Monday, July 17, 2006

Haku asked 

So he shall receive. Here's my abridged view as I find it draining to expound upon. I'm getting tired of talking about it already, but hey, this is the world we live in.

That conflict in Lebanon certainly is happening. I've been following pretty closely, but I actually took the weekend off from the news because it was so depressing. Israel has a right to defend itself, the force that they're using in retaliation appears excessive but certainly is not without conviction and a clear, strong message. Ultimately, Syria (again!) is to blame for much of this as they're pulling the Hezbollah strings. The Lebanese are pulling the short straw, here, but last I checked, any country guilty of harboring terrorists (like Hezbollah) is deemed a threat. It's a really unfortunate situation for them.

Would you believe that President Bush has the most succinct path for how to shorten this latest conflict in hopes of finding a resolution?

Monday, July 17, 2006; Posted: 10:30 a.m. EDT (14:30 GMT)

The Middle East crisis prompts a frank exchange between President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (CNN) -- An open microphone caught President Bush in an unguarded moment Monday as the escalating crisis in the Middle East prompted him to use an expletive in a conversation with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Bush and Blair were unaware that an event at the Group of Eight summit was a photo opportunity, with media representatives present. Blair later turned off the microphone.

The president was expressing frustration at the United Nations' stance on the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict in Lebanon.

Apparently not expecting an open mike to pick up his remarks, Bush told Blair: "See the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s___ and it's over."

The reality is that Washington is hamstrung with regards to the Middle East. We're ill-equipped to forcefully deal with the situation (our military is already spread so thin, the Iraqi war is wildly unpopular) that the best we can do is lead a charge in the U.N. against Syria. Whether or not other nations will follow our lead is another matter -- one I'm very pessimistic about.

At any rate, this war seems to be escalating enough to soon include Iran's involvement. That's when it gets really scary. This whole situation sucks.

**UPDATE** Israel offers condition for cease-fire.

JERUSALEM - Israel would agree to a cease-fire in its six-day-old offensive against Hezbollah if the Lebanese guerrillas withdraw from the border area with Israel and release two captured Israeli soldiers, a senior official said Monday.

Seems reasonable to me. After all, it was the capturing of Israeli soldiers that ignited this whole thing.

It certainly seems more reasonable that Israel waging war until Hezbollah is disarmed. Who knows how many more lives that will cost? (on either side of the conflict)
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