29 July 2009

* Is Israel Preparing to Attack Lebanon?

General (Ret) James David wrote the intro to the following article as he is mentioned on the cover of the third edition of former Republican Congressman Paul Findley’s ‘They Dare Speak Out’ book about the power/influence of the pro-Israel lobby (AIPAC and similar) on the US political system and media (CNN’s Wolf Blitzer is an example as he has been associated with AIPAC as well!) – keep in mind that Israel going after Hezbollah in Lebanon would be in accordance with the ‘A Clean Break’ agenda that the Iraq invasion was based on.

(GJDavid) 


The official Lebanese news agency reported on Tuesday that the Lebanese army had declared a state of high alert and deployed forces along the border with Israel.According to the report, the high alert was declared in response to the advancing of Israeli tanks in the Shaba farms area. Reportedly, four Israeli tanks had advanced toward an area called Hassan Kasar, where there is an entrance gate to Lebanon.The news agency said that the Lebanese army deployed its forces in order to “be prepared to face the Israeli enemy.”
 
 

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) also responded to the moves and raised its alert level in the area while monitoring the situation from both sides, the news agency said.
Furthermore, the news agency went on to report, six Israeli aircraft had entered Lebanese airspace and circled the area.
The Hezbollah-linked television network Al Manar reported meanwhile that the commander of the UNIFIL forces, Claudio Graziano, met on Monday with southern Lebanese community leaders and two parliament members affiliated with Hezbollah and the Shi’ite Amal movement.
According to the report, the meeting was convened in order to voice criticism over UNIFIL’s conduct following an explosion at an arms cache near the border earlier this month. Israel has argued that the explosion was caused by “an arms cache that consisted of Hezbollah arms, including rockets, mortars, artillery shells, grenades, and additional ammunition which had been brought to the area following the Second Lebanon War.” Lebanon, on the other hand, now says that the explosion took place at an uncompleted structure in the village that stored “arms left behind by the Israelis” during the 34-day war.
During the meeting, Al Manar went on to say, Hezbollah representatives warned the UNIFIL commander that southern Lebanon was under the sole authority of the Lebanese army and the Lebanese government, not UNIFIL. The criticism comes after UNIFIL complained that the Lebanese army blocked its troops from the site of the explosion following the incident.
The report also said that upon the conclusion of the meeting, those in attendance met with local residents in effort to restore the good relations between UNIFIL and the locals in southern Lebanon.
(zthreat) 

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Introducing Lebanon

Coolly combining the ancient with the ultramodern, Lebanon is one of the most captivating countries in the Middle East. From the Phoenician findings of Tyre (Sour) and Roman Baalbek's tremendous temple to Beirut's BO18 and Bernard Khoury's modern movement, the span of Lebanon's history leaves many visitors spinning. Tripoli (Trablous) is considered to have the best souk in the country and is famous for its Mamluk architecture. It's well equipped with a taste of modernity as well; Jounieh, formerly a sleepy fishing village, is a town alive with nightclubs and glitz on summer weekends.

With all of the Middle East's best bits - warm and welcoming people, mind-blowing history and considerable culture, Lebanon is also the antithesis of many people's imaginings of the Middle East: mostly mountainous with skiing to boot, it's also laid-back, liberal and fun. While Beirut is fast becoming the region's party place, Lebanon is working hard to recapture its crown as the 'Paris of the Orient'.

The rejuvenation of the Beirut Central District is one of the largest, most ambitious urban redevelopment projects ever undertaken. Travellers will find the excitement surrounding this and other developments and designs palpable - and very infectious.

Finally, Lebanon's cuisine is considered the richest of the region. From hummus to hommard (lobster), you'll dine like a king. With legendary sights, hospitality, food and nightlife, what more could a traveller want?

Introducing Beirut

What Beirut is depends entirely on where you are. If you’re gazing at the beautifully reconstructed colonial relics and mosques of central Beirut’s Downtown, the city is a triumph of rejuvenation over disaster.

If you’re in the young, vibrant neighbourhoods of Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye, Beirut is about living for the moment: partying, eating and drinking as if there’s no tomorrow. If you’re standing in the shadow of buildings still peppered with bullet holes, or walking the Green Line with an elderly resident, it’s a city of bitter memories and a dark past. If you’re with Beirut’s Armenians, Beirut is about salvation; if you’re with its handful of Jews, it’s about hiding your true identity. Here you’ll find the freest gay scene in the Arab Middle East, yet homosexuality is still illegal. If you’re in one of Beirut’s southern refugee camps, Beirut is about sorrow and displacement; other southern districts are considered a base for paramilitary operations and south Beirut is home to infamous Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah. For some, it’s a city of fear; for others, freedom.

Throw in maniacal drivers, air pollution from old, smoking Mercedes taxis, world-class universities, bars to rival Soho and coffee thicker than mud, political demonstrations, and swimming pools awash with more silicone than Miami. Add people so friendly you’ll swear it can’t be true, a political situation existing on a knife-edge, internationally renowned museums and gallery openings that continue in the face of explosions, assassinations and power cuts, and you’ll find that you’ve never experienced a capital city quite so alive and kicking – despite its frequent volatility.