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Candide Recommends: Sunday, July 23, 2006
Bombs of Peace, Massacres of Love
  • Lebanese refugees from Tyre, waiting for safety in a hotel lobby. Memo to the "IDF": Better check that cane. Could be a long-range missile.
    It may not be carpet-bombing, but the results are the same: whole neighborhoods in Beirut, Tyre and Sidon are being leveled (the word is no hyperbole), as are small villages in South Lebanon. Jan Egeland, the UN’s emergency relief chief, “described the destruction as ‘horrific as he toured” Beirut on Sunday. “A visibly moved Mr Egeland expressed shock that ‘block after block’ of buildings had been leveled. ‘It makes it a violation of humanitarian law,’ he said.” The invasion that’s not an invasion, the offensive that’s only defensive, the massacre that’s not a massacre, carries on under the indulgent eye of the West…
  • Hezbollah the terrorist? The Arab Ranger? Here’s a column you won’t read in the western press: Sattar Kassem, Professor of Political Science at Al Najah University, Palestine: “Hezbollah, which has been in a state of war with Israel, attacked a military target, killing a number of soldiers and capturing two. Since then, Israel has been destroying the Lebanese infrastructure and killing civilians. I know that I am asking questions of an ethical nature that hardly can find answers in a world that believes in power. Israel argues that Hezbollah violated its sovereignty, but it gives no explanation for why it captures Palestinians and Lebanese, or kills them and destroys the houses over their heads. It certainly does so in ‘no man’s land.’” See the full column from The Hankyoreh, an online Korean publication. (With thanks to Bibbol).
  • It wasn’t just Abu Ghraib, and it didn’t end with the Abu Ghraib scandal: “Torture and other abuses against detainees in U.S. custody in Iraq were authorized and routine, even after the 2004 Abu Ghraib scandal, according to new accounts from soldiers in a Human Rights Watch report released today. The new report, containing first-hand accounts by U.S. military personnel interviewed by Human Rights Watch, details detainee abuses at an off-limits facility at Baghdad airport and at other detention centers throughout Iraq.” “Soldiers were told that the Geneva Conventions did not apply, and that interrogators could use abusive techniques to get detainees to talk,” said John Sifton, the author of the report and the senior researcher on terrorism and counterterrorism at Human Rights Watch. “These accounts rebut U.S. government claims that torture and abuse in Iraq was unauthorized and exceptional – on the contrary, it was condoned and commonly used.”  Meanwhile in Iraq, car bombs kill 56 in democracy’s continuing advances.

In Other Worlds

The Blogs

  • From Juan Cole's Informed Comment: Matthew Kalman reveals that Israel's wideranging assault on Lebanon has been planned in a general way for years, and a specific plan has been in the works for over a year. The "Three Week War" was shown to Washington think tanks and officials last year on powerpoint by a senior Israeli army officer: "More than a year ago, a senior Israeli army officer began giving PowerPoint presentations, on an off-the-record basis, to U.S. and other diplomats, journalists and think tanks, setting out the plan for the current operation in revealing detail." The Israelis tend to launch their wars of choice in the summer, in part because they know that European and American universities will be the primary nodes of popular opposition, and the universities are out in the summer. This war has nothing to do with captured Israeli soldiers. It is a long-planned war to increase Israel's ascendency over Hizbullah and its patrons. See the full post...

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