News Release

· Just Back from North Korea · Just Back from Lebanon

PAUL CARROLL
Carroll is a program officer at the Ploughshares Fund, which works on disarmament issues. He has just returned from North Korea, where he had rare, detailed conversations with North Korean officials, including Vice Foreign Minister for U.S. Relations Kim Gae Gwan and his deputy, Li Gun, their former UN ambassador. Said Carrol: “We arrived in North Korea on the afternoon of July 4 [and] woke up the next morning to the news of the missile launches. … In our discussions, for every concern or issue [we] raised, the North Koreans had a seemingly sound counter-argument…”
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AS’AD ABUKHALIL
AbuKhalil is author of several books on the Mideast including Historical Dictionary of Lebanon. He has just returned from several weeks in Lebanon. Abukhalil is a professor in the department of politics at California State University, Stanislaus, and a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

AbuKhalil and his blog were recently profiled in Harper’s. He wrote this morning: “Israel has already killed some 50 Lebanese; all but one are civilians. The Israeli record of violence against Arab civilians is quite comparable to that of Al-Qa’idah. I mean that. Both are equally reckless in their killing of civilians, and both use the same justifications for their murders.”

PATRICK SEALE
Seale is a British journalist now living in France and a leading expert on the Mideast. His books include Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East. Seale said today: “The Israeli attack is bound to be a major factor at the G8 meeting. If it’s just allowed to go on, this might trigger another regional war. One striking aspect has been the U.S.’s seeming passivity. One might have expected the U.S. to speak out against Israel’s bombing civilian infrastructure and to send an envoy to defuse the situation.

“You have the rise of essentially non-state actors like Hezbollah and Hamas because of the vacuum created by the impotence of Arab states to contain or deter Israel. These actors are basically taking issue with Israel’s ‘deterrence,’ which posits that Israel can strike but no one can strike at it.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167