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Candide Recommends: Wednesday, July 26, 2006
The Lady Brought Blankets in July
Looking for Mr. Goodbar , Israeli version
  • Unparalleled Israeli-American generosity toward Lebanon continues: Condoleezza Rice, it turns out, was warm with handshakes all over Beirut during her brief drop-kick there as she assured the Lebanese prime minister that the bombing would continue. She brought blankets with her (blankets!) to ensure Lebanese coziness during the bombing, what with this being July in the Middle East, when temperatures have a tendency to drop to the mid-80s at nightfall. (And this is our Secretary of State, ladies and gentlemen of the furies, supposedly the smart one in the Bush junta.) No wonder then that "Hezbollah May Be Winning Hearts and Mind," as a Financial Times headline put it.
  • Israel’s generosity was even more pronounced: It will be an occupation after all, the New York Times reports: “Almost two weeks into its military assault on Hezbollah, Israel said Tuesday that it would occupy a strip inside southern Lebanon with ground troops until an international force could take its place. The announcement raised the prospect of a more protracted Israeli involvement in Lebanon than the political and military leadership previously signaled or publicly sought.” Just to be more inviting to international troops, Israeli bombs killed at least four United Nations observers in south Lebanon, a little sideshow-murder spree that Kofi Annan calls “apparently deliberate targeting.” One of the observers was Canadian, one was Chinese. Germany, by the way, wants in on the expeditionary force.
  • Meanwhile, according to L’Orient-Le Jour, Lebanon’s French daily, and the Jerusalem Post, Hezbollah’s Nasrallah is promising to move on to the “beyond-Haifa” round of long-range rockets: The turbaned one took to the air on al-Manar television, Hezbollah’s station (where the hits keep on comin’) and said in a speech early Wednesday: “In the new stage, our attacks will not remain limited to Haifa. Irrespective of the reaction of the enemy forces on the rocketing of Haifa , we will move to the stage of ‘beyond Haifa .’” In South Lebanon though, Israel claims the capture of Bint Jbail, a Hezbollah stronghold near the Israeli border where fighting raged for several days. Imbecile of the day: Lebanese President Emile Lahoud tells Der Spiegel: “Hezbollah freed our country.” And for those of you looking to see friends and family this summer, keep in mind that Israel's Med-Clubbing of Lebanon has doubled airfares out of Syria.

  • In a column for Lebanon ’s Daily Star (the newspaper that headlines references to Israel as “the enemy”) , Mai Yamani asks: “Is Israel Now the Lesser Enemy Between Muslims?” She writes: Is the Sunni-Shiite divide in the Middle East now deeper than the antagonism between Israel and the Arabs? You might think so given the response of some Arab governments to Hizbullah's decision to attack Israel. Even as Israeli bombs fell on Beirut and Tyre, Saudi Arabia, perhaps the most conservative Arab Muslim state of all, openly condemned the actions of the Hizbullah in instigating conflict with Israel. Never before in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict has a state that considers itself a leader of the Arab Muslim peoples come down on Israel's side so openly. Moreover, Saudi Arabia's breach with Hizbullah is not a one-time occurrence. Egypt and Jordan have also roundly condemned Hizbullah and its leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, for their adventurism.” The rest of the analysis is a must-read, especially the pay-off: “As these antagonisms deepen, will the Sunni regimes come to believe that they need their own Hizbullah to fight in their corner? If that is what they conclude, they need not look far, for many such fighters have already have been trained - by Al-Qaeda.”

In Other World and Blogs

A Lebanese child-refugee sleeps in a school in Beirut [Reuters]

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