Tuesday, August 01, 2006

[via AP NEWS Aug 1, 8:28 PM (ET)]

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - Israel launched a major attack deep into Lebanon, and Hezbollah said its guerrillas were fighting Israeli commandos trapped inside a hospital in the eastern city of Baalbek early Wednesday.

The Israeli army would not comment on the operation in the ancient city, which was once a Syrian army headquarters some 80 miles north of Israel. The Web site of the Israeli daily Haaretz reported that "helicopters put down IDF (military) commandos near Baalbek," without adding details.

The ferocity of the battles in Baalbek and across southern Lebanon on Tuesday, the determination of the Israelis to keep fighting and the minimal diplomatic progress toward a cease-fire all indicate the 3-week-old war is more likely to escalate than end soon.
Hezbollah's chief spokesman, Hussein Rahal, told The Associated Press that Israeli troops landed near Dar al-Hikma Hospital and that fierce fighting was raging after more than one hour. Read Full Story
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Some Bush Sr. advisers 'deeply uneasy' with 'pro-Israeli tilt to the policies of the son'
[via RAWSTORY-NYT August 1, 2006]

Some advisers to the president's father are "deeply uneasy with the pro-Israeli tilt to the policies of the son," according to an article slated for the front page of Wednesday's New York Times, RAW STORY has found.

The paper reports that there is "a generational and philosophical divide between the Bushes" which "is creating friction between their camps."
"When they first met as United States president and Israeli prime minister, George W. Bush made clear to Ariel Sharon he would not follow in the footsteps of his father," writes Sheryl Gay Stolberg for the Times.

"The first President Bush had been tough on Israel, especially the housing settlements Sharon had helped develop," Stolberg continues. "But over tea in the Oval Office that day in March 2001 the new president charted a different course, going beyond the usual expression of support by pledging to use force to protect Israel."

"That embrace represents a generational and philosophical divide between the Bushes, one that is creating friction between their camps," writes Stolberg.

"As the president continues to defend Israel's bombing campaign against Hezbollah -- even after a devastating weekend attack that left dozens of Lebanese civilians dead and provoked international condemnation -- some advisers to the father are deeply uneasy with the pro-Israeli tilt to the policies of the son," Stolberg writes. Read Developing Story
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Experts: Not a single Army Combat team left ready to deploy
[via RAWSTORY August 1, 2006]

A group of national security experts formed by Democratic leadership has reported to Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) that, "there is not a single non-deployed Army Brigade Combat Team in the United States that is ready to deploy," RAW STORY has learned.
"The bottom line," the group concludes in a letter to Democratic leadership, "is that our Army currently has no ready, strategic reserve."
"More than two-thirds of the Army National Guard's 34 brigades are not combat ready, mostly because of equipment shortages that will cost up to $21 billion to correct, the top National Guard general said Tuesday," the Associated Press reported today. Read The Letter
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