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Friday, July 14, 2006 

Two Weeks, Two Fronts, Winds of War in Mid-East

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - Israeli warplanes punished the Lebanese capital on Friday, blasting the airport for a second day, shattering bridges, igniting fuel storage tanks and cutting the main highway to Syria. Hezbollah guerrillas fought back with a fresh barrage of rockets.

Widening their campaign, Israeli warplanes struck overpasses, intersections and residential buildings around Hezbollah's security headquarters in south Beirut on Friday. Wall and balconies crashed onto parked cars, but they missed the headquarters, their apparent target.

Israeli warships, meanwhile, shelled the highway north of the coastal city of Sidon, witnesses said. Israeli planes also hit TV transmission towers in the eastern Bekaa Valley, a Hezbollah stronghold.

Friday morning's violence came hours after Israel dropped leaflets in the area warning residents to avoid areas where Hezbollah operates.

-They seem to be trying to cut off any escape and/or support routes for Hezbollah and Hamas

(HAARETZ.com) On Thursday, Ahmadinejad said an Israeli strike on Syria would be considered an attack on the whole Islamic world that would bring a "fierce response", state television reported.

-Brinksmanship raises its ugly head again

(Ynet News.com) A war Israel must win: If Hamas, Hizbullah win the war they have declared; Zionist project is nearing the end of its days.

This is no competition of false machismo. This is a fateful decision: Even if these two radical Islamic movements gain symbolic propaganda victories – it could free other enemies around the Middle East. The need to win this war is absolute. There can be no debate about it.

-Does the world realize that Israel already sees this as a war?

(AFP) The United States vetoed a UN draft resolution that would have called for an end to Israeli attacks and "disproportionate use of force" in the Gaza Strip as well as for the release of a kidnapped Israeli soldier.

-Is now the time to worry about wording in a Resolution that would only “urge” them to scale down their attacks? I think rather than squabbling over the wording, maybe we should figure out some type of action to take?

JERUSALEM (AP) - Hezbollah guerrillas fired Katyusha rockets at two communities in northern Israel Friday, causing no injuries but raising to 150 the number that had hit the region in the last 48 hours, the Israeli army said.

-The are playing right into the hands of Israel… or is it that they too want a war?

(AP) Egypt launched a diplomatic bid to resolve the crisis, amid apparent frustration among moderate Arab nations that Hezbollah - and by implication its top ally Syria - had started the fight with Israel.

Saudi Arabia, the Arab world's political heavyweight and economic powerhouse, accused Hezbollah guerrillas - without naming them - of "uncalculated adventures" that precipitated the latest Middle East crisis.

-Everyone except Hamas, Hezbollah, and Israel seem to be trying to calm this down. A very telling sign is the fact that some powerful Islamic nations are calling out Hezbollah for igniting this recent round of violence.

This seems to be quickly spinning out of control. Hark the eve of WWI?