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Candide's Latest: Monday, August 7, 2006
Vengeance Is Theirs; We Will Stand By, Say the Lords

The country no one will look in the eye

40 Lebanese killed in a single air strike? Not quite, although 19 killed elsewhere in Lebanon: " Reuters reported Lebanese official reports this morning that an Israeli air raid killed more than 40 people in a Lebanese village on Monday. Fouad Siniora, Lebanon's prime minister, had relayed the news. He has since corrected himself: Only one killed in that air strike. Fifty people were pulled from the rubble, alive. Don't make too much of the correction: the raids since Sunday have been intense, widespread and costly.

They’re at it again around Bint Jbail, the southern Lebanese town Hezbollah wants to make its Stalingrad, although this whole war is turning into one big Waterloo for Israel. Haaretz is reporting “bitter battles” with Hezbollah around Bint Jbail, 14 Hezbollah fighters killed overall, 150 Lebanese targets hit and. The Beirut Daily Star’s version isn’t substantially different, though it notes the killing of 14 civilians. Meanwhile, “At UN headquarters in New York, where the Security Council had  been expected to adopt a resolution by Tuesday, diplomats said they  could no longer say when a vote would take place after Lebanon  objected to the text. Arab foreign ministers were due to meet in Beirut to discuss an  alternative seven-point plan proposed by Lebanon's Prime Minister  Fuad Siniora to bring a halt to 27 days of warfare.” That should be a laugh: when have Arab foreign ministers managed to halt anything in Lebanon, if not to worsen an already bad situation? Flashback: Arabs’ intervention in 1976, which began Syria’s 29-year occupation. The London Times has it closer to the mark: Israel “may” widen its offensive in revenge for Sunday’s Hezbollah attacks. And Condoleezza Rice continues her brilliant, awe-inspiring, Kissinger-Prize worthy performance: she predicts that violence will continue “for some time to come.” President Bush was on vacation in Crawford.

Robert Fisk on the UN draft resolution: “So the great and the good on the East River laboured at the United Nations Security Council - and brought forth a lemon. You could almost hear the Lebanese groan at this draft resolution, a document of such bias and mendacity that a close Lebanese friend read carefully through it yesterday, cursed and uttered the immortal question: "Don't these bastards learn anything from history?” See the full column…

Anthony Shadid’s latest direct hit, from Sidon: “With a sense that both Israel and Hezbollah have the stamina and endurance to fight on, many in southern Lebanon have started to think of their futures placed within a long-running war: Doctors talk about leaving the country for good; some of the hundreds of thousands of displaced within Lebanon have simply come back to their homes in places such as Tyre, fearful the temporary was becoming permanent. ‘Brother, you try living in a school,’ said Khodr al-Ruz, 17, who returned two days ago to Tyre after spending three weeks sharing a classroom with 15 other displaced Lebanese in the Christian town of Byblos, north of Beirut.” See the full article…(The BBC has the view from Beirut.)

Irony of August 6: Japan commemorates the Hiroshima bombing with a plea for disarmament. From the Japan Times…

The General in His Labyrinth: “Twenty years ago, Antoine Lahad was an army general commanding a force of about 3,000 men in the south of Lebanon whose mandate from Israel was to keep control over the Palestinian and Shia militias operating in the area. Today he's a frail man in exile, on the verge of his 79th birthday, reviled as a traitor and war criminal in his homeland and accepted only reluctantly by Israel, which offered him and other members of his South Lebanon Army refuge after Israel's abrupt withdrawal of its own soldiers from Lebanon in 2000. Still angry over that decision, which he says amounts to Israel having stabbed its Lebanese allies in the back, Mr. Lahad says no one should be surprised at the vast stores of weapons and military expertise that Hezbollah was able to build up in the years since.” The Toronto Globe and Mail’s Carolyn Wheeler profiles Lahad…

USA Patriot Sham: A Moroccan Green Card Holder is stopped by the FBI at an airport, ordered to snitch on his Arab friends, as a condition of keeping his Green Card, or force deportation. The Wall Street Journal had this story two months ago, but it’s worth the–re-read by way of the LATimes.

Paul Krugman says we have “Intimations of Recession”

Just what we need: Higher gas prices still as BP shuts down Prudhoe Bay in Alaska:“BP began a complete shutdown of the giant Prudhoe Bay oil field Sunday after a leak onto the tundra raised new and troubling questions about dangerous corrosion of North Slope pipelines,” The Anchorage Daily News reports. “The extraordinary shutdown will reduce the flow of all North Slope oil by 400,000 barrels a day -- nearly half the Slope's normal output -- and could rattle oil and gasoline markets.[…] Shutting down the field and its roughly 1,000 wells will take days to complete, and BP executives said the field will stay down until the company can prove the pipes are safe to operate or until other pipes can be used or built to bypass bad ones.”

Summer in Beirut


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