Sh*t? Meet Fan…
Things in the Middle East are goin’ straight to hell. Bombings by Israel. Rocket launches by Hezbollah. Threats from Iran. Threats from Syria. Jordan and Egypt having a little confab.
From MSNBC News Services:
An Israeli air strike destroyed a main Hezbollah office in Beirut’s southern suburb as Israel tightened its seal on Lebanon Friday.
The Israeli army blasted the Lebanon’s air and road links to the outside world and bringing its offensive to the capital to punish Hezbollah — and with it, the country — for the capture of two Israeli soldiers.
Warplanes again smashed runways at Beirut’s airport with hours of airstrikes, trying to render it unusable, and destroyed mountain bridges on the main highway to Syria. Warships blockaded Lebanon’s ports for a second day.
Lebanese guerrillas responded by firing a barrage of at least 50 Katyusha rockets throughout the day, hitting more than a dozen communities across northern Israel.
The death toll in three days of fighting rose to 73 killed in Lebanon — almost all civilians, including five killed in strikes Friday — and 12 in Israel, including a mother and daughter killed in a rocket attack. The violence sent shock waves through a region already traumatized by the ongoing battles in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas.
Fears mounted among Arab and European governments that violence in Lebanon could spiral out of control.
“We consider the situation to be very bad and there is the continuing possibility that it could worsen; that the conflict could expand, especially to Syria,” said Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja of Finland, whose country now holds the EU presidency.
Also Friday, Jordan’s King Abdullah II met in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in a hastily-called meeting to discuss the escalating violence.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said any Israeli attack against Syria would be an aggression on the whole Islamic world and warned of a harsh reaction, the official Iranian news agency reported Friday.
You figure President Bush – being President of the world’s only remaining superpower – would be working hard, trying to arrange talks between the parties. Trying to work this out, right? *snort*
Nitwit… Puddles in Pants….George Bush? He’s worrying about a pig roast.
Yeah – the world is poised on the edge of a very big cliff….and he’s talking about a pig roast. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel looked a bit stunned. As were the reporters. (Well – not the ones from the US; they’re used to it.)
After German Chancellor Angela Merkel made some opening remarks at their joint news conference staged in the 13th Century town hall of Stralsund, Bush said: “Thanks for having me… I’m looking forward to that pig tonight.”
A German reporter had a question for Bush: “And apart from the pig, Mr. President, what sort of insights have you been able to gain as regards East Germany?”
“I haven’t seen the pig yet,” said Bush, sidestepping the question about insights gained from the two-day visit to this region of Germany that Merkel calls home and once rested within East Germany.
And when an American reporter asked Bush if he is concerned about the Israeli bombing of the airport in Beirut and about Iran’s failure to respond to an offer for negotiations that the U.S. and European allies have made, Bush replied with more pig banter before delving into the substance of the questions.
“I thought you were going to ask about the pig,” Bush said. “The pig? I’ll tell you tomorrow after I eat it.”
Thankfully, there are Foreign Service people a whole lot smarter than
The Decidererer…. Chimpy McFlightSuit….George Bush, who are actually dealing with the situation. The US military’s already making contingency plans to evacuate some 25,000 American citizens.
From NBC News (sidebar):
Military officials are discussing contingency plans for what appears now to be the inevitable evacuation of U.S. citizens.
The most likely candidate from the MEU would be the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima. It resembles a small aircraft carrier, complete with helicopters and light attack aircraft.
One official says that the military is working on the assumption that they would have to evacuate nearly 25,000 people.
Oh – and by the way, a little prediction: Gas prices. Double within one month unless Israel pulls back before the oil-producing nations have to choose sides.
Let’s all look back on history, shall we?
The 1973 oil crisis began in earnest on October 17, 1973, when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries and (OAPEC, consisting of the Arab members of OPEC plus EgyptSyria) announced, as a result of the ongoing Yom Kippur War, that they would no longer ship petroleum to nations that had supported Israel in its conflict with Syria and Egypt (i.e., to the United States and its allies in Western Europe).
About the same time, OPEC members agreed to use their leverage over the world price-setting mechanism for oil in order to quadruple world oil prices, after attempts at negotiation with the “Seven Sisters” earlier in the month failed.
Due to the dependence of the industrialized world on OPEC oil, these price increases were dramatically inflationary to the economies of the targeted countries, while at the same time suppressive of economic activity. The targeted countries responded with a wide variety of new, and mostly permanent, initiatives to contain their further dependency.