Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Here We Go Again

Yay! Great victory, says George. AP (07.14.06):
"President Bush said Monday that Israel defeated Hezbollah's guerrillas in the monthlong Mideast war and that the Islamic militants were to blame for the deaths of hundreds of Lebanese civilians." Bush Says Israel Defeated Hezbollah
Hezbollah is to blame for this and this? Tortuous twist of logic there, eh George? Then again, in his mind, he's always right. The Israelis don't think they won. The Independent (08.15.06):
"Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, was obliged to admit 'shortcomings' in the 34-day-old conflict in Lebanon yesterday as he launched what may prove a protracted fight for his own political survival. Mr Olmert's admission in a stormy Knesset session came in the face of devastating poll figures showing a majority of the Israeli public believes none or only a very small part of the goals of the war had been achieved." Israel's verdict: We lost the war
Hezbollah sure as hell doesn't think it lost. LATimes (08.15.06):
"Hezbollah's urban nerve center is a shattered shell. Its most loyal followers trudged homeward to a heartland laid to waste. And yet the Shiite organization lighted up the night sky with fireworks Monday and declared itself triumphant over Israel." A Defiant Hezbollah Rises From the Rubble
"Israel meant to break Hezbollah with its monthlong offensive, but instead the militant organization has been strengthened politically in Lebanon, analysts say. The movement has a fresh boost of popularity, at least for now, and a renewed sense that it is entitled to keep its armed militia outside the control of the Lebanese army, they say." Think it has popular support now? Wait until all those Hezbollah-funded rebuilding projects kick into gear. "'The reality is, [the war has] weakened the government significantly,' said Charles Ayoub, editor of Ad Diyar newspaper. 'What room do [officials] have to maneuver? If Nasrallah says he won't give up the weapons, what are they going to do?'" The answer? Nothing. It's too late. There's nothing anyone can do at this point. In a heavy dose of pathetic irony, "(b)efore the war erupted in mid-July, Hezbollah representatives had agreed to participate in national negotiations about disarmament." "Even then few analysts put much stock in the notion that the guerrillas would voluntarily lay aside their guns. Nevertheless, the fact that the powerful organization agreed to talk about its weapons was taken as a sign that Hezbollah sensed it had to compromise with domestic critics of its militia." Judith Palmer Harik, a professor of Political Science at the American University of Beirut since 1981 [meaning she has a better handle on what's going than folks like Rush or Hannity]: "'This is a victorious group. Do they want to be disarmed at this point? That is such a nonstarter.'" Add yet another foreign policy fuckup to the list. Meanwhile, back in Iraq. McClatchy (08.14.06):
"As security conditions continue to deteriorate in Iraq, many Iraqi politicians are challenging the optimistic forecasts of governments in Baghdad and Washington, with some worrying that the rosy views are preventing the creation of effective strategies against the escalating violence. Their worst fear, one that some American soldiers share, is that top officials don't really understand what's happening." Rosy assessments on Iraq `not related to reality,' some say
"Those concerns seem to be supported by statistics that show Iraq's violence has increased steadily during the past three years." What? What do you mean? It's getting better all the time. Isn't it?


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