Tuesday, July 25, 2006

We're Here to Broker A Peace. As Long As You Lose And We Win

OK Mr. Scary Arab Terrorist Dude. Time to pack up your Katyusha and start thinking about those 72 virgins 'cause Condi's in town and she's got her booty kickin' boots on. Sure, she sneaked into town almost two weeks after the fighting started, stayed long enough to finish half her Cappuccino and left before her chauffeur had a chance to hit the head, but it's the appearance that counts, right? Just ask the president.

US Secretary of State Condolezza Rice, who has been steadfast in her support for Israel's fruitless war on Hezbollah, said she wanted an "urgent ceasefire," but insisted it should be sustainable. "By that we mean that there would be no militants left to shoot back at our friends the Israelis. "

At least eight civilians were killed, including children, when Israeli fighter jets pounded southern Lebanon, turning homes to rubble. "Or no Lebanon, whichever."

Rice held window dressing talks in Beirut and Jerusalem at the start of a show mission to act like she cared about ending the conflict in Lebanon, where deadly violence raged on for the 13th straight day. "We're here to see that nothing is done until Hezbollah is crushed," said an aide to the Secretary. "Because we believe that if the Israelis attack the militants the same way they have for the last sixty years, it will work this time."

She arrived in Israel late Monday with Washington saying it was now spearheading international diplomatic efforts to end a conflict that has killed 373 people in Lebanon, most of them civilians, in barely two weeks. "That's right," Rice told reporters. "And as soon as my bombs get here we gonna be doin' some spearheading on your skinny butt Mr. His Bollah or Naz Rallah, or whatever you call yourself, 'cause we're all about peace and stuff."

Her visit came as Washington appeared increasingly estranged from many European and Arab allies over Israel's massive onslaught that has set off fears of a humanitarian disaster as thousands of foreigners and Lebanese flee. "Hey, you want to make an omelet, you got to break some eggs," Rice said.

Despite Israeli claims it would quickly hobble Hezbollah, a minister said it was time for the government to reevaluate its goals. "We raised hopes too high by promising to disarm Hezbollah's armed wing and decapitate its leadership. Of course, we've been saying that for the last sixty years. You'd think the militants would get the message by now, but no, they just keep blowing things up and making us wreck another country."

Israel's failure to knock out Hezbollah despite its vastly superior military might and has now caused it to accept the placement of some form of international force in southern Lebanon, currently in the grip of the Shiite militia. "Yeah. We've been bombing these guys for sixty years and they're still around. Maybe this isn't such a good strategy," said one Israeli commander.

Streams of people have been making a desperate trek from the area after Israel ordered them to leave their homes and massed troops on the border. The offensive has left Lebanon virtually cut off from the world, made hundreds of thousands of people refugees in their own country and destroyed billions of dollars of infrastructure. "Hey, what'd I tell you?" Rice asked. "Omelet. Eggs. You want peace? We have to win. Besides, the weather's OK over here. People can live outside most of the year."

Israel launched a public relations offensive led by its best-known elder statesman Shimon Peres to tell the world why it was not yet silencing its guns. "The free world is facing a threat, the goal of Hezbollah is to set the world aflame and we will not let them succeed," Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said. "We will set the world aflame ourselves first. What's that Secretary Rice always says about the omelet?"

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah remained defiant, vowing that deeper incursions would not stop the rocket fire, and ruling out any efforts for a negotiated settlement unless it involved a prisoner swap. "We are truly in a state of war and Hezbollah's priority is to stop the savage Zionist aggression on Lebanon," he told As-Safir newspaper. "Well, actually we don't care too much about Lebanon because it isn't our country. We're just renting."

As the bombardments continued, foreign governments have laid on ferries, warships and cruise liners to evacuate stranded nationals, mainly to the nearby resort island of Cyprus which has been battling to find temporary accommodation and flights for the estimated 70,000 evacuees at peak summer holiday season. "One thing the US and her allies can agree on is that it's important to get the white folks out," said a State Department spokesperson.

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