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Candide's Latest: Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Word War Tripe
Anyone who thinks Israel suffered equally, raise your rubble.

What solution? A Lebanese newspaper is reporting that “ A compromise agreement now being hammered out between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government would allow the Shi'ite guerillas to keep hidden weapons in south Lebanon , the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper reported on Tuesday. “While Hezbollah would need to keep the weapons it possesses south of the Litani River hidden, an agreement for areas north of the river would be "left to a long term solution," the paper reported (according to Haaretz). “If the proposed compromise is accepted Tuesday by the Lebanese government, it would violate the terms of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 ending the war in Lebanon . The resolution rules that the Lebanese army and UNIFIL may be the only armed forces in the territory between the Litani River south to the Israeli border.” Beirut ’s Daily Star, however, says disarmament is still essential. Steven Simon and Jonathan Stevenson have “some ideas on how to disarm Hezbollah.

Lords of the flies, although children act more nobly than this: both sides are claiming victory in the war of words that’s replaced the other kind, for now. Here’s Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, playing the Rocky Balboa card while his followers did their usual shooting off (with guns, in most cases) to celebrate: "We are today before a strategic, historic victory, without exaggeration. We emerged from the battle with our heads high, and our enemy is the one who is defeated." Israel’s Olmert for his part admits “shortcomings,” and the UK Independent describes his speech as an admission of defeat. George Bush, of course, couldn;t stay out of the imbecilic war of words. The UK Times reports Israel plans withdrawing its 30,000 troops by next week.

The Washington Post has a view on South Lebanon’s devastation, as does McClatchy.

Hazem Saghieh in the London-based al-Hayat: “[W]e delude ourselves by talking about 'the beginning of the end of Israel', portraying the loss as a defeat, or putting Israel's loss on par with our victory, while witnessing what is becoming of Lebanon. Wars are confrontations that test the health of societies. The Lebanese, who hailed the 'beginning of the end of the American Empire' after US Marines withdrew from Lebanon, recall that this 'empire' succeeded, after only seven years, in defeating the Soviet Union without shooting a single bullet. How, then, can we say that Hezbollah has triumphed? The only answer is that the Arabs are more likely to have the nerve to face Israel now, because their sense of dignity and pride are stronger than ever before. This interpretation requires further interpretation: First, the Arabs' courage has cost the destruction of an Arab homeland, State and society. Second, this courage did not spread to neighboring countries of Israel, taking into consideration that the war has outlasted all previous Arab-Israeli wars. Third, it is an argument that assumes that the Lebanese alone, as long as other Arab bordering countries have not, and will not, pluck up the courage to take action, are the ones who will repeat the experience, God forbid. Fourth, the phrase 'dignity and the unrelenting people' (and it is alright to quote Ziad Rahbani for a good purpose) will soon be turned into declared humiliation and degradation, as begging for assistance and aid begins - to help displaced people restore their homes, and compensate some of the losses that befell the poor Lebanese.” See the full column…

The Los Angeles Times’ Megan Stack has an analysis in the same key: “If anything, analysts say, the war has worsened Lebanon's underlying instability, bolstering Hezbollah at the expense of more moderate, secular figures in government.”

In Other Worlds

The Jill Carroll Story: The Christian Science Monitor is running a ten-part series on their reporter, kidnapped in Iraq for 82 days. And Palestinian gunmen have kidnapped two Fox journalists.

Canada follows in America’s delinquent steps: “Justice Minister Vic Toews says the Youth Criminal Justice Act may need to be changed so children as young as 10 and 11 who "run afoul of the law" can be brought to court.”

Holocaust Cartoons: “ An exhibition of more than 200 cartoons about the Holocaust opened here [in Teheran] yesterday in response to last year's Muslim outrage over a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper,” Haaretz reports. The display, showing 204 entries from Iran and abroad, was strongly influenced by the views of Iran's hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who drew widespread condemnation last year for calling the Holocaust a "myth," and saying Israel should be destroyed. One cartoon by Indonesian Tony Thomdean shows the Statue of Liberty holding a book on the Holocaust in its left hand, and giving a Nazi-style salute with the other.”

Michael Wolff on The New York Times in Vanity Fair: “By attacking The New York Times for reporting secret anti-terrorism measures, the White House has evoked the government-defying glory days of the “paper of record.” But even as the Times builds a soaring $850 million headquarters, its newsroom, its leadership, and its business are in a crisis of confidence.”

Bush Reads Camus

Raymond called me at the White House. He wanted me to meet him at his summer home. I said I had plans with a girlfriend, Condi. He said bring her along. I explained how I had to visit Maman the next day. When I got there the sun was glittering off the knife. “Mersault?” I only remember turning the sun and being blinded. To hell with Condi. To hell with Bar. To hell with Karl. The whole damn bunch. I blacked out for a while. I felt the cold steel of the handcuffs tightly on my wrists. “Monsieur? Can you hear me?” Suddenly it was coming back to me. Cheney lay there in his orange vest in a pool of blood. Some Algerian medics were working on him. They said he’d be OK. The dog was sitting there with he duck in his mouth. The shotgun lay where I had been sitting. An empty bottle of Pastis spun aimlessly on the concrete. Raymond was in cuffs too. Condi was crying. The sun glinted off the handcuffs. I didn’t care. It was OK.

[for context, click here]

—Ohdave

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