Sunday, July 23, 2006

Most Lebanese appreciate what we are doing

A must-read post by Juan Cole suggests that no one told Bush that Israeli military actions in Lebanon are a war of choice carefully planned out in advance in conjunction with the Pentagon. Meshes with what I said about Gaza. They figure they have a certain period of time before the US tells them to stop (the Israeli press right now is full of speculation about how much longer they have; I think Bush has turned out to be more permissive than they’d expected), and detailed advance preparation is the key to inflicting maximum damage.

The NYT reports that leaflets dropped by Israeli planes ordering Lebanese to abandon their homes say, “Due to the terrorist acts against the state of Israel that came from your villages and your homes, the Israeli Army has been forced to respond immediately against these acts even within your villages, for your own security.” Well, once you explain it to us...

And according to Robert Fisk, the Israeli consul general in New York Ayre Mekel told the BBC (I can’t find the interview online) that Israel is “doing the Lebanese a favor” and that “most Lebanese appreciate what we are doing”. Of course they do.

The WaPo’s indispensable Al Kamen says that the State Department decided that “evacuation” of American citizens from Lebanon was too negative a term, preferring to call it “departure assistance” or “safe passage.”

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