Sam Smith: Undernews Extracts – Lebanon War
Undernews Extracts – Lebanon War
Compiled By Prorev.com Editor Sam Smith
** PAGE ONE MUST **
U.S. OFFICIALS SHOWN POWER POINT OF PLANNED ISRAELI ATTACK OVER A YEAR AGO
JUAN COLE, INDYBAY - Matthew Kalman reveals that Israel's wide ranging assault on Lebanon has been planned in a general way for years, and a specific plan has been in the works for over a year. The "Three Week War" was shown to Washington think tanks and officials last year on power point by a senior Israeli army officer: "More than a year ago, a senior Israeli army officer began giving Power Point 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." The Israelis tend to launch their wars of choice in the summer, in part because they know that European and American universities will be the primary nodes of popular opposition, and the universities are out in the summer. This war has nothing to do with captured Israeli soldiers. It is a long-planned war to increase Israel's ascendancy over Hizbullah and its patrons. . .
Israel is a regional superpower, the only nuclear power in the Middle East proper, and possessing the most technologically advanced military capability and the most professional military. Since Egypt opted out of the military struggle for economic reasons and since the US invasion broke Iraq's legs, there is no conventional military threat to Israel. Israel seeks complete military superiority, for several reasons. One impetus is defensive, on the theory that it has to win every contest and can never afford to lose even one, given its lack of strategic depth (it is a geographically small country with a small population, caught between the Mediterranean and potentially hostile neighboring populations). But the defensive reasons are only one dimension.
There are also offensive considerations. The right in Israel is determined to permanently subjugate the Palestinians and forestall the emergence of a Palestinian state. This course of action requires the constant exercise of main force against the Palestinians, who resist it, as well as threats against Arab or Muslim neighbors who might be tempted to help the Palestinians. Thus, Iraq and Iran both had to be punished and weakened. Likewise, the Israeli right has never given up an expansionist ideology. For instance, the Israelis have a big interest in the Litani River in south Lebanon. If and when the Israeli military and political elite felt they needed to add territory by taking it from neighbors, they wished to retain that capability. . .
MATTHEW KALMAN, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE - 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, but only in order to knock out targets discovered during reconnaissance missions as the campaign unfolded. There was no plan, according to this scenario, to reoccupy southern Lebanon on a long-term basis.
UN OFFICIAL APPALLED BY BEIRUT DEVASTATION
BBC - The UN's Jan Egeland has condemned the devastation caused by Israeli air strikes in Beirut, saying it is a violation of humanitarian law. Mr Egeland, the UN's emergency relief chief, described the destruction as "horrific" as he toured the city. He arrived hours after another Israeli strike on Beirut. Israel also hit Sidon, a port city in the south crammed with refugees, for the first time. In Haifa, two people were killed amid a volley of rockets on the Israeli city. . . The BBC News website's Raffi Berg visited the scene of one of the rocket attacks in northern Haifa. He says the rocket exploded next to a carriageway, raking passing cars with shrapnel and ball bearings. A man in a nearby vehicle was killed outright, his car left looking as if it had been sprayed with machine gun fire. . .
A visibly moved Mr Egeland expressed shock that "block after block" of buildings had been levelled. . . Mr Egeland appealed for both sides to put a halt to attacks.
ANTI-ARAB PREJUDICE IN FULL PLAY AS LEBANON CRISIS GROWS
NOAM N. LEVEY, LA TIMES - When President Bush and Democratic challenger Sen. John F. Kerry were looking for precious votes in 2004 battleground states, they courted a community long accustomed to being overlooked: Arab Americans. But just two years later, the small but growing voter bloc appears to have slipped back into political obscurity as a new wave of violence in the Middle East galvanizes American officials' support for Israel.
Despite recent calls from Arab American leaders for greater U.S. efforts to secure a cease-fire, the president and Congress have made it clear that they do not intend to try to stop Israel from taking on its Hezbollah and Hamas foes.
And last week, the Senate and House overwhelmingly backed resolutions affirming support for Israel's right to defend itself. Only 12 members of the House — several from districts in Michigan and northern Ohio with concentrations of Arab Americans — voted against the strongly worded motions.
"This is so devastating," said James Zogby, the longtime head of the Washington-based Arab American Institute, who has said the violence harms Israeli and Arab interests alike. "I thought we'd come further than this."
BUSH RUSHING BOMBS TO ISRAEL FOR ILLEGAL WAR
NY TIMES - The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, American officials said Friday. . . The decision to quickly ship the weapons to Israel was made with relatively little debate within the Bush administration, the officials said. Its disclosure threatens to anger Arab governments and others because of the appearance that the United States is actively aiding the Israeli bombing campaign in a way that could be compared to Iran's efforts to arm and re-supply Hezbollah.
** THE MEDIACRACY **
HOW ASSOCIATED PRESS TILTS THE NEWS
PETER PHILLIPS, PROJECT CENSORED - Alison Weir, Joy Ellison, and Peter Weir of the organization If Americans Knew recently conducted research on the AP's reporting of the Israel-Palestine conflict. The study was a statistical analysis of the AP newswire in the year 2004, looking comparatively at the numbers of Israeli and Palestinian deaths reported. In 2004 there were 141 reports of Israeli deaths in AP headlines and lead paragraphs, while in reality there were only 108 Israeli deaths. During this same period, 543 Palestinian deaths were reported by AP, while 821 Palestinians had actually been killed. The ratio of actual number of Israeli conflict deaths to Palestinian deaths in 2004 was 1:7, yet AP reported deaths of Israelis to Palestinians at a 2:1 ratio.
The same could be said of AP's reporting of children's deaths. Nine reports of Israeli children's deaths were reported by the AP in headlines and leading paragraphs in 2004, while eight actually occurred. Only 27 Palestinian children deaths were reported by AP when actually 179 children died. While there were 22 times more Palestinian children's deaths than Israeli children's deaths, the AP reported 113 percent of Israeli children's deaths and 15 percent of Palestinian children's deaths.
On February 29, 2004 AP widely reported that President Aristide was ousted by Haitian rebels and that the United States provided an escort to take him out of the country to a safe asylum. Within 24 hours an entirely different story emerged through independent radio. Instead of the US being the supportive facilitator of Aristide's safety, Pacifica Radio News reported that Aristide was actually kidnapped by US forces. AP quickly changed their story. On March 1, 2004 an AP report by Deb Riechman said, "White House officials said Aristide left willingly and that the United States aided his safe departure. But in a telephone interview with the Associated Press, Aristide said: "No. I was forced to leave."
The last AP report of Aristide's claiming that he had been kidnapped by the US in a State Department coup was on June 27, 2004. Since then there have been 60 news articles by AP including Aristide's name. Of these stories none mentioned Aristide's claim that he was kidnapped by the United States military. None mention the US backing of the coup. AP's bias in favor of the State Department's version of the Aristide's removal seems to be a deliberate case of AP-sanctioned forgetting.
FROM THE PROGRESSIVE REVIEW
EDITED BY SAM SMITH
Since 1964, Washington's most unofficial source
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