Monday, July 17, 2006


A number of articles today that delve into the motivations for the conflict in Lebanon.


The Los Angeles Times:
Within days, Israeli policymakers were speaking openly of their hopes to use the confrontation to drive Hamas from power.

Israeli leaders were far faster to see the tantalizing glitter of such opportunity in Lebanon.

Hamas has been in power in the Palestinian territories only since March. Hezbollah has dominated southern Lebanon for years, and the Israeli army has long worked on plans for striking it if the right moment presented itself.

Only hours after Hezbollah fighters Wednesday staged a cross-border raid in which they killed eight Israeli soldiers and captured two, Israeli leaders began to talk of dealing the militant movement a devastating blow from which it could recover neither politically nor militarily.

From across the Israeli political spectrum, such declarations are now being made on a daily basis.

"We must eliminate, destroy and crush all of Hezbollah's infrastructure," lawmaker Eli Yishai of the religious Shas party said Sunday.
The Washington Times:
JERUSALEM -- The fierce Israeli attack in Lebanon is part of a carefully orchestrated plan -- not yet half-completed -- that calls for four stages of mounting intensity, culminating in the movement of ground troops into Lebanon, according to Israeli reports.
as for Hezbollah

The Christian Science Monitor:
"This is a showdown for both sides in which Israel is attempting to neutralize Hizbullah, and Hizbullah is attempting to impose its will on Israel and [say to] the international community that it's here to stay," she says.
whereas the United States

Bloomberg News:
July 17 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. is banking on Israel achieving in Lebanon what years of diplomacy and conflict have so far failed to do: limit the ability of Syria and Iran to use Islamic radicals to undermine regional stability.

President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have signaled that Israel largely has a free hand in attacking the militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon. They have declined to set limits on Israeli action, and Rice says she won't engage in personal diplomacy until there is a clear path toward ending the extremist threat.


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