Friday, September 08, 2006

Busting the Blockade

(One of MEA's six Airbus A320 planes descending towards Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport)

Yesterday Israel lifted its eight week long air blockade on Lebanon which had paralyzed the country's sole international airport and forced thousands to travel in and out of the country via Amman or Damascus. However, the Israeli navy is continuing to enforce the sea blockade even though it had stated earlier that it will halt the entire embargo on Lebanon. Israeli officials declared that the sea blockade will only be removed when an international naval force is in place. Lebanon, which had expected Israel to end the air and sea blockades simultaneously, was told by the UN there was a "small technical problem".
The blockade, which has been costing Lebanon’s economy some $50 million a day, is expected to be removed in the next 48 hours at most – as soon as the UN finalizes working out logistical issues about patrolling Lebanon’s 250km shoreline.
I have to admit that I feel sorow for the Palestinian people who continuously have to suffer from lack of freedom in the world’s largest prison. After living through an 8-week embargo (and counting), I can come to say that there is nothing better than being free. And no, we will not allow Iranians to rule our country as much as we won’t allow Israelis to impose their will on us.


Blogger Doc said...

"And no, we will not allow Iranians to rule our country as much as we won’t allow Israelis to impose their will on us. "

I hope the Lebs become stronger and more unified and that this holds true. I am confident our national character will not allow it.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

US Secretary of State Dr. Condoleeza Rice and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, last night (Tuesday), 5 September 2006, and this morning (Wednesday), 6 September 2006, informed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that international forces are ready to take up control positions over Lebanon’s seaports and airports.

Therefore, it was agreed that tomorrow (Thursday), 7 September 2006, at 18:00, Israel will leave the aforesaid control positions and, at the same time, the international forces will enter.

Today, German experts and their equipment are expected to arrive at Beirut International Airport. The Lebanese government and the UN have also agreed that German naval forces will deploy opposite the Lebanese coast.

UN Secy.-Gen. Annan also clarified that until the arrival of the German naval force, in approximately two weeks, Italian, French, British and Greek forces will carry out the mission as part of the responsibilities of the international force and under its command.

Clearly states "when" the other forces arrive. A gap is all that is needed for the terrorists to receive arms shipments.

8:34 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Maybe we could get some of the "International Force" protection here for US Ports:

Here's an excerpt of comments by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y (note especially the part about 5% of containers coming to this country are inspected)

"Schumer argues while there have been big improvements in airport security and screening, he says port security is another problem. When it comes to the more than $875 million from Homeland's port security grants, so far the Port of Albany has been shut out.

“The Port of Albany is served by the Port of New York, but five percent of all containers that come into this country are inspected. That gives up a one in 20 chance of catching something being smuggled in, nuclear device, something else. “It’s not just good enough,” Schumer said.

"The Port of Albany's general manager says most of the federal grant money for port security has all gone to large ports with high volume, but they did apply for the latest round."

Port inspection is pretty much impossible. There are just too many things to inspect. Which is why some effort was made some years ago (and may still be in the making) to inspect at the port of ORIGIN. Then track the ship. But inspecting ships in a harbor is ineffective silliness that has little effect beyond interfering with commerce. Maybe they'll check carefully for a couple of weeks. But it's going to get tiresome running up and down stairs and opening and emptying containers all day every day. Not to mention expensive.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Charles Malik said...

Beautiful picture. I assume it was taken from Khalde, given that Rmleit al Bayda isn't visible.

9:47 PM  

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