Posted: 06 Aug 2010 04:18 AM PDT
But the early stories that came out heavily supported Lebanon's claim that Israeli forces were over the border. Oh, the next graf almost always issued the Israeli denial, but that's how journalism works: When you want someone to think your subject is lying, have the paragraph immediately following rebut your subject's claim. This is what they call "balance."
More and more information filters out showing to the degree that this was pre-planned.
From Now, Lebanon:
On Thursday evening, al-Manar television quoted an unnamed Lebanese army source involved in Wednesday night's meeting between UNIFIL and the Israel and Lebanese armies as saying that the order to open fire in Tuesday's border skirmish had "come directly from the [army] command."
Amb. Michael Oren in today's Washington Post:
Although the maintenance work was fully coordinated with the U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, and the fatal shot was fired by the nominally independent Lebanese Armed Forces, Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, sent a television crew to film the ambush. He applauded the murder as a "heroic confrontation" and threatened to "cut off the arm" of Lebanon's enemies, ostensibly by firing his Iranian- and Syrian-supplied arsenal of more than 42,000 rockets at Israeli cities and towns.
(A number of bloggers observed that there were plenty of photographers available. Now we know their source.)
My guess is that the ambassador used the op-ed to include a piece of information that didn't get reported elsewhere.
Senior Lebanese army commanders planned and authorised the cross-border shooting on Tuesday that killed an Israel Defence Forces colonel who was supervising the removal of a tree within Israeli territory, the Lebanese press has reported. The acknowledgement came at a United Nations-brokered meeting between Major-General Abdul Rahman Chehaitly of the Lebanese army and a senior Israeli officer on Wednesday. The Lebanese newspaper As-Safir reported that General Chehaitly told the meeting the shooting was the result of a command decision and could be repeated. "The soldiers received clear orders to open fire. The responsibility is that of the Israeli army which crossed the border," General Chehaitly said.
In the last few months, there has been increasing friction between the Lebanese army and the IDF over the entire length of the border, as the Lebanese forces - especially Division 9, most of whose commanders are Shiite Muslim - take an aggressive stance against what they are calling Israeli provocations. On the other hand, the fact that we're talking about an incident with the Lebanese army and not with the militia Hezbollah, which operates in southern Lebanon, is likely to help calm tensions, because the government in Beirut has no interest in a confrontation with Israel.
Daniel Kurtzer, the former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt and Israel, reports in a comprehensive "contingency planning memorandum" for the Council on Foreign Relations, "Hizbullah's arsenal is more potent in quantity and quality today than it was in 2006." In addition, he notes, Hizbullah has stepped up its anti-Israel rhetoric. Kurtzer points out that American efforts to prevent another war in Lebanon are limited, recognizing Israel's right and need for self-defense and Washington's lack of relations with Hizbullah and its supporter, Iran.
While I'm reading in a number of places that the confrontation was likely orchestrated by Hezbollah to divert attention from the finding that its members were involved in killing Rafiq Hariri, it's also believed that Tuesday's incident was a one time thing, not likely to escalate.
On the other hand it serves as a reminder that no matter how calm things are one the surface, there's a lot of trouble for Israel below the surface in Lebanon. I'm glad that Kurtzer says that the United States must support Israel's right to defend itself. But this shows, once again, the ineffectiveness of the UN when it comes to confronting real rogues.
Crossposted on Yourish.
Posted: 05 Aug 2010 10:35 PM PDT
"Plots designed by Arrogant powers to make Zionist regime's alive"--that's some choice Irangrish:
Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi said Wednesday that the country has discovered Arrogant-sponsored plots aiming at supporting Zionist regime in the region."Good news"?! What if they're just the tip of the iceberg?
The enemy has found that its plots in the region will be thwarted, he said.Of course, the most perfidious plot of all was the attack on Lebanon:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for international communities to condemn aggressive actions of Zionist regime against Lebanon.Is that all? Angry Arab wanted an invasion. I think he has the distinction of being more extreme than the Khomeinists.
Crossposted on Judeopundit
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