Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Phone Call

It might be the heat or the fact that allergies or a flu bug has decided to make my life miserable at the moment but I find myself increasingly short tempered. So, when I attempt to write an unbiased blog on world events I find myself unable to accomplish this with the current crisis in the Middle East providing me with news, sadness, a headache, and a temper.

Israeli planes have been dropping leaflets on southern suburbs of Beirut telling residents to leave ahead of new military operations against Hezbollah. In Israel, the army has reportedly been told to plan a push into Lebanon as far as the Litani river, which is up to 30km (19 miles) north of the border, according to the BBC; and in turn Hezbollah has warned Tel Aviv could be attacked if Israel's actions intensify.

Fighting raged on the ground in south Lebanon today with four Israeli soldiers killed and Hezbollah again targeted northern Israel, killing at least eight civilians. Amidst this,
Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora called for a lasting solution to the conflict.

Where is the United States? Specifically President Bush? Startling reports over the past few days that only recently had the president actually talked with the Israeli prime minister on the phone. Response by the Bush Administration throughout this crisis has been pathetic, but such reports indicate a ghastly breakdown in Oval Office diplomacy.

Recent attempts to restart a cease-fire initiative have fallen short. Today is Thursday and the hope to “force” a diplomatic development as Secretary Rice wishes to accomplish before the weekend is widely considered unlikely. Maybe she would accomplish her mission if the president picked up the phone and called the leader of Israel.

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