Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Annan: Israel bombed UN base for hours

Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organization, suspended trade talks Monday after negotiators failed to break their long impas

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droplet mandala, originally uploaded by omnia.

Bloglines - Eric Boehlert: Fox News (Officially) Abandons Journalism in the Middle East

The Huffington Post Raw Feed
The Huffington Post Raw Feed

Eric Boehlert: Fox News (Officially) Abandons Journalism in the Middle East

By Eric Boehlert on Eat The Press


"We're covering the story from every angle!" enthused a Fox News anchor Friday, as Rupert Murdoch's all-news channel, like CNN and MSNBC, went wall-to-wall covering the latest round of violence in the Middle East. Despite that hype, Fox News has pointedly refused to cover every angle of the bloody, on-going story and in the process has walked away from professional journalism and crossed over into propaganda; a dangerous new chapter even for Fox News.

Based on a review of the blatantly one-sided collection of guests and experts FNC has booked to discuss the conflict recently, it's obvious Fox News has opted to present an hermetically sealed version of events from the Middle East and spoon feed its viewers a pre-school-like version of the news. Fox News has moved beyond the warmongering it trademarked during the run-up to the Iraq war in 2003 and slipped into a conscious, company-wide decision to purposely cordon off topics of discussion.

That the Middle East battle is told primarily through the eyes of Israelis is not surprising. American news organizations have more resources inside Israel, better sources within the Israeli government and most Americans clearly sympathize with the Israelis in their never-ending conflict with Arabs. And Fox News has certainly had its thumb on the scale. Last week Bill O'Reilly warned about a coming Holocaust. And during one of the endlessly looping FNC conversation about Iran's alleged puppet-like manipulation of Hezbelloh, Fox News' on-screen text asked, "Are Saddam Hussein's WMDs Now in Hezbollah's Hands?"

But what's been startling about Fox's overall coverage, and especially the roster of guests it has hosted, is that it obliterates the traditionally tilted American media stance and crosses over into something else entirely. Following Bush's lead of openly picking sides in the Middle East conflict and chucking the notion of acting as an honest broker, FNC has decided there is no 'other side' of the story to report on. Not if you look at the collections of experts FNC has invited on the air.

My tabulation is by no means exact, but covering a roughly six-day period covering late last week, I identified, via, more than 100 guests who appeared on FNC to discuss the current Middle East violence. Of those 100, I counted less than ten who raised serious questions about Israel's military assault which, to date, has killed nearly 400 Lebanese, or questioned America's strident support for Israel or its slow-motion approach to diplomacy. And it's not as if there isn't a wider debate going on regarding the Middle East. According to a recent CNN poll, a clear plurality of Americans last week thought Israel should agree to a cease-fire as soon as possible, a position rejected by Washington, D.C., Jerusalem and Fox News.

Of those 100 on-air FNC guests, I counted fewer than five Muslims during that six-day span who were invited on-air to raise doubts about the Israeli offensive, or even to give a Muslim or Arab perspective on events. (Finding a Muslim to discuss the Middle East on Fox News is almost as difficult as finding a woman; I found less than five among the more than 100 guests.) In fact, I could not find a single, authentic, independent expert on Arab politics and history who appeared on Fox News to discuss the roots of the escalating violence. Not one.

While FNC could not, or would not, find experts to give an Arab perspective to the ongoing tumult, Fox News programs have been positively brimming with rich details provided by Israelis, who clearly enjoy an open door policy at FNC. Indeed, the Fox News green room and satellite feeds have been elbow-to-elbow with Israelis, including former prime ministers Benjamin Netanyahu (repeatedly) and Ehud Barak, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman (repeatedly), Israel ambassador Daniel Ayalon, Yossi Olmert, the bother of Israel's current prime minister Ehud Olmert, Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner, Israel's consul general in New York Arye Mekel (repeatedly), and former Israeli United Nations ambassador Dore Gold (repeatedly). Not to mention former U.S. ambassadors to Israel Martin Indyk, Ned Walker, and Dennis Ross (repeatedly).

Perhaps the only institution better represented on FNC than the Israeli government has been the Israel Defense Force. Fox viewers have been briefed by IDF spokesman Capt. Ishai David, IDF reserve Hesky Hutscher, IDF Capt. Eric Snyder, Staff Sgt. Adam Harmon, Ret. IDF Brig. Gen. Yehil Gozal, IDG Capt. Guy Spigelman, former IDF commando Aaron Cohen and Ret. Lt. Col. Gal Luft.

Of course, FNX has made lots of room for far-right, pro-war press partisans such as Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, Rich Lowry, Ann Coulter, Dick Morris, Mort Zuckerman, New York Post columnist Ralph Peters, and radio talk show host Michael Gallagher. FNC also trotted out the same pro-war policy wonks who got almost everything wrong about the U.S. invasion of Iraq; Frank Gaffney, former CIA director James Woolsey, and Newt Gingrich. They were joined by anti-Arab activists Steve Emerson (repeatedly) and Daniel Pipes (repeatedly).

And then there was the scrum of military and terrorism experts--the same pro's FNC paraded on-camera before the invasion of Iraq--who, nearly to a man, explained how Israel was taking exactly the correct approach and how much firepower was required to finish Hezbelloh off.

Taken in context, there's nothing wrong with FNC inviting any of those individual guests on for a robust debate about the Middle East troubles. The shocking part is that there's basically nobody on the other side taking part in the FNC-sponsored debate. And by the other side I don't mean terrorists from Hezbelloh, but simply including Lebanese officials or Arab experts to offer a different, non-Israeli perspective.

Things are so skewed on Fox that when Israel does come under rare scrutiny, it's from the conservative right. The Post's Ralph Peters and Daniels Pipes, for instance, both suggested Israel could have avoided the current bloodshed if they hadn't been so 'soft' on its Arab enemies in previous years. (Enemies Peters graphically described as "termites.")

On Monday night, FNC's Greta Van Susteren invited Israel ambassador Daniel Ayalon on the show for one of the cable channel's signature, simplistic and patently dishonest discussions about Middle East turmoil; turmoil that has waged for the better part of a half-a-century and been rooted in deep religious, political and geographical conflicts that have reeked havoc inside Israel as well as accounted for untold damage to Israel's Arab neighbors. Van Susteren cut to the chase: "Why do they hate you so much" she asked. In respone, Ayalon told Van Suteren Islamic radicals wanted to use the Middle East as a springboard to turn America into an Islamic country, that Israel's sweeping military attack on Lebanon was for the Lebanon's own good, and that Arabs have been "brain washed."

The same might be said of Fox News viewers these days.


OpinionJournal - On the Editorial Page - July 26, 2006


On the Editorial Page
The ABA's political payback against a judicial nominee.
12:01 a.m. EDT

Is there no level of deceit that these shills won't demonstrate?

OpinionJournal Federation BY JOSH MANCHESTER
From TCSDaily: By liberating Iraq, the U.S. set the stage for the destruction of Hezbollah.
12:01 a.m. EDT

new articles on APFN

DAY 15: AUDIO: "Crisis in the Middle East" — "Radio Your Way", Tue Jul 25 01:27
Explaines: A Clean Break: — "The Randi Rhodes Show", Tue Jul 25 03:09
New Mideast War Drive: Return of 'Clean Break' — "The Randi Rhods Show", Tue Jul 25 03:17
The Neocons ExposedThe Clean Break Plan Damage Assessment — Neocon Middle East Policy:, Tue Jul 25 03:27
Cheney Unleashes the Dogs of War — By Dean Andromidas, Tue Jul 25 03:34
Dirty Bomb — Mike Macaulay, Tue Jul 25 04:51
US MILITARY ROGUE ELEMENTS PLANNING TO TAKE OUT ISRAEL ?? — Mike Macaulay, Tue Jul 25 05:13 - — ROBERT MOORE, Tue Jul 25 05:38
U.S. invasion: over 250,000 civilian deaths in Iraq — OrlandoMary, Tue Jul 25 10:20
What symptoms does Electronic Directed Energy Weapons cause? — D.G. Reid, Tue Jul 25 10:51
REPEAL BUSH's WAR POWERS — Mike Macaulay, Tue Jul 25 10:53
ONE ISRAELI, TWO ISRAELI'S, THREE ISRAELI'S, FOUR !! — Mike Macaulay, Tue Jul 25 11:05
Zionazi Terrorism - A "JEWISH PHENOMENA" — Davy Sprockett, Tue Jul 25 11:52
ELF & GWEN Towers, HAARP & Satellite GPS_EMF Control Grid — OrlandoMary, Tue Jul 25 12:22
TO STRIKE A MATCH — Cliff Lindquist, Tue Jul 25 13:05
yahoo and leo — Keystone State, Tue Jul 25 13:46
Learn to use the Google Search Type in Term & Teachyourself — Will Wilson Call4Investigation CV9835303-joiner1, Tue Jul 25 14:29
A message to Hezbollah and Hamas fighters from the American — Judah Ben-Hur, Amb., Tue Jul 25 14:44
Gaiacomm International, VLF-Terahertz — Judah Ben-Hur, Tue Jul 25 15:03
The FEMA list of Presidential Executive Orders — Congress v. Bush, Tue Jul 25 16:26
WOMEN OF THE WORLD WILL STOP THIS MADNESS AND WAR! — Ralph Charles Whitley, Sr., Tue Jul 25 16:48
Hezbollah v Israel-- scripted diversion by the Traitor Caba — OrlandoMary, Tue Jul 25 16:52
The Pentagon Betrayal Of GIs And Iraqis — Depleted Uranium, Tue Jul 25 16:57
Israel Using Phosphorous incidiaries against Lebanon — The Associated Press, Tue Jul 25 18:37
Officials: Hundreds of Iraqis Killed By Faulty Grenades — by Thomas Frank, Tue Jul 25 18:42
Israel Drops White Phosphorus Bombs — t r u t h o u t | 07.25, Tue Jul 25 18:48
Israel's Criminal Accomplice — Paul Craig Roberts, Tue Jul 25 18:56
CSA — heroay, Tue Jul 25 19:26
THE BEST OF THE NET IS NOW **UPDATED DAILY** — Rob Kettenburg, Tue Jul 25 19:59
SAUDIS WARN THE WORLD — Ray, Tue Jul 25 21:08
The Rothschilds Founded Israel, They Mass Sacrifice4Satan — Call4Investigation, Wed Jul 26 00:01
DAY 16: AUDIO: "Crisis in the Middle East" — "Radio Your Way", Wed Jul 26 00:19
Google Alert for: "Crisis in the Middle East" — Google Alert, Wed Jul 26 00:58

Israel sets up terrorists in Lebanon to lob missiles into Israel. The damage is minimal, but Israel has never hesitated....

Bloglines - Elie Wiesel On Mideast Crisis (VIDEO)

Expose the Left
Monitoring and exposing liberal bias in the media and partisan politics on the left.

Elie Wiesel On Mideast Crisis (VIDEO)

By Ian on Israel



Bloglines - Conservative Mag: Bush Allies Are "In Revolt" Against Condi Rice...

The Huffington Post | Raw Feed
The Huffington Post Raw Feed

Conservative Mag: Bush Allies Are "In Revolt" Against Condi Rice...

By The Huffington Post on George W. Bush

Conservative national security allies of President Bush are in revolt against Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, saying that she is incompetent and has reversed the administration�s national security and foreign policy agenda.

The conservatives, who include Newt Gingrich, Richard Perle and leading current and former members of the Pentagon and National Security Council, have urged the president to transfer Miss Rice out of the State Department and to an advisory role. They said Miss Rice, stemming from her lack of understanding of the Middle East, has misled the president on Iran and the Arab-Israeli conflict.


Bloglines - All the news that's fit to print

Holocaust Now
Our drug policy effectively promotes the use of the most deadly and addictive drugs, alcohol and tobacco, while using violence to deter people from using far safer and less addictive drugs, like marijuana and ecstasy. Millions of people are dead as a result of this policy. This makes me angry. Shouldn't you be angry too?

All the news that's fit to print

By nokilli

As you can read here, it appears that there is quite a bit of evidence building up now that undermines whatever legitimacy Israel hoped for itself as it commits these brutal acts against the Lebanese people. Here's another good link to a page quoting from a very wide variety of sources all of which state that it was in Lebanon, not Israel, where these Israeli soldiers were captured, not

Bloglines - A conversation with a (Corporate) Cockroach


A conversation with a (Corporate) Cockroach

by William Bowles • Monday, 24 July, 2006

“ There appears to have been a cold calculation made at senior levels within the Anglo-American policymaking establishment: that the system is dying, but the last remaining viable means of sustaining it remains a fundamentally military solution designed to reconfigure and rehabilitate the system to continue to meet the requirements of the interlocking circuits of military-corporate power and profit.
” — ‘UK Government Sources Confirm War With Iran Is On’, Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

cockroachI would add to this, ‘Apres la deluge’. It is an established fact that cockroaches can survive immense doses of nuclear radiation and that following a nuclear conflagration, if all else died, the cockroaches would still be around, although probably with little to eat given how they live of us, or at least our garbage.

Likewise, the Corporate Cockroach Class of the United States have made the calculation that Climate Catastrophe is unavoidable and unstoppable. Indeed, I contend that they came to this conclusion some years ago and have been actively engaged in preparing for such an eventuality.

Moreover, I contend that the decision was made based on cold, hard facts, not the least of which is the fact that what we call global capitalism is on the verge of a meltdown of enormous proportions, which in itself is not a new phenomenon, such over-accumulation of capital and intra-imperialist rivalries led to WWI and II in which hundreds of millions of people were sacrificed to the great God Mammon.

The only thing that has changed is firstly the scale of the catastrophe, brought about the changing nature of capitalist productive relations, or globalisation as it is called, which has led to a fragile and extremely unstable ‘system’, described by the cybernetician Stafford Beer some decades ago as follows

  • “A homeostat works (and we know all the cybernetic rules) by moving its stable point in a very complicated response to the shocks it receives to its total system.
  • Any homeostat takes a finite time to re-establish its new stable point. This is called the relaxation time of the system.
  • Today it is typical of social institutions that the mean interval between shocks (thanks to the rate of change) is shorter than the relaxation time. That is because the institutions were originally designed to accept a much longer interval between shocks.
  • From this it follows that societary institutions will either go into a state of oscillation, or Plunge into that terminal equilibrium called death.”

Homeostasis is, by the way

“the tendency of a complex system to run towards an equilibrial state. This happens because the many parts of the complex system absorb each other’s capacity to disrupt the whole.”

Beer goes on say, and I think extremely presciently given that this was written in 1973

“The cybernetician will expect the politician to adopt one of two basic postures in the face of these systemic troubles.

“The first is to ignore the cybernetic facts and to pretend that the oscillations are due to some kind of’ wickedness which can be stamped out. The second is to undertake some kind of revolution, violent or not, to redesign the faulty instruments of government. I do not have to relate the polarisation throughout the entire world to which this cybernetic expectation is the key. But it seems very clear to me as a matter of management science that if in these typical circumstances you do not like violence, then you should quickly embark on a pacific revolution in government. If you do not, then violence you will certainly get. [my emph. WB]” — ‘Fanfare for Effective Freedom’ by Stafford Beer, 1973.

This may sound a far cry from the present circumstances but it describes very accurately the situation brought about by ‘globalisation’, namely a situation spinning rapidly out of control for which the only solution the capitalist class have is predictably, war.

So, I think that the ‘plan’ is as follows:

Given the financial, technical and military resources they have at their disposal, they can effectively ‘ride out the storm’ and emerge, on the other side, relatively unscathed. Not without enormous cost of course, but hopefully they calculate, not to them.

Consider also, that the revolution in production made possible by information technology means that far fewer workers are actually needed to produce what will in any case be a vastly lower demand for goods and services.

They will have at their disposal the ‘intellectual capital’ needed to kickstart the capitalist system once again as well as the security forces to protect them and of course, savings to live off.

Also consider that with climate catastrophe taking care not only those millions of ‘uppity natives’ but also a good deal of the competition in countries like China and India, making the resources the rest of the developing world possesses available to these elites.

It is within this context that one must set the unfolding scenario that is Iraq and now Lebanon. Indeed, I would argue that the barbarity that is Lebanon is a carefully calculated ‘experiment’ to see what kind of reaction we in the rich world would have, in much the same way as the destruction of Yugoslavia served (or the Gulf War of 1990-91) or perhaps even more to the point, how the German Nazis used the Spanish Civil War to test out mass, aerial bombardment or the US the Vietnam War to test new and untried weapons systems.

If the reactions of the great mass of the populations are anything to go by, the destruction of Lebanon has on this basis, been a resounding success (with the able assistance of course, of the Mass Media in hiding the reality from us, and also through the wall of Israeli propaganda, justifying the awful slaughter and destruction.

Consider also how the ‘War on Terror’ fits into this scenario, for in order to pull it off, it needs a total Security State complete with all manner of ‘legal’, social control mechanisms, in the UK personified by the Civil Contingencies Bill as well as the various ‘anti-terrorism’ legislations.

“So is that what all the “emergency preparedness” legislation, here in the UK as well as in the USA and in Europea, all about? The US plans are bad enough, as Ellsberg notes, but the plans [of the] UK … are … hardly better, prompting The Guardian to describe the Civil Contingencies Bill (passed as an Act in 2004) as “the greatest threat to civil liberty that any parliament is ever likely to consider.” — Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

The question of course remains whether such a gamble, for that is what it is, will pay dividends. But make no mistake, these are the same elites who sacrificed hundreds of millions of people when they initiated WWI and II, so the idea of sacrificing a couple of billion people will not trouble them anymore than the millions already sacrificed.

Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed doubts that such a plan will succeed but firstly, I argue that won’t stop them from trying anymore than the certain knowledge that the invasion of Iraq was doomed to failure. Okay, it might show that the elites are either blind to learning the lessons of the past or, motivated only by short term greed. But I argue that they really have no choice in the matter considering that they will not relinquish their control voluntarily and are thus driven by a kind of inevitability to commit the same errors (and crimes) over and over again, until we get rid of the bastards or, that Gaia does it for us?

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[UrukNet] - [Daily Information from Occupied Iraq] - [newsletter 25 Jul 2006]
:: information from occupied iraq
:: informazione dall'iraq occupato

My Letter to Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fouad Siniora
Mike Whitney
Dear Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, Perhaps you will be kind enough to answer a few questions regarding the recent visit of United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, so that people around the world who have looked on with sympathy as your country has been ravaged by Israeli aggression can understand your feelings on these important matters. First of all, why did you allow the Secretary of State to visit Beirut? The Bush administration had ! already made its position entirely clear and everyone who followed the issue knew that the US would continue to give Israel the "green light" until it finished its military operations according to its original plans. Were you unaware that Rice had already stated that she was not prepared to offer a "cease fire"? Were you unaware that the United States was "rushing a shipment of precision-guided bombs to Israel" to continue the slaughter of Lebanese civilians and the destruction of the nation’s infrastructure? Why would you allow yourself to be photographed "smiley-faced" and shaking hands with the woman who is destroying your country and killing your people? (...) Jesus Christ said, "For what shall it profit a man if he should gain the whole world but lose his soul." What about your soul, Prime Minister? Was that part of America’s bargain, too? You have disgraced your country and betrayed your people. You should do the honorable thing and submit your resignation so tha! t your people can elect a leader worthy of their respect...

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Depleted Uranium Situation Worsens Requiring Immediate Action By President Bush, Prime Minister Blair, and Prime Minister Olmert
Dr. Doug Rokke, PhD., former Director, U.S. Army Depleted Uranium project
The delivery of at least 100 GBU 28 bunker busters bombs containing depleted uranium warheads by the United States to Israel for use against targets in Lebanon will result in additional radioactive and chemical toxic contamination with consequent adverse health and environmental effects throughout the middle east.! Today, U.S., British, and now Israeli military personnel are using illegal uranium munitions- America's and England's own "dirty bombs" while U.S. Army, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Defense, and British Ministry of Defence officials deny that there are any adverse health and environmental effects as a consequence of the manufacture, testing, and/or use of uranium munitions to avoid liability for the willful and illegal dispersal of a radioactive toxic material - depleted uranium. The use of uranium weapons is absolutely unacceptable, and a crime against humanity. Consequently the citizens of the world and all governments must force cessation of uranium weapons use...

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Did you know?
Gabriele Zamparini
Did you know that "Dana Olmert, the daughter of Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert... [was one of] the demonstrators [who] chanted slogans such as 'Tzahala residents, there's a murderer in your neighborhood,' and raised signs calling on the government to 'put a stop to the murder of civilians' and stating, 'Halutz is a killer, the intifada shall prevail.' Activists also shouted, 'neighbors, ask Halutz why he's killing children and how many'"? Why not? Did you know that "45! % of those killed in Lebanon are children and of the 500,000 people who have fled to safety, some 200,000 are children"? Why not? Did you know that Israel bombed "the nation's biggest private network, the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation"? Why not? Did you know that a "big milk factory in the Bekaa region called 'Liban Lait’ was completely burned and destroyed by direct attacks from the Israeli Air Force."? And that a "food storehouse called 'TransMed’ in Choueifate, in Beirut’s southern suburbs, was totally destroyed"? Why not? Did you know that "Lebanon's president accused Israel on Monday of using phosphorous bombs in its 13-day offensive and urged the United Nations to demand an immediate ceasefire"?...

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Israel uses cluster bombs, chemical weapons.
Lenin's Tomb
According to Human Rights Watch, Israel is now dropping cluster bombs on Lebanese villages, and have already killed and wounded men, women and children. Meanwhile, the Lebanese Minister of Health says wounded children are suffering from the impact of white phosphorus. The Lebanese president repeated the claim yesterday. As Israel pushes further into Lebanon, it continues to target civilians, in one incident blowing up a house and killing the family inside.! A Times reporter has told ABC news that he has witnessed the deliberate targeting of civilians. We have to bear in mind precisely how much the information that gets out into the mass media is conditioned by Israeli censorship...

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War crimes, a moment of humanity, and Harper's shame
SPENCER OSBERG, Special to Shunpiking Online
...In the villages in the hills east of the costal town of Naquora, Rami says the Israelis have bombed all the roads and bridges, meaning nobody can leave and supplies cannot get in. People are beginning to starve and they're too afraid to leave the basements of their homes. Now the Israelis are bombing the houses. He says there is nowhere to hide and you unable to run. Between 40 and 70 families from the town took r! efugee from the bombing at a school, and then on Monday the Israelis bombed the school, killing almost everyone. Rami says seven families where sheltering in a large house next to the hospital and the Israelis bombed them. It took emergency crews two days to remove all the bodies because the Israeli jets continued to bomb it over and over again, killing some of the emergency workers...

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Media Lens
...The rules are clear but never discussed - corporate reporters are free and happy to declare their personal views insofar as they accord with state interests, but not when they conflict. To criticise the powerful is to be 'biased' and 'crusading'. To support the case made by power is to be 'measured', 'objective' and 'balanced'. Journalists' moral outrage is not relevant when the West does not give a damn about the men, women and children dying under its bomb! s...

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Text of Bush-al-Maliki news conference
Associated Press
...Maliki In the name of God, the most merciful, the passionate, I would like to thank President George Bush. Mr. President, I would like to thank you for your invitation to come here and visit the United States of America. And I would like to thank you for the warm welcome that myself and my delegation received. And, also, I appreciate very much your interest in the situation in Iraq and the responsible spirit that have dominated our discussions toda! y. We have discussed with President Bush clearly and frankly all the current challenges and the horizon and the future and ways of cooperation between our two country in order to build a democratic, united, flourishing Iraq that enjoys its full national sovereignty...

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Today in Iraq
Four mortar bombs fell in the southern Baghdad suburb of Abu Dshir, killing two civilians and injuring seven more. Earlier, one civilian and one soldier were killed in a series of bomb attacks which injured seven people. The final death toll from an explosion and clashes which erupted between gunmen and the police on Monday on Haifa street in central Baghdad is four policemen killed and 36 wounded. One policeman was killed and three wounded when a roadside bomb we! nt off near their patrol in the Zayouna district of the capital. Gunmen killed a policeman in a drive-by shooting in southwestern Baghdad. Five civilians were killed and four others were wounded Monday evening when mortar shells crashed into a southern Baghdad neighborhood...

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Five myths that sanction Israel’s war crimes
Jonathan Cook,
This week I had the pleasure to appear on American radio, on the Laura Ingraham show, pitted against David Horowitz, a "Semite supremacist" who most recently made his name under the banner of Campus Watch, leading McCarthyite witch-hunts against American professors who have the impertinence to suggest that maybe, just maybe, Arabs have minds and feelings like the rest of us. It was a revealing experience, at least for a British journali! st rarely exposed to the depths of ignorance and prejudice in the United States on Middle East matters -- well, apart from the regular whackos who fill my email in-tray. But five minutes of listening to Horowitz speak, and the sympathy with which his arguments were greeted by Laura ("The Professors -- your book’s a great read, David"), left me a lot more frightened about the world’s future...

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What in hell does the Bush Regime want out of the Middle east?
Ted Bohne
The New Iraqi Prime Minister says Iraq will not descend into Civil war. This, of course, begs the question, where in hell he is, the Bahamas? Iraq is in the very midst of a civil war. The three factions in Iraq are hard at war with the US and other Iraqis. Car bombs, suicide bombs and such are killing of Iraqis faster than bullets. Then you have American field grade officers telling their men to kill any Iraqi male of military age. That woul! d be about fifteen. Iraq and Afghanistan are no longer discernable as nations. Only a huge areas of carnage. The American's have failed entirely, and really should leave. Reason and logic dictate an American departure, and now since they are nothing more than an acute exacerbation of a Bush Catastrophe...

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Israel's False Assumptions about Lebanon: Israeli Miscalculations
The Angry Arab News Service
At this stage, it is not clear what will happen next. But at this stage, it is possible to state that Israeli political goals will not be achieved, no matter how long Israeli aggression takes. No matter what happens next, and even if Israel manages to kill Nasrallah or other leaders, Israel's ability to achieve its goals is diminishing not increasing. I am not being triumphalist: Israeli military superiority, and Israeli! willingness, nay eagerness, to use massive and indiscriminate violence, has never been in doubt. I lived and barely survived the 1982 Israeli invasion after all. But the political situation is rather spiraling quickly away from the intentions of Israel and its vocal and silent partners in the world...

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I accuse you !
Tsilli Goldenberg, Israeli citizen, Axis of Logic
I, Tsilli Goldenberg, Israeli citizen, Accuse you - Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel, Amir Peretz, Minister of Defense, Dan Halutz Head of Staff Chief Commander of the Israeli Army, of committing this bestial barbaric slaughter in Lebanon. I accuse you of committing Crimes against Humanity towards the Palestinian People. I accuse you of deserting our soldiers, when their lives could be saved by negotiations, and I accuse you of starting an unju! stified war in my name...

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The spirit of resistance
Pepe Escobar
As southern Lebanon is turned into a wasteland mirroring the Gaza gulag, Washington neo-cons may stridently celebrate the contours of a final solution for the Hamas-Hezbollah "problem". Or should they? Israel's feverish military machine at least conveys the impression it knows exactly what it's doing - with its made-in-the-USA bombs destroying not just military but civilian targets. But this does not mean Israel is winning its war against Hezbollah...

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“You can tell them that I’m not leaving. We love Lebanon.”
....Biggest cynical statement of the day: Israel has told people to evacuate from the south because they are going to annihilate the south of Lebanon. However, the people can not leave because all the roads have been destroyed/blocked. And yesterday when people did try and leave, the Israelis opened fire on them! A massacre is happening! Update on the attacks, as of yesterday: Israelis have been bombing the south of Lebanon with phosphorus! and other chemical bombs. Israelis have bombed all ports along the coastline of Lebanon. Israelis have bombed all our local army radars and some outposts Israelis have bombed/attacked the fire fighting brigade and the Search and Rescue Brigade in the South. Innocent civilian lives were lost. It was a massacre - the buildings were also housing refugees...

Israelis have continued to bomb the suburb of Beirut,

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Beirut, 1982
Sabra and Shatila and the Brave Woman Who Awoke the Press to the Massacres

...The story she told me was her personal experience, and as such, I left it to her alone to share with others. Since the time I heard her story, I had hoped to read it in a magazine or a newspaper. Perhaps people in Europe got to read it; but I certainly did not read it here in the States. I have always felt that the story, as a first hand account of what happened around Sabra and Shatila while the! refugees were being slaughtered, should be widely shared. Today, I feel that the passage of time insulates my friend and gives me the freedom to share it with you...

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The IDF Will Become Even More Violent
Why Israel is Losing

The world is witnessing what could be a critical turning point in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Israel is now engaged in a war that could permanently undermine the efficacy of its much-vaunted military apparatus. Ironically, there are several reasons for believing that Israel's destruction of southern Lebanon and southern Beirut will weaken its bargaining position relative to its adversaries, and will strengthen its adversaries' h! ands...

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Jewish Zionists Keeping Up the Pretense of America's Global Empire
Bob Finch
Both America and the Jews-only state in Palestine (Jos) have a vested political interest in continuing to maintain the fiction that America is the empire and the Jos is its satellite. After all, a hyper-power like America doesn’t want the world to ridicule it, even if only in private, for being the servant of a tiny nation of belligerent paranoid racists surrounding themselves with walls, buffer zones, and security fences, in the Middle ! East. The Jos doesn’t want the world to know it is giving orders to the Bush administration because then it would have to take the blame for its racist deeds that it is currently deflecting onto America...

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Kidnapped in Israel or Captured in Lebanon?
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As Lebanon continues to be pounded by Israeli bombs and munitions, the justification for Israel's invasion is treading on very thin ice. It has become general knowledge that it was Hezbollah guerillas that first kidnapped two IDF soldiers inside Israel on July 12, prompting an immediate and violent response from the Israeli government, which insists it is acting in the interest of national defense. Israeli forces have gone on to kill over 370 innocent Leban! ese civilians (compared to 34 killed on Israel's side) while displacing hundreds of thousands more. But numerous reports from international and independent media, as well as the Associated Press, raise questions about Israel's official version of the events that sparked the conflict two weeks ago...

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The Lobby Or Not The Lobby?
Issa Khalaf,
...The two, apparently conflictive assertions, that Israel serves American imperial interests and that the Israel lobby "controls" US foreign policy are both partially correct, and therefore not mutually exclusive. There has been an increasing convergence of interest between a more militarized and aggressive US foreign policy navigated by neo-conservatives and supported by Christian fundamentalists and a lobby that has increasingly become more aggressiv! e, uncompromising, and demanding in its support of Israel. US and Israeli policies and strategies have also become blurred and integrated, partially because of the fact that many of the neo-conservatives in government and its ideologues outside it are Jewish Americans who are also exceptionally committed and loyal to Israel as much as they are to America...

Read the full article / Leggi l'articolo completo: a site gathering daily information concerning occupied Iraq: news, analysis, documents and texts of iraqi resistance available in Italian and English.


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Bloglines - Congress and the Israeli Attack on Lebanon: A Critical Reading


Congress and the Israeli Attack on Lebanon: A Critical Reading

Stephen Zunes | July 22, 2006

Editor: John Feffer, IRC

Foreign Policy In Focus

On July 20, the U.S. House of Representatives, by an overwhelming 410-8 margin, voted to unconditionally endorse Israel's ongoing attacks on Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The Senate passed a similar resolution defending the Israeli attack earlier in the week by a voice vote, but included a clause that “urges all sides to protect innocent civilian life and infrastructure.” By contrast, the House version omits this section and even praises Israel for “minimizing civilian loss,” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The resolution also praises President George W. Bush for “fully supporting Israel,” even though Bush has blocked diplomatic efforts for a cease-fire and has isolated the United States in the international community by supporting the Israeli attacks.

The resolution reveals a bipartisan consensus on the legitimacy of U.S. allies to run roughshod over international legal norms. The resolution even goes so far as to radically reinterpret the United Nations Charter by claiming that Israel's attacks on Lebanon's civilian infrastructure is an act of legitimate self-defense under Article 51 despite a broad consensus of international legal scholars to the contrary.

In short, both Democrats and Republicans are now on record that, in the name of “fighting terrorism,” U.S. allies—and, by extension, the United States as well—can essentially ignore international law and inflict unlimited damage on the civilian infrastructure of a small and largely defenseless country, even a pro-Western democracy like Lebanon.

Below are the key provisions of the resolution followed by a critical annotation:

Whereas in a completely unprovoked attack that occurred in undisputed Israeli territory on July 12, 2006, operatives of the terrorist group Hezbollah operating out of southern Lebanon killed three Israeli soldiers and took two others hostage;

Though clearly an illegal and provocative act, Hezbollah's action was not “completely unprovoked.” Israel holds scores of Lebanese citizens seized by Israeli forces from within Lebanon and Hezbollah had apparently hoped to work out some kind of swap, as both sides have successfully negotiated previously on several occasions. The seizure of the Israeli soldiers on the Lebanese border was also apparently done in retaliation for the ongoing Israeli assaults on civilian population centers in the Gaza Strip.

Whereas Israel fully complied with United Nations Security Council Resolution 425 (1978) by completely withdrawing its forces from Lebanon, as certified by the United Nations Security Council and affirmed by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on June 16, 2000, when he said, ‘Israel has withdrawn from [Lebanon] in full compliance with Security Council Resolution 425;'

Israel's current re-conquest of Lebanese territory along its northern border places Israel once again in violation of UN Security Council resolution 425 and nine subsequent resolutions demanding the withdrawal of their forces from Lebanon. Furthermore, Israel never fully complied with UNSC 425: While UN Secretary General Annan indeed recognized in his June 2000 statement that Israel had fully removed its ground forces from Lebanese territory, he has also criticized the repeated Israeli violations of Lebanese air space well prior to the recent outbreak of fighting as “provocative” and “at variance” with Israel's fulfillment of the resolution's demands for a withdrawal of ground troops from Lebanon.

Whereas despite the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559, the Government of Lebanon has failed to disband and disarm Hezbollah, allowing Hezbollah instead to amass 13,000 rockets … and has integrated Hezbollah into the Lebanese Government;

First of all, UN Security Council resolution 1559 does not call for Hezbollah or any other Lebanese political party to be disbanded, only for their armed militias to be disbanded.

Second, the only extent to which Hezbollah has been “integrated … into the Lebanese government” is in naming Hezbollah member Mohammed Fneish to the power and hydraulic resources ministry, one of 24 cabinet posts. Representatives of all Lebanese parties that receive more than a handful of seats in parliamentary elections traditionally get at least one seat in the cabinet.

Third, in a UN Security Council meeting this past January that considered a report on the implementation of resolution 1559, the United States and the other members approved a statement that “notes with concern the report's suggestion that there have been movements of arms … into Lebanese territory and, in this context, commends the Government of Lebanon for undertaking measures against such movements.” In other words, the Lebanese government has not “allowed” Hezbollah to amass new weaponry; the problem is that their small and weak security forces—now weakened further by Israeli attacks—have simply been unable to prevent it.

This clause in the Congressional resolution therefore appears to be designed to try to justify Israel's decision to attack not just the Hezbollah militia, but Lebanon as a whole.

Whereas Hezbollah's strength derives significantly from the direct financial, military, and political support it receives from Syria and Iran …

Both Syrian and Iranian support for Hezbollah has declined significantly over the past dozen years, particularly since the withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from southern Lebanon.

In reality, Hezbollah's strength derives primarily from popular support within the Shiite Muslim minority in Lebanon which has suffered from heightened poverty and displacement as a result of the U.S.-backed Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon between 1978 and 2000, the U.S.-backed Israeli bombardment of the Shiite-populated areas of the country from the 1970s through the 1990s, and the U.S.-backed neoliberal economic policies of the Lebanese government that have decimated the traditional economy. As a result of the violence and misguided economic policies, hundreds of thousands of Shiites were forced to leave their rural villages in the south to the vast shantytowns on the southern outskirts of Beirut where many found support through a broad network of Hezbollah-sponsored social services. As a result of gratitude for such assistance and anger at Israel and the United States for their situation, many became backers of Hezbollah's populist, albeit extremist, political organization. In the wake of the forced departure of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the destruction of the secular leftist Lebanese National Movement by successive interventions from Syria, Israel, and the United States during the 1980s, the radical Islamist Hezbollah rose to fill the vacuum. In other words, “Hezbollah's strength” was very much an outgrowth of U.S. and Israeli policy. Indeed, the group did not even exist until a full four years after Israel began its occupation of southern Lebanon.

Whereas Iranian Revolutionary Guards continue to operate in southern Lebanon, providing support to Hezbollah and reportedly controlling its operational activities;

The vast majority of Iranian Revolution Guards returned to Iran years ago. While they played a critical role in the initial setup of Hezbollah's armed militia in the early to mid-1980s following Israel's invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon, their presence today is quite small and they are certainly not “controlling Hezbollah's operational activities.” The number of active Hezbollah combatants declined significantly since the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000 (until the call-up of reserves following the initial Israeli attacks) and the movement had long since shifted its primary focus to electoral politics and providing social services for the Shiite community. Furthermore, despite claims by the Bush administration and its supporters that Hezbollah is simply acting as a proxy for Iran, it seems highly unlikely that a populist political party would instruct its militia to provoke a devastating war simply to please a foreign backer.

Whereas the House of Representatives has repeatedly called for full implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559;

The House of Representatives never called for the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 425 and nine subsequent resolutions calling for Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon during Israel's 22-year occupation of the southern part of that country. Nor has the House ever called for the full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 446, 451, 465, and 472 calling on Israel to withdraw its illegal settlements from the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights or dozens of other UN Security Council resolutions currently being violated by Israel, Morocco, Turkey, Pakistan, or other U.S. allies. As in the Bush administration, there appears to be a strong bipartisan sense in Congress that UN Security Council resolutions should only apply to governments and movements the United States does not like.

Whereas President George W. Bush stated on July 12, 2006, ‘Hezbollah's terrorist operations threaten Lebanon's security and are an affront to the sovereignty of the Lebanese Government. Hezbollah's actions are not in the interest of the Lebanese people, whose welfare should not be held hostage to the interests of the Syrian and Iranian regimes,' and has repeatedly affirmed that Syria and Iran must be held to account for their shared responsibility in the recent attacks;

As the pro-Western government of Lebanese Prime Minster Fuad Siniora has insisted and as recent events have confirmed, the major threat to Lebanon's security and the most serious affront to its sovereignty is clearly the U.S.-backed Israeli government, not Hezbollah. And Hezbollah's political and military activities, like that of other Lebanese political parties, are based primarily upon what the movement's leadership—however wrongly and cynically—believe is in the best interest of advancing their political agenda and not that of the Syrian and Iranian governments (whose interests in Lebanon are often at variance with each other as well.) It is also disappointing that such an overwhelming majority of Democrats would be willing to cite President Bush as an authority on the situation in Lebanon following a series of demonstrably false claims he has made about that country and the current conflict.

Resolved, That the House of Representatives … condemns Hamas and Hezbollah for engaging in unprovoked and reprehensible armed attacks against Israel on undisputed Israeli territory, for taking hostages, for killing Israeli soldiers, and for continuing to indiscriminately target Israeli civilian populations with their rockets and missiles;

Though such condemnation is appropriate, it is noteworthy that this resolution does not also condemn Israeli attacks against sovereign Lebanese territory and its targeting of civilian population centers, essentially backing the racist notion that Israeli territory and Israeli civilians are more important than that of Lebanese territory and civilians. It is also important to note that not a single Israeli civilian had been killed from Hezbollah attacks since well before Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon six years ago until Israel started killing Lebanese civilians when it launched its attacks on July 12.

… further condemns Hamas and Hezbollah for cynically exploiting civilian populations as shields, locating their equipment and bases of operation, including their rockets and other armaments, amidst civilian populations, including in homes and mosques;

This clause appears to be designed to blame the Lebanese, not the Israeli armed forces, for the deaths of innocent civilians. As Human Rights Watch has noted, “Deploying military forces within populated areas is a violation of international humanitarian law, but that does not release Israel from its obligations to take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians and civilian property during military operations.” While it is not unusual for outgunned guerrilla movements with popular local support to have equipment in close proximity to civilian population, none of the offices of members of Congress who supported the bill which I have contacted has been able to cite any independently documented cases in the current conflict where Hezbollah has engaged in “exploiting civilian populations as shields.” (Two offices cited Israeli government claims to this effect, but the Israeli government has previously made similar claims that were later proved false.)

… recognizes Israel's longstanding commitment to minimizing civilian loss and welcomes Israel's continued efforts to prevent civilian casualties;

This runs directly counter to reports by international journalists, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the United Nations that indicate that Israel has not been committed to “minimizing civilian loss” or preventing civilian casualties. As of this writing, well over 300 Lebanese civilians have been killed, the vast majority being nowhere near Hezbollah military installations. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, a former Canadian Supreme Court Justice, declared that Israel's “indiscriminate shelling of cities constitutes a foreseeable and unacceptable targeting of civilians. Similarly, the bombardment of sites with innocent civilians is unjustifiable.” (She also correctly criticized Hezbollah's attacks into civilian areas in Israel.)

None of the Congressional offices I contacted was able to provide me with any data countering these reports. In supporting this resolution, 410 House members have gone on record challenging the credibility of these reputable human rights organizations and UN agencies, which have courageously defended the rights of victims or war and repression for decades. Supporters of this resolution have apparently demonstrated their willingness to misrepresent the truth in order to strengthen President Bush's efforts to undermine international humanitarian law.

… demands the Governments of Iran and Syria to direct Hamas and Hezbollah to immediately and unconditionally release Israeli soldiers which they hold captive;

Regardless of whether Iran and Syria are willing to work for the release of Israeli soldiers, neither government has the power to “direct” Hamas and Hezbollah to do anything. The decision by Congress to overstate the leverage that Iran and Syria have over these movements—like similar exaggerations of Soviet and Cuban leverage over leftist revolutionaries in Central America during the 1980s—appears to be based less on reality and more on helping to promote the right-wing global agenda of a Republican administration.

… affirms that all governments that have provided continued support to Hamas or Hezbollah share responsibility for the hostage-taking and attacks against Israel and, as such, should be held accountable for their actions [and] condemns the Governments of Iran and Syria for their continued support for Hezbollah and Hamas in their armed attacks against Israelis and their other terrorist activities;

This appears to provide the legal justification for future military action against Syria and Iran.

Ironically, however, the biggest supporters of Hamas have not been Syria or Iran but Saudi Arabia and other U.S.-backed monarchies in the Persian Gulf. Furthermore, the ruling parties of the U.S.-backed Iraqi government and their militias have long maintained close ties to Hezbollah. By only mentioning Syria and Iran, however, Congress is clearly not concerned about “all governments” that support these groups but only governments that the United States does not consider allies.

Furthermore, given that Israeli attacks have taken far more civilian lives than the Hezbollah and Hamas attacks, why should not the Bush administration also be condemned for its support of Israel's armed attacks against Lebanese and Palestinians?

… supports Israel's right to take appropriate action to defend itself, including to conduct operations both in Israel and in the territory of nations which pose a threat to it, which is in accordance with international law, including Article 51 of the United Nations Charter;

Article 33 requires all parties to “ first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice,” which Israel has refused to do. Article 51 does allow countries the right to resist an armed attack but not to use a minor border incident as an excuse to launch a full-scale war against an entire country, particularly when the armed group that violated the border was a private militia and not the army of the country in question.

Article 51 also states that self-defense against such attacks is justified only “ until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security,” which may explain why the Bush administration—with the near-unanimous support of Congress—has blocked the UN Security Council from imposing a cease fire or taking any other action. Such a radical reinterpretation of Article 51 allows the Bush administration and future U.S. administrations to justify massive military strikes against foreign countries in reaction to relatively minor incidents provoked by irregular forces within that country.

The International Red Cross, long recognized as the guardian of the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of war, has declared that Israel has been violating the principle of proportionality in the conventions as well as the prohibition against collective punishment. Similarly, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour—who served as chief prosecutor in the international war crimes tribunals on Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia—has gone on record declaring that the armed forces of both Hezbollah and the Israeli government have been engaging in war crimes. None of the Congressional offices I contacted was willing to provide documentation that challenged these assessments.

… commends the President of the United States for fully supporting Israel as it responds to these armed attacks by terrorist organizations and their state sponsors;

President Bush is virtually alone among the United States' Western allies and the international community as a whole in his unconditional support for Israel's assault on Lebanon. Since President Bush's most significant role since the outbreak of the fighting has been to block diplomatic efforts by the United Nations, the European community, and others to arrange a cease-fire, this resolution is essentially an endorsement of indefinite war. It is disappointing that all but seven of the House's 201 Democrats would once again give their unconditional support for President Bush regarding a Middle East policy based primarily on the use of force. In backing President Bush in this resolution, Congress has gone on record challenging the broad international consensus that, however reprehensible the actions of Hezbollah and Hamas may be, Israel's actions are excessive and in violation of international legal norms.

… urges the President of the United States to bring the full force of political, diplomatic, and economic sanctions available to the Government of the United States against the Governments of Syria and Iran;

Given that the Bush administration and Congress already have implemented strict political, diplomatic, and economic sanctions against Syria and Iran, it is unclear what more could be done. Indeed, with such strict sanctions already in place, it is difficult for President Bush to exercise any additional leverage short of military action.

… demands the Government of Lebanon to do everything in its power to find and free the kidnapped Israeli soldiers being held in the territory of Lebanon;

Israel has been bombing Lebanese army and other government facilities and has destroyed virtually every bridge connecting the central part of the country (where most of the central government's police and military apparatus is based) to Hezbollah strongholds in the south (where the Israeli soldiers are presumably being held). It is hard to understand, therefore, how the Lebanese government could do much at this point to find and free the Israeli soldiers. It is also noteworthy that the resolution says nothing about Lebanese citizens kidnapped by Israeli forces who are currently being held in Israel.

… calls on the United Nations Security Council to condemn these unprovoked acts and to take action to ensure full and immediate implementation of United Nations Security Council 1559 (2004), which requires Hezbollah to be dismantled and the departure of all Syrian personnel and Iranian Revolutionary Guards from Lebanon;

First of all, it is the United States that has prevented the UN Security Council from passing a resolution condemning the capture of the Israeli soldiers and the rocket attacks on Israel because of the threat to veto any resolution which is also critical of the Israeli attacks.

Second, UNSC resolution 1559 requires the “dismantling and disarming of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias,” which would certainly include Hezbollah's militia, but not Hezbollah's far more extensive political apparatus and social service networks. With the Lebanese government unable to force the dismantling and disarming of Hezbollah as long as its armed forces and its transportation infrastructure are under U.S.-backed Israeli attacks, it is hard to understand how the Security Council could “take action to ensure full and immediate implementation” of the resolution other than to authorize the use of force by other countries under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. But such use of force cannot legally be implemented in an internal security issue without the consent of the recognized government.

Third, the report to the UN Security Council on the implementation of UNSC 1559 in January of this year noted that Syria had complied with provisions for the withdrawal of its forces from Lebanon and did not note the ongoing presence of Iranian Revolutionary Guard. (There are reports of a small number of Iranian advisers still in the country, though it is unclear whether foreign military advisers constitute “foreign forces” under the resolution, particularly since a number of Western nations, including the United States, have sent military advisers to Lebanon since the Syrian withdrawal last year.)

In any case, after its forces entered Lebanon last week, Israel clearly violated UNSC resolution 1559. The resolution calls for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon. Congress, however apparently believes Israel is somehow exempt from this resolution.

Stephen Zunes is a professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco and Middle East editor for Foreign Policy in Focus. He is the author of Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism (Common Courage Press, 2003).

Progressive Response

Recommended citation:
Stephen Zunes, "Congress and the Israeli Attack on Lebanon: A Critical Reading" (Silver City, NM and Washington, DC: Foreign Policy In Focus, July 22, 2006).

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