Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Washington Post
Iraq Order of Battle
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News

Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Digby's Blog
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Thursday, July 20, 2006

Israel's real danger

What does not kill Hezbollah makes it

Iraqi Denounces Israel’s Actions

Published: July 20, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 19 — Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq on Wednesday forcefully denounced the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, marking a sharp break with President Bush’s position and highlighting the growing power of a Shiite Muslim identity across the Middle East.

“The Israeli attacks and airstrikes are completely destroying Lebanon’s infrastructure,” Mr. Maliki said at an afternoon news conference inside the fortified Green Zone, which houses the American Embassy and the seat of the Iraqi government. “I condemn these aggressions and call on the Arab League foreign ministers’ meeting in Cairo to take quick action to stop these aggressions. We call on the world to take quick stands to stop the Israeli aggression.”

The American Embassy did not provide an immediate response.

The comments by Mr. Maliki, a Shiite Arab whose party has close ties to Iran, were noticeably stronger than those made by Sunni Arab governments in recent days. Those governments have refused to take an unequivocal stand on Lebanon, reflecting their concern about the growing influence of Iran, which has a Shiite majority and has been accused by Israel of providing weapons to Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group.

The ambivalence of those governments has angered many Sunni Arabs in those countries, despite the centuries of enmity between the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam.

Like many other people around the region, Ahmed Mekky, 40, an Egyptian lawyer and a Sunni Arab, says he supports Hezbollah because it is doing what he said the Arab leadership has been frightened to do for too long — standing up to Israel and the United States.

“We are praying that God would make Hezbollah victorious,” Mr. Mekky said as he stood beside a newspaper kiosk in downtown Cairo on Wednesday. “All the Arab governments are asleep.”

Perhaps more so than at any time since Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait in 1990, the bloodletting between Hezbollah and Israel has highlighted the huge divide between many Arab countries, and between many people and their leaders.
But the longer the conflict drags on, the more these leaders are finding their credibility called into question. The longer satellite television shows images of civilians killed and maimed by Israeli bombs, the more these leaders face hostility from their own people. The longer Hezbollah fires rockets into Israeli cities and towns, killing and wounding Israelis, the longer these leaders have to face questions about why they do not take similar action.

“People know that the Arab governments are impotent and are always looking for excuses to justify their failure to do anything,” said Adnan Abu-Odeh, a former adviser to the late King Hussein of Jordan. “In fact, historically, this episode is another example of how Israel embarrasses the moderate regimes in the region.”

This could get very ugly for Israel in two respects. One, by not knocking out Hezbollah, their status as an anti-Israeli resistance grows. Which will make getting rid of them harder. And it isn't going to knock out Hezbollah, which is a quasi-state.

Two, if the Israeli offensive kills Americans and other Westerners. They won't be able to obscure it like the Liberty incident, when IAF fighters attacked a US spy ship. James Bamford went into great detail on the Liberty in Body of Secrets.

But Israel's moral highground comes from the belief it is a democracy fighting for its survival. If Americans die under Israeli bombs, the lack of US action will be no favor for Israel.

Hezbollah is much more resiliant than people have believed in the past. And this bombing makes people choose sides, and Hezbollah is the one who is sheltering and feeding them. If you wanted to engrain support across the Arab world for Hezbollah, nothing is better than American TV showing guerrillas feeding women and children bombed out of their homes.

War doesn't work. It won't work for Hezbollah or Israel. But because the Israelis have bet so much on dealing with their enemies, failure to gain total victory means defeat. Limited goals have limited risks. The more you want to do, the more you risk.

Hezbollah isn't a movement, it is a quasi-state. Kill one leader, there will be another. Destroying Lebanon while Hezbollah resists will not make it any weaker

posted by Steve @ 12:04:00 AM

12:04:00 AM

The News Blog home page


Editorial Staff

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans