Friday, August 04, 2006

Signs of the Apocalypse

In the ironic news department:

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he would welcome German troops participating in an international force in southern Lebanon, according to a newspaper interview published Friday.

The Germans, in fact, are more worried about the issue than the Israelis are.

Okay, this isn't really all that ironic. Germany has come a long way from the 1940s, and modern Israel is confident enough -- and strong enough -- not be scared by a 60-year-old bogeyman. This is a refreshing example of a changed culture on the one hand and the ability to forgive on the other.

It's always fun to find something that Captain Ed and I can agree on.

In the "nothing is simple" department:

Thousands of Shiite Muslims marched though the Iraqi capital on Friday in support of Hezbollah guerrillas battling Israeli forces, answering a call by radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr rally to the cause of their fellow Shiites in Lebanon.

Throngs of Shiite men, most clad in white burial shrouds that symbolized their willingness to die, gathered in the northeast Baghdad slum known as Sadr City and marched toward the center of the capital, chanting "Death to Israel" and "Death to America." Marchers waved the yellow flag of Hezbollah and the red-and-green flag of Lebanon, while occasionally pausing to desecrate the Israeli flag.

Though clearly huge, the precise size of the crowd was impossible to determine. Estimates made by organizers ranged from 250,000 to 1 million, but the U.S. military said in a news release that calculations based on pictures taken from unmanned surveillance aircraft put the crowd at 14,000.

I refer you to an earlier post laying out the complicated and contradictory lines of loyalty in the region. What makes the region so treacherous is that everyone you meet has two or three lines of loyalty -- and different ones will dominate depending on the issue or perhaps even the time of day.

And finally, all this takes place against the background of the "SS,DD" department:

A new wave of Hezbollah rockets killed eight Israeli civilians Thursday, and four soldiers died in ground combat in southern Lebanon, Israel's highest daily death toll in the three-week-old war. Israeli jets blasted targets in Beirut for the first time in almost a week.

Israeli forces appeared to be struggling in efforts to control villages and towns across the Lebanese border and push deeper into the country, according to U.N. observers in Lebanon. Most of the day's fighting took place within two miles of the frontier and sometimes only a few hundred yards from it.

The major revelation here is that Hezbollah possesses anti-tank missiles, substantially raising the stakes for Israeli troops.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The cable news networks are just dying for an apocolypse. Oh, how their ratings would go up! The "rapture index" is the culmination of such idiotic reporting.
On the subject of propaganda, don'tcha just love Fox News? They recently "asked the question" (in other words, put it in the minds of viewers): Have Saddam's WMD gone to Hezbollah?
Nevermind the fact that a $900 million search by the US itself found no trace of post-1991 WMD production in Iraq, or the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever for WMD in the ranks of Hezbollah.
But this stuff is like candy for people like maxtrue and other Sean Hannity wannabes.
- Caracarn

8/07/2006 4:36 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

You gotta admit, the Apocalypse would make for good TV. Although there'd be pretty high casualties among the news crews.

Was that an actual Fox news question? What a bunch of maroons.

Be nice to Max. He seems to have wigged out a bit on this Israel thing, but I normally find him to be thoughtful and level-headed.

8/07/2006 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I learned the Fox news question from a secondary, but reliable, source. (after all, watching it makes me want to puke)

Sorry, Max. It's just...there are enough talking heads in America trying to propagate the "us vs. them, good vs. evil" mentality.
- Caracarn

8/08/2006 9:56 AM  

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