Kfar Shuba, Lebanon - In south Lebanon, where the 2006 summertime war between Israel and militant Shiite Hizbullah was played out, villages are abuzz with talk of another devastating conflict between the two archfoes.
Over the past few weeks, military activity on both sides of the border has contributed to war jitters as both Israel and Hizbullah are seemingly poised to strike.
The Israeli military just wrapped up a nationwide war drill it dubbed "Turning Point 2," and Hizbullah appears to have devised new battle plans that include cross-border raids into Israel and has mounted a sweeping recruitment and training drive, even marshaling non-Shiites and former Israeli-allied militiamen into new reservist units.
"The holy fighters are completely focused on the next war, even ignoring families and friends. They are just waiting for the next war," says Jawad, a Hizbullah fighter.
Still, many diplomats and analysts in Beirut say that neither side has an interest in coming to blows again, despite the buildup.
"The elements of conflict are still there, and it is possible that something small can get out of hand with neither side wanting it," says Timur Goksel, a university lecturer in Beirut and veteran observer of the Hizbullah-Israeli conflict. But, he adds, the heightened activity is "mainly posturing."
(The article is by Nick Blanford, BTW, and so well worth reading & heeding...]
I'm a bit surprised no-one's mentioned the brutal shitstorm currently going on in Gaza. Or maybe there's not actually much to say about it, beyond platitudes about how fucking awful it is? Peace on earth and goodwill to all men, indeed.
Yeah, I was thinking that. The situation's been analysed to death here and elsewhere anyway...
Some sort of peace deal involving a two-party state seems more remote now than ever.
Insane overkill, chest beating before Israeli election.
I had only put a comment onto the 'Global financial crash yah !' thread ,
to me this new shitstorm ices the bad cake , on top of many other things ...
News item now 'Israel refuses ceasefire', maybe now they want that one soldier taken hostage back ?
Of course they refused a ceasfire, they did after all break the 6 month ceasefire on November 4th by killing 6 Palestinians, this current attack came in the middle of a 48 hour truce, and of course they violated the 6 month ceasefire repeatedly with little or no reaction from Hamas.
This is just more of the usual Israeli bullshit - violate all agreements on the flimsiest of pretexts, murder scores of cilvilians and then blame the Palestinians. Its a 40 year old pattern which shows no signs of changing...
So, Israel's actions are pretty transparent, but what are Hamas's strategic goals?
And this looks good -- not had chance to do more than scan through it as of yet, though: http://www.bitterlemons.org/previous/bl291208ed46.html
More resources: Andrew Sullivan round up; Josh Landis round up.
Some observations: Liberal Fatah (Mourid Barghouti faction) will not emerge as long as Abu Mazen and gang are subsidised by Israel and the US.
Gaza's supply lines are the central issue. Not just in the sense of Hamas and Israel's limited objectives, but also in that as formal economic activity is shut down, the tunnel economy is all that is left, and Gaza is locked into a mode of development that is ultimately incompatible to Israel's interests, but also incentivised and seemingly inevitable. There will be no end to Hamas's collapsing quasi-state while this dynamic remains in play.
thanks for those links Vim (i really rate bitterlemons i must say, and their International arm).
i read this recently; the author holds their hand up about partiality in the source he is using.
What happened during the ceasefire?