Jul 26, 2006

Condi Strikes Out; War Rages On

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Left: US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, courtesy of AP

(Rome) US, European and Arab representatives held crisis talks today on Lebanon, but failed to come to agreement on an immediate plan to bring an end to the fighting between Israeli and Hezbollah forces.

While most of the 15 countries represented pressed for an immediate, unconditional end to the fighting, the United States - backed by Britain - refused to accept a cease-fire that does not include conditions on de-arming Hezbollah.

"We all committed to dedicated and urgent action to try to bring about an end to violence that would be sustainable" and leave the Lebanese government in full control of its territory, Rice told reporters, and added that a UN peacekeeping force is needed with "a strong and robust capability to help bring about peace, to help provide the ability for humanitarian efforts to go forward and to bring an end to the violence."

However, no significant progress was achieved toward getting the warring parties to agree to a cease-fire.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow tried to put the collapse of peace talks in a positive light.

"If the talks broke down, they wouldn't have come out with a joint statement that showed that they are knitted up on the key items," he said.

The military actions of the Israelis in Palestinian and Lebanese territories have come under increasingly harsh attack by many world leaders, and the destruction of a UN observation post by Israeli forces yesterday brought international condemnation.

Even more disturbing is the revelation that Egyptian Unifil soldiers were fired on by Israeli troops as they tried to retrieve the four dead bodies of the UN workers.

Israeli officials have publicly denied that the UN post was deliberately targeted, and offered condolences to the families of the dead UN workers.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rice will continue to run interference for the Israelis for a couple more weeks.

Hooda Thunkit said...

F-u-t-i-l-i-t-y...

Any way you spell it, it still means the same thing.

We should let them fulfill their destiny.

historymike said...

Sorry, anonymous, I don't buy into the implied conspiracy theory that the neo-khans are using this conflict as a stepping stone to conquering the Middle East.

I do think, though, that Bush will be happy to sit idly by and allow the Lebanese conflict to take media attention away from Iraq, thus defusing one of the main criticisms the GOP faces in November.

Alternately, it gives Bush a little more ammunition to support his tired "War on Terror" rhetoric.

The Israelis, though, are not playing nice, and it looks like world opinion (and even the Israelphiles in the US media shaping American opinions) is turning heavily against the Israelis.

It's now Israel, the US, and Britain against...the world, and even Britain is wavering in the face of the colossal Israeli blunders and their wanton disregard for civilian casualties.

Kathleen Marie said...

I don't think Condi struck out. She did her job and will continue to try. Let them fulfill their destiny? It will indeed be fulfilled but who knows how forsure. I am very pro Israeli, I am not saying they don't make mistakes. I am happy they apologized for their mistake and I do believe it was a mistake.

You may have a strong point on Bush, ("sitting idly by")but I hope you are wrong.

I like your site by the way.

Kathleen Marie said...

I don't think Condi struck out. She did her job and will continue to try. Let them fulfill their destiny? It will indeed be fulfilled but who knows how forsure. I am very pro Israeli, I am not saying they don't make mistakes. I am happy they apologized for their mistake and I do believe it was a mistake.

You may have a strong point on Bush, ("sitting idly by")but I hope you are wrong.

I like your site by the way.

Stephanie said...

Mike,

I couldn't tell from the article: Does Condi's "We all committed..." quote include Israel? I have my doubts about that. They seem rather bent on another occupation.

Stefan Schmidt said...

She was sent there to waste time.

BTW Mike, did you catch Sean Hannity accusing Annan of being “irresponsible” for accusing Israel of deliberatively attacking those UN peacekeepers but did not accuse Israel of irresponsibility for killing 4 innocent people (unbelievable *shaking my head*).

historymike said...

Steph:

No, Israel was not "included" in the discussions, nor were Palestine, Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, or Hamas.

This was supposed to be a "world" consensus on a cease-fire plan, but it fell apart.

historymike said...

Stefan:

No, I missed Hannity's stupidity. I agree with him on so few issues (and tire of Colmes' lame 'rebuttals') that I rarely sit through H&C.

Typical Hannity, though: "Rah!Rah! Israel! Boo! Boo! Palestinbians!"

Stephanie said...

A cease-fire plan that doesn't include the participation of any of those firing? Interesting. And it was expected to work how?

Dariush said...

HM: "Sorry, anonymous, I don't buy into the implied conspiracy theory that the neo-khans are using this conflict as a stepping stone to conquering the Middle East."

Call it what you will, Mike. But it seems pretty clear that the governments of Israel and the U.S. are following the blueprint laid out a decade ago in the document "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm".

A blueprint which in turn is based on an even earlier document composed by Oded Yinon.


Stefan: "BTW Mike, did you catch Sean Hannity accusing Annan of being 'irresponsible' for accusing Israel of deliberatively attacking those UN peacekeepers but did not accuse Israel of irresponsibility for killing 4 innocent people (unbelievable *shaking my head*)."

Yeah, I saw that. Larry King tried to pull the same crap, only to get a smackdown from Christiane Amanpour.

Incidentally the whole narrative of why Israel was "compelled" to destroy Lebanon for the sake of its "rescuing two captured soldiers" and "protecting its citizenry from rocket attacks" has fallen apart.

For one thing it has now been established that:

... 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...


For another the Israeli soldiers were "taken hostage" in Lebanese territory as reported by Forbes, the AP, ABC News, the Boston Herald, the Hindustan Times, the Bahrain News Agency, Agence France-Presse, the Asia Times, and many others.

More from Ha'aretz on the circumstances of the "hostage taking".

Meanwhile, the "Old Testament" tribal G-d of blood, vengeance and death remains unsatiated.

liberal_dem said...

Strikes out? What, again? Hmmm. If she were a ball player, she'd be on her way to a Class A minor team.