President Bashar Assad of Syria told a Lebanese newspaper his nation accepts the possibility they may wind up in a war with Israel sometime in the coming months. “If israel declares war on Lebanon and Syria or if America declares war on Iran,” his nation is prepared to enter such a fray. He blamed America as forcing Israel to continue remaining in Lebanon despite their desire to leave. He noted in an ominous aside, “we know there is someone in the American government who is interested in this war, and we are preparing for it.” One can only assume he is referring to Vice President Dick Cheney. However, even as the Syrian president breathed fire and brimstone, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert insisted his nation is exchanging messages in order to clarify how peace can be arranged between the two countries.
Fighting continues in the Gaza Strip area where three Israelis and several Palestinians lost their lives. A Reuters cameraman, Fadel Shana was killed while apparently filming his own death since he left footage which shows an Israel tank firing in his direction.
Meanwhile, speaking in Moscow, President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority called for a summit meeting to be held in Moscow. Does this request signify a loss of confidence in Secretary of State Rice’s work in the Middle East?