Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
A retired Canadian General says one of the four U.N. observers killed when Israeli shells smashed into their position in southern Lebanon told him just days befor e that "Hezbollah fighters were all over his position and the IDF were targeting them."
General Lewis MacKenzie tells the Canadian Broadcasting Company that terrorist groups often "use the U.N. as shields knowing they can't be punished." What's more, U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) press releases confirm that Hezbollah is using U.N. cover to attack Israel, including yesterday, when UNIFIL reports.
Meanwhile, a U.N. spokesman says Secretary General Kofi Annan is standing by his accusation that Israel appeared to deliberately target U.N. personnel.
It's been widely argued that the U.N. force in southern Lebanon has done so little in the region because it was established merely to observe Israel's withdrawal from the region. But the U.N. resolution establishing UNIFIL back in 1978 tasked it with more than just an observer's role — establishing the "Interim force" for the purpose of "confirming the withdrawal of Israeli forces, restoring international peace and security and assisting the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area."
Dishing It Out
Howard Dean's harsh criticism of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wasn't the only strong medicine the Democratic National Committee Chairman dispensed Wednesday. As we've noted, Dean called Maliki an "anti-Semite" for condemning Israel's attacks against Lebanon and went on to call Florida Republican Senate Candidate Katherine Harris a crook, comparing her to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
He also said Republicans can't be trusted to defend America and accused the party of working to eliminate civil rights, and blamed the president for "bankrupting the middle class." The theme of Dean's speech? Ending divisiveness in politics and putting aside partisan differences.
Ever wonder what might happen if homosexuals were a majority, not a minority? Heterosexuals in the overwhelmingly gay resort town of Provincetown, Massachusetts, have found out, and they say they're being discriminated against by residents of what's often called the "unofficial gay capital of New England."
The controversy erupted when a Web site published the names of 43 townspeople who signed a petition supporting a ban on gay marriage. Since then, police have responded to a shouting match between a straight woman who signed the petition and a gay man, who angrily called her a bigot and heterosexual tourists have complained about being derisively called "breeders" by gay residents.
—FOX News Channel's Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.