Israel blasts Lebanon's main airport

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Israel blasts Lebanon's main airport

Post by Covar » Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:18 pm

the source wrote:BEIRUT, Lebanon ? Lebanon found itself virtually cut off from the world Thursday, as the main highway linking Beirut and Damascus, Syria, the last major artery left intact after attacks by Israeli warplanes, was bombed late Thursday night.

With Israeli warships patrolling Lebanon's shores and the runways at Rafik Hariri International Airport bombed early Thursday, the country was fully blockaded.

As the roar of warplanes and the occasional boom of missiles rattled nerves, many Lebanese began re-enacting the rituals learned during 15 years of civil war. They hoarded canned foods, spare batteries and candles. Some prepared bomb shelters and others hunkered down for a protracted siege.

The Lebanese Cabinet met Thursday night, called for "national unity" and condemned the Israeli assault, demanding that the "international community help secure a cease-fire."

The attack strained the fragile ties binding Lebanon, whose population of Sunni and Shiite Muslims, Christians and Druse, had begun recovering from the wounds of civil war. Lebanese reactions varied, in many cases along sectarian lines.

In Beirut's Shiite-dominated southern suburbs, where residents handed out sweets in celebration of the seizures of the Israeli soldiers on Wednesday, residents supported Hezbollah, a Shiite group with close ties to Iran, and insisted they were prepared to sacrifice for the cause. Some openly pledged their allegiance to Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah. "We support Seyed Hassan completely," said Rania al Faris, speaking of Nasrallah as she waited for a bus. But in many other parts of the city, many expressed indignation at having to pay for what they saw as a ruinous escapade. "I'm not anxious because I guess I am just used to war," admitted Sirine Ahmad, 47, as she stocked up on supplies in the religiously mixed Hamra section. "But this time I feel bitterness, anger and rage because Hezbollah does not have the right to decide to take us back into war."

The crisis has underscored the weakness of the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who for the past year has struggled to build legitimacy and focus the country inward, hoping to settle growing sectarian squabbles and boost the Lebanese economy.

Israel has long demanded that the Lebanese government disarm Hezbollah, in keeping with a U.N. resolution. But Hezbollah is a powerful force in Lebanon. Two members are part of the Lebanese Cabinet, and Hezbollah effectively controls parts of southern Lebanon. Instead of outright confrontation with Hezbollah, Siniora has tried to goad the group into aligning its agenda with the government's. For the past several months, he has held what he called a national dialogue to try to find a way to come to a settlement on Hezbollah's arms.

But Hezbollah's attack, and Israel's response, underline the tensions tearing at Lebanon today ? a consuming hatred of Israel, which occupied southern Lebanon for 18 years, gratitude to Hezbollah, which drove Israel out, and fear of being plunged into chaos again.

"You can bet that non-Shiites probably hate Hezbollah now," said Amal Saad Ghorayeb, professor of political science at Lebanese American University and an expert on Hezbollah. "But those same people have also been reminded that Israel is the enemy."

Timur Goksel, a lecturer at Lebanese American University and a former senior U.N. official in southern Lebanon, said: "The cost of this is high and will continue to get higher. But the highest cost in the end will be in explaining to the Lebanese why this incident occurred."

Lebanese are also bracing for the economic toll of the fighting. The civil war ravaged Beirut and parts of the country, but Lebanon invested billions of dollars in a shiny new downtown. Arab tourists, feeling unwelcome in Europe and the United States after the Sept. 11 attacks, flocked to Beirut. Now they are fleeing.

Joseph Khouri, a cab driver, stood before a scrum of Saudi tourists boarding buses bound for Damascus.

He was proud of Hezbollah's strike against Israel, he said. But he also realized there would be a price. Tourism contributes up to $4 billion of Lebanon's $23 billion gross domestic product, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

"Do all these people deserve this?" Mr. Khouri said as he helped load his clients' bags on the bus. "If they wanted to get the kidnappers, why didn't they just focus on the kidnappers, not the innocent people."

The land border with Syria, the sole exit from the country, was backed up for miles by midday. Many Westerners, for whom Syrian have become much more difficult to get, were stranded in Beirut's hotels.

"This is terrifying. I mean it's a resort, not a war zone," said Abdullah al Sudairi, a Saudi tourist who cut short his vacation and boarded a bus to Damascus.

Perhaps, he said, he would come back, but not for a very long time

After all the hard lessons of Lebanon's past, this siege was an especially unnecessary one, some said. "I have never been as scared in my whole life as I am now," Mona Karaoui, 24, said. "No one wants to resist against anyone. We just want to live a normal life after all these years of wars and death and misery."

By nightfall, Beirut had grown quiet as the panic buying ended. Lebanese stayed home, bracing for worse news to come.
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Post by Sir Savant » Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:20 pm

We need to nuke Isreal. They think they are the US or something...
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Post by DCFreak07 » Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:23 am

Nah. Did you hear about Korea, firing off missles, landed near Japan, P/O'ed Japan. I swear, you're gonna wake up one day, and the eastern half of the world is gonna be destroyed, they need to cut the crap.
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Post by pixel » Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:22 pm

DCFreak07 wrote:Nah. Did you hear about Korea
[sic]
Uh.. yeah.

I don't feel much need to be rushing into their country to help either side.
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Post by AuroEdge » Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:56 pm

pixel wrote:
DCFreak07 wrote:Nah. Did you hear about Korea
[sic]
Uh.. yeah.

I don't feel much need to be rushing into their country to help either side.
Well, if you're talking about S. Korea and N. Korea, you're about 55 years too late. If you're talking about Japan and N. Korea, you're about 60 years too late.
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Post by Strapping Scherzo » Wed Jul 26, 2006 7:53 am

I wish the United States would just isolate itself from everything happening on the other side of the world. Over here, in the Americas, we get along pretty well. Sure, we've got border issues with Mexico. Big deal. But we've got no deep-rooted hated with any country here in the west. I just wanna live my life without BS that is far beyond my control.
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Post by stagg » Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:06 am

Strapping Scherzo wrote:I wish the United States would just isolate itself from everything happening on the other side of the world. Over here, in the Americas, we get along pretty well. Sure, we've got border issues with Mexico. Big deal. But we've got no deep-rooted hated with any country here in the west. I just wanna live my life without BS that is far beyond my control.
Like Canada.
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Post by butters » Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:43 am

Strapping Scherzo wrote:I wish the United States would just isolate itself from everything happening on the other side of the world. Over here, in the Americas, we get along pretty well. Sure, we've got border issues with Mexico. Big deal. But we've got no deep-rooted hated with any country here in the west. I just wanna live my life without BS that is far beyond my control.
We tried that. Before World War 1 the U.S. was isolationist, and it worked somewhat well. We even tried maintaining that policy during World War 2, but got drawn into the war. After World War 2, the U.S. had become too influential to be isolationist anymore.
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Post by Ex-Cyber » Wed Jul 26, 2006 1:03 pm

IMHO, it's not that the U.S. is too influential, it's that the economic status quo depends so much on international trade that the US projects its influence in order to ensure political stability for its trade partners and thereby maintain economic stability for itself. Basically, we're in a situation where the American economy could be gravely affected if someone decides to start a war on the other side of the world.
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Post by Lartrak » Wed Jul 26, 2006 7:25 pm

butters wrote:
Strapping Scherzo wrote:I wish the United States would just isolate itself from everything happening on the other side of the world. Over here, in the Americas, we get along pretty well. Sure, we've got border issues with Mexico. Big deal. But we've got no deep-rooted hated with any country here in the west. I just wanna live my life without BS that is far beyond my control.
We tried that. Before World War 1 the U.S. was isolationist, and it worked somewhat well. We even tried maintaining that policy during World War 2, but got drawn into the war. After World War 2, the U.S. had become too influential to be isolationist anymore.
We did help the Allies to a HUGE extent before actually entering it militarily - basically gave them money, use of land, many other things. Rightly so. It isn't fair to say we were drawn in by accident - it was quite willingly.
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Post by AuroEdge » Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:01 am

The United States still practices isolation in a sense, but complete isolation has been out the window since the country was born. The only conflicts we should be taking part in are those that directly affect us. Leave Africa alone and focus on parts of the world that really affect America.
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Post by SuperMegatron » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:43 am

AuroEdge wrote: Leave Africa alone and focus on parts of the world that really affect America.
Wrong the US and the soviet union spent billions arming africans after ww2. When you see people in the 3rd world with high end weapons where do you think they got them?
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Post by Lartrak » Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:00 pm

SuperMegatron wrote:
AuroEdge wrote: Leave Africa alone and focus on parts of the world that really affect America.
Wrong the US and the soviet union spent billions arming africans after ww2. When you see people in the 3rd world with high end weapons where do you think they got them?
.....I think you misread what he said.
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Post by AgentGreen » Thu Jul 27, 2006 9:31 pm

Isolationist thinking is exactly what gets the U.S. in trouble in the first place: Take America's situation today: deeply locked in battle in the middle east. If Bush hadn't condemned Clinton for "grand ambitions" for keeping involved with geopolitics and aiding war-torn countries and keeping intelligence on terrorists, the 9-11 attacks could've been stopped.

And about Africa, though I really dislike SuperMegatron as an individual, he was on to something here. Africa is a mess because of a combination of Cold War activities and 1st-world colonization and it is the West's responsibility to try and fix the problem they created.

Back on topic, the whole situation with Israel is the fault of Europe. Europe, in spite of claiming Jews would be accepted if they adopted western ways, was horrible to the Jews. Britain thought it would be a bright idea to give in to the demands of the Zionist movement and give them land that was not rightfully theirs, pissing off former subjects of the Ottoman Empire who were previously told they'd be allowed independence and their own land (Britain obviously didn't do that). Of course rather than actually fix it, they plug their ears and let the U.N. try to handle the whole situation.
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Post by mikozero » Sat Aug 05, 2006 10:40 pm

nothing to with President Truman making the US the first country in the world to recognise the state of Israel then . . .
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Post by AgentGreen » Sat Aug 05, 2006 11:49 pm

Creating the state and recognizing the state is completely different. America during those days was too busy gladhanding every non-communist bastard no matter how they operated, which was bad for the entire world and for American foreign policy in general, but they didn't steal land and give it to people who would later steal more while simultaneously covering their ears and turning away from the situation.
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