Friday, July 21, 2006

Kofi Annan's words today

This is lifted with due credit from a BBC World Service report on the BBC website. His words are probably as balanced as we are going to get today. The problem with Bolton's words at the end of the piece is that they automatically call Hezbollah 'terrorists' when to much of the Shiite population in Lebanon they are a legitimate political party (outside of the armed militia). People's categorisations of what defines a 'terrorist' is always blurred. I am not arguing either way, but I will say this if Hezbollah are 'terrorists' then Israel's UN ambassador Dan Gillerman's words: "The first thing that must be addressed is cessation of terror before we even talk about cessation of hostilities," must be addressed. Israel is committing terror acts against Lebanese civilians who are defenceless. See pics below and reports from the South by writers like Clancy Chassay and Robert Fisk and Nick Blanford. If its terror then Israel must admit its terror, and if its not terror then stop misuing the word and call it what it is - WAR and MURDER on every side.

He was fiercely critical of Israel and Hezbollah.

"Israel states that it has no quarrel with the government or people of Lebanon, and that it is taking extreme precautions to avoid harm to them," Mr Annan said.

"Yet a number of its actions have hurt and killed Lebanese civilians and military personnel and caused great damage to infrastructure.

"While Hezbollah's actions are deplorable, and as I've said, Israel has a right to defend itself, the excessive use of force is to be condemned."

He demanded Hezbollah release the captured soldiers immediately.

While Israel's actions were doing "little or nothing" to decrease popular support for Hezbollah in Lebanon or the region, they were doing a "great deal" to weaken the government of Lebanon, he said.

Sri Lanka: 80,000
Canada: 40,000
Philippines: 30,000
Australia: 25,000
US: 25,000
UK: 22,000 (inc. 10,000 with dual nationality)
France: 20,000
India: 12,000
Figures correct at start of conflict

Stranded in the war zone

On the worsening situation for civilians in Lebanon, Mr Annan said most non-essential UN staff had been removed from the country, but that humanitarian experts were being brought in.

However the lack of access to many parts of southern Lebanon made it difficult to determine the number of people in need, he said.

'Cessation of terror'

The US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, said it was time for the Security Council to start considering a response, and the US did seek a long-term end to hostilities.

But he added: "Still no-one has explained how you conduct a ceasefire with a group of terrorists".

Israel's UN ambassador Dan Gillerman said he was disturbed that Mr Annan's report had not mentioned the word "terror".

"The first thing that must be addressed is cessation of terror before we even talk about cessation of hostilities," he said.


Blogger nl said...

hello, im an israeli citizen. i read some of your blog, and what was published in israel from "time out beirut".
i must first say that there exists an opposition among the israelis to the military attack on lebanon.
what you wrote arose many questions for me. for example, your suggestion to stop the israeli bombing and turn to diplomatic negotiations. will it also stop the hizballa's bombing?

10:02 AM  

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