Excerpts Of The Day: Tony Snow Spars With Helen Thomas Over Israel

Helen Thomas: The United States is not that helpless. It could have stopped the bombardment of Lebanon. We have that much control with the Israelis.

MR. SNOW: I don’t think so, Helen.

Helen Thomas: We have gone for collective punishment against all of Lebanon and Palestine.

MR. SNOW: What’s interesting, Helen —

Helen Thomas: And this is what’s happening, and that’s the perception of the United States.

MR. SNOW: Well, thank you for the Hezbollah view, but I would encourage you

Helen Thomas: Why aren’t we proposing a truce, no matter who is to blame? At least stop the killing.

MR. SNOW: Because it wouldn’t stop the killing. What it would do is it would say to the killers, you win.

Helen Thomas: Might save lives.

MR. SNOW: No, I don’t think so. And I’m glad you raised this. You do not want to engage in a cease-fire that has a practical — when you say to the Israelis, you guys just stop firing, when you have Hezbollah saying, we’re going to wage total war, because Hezbollah would read that as vindication of its tactics, and the idea that if you get the right sort of videos on television, and you get the right things going on, you can allow them to behave with impunity. Even though they are weakening the sovereign government of Lebanon, they are acting independently; even though they have…

Helen Thomas: And bombarding Lebanon —

MR. SNOW: Even though they have received —

Helen Thomas: — wipes out infrastructure.

MR. SNOW: All right, this is hectoring now.” — Press Briefing: July 18, 2006

Hat tip to Outside The Beltway for the story.

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