Saturday, August 12, 2006

Middle East reading for a Saturday evening

An article by Ze'ev Schiff in Ha'aretz. Schiff, a very respected military reporter for over 30 years, supported the Olmert government's invasion into Lebanon. He is not happy with a cease-fire, but appears to see little choice at this point.

Here is the text of the UN proposed cease-fire. I italicized the following portions of item number 8 that were most interesting:

"8. Calls for Israel and Lebanon to support a permanent cease-fire and a long-term solution based on the following principles and elements:

* full respect for the Blue Line by both parties,

* security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities, including the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani River of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11, deployed in this area,

* full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state,

* no foreign forces in Lebanon without the consent of its government.

This interview with Noam Chomsky at least gives us a perspective we must keep in mind when performing our own analysis of the events of the past two months. However, why Chomsky likes to push most of the blame onto the US and Israel is what makes me sigh about Ol' Noam sometimes.

I did note Chomsky's brief mention of the 1996 Israeli operation called Grapes of Wrath, which caused me to review this and this. I admit to barely recalling the episode, but it sure looks familiar to what has been happening over the past 30 days--except this time, the Israeli military went much further into Lebanon and Hezbollah sent far more rockets and engaged in far more attacks against the civilian population in Israel.

Finally, a hopeful article that shows again why we who are not Muslim ought to be encouraging Muslims of good faith to reclaim their religion.


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