Truth By The Yard

I wrote and posted this article to the Baileymail August 2nd, 2 days after the previous road-map to war piece. 

Truth By the Yard

Israel’s intention in the latest Middle East conflict is unknown, because that is the intention. The width of the security zone Israel intends to create is extended, and extended, and extended.

By Liam Bailey

In a meeting running late into Monday night, Israel’s security cabinet voted in favour of expanding the military operation against Hezbollah. Although the official intention is now a 4 miles wide security zone up from 1.2 miles, some senior Israelis are now admitting my prediction: Israeli forces intend to clear an 18-30 mile zone between the Litani river and Israel; securing the area until international forces arrive, but is 18 miles far enough. Reports of yesterday’s Israeli operation in the Bekaa Valley, 40 miles inside Lebanon suggests not…

The operation began, 3 hours before the end of a 48 hour aerial suspension, with at least five rapid air strikes, followed by troops landing from Helicopters and entering Dar Al-Hikma hospital in the Hezbollah stronghold of Baalbek. Israeli troops began checking the identity card of all patients and staff, when, according to a senior Hezbollah spokesman they were attacked by Hezbollah militants; trapping Israeli troops inside the hospital and sparking a gun-battle lasting over 4 hours. Witnesses said several people were taken by Israeli forces, the IDF later confirmed that Israeli troops in Baalbeck hit a number of Hezbollah militants and arrested some of them.

In response to the attacks today Hezbollah launched a record number of missiles into Israel some 213 attacks had been recorded as of 6:45 this evening, including the furthest reaching attack of the recent conflict; landing approx 45 miles inside the Israeli border. While the rocket attacks continued Israeli ground forces continued to expand their operation, today reaching just short of their 4-mile stated aim, fighting fierce Hezbollah resistance and ambushes for every inch. The 45-mile rocket attack could mean Israel’s incursion will reach beyond the Litani River, undoubtedly, especially after yesterday’s commando breach involving troop movements close to the Syrian border, which Syria has already said will be perceived as a threat and they will defend themselves, bringing the Syrians into the fray. I wonder how much support they will receive in their legitimate right to defend themselves.

In a worrying report today Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today said the fighting would continue, especially worrying because as I have reported the U.S line, pitched emphatically by Condoleezza Rice is that an international force won’t enter Lebanon until fighting has ceased. As America seems to be running the show, certainly from the British labour government decided stance on the matter, that there should be an immediate “cessation of hostilities, followed by an intensive effort to achieve a “long-term ceasefire” What is a cessation of hostilities if it isn’t a ceasefire? Does this mean that Israel and Hezbollah can continue in their indiscriminate killing as long as they aren’t hostile while doing so, service with a smile if you like? This makes the Olmert’s statement all the more menacing, until he said that in displacing most of the civilian population from South Lebanon they have removed Hezbollah’s power-base, I rest my case…

As I have said, Israel under Ehud Olmert and unconditional U.S and U.K support is a law unto itself, and will continue to kill Lebanese civilians in their droves until they achieve their aim, whatever that may be or become. In my opinion the aim is to weaken or crush Hezbollah’s capability to retaliate against Israel in the event of an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, while drawing Iran into actions justifying such an attack attack, most likely their failure to comply with resolution 1696 by August 31st, as it has already warned before the resolution was passed. Whatever the true aim of the current Israeli offensive in Lebanon, the Bush administration will guarantee it continues until their attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities when Khomeini finally puts a foot wrong, and then until Hezbollah is defeated militarily. The unintended consequence of such an attack on Iran is the largest of any administration, and that is saying something… Catastrophic global conflict.

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