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Undernews Extracts – The Lebanon & The Middle East

Undernews Extracts – The Lebanon & The Middle East

Compiled By Editor Sam Smith



DAN GLAISTER, GUARDIAN UK - The US government was closely involved in planning the Israeli campaign in Lebanon, even before Hizbullah seized two Israeli soldiers in a cross border raids in July. American and Israeli officials met in the spring, discussing plans on how to tackle Hizbullah, according to a report published yesterday. The veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh writes in the current issue of the New Yorker magazine that Israeli government officials traveled to the US in May to share plans for attacking Hizbullah.

Quoting a US government consultant, Hersh said: "Earlier this summer ... several Israeli officials visited Washington, separately, 'to get a green light for the bombing operation and to find out how much the United States would bear.'". . .

Yesterday Mr Hersh told CNN: "July was a pretext for a major offensive that had been in the works for a long time. Israel's attack was going to be a model for the attack they really want to do. They really want to go after Iran.". . .,,1844021,00.html



MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD has his own blog but it may be a little while before he becomes the Howard Dean of the Mid East. His first entry is a 2300-word autobiography ending with the promise: "From now onwards, I will try to make it shorter and simpler. With hope in God, I intend to wholeheartedly complete my talk in future with allotted fifteen minutes.". . . Look for the little American/British flag icon for the English translation.



[The writer is a former Ambassador of the Arab League to London]

GHAYTH ARMANAZI, INDEPENDENT, UK - For all intents and purposes, Israel has lost what the Arabic satellite station has coined the "Sixth War", in reference to the list of major conflicts involving Israel that have erupted since the First war of 1948.

Every war is won or lost not by measure of the cold statistics of hardware or lives - or even territory - lost or consumed by the protagonists at the end of hostilities. Rather, it must be seen against the overall strategic picture that emerges through the dust of battle. The Sixth War is going to leave an indelible mark on that strategic picture - and it will not make pretty viewing for the Israelis or their US backers.

Those Arabs of this or previous generations, whose lives have been overshadowed by the cumulative effects of years of being told that nothing can stand in the way of the might of Israel, are awakening to a new reality. If a few thousand, at most, of lightly armed, but steel-willed, irregulars can withstand the monster they so feared, what can stop them, with all the potential they possess, from at last slaying the dragon of their nightmares. This is an idea which will inevitably grow in strength, not only with each day the war drags on, but with the memories, legends and broken myths which this war is sowing and Israel is doomed to reap. . .

In the past, every foreign force that has come in to Lebanon to "keep the peace" has left with its tail between its legs - and there is no reason to believe that the putative "multinational force" will fare any better. Beyond Lebanon, however, is the feeling that is spreading like wildfire across the entire Arab and Muslim worlds. . . It is an empowerment that eventually could seal the fate not only of Israel but of those governments of Arab countries who are seen by their people as having, for too long, "sold" them the false idea of Arab impotence in order to hide their own inadequacies and corruption. . .

From today on, it will be difficult - and lonely - to be a moderate voice in the Middle East.



ANGRY ARAB - So here is the text of the draft UNSC resolution. "Expressing its utmost concern at the continuing escalation of hostilities in Lebanon and in Israel since Hizbollah's attack on Israel on 12 July 2006, which has already caused hundreds of deaths and injuries on both sides, extensive damage to civilian infrastructure and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons." This paragraph clearly lays the blame on Hizbullah for the Israeli war of aggression. And notice that Hizbullah's capture of the Israeli soldiers is sneakily blamed for "the hundreds of deaths and injuries on both sides. . . And notice that the identify of the victims, and the destruction of Lebanon by Israel is not identified by name: so as to imply that there was damage and destruction in Israel comparable to the damage and destruction in Lebanon.

The next paragraph says: "Emphasizing the need for an end of violence, but at the same time emphasizing the need to address urgently the causes that have given rise to the current crisis, including by the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers". Again, the root cause is traced to those two soldiers, and "the root cause", in US understanding, is a camouflage to promote Israel's point of view. Notice that the release of the two soldiers is "unconditional". Why? As a free service to Israel for its great behavior and noble conduct?

But then the following paragraph says: "Mindful of the sensitivity of the issue of prisoners and encouraging the efforts aimed at urgently settling the issue of the Lebanese prisoners detained in Israel". Here, it is old-fashioned, classic racism. That Arab prisoners are just not as cute and not as valuable as Israeli prisoners. For Israeli prisoners, it calls for immediate release, but for Lebanese prisoners, it urges "settling the issue." . . .



DW, GERMANY - Members of Germany's opposition are calling for a suspension of arms deliveries to Israel until the end of the current conflict. Germany has a long history of providing Israel with weapons and their components. As German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier continues his tour of the Middle East, opposition lawmakers and various political organizations at home are stepping up their criticism of Israel's military offensive in Lebanon which they view as disproportionate. The Greens' defense expert, Winfried Nachtwei, said that Germany should stop all arms deliveries to Israel, arguing that Berlin was guilty of violating binding guidelines on the export of weapons to crisis areas. He added that any deliveries of weapons to the Middle East were politically harmful and not conducive to ending the conflict.

For the first time, a leading member of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Rolf Verleger, has also heavily criticized Israel's strategy, branding it a policy of violence. He said that the Jewish state was killing 10 Lebanese for every one Israeli killed and was destroying the infrastructure of a whole country indiscriminately. The Central Council of Jews was quick to respond, saying Verleger's remarks were those of an individual and did not represent the views of the Council as a whole.,2144,2127722,00.html


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