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Candide Recommends: Thursday, August 3, 2006
Oh, L'Merde On Lebanon
Israeli Graffiti
  • It’s a guerilla war, stupid: Hezbollah launches 230 rockets at Israel (as of this writing) in a single day, setting a new record in this Olympics of madness where Israel is still, nevertheless, the undisputed gold, silver, bronze and shrapnel winner: “The upsurge came,” the BBC wryly said, “as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel had destroyed Hezbollah’s infrastructure.” One person was killed in Israel, bringing the total of civilians killed there to 19. Total civilians killed in Lebanon: 750, a 40-to-1 ratio that annihilates any suggestion of disproportion: For disproportion to exist, there must be proportions to start with. Israel’s attacks on Lebanon are a one-sided massacre. Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel are pathetic flails in comparison — periodically murderous, but in a war zone of Israel’s creation. More than 12,000 Israeli soldiers have invaded Lebanon. The wonder is that the Lebanese army has not yet responded. Lacking that, Hezbollah looks like the “resistor.” One sign of hope: France and the United States are “narrowing their differences” as they converge toward a UN resolution for cease-fire next week.
  • Enshrining an occupation in euphemism: The headlines are beginning to buy Israel’s spin about “carving a buffer zone” in south Lebanon: “I srael hopes that by gaining control of a major swath of the south, even wider than the strip Israel occupied until 2000 as part of its ‘security zone,’ it can ‘clean out’ the Hizbullah guerrillas and make way for a still-to-be-formed international peacekeeping force.” The Orwellian cleansing of Israeli motives are too many to count just in that one sentence from the Christian Science Monitor (cheering for rapture, anyone?). Israel “hopes.” The bright, positive disposition of Israeli motives right from the start. There’s mention of what Israel “occupied” until 2000, but only briefly: the words that stand out are still the ones Israel preferred: “security zone.” Ah. Yes. Like Germany ’s occupation of Danzig in 1939, or its share of Poland that year. That was merely a “security zone” against the Soviet empire. Then comes the money shot: Israel seeking to “clean out” Hezbollah guerillas, like they’re strangers in their own land. Like they’re remnants of the PLO’s men from 1983.
  • Cuba con lechers: We’ve radicalized Iran and Syria . We’ve radicalized Iraq . We’ve radicalized Afghanistan . We’re radicalizing Lebanon . Look around. Who’s left? Why, Cuba! And so Congress, a vacuum of leadership worthy of 435 Herbert Hoovers, is getting ready to radicalize Cuba just when Cuba might be ready to loosen up: From AP in the SF Chronicle: The White House and Congress, caught unaware by Fidel Castro’s illness, prepared Wednesday for a possible showdown in Cuba as lawmakers drafted legislation that would pay millions of dollars to dissidents who fight for democratic change. “The message will be: The United States stands with you,” Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., one of the authors, said in an interview. “Be ready to assert your independence.” The words were dusted off from their last ejection in Iraq and Lebanon and other such places, as you recall. Nelson is running for reelection in Florida , though his opposition, the bewildered and vanishing Katherine Harris, is not the sort of candidate who should cause anyone to whore for the Cuban vote: it won’t be a close reelection for Nelson. But it’s not for nothing that Florida ’s Cubans have held American-Cuban policy hostage for the last half century.
  • The coming of the end for America’s hold on Iraq: “Many of the Shiite Muslim religious leaders who strongly backed the formation of the Iraqi government now are condemning it, warning that the country could descend into full revolt,” Knight-Ridder-McClatchy reports. “Their statements, observers said, reflect their effort to distance themselves from an increasingly unpopular government, one they once encouraged voters to risk their lives to support. In the process, they hope to win back support from the populace, the majority of which is Shiite. The signs of defection are troublesome for U.S. and Iraqi officials, and another possible sign that the American strategy is threatened.” Someone has finally started paying attention to Ali al-Sistani, who’s been denouncing American involvement, in connection with Israel’s attacks on Lebanon, without mentioning the United States, but without subtlety, either.
  • Here’s an interesting way for suspected murderers to play the Ollie-North Sympathy Card: “A U.S. Marine suspected in the killing of 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq, sued a congressman for libel on Wednesday after the lawmaker, a prominent war critic, publicly accused servicemen of murder,” Reuters reports from that other barbaric war in the Middle East. “In the suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, attorneys for Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich said Democratic Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania made false, misleading and defamatory statements.” Murtha did no such thing, of course. He pointed out that murders had been committed, that Marines were the likely murderers, and that the massacre had not been properly investigated. Individual Marines have no standing suing anyone for comments that name no one. But this is the Martine Corps. This is those gents who, Jack Nicholson style, like to think not only that “we can’t handle the truth,” but that the truth isn’t ours to have, only theirs to dispense as they see fit—which is just how the investigation into the massacre initially unfolded. The law suit is still a clever way to bang up all sorts of sympathy from the Bill O’Reilly brigades and anyone who thinks a uniform is a self-evident crease of virtue. Well, at least now we know for sure the identity of one of the suspected murderers.
  • British PM (for post merdique, of course) Tony Blair takes his kennel show to the Los Angeles Times. You can read his ideas about “the Hezbollah,” little gems worthy of Israel’s Most Wanbted like this: “we should be actually locating the people who are prepared to accept a two-state solution on the Palestinian side” (because they’re wandering, for now, in the Utah desert, looking for Mormon markers as signposts to their identity) and homages to the catatonic obvious like this: “Sudan is a classic example in which once again we are not intervening as strongly as we should be.” See the whole show here… From the supposed safety of Los Angeles, Tony Blair then borrowed a page from Bush’s one-page foreign-policy book, and a cell from Bush’s one-cell brain, to say that everything in Kashmir should be blamed on Islamic terrorism: “A furious political row has erupted over […] Blair’s decision to link the Kashmir dispute and Chechen fighting with the conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan and West Asia — which he described as part of an over-arching ‘arc of (Muslim) extremism’ across the world,” reports the Times of India. “Just hours after he called for the West to totally rethink its strategy on the war on terror, Blair’s critics said it was wrong to link regional territorial disputes such as Kashmir to global Islamist extremism.” Stay tuned. Next Bush and Blair will blame Tom Cruise’s break-up, Britney Spears’ stupidity and Mel Gibson’s bigotry on Islamic terrorism, too.

In Other World and Blogs

  • Marc Cooper on “the sputtering blogosphere conspiracy theory that Hezbollah staged the Qana massacre,” and says: “I think it absolutely a fair statement that the Hezbollah have done what they can to spotlight, highlight, exaggerate and exploit the deaths of the civilians in Qana. But is this not what the Israelis have done to justify this gruesome war? Was is it not the kidnapping—or capture—of a single Israeli soldier in Gaza that set off this inferno? Were the Israelis not exploiting his situation, the seizure of a single indvidual to justify a frontal assault on Gaza? And then when a handful of soldiers came under fire by a Hezbollah sneak attack a few days later, it was not exploiting their deaths to respond with the fury of the Israeli Air Force, bombing, airports, roads, bridges and civilian villages?” See the full post…
  • Cats that look like Hitler. Because even now we need to laugh. From our friends at Jewlicious: “There are two things that have been Internet staples from the very begining, namely cats and neo-nazis. All over the world, cat lovers used their emerging Web skills to build virtual shrines to their domestic feline friends. And we laughed. At the same time, neo-nazis used the Internet to find other like-minded individuals and to disseminate their message of hate. These were inevitably inveterate losers who provided us with a glimpse into their otherwise pathetic lives. And we laughed. But now there’s a Web page that unites the two, namely, catsthatlooklikehitler.com. On this site, owners of cats that resemble Hitler, send in photos. Their cats are voted on and discussed and the photos are displayed - the greater the resemblance to Hitler, the higher the ranking.
Qana, by Amal

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