Well, Bush Administration Mideast policy is creeping forward from absolute torpor to slow lethargy. Now, instead of a vague “I just might go to the Mideast,” according to Haaretz she’s moved to this mode:
“At some point in the future, the secretary intends to travel to the region,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters. He added that Rice would return to the United States later on Monday from a trip to Russia before deciding when to make her Middle East trip.
That’s progress, don’t you think? That’s about as firm an endorsement of the concept as Ehud Olmert’s statement that he plans to meet with Mahmoud Abbas. Yeah, right–but when? Before my grandchildren are born?
And here’s the “analysis” of our Blessed Leader overheard by microphones as he spoke to Tony Blair at G8:
“What they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it’s over.”
Well, by golly, the man’s got a steel-trap mind. But how, Mr. President, are you going to get Syria to do that (presuming that it CAN of course) if you’ve burned all your bridges by practically calling Assad an Al Qaeda ally and threatening the country with attack? That was from one of John Bolton’s more notorious speeches a few years ago by the way.
I register another ‘thank God’ for the French prime minister, who joined Tony Blair and Kofi Annan at the G8 in calling for deployment of an international force along the Lebanese border:
French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on Monday joined British Prime Minister Tony Blair and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in calling for the deployment of an international force in southern Lebanon, in order to end the spiraling conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.
Villepin also called for an immediate truce between Israel and Lebanon on humanitarian grounds.
De Villepin was speaking after meeting the Lebanese government in Beirut in an effort to find a solution to the confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas.
The French premier arrived in Beirut on Monday to meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and express France’s support for Lebanon.
The world community’s response to this has been shameful.
Today, Katyushas have rained down all over northern Israel hitting previously untouched areas like the Golan Heights and Jezreel Valley. An apartment building was levelled in Haifa. The entire port was shut down. It is Israel’s major seaport. Though there were various injuries, miraculously no Israeli has died in today’s attacks. One wishes the same could be said for IDF attacks on Lebanon. NY Times reports that an IAF missile:
hit a minibus, killing 12 civilians as they were driving through the seaside town of Rmeileh, south of Beirut.
I dare anyone to tell me how a minibus becomes a terrorist target. The Lebanese death toll stands at 200. Ten times as many Lebanese have been killed in such attacks as Israelis killed by Hezbollah attacks.