Thursday, August 5, 2010
But that would be too simple of a statement. How bout this: American politics love right-wing Israel.
So here is my question: Can you support Israel while also supporting the Palestinians, Lebanese, Jordanians, etc? Because that is how you're going to find peace ... by supporting moderate elements in a region loaded with humorless fanatics.
Just this week a hawkish, pro-Israel group launched this TV commercial aimed at endangered Democrat, Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy. Bill Kristol's prominent neo-conservative and evangelical voices were behind the propaganda. Enjoy.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
In other news, apparently the Blue Line is calm again ... The Island has the story:
Everybody loves hysteria--and everybody loves to be an expert on what's going to happen in the Middle East. But frankly, nobody really knows. It's impossible to predict. So here is the next best thing: I don't care about the Middle East anymore and I'm going surfing.
Sgt. JD Stuster wrote in from AUB this morning:
Things are tense here in Beirut. In the dorm here at AUB, students have had al-Manar on all afternoon. This evening, the room was packed to watch Hezbollah's rally celebrating what al-Manar calls the "4th anniversary of vicotry [sic]." Most were watching because of the renewed immediacy of conflict. One person speculated to me, "If it had been Hezbollah that responded instead of the Lebanese Army, we'd be at war already." Which isn't to say that war has been avoided. Another told me very matter of factly, "We're going to war."
There's been some talk since the Syrian/Saudi summit in Lebanon that the Special Tribunal indictments might be postponed indefinitely to stave off their potentially destabilizing effects on the country. The pretexts for a potential conflict might be shifting, but it definitely seems that Israel is still testing the waters and, today, the resolve of the Lebanese Army. The next few days will be interesting.
And, I'd bet they are saying: "Yes!"
This all could just go away. But it doesn't seem like it. Here is why:
- 2000 - Israel does not WITHDRAW from Southern Lebanon ... their network caves to "the resistance" and they are forced from Lebanese land.
- 2006 - Israel and Hezbollah fight a bloody 34-day war, the longest war in the history of the modern Middle East. South Lebanon and south Beirut are reduced to rubble; northern Israel is hit with over 4,000 122mm rockets.
- 2006 - UN Resolution calls for cease fire, war over.
- 2006- Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's Gen. Sec. calls the war "A blessing from God." The Israelis hardly feel the same ... and publish a war review paper called the Winograd report, citing massive failures in their operational capabilities. Both sides are left wanting another go at the war they wanted to settle--but didn't--in 2000.
- Last weekend - Hamas fires two 122mm GRAD-type rocket into the coastal Israeli city of Ashkelon. Then, Islamists fire a plethora of the same kind of rockets at the southern Israeli party city of Elait. But they mostly overshoot, hitting the Jordanian port of Aqaba, two miles away.
- Today - 1 year ago I snuck into a Hezbollah rally in south Beirut ... Hassan Nasrallah was giving a speech; he was remembering the "slain from the 2006 war from Israel." Today is the anniversary.
And NOW we have this clash along the Blue Line, the line of withdraw from 2000, the de-facto border that all sides seem ready to fight over--again.
Of course I will post things if/when the Levant takes off... but it should be remembered that when there is willingness for war, it normally happens; especially in the Middle East.
UPDATE: Apparently Hezbollah has killed a Senior IDF commander in a planned raid.
UPDATE: Apparently Syria has vowed to "protect" Hezbollah.