Condi Rice is in Beirut, a surprise stop in her Middle East diplomacy tour that will next visit Jerusalem. This stop has mostly symbolic significance. The Lebanese are incapable of fighting Hizbullah, let alone Israel, so they need outside support. Condi visiting the Lebanese Prime Minister shows support to the democratic process and the Lebanese people, but the real power brokering will come in Jerusalem. For now the Bush Administration is resisting calls for an immediate ceasefire.
Hizbullah rockets continue to rain down on Haifa, bringing death and destruction. Rockets are also raining down on Akko (Acre). When the Israelis hear the airraid sirens, it's to the bunkers, no questions asked. And Safed. Hizbullah vows to leave no place in Israel safe. They made that statement in Iran. Heavy fighting continues in Lebanon. And Hizbullah is steadily losing ground, though they're downplaying the significance of their losses.
One has to wonder if Nasrallah fully in charge of Hizbullah, when information about the two Israeli soldiers taken by Hizbullah was leaked by the Lebanese. Nasrallah calls the information released unauthorized. It's nice to see that even terrorists have problems with leakers. Let's hope for lots more leaks.
I draw your attention in this photo (via the Gothamist) to the poster at the feet of the guy in the middle. It states:
Any treaty with Israel is not binding on Islamic states.Let this be a lesson to all those who think that a ceasefire with terrorists will be worth the paper it's written on. It means absolutely nothing to the terrorists, even less to the Iranians, despite the fact that the diplomats think that getting signatures on a piece of paper is everything.
Can you say lying and deception in order to further the Islamist agenda, which is the destruction of Israel, the reestablishment of the caliphate, and submission of infidels to Islam or face death.
That goes for all those diplomats shuttling around the Middle East claiming that they're trying to solve the problem. That includes Condi Rice, who at least understands that a return to the situation before this latest round of fight began will not happen.
Dr. Sanity has a special Middle East edition of the carnival of the insanities. Well worth reading for the overview.
I'm toying with an idea that terrorists are akin to the Men in Black (MIB). Terrorists engage in the MIB theory of warfare. It's the MIB theory of warfare. The terrorists are outside the law, above it, beyond it, over it. They simply don't exist. That's how the media can breathlessly report about Lebanese casualties without mentioning a single terrorist killed.
Israel looks like its trying to hit ghosts, but that isn't the reality. Israel is doing fearsome damage to the terrorist infrastructure although Hizbullah still has a capability to strike at Israel.
Iran, meanwhile, which is trying to expand its influence in the Middle East is engaging in more projection - claiming that the US planned this conflict. That's right, fighting terrorist-supporting countries in the Middle East is all part of the grand scheme to control oil.
Hamas is still busy in Gaza, and they're firing rockets into Israel as well. Guess they want to stay relevant, despite the claims that they want to broker a deal. Three more terrorists were killed in Gaza as well.
The primary bloggers to check with are Carl in Jerusalem, Israellycool, Dave Bender, Meryl Yourish, Euphoric Reality, Pajamas Media, and Hot Air. Check back with them regularly for updates.
Do you still think that Iran isn't fully involved in the conflict in Lebanon? Maybe this will change your mind:
The bodies of Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers killed by the Israeli army in Lebanon have been transported to Syria and flown to Tehran, senior Lebanese political sources said.UPDATE:
Israeli and Egyptian security officials confirmed the news, which follows a report that first appeared in The New York Sun, that Iranian forces posted to southern Lebanon have been aiding Hezbollah terrorists in their attacks against Israel, including helping to fire rockets into Israeli population centers.
The Lebanese sources said between six and nine dead Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers were brought in trucks last week into Syria for a flight back to Iran. They said the bodies were transported along with the tens of thousands of Lebanese civilians fleeing to Syria.
Is Hizbullah running low on men and weapons? That appears to be the thrust of this article. By cutting off the roads, highways, bridges, and ports in Lebanon, Hizbullah is unable to be resupplied from Syria. Indeed, Israeli forces have interdicted Syrian convoys trying to do precisely that. With Hizbullah expending hundreds of rockets per day, they're running through their supplies far quicker than they could hope to be resupplied, which means that they'll be reaching a breaking point within a matter of weeks, if not sooner. When that happens, even the Lebanese military could deal with the situation.
Ed Morrissey has more on the situation with Hizbullah.
For a laugher, check out John Kerry's claims that things would be different had he been President. Oh, and he'd call for Hizbullah's destruction.
Israel has that well in hand, as long as the diplomats stay out of the way. Chester looks at what diplomats have in mind for Syria, and plays out a variety of scenarios.
Scrappleface responds by saying President Bush will send Kerry to the Middle East to solve the problem directly. Mr. Wolf, he isn't.
Vital Perspective has more footage of the IAF eliminating Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon.
Paul at Powerline has a good article dispensing with the idea of putting Israel on the clock to eliminate (or at least seriously degrade) Hizbullah. How come the world isn't putting Hizbullah, Syria, and Iran on the clock? Stop your violence or all your base belong to us in 72 hours...
Hot Air has more on the Hizbullah resupply issues, and the diplomatic efforts to force a ceasefire resulting in a victory for Hizbullah.
The UN is calling for $150 million to rebuild infrastructure in Lebanon. No word on what aid will be provided to Israel - considering that Northern Israel's economy has been a virtual standstill since the rocket attacks started.
A British backbencher says that weapons transfers to Israel must be stopped. Britain, and the world for that matter shouldn't mind those weapons being delivered to Hizbullah, the real threat is Israel. Eyes on the prize people.
Israel, meanwhile, says that Hizbullah will never be allowed to reconstitute its missile stockpiles. Eyes on the prize indeed.
An Arab-American advocacy group is going to sue the US government over its evacuation of US citizens from Lebanon. If you don't agree with the Administration, it appears that the recourse is to sue. Never mind the merits, or the fact that the State Department has long warned US citizens to stay away from Lebanon. It's the Administration's fault that the response wasn't quicker.
It looks like Haniyeh is about ready to cry uncle. He wants the US to force Israel to stop killing his terrorist minions in Gaza. If Haniyeh wants a way out, here's a very simple solution - release Shalit with no conditions. Period. As head of a terror organization, that's still far too charitable, but it would end the Israeli pushback in Gaza for now.
Another Israeli helicopter crashed, killing the two crewmembers.
And if you want to see a video of a rocket attack on Israel up close and personal, don't miss this. It's of a camera crew trekking to Haifa to do an interview in the train depot where a rocket launched by Hizbullah killed eight workers. What happens next is even more astounding.
Hot Air also points out a MEMRI posting of a video in which Nasrallah states that the Lebanese government knew in advance of Hizbullah's plans to attack Israel. If that is indeed the case, then the Lebanese government is truly complicit in the violence and their complaints about the Israeli response should fall on deaf ears. They truly did bring this situation upon themselves for lying in bed with Hizbullah.
Concept Wizard has an impressive set of updates on the situation in Lebanon and Israel, including some neat flash animations.
Jeff Goldstein takes on the rampant anti-Semitism springing forth from the left in the wake of Israel's newfound respect for defense of its national existence against Islamic terrorists. Not everything is a Rovian plot to further GOP interests. Sometimes anti-Semitism springs forth from the usual suspects because they are anti-Semitic at their core. Kesher Talk also wades into the fever swamps to report on the rampant anti-Semitism. The problem though is that one doesn't have to cherry pick comments to find anti-Semitic rants. They're the norm.
Is the US concerned that the Israeli reports about damaging Hizbullah is exaggerated or that Israel is quickly getting bogged down? The truth, as always, is somewhere in between the claims of quagmire and swift victory. Trying to compare the current conflict to the Six Day War is disingenous - especially because Hizbullah has had six years to plan for this conflict, and chose the time and place of the attack. Israel was forced to respond. In 1967, it was the Israelis who dictated the conflict's course by eliminating the Egyptian and Syrian air force while they were still on the ground.
And it appears that even the Israelis are going to be willing to accept Hizbullah as an ongoing political actor in Lebanon, which shouldn't make anyone happy, except Iran and Hizbullah - who will crow about their victories once again.
Others blogging the conflict and Israel's ongoing pushback against Islamic terrorism in Lebanon and Gaza, the diplomatic efforts, or Kerry's nonsensical ravings: Below the Beltway, Rick Moran, AJ Strata, Kim at Wizbang, Sister Toldjah, Flopping Aces, Texas Rainmaker, and Pajamas Media.
The Lebanese have rejected Rice's suggestion for ending the crisis in Lebanon. So does Hizbullah. That figures.
Michael Barone has a very good overview of the situation in the Middle East. He notes that the whole concept of land for peace is essentially dead, considering that Israel has ceded both Gaza and South Lebanon and gotten absolutely nothing in return except rockets, missiles, and misery on both sides of the border.
Meryl Yourish notes that the heavy resistance isn't so heavy once Israeli force of arms comes to bear on Hizbullah terrorists who much rather hide behind civilian populations than face Israeli forces straight up. Hizbullah terrorists continue to die, but not fast enough to resolve the conflict quickly and end the suffering on both sides of the border.
It will take defeat to make Hizbullah to cry uncle. And as I've noted before, Hizbullah will claim victory even if Nasrallah is the last man standing.
More rocket launchers continue to be destroyed.
How do Israelis cope with life under fire from katuyshas? Here's a glimpse. 30% of Haifa residents have travelled elsewhere in Israel. Does that count as refugees or do Israelis not count at all in the media reporting on civilian suffering? I keep reading about how 500,000 Lebanese have become refugees. What about the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who are similarly displaced? *crickets* That's an afterthought.
Israel continues to push deeper into Lebanon to silence those rockets once and for all.
Joem suggests the following additional bloggers to get a wider exposure to the conflict: Jameel at the Muqata, Greetings from the French Hill, R'Lazer, and Live from an Israeli Bunker.
Via NBC News [link added], among the targets being hit in Lebanon are banks and other financial institutions to eliminate Hizbullah's financial backing. Eight offices of Hizbullah's 'treasury' were hit throughout the country. Three foreign banks were also hit. Middle East and Africa Bank (MEAB) was also implicated, and there are apparent ties to Wachovia Bank as well. The bank denies any ties, but Hizbullah commercials tell viewers to call the bank to wire them money.
Via Blue Crab Boulevard, have we had a frozen in Hell moment?
But a day after criticizing Israel for "disproportionate" strikes against civilians, U.N. humanitarian chief Jan Egeland accused Hezbollah of "cowardly blending" among Lebanese civilians.Kofi Annan asks to extend the UNIFIL mandate by one month. Why? They failed miserably to take note of the Hizbullah buildup, let alone stop it, and now they're in the middle of the fighting and calls for a ceasefire only give aid and comfort to terrorists. Well, at least Annan's mandate will be up soon enough (but not soon enough for many around the world). Today alone, 81 rockets hit Israel, with 50 injured. 11 Israeli soldiers were wounded fighting the terrorists, though no one has any idea how many terrorists were returned to sender.
"Consistently, from the Hezbollah heartland, my message was that Hezbollah must stop this cowardly blending … among women and children," Egeland said. "I heard they were proud because they lost very few fighters and that it was the civilians bearing the brunt of this. I don't think anyone should be proud of having many more children and women dead than armed men."
Israel hit a warehouse in Gaza, and things go boom. Bigtime. Secondary explosions wounded seven people. Guess who gets blamed - Israel - not the terrorists who were storing the weapons. And that's after Israel essentially broadcast that they were going to attack these targets.
Technorati: terrorism, fatah, Gilad, Shalit, Olmert, Eliyahu, Asheri, Ashri, Abbas, Rains, Summer, cavaliers, wrath, PRC, Hamas, Gaza, palestinian, Israel, hizbullah, hezbullah, lebanon, syria.
Labels: Africa, anti Semitism, diplomacy, Ehud Olmert, Fatah, Gaza, George W. Bush, Hamas, Hizbullah, IAF, infrastructure, Iran, Islamofascism, Ismail Haniyeh, Israel, Jerusalem, John F Kerry, Lebanon, Syria, terrorism, UK, Wachovia