What is it with War in Summer 2007?

What is it with War in summer 2007? Here is the Roshomon version in triplicate.
One has to love the spin going on between Israel, Syria and Hizbullah over which side is the bad guy and intends to attack first. The Israeli military has claimed that Hizbullah and Syria are planning to launch an attack on Israel during the summer of 2007.
Here is the Israeli version:
By Amir Oren: Haaretz
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Syria and Hezbollah are likely to start a war against Israel next summer, according to General Staff assessments that have been gathered during a series of meetings in recent weeks. While there is no specific estimate concerning the timing of a potential attack, all preparations are being made to ensure maximum preparedness in advance of summer, 2007.
Here is the Lebanese version:
Leila Hatoum of the Daily Star in Beirut gets a few quotes from Hizbullah on the Israeli accusations in her article: "Jewish state claims Hizbullah, Syria planning new war," November 07, 2006. She manages to spin in the opposite direction, making Israel out to be the aggressor. In her account Hizbullah is preparing itself for another Israeli on-slought. For Hizbullah it is all about defense, just as for the Israelis it is all about protecting the vulnerable state from Arab attack. Here is the Star's account:
BEIRUT: Israel is bracing itself for a possible new war with Lebanon, the chief of operations for the Jewish state's northern border area said on Monday. "We are preparing for a second war … and we are very optimistic, but on our side we must do everything to prepare for a worst-case scenario and we are readying for a scenario that [UN Security Council] Resolution 1701 will not succeed," said Lieutenant Colonel Guy Hazoot.

Resolution 1701 ended a brutal 34-day Israeli bombardment that demolished much of Lebanon's infrastructure, displaced one quarter of the population and killed and wounded over 5,000 people.

"We will not give Hizbullah the opportunity to come back to these positions," Hazoot said, gesturing to Lebanese territory across the border.

Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Monday that according to military assessments, Hizbullah and Syria "are likely to start a war against Israel next summer" and "all preparations are being made to ensure maximum preparedness."

Several top Israeli officials have said the Jewish state must prepare for a second round of hostilities with the militia, which it says is armed by Syria and Iran. Both Damascus and Tehran deny the charge.

Hizbullah media officer Hussein Rahhal told The Daily Star on Monday that the Israeli threat was real.

"The Israelis continue to reveal aggressive intentions towards Lebanon all the time," Rahhal said. "That is why we have to take into consideration that the major military power deployed along our southern borderline can, at any moment and under any pretext or without an excuse, launch an attack on us. … The Israeli generals' statements are the clearest proof that the resistance's reasoning is true. The resistance has to be ready to face any attack at all times. There has to be conformity between the resistance and the Lebanese Army and the role of the government and that of the people."

According to Rahhal, "this is the only way to confront Israel, because we are a weak country. The strength of Lebanon lies in the unity of its resistance, people and army in the face of Israel."

Resolution 1701 ended a brutal 34-day Israeli bombardment that demolished much of Lebanon's infrastructure, displaced one quarter of the population and killed and wounded over 5,000 people.

"We will not give Hizbullah the opportunity to come back to these positions," Hazoot said, gesturing to Lebanese territory across the border.

Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Monday that according to military assessments, Hizbullah and Syria "are likely to start a war against Israel next summer" and "all preparations are being made to ensure maximum preparedness."

Several top Israeli officials have said the Jewish state must prepare for a second round of hostilities with the militia, which it says is armed by Syria and Iran. Both Damascus and Tehran deny the charge.

Hizbullah media officer Hussein Rahhal told The Daily Star on Monday that the Israeli threat was real.

"The Israelis continue to reveal aggressive intentions towards Lebanon all the time," Rahhal said. "That is why we have to take into consideration that the major military power deployed along our southern borderline can, at any moment and under any pretext or without an excuse, launch an attack on us. … The Israeli generals' statements are the clearest proof that the resistance's reasoning is true. The resistance has to be ready to face any attack at all times. There has to be conformity between the resistance and the Lebanese Army and the role of the government and that of the people."

According to Rahhal, "this is the only way to confront Israel, because we are a weak country. The strength of Lebanon lies in the unity of its resistance, people and army in the face of Israel."

The Syrian version is even better. Foreign Minister Moualem is staying on his peace message and refuses to let Israel get him talking about war. With envoys from Britain, Spain, Norway, Germany and other European capitals competing to hear about regional peace plans, prisoner swaps, and how Syria is key to regional stability and can be part of the solution and not just a spoiler, Damascus is doing its best strip tease. Both Imad Mustapha and Moualem have been reaching out to the "righteous" Jews who insist on peace. So far Syria has refused to be suckered into the trash talk that Israel can usually bait it with.  For the Syrians these days, it's all come-hither glances and the debke. Maybe Syrians are learning something from the Lebanese girls?
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I hope no one missed Katherine Zoepf's hit article on the vixens of Beirut, from which this photo has been ripped. It is juicy. It is mean.
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By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

Reuters
Monday, November 6, 2006; 9:40 AM

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – Syria hopes for a Middle East peace process to be launched next year and is pleased that some Israelis want to reopen negotiations on the Golan Heights, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Monday.

"We hope to have in 2007 a peace process to settle the (Arab-Israeli) issue," Moualem said after meeting Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere in the Syrian capital.

Moualem said that despite predictions in the Israeli press of another Middle East war, Syria welcomed a debate going on inside the Jewish state about whether to resume negotiations with Damascus over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

"Syria appreciates these voices," Moualem said.

Talks between Israel and Syria over the Golan Heights, a mountainous plateau occupied by Israel since 1967, collapsed in 2000 after Syria insisted on regaining control of all the strategic piece of land.

"If the Israelis are thinking of launching a war next year this is not the way. They need to understand that using force does not solve issues," Moualem said without elaborating.

Cluster Bombs are back in the news:

The international Red Cross demanded Monday that the world immediately stop using cluster bombs because the indiscriminate civilian deaths caused by the weapons far outweigh any possible military advantages. 

Human rights groups have estimated that Israel dropped cluster bombs containing as many as 4 million tiny bombs in Lebanon. Around 30 to 40 percent of the submunitions failed to explode on impact, U.N. officials have said. Cluster bombs have killed at least 22 civilians and injured 133 since the end of the summer's conflict between Israel and Hizbullah. The impact on children is especially bad because the tiny bombs are usually an eye-catching yellow with little parachutes attached. Spoerri of ICRC said the small bombs were continuing to kill innocent Lebanese civilians every week. Much of the suffering, he added, could have been avoided had more accurate weapons been chosen.

A September move by U.S. Democrats to stop the Pentagon from using cluster bombs near civilian targets was defeated in the Senate. U.S. officials attending the international conference starting Tuesday on controlling conventional weapons said they would resist any attempts to have cluster bombs put on the agenda.

Fatfat: Unity Cabinet hinges on Hariri court
Daily Star staff, Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The March 14 Forces are willing to discuss the formation of a national unity government as long as this doesn't hinder the formation of an international court to try suspects in the killing of former Premier Rafik Hariri, according to acting Interior Minister Ahmad Fatfat. In an article published by the Hariri-owned Al-Mustaqbal newspaper Monday, Fatfat said: "The March 14 Forces are open to all discussions to form a national unity government, as long as this doesn't delay the tribunal's formation."

Alex points out that Olmert has not completely shut the door to negotiations with Syria. He sent this;

Olmert’s words are not totally negative … he is leaving the door open … he is using “if” and “what if”

 وفي المقابل، استبعد اولمرت اي لقاء مع الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد وقال "في حال اعلنت استعدادي للقاء الاسد فسيقولون انني قبلت انسحابا من هضبة الجولان".واضاف اولمرت "لنفترض انني قبلت انسحابا كاملا من الجولان، ليس ما يضمن ان سوريا ستنهي علاقاتها مع محور الشر الذي تشكل جزءا منه مع ايران وحزب الله".وتابع "لن نتوصل في هذه الحالة الى اتفاق، بل على العكس سنحصل على الحرب"

Comments (52)


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51. Dan said:

The IDF’s claims that a new war will break in 2007 should be taken with a grain of salt.
Every time the new yearly military budget is being discussed, a new terrible nemesis appears.
Even though a Syrian attempt of creating a Golan Heights’ Hizbullah is possible and also a subsequent war.

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November 9th, 2006, 7:41 pm

 

52. keller,USA said:

well look at the number of responses to this petty issue- ‘dancing on bars’. more American “Jonbenet Journalism” ala NYT- further junk news. with the region on the verge of exploding, cant the highly funded NYT give us some real information? and instead of falling for the distractions, as concerned readers, cant we demand it? for heaven’s sake!

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November 14th, 2006, 10:14 am

 

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