Sam Smith: Undernews Extract – The Lebanon War
Undernews Extract – The Lebanon War
News Links Compiled By Prorev.com Editor Sam Smith
ANNAN: ISRAELIS "APPARENTLY DELIBERATE" IN KILLING OF UN OBSERVERS
BBC - Four United Nations observers have been killed in an Israeli air strike on an observation post in south Lebanon. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he was "shocked" at the "apparently deliberate targeting" of the post. Israel has expressed "deep regret". . .
The UN in Lebanon says the Israeli air force destroyed the post, in which four military observers were sheltering. It said the four, from Austria, Canada, China and Finland, had taken shelter in a bunker under the post after it was earlier shelled 14 times by Israeli artillery. A rescue team was also shelled as it tried to clear the rubble.
"I am shocked and deeply distressed by the apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defence Forces of a UN Observer post in southern Lebanon," Mr Annan said in a statement from Rome. http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/5215366.stm
BUSH REGIME: THAT'S NOT AN INVASION, THAT'S AN OPPORTUNITY
[A golden stenographer's notebook to Wright for this stunningly obsequious account of White House spin]
ROBIN WRIGHT, WAHSINGTON POST - In trying to negotiate an end to the latest Middle East conflict, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appears to see the solution through a broader prism that redefines its stakes. The real issues, U.S. officials say, are not simply the hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah but far wider questions of Lebanon's sovereignty and what the administration sees as an existential battle between forces aligned for and against democracy in the region. And in that sense, say diplomats traveling with Rice, the administration sees opportunity in the turmoil.
"If this Lebanon emerges stronger from this crisis, then the enemies of peace and stability in the area will be dealt a big defeat. In many ways, for the region, Lebanon is a polyglot country that represents the hopes of many," C. David Welch, assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs, told reporters traveling with Rice from Jerusalem to Rome.
"The new Middle East is not going to be built every single day with a big victory in one place or another," he added. "It's got to be done with a steady effort. This is an opportunity now in the midst of this crisis to see freedom strengthened in Lebanon. And I expect that that can occur if we get the responsible voices prevailing over the irresponsible ones."
ONE IN FIVE LEBANESE A REFUGEE OF ISRAELI INVASION
GUARDIAN, UK - According to the FT, a fifth of the Lebanese are now refugees. Around 40,000 have headed to the port city of Sidon. "Food is not a big problem for now but there are looming shortages of medicines for chronic illnesses and hospitals are starting to get worried about primary care drugs such as painkillers and antibiotics while they have to care for an influx of wounded from the south," says the paper. "The refugees who make it to Sidon are exhausted by the long and stressful journey. Their stories are often similar and tell of days of Israeli shelling, shortages of water and food, power outages and cut phone lines.". . .
ISRAEL DESTROYS TWO CLEARLY MARKED AMBULANCES
SUZANNE GOLDENBERG, GUARDIAN UK - The ambulance headlamps were on, the blue light overhead was flashing, and another light illuminated the Red Cross flag when the first Israeli missile hit, shearing off the right leg of the man on the stretcher inside. As he lay screaming beneath fire and smoke, patients and ambulance workers scrambled for safety, crawling over glass in the dark. Then another missile hit the second ambulance. Even in a war which has turned the roads of south Lebanon into killing zones, Israel's rocket strike on two clearly marked Red Cross ambulances on Sunday night set a deadly new milestone.
Six ambulance workers were wounded and three generations of the Fawaz family, being transported to hospital from Tibnin with what were originally minor injuries, were left fighting for their lives. Two ambulances were entirely destroyed, their roofs pierced by missiles.
The Lebanese Red Cross, whose ambulance service for south Lebanon is run entirely by volunteers, immediately announced it would cease all rescue missions unless Israel guaranteed their safety through the United Nations or the International Red Cross.
ISRAELI'S INVASION OF LEBANON TURNS INTO OCCUPATION
NY TIMES - Almost two weeks into its military assault on Hezbollah, Israel said Tuesday that it would occupy a strip inside southern Lebanon with ground troops until an international force could take its place. The announcement raised the prospect of a more protracted Israeli involvement in Lebanon than the political and military leadership previously signaled or publicly sought. . .
TORY MP DRAWS PARALLEL BETWEEN LEBANON AND NAZIS IN WARSAW
HAARETZ, ISRAEL - Sir Peter Tapsell, a Tory MP, said Tuesday that British Prime Minister Tony Blair was "colluding" with U.S. President George W. Bush in giving Israel the okay to wage "unlimited war" in Lebanon - a war crime he claimed was "gravely reminiscent of the Nazi atrocity on the Jewish quarter of Warsaw."
NY TIMES - Lebanon carpenters are running out of wood for coffins. Bodies are stacked 3 or 4 feet high at the hospital morgue. The stench is spreading in the rubble. The morbid reality of Israel's bombing campaign is reaching almost every corner of the city. . . On Thursday, the wild dogs gnawed at the charred remains of a family bombed as they were trying to escape the village.
U.S. SOLDIERS SAY THEY WERE TOLD TO KILL ALL MILITARY AGE MALES
AP - Four U.S. soldiers accused of murdering suspected insurgents during a raid in Iraq said they were under orders to "kill all military age males," according to sworn statements obtained by the Associated Press. The soldiers first took some of the men into custody because they were using two women and a toddler as human shields. They shot three of the men after the women and child were safe and say the men attacked them. "The ROE (rule of engagement) was to kill all military age males on Objective Murray," Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard told investigators, referring to the target by its code name.
That target, an island on a canal in the northern Salhuddin province, was believed to be an al-Qaeda training camp. The soldiers said officers in their chain of command gave them the order and explained that special forces had tried before to target the island and had come under fire from insurgents.
Girouard, Spc. William B. Hunsaker, Pfc. Corey R. Clagett, and Spc. Juston R. Graber are charged with murder and other offenses in the shooting deaths of three of the men during the May 9 raid.
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