More than 300 Lebanese have been killed and more than 1,000 injured after a week of Israeli airstrikes, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said Wednesday. Israel's military said 29 Israelis have died in the conflict, including 15 civilians. (from CNN)You'd think we'd have gotten our dose of bloodshed and pictures of exploding bombs by now, but no, the US is once again refusing to call for a cease-fire:
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will not go on a peace mission to the Mideast before next week, giving Israel time to "defang" Hezbollah, a senior administration official said Wednesday.
Rice, who's set to travel to New York to meet with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Friday, has said the U.S. would support a cease-fire in the seven-day conflict between Israel and Hezbollah "when conditions are conducive to do so."
[Update July 20: Kofi Annan has called for a cease fire:
"While Hezbollah's actions are deplorable and, as I've said, Israel has a right to defend itself, the excessive use of force is to be condemned," Annan told the U.N. Security Council.(via CNN).]
Annan said that the continued bombardments and the destruction of roads and airports have made it impossible for U.N. and other humanitarian groups to provide services.
He said that arranging a cease-fire would be difficult, but he called for the council to take strong action.
"Both the deliberate targeting by Hezbollah of Israeli population centers with hundreds of indiscriminate weapons and Israel's disproportionate use of force and collective punishment of the Lebanese people must stop," Annan said.