Roundup: War in the Middle East

| Fri Jul. 28, 2006 8:49 AM EDT

July 28, 2006

No Magic Wand, says White House: At the White House briefing Thursday, a reporter asks, "I just want to follow up on you saying that Secretary Rice had significant victories in Rome. How can you say that when she came away with no cease-fire?" Press Secretary Tony Snow replied, "Because, Ed, you're laboring under the presumption that she was supposed to come with a magic wand and say a cease-fire. What she has said is, what on earth is the good of having another empty-handed cease-fire in the Middle East? What is the purpose of having something that is not enforceable at this juncture and is not realistic?"
Read the entire exchange.

Moral Grounds for Killing Civilians: Asa Kasher, author of the Israeli military's code of ethics, says killing civilians in southern Lebanon can be "morally justified."

"I don't know what the truth is about the circumstances," Kasher stressed. "But assuming that we warned the civilians and gave them enough time to leave, and that the civilians who remained chose, themselves, not to leave, then there is no reason to jeopardize the lives of the troops," he told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. Moshe Keynan, father of a soldier killed in another conflict, was quoted by the paper as saying he was angry with the IDF for jeopardizing soldiers' safety to protect civilians. "We need to worry that our kids return to their parents and we need to worry about our family and sons and wives, not how we look on BBC."

Need cash? Want a car? Israeli psyops operating out of a radio station in the south of Lebanon are offering gifts for tips on Hezbollah's activities. Tipsters are encouraged to call from phones from areas where they are not known and can't be easily traced. Residents of southern Lebanon received warnings to get out of their houses and head north in telephone calls from exchanges in Canada and Italy, and traced back to Israeli intelligence.