The most recent updates are in this new thread.
This is the Middle East Crisis VI open-thread. We all hope this doesn’t turn into the July War, but these days? Please post all developments, news stories, comments, links, theories, ideas, etc. here in this thread. The earlier threads can be found here and here and here. and here. and here.. If you post comments in this thread, please do not post identical news articles in the newsqueue.
American Foreign Policy No Longer Seeks to ”˜Manage Calm’ ~ Click on Photo to Watch VIDEO.
At today’s press conference, NBC’s David Gregory noted that, three years ago, the Bush administration predicted that ”œthe invasion of Iraq would create a new stage of Arab-Israeli peace,” but that hasn’t happened.
In response, President Bush proudly declared that American foreign policy no longer seeks to ”œmanage calm,” and derided policies that let anger and resentment lie ”œbeneath the surface.” Bush said that the violence in the Middle East was evidence of a more effective foreign policy that addresses ”œroot causes.”
More as it develops.
Fighting around the Lebanese village of Bent Jbail continues, although news reports have been sparse — a reminder of the control Israel Defense Forces (IDF) exercises over information from the front lines. IDF maintains that more than 200 Hezbollah fighters have been killed in or near Bent Jbail thus far. Israeli forces continue to mass in the north, with the majority of units in the northeastern corner of the country and the Golan Heights. We believe there is also a sizable IDF presence on Lebanon’s western coast.
The Israeli air force killed senior Hezbollah leader Nou Shalhoub in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley on July 28, Israeli Channel 10 reported. Shalhoub was in charge of procuring advanced weaponry for the militant group.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will return to Jeruslam on July 29 to meet with senior Israeli officials, the Jeruslam Post reported July 28. Rice will cut short her visit to Malaysia by one day.
Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres sent a message to Syria on July 27. Sent through a third party, the message said that the fact that Israel has called up of three reserve divisions does not indicate it is mounting an attack against Syria.
A top Iranian envoy was in Syria on Thursday for talks on the Israeli-Hizbullah conflict in a meeting that brought together the guerrilla organization’s two key sponsors, according to Iranian news reports. A Kuwaiti newspaper reported that Hizbullah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah was taking part in the session.
Israeli warplanes and artillery hammered Lebanon again on Thursday as the Beirut government said up to 600 people may have been killed in Israel’s 16-day-old campaign against Hezbollah guerrillas.
See Hilzoy for a post you won’t want to miss.
58-year-old Lebanese taxi driver loses both legs in Israeli air strike, after losing his arm in Israeli attack 32 years ago.
Israeli forces, looking for Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank, killed four civilians July 27. Police in southern Jerusalem also shot a Palestinian gunman who had fired on a checkpoint. Twelve of the twenty-four Palestinians killed by Israeli troops July 27 were militants.
Israel’s offensive in southern Lebanon will not stop until Hezbollah is crippled or the army is ordered to stand down, Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said July 27.
Up to 15,000 Israeli reserve troops will be called up to bolster the ongoing Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) offensive against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz said July 27. Both Halutz and Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Israel had no intention of attacking Syria, a Hezbollah patron.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bombed an army base and a radio relay station in Lebanon early July 27. Israeli forces attacked the army base at Aamchit, 30 miles north of Beirut along the Beirut-Tripoli highway near the coast and struck a Radio Liban relay tower in an adjacent field of antennas. Contradictory reports indicate that either Israeli warships or fighter jets were responsible, but the IDF issued no immediate comment.
There’s much discussion of putting a multinational, NATO-led force in southern Lebanon as part of a ceasefire agreement in the Israel”“Lebanon conflict, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, according to a story in the Washington Post, has said that she does ”œnot think that it is anticipated that U.S. ground forces . . . are expected for that force.” However, a well-connected former CIA officer has told me that the Bush Administration is in fact considering exactly such a deployment.
Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, 70, tells DER SPIEGEL about how the current conflict is affecting his country, the role of the Lebanese army and his relationship with Shiite militia Hezbollah.
VIDEO: Stricken Ambulances In Lebanon:
At least eight soldiers were killed as thousands of them reportedly fought house to house, and village to village, in an attempt to create a buffer zone that they hoped would be filled by a multinational peacekeeping force some time in the future.
Things do not look like they are going well for Israel at all.
Arab Moderates Rebuke Israel and Neoncons
Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary-General Abdel Rahman Attiye on July 26 condemned Israeli aggression in Lebanon and demanded a cease-fire and lifting of the “Israeli siege.”
“I assume it will continue for several more weeks, and in a number of weeks we will be able to [declare] a victory,” Major General Udi Adam, the head of Israel’s northern command, said at a news conference.
Jane Lute, the assistant secretary general for peacekeeping, told the UN security council that the base came under close Israeli fire 21 times – including 12 hits within 100 metres and four direct hits – from 1.20pm until contact was lost with the four peacekeepers inside at 7.17pm.
UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon contacted Israeli troops 10 times before an Israeli bomb killed four of them, an initial UN report says.