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Friday, July 21, 2006

Is it ethnic cleansing if you order everyone to leave?

A southern suburb of Beirut (NY Times).

Beirut (WaPo).

Israel called up reserve troops Friday and warned civilians to flee Hezbollah-controlled southern Lebanon, as it prepared for a likely ground invasion to set up a deep buffer zone.
The photos above obviously provide the answer to "and what if we don't?" Of course, many Lebanese will be unable to leave since the Israelis have been blowing up bridges and roads from day one.

By what possible definition is this not terrorism?

Meanwhile, the WaPo has this Orwellian headline: In Mideast Strife, Bush Sees a Step To Peace. The article features this bit of irony:
As the president's position is described by White House officials, Bush associates and outside Middle East experts, Bush believes that the status quo--the presence in a sovereign country of a militant group with missiles capable of hitting a U.S. ally--is unacceptable.
The U.S. military has bases all over the world located in supposedly sovereign countries. Most of these bases have aircraft or ships armed with missiles capable of hitting all sorts of U.S. allies, as well as everybody else. U.S. jets based in Turkey, Italy, Iraq, Qatar or Diego Garcia could make Tel Aviv look just like those photos above in a few hours if they were so inclined. And given our penchant for turning on allies (Panama, Iran, Iraq, the USSR), I would think there might be a few people in Israel worried that one of the few militaries in the world superior to their own has them surrounded. (Not to mention that the raptureniks, apparently including W, believe that the rapture involves first Israel taking over the Middle East, and THEN Israel being destroyed.)