See this page for links to articles on OpEdNEws that articulate both sides on the issues in the middle east. It is the goal of OpEdNews to air opinions from both sides to stretch the envelope of discussion and communication. Hate statements are not accepted. Discussions of issues and new ideas for solutions are encouraged. .Call your members of Congress to demand they stand up for a cease-fire in Lebanon (H. Con. Res. 450). As always, the particular words of this article are the responsibility of this writer alone.
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"Israel is attempting to create a rift between the Lebanese population and Hezbollah supporters by exacting a heavy price from the elite in Beirut. The message is: If you want your air conditioning to work and if you want to be able to fly to Paris for shopping, you must pull your head out of the sand and take action toward shutting down Hezbollah-land."
So there you have it, friends. This is not a war on Hezbollah. It is at its heart a war on the civilians of Lebanon, to punish them for the presence of Hezbollah in their midst. Keep in mind that Col. Luft is no simple grunt, having been the commander of Ramallah. But even if we did not have this direct window into the Israeli strategic mindset, it is self-evident by the demonstrated targets of the laser-guided precision air campaign, literally every power station and bridge in Lebanon, with lots of apartment houses and factories thrown in for good measure.
Since NONE of these targets had any actual strategic military importance, what a wonder that Israel still met such heavy resistance in the first town they tried to take with a ground force, Bint Jbeil. Israeli military officials deny that they were surprised. But if the mighty Israeli military cannot "liberate" from Hezbollah even a single town on the ground, where is the justification (even in a war criminal mind) for punishing the civilians of Lebanon because they did not do it on their own?
In Lebanon, Israel is doing its best impersonation of George Bush's mini-me, with no move by them not expressly green-lighted by the Washington neo-cons in charge. What is the difference between the assault on Lebanon and what was done in Fallujah? And no matter what heinous war crime they commit as his proxy, Bush and his toadies will protect Israel from accountability.
They did it the first time by blocking the July 13th cease-fire resolution in the security council which would have stopped this monstrous human disaster before it really got rolling, with the intent of giving Israel free fire window of a week or so to run amok.
And they did it again yesterday by blocking express condemnation for the patently coldblooded murder of 4 U.N. observers, who pleaded repeatedly for Israel to stop shelling their PREVIOUSLY long known position before being wiped out by an American-made precision guided munition. It is painfully obviously to the rest of the world that the United States is nothing more than an agent of the Israeli government. Or is it the other way around? What's the difference?
One might argue that there has never been any true honor in war. But the spectacle of one side hiding amongst civilians, while the other uses that as an EXCUSE to exterminate civilians (mostly) and militants alike is as despicable as anything in the recorded human history of war tactics. And for those who get all hot under the collar because we aren't devoting more column inches to gratuitous condemnation of Hezbollah, it is Israel who is doing MOST of the killing and destruction. Frankly, those same hotheads would fly just as far off the handle if there were ANY criticism of Israel.
Asked why the going was so tough in Bint Jbeil, one Israeli official said that when you go into one of the tunnels you might come face to face with a militant. Well, perish the thought, an actual fair fight! What Israeli would want that? Not quite so easy as playing target practice with apartment houses from 10,000 feet now is it?
And so we see the brave Israeli pilots taking out power stations to kabosh Lebanese air conditioning. And maybe by bombing their airport they won't be able shop in Paris anymore. Well, the last time we checked, world class shopping was not a war crime per se. Almost every barbaric thing that Israel has done in response to the kidnapping of two of their solders is.