(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Lebanese American children being evacuated
Israeli ground troops enter Lebanon
By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press Writer 57 minutes ago
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.
At daybreak Wednesday, a small number of Israeli troops were operating just across the border inside southern Lebanon, looking for tunnels and weapons, the Israeli military said without providing any more details.
The incursion came a day after Israel indicated that it might send large numbers of ground troops into the southern Lebanon, but Israel's U.N. Ambassador Dan Gillerman denied Wednesday's operation was part of any such operation.
"What is going on at the moment is a number of Israeli ground troops very near to the border on the Lebanese side, trying to destroy some Hezbollah outposts," he told CNN.
"This is an operation which is very measured, very local," he said. "This is no way an invasion of Lebanon. This is no way the beginning of any kind of occupation of Lebanon."
Israel's forecast of a lengthy campaign, coupled with President Bush's evident reluctance to bring pressure on Israel to agree to a cease-fire, seemed to quash any hopes for an early resolution of the crisis, now entering its second week.
Unlike 1975, there was no warning for this. Thousands of Americans visiting family members and could get killed by the Israeli bombs. While this might not seem to be a big issue in the White House, it could shift American opinion against the White House.
And given the haphazard way that the US is evacutating 25,000 refugees, they seem indifferent to this.
It seems that Bush was surprised that so many Americans had Lebanese relatives.
Katrina wasn't just neglect, it was the way these people do things.
posted by Steve @ 12:57:00 AM