Israel Scales Back Military Campaign in Southern Lebanon
The Israeli Security Cabinet met earlier today and decided to scale back plans for an expansion of the military offensive in Lebanon. Instead of talking about eradicating Hezbollah, Israeli officials now speak of establishing a buffer zone alone the border. The decision comes just one day after Israeli troops took heavy casualties, losing nine soldiers in unexpectedly fierce fighting with Hezbollah. Also today, in a taped message, al Qaeda's second in command says his organization has no intention of remaining idle while Israel wages war in Lebanon and Gaza. Guest host Marc Cooper discusses Israel's changing military objectives and Hezbollah's condition after two weeks of attacks, as well as the possible involvement of al Qaeda. (An extended version of this program was originally broadcast earlier today on To the Point.) Reporter's Notebook: Middle East Violence Affects White House PoliticsIs the Bush White House politically benefiting from the Middle East crisis or are its plans for political recovery going up in smoke? Speaking at a Republican fundraiser last week, Vice President Dick Cheney suggested that the war in Lebanon would help boost GOP chances in November's mid-term elections. Is hat really the case? Peter Baker is a staff writer for the Washington Post.