August 16, 2006

Middle-East crisis

A detailed wiki account of the current Lebanon-Israel conflict is already up at Wiki!! Also get a historical timeline & maps of Arab/Palestine-Israel conflicts here

I am continuously updating this thread instead of posting multiple posts on the same topic. However, there is no way I am going to be able to keep pace with daily updates of the carnage, death, and destruction.

July 13, 2006: Middle-East seems set for a disastrous breakdown.... I just dont understand the logic of precipitating such a situation... 2 soldiers were kidnapped by the Hezbollah and Israel starts bombing the hell out of Lebanan.. killing many civilians, losing some of their own soldiers in the retaliation by the Hezbollah... there is no sense of magnitude of the response!! And ofcourse, Shrubya has to defend Israeli response*!! When Palestine does this (fight back), they get deemed as terrorists...but it is somehow the Israeli response is somehow ok?

Israel blasts Lebanon airport, air bases

Bush defends Israel's attacks in Lebanon

July 18, 2006:
Holy s***.. this is how he thinks - Ask Syria to pressurize Hezbollah to stop this s***. As simple as that! Read more about Bush's thoughts on the crisis.. Middle East: Reaping what Bush sowed
- Washington's ideological hubris and practical incompetence have succeeded in setting the region ablaze.

At crossroads
, Hezbollah goes on the attack

Hezbollah's unexpected firepower

July 19, 2006:

A week later...who stands where

more than a week of endless air-pounding of Lebanon, the Israeli army is also now involved on the ground as Israel adds ground troops to their assault....

The analysis below reflects exactly my stance ever since this began! The mercilessness (Disclaimer: graphic images) with which Israel has gone after Lebanon is unbelievable... all in the name of retaliation for 2 of its soldiers being kidnapped!! Like the Lebanese PM said today, Israel is 'opening the gates of hell and madness' in his country! Forget about getting the kidnapped soldiers back alive now...after causing such mayhem and causing endless suffering and grief for civilians on both sides. Lebanon is getting a taste of what Palestinians endure routinely...

News Analysis: A question of proportion
asymmetry in the death tolls is marked and growing: about 230 Lebanese dead, to 25 Israeli dead, since July 12. Most of the Lebanese were civilians, but half of the Israelis. In Gaza, since June 28, about 103 Palestinians have died in the fighting, 70 percent of them militants. One Israeli soldier died, from friendly fire. The cold figures, combined with Israeli air attacks on civilian infrastructure like power plants, electricity transformers, airports, bridges, highways and government buildings, have led to accusations by France and the presidency of the European Union, echoed by some nongovernmental organizations like Human Rights Watch, that Israel may be guilty of 'disproportionate use of force' in Gaza and Lebanon and of 'collective punishment' of the civilian population.

Op-ed by Juan Cole at The Salon- Israel's maximal option Part of Israel's war strategy may be to push the Shiites out of Lebanon's south. That would be a humanitarian disaster -- and it won't work.

July 26th, 2006:

Israel pounds South Lebanon
Israel launched a heavy air and artillery bombardment of south Lebanon on Thursday after nine Israeli soldiers were killed in the Jewish state's worst 24 hours for casualties in a 16-day-old conflict against Hizbollah. Israeli warplanes destroyed communication masts north of Beirut and attacked three trucks carrying medical and food supplies to the east, security sources said. They said two truck drivers were killed.

Right from when this latest crisis started, the only explanation I have for the disproportionate
, merciless, and intemperate use of force by Israel in response to two freaking soldiers being kidnapped (since the WAR began, they have lost many more soldiers than two in addition to civilian loss and suffering!) is that this was in some ways pre-planned. Call it a consipracy theory if you will... but thanks to the continued mess that is Iraq, the US cannot attack Syria or Iran directly but by provoking Lebanon (and maybe Syria soon), they hope to escalate action against these countries soon - all part of the neo-con agenda. And reading something just now in the above wiki article above merely confirms my suspicions even more...

According to Reuters and the New York Times, the Bush administration authorized the expedited processing and shipment of precision-guided bombs to Israel
(already allotted for sale in 2005) to support the Israeli campaign, but did not announce the increased haste publicly.) As the campaign in Lebanon began, on 14 July, the US Congress was notified of a potential sale of $210 million worth of jet fuel to Israel. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency noted that the sale of the JP-8 fuel, should it be completed, will "enable Israel to maintain the operational capability of its aircraft inventory." and "The jet fuel will be consumed while the aircraft is in use to keep peace and security in the region." It was reported on 24 July that the United States was in the process of providing Israel with "bunker buster" bombs, which would allegedly be used to target the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrilla group and destroy its trenches. [ref]

US 'knew of Israel bombing plan', writes Seymour Hersh. "Israel had devised a plan for attacking Hezbollah, and shared it with Bush administration officials, well before" 12 July, Seymour Hersh, the famed Vietnam's My Lai massacre, writes in the New Yorker. He does not claim that the US put Israel up to attacking Hezbollah.

July 27th, 2006:

Little too late after most of the damage has been done (ofcourse, it could be worse - the suffering and
death that war can bring has no upper limit!)..

Israel decides not to expand offensive
Israel's government decided Thursday against expanding its offensive against Hezbollah but called up at least 30,000 troops to begin training for duty in Lebanon.

And it probably will get worse, going by this..
Al-Zawahri warns that al-Qa'ida will not stand idly by
Al-Qaida calls for holy war against Israel
Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader issued a worldwide call Thursday for Muslims to rise up in a holy war against Israel and join the fighting in Lebanon and Gaza until Islam reigns from "Spain to Iraq."

oh well.. with this
cycle of revenge and an eye for an eye policy on both sides, the whole Middle-east can soon go blind or rather dead! 16 days and 400+ Lebanese civilian deathsmessier and worse than the sordid-mess-that-has-been-and-continues-to-be-Iraq!!

Speaking of Iraq,
Car bomb and mortars kill 27 in Baghdad
Saddam: 'If I'm to be executed, please make it by firing squad'
and someone finally asks..
Why Is the US in Iraq?

July 30th, 2006

:( What a start to Sunday morning...

Israeli air attack kills dozens of civilians in Lebanon

Photographs: Deadly attacks continue.

This is GRIEF!.. innocent victims of war!!!

July 31st, 2006

A collective failure in the Middle East
The lack of global leadership in the face of the violence in Israel and Lebanon affecting hundreds of thousands of civilians is appalling.

Paul Krugman: Israel's bombs make its enemies stronger (subscription needed)

August 3rd, 2006:

News Analysis: How 'winning' might be defined

Audio & photos Interactive graphic via IHT

August 8th, 2006:
Even as vacuous talk about resolutions and accord goes on, the senseless carnage goes on..

Israeli bombs killed 14 civilians in Lebanon and cut a vital aid lifeline to the south today as the UN Security Council failed to agree on a resolution to end Israel's 27-day-old war with Hezbollah guerrillas.

Noam Chomsky on Israel, Lebanon and Palestine

War Creates Humanitarian Crisis in Lebanon

The Israeli Propaganda War by Diana Mukkaled,
who is a prominent and well respected TV journalist in the Arab world, thanks to her phenomenal show "Bil Ayn Al Mojarada" (By The Naked Eye), a series of documentaries around controversial areas and topics which airs on Lebanon's leading local and sattelite channel "Future Television". Diana also is a veteran war corrependent, covering both The War in Iraq and in Afghanistan, as well as the Isreali "Grapes of Wrath" massacre in southern Lebanon. Daring to do superb investigative work in Afghanistan, Iran, Yemen and Iraq (prior to the collapse of the Saddam's regime) and dedicating entire episodes of "Bil Ayn Al Mojarada" to issues such as "Honour Crimes" in Jordan, Diana has gained world wide recognition and was named one of the most influential women in a special feature that ran in Time Magazine in 2004. Diana writes a weekly coloumn for Asharq Al Awsat Media's Supplement, where she discusses current affairs in Arab and world media.

A welcome halt to the madness..howsoever temporary or fleeting this is going to be..


News Analysis
First the truce, then the test

The fate of the cease-fire may lie in whether the Lebanese regard the conflict as a victory or blame Hezbollah for the destruction. Thousands of Lebanese returned home after the cease-fire began.

Ceasefire, but conflict unresolved
Fragile truce holding in Lebanon Israel's truce with Hezbollah remains intact despite sporadic violence overnight in south Lebanon.

Lebanese return to a broken land

Graphics: The attacks The toll
Returning to Ruins -
The aftermath - Photographs
An uneasy truce -
Ask Lebanese villagers about their lives as they return home

Oped: Start talking to Hezbollah
If the United States and other key countries could see the conflict in Lebanon through a different lens, there could be a real chance for peace.

A Shaken Landscape With a cease-fire in place between Israel and Hezbollah, it's in neither party's interest to resume the fight. The reasons why amount to a dangerous new reality for Israel

Photographing War - NPR
New York Times
photographer Tyler Hicks has spent the past 2 1/2 weeks in Tyre, Lebanon. Although covering a war story comes with a grave risk, Hicks has been able to get up close to the action, capturing images that are hauntingly intimate. Hicks has covered conflicts across the globe: He explains what's different about this assignment.

Also read about his experiences photographing the wars in
Afghanistan and in Iraq, which he has published a book about - Histories Are Mirrors: The Path of Conflict through Iraq and Afghanistan.

DISCLAIMER: Some reports
& blogposts about a taxonomy of fraud' in the photocoverage from Beirut have arisen.

Unexploded cluster bomb litter homes, gardens and highways in south Lebanon, the U.N. said Friday, as the State Department reportedly investigated whether Israel's use of the American-made weapons violated secret agreements with the United States.

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