UPDATE II – International response..
US Response: Iran & Syria accountable, Bill Frist lays it out on the table.
[...] Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist also condemned the kidnapping.
"We must hold the governments of Syria and Iran accountable for their continued support to Hezbollah. So long as these governments are failing to live up to their responsibilities, no one should question the right of the government of Israel to act in self-defense against terrorists operating from Lebanon," Frist said.
He added that the Lebanese government must also live up to its responsibility under U.N. resolution to ensure Lebanese territory isn't used as a safe haven by Hezbollah and other groups.
Democratic biggies give US opposition response on Capitol Hill. Pelosi / Hoyer statement US supports our Ally
[...] "Those who finance, direct, or otherwise support acts like these need to understand that they have produced an extremely dangerous situation and that they are responsible for the consequences. Israel has an inherent right to defend itself, and the United States supports our ally. The sooner the soldiers are returned and those who seized them brought under control, the better for everyone concerned about the future of the Middle East."
INTL & UN Response: KOFI ANNAN condemns kidnappings, along with Israel!
[...] Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora phoned Annan and asked that he "prevent Israeli aggression" against Lebanon following the kidnappings. Siniora also called on the international community to assist the casualties of the Israeli bombings. [...]
Lebanese PM, called on the INTL community to prevent 'Israeli Aggression' assist casualties of Israeli bombings! Can you believe this? This is his response in light of his country's Act of War on Israel today..
Lebanese celebrations over cold blooded terrorism, acts of war on sovereign State of Israel.
BINT JBEIL, Lebanon (Reuters) – Residents of southern Lebanon celebrated Hizbollah's capture of two Israeli soldiers on Wednesday but braced for major retaliation by the Jewish state six years after it ended its occupation there. Early fireworks and celebratory gunfire gave way in mid-afternoon to a tense calm as shops closed and parents ushered their children home, fearing that sporadic Israeli air raids and shelling would escalate into heavy bombing.
"We celebrated. We handed out sweets and we are now playing backgammon," said Ibrahim Mehdi, 45, a state employee in the southern town Kfar Seer. "We are used to the atmosphere of war." Shi'ite Muslim Hizbollah guerrillas, who are backed by Iran and Syria, captured two Israeli soldiers and killed up to seven Israelis in Lebanese border violence, further inflaming Middle East tensions.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described the Hizbollah attacks as an "act of war" by Lebanon and promised a painful response. It has already launched a major assault on the Gaza Strip to free an Israeli soldier captured last week. Israel mobilized a reserve infantry division and Hizbollah declared a military alert, but residents of southern Lebanon, much of which was occupied by Israel until 2000, were defiant.
"We, the Shi'ites of the south, are stronger than the Palestinians or even the Americans," said Hussein Mohammed, 55.
Russian Roulette; Russian's, freshly after just blowing away the top Chechen terrorist leader in retaliatory attack call for restraint & 'diplomacy'.
Russia calls on Israel to exercise self-restraint
MOSCOW, July 12 (KUNA) — The Russian government on Wednesday called on Israel to exercise self-restraint, and to avoid destroying civil facilities in Lebanon.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that disagreements, regardless of how serious they are, must be resolved through political and diplomatic methods. The statement expressed concern at violence on the Lebanese-Israeli borders, which threatens the weak stability of Lebanon and can further complicate the situation in the Middle East.
It called for not allowing tension to turn into wide-scale confrontations, urging Hezbollah to release the Israeli soldiers, and stop bombing the Israeli territories. (end) as.
Syrian Spiteful denial; Syria blames Israel for escalation (Jpost via AP)
Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa denied his country had a role in either the Hamas or Hezbollah abductions. "It's up to the resistance – both the Lebanese and the Palestinian – to decide what they are doing and why are they fighting," al-Sharaa told reporters in Damascus.
But he put ultimate blame on Israel for the seizures of the soldiers, saying, "For sure, the occupation (of the Palestinian territories) is the cause provoking both Lebanese and Palestinian people, and that's why there is Lebanese and Palestinian resistance."
Hamas, Palestinians / terrorists jubilant; Hamas calls Hezbollah cross-border attack 'heroic operation' (Haaretz)
[...] "This is a heroic operation carried out against military targets and so it is a legitimate operation, especially as it took place in occupied Lebanese territory," Hamas political bureau member Mohammad Nazzal told Reuters.
"Any military operation that targets the occupation serves the Palestinian people and Arab causes," he said in an interview in Cairo, where he came to reassure the Egyptian government that Hamas wants Egyptian mediation with Israel to resume on a deal including freedom for an Israeli soldier held in Gaza.
"We think this operation will serve … the issue of the prisoners," he added.
Israel is facing a full on Global Jihad assault, this is the front line against radical Islamic terrorism and its ever growing ambitions to dominate agendas and entire Muslim countries through extremist politics and terrorist violence. Hamas & Hezbollah must be disarmed.
Looking at this carnage with 7 soldiers killed, two more kidnapped and one apparently already killed by Hizbullah I'm left with only one thought. Lebanon is fully responsible and Lebanon has committed an act of open war with the State of Israel. Iran & Syria pull the strings, but the puppet is Lebanese.
Lebanon by UN decree and international consensus has been mandated to disarm Hebzbollah, an organization which sits in Lebanese government, that same government has made excuse after excuse unwilling to assume any responsibility like so many Arabic countries & regimes. This explosion of war was not a surprise to anyone, it was predicted by the IDF, and it was obvious & clear that Lebanon would explode in the near future. Lebanon, good luck to you.
The exact same situation has developed with Hamas, the government of Israel unwilling to draw a line in the sand with these terrorists in power yet never trully accountable, emboldened by weakness.
Here are headline links to the opening attack:
Israel launches offensive inside Lebanon – MSNBC with a reuters map / video.
Here is background on the Lebanese front, stretching three months where sadly the writing was on the wall.
Lebanon about to explode all over again – I wrote about it in detail on April 24th
Two strikes and they are out – Posting that the Iranian escalation was just starting on May 29th
Sheba Farms irrelevant to Hezbollah disarming in Lebanon – Here's one on Lebanon PM Siniora and his intransigence April 24th
Hezbollah: Terrorist, and proud. – April 27th
For the time being I'm mourning these attacks on Israel and praying the Prime Minister PM Olmert will have strength. The diplomacy games are over I hope he realizes this reality now.