Tuesday, August 22, 2006

"An outlaw state: Israel breaks ceasefire, threatens to assassinate Hezbollah leader"

By Patrick Martin

According to reports in the Lebanese press, based on local eyewitnesses, the Israeli commandos landed by helicopter in the eastern foothills of Mount Lebanon, dressed in Lebanese Army uniforms and seeking to conceal their identity as they passed through Hezbollah checkpoints on the road to Baalbek by speaking in Arabic. They were headed for a school thought to be owned by Yazbeck, who was born in Boudai but no longer lives there...

The raid became a debacle, however. Hezbollah fighters detected the Israeli ruse—reportedly because of the soldiers’ Palestinian Arabic accents—and opened fire on them. Although only ten Hezbollah soldiers were initially involved, some 300 townspeople mobilized, seized weapons and joined the fight, forcing the Israeli commandos to withdraw...

The raid on Boudai is something of a metaphor for the entire war: Israeli arrogance and military command of the air, running up against fierce resistance in the form of a militia based on and drawn from the local population. Even the notoriously pro-Israeli American press, whose editorials invariably characterize Hezbollah as a terrorist organization equivalent to Al Qaeda, has been compelled to acknowledge the mass base of the Shia militia...

Friday’s New York Times, for instance, carried the following paragraph: “Hezbollah guerrillas, known in Lebanon as ‘the resistance,’ have operated in the south for years. They are almost entirely local men hardened by 18 years of Israeli occupation after its 1982 invasion...

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