It's a sad commentary that, more than 24 hours after the passage of a resolution by the U.N. Security Council designed to create a cessation of violence - and this after more than four weeks of bloody horror - I wouldn't bet serious money that today (Sunday) or Monday will finally see an end to this bloodbath. Technically, Israel says the start of "the end" of this war (or is it just a single battle in a much broader military action?) begins at 5 AM Monday Israeli time.
In fact, Israel yet again increased its military operations within Lebanon. Israel - mostly in the form of Hezbollah attacks against Israel military forces - also saw one of its worst days of casualties thus far.
So... opinions? Do you believe we're at the precipice of a new day in the Middle East? Or do you see nothing but more war and death in Israel and Lebanon?
Here's The Times weighing in:
BEIRUT, Lebanon, Aug. 12 — Israel poured troops into southern Lebanon on Saturday, making its deepest push yet toward the Litani River and suffering its highest daily losses, including having a helicopter shot down by Hezbollah guerrillas for the first time in the fighting.
The fighting, including dozens of Israeli airstrikes, intensified a day after the United Nations Security Council approved a resolution for a truce. In a statement released Saturday night, Secretary General Kofi Annan said he had been in touch with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel and Prime Minister Fouad Siniora of Lebanon and that both had agreed that the end of fighting would take effect at 5 a.m. Monday, Greenwich Mean Time.
“Preferably, the fighting should stop now to respect the spirit and intent of the Council decision, the object of which was to save civilian lives, to spare the pain and suffering that the civilians on both sides are living through,” Mr. Annan said.
But the Israeli cabinet was still set to consider the resolution for formal approval at its regular meeting on Sunday, and it was still unclear when the major military thrust ordered by Mr. Olmert, apparently with American approval only hours after the Security Council vote, would end.