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July 13, 2006

'Updates from Lebanon'

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives
10:00 AM ET Update: Fox News is reporting that Israel has struck two Lebanese military air bases along the Syrian border.

Kofi plans to send a three man team to the ME to try to diffuse the situation. Israel is saying they intend to "change the rules" of how Lebanon has been handling the security of southern Lebanon - only Lebanese army will be allowed, no terrorists. Further, if Hizbollah makes Israeli life "miserable" - life in Lebanon will become a living hell!!!

My guess is that Israel intends to establish a 20 mile or so "no-go" zone, as mentioned by a commenter at another blog and referred below. (more to come).

Raja at The Lebanese Bloggers still has electricity and an internet connection, and will be posting entries until unable to.

His last message is telling of what's going on: "Something tells me that everything the Israelis are doing right now is preparation for something much bigger. Going somewhere safer. Will try to update as much as I can."

From a commenter: "... a lot of rumors flying around, obviously, but the one i'm hearing most often (and from the more reliable sources) is that israel is planning to temporarily reoccupy a 20km strip along the southern border, after which they will stop the raids. apparently the IDF has already begun isolating southern villages in preparation."

Lebanese Government Says "Not Me Not Me"

Via Fox News - Israel is now telling Hizbollah that there is no place in Lebanon for them to hide. Hizbollah is telling Israel that if they attack Beirut, rockets will rain down on Israel. (Look for Israel not to back down and events to continue to escalate. Iran and Syria are most definately involved, the entire Middle East is about to fall into all out war, and don't be surprised if the U.S. gets drawn into this if Iran and Syria become more openly involved.)

Captains Quarters offers that Israel is attacking the wrong target, that it should be Syria, not Lebanon - and I agree:

A free and democratic Lebanon could be an ally to Israel, or at least not an enemy. They could eventually have a relationship similar to that of Jordan; not exactly friends, but not at all enemies. Why toss that away in a misdirected rage?

The author of Israeli misery in the North and in Gaza is not Lebanon, but Syria. Lebanon hasn't the resources to expel Hezbollah from its south, in large part because of the resources that Syria and Iran provide to the terrorists. The Lebanese government may not have done enough to disarm the Islamist terrorists, but it's Syria and Iran who armed them in the first place. Hezbollah takes their orders from Damascus and Teheran, not Beirut.

Hezbollah Surprised By Their Own Attack
: Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah revealed that he did not know of this morning's attack prior to its occurrence. According to a mid-level Hezbollah party member, the Hezbollah leadership was not expecting the attack to come right now, not expecting such a harsh Israeli response, and is currently scrambling to come to a plan.

AN Israeli helicopter has fired a rocket into the building housing Hezbollah's television station in the group's stronghold in southern Beirut

Lebanese Blogger Forum - Peace Now!

While shells are falling a few miles away from my home, I cannot but remember this afternoon, while I was driving back home from Beirut Hezbollah sympathizer where offering passerby cookies and candies!

While my ear rings from the sound of explosions I cannot but see the firecrackers Hezbollah sympathizer where launching this afternoon rejoicing in their "great victory"

And tomorrow when I will see the destroyed bridge linking my home town of Saida to Beirut, I will only say from the bottom of my heart: Enough! Enough wars, death and destruction! Curse you Hezbollah to hell and back! For all this destruction, for all this death! No it is not Israel fault! It is your own! Curse you!

We cannot continue on this path! People build and teach and try to live peacfully, while others think only of death, destruction and war... the time has come to stand and say one word: PEACE

I want peace with Israel! NOW! I do not care for your ideologies, or your lines drawn on maps! For your religions! For anything! PEACE NOW!

Realm of R offers another perspective from Lebanon:
The country has a fragile unity that is being held in place by a few strands, so it's only natural that Hizbullah (and Syria/Iran by proxy) are doing their best to destroy this. One could hope that this last act of unjustified violence will shatter the perception that God's party does anything for the greater good of Lebanon, and that your average Joe (and more importantly, your average Ali) realizes that Hizbullah are terrorists who put themselves on a pedestal due to the religious nature of their leadership (and heaven forbid you criticize a religious figure) while carrying themselves no better than Al-qaida, the Taliban or any other blood-thirsty group.

Let's hope the Israeli punishment is swift, and let's hope that it results in an upheaval. Send the army to the south. Dismantle Hizbullah. Deal with the Palestinians. Arrest terrorists. Negotiate a peace treaty with Israel and let's broaden this coexistence experiment to include Jews.

Or would it be simpler to just prepare for war?

More coming...

Posted by Richard at July 13, 2006 8:30 AM

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