there looking for work. He reportedly said: "I need labourers" and they climbed into his van, which exploded a few moments later, killing them and other workers near by.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
TO THE CHILDREN OF LEBANON
ISRAEL BOMBS SMASH INTO CHILDREN DURING AFTERNOON SWIM
Whatever the Israelis' intended target, the bomb fell on a small water canal next to the Qasmia refugee camp, home to about 500 Palestinians. Its victims were 11 children taking an afternoon swim in the canal.
The first blast left a crater nearly four metres deep, burying many of the swimmers deep under the orange earth. Seven of the children were injured, three critically. Three others have not been found.
The scene was littered with small plastic sandals, several caked in blood.
Ismael, the father of one of the children, sat on the edge of the crater, his head in his hands weeping. "Children! Children!" he roared through his tears, "Children here! My son here."
He stood and looked down into the crater: "Is Hizbullah here? Only children here..."The children were taken to the intensive care unit, many caked in earth, having been buried deep in the ground. The victims of the blast joined scores of injured from previous attacks across the south of the country.
Ahmed Mrouwe, the hospital's director, said more than 200 wounded people had been brought into the hospital - one of three in the area. "We have received 196 wounded and 25 dead; the majority of them are children and women."
It was the one of the bloodiest days so far in Lebanon, with 41 dead.
In Sidon, 25 miles south of Beirut, an Israeli air strike on a road bridge hit two vehicles, killing 10 civilians and wounding at least seven, medical sources told Reuters.
They said both vehicles had been crossing the Rmeileh bridge, heading from the south towards Beirut. Leaflets dropped from Israeli planes have been urging residents in Hizbullah-controlled areas of the south to leave.
Nine of the dead were in one vehicle.
This is, at least, the third time that civilians have followed Israel's instructions to get out of their homes only to be killed by repeated airstrikes as they fled.
Another hospital in Lebanon has been bombed.
The attack came as doctors were tending to victims of a strike on a 12-storey residential building, which also housed the civil defence offices, in Tyre. That attack left 21 dead, including several children. Dr Mrouwe said nine people in one family had been killed; only the father had survived.
A doctor handling the steady stream of civilian casualties was asked how these Israeli gunship attacks and bombing and missile strike campaigns compared to attacks by Israel on South Lebanon in 1996.
The doctor said there was no comparison to be made. In 1996, most of the casulties were fighters.
"This time we have yet to receive any fighters."
"We only want one of the human rights.....we just want to live."
Selling The War On Iran And Syria : "This Is A War Of Islam Against The West"
"(Iran has) strategic targets, like their oil, like their oil supply which keeps them alive, which can be hit with no human cost at all and which would hurt them greatly. That is a government that has to be removed."The War Tally, Day Seven : 800 Rockets Have Hit Israel, More Than 1000 Targets in Lebanon
FBI Moves On Hizbullah In The United States
Hizbullah Fires 100 Rockets Into Northern Israel, One Dead
Lebanon Exposes Deadly Israel Spy Ring, Alleged Links To Mossad And Al Qaeda
Washington Post : "Israel Itself Is A Mistake....An Honest Mistake"
Israel PM Says No To International Intervention Force
Thousands Of Australians Refused Safe Passage Out Of Lebanon By Israel
Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer :
"We have asked the Israelis whether it would be possible for there to be a short ceasefire in order to enable our nationals and other foreign nationals to get out of southern Lebanon."Israel refused.
"We have also put it to them that it would be helpful if there were to be some sort of a safe corridor that these people could move out."
SIGNS OF THE APOCALYPSE? RAPTURE? OR PET OWNERS WHO LIKE SOMETHING DIFFERENT?
We've been collecting photos of mutant animals for a few weeks now over on our 'Planet Of Strange Things' blog.
The most recent addition is this post on a Kitten With Two Faces, born a few days ago, and completely healthy as far as vets can determine. It's nursing, and the kid who owns the cat intends to keep the mutant kitten. He's already given it a name : Tiger.
You can also find remarkable photos of a Dog With Five Paws and a Duck With Four Feet on the same blog.
We've found probably a dozen other photos of mutant animals in the same period that we've posted the kitten, dog and duck pics, and probably two dozen more stories of mutant animals being born that include photos.
While mutant animals are certainly not a rarity, particularly with kittens, it does seem unusual that so many are born healthy enough to live beyond their first few weeks and grow up to be otherwise 'normal.'
It's also interesting that so many people who own these animals have decided to keep them alive and are genuinely proud of these unique creatures.
A photo of a calf with one big leg at the front popped up in the news forum at MySpace a few weeks back with some rant about the appearance of mutant animals being a sign of the impending Apocalypse, End Times, The Rapture.
Yeah, okay. Whatever.
But I am interested to know if this belief about mutant animals comes from a Bible quote or is simply the demented doom-chant propaganda of evangelicals.
Post a comment if you've got the info handy. I went searching for background, but a few minutes on Rapture Ready sites and breezing through their chat boards is far too disturbing, even if you manage to convince yourself that these people don't really believe what they're saying.
I learned a new word from the radical Evangelicals that was more chilling than anything I've heard steam from the mouth of radical Islamists.
And that word is : globalcide.
Post a comment about mutant-animals-and-the-end-of-the-world if you've got the info handy.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
You might want to think two of the most powerful leaders in the world are knowledge-rich when it comes to the strategic state of the world.
That they might know a bit more than you about what's at stake as Israel goes to war with Lebanon, and thereby goes to war with Iran and Syria. You might think. But you'd be wrong.
Because, in this new reality, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair are just a couple of guys, like you, like me. Yo!
Below is a transcript of a G8 convo between Blair and Bush showing just how thin a grip they actually have on the reality of the fourth world war we are now rapidly sliding into.
Bush and Blair apparenlty didn't know a media-feed microphone in front of them was turned on. It should be some kind of disaster, but the slip of a private conversation has worked wonders across the world in setting up who Bush and Blair want to be held most responsible for what is now happening in the Middle East. Hizbullah, backed by Syria.
This Bush quote, "...they need to do is to get Syria, to get Hizbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over" is headline material across the Western World. You'd think Bush would be angry that his private convo is now out there, soaking up headlines. You'd be wrong.
When Bush learned that the taped convo had been transcribed and was hitting news sites all over the world, "he laughed and rolled his eyes," according to White House press secretary Tony Snow.
So it was a good accident then, and it laid out the blame for the foul slaughter of Lebanese and Israeli civilians in a way that every American could clearly understand.
Did Churchill and Roosevelt talk loose and chatty like Bush and Blair during World War 2? Perhaps. But we're pretty sure Roosevelt never yelled "Yo! Roosevelt!"
This version of the transcript is from The Independent :
Bush: Yo, Blair. How are you doing? (Does he regard Mr Blair as an equal? What about 'Yo, Tony'?)
Blair: I'm just...
Bush: You're leaving?
Blair: No, no, no not yet. On this trade thingy....(inaudible) (Mr Blair is getting anxious that the World Trade Organisation is falling apart because some nations, including the US, are putting domestic interests before a worldwide free trade agreement)
Bush: Yeah, I told that to the man.
Blair: Are you planning to say that here or not?
Bush: If you want me to.
Blair: Well, it's just that if the discussion arises...
Bush: I just want some movement.
Bush: Yesterday we didn't see much movement.
Blair: No, no, it may be that it's not, it may be that it's impossible.
Bush: I am prepared to say it.
Blair: But it's just I think what we need to be an opposition...
Bush: Who is introducing the trade?
Blair: Angela (The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, will lead the trade discussion. That is good for Mr Blair. She is on his side.)
Bush: Tell her to call 'em.
Bush: Tell her to put him on, them on the spot. Thanks for the sweater it's awfully thoughtful of you.
Blair: It's a pleasure.
Bush: I know you picked it out yourself.
Blair: Oh, absolutely, in fact (inaudible)
Bush: What about Kofi? (inaudible) His attitude to ceasefire and everything else ... happens. (Change of subject. Now they are on to Lebanon and the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan)
Blair: Yeah, no I think the (inaudible) is really difficult. We can't stop this unless you get this international business agreed.
Bush: Yeah. (Mr Blair is trying to push the idea of a UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon. That 'yeah' does not sound like a wholehearted agreement)
Blair: I don't know what you guys have talked about, but as I say I am perfectly happy to try and see what the lie of the land is, but you need that done quickly because otherwise it will spiral. (Meaning: 'Please, George, let me go to the Middle East and be a world statesman')
Bush: I think Condi is going to go pretty soon. (Meaning: 'No')
Blair: But that's, that's, that's all that matters. But if you... you see it will take some time to get that together. (Meaning: 'Oh well, all right, if you don't want me to. Just a thought')
Bush: Yeah, yeah.
Blair: But at least it gives people...
Bush: It's a process, I agree. I told her your offer to... (Meaning: 'Drop it. You're not going.')
Blair: Well... it's only if I mean... you know. If she's got a..., or if she needs the ground prepared as it were... Because obviously if she goes out, she's got to succeed, if it were, whereas I can go out and just talk.
Bush: You see, the ... thing is what they need to do is to get Syria, to get Hizbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over. (Mr Bush is expressing his belief that Syria is pulling Hizbollah's strings, while Mr Blair is hinting the Syrians might be up to no good as well)
Blair: Because I think this is all part of the same thing.
Blair: What does he think? He thinks if Lebanon turns out fine, if we get a solution in Israel and Palestine, Iraq goes in the right way... (Here they might be talking about Kofi Annan, or they may mean the Syrian President, Bashir Assad)
Bush: Yeah, yeah, he is sweet. (Mr Bush is probably being sarcastic)
Blair: He is honey. And that's what the whole thing is about. It's the same with Iraq.
Bush: I felt like telling Kofi to call, to get on the phone to Assad and make something happen.
Bush: We are not blaming the Lebanese government.
Blair: Is this...? (at this point Blair taps the microphone in front of him and the sound is cut.)
"He is sweet" "He is honey".
Tony buys George a sweater, and picks it out himself?
Don't get any funny ideas, they just prefer to keep the company of men, that's all.
Russian scientists have come up with a new strain of the cannabis plant that will get no-one high, and they want to it to take over the world.
It's a bonghead's worst nightmare.
In a plot worthy of a Cheech & Chong Meets James Bond film, evil Russian scientists are plotting to infect the world's megastone weed supply with a cannabis that is good for nothing - except making paper, high protein foods, clothes, rope, plastic, biofuel and a few hundred thousand other products.
They want their wimpy weed to get into and overtake the wild strains so enjoyed by video gamers and arthritic elderly people the world over until the wowfreakyman varieties are wiped out completely.
Here's the link :
When the new plant is crossed with the wild growing hemp the amount of psychotropic substance in the latter will gradually become less and less. If Russian hemp is grown on industrial level, it could even force the cannabis that is used for making hashish and marijuana out of existence.
As a professionally administered drug, cannabis has been used in alleviating pain for cancer patients, helps to stimulate appetites of HIV afflicted persons, relieving inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract, and is known to open up the blood vessels improving circulation among its various proclaimed benefits.
In conjunction with its benefits are the risks it subjects users to, among those being muscular attributes given to schizophrenics, muscular incoordination, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, confusion, difficulty walking, dysarthria, dry mouth, dysphagia, blurred vision, and vomiting most of all, as with opening up the blood vessels can produce the condition of excess blood volume which results in comas and cardiac arrest, leading to death.
....hemp is one of the oldest agricultural plants with 10 thousand-year history and at present it is “unjustly” associated with drugs like marijuana.
Monday, July 17, 2006
A QUICK TALLY OF THE ROUGH COSTS SO FAR
The exchange of missiles, death tolls and Bond villian-like rhetoric ("You want War? You Got War!" "This Has Only Just Started!") all began because 3 IDF soldiers were taken prisoner of war. Because Israel was smashing ten kinds of pure hell out of Gaza. Because Palestinians were firing rockets into Israel. Because Hizbullah were firing rockets and missiles into Israel. Because there's enough warpigs on both sides, on all sides, who just don't want their wars and conflicts and blood-debts and revenge killings to end.
But essentially, according to the Israel/US/Australia/UK narrative, this all began because 3 IDF soldiers were captured and because Hamas and Hizbullah militants were firing rockets into Israel.
Now, barely a week after the true hostilities started, we have this rough tally :
12 IDF soldiers killed, 4 Naval personnel killed.
160+ Lebanese killed.
70+ Palestinians killed.
15+ Israelis killed.
8 Canadians killed.
At least three IDF tanks and an Israeli warship damaged or destroyed.
Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage, destruction to Beirut and Lebanon, including highways, airport runways, ports, fuel depots, telecommunications networks.
Millions of millions of dollars worth of damage to Israel towns and cities.
A good hundred million worth of missiles, rockets, shells fired by both sides.
Lebanon stock market depleted by more than 20% on its June value.
Another half trillion shaved off US, Australian, UK stockmarkets
$78 per barrel oil.
Petrol prices rocket towards $1.50 a litre in Australia, and could even hit an incredible $4 a gallon in the US within months.
All that and more in only a few days.
Israel towns and cities will need to be rebuilt. Beirut CBD, ports, infrastructure will need massive rebuilding.
The World Bank and IDF, of course, will be there to help out now thousands of Lebanese business people - with no ties nor interest in or of terrorism and Hizbullah - will have lost most or all of their money.
And if you saw all this financial chaos and booming oil and gold prices coming, if you somehow knew what Hizbullah was going to do, or how Israel would react, or how quickly things would escalate to the point where a sovereign country is committing shocking war crimes on its neighbour by destroying civilian infrastructure, if you somehow could have foreseen all those things, and if you therein knew that there would be more than $US1 billion worth of rebuilding contracts up for grabs before it was all over....If you knew all of this, well, you could have made yourself even richer than you were before the Middle East War Part 127 began.
Of course, that's just being cynical.
Nobody really knows these kinds of things are going to happen. They just happen. Right?
The most incredible lie out of all the propaganda and psy-ops and disinformation that swamps our rational minds via the media right now is that all these things were not foreseen, that there were not extremely creepy people licking their lips at all the fresh money to be made off the whole of human misery in Lebanon and Israel, and Gaza.
They've all paid, and they will pay more.And now, so will you.
Every time you fill up your car, or buy groceries, or pay off your monthly mortgage hit now that interest rates are likely to climb steadily, relentlessly.
Meanwhile in St Petersberg, lots of men and one woman sit around a table as world leaders of the G8 summit, and they smile and laugh and wink at each other.
They don't even care anymore if the media is watching.
Do you ever get the feeling you’re being conned?
Sunday, July 16, 2006
CLAIM : ISRAEL USING BANNED WEAPONS ON LEBANESE CIVILIANS
From the Lebanon Daily Star (via AFP News) :
Lebanon accused Israel on Sunday of using banned weapons against Lebanese civilians in its military offensive against the country.These weapons also suck the air from the chests of anyone within the 'blast' zone and collapses
President Emile Lahoud said Israeli forces have fired "phosphorus incendiary bombs, which are a blatant violation of international laws, ...against Lebanese civilians."
He called on the United Nations to help "deter Israel from using destructive weapons which violate human rights and the United Nations charter."
"We are facing a real annihilation carried out by Israel," Information Minister Ghazi Aridi told reporters after the cabinet meeting.
"Israel is using internationally prohibited weapons against civilians," he said.
Military sources said that Israel had used phosphorus incendiary bombs and implosion bombs, which suck up the air and collapse buildings.
From the UK Indepedent :
"It will be called the massacre of Marwaheen. All the civilians killed by the Israelis had been ordered to abandon their homes in the border village by the Israelis themselves a few hours earlier.
"Leave, they were told by loudspeaker; and leave they did, 20 of them in a convoy of civilian cars. That's when the Israeli jets arrived to bomb them, killing 20 Lebanese, at least nine of them children.
"Yesterday, the Israelis even produced more "terrorist" targets - petrol stations in the Bekaa Valley all the way up to the frontier city of Hermel in northern Lebanon and another series of bridges on one of the few escape routes to Damascus, this time between Chtaura and the border village of Masnaa.
"Lebanon, as usual, was paying the price for the Hizbollah-Israeli conflict - as Hizbollah no doubt calculated they would when they crossed the Israeli frontier on Wednesday and captured two Israeli soldiers close to Marwaheen.
"But who is really winning the war? Not Lebanon, you may say, with its more than 90 civilian dead and its infrastructure steadily destroyed in hundreds of Israeli air raids.
"But is Israel winning?"
Eight Killed In Haifa Under Hizbollah Rocket Attack
Israel Military : "Lebanon Can Be Shut Down For Years"
Israel Tells Tens Of Thousands Of Lebanese To Get Out Of Their Homes
"Rockets That Hit Haifa Were Syrian"
Bunker Busters Smash Central Beirut
Saturday, July 15, 2006
"ALL BOMBS ARE TERRORISM"
ISRAEL READY TO CUT DEAL AS WORLD EXPRESSES OUTRAGE AT CIVILIAN BOMBINGS
This headline on one of the most viewed websites in the world, MSNBC.com, encapsulates the extraordinary international reaction to Israels' demented bombing of civilians in Lebanon :
"The US Stands Alone In Defending Israel"
In only a matter of hours, Israel has gone from being ready to unroll widespread action and retaliation against Lebanon, and perhaps even Iran and Syria, to talk of cutting a deal that would see it pulling out of Lebanon and back from the brink of a full-blown Middle East war.
Israel has laid down a set of conditions for Hizzbulah to agree to, but their negotiating position has been severely depleted by endless international criticism and widespread outrage at what Israel has done to the civilians of Lebanon.
(Israeli) Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has imposed three conditions for a ceasefire in Lebanon, where Israel has been waging a deadly three-day assault, a Government spokeswoman says.
"The Prime Minister is prepared to finish our operations in Lebanon if Hezbollah releases our two soldiers, stops its rocket fire and if the Lebanese Government decides to implement UN Security Council resolution 1559," spokeswoman Miri Eisin told AFP.
The resolution calls for the disarmament of Hezbollah, the Shiite movement based in Lebanon that abducted two Israeli soldiers on Wednesday.
"If these conditions are met, we are ready to cooperate with a delegation from the United Nations," the spokeswoman said.
They'll be lucky to even get that.
The scenes of appalling horror from inside Lebanon, following the bombings by Israel Air Force jets and gun ships, are now reaching the world's news wires :
A baby was sliced into three and body parts hung from olive trees as the full force of Israeli military might hit rural southern Lebanon Thursday.Israel's disgusting policy of collective punishment has suddenly roared from the dark streets of Palestine and into the opening stories of the evening news, as millions of people around the world struggle to comprehend how one sovereign nation can blitz another as Israel has, for militias taking prisoners of war as Hizzbulah and Hamas did when they seized IDF soldiers.
As dawn broke over the sleepy village of Dweir, near the main central market town of Nabatiyeh, tragedy hit the household of Adel Akkash, a Shiite Muslim cleric.
An Israeli missile destroyed his home, and neighbors who rushed to help met with a gruesome scene. Akkash, his wife and their seven young children were all dead.
Relief workers were called in to recover the remains of Akkash's seven children from the family olive grove, an AFP correspondent said. Small severed body parts were recovered from the branches of olive trees, and placed in plastic bags.
Eleven members of another family -- including five children -- met a similar fate in Zibqine, a small village southeast of Tyre.
The key issue for the G8 meeting this weekend of the world's most powerful leaders was to be energy, but Russia's president Vladimir Putin has made clear there is to be a new key issue : what is the US going to do to keep its key attack dog, Israel, on its leash?
The international reaction has been monumental, not only at the deaths of dozens of innocent people, from at least six different countries, but the sheer fact that Israel would dare to target and destroy key infrastructure of a country that has been well and truly welcomed back into the international business world, and was making great grounds at becoming an economic mini-powerhouse, with great potential for the future.
Maybe it was the fact that oil prices were about to shoot past $US80 per barrel that did it.
Israel ministers are being bombarded by furious phone calls from world leaders and diplomats demanding they stop this fiasco before it gets completely out of control and throws the world's economy into a horrifying downward spiral.
If this all ends in the next day, economists will marvel in a month at just how close the world economy came to a devastating rupture.
Yesterday, a UN resolution to condemn the attacks on Lebanon was scuttled by a US veto, and tonight it seems that Israel has but one key ally in the world supporting its actions.
The United States.
But US Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice's harrassed and ultra-stressed out comments on television (she looked like she was about to throw up) betray just how hard the leaders of the world have come down on her and Bush and the Israeli leadership.
Hizzbulah is still firing rockets into Israel, and Israel has just bombed Lebanon's international airport for the fourth time.
Incredibly, for most of the world, Hizzbulah's rocket attacks are now not being widely seen as the actions of terrorists, let alone extremists. As Israel declared, this is war.
The War On Terror does not mean it is illegal for a country to defend itself, be it Israel, Lebanon, Syria or even Iran.
The ten or more deaths and dozens of casualties sustained by Israeli civilians from rocket attacks have been relegated far below the headlines of world media coverage, as images of burning Beirut and bomb-smashed Lebanese women and children take priority.
As the weekend media prepares its Saturday editions, the front pages and editorials and letters pages seem destined to be filled with fury directed towards the misery Israel has wrought in Lebanon and Gaza in the past week.
If they hoped to achieve some sort of balance in their argument of bombing Lebanon to stop acts of terror against itself, then Israel has well and truly lost the moral high ground.
The incredible events of the past 48 hours seem ready to rock even the definition of 'terrorism' itself.
Israel has been betrayed by an inexperienced leader who wanted to make his mark by showing how tough he could be. But he has failed miserably and fouled the name of Israel with his outrageous behaviour.
Israel, like Gaza, has been under bombardment for months, and now the tide is turning against Israel, incredibly, as one key statement booms loud from millions of web pages and radio talkback and editorials and newsbreaks and internet comment boards across our planet :
"All bombs are terrorism."
When Palestinians launch rockets into Israel it is terrorism. And when Israel launches missiles into Gaza and Lebanon it is also terrorism.
Most sane people already realise this.
The Vatican Is Now Codemning Israel For Its Actions :
"...the Holy See deplores right now the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign nation, and assures its closeness to these people who already have suffered so much to defend their independence
"The right of defence on the part of a state does not exempt it from its responsibility to respect international law, particularly regarding the safeguarding of civilian populations..."
France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia. Indonesia Demand Israel Stop The Bombing Of Lebanese Civilians And Infrascture
"One may well ask if there isn't today a kind of wish to destroy Lebanon - its infrastructure, its roads, its communications, its energy, its airport. And for what?"I find honestly....that the current reactions are totally disproportionate."
Tony Blair Launches Emergency Plan To Evacuate 4000 British Nationals From Lebanon
An Israeli Town In Shock At The Rocket Attacks Of Hizzbulah
Editorial : Waiting For The Americans
Lebanon Seeks Ceasefire As Bush Refuses To Tell Israel To Pull Back
Israel Widens Bombing Campaign
Go To 'The Orstrahyun' For A Report On The Thousands Of Australians Trapped Inside Lebanon By The Israel Blockade
Friday, July 14, 2006
UPDATE : Israel has bombed the road to Damascus (Syria) where thousands of tourists are now fleeing to escape the attacks on Beirut....Brazil has announced at least four of its citizens have been killed in airstrikes, Kuwaitis killed....Hizzbulah denies hitting Israel city of Haifa..."Acts Of War" calls from all sides...At least 80 Lebanese civilians dead, 10 Israelis, 300+ wounded...
Saudis Blame Hizzbulah For Escalating War On Border
It sounds like Israeli propaganda, but things are whacked out enough over there right now that it probably is true.
By hitting the "legitimate resistance" big red button, the Saudis are then also saying that Hama are causing problems beyond their struggle as well.
Saudi Arabia indicated on Thursday that Hizbullah bore the responsibility for the current crisis in Lebanon, Israel Radio reported.
In an official statement, the Saudi government said that a distinction must be drawn between "legitimate resistance" and "adventurous, irresponsible acts" committed by groups in Lebanon who don't recognize the government and don't coordinate with other Arab nations.
The statement said that these groups must take responsibility and solve the crisis themselves.
Lebanon Says It Doesn't Control Hizzbulah
Israel has held Lebanese leaders responsible for Hezbollah's capture of two soldiers, but the government here says it has no real control over the guerrillas - and taking action to rein them in could tear the country apart.
Wracked by divisions over relations with Syria, the Western-backed government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora has yet to muster the political will, or the courage, to disarm the guerrillas of the Shiite Hezbollah, allowing them to continue to operate with almost total autonomy in southern Lebanon.
Israel Strikes Suburbs Of Beirut, Army Chief Says "Nothing Is Safe"
Israel's army chief Brig. Gen. Dan Halutz warned that “nothing is safe” in Lebanon and said Beirut itself — particularly Hezbollah offices and residences — would be a target. Maj. Gen. Udi Adam said Israel had hit hundreds of targets and hadn't ruled out sending in ground troops.
Bush, US Unable To Play More Than Limited Role In Israel Vs Arabs Fighting
President George W. Bush and U.S. diplomats, distracted by threats from North Korea to Iraq, are playing a minor role as an escalating confrontation between Israelis and Arabs risks wider Middle East violence.More Updates From 'The Fourth World War' Blog
Bush hasn't spoken to any Middle Eastern leaders in the past couple of weeks, according to National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones.
"Up until now the administration's been on the sidelines,"' said Dennis Ross, the senior U.S. Middle East broker for President Bill Clinton.
ISRAEL BOMBS LEBANON'S AIRPORTS, ARMY BASES, BRIDGES
HIZZBULAH HITS ISRAEL PORT, AS PROMISED
Has the Fourth World War well and truly begun now?
There's a short round-up of latest news down below, but for now it seems important to look at the press conference today President Bush held in Germany, where he spoke substanitally for the first time about the outbreak of war in the Middle East.
Bush had much to say that has been thoroughly ignored by virtually all Western media.
The one line news ticker across the world's media reads : "Bush Says - 'Israel Has Right To Defend Herself'.
But during the extraordinary, and occasionally bizarre, press conference, President Bush laid down the law to Israel over its actions inside Lebanon.
Now, this may just be some talk to paper over the growing international outrage directed at Israel for attacking Lebanon's infrastructure and the killing dozens of civilians, but he made his points numerous times, where the well-whipped media would have let him go with just one sly vague criticism of Israel.
Instead, while whacking Hamas and Hizzbulah, Bush ground his teeth through a full-blown condemnation of Israel.
"...it's a sad situation where -- when there is a very good chance for there to be a two-state solution enacted -- that is two states living side-by-side in peace -- it's really sad where people are willing to take innocent life in order to stop that progress. As a matter of fact, it's pathetic. "The only innocent lives taken when Bush made these comments were the dozens of civilians killed in Lebanon and Gaza by Israel. Israel Defence Force soldiers are soldiers on duty, patrolling, carrying out their orders, they are not civilians and Bush knows that. So he was obviously talking directly to Israel.
And then this :
"...whatever Israel does, though, should not weaken the Siniora government in Lebanon. We're concerned about the fragile democracy in Lebanon. We've been working very hard through the United Nations and with partners to strengthen the democracy in Lebanon."Bush said not "a concern", he said "my biggest concern". Israel regards the Lebanese government as harbouring terrorists, by allowing at least one member of Hizzbulah to be a member of that government.
"As I mentioned, my biggest concern is whether or not actions taken will weaken the Siniora government. "
"Democracy in Lebanon is an important part of laying a foundation for peace in that region. We have worked really hard to get Syria out of Lebanon....We've always felt that a democracy in Lebanon is important for the Lebanese people, and it's important for the region. "
"So the concern is that any activities by Israel to protect herself will weaken that government...or topple that government...and we've made it clear in our discussions."Bush is saying that he has warned Israel on their actions inside Lebanon.
But when did he do that? By the time of his statements during the press conference, Israel had only just moved into Lebanon, and had not yet bombed the airport or bridges or civilians.
Then he drifts into a ramble-babble about terrorism, but he implicitly fails to clarify whether he is talking about Israel or Hizzbulah. And remember, this is all from a president, who despite his much-mocked word plays, has said from day one of his presidency : "I mean what I say."
He said it again during the press conference,
"...you just can't say things and not mean it."So who does he mean with this direct warning? You would expect the target would be Hizzbulah, but Bush, who would have been thoroughly briefed before the press conference, doesn't sound at all like he is talking about Hizzbulah or Lebanon or Hamas, none of whom had blown up any innocent people when Bush delivered these remarks :
"...There are terrorists who will blow up innocent people in order to achieve tactical objectives. In this case, the objective is to stop the advance of peace -- which is a remarkable statement, isn't it? Willing to kill to stop peace.
"We have a good chance to get a two-state solution, two democracies living side-by-side in peace. It is a clear and achievable vision. What will prevent that vision from being achieved is -- are terrorist activities, and that's what you're seeing taking place."
It wasn't all serious talk with Bush, as it never is. There was time for a few jokes about the wild pig he was getting ready to sit down and eat with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel.
It had been shot that day, especially for the occasion.
"I'm looking forward to the feast....I understand I may have the honor of slicing the pig.He really wanted to eat that pig.
(Q): Does it concern you that the Beirut airport has been bombed?.
Bush : "I thought you were going to ask me about the pig."
(Q) : I'm curious about that, too. (Laughter.)
"The pig? I'll tell you tomorrow after I eat it."
The slaughter in Lebanon has claimed more than 60 civilians, with more than a hundred injured.
At least 120 Israelis are reported injured from rocket strikes from within Lebanon.
Rockets have slammed into the Israel port of Jaffa.
Israel Blockades Lebanon's Ports, International Airport Closed
Israel Jets Strike Hard Into Lebanon Government's Heartland, Power Base
Hizzbulah Claims It Has 10,000 Rockets Ready To Strike Israel After Haifa Hit
Thursday, July 13, 2006
DOZENS OF PALESTINIANS DEAD AS MASSIVE ISRAELI BOMBS SPREAD TERROR IN GAZA
8 IDF SOLDIERS KILLED AS LEBANON BORDER WAR ERUPTS
"IGNORE CHRISTIAN MORALS....EXTERMINATE THE ENEMY"
Israel found itself fighting a two front war last night, against Hamas militants in Gaza and now Hizzbulah militants across the border in Lebanon.
Israel has now struck Lebanon less than ten miles from its capital, hitting what it claimed was a militant base. The Lebanese government claimed it wasn't responsible for the actions of Hizzbulah and Israel's strike on Lebanon, as small as it was, is throwing public opinion behind the militants.
But Hizzbulah, in return, has launched at least two mortar attacks on an Israel army base, taking numerous casualties, which Israel has not yet confirmed.
At least two Israel Defence Force soldiers were kidnapped by militants during a massive exchange of fire along the border with Lebanon, during which three IDF soldiers were killed in battle, and four more died when their tank hit a landmine. Another IDF soldier apparently died trying to retrieve the bodies of other soldiers.
Hamas and Hizzbulah both claim they are kidnapping IDF soldiers in order to negotiate release of the thousands of Palestinian men, women and children who are held in Israel's jails, many without charge and never having faced trial.
It's a strategy that seems to be working in some ways, as the international community rails on Hizzbulah and Hamas for kidnapping troops but also slapping down Israel for killing dozens of Palestinian civilians.
"...the events this morning are not terror attacks but actions of a sovereign state that attacked Israel for no reason," said Israel's Prime Minister Elmud Olmert.
"The Lebanese government, of which Hizbullah is a member, is trying to destabilize regional stability. Lebanon is responsible and it will bear responsibility."
"These are difficult days for the State of Israel and its citizens."
Israel has now split Gaza down the middle and Hamas militants, along with Palestinian civilians, are taking heavy casualties.
Israel dropped a quarter-ton bomb on a Gaza home today in an attempt to assassinate top Hamas fugitives, killing nine civilians as Islamic militant leaders got away.
Further heightening tensions, the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah announced it had kidnapped two Israeli soldiers during the cross-border fighting.
The nine dead were all members of the same family, including the parents and seven of their children, Palestinian officials said. The body of a four-year-old boy was among those pulled out of the rubble.
Head of the UN, Kofi Annan, has sparked a wave of outrage amongst the pro-Israeli bloggers - particularly Little Green Footballs who bizarrely condemned Annan for condemning the kidnapping of IDF soldiers - when Annan had to hide to call any attacks on civilians exactly what they are - "terrorism" :