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Israeli Ground Troops Enter Lebanon

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posted on Jul, 18 2006 @ 10:43 PM
Israeli ground troops have entered southern Lebanon today. The troops are said to be searching for tunnels and weapons used by Hezbollah. Israel has also struck Lebanese army bases in the latest round of its bombing campaign. President Bush has speculated that Syria is using Hezbollah to try and reassert its influence in Lebanon after being forced to end its military occupation in 2005.
JERUSALEM - Israel declared Tuesday it was ready to fight Hezbollah guerrillas for several more weeks, raising doubts about international efforts to broker an immediate cease-fire in the fighting that has killed more than 260 people and displaced 500,000. The military said early Wednesday it sent some troops into southern Lebanon searching for tunnels and weapons.

Despite the diplomatic activity, Israel is in no hurry to end its offensive, which it sees as a unique opportunity to crush Hezbollah. The Islamic militants appear to have steadily built up their military strength after Israel pulled its troops out of southern Lebanon in 2000.

Israeli warplanes struck an army base outside Beirut and other areas in south Lebanon on Tuesday, killing 27 people, and Hezbollah rockets battered Israeli towns, killing one Israeli. Five big explosions reverberated over Beirut early Wednesday, and missiles hit towns to the east and south of the capital.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

No surprises here, ground troops were inevitable. However this story has raised a few inconsistencies between the Israeli and American positions.

According to this news article Israel has maintained that it will cease fire if, and when the two soldiers are returned. It has also stated that it does not require Hezbollah to disarm as a prerequisite to the cease fire.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said a cease-fire is impossible unless the soldiers captured by Hezbollah in a cross-border raid are released and Lebanese troops are deployed along the border with a guarantee that Hezbollah would be disarmed. Her comments indicated Israel would not demand that Hezbollah be disarmed before any cease-fire deal can take effect.

But according to White House Press Secretary Snow, anything short of the complete dismantling of Hezbollah is unacceptable.

White House spokesman Tony Snow declined to react to Kaplinski's comments, but said the administration opposed a return to the situation before the outbreak of violence.

"A cease-fire that would leave intact a terrorist infrastructure is unacceptable," Snow said. "So what we're trying to do is work as best we can toward a cease-fire that is going to create not only the conditions, but the institutions for peace and democracy in the region."

Uh-oh, trouble in paradise. What would happen if Hezbollah decided to hand over the two Israeli soldiers tomorrow? Would Israel cease fire? An unacceptable cease fire according to the United States government?

Then there is the issue of the Israeli air force bombing Lebanese army bases. I thought this was a campaign against Hezbollah? How does Israel expect the Lebanese army to oust Hezbollah from Southern Lebanon - such as outlined by Foreign Minister Livni - when Israel is killing off the Lebanese army? So many inconsistencies, is Israel trying to pursue a wider objective as alluded to by Russian President Putin? I would have to agree with his assessment when the Lebanese army is being targeted by Israel, not just Hezbollah.

[edit on 18/7/06 by subz]

[edit on 19/7/2006 by Mirthful Me]

posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 03:01 AM
I think the IDF is angry, and they are trying to lash out at the culprits. In the general sense, this is really the heart of all of the problems and strife that the Middle East is seeing now. Everybody has the right to be angry. I can't think of a man, woman, or child living in the Middle East right now that does not have a legitimate reason for anger. When savages strap explosives laced with broken glass and nails to their chests and blow themselves up in crowded Israeli cafes, that's a pretty good justification for anger in my book (and in the book of any reasonable human being, I would opine.) When militants from Hezbollah cross over and kill and capture IDF soldiers, that's a pretty good justification for anger from the IDF.

Similarly, when Israeli strikes take out pregnant women and toddlers (in some cases knowingly), that's a pretty good justification for anger on the Palestinian street. When roadblocks, curfews, and sanctions result in critical shortages of things like food, medical supplies, and electricity, one can hardly blame Palestinians for being angry for being forced to live in deplorable conditions.

It's really, really hard to be in the middle on this issue. The pro-Israel zealots will accuse you of anti-Semitism for daring to suggest that average Palestinians are suffering because of the policies that are in place. The anti-Israel zealots will call you a damnable Zionist for daring to suggest that blowing yourself up in a crowded nightclub is anything but a selfless act of sacrifice and a statement against tyrrany. When zealotry dominates both sides of an argument, moderation can never win.

Everybody's angry, everybody has a reason to be angry, and the problem is that this anger is manifesting itself in violence. If there is ever to be a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict (and I'm not confident that there ever will be) it will take the form of channeling that anger into constructive action, as opposed to destructive action. I'm not sure that this is even possible.

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