Monday, April 09, 2007

Lebanon, 2006

The BBC has been looking back on last year's war (*). On the initial attack on 12 July, they say that Hezbollah fired diversionary rockets into Israel, units crossed the border and captured 2 soldiers. A Hezbollah minister assured his cabinet colleagues that this was "business as usual" and not to worry too much about retaliation from Israel.

I start to think I imagined this, but weren't six Israeli soldiers killed during that initial raid? As for it being "business as usual", Hezbollah's rockets were launched against the western part of northern Israel, far from the so-called disputed area of Shebaa Farms, where they normally carried out attacks.

Despite this somewhat shaky start, the programme had some fascinating details - such as that many Arab governments privately had sympathy for the actions Israel took.

In another programme, Philippe Douste-Blazy had some warm words for the role Condoleeza Rice played in eventually ending the war (**).

* The Summer War in Lebanon: Part 1 - Broadcast on Radio 4 - Tue 03 Apr - 20:00 listen.
The programme was also broadcast in the Assignment slot on the World Service on Thursday, for example at 19:00 GMT (edited down from about 37 minutes to 23) -  Listen. Of course, this information is too late now, but there's still part 2 to come.
** France Versus the World: Part 1 is about foreign policy. This is available as an mp3 download, which is handy.

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