SINCE 1759

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Candide Recommends: Monday, July 31, 2006
False Truths, Wishful Truce
Collateral damage, II
  • Who to believe? If you’re reading the American press, it’s all about Condoleezza Rice saying a cease-fire in Lebanon is imminent: The Washington Post, the LATimes, AP, the New York Times: “[A] cease-fire can be reached this week to end the hostilities.” (The SFChronicle goes as far as headlining that “Under Olmert, Israel Puts New Emphasis on Diplomacy.” Turn to the foreign press, particularly the Israeli press, and those front pages make Rice look like the army-of-one dunce she’s been so far: The Jerusalem Post: “A fter declaring a 48-hour suspension of aerial strikes over Lebanon in wake of the Kana attack, Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Israel would expand and strengthen its ground operations in southern Lebanon .” Haaretz: “ A senior government source said Monday morning that despite a 48-hour halt in Israel Air Force activity in Lebanon , ‘there is no cease-fire.’” The BBC: “fighting between Hezbollah militants and Israeli ground troops has been continuing in southern Lebanon.” And by noon Beirut time, Le Monde was reporting that air raids had resumed over south Lebanon , truce be damned. To south Lebanese, whatever truce may or may not have been in effect was an opportunity to flee. And the Lebanese government scoffs at Rice.

  • “In Lebanon, Bush Is Really Part of the Problem” (isn’t he everywhere?): Muqtedar Khan in the Beirut Daily Star: “We are presently witnessing in Lebanon the third humanitarian disaster in which US President George W. Bush has had a direct or indirect hand. In Iraq over 50,000 are dead and dying thanks to Bush's decision to invade and occupy the country in 2003, without a sufficient number of troops necessary to secure the country. In New Orleans, the administration's incompetent preparation and slow response exacerbated the humanitarian crisis. And now hundreds of innocent people are dying in a war in Lebanon that could be stopped by the international community if it were not handcuffed by the Bush administration. We may recall that Israel failed to undermine a much weaker Hizbullah even after 18 years of warfare and occupation of Southern Lebanon. Why expect success now?” See the full column…

  • Ex-Knight-Ridder reports on the human loss at Quana: “Many of the bodies were as tiny as dolls, with limp little fingers and debris that clung to their curls. They were killed in their sleep by an Israeli airstrike before dawn here Sunday, still dressed in action-figure pajamas and thin nightgowns. By late afternoon, at least 34 children - more than half the 56 or more people who died in the bombing of Qana - had been pulled from the rubble of a house where families had gathered each night in the mistaken hope that safety from the Israeli strikes could be found in numbers.” The Times also cover the human angle, and this from the Irish Times: “The rescuers wore rubber gloves and dug with their hands. A piece of flowered cloth would emerge, then a torso. The corpses - almost all of them women and children - were lined up on the ground beside the collapsed building, then covered with grimy sheets and towels retrieved from the ruin where they had been sleeping when the Israeli air force struck. One body led to another. Even in death, mothers hugged their children.”

  • They’re protesting the Israeli attacks even in sleepy Brussels.

  • The Pissers of the Gibson: “Allegations that police in Malibu tried to cover up an anti-Semitic outburst by Mel Gibson are to be investigated by an independent review body. […] The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that Mr Gibson had been pulled over while speeding at 87mph (140km/h) and arrested “without incident”. But according to a website, the arresting officer’s original report said: “Gibson blurted out anti-Semitic remarks about ‘f***ing Jews’ [and] yelled out ‘The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,’ then asked: ‘Are you a Jew?’ ” From the London Times.

  • “Win” a Green Card online? Not a joke, according to this web site. But there’s a greenish smell of scam somewhere.

In Other Worlds and Blogs

  • From Chris Voidis in Greece: "Greek TV correspondent Panos Charitos was in Bint Jbail on Monday morning. Images of destruction could be seen. Acording to him, 80% of the town has been levelled. According to his latest report, a group of 40 journalists in the town have put away their cameras and are busy removing people from the ruins. So far they have removed at least 50 people, mostly elderly. There are perhaps hundreds who are dead in the ruins. The massacre at Bint Jbeil perhaps dwarfs that at Qana." See the full post...
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