Saturday, May 14, 2005

Reuters declares Sheeba Farms disputed

Well, the headline is somewhat accurate:
Hizbollah, Israeli forces clash in border area ; but the bias slips through early:

Israeli artillery and aircraft pounded the outskirts of Lebanese border villages on Friday in a fierce clash with Hizbollah guerrillas that ratcheted up tensions on the volatile frontier.

The fighting in the disputed Shebaa Farms strip comes as Lebanon prepares to hold its first general election without a Syrian military presence for 33 years.

Disputed? Not by the UN, who actually believes they are actually Syrian territories:

Jan 28 (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council on Friday rebuked Beirut by declaring that the disputedShebaa Farms area was not part of Lebanon...For the first time in years, the Security Council mentioned Secretary-General Kofi Annan's report in May 2000 that verified Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon behind a U.N.-drawn frontier, called the "blue line." This frontier put the Israel-occupied Shebaa Farms in Syria.

So why do the Syrians refuse to confront Isreal directly over Sheeba, the way they will not confront them over the Golan Heights? Because it serves a greater purpose :

Only one week after the Israeli withdrawal, Syria concocted the problem of the Shebaa Farms and made a hot issue out of it, cloaking around it a false cause for a new resistance to replace the resistance pretext that was lost with the Israeli withdrawal...The Syrian producer of this tragic comedy had decided to hand over the South to Hezbollah under the pretext of a continued Israeli occupation of the Shebaa Farms.

Since Syria knows any physical attempts to take back Sheeba would result in destruction by Israel (whom siezed Sheeba as the same time as the Heights), they instead claim it to be "occupied territory", set up terrorist lackeys to do the dirty work they are too cowardly to undertake, and use it as a way to attempt to retain some control over parts of Lebanon. Now that most of the Syrian armies have been forced out of Lebanon; the Sheeba Farms "dispute" is one of the few cards they have left in their dealings with both Israel and Lebanon.

The above article, by an expat Lebanese, declares Lebanon to be the rightful claimant to Sheeba, and ends with this hopeful assertion:

Let the Baath rulers of Damascus drop the lie of the Shebaa Farms and concern themselves with the Golan and Iskenderun, and the Lebanese are capable – after implementing resolution 1559 and ridding themselves of the hegemony of the Syrian Army and Intelligence Services – of recovering the Shebaa Farms peacefully through the United Nations and without firing a single bullet.

I honestly believe that Isreal would hand over Sheeba in a second to a Lebanese government that it felt could guarentee the safety of the northern border. The final humiliation, the final nail in Baby Assad's coffin...

Maybe Reuters should do some more research on its "disputes"; so that they may be aware of who and what the claiments are...

BUT BACK TO THE ARTICLE! Reuters knows Israel fired first here, because, well...

Hizbollah and Israel accused each other of firing first... "In response to the Israeli assault that targeted the border town of Kfar Shouba and struck civilian houses, the Islamic Resistance attacked the Israeli enemy position in Rweisat al-Alam ... with the appropriate arms and struck it directly," a statement from Shi'ite Muslim Hizbollah said.

Minutes before the Hizbollah attack, witnesses said Israeli forces had begun shelling a hillside east of Kfar Shouba, which lies closest to the disputed strip. Israeli machine-gunners also fired on residential areas of the town, they said.

And whom were these mystery witnesses, that claim Israel launched an attack on a civilian population base, that Reuters chose not to identify in name, nationality, or even location? May they have been Hezbollah partisans? We'll never find out; Reuters knows if it shows its cards here, the impartiality gig is up.

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