Hezbollah sticks by its guns.

A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers.
Aug. 16 2006 3:34 AM

Diss-Arming

The Washington Post leads with Hezbollah reiterating it won't disarm or really withdraw. USA Todayleads with Secretary of State Rice saying in an interview with the paper that the muscled-up U.N. force can't force Hezbollah to give up its guns. The New York Timesleads with—and the Wall Street Journal fronts—the coming aid battle: Hezbollah, and not the Lebanese government, is leading the relief effort. The Los Angeles Timesleads with California restricting fishing in some waters off its central coast. The Times calls it, "the nation's first comprehensive network of marine reserves next to a heavily populated coastline."  

Israel said it killed three Hezbollah fighters, but it also started pulling troops out and said it hopes all will be gone in about a week. Of course, that will depend on Lebanese and U.N. troops heading in. And there are still plenty of questions about when and how that's going to happen.

Advertisement

Haaretz says a token force of Lebanese troops is due to arrive today. But as Lebanon's  defense minister explained, "The army is not going to the south to strip the Hezbollah of its weapons and do the work that Israel did not."

Citing "senior officials involved in the negotiation," the WP says Hezbollah and the Lebanese government have hammered out an impressive don't-search don't-show policy: "Hezbollah indicated it would be willing to pull back its fighters and weapons in exchange for a promise from the army not to probe too carefully for underground bunkers and weapons caches."

As for the much-anticipated international force, the LAT notes that U.N. officials "continued to haggle" about whether the soldiers will even have the authority to fire on guerillas who are fighting or smuggling weapons. The Post notices that no country has yet agreed to send troops. They're waiting on France, which has been expected to take the lead. But according to the Financial Times, France is now holding off until it gets assurances from Lebanon that Hezbollah's fighters will keep out of the south.

While expressing hope that Hezbollah will agree to "lay down their arms voluntarily," Rice said one of the U.N. force's key roles will be to enforce an arms embargo, a point she reiterates in a WP op-ed. President Bush repeated the line, saying part of the U.N.'s mission "will be to seal off the Syrian border." Except as the Post mentions inside, the current head of the U.N. force said he's planning no such thing and instead will be sending customs consultants to work with the Lebanese.

The Journal gets a sit-down with Lebanon's finance minister, who called the postwar period and the rebuilding effort "the real war." The Post watches Hezbollah's relief effort in action and hears from an "informed source" (as opposed to the other kind) that Hezbollah "planned to spend $150 million, already provided by Iran, in coming days." (In her WP op-ed, Rice notes that the U.S. has committed a whopping $50 million.)

The NYT's rebuilding piece offers a wider picture and is today's must-read: Hezbollah men were canvassing neighborhoods, cataloging needs, and offering $10,000 straightaway to those who lost their homes. With the Lebanese government having ignored the Shiite south for decades, one Lebanese professor said, "Hezbollah's strength is the gross vacuum left by the state." Hezbollah, she said, isn't a state within a state, but rather "a state within a non-state." The upshot, concludes the Times, is that the "beneficiary of the destruction was most likely to be Hezbollah."

The NYT goes inside with new figures from Iraq's Health Ministry showing 3,438 civilians killed in July. That would make it the deadliest month of the war so far, and about three times the number of people killed in the Lebanon conflict.

Nine people were killed in Mosul when a suicide bomber hit the HQ of the Iraqi president's party. The WP mentions that Iraqi forces clashed with an "anti-American" Shiite cleric (not Sadr) in Karbala. The Post says that as of last night, the fighting had spread to the southern cities of Basra and Nasiriyah.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
History
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 30 2014 6:00 AM Drive-By Bounty Prudie advises a woman whose boyfriend demands she flash truckers on the highway.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath The Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.