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First the leaflets, then the missiles. “Then George said to Ehud, ‘Stretch out your hand over the land of Lebanon to bring the locusts. Let them invade the land of Lebanon and devour all its greenstuff, all that the hail has left.’” Exodus, 10:12, with appropriate adaptation to the times, and The Times.

US-Israel Arms Shipments
A Massacre’s Rush Delivery

As if there were any doubts that the Bush administration wasn’t actively involved in the Lebanon war, but—like those Israeli girls autographing artillery shells before their send-off toward Lebanese skulls—actually setting up an express line for missile shipments à-la-Iran: From this morning’s Times:

The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, American officials said Friday. The decision to quickly ship the weapons to Israel was made with relatively little debate within the Bush administration, the officials said. Its disclosure threatens to anger Arab governments and others because of the appearance that the United States is actively aiding the Israeli bombing campaign in a way that could be compared to Iran’s efforts to arm and resupply Hezbollah.

The munitions that the United States is sending to Israel are part of a multimillion-dollar arms sale package approved last year that Israel is able to draw on as needed, the officials said. But Israel’s request for expedited delivery of the satellite and laser-guided bombs was described as unusual by some military officers, and as an indication that Israel still had a long list of targets in Lebanon to strike.

And here's what it looks like at the receiving end, as described by the tireless Anthony Shadeed in the Washington Post:

DEIR QANUN AL-NAHR, Lebanon, July 21 -- A road of death and desolation coils through southern Lebanon. It begins in Tyre, where 82 people killed in Israeli attacks this week were sheathed in hastily crafted wooden caskets Friday, their faces pointed toward Mecca, as custom dictates. Each coffin bore a number, and a name, sloppily handwritten on top. Under a blistering sun, they were lined up along a wall, smaller ones for children, including a still-born baby. Women in black uttered prayers; some sobbed in grief. As the temperature climbed, others lifted a corner of their veils to shield their drawn faces from the stench of death. Together, they waited for military trucks to carry the corpses to a temporary mass grave in an empty sandlot. The road ends in Deir Qanun al-Nahr, a town of 3,000 in the hinterland beyond Tyre, where Fatima Diab and more than 100 other people huddled in a sweltering basement Friday, as Israeli strikes pummeled the villages and valleys around them. She arrived a week ago with no food, no spare clothes and no water. Three radios crackled with news of the war. People prayed. And at times, Diab tried to sleep in the cacophony of bombing and Israeli jets that, on this day, subsided only briefly.

From Victor at The Middle East Memo: "After having washed their hands of the daily carnage taking place in Palestine and Iraq, Saudi Arabia’s Pontius Pilates chose to offer a bleeding Lebanon as sacrificial lamb to the people of Israel. This “new friendship” bringing together Wahhabi Islamist thugs and rightwing Israeli fascists should come as no surprise to those who know the history of the Middle-East. But I’m sure the Saudi government will eventually meet the retribution it deserves, for, as Winston Churchill famously said: "They've been given a choice between dishonor and war. They've chosen dishonor and they shall have war."

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