Hersh interviewed on Democracy Now!

Editor's note: The following is a transcript of Seymour Hersh's two-part interview with Amy Goodman. Part one is the 1st (top) video in this post and part two is the 2nd (bottom) video.

Israel and Lebanon saw continued violence on the last day before a UN ceasefire. South Lebanon continued to come under intense Israeli bombardment Sunday. In the most lethal attack, fifteen Lebanese were reported killed after Israel bombed the village of Rachat. Meanwhile, Hezbollah launched more than 250 rockets into Northern Israel. It was the highest number of rockets Hezbollah has fired into Israel since fighting began. At least one Israeli was killed.
The past month's violence broke out after Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers and killed eight others. Israel rejected Hezbollah's demand for a prisoner exchange, and launched a full-on attack targeting Lebanon's vital infrastructure, including a power station, the main airport and scores of roads and bridges. An estimated 1,000 Lebanese have been killed and more than one million displaced. At least forty Israeli civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced under a daily barrage of Hezbollah rockets.

The Bush administration has openly backed Israel's campaign. The administration resisted international efforts for a ceasefire and rushed arms to the Israeli military.

A major new article says U.S. support for the invasion of Lebanon has gone even further than we already know. That in fact, White House support for the massive bombing of Lebanon even predates the day those two Israeli soldiers were seized.

In this week's issue of the New Yorker, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reports Israeli officials visited the White House earlier this summer to get a "green light" for an attack on Lebanon. The Bush administration approved, Hersh says, in part to remove Hezbollah as a deterrent to a potential US bombing of Iran. A government consultant said the Bush administration also saw the attack on Lebanon as a "demo" for what it could expect to face in Iran.

Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist for The New Yorker. His latest article is "Watching Lebanon - Washington's Interests in Israel's War", in this week's issue of the New Yorker.
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