Friday, July 14, 2006

---Israel hits Beirut 

Israeli attacks in Lebanon continue
FOXNews.com - Israel Strikes Beirut; Hezbollah Barrages N. Israel With Rockets - The Mideast
My Way News[AP] - Israeli Warplanes Strike in Beirut Again
The Israeli offensive into Lebanon intensified, as forces blockaded the country from land, sea, and air. Israel has hit major airports and interdicted highways, includng the road from Beirut to Damascus. The Lebanese government has protested that it it powerless to control Hezbollah guerillas operating within its borders. This appears to be a fairly reasonable assessment. The Syrians left under intense international pressure, but simply left an irregular army behind (with Iran's financial backing) to continue the de facto occupation of the country. [Hezbollah - Wikipedia]
It isn’t clear what the destabilization of the anti-Syrian representative government will accomplish, or if it can be avoided in any case. The U.S. Administration has advocated restraint to ensure the survival of "this young democracy that is trying to get a foothold there"[CNN.com - Bush: Syria should press Hezbollah]. On the other hand, the civil arm of Hezbollah holds legislative and ministerial positions in the Lebanese government, and clearly enjoys a degree of public support in the country.

Yesterday’s AP photos from the attack on Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut [0713dvs_israel_lebanon.jpg actually a thumbnail from the AP video clip] showed the amazing efficiency of modern air attack. It appeared that two bombs were placed precisely at the intersections of a runway with its taxiways, presumably rendering it useless without extensive repairs, while otherwise intact. At one point, the U.S. evidently brokered a brief cease-fire to allow some evacuations from the airport, during which a runway was repaired. After the cease-fire, the Israelis bombed the runway again.
[edited 6-16]
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