Monday, August 14, 2006

US is Co-Rapist of Lebanon

The following is an unedited but truncated (for blog space, but link provided to read the full report) article by By Abraham Rabinovich in Jersualem. Underlinings are mine.

The US Government was closely involved in the planning of Israel's military operations against Islamic militant group Hezbollah even before the July 12 kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers, The New Yorker magazine reported in its latest issue.

The kidnapping triggered a month-long Israeli operation in southern Lebanon that is expected to come to an end today.

But Pulitzer Prize-winning US journalist Seymour Hersh writes that US President George W.Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney were convinced that a successful Israeli bombing campaign against Hezbollah could ease Israel's security concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential US pre-emptive attack to destroy Iran's nuclear installations.

Citing an unnamed Middle East expert with knowledge of the thinking of the Israeli and US Governments, Israel had devised a plan for attacking Hezbollah - and shared it with Bush administration officials-- well before the July 12 kidnappings.

The expert added that the White House had several reasons for supporting a bombing campaign, the report said.

If there was to be a military option against Iran, it had to get rid of the weapons Hezbollah could use in a potential retaliation against Israel, Hersh writes.

Citing a US government consultant with close ties to Israel, Hersh also reports that before the Hezbollah kidnappings, several Israeli officials visited Washington "to get a green light" for a bombing operation following a Hezbollah provocation, and "to find out how much the United States would bear".

"The Israelis told us it would be a cheap war with many benefits," the magazine quotes the consultant as saying. "Why oppose it? We'll be able to hunt down and bomb missiles, tunnels and bunkers from the air. It would be a demo for Iran."

US government officials have denied the charges.

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