Wednesday, July 12, 2006

8 soldiers killed, 2 snatched in Hezbollah border attacks

Haaretz reports that two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped, and eight others killed today in attacks by Hezbollah. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert declared this an act of war, and immediately attacked Lebanon. There is nothing positive to be said about this situation, for which Hezbollah should be denounced, but so should Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Egypt had been negotiating a deal between Hamas and Israel which would have released some Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Corporal Gilad Shalit, the young soldier being held in Gaza. The government in Cairo was confident of success until "other parties" (read Syria) suggested to Hamas to increase demands that Olmert would not meet. And we can probably assume that Hezbollah would not have acted so brazenly had they not been given consent by their international sponsor, Iran. The United States has absolutely no influence in the Middle East any longer, so shuttle diplomacy of the kind that dates back to John Foster Dulles, with a long history through Clinton, is not in the cards.

We need to also look at the timing: the UN Security Council plus Germany has to respond to Iran's nuclear program (or lack thereof). John Bolton is not the man I want at that table, believe me. President Bush already has his eyes on invading Iran and Syria, and this, in my opinion, lines up as a perfect excuse for more of the same.

Israel's response has been over the top. I recall Aesop's Fable of the bet between the sun and the wind as to who could make the man remove his coat the fastest. The wind was convinced it would be victorious, and blew up a storm -- the man hunkered down, buttoned his coat ever tighter against the wind. Next, the sun came out and gently warmed the man, who removed his coat.

I urge everyone to get on the phone, write letters, get active: get us OUT of Iraq, get Condalleza Rice over in the Middle East, negotiating with ALL PARTIES for an immediate cease fire -- Israel, Hamas, Hezbollah, ALL of them -- and this will include the release by Israel of low level prisoners as Cairo was arranging -- do what has to be done to end this now.


karena said...

Good job, Diva! The only thing I cannot agree with is having Condi doing the negotiating, although it beats the heck out of Bolton.

The response is over the top, referred to as "escalating."

My fear is that the U.S. is using this as an excuse to go after Syria and Iran. Israel is all too willing. We have created a partnership of war that will leave the troops smack dab in the middle, with no solution in sight, just untold amounts of blood of innocents in the soil.

My dear, I love you for posting this and calling and end to the bloodshed.

Pete's Blog said...

Timely post Diva

Though I can't agree that "The United States has absolutely no influence in the Middle East any longer," the US ability to invade 2 countries (Iraq and Afghanistan) overtly give it considerable influence.

US intelligence and US oil companies give it greater influence of a more covert nature.

Israel has learned to manipulate the US well but it still relies heavily on continuing US support.


betmo said...

did you hear about the poison shrapnel bombs israel is using against international bans? i am not sticking up for hezbollah- they need to be stopped- but the israelis are using these bombs against international protocol- on civilians. i agree- we need to do the right thing for once and stop this madness.

DivaJood said...

Karena, we need some serious negotiators, and the Bush Administration is in short supply. Rice is a better choice than Bolton, but she's not a good choice.

Pete, because the US invaded Iraq (and Afghanistan), Iran and Syria won't listen to us. We had to get Egypt to negotiate a settlement between Palestinians and Israelis, and that went sour because interference from Syria. I'm not sure that the kind of influence the US has is the kind that can broker a cease-fire, or a lasting peace, because those are not the goals. The goals are, and have been, an excuse to invade Iran and Syria.

Betmo, I have not heard that Israel has been using poisoned shrapnel bombs, and I suspect the veracity of that. There's plenty that Israel is doing wrong, plenty that I find appalling, but I don't believe that poison is part of the mix. Unless you mean poisoned thinking, and then Prime Minister Olmert has that going on in spades.

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

I have written and walked in a few peace marches, but nothing is going to change with this administration, I'm sad to say. I was an activist when I was younger and now I'm just a cynic.

Yoga Korunta said...

Diva Jood, you speak with a cool head. Please assume negotiations. The fanatics of the world seem to be winning.

DivaJood said...

fran, I refuse to give up hope still. I remain skeptical, but still hold out hope.

yoga, very funny. I'm having a bad hair day, so I cannot assume negotiations.