Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Elliott Abrams on the Israel war on Lebanon

Norman Finkelstein sent me this:  "Just read Elliott Abrams new "memoir," TESTED BY ZION: The Bush administration and the Israeli-Palstinian Conflict (Cambridge University Press: January 2013).

Here's what he has to say about the 2006 Lebanon War:

p. 180/ “Given that Hizballah was a Shia group armed by and allied with Iran, it elicited no sympathy from the Arabs, who looked forward to seeing Israel thrash it—and told us so.”
p. 181 recalls sacrifices of Abrams et al. during Lebanon war: “we flew first to Beirut to see Siniora; the war was now in its third week. It was not safe to use the airport in Beirut, so Rice’s plane landed in Cyprus and we jumped over to Beirut in a helicopter. The ancient military craft was deafeningly loud and leaked oil all over us, ruining suits, dresses, and hairdos as we flew the 125 miles. We rigged up plastic sheeting over Rice to protect her from the steady dripping.” (Pity no one lit a match.)

p. 182/ "[Siniora] denounced in propaganda terms that Israel''s actual conduct of the war belied. The Beirut International Airport was closed, but Israel was careful not to damage it beyond making a runway temporarily unstable; it reopened within a week of the passage of Security Council Resolution 1701. Same for the port. Same for downtown Beirut. Driving near the port, we had seen a lighthouse whose beacon was shot out by an Israeli missile. But the missile had been guided to hit only the beacon, leaving he entire structure intact and obviously capable of quick restoration. Only the Dahiye neighborhood of Beirut, a southern suburb that is Hizbollah headquarters, was badly damaged.”

p. 182/ "[Siniora] himself gave a tearful presentation about how Lebanon was being completely destroyed, which was false but moving”".