Monday, July 31, 2006
Seeing red in Israel
"Does anybody know what's in this stuff?" That's the question my cameraman, Neil Hallsworth, asked as a red-colored chemical fell over us.

It's a flame retardant the Israelis drop from small planes trying to put out the fires started by incoming Hezbollah rockets.

"My face is burning," Neil went on to say.

"I'm sure it's nothing. They must drop this stuff on firefighters all the time," I said. Though the truth is, I have no idea what's in it.

We were standing next to a roaring fire started by a Katyusha rocket. So far, two have fallen around Kiryat Shmona, but it's still early in the afternoon. Yesterday, nearly a hundred rockets fell in this area.

Despite all the talk of a ceasefire, the exchange of rockets and shells continues along the border.

Given the pictures the world has been watching since yesterday, the horrific images of little children crushed by a falling building in southern Lebanon, it is possible that sometime this week diplomatic efforts will overtake events on the ground.

It is interesting how one event, one attack, one tragedy, can suddenly alter a situation.

In Israel, many people look at those pictures of children pulled from rubble on Sunday and say, "It's terrible, but Hezbollah is to blame, because they hide their rockets next to civilians."

In the Muslim world, that is certainly not what most people say when they see those pictures. And that sentiment certainly was not the dominant one on Arab TV yesterday, which played the pictures over and over.

Tonight, we will focus a lot on the deaths in Qana. Meantime, I'm interested in hearing from you. Did what happened yesterday in Qana somehow change the way you view this crisis? Or did it leave your views unchanged?

Oh yeah, and if any of you know what's actually in that flame retardant, I've got a red-colored cameraman who'd love to know.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 1:05 PM ET
  81 Comments
An eye for an eye, leave the whole world blind.
Posted By Anonymous Jesse Lee, Newark, NJ : 1:27 PM ET
From Google search:

It's a mixture of water and fertilizer, with something to make it stick to vegetation. It's red so the firefighters can see where they've put it.
Posted By Anonymous Margaret Thibert, Fort Worth, TX : 1:31 PM ET
If Lebanon does not do anything to stop the terrorists, then they are culpable - they are considered to be aiding and abetting the terrorists. Imagine if some gang in Mexico started shelling the US and Mexico said that they are renegade but did nothing to stop them. If they hid among the civilians - then they would be aiding and abetting as well and have decided to side with the terrorists...so make your decisions...what you do will define you Lebanon.
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Kingston ON Canada : 1:31 PM ET
Oh yeah, and it "sticks around for about three months."
Posted By Anonymous Margaret Thibert, Fort Worth, TX : 1:33 PM ET
My view of things going on in that part of the world have not changed. I don't think there will ever be any peace there in our life time, but to have governments (including ours) stand by and let certain groups reak havoc is unexcusable. There is nothing that could justify the killing of innocent civilians especially children. What is the ultimate reason for fighting -land and who us going to be in control of it??? That seems so trivial in the bigger scheme of things. We're all riding on the same planet.
Posted By Anonymous Luz , Torrance, California : 1:33 PM ET
My opinions on the war have not changed. We must stop the terror!

This is Hezbollah propoganda. I am sorry the women and children are dead. I prayed for them. They are in heaven.

Don't most cowards use women and children to their benefit? Think of rapists, sexual abusers, now terrorists. Most of them are men. Don't most of the people start out like bullies and then they become brain-washed to terrorists!

When I saw the images on TV on Sunday morning I was hung-over for the first time in many years. That I was thankful for as I was cleaning up my dishes and tuning into CNN. My girl friend said this morning, "I wish I was at your party before I turned on Sunday AM television."

Stay focused, be brave!
Posted By Anonymous Renee Bradenton, FL : 1:34 PM ET
please do stop this war....
Posted By Anonymous Rupa , chelmsford , MA : 1:35 PM ET
Dear Anderson:

Don�t you know in any kind of conflict or especially war it is the innocent that always suffers.

Unfortunately, this happened to be children � the innocent of all.

To you and your crew, be safe�
Posted By Anonymous Vicki, Long Island, NY : 1:37 PM ET
Here is alink to information about red fire retardant dropped from helicopters. http://www.uppersouthplatte.net/resource/haymfire/slurry.html
Posted By Anonymous Joe, NYC NY : 1:37 PM ET
Well, normaly, I would be feeling that the Qana was a very bad mistake. however, Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon has been quoted as saying that Israel was concidering anyone in South Lebanon a terrorist before Qana. It is Key for reporters to confirm that Mr. Ramon has indeed said some of his quotes, and in that case, press the Israeli's to denouce those statements and clearify that Civilians where not the targets.
Posted By Anonymous Zach, Jefferson NC : 2:24 PM ET
I am not Jewish nor Muslim. I strongly support Israel because American shares values and principles with them. These are not shared by most Muslim countries and certainly are not shared by the Hezbollah terrorists.

If I were solely focused on my self-interest, I would side with Arabs in order to keep access to oil. This is too often the European view.

But let's look at big picture of just this incident. Hezbollah started bombardment by firing missiles into Israel. This continues to this day.
Hezbollah is just not as effective as Israel. But they make up for it by being, as are all terrorists, indiscriminate in their targeting.

The pictures out of Qana are heartbreaking. But if terrorists are going to hide behind the skirts of women, events like this are unavoidable. I've seen nothing in media describing the sites from which Hezbollah is fighting and what civilian concentrations they are located in.

But these pictures do nothing to change my fundamental support for Israel. I wish they could find a way to be more certain of targets. But I'm sure that they wish the same. Afterall, politically, Israel is the big loser when a Qana happens.

The Hezbollah considers the lives lost to be an investment. Because time and again, they have found that if they can show horrific pictures to the West, the West weakens and bends.

Tragically, our indulging the terrorists in this game is one factor that leads inexorably to scenes like Qana.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin Grimes, Dallas, Texas : 2:24 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

The chemical is (MAP) Mono Ammonium Phosphate... They add dye to see the flow.... Normally the chemical (MAP) is white.... Don't worry, the chemical is NON HAZARDOUS! I buy 1500 MTS a year.. If you would give me your email, I will have my secretary scan and email you an MSDS....

Sincerely,

William Haller
Purchasing Agent for Grow More Inc.
Fertlizers
Posted By Anonymous William/Los Angeles/ California : 2:25 PM ET
At the beginning of this "war", Hezbollah offered the captured solider in exchange for the release of all the female and juvenile prisoners. Not only did Israel not agree, but now they have displaced and/or killed hundreds if not thousands of them. Israel's response is absolutely not proportional to the reason this "war" began in the first place.
I use "war" because I don't believe it qualifies as a war when an entire nation's army is using sophisticated weapons from the Unites States to level a democratic nation. There has to be a nation with enough sympathy and courage that will step in on the Lebanese behalf.
I don�t know how much more of this slaughter I can take.
Posted By Anonymous Randy,Sterling Virginia : 2:26 PM ET
Israel dropped leaflets telling citizens to leave. what other country warns citizens before they drop bombs? It is unfortunate that Arab countries often hide terrorists and missle launchers among innocent civilians. The Israelis are the only ones that have the guts to go after them.
Posted By Anonymous Judy, Pittsburgh, PA : 2:26 PM ET
These events have not changed my mind; they have only further broken my heart.

Nothing justifies the killing that is going on and I believe that the United States is as much to blame as the people who are firing the rockets.

We should be calling for a cease-fire and engaging the whole region in talks. We have some allies, but that is fading fast. I believe that our administration does not want peace. They want to tie all of this to Syria and Iran (and I understand there is a link) to justify bombing Iran, which is something they have wanted to do for a long time. We want their oil and that is one way to get it.

As American�s we need to look beyond our everyday lives, our jobs and SUVs and see that there is a much bigger world that is getting closer to us everyday, no matter how hard we as citizens try to ignore.

The question that we should be asking is what is best for the whole world and the future of humanity? Giving �better� bombs to Israel is not the answer to that question.

P.S. � Great show last night on the 1983 Beirut Bombing.
Posted By Anonymous Jakcie Sonoma CA : 2:27 PM ET
I am still confused why Israel, Lebanon, the Palestinians, and others cannot just agree to land and stay on it. I wish the media would explain this to the public often.

It sounds like most Israelis and Arabs have this idea that God has ordained the land, so it should be theirs. I think things would be a lot easier if there was a big wall dividing both and nobody went between countries.

I am sure Arab people go to Israel to get jobs. So, why can't the US government give equal aid to all involved and allow jobs to be disseminated evenly. Otherwise, it seems we have this, "he said, she said" and no one wins, especially the children and elderly. And, having the UN step in is really is just misrepresenting someone.

If the UN and all governements would order Israel and all Arab nations to stay on their land, we would have less of these problems.
Posted By Anonymous James, Stillwater OK : 2:27 PM ET
The war in the middle east is sure to last for a long time. The Israelis are not going to give up easily and the Hezbollah's are not going to disarm or leave South Lebanon. The Lebanese govt. on the other hand is never going to agree that Hezbollah army are terrorists.. everytime a reporter asks a Lebanese about Hezbollah, they are full of praises.. how on earth is anyone going to uproot them?

Whether we like it or not.. US MUST talk to Syria, Period !
Posted By Anonymous Himali, Houston, Texas : 2:27 PM ET
My opinion has not changed. This is a predictable outcome of the ongoing violence. Those who believe the violence should stop will continue to believe so. Those who believe the deaths of innocents are unfortunate "collateral damage" to a necessary engagement will continue to believe so as well. Israel will blame Hezbollah; Hezbollah will blame Israel. And the cycle continues endlessly...
Posted By Anonymous Justin, Philadelphia, PA : 2:27 PM ET
Yes the red stuff is Slurry. They use it in the US for forest fire fighting. This is heartbreaking. I believe this is one of those situations where it just depends on where you are. If you are Lebanese you will have one opinion and if you are Israeli you will have another. Certainly if your friends or relatives were killed by either a Katyusha or a bombs from an aircraft then the war becomes personal. Additionally, we have had border skirmishes with outlaws dressed as Mexican Army and Texas law enforcement. That is not unlike what has happened in North Israel it is just a matter of degree.
Posted By Anonymous Juan, Albuquerque NM : 2:27 PM ET
Here's what we're told: Hezbollah is to blame, because they hide their rockets next to civilians."
That apparently rationalizes whatever the IDF wants to do including blainge victims for whatever harsh outcomes, such as the catastrophe at Qana, ensue. But does Hezbollah always hide their rockets next to civilians, or is that simply a convenient cover for Israel's indiscriminate reprisals?
Posted By Anonymous Robert Handloff, Washington, DC : 2:28 PM ET
Hi,Anderson,

The conflicts in the area have been going on for so long that I'm not sure that a solution will ever be found that will satisfy people on all sides of the issues. The events in Qana over the weekend demonstrate, yet again, that innocent civilians, regardless of what side they're on, are the ones who are really sacrificing the most.
Posted By Anonymous Heather; Edmonton, AB, Canada : 2:29 PM ET
Anderson,
Looking forward to the show tonight as I have been out of town and away from the news media (tv and print) and have not heard much about what transpired this weekend. It sounds horrible. The whole mess is beyond comprehension and truly awful for those impacted. Get your camera man to a shower somewhere.

Stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous Mary H. St. Louis, MO : 2:29 PM ET
I have no idea what's in that red stuff but Anderson, the firefighters wear suits, not Neil and you. I say you should be careful. And do we really want to see a red head host AC 360 ????

Take care
Posted By Anonymous Manon, Longueuil, Quebec : 2:29 PM ET
Anderson,

This just enforce my belief that the USA needs to step up and call for a cease fire. How in the world can Rice and Bush continue with their hard line of wanting a peace, but something that is substainable.

The bombing just needs to stop. These are not bombs from Israel; but in all truth these are bombs from the USA. We supplied them and now we bear the responsibility of this action.

Wake up Bush! These may not be your children, but some father today is griefing over the lost of his children.
Posted By Anonymous NL Wright, Atlanta GA : 2:29 PM ET
Hey Anderson I am glad you blog so we all know you and your crew are OK. I went to several different sites and there are so many types retardant that they can use. There are toxic and nontoxic kinds. Some are harmful to the heart and immune system. Wear a mask! How hot is it there? Where in a heat wave in the states. And about the war I didn't really see much of it this weekend (you where not on) but I did see some reports this morning and they where saying how much they hate America. So why are we there? My thought's and prays to you and your crew.
Be safe, Anthony
Posted By Anonymous Anthony Guiliano Allentown PA : 2:29 PM ET
The administration and conservatives say, 'It's terrible, but it's Hezbollah's fault, and the Israelis are going to destroy Hezbollah.' I don't think it's possible to destroy Hezbollah by bombing. All we and the Israelis are accomplishing is fanning the flame of hatred against us around the world (aside from killing hundreds of innocents and destroying Lebanon).
Posted By Anonymous Linda Braun, Springfield, VA : 2:30 PM ET
The bombing in Qana is certainly a tragedy. But tragedies do happen in war. How many civilians were killed when Hiroshima was bombed? Israel was attacked by Hezebollah not the other way around. If America was routinely suffering from rocket attacks we would certainly respond just as Israel has if not more aggressively. The American people would demand it.
Posted By Anonymous Richard Thomas Kansas City, MO : 2:30 PM ET
I'm always surprised at how patronizing and sympathtic the press is in general to terrorist organizations and sympathizers whose stated goal is the genocide of the Jewish people.

The press then goes lamblasting Israel for acting to stop the tools of genocide from being comfortably put into place. They abuse the willingness of the Jews to cooperate and to try and build a real peace. Truly despicable it is, the behavior of the press and the populist left in general.

I'll never support genocide by proxy.
Posted By Anonymous Joan De Langious, Paris, France : 2:30 PM ET
Hey Andserson, this is for your camera man:

Fire retardants use ammonium sulfate or ammonium polyphosphate with attapulgite clay thickener or diammonium phosphate with a guar gum derivative thickener. These are less toxic and act as fertilizers to help the regrowth of plants after the fire (however, the retardants can be toxic to fish if accidentally dropped in water and then exposed to sunlight). Fire retardants contain wetting agents, preservatives and rust inhibitors and are colored red with ferric oxide to mark where they have been dropped.

--- and as for Qana, i can see both sides. Hezbollah is to blame because they keep their "militia" quarters in civilian areas, if they really cared and fight for the people like they say they do, then they wouldnt risk those peoples lives by shooting from their rooftops or their backyards, plain and simple.
Now it is also Isreals fault because they did kinda over-react on some of their responses to this conflict. I mean, you dont see the united states bombing columbia for some people that were kidnapped by extremeist rebels do you?
Posted By Anonymous Bill Dietz, Erie, PA : 2:30 PM ET
Anderson, I really respect your show and your reporting. I am a Jewish 19 year old from Toronto. My grandparents are war survivors (my grandmother and Wolf Blitzer's mother were in concentration camp together). The attack on Qana yesterday is extremely tragic and I am so sorry for all the innocent lives that were lost. The world must understand, and I hope you can help with this message, that Israel is in a state of mourning after such an atrocity took place. Israel does not want to see anyone but armed militants injured or killed, and I think that the world must realize hezbollah's role in creating the problems for the Lebanese people. As a Jew, I feel like the world is out to get us. First this whole conflict, now MEL GIBSON hates us too?? It's anti-semitism that started this problem and nothing else. Please try and show to the world that Israel is not to blame, and that their actions are not out of line or disproportionate. Israel is trying to protect its own and nothing more. God bless the innocents who died in the bombing in Qana, I pray such a devastating occurance does not happen again.
Posted By Anonymous Sam Davis, Toronto, Ontario : 2:30 PM ET
No amount of "praying" ends the nightmare that the innocent people in Lebanon are facing.
One of the reasons why inhumanities such as this continue is because so many people sit by and "pray," but in the meantime do nothing that is of any real help.
Don't you realize that the people from both Israel and Lebanon are "praying" for everyone to be well?
In the meantime, though, hundreds of innocent civilians lose their lives.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin, Muncie, IN : 2:31 PM ET
I first must admit that I am pro Isreal. However, that does not deminish the fact that the loss of one life, from either side should be deminished or forgotten. Unfortunatly, if the Hezbollah continue to hide behind the innocent, then the innocent will be hurt. You keep showing the pictures from Qana. How about showing the damage from sucide bombers in Isreal and the carnage that they have done over the years or the years that the rockets have been landing in Isreal
Posted By Anonymous a offman halifax nova scotia : 2:31 PM ET
Anderson:

The active compound in the fire retardant probably is ammonium sulfate, ammonium polyphosphate, or diammonium phosphate. The MSDS data for it says that it is a skin, lung, and eye irritant, but no permanent damage. The reason it is red is because it contains ferric oxide, which is just plain old rust.

Keep you head down,
drberry
Posted By Anonymous Doug, Ann Arbor, MI : 2:31 PM ET
It IS Hezbollah's fault.

Do they use their own people as propaganda tools by purposely putting weapons in civilian neighborhoods in order to have "martyrs" to keep their people stirred up and full of hate? It seems like the only hope for peace is to totally crush them. Power and domination are what they understand and respect.

Very depressing !!
Posted By Anonymous Lois Bendz, West Yellowstone, Montana : 2:32 PM ET
Seems to me the whole world needs a time out with a reality check. The blame game needs a time out or, perhaps, permanently shelved. Also, we need to get rid of such oxymorons as 'surgical bombs'. Can't show flag draped coffins, right. To bad adversion therapy doesn't work or we could feature videos of constant human destruction at all state dinners around the world. In fact the constant images of 9-11 have been used to keep the fires of hatred and retribution burning and the drums of war banging.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista, ar : 2:33 PM ET
The news coverage of the killing of mostly children by the Isrealis only makes me more frustrated with Isreal and with our own administration. Bush would rather save a frozen embryo that MIGHT become a human, than the little ones in Lebanon and Isreal - Diplomacy can only work if the killing stops. And by the way, if we're going to "solve" all the issues before a cease-fire happens - then add to the list that Isreal should vacate all Arab land that they now occupy - as per United Nations resolution(s)- since the 1967 war. The Lebanese are not the only ones who can't seem to follow UN resolutions - though they are the only ones we read about. Brian
Posted By Anonymous Brian Nordin, Chaleston IL : 2:34 PM ET
I don't understand how people can justify Israel's destruction of Lebanon by blaming Lebanon for allowing Hezbollah to reside in Lebanon. Have we forgotten that the UN prevents Lebanon from having a large army. They have an extremely small army and not large enough to take on Hezbollah and remove them from their country. Ask yourself how many Hezbollah fighters have been killed in Lebanon? How many Lebanese women & children? Does anyone wonder why there were so many US & European citizens in Lebanon that had to be evacuated? It's because Lebanon relys on tourism for it's economy. How are they supposed to thrive as a country if we are blowing it to bits? Who will want to visit there? Remember this is a democratic country, just like Israel. Israel is attacking not only Hezbollah, but Lebanon as well.

Just in case anyone is curious, I am not of Lebanese descent.
Posted By Anonymous Nicole, Portland, OR : 2:34 PM ET
Images before and after the attacks in Qana show the inhumanity and conflict stuggle of those in power. While we know it is impossible to think that war can exist without casualties, why don't we try harder to prevent war? I sincerely hope yesterday's images spark a turn of event but the reality is it will happen somewhere else, to someone else's loved ones. This is war, and war is an old demonstration of what is human imperfection.

The same red fire retardant is used for forest fires in the states. It is classified non-toxic, but there are little long term studies on its true effects on humans.
Posted By Anonymous Amy T, Allentown, PA : 2:41 PM ET
The tragic attack on Qana made me wonder where the Lebanese bomb shelters and safe rooms are. Doesn't Hezbollah care about its own people? The pictures of Israel under fire show people hiding in bomb shelters. It doesn't appear that any there are any shelters in Lebanon at all. Hezbollah had six years in which they were clearly funding and preparing for this moment. Where, in there preparations, was the concern for the civillian population? It was always obvious that they didn't care about Israeli civilians, now it is clear that they don't care about Lebanese civilians either.
Posted By Anonymous Stacey Kellar, Virginia Beach, VA : 3:09 PM ET
I am just sick at the pictures comign out of Qana - it seems that Muslims lives are not valued equally as Israelis or Americans. The world is so quiet about this and the most shame must lie with the bush administration who sends humanitarian aid and bombs together. Where is the humanity - shame on us all for watchign this escalate!
Posted By Anonymous Tara New York, NY : 3:09 PM ET
to me is clear who the parties in the fight are on one side is Herbollah which is not an official country with no respect for life a terrorist organization and Israel a Democratic country fighting alone against the Islamic expansionist threat.
Posted By Anonymous isaac matz,miami,florida : 3:09 PM ET
A few years ago, we had Palestinian neighbors. They were very nice people who owned a grocery store. Our children played together. One day the young mother in the family says that she is sending her 6 year old daughter back to "her country" so she can learn how to make bombs and kill jews. I was just trying to teach my kids how to use the toilet and dress themselves.
How can you sue for peace when they really do not want peace. Fact is, they just want you off the planet. I did not feel it appropriate to tell her that my mother is jewish.
Posted By Anonymous Erik, tampa florida : 3:10 PM ET
Israel needs to stay the course and finish the job. Then the 'West' should put Syria and Iran on notice that if they continue to support terrorism they will be next.
If we don't stop the terrorists now and their sponsors we will be paying a much heavery price down the road.
Posted By Anonymous Mike, San Diego, CA : 3:11 PM ET
It seems to me that the reporting has been very one sided - very few reports of the carnage done by the rockets that fall on Israel, and the death and destruction they cause.
Posted By Anonymous Terry, Deerfield, IL : 3:13 PM ET
I guess the Israelies haven't killed enough children yet.
Posted By Anonymous Dave, NYC : 3:13 PM ET
That is called TERRORISM. And an act of cowardice to call a 24 halt fire to break it in the middle of the night. Wasn�t the Israeli Secret Services the pros? It�s unfortunate that most media outlets don�t give a complete background of the situation. Where is the 360 degree Anderson? I�m not pro Israel nor Lebanese. But reality is that BOTH sides have their media machines. And to think my hard earned tax money ended killing innocent children. WHAT IS WRONG WITH US? When are we going to be responsible in our voting booths and take our constitution, civil rights and democracy seriously? WE the people chose the leaders who are leading this mess. That blood is in our hands. And it is time to clean it. I don�t want to see more american kids go to war. I don�t want to see any more children die due to our incompetence in foreign policy. I don�t want to see any more opportunists earning billions based on the disgraced of other contries. This is going too far. It�s time to stop it.
Posted By Anonymous Valerie Lippman, NYC : 3:14 PM ET
What happened in Quana, does not change the way I view this war. But you have to remember this, this war was not started by Israel, it was started by Hezbollah. Remember they kidnapped 2 soldiers and killed a young 19 year old as well.So that's where it all started. If only Hezbollah would have released the soldiers, this war would have not gotten this far, but it did and it has not stopped.

So here you have Israel giving up land to the Arabs in Gaza, but what did they do? Hamas (terrorists), used it as a launching pad to launch rockets at Israel of course. That was their whole plan. So ever since the land was given away to them, they have never stopped firing rockets (Kassam rockets)against Israel. Israel ceased fire for 48 hours, but still, there were rockets being fired against Israel.

Who is the culprit of this war, it is Iran of course. The Iranian president already said he wants Israel off the map. Iran is keeping their "terrorist organizations" going by supporting terrorism. These terrorists do NOT want peace in the Land of Israel, they want to destroy Israel and her people. By the way, they also want to destroy America, so that should wake America up by not putting up with these terrorists.

There should not be a cease fire until these terrorists are destroyed. Just want to clear one thing up. The people in Lebanon were notified by leaflets and via radio to get out of the area. The only reason they stayed is because they were told not to leave. Hezbollah, Hamas, Jihad always use civilians for shields. And yes, the civilians were warned, so that led to many casualties in Lebanon.

Mr. Anderson Cooper, if you look at the real picture and really see what is happening here. Hezbollah is not only a threat to Israel, but also a threat to the U.S. Israel has had enough from these terrorists already and finally they are doing something about it. You have many Israelis living in bomb shelters, there are casualties there and there are many stories that are NOT being reported via media. All the people want is the truth to what is happening. That is why I go to the news coming out of Israel via net.

I would like to remind people who are reading this, these terrorists have a long history of crimes. Just remember what Hezbollah had done back in 1983 in Lebanon, the killing of 240 service men. We are fighting against the enemy and we should NEVER negotiate with terrorists!

Mr. Anderson Cooper, I pray for your safety and I pray for the safety of Israel and her people.

Thanks for your time.
Posted By Anonymous Caroline F. Nampa, Idaho : 3:14 PM ET
Well� from what Jos� Rodrigues dos Santos, a very reliable Portuguese reporter said, most of the town of Qana was empty when attacked: only 200 people, of the 25.000, actually stayed. Even though he had heard from some people, some days before, that Hezbollah was asking people to stay in their homes, the dozens of civilians he interviewed did not support that. Some of them were old people that preferred to die in their homes instead of going to a refugee camp. And the rest, I really don�t think they had an idea of the strength of these merciless attacks. Even if the guerilla soldiers from Hezbollah wanted them to stay, the Lebanese people themselves wouldn�t have left so many children behind. That�s just people putting every Arab in the same terrorist category. You can�t blame the innocent Lebanese people for Hezbollah, but these cruel actions played by Israel are getting them more supporters, for sure.

Lebanon is just a piece of land where the Israelis (and USA) and the Hezbollah (and Iran) decided to fight. Human lives are far too precious to be lost in such a stupid way. This looks like a fight between children because it�s so foolish, except children would forget it right about now, make up and go out for ice cream.

The saddest thing is that Lebanon was working hard towards the creation of a really democratic country. Their government was not strong enough to disarm Hezbollah for now, but given more time, they would have controlled the organization (maybe making them a real political and social party). And honestly, Hezbollah is not the only one needed to be disarmed, Israel should also be completely stripped of weapons. With no armaments in both sides, peace would obviously prevail. Hezbollah is a powerful terrorist organization that responds to no one, and that�s something it has in common with Israel. They are exactly the same, because they do not care if innocent people are dying or not. Actually I�m wrong� there�s a huge difference: the mighty righteous United States government (and its �struggle against terrorism�) supports Israel and these regrettable Israeli actions.
Posted By Anonymous Isabel Moreira, Porto, Portugal : 3:26 PM ET
CNN redundant coverage of the news of the moment hides and detracts from the more important, fundamental, underlying issues
Posted By Anonymous J.D. Jordan, Portland, Oregon : 3:29 PM ET
Information on Fire Retardant
The Basics on the Red Fire Retardant, �Slurry�
Main ingredients: 85% water, 10% fertilizer (ammonia phosphate and sulfate ions), and 5% minor ingredients (iron oxide for color, clay or bentonite).
How it works: Works by coating fuels with moisture
How it is applied: Aerial application, dropped by aircraft.
Good News: It is non-toxic to humans.
Bad News: It may stain so should be washed off structures to prevent darkening of color. May be harmful to pets if swallowed (fertilizer poisoning).
Why is it red? Visibility! Easy to see from the air and ground.

Source: http://www.uppersouthplatte.net/resource/haymfire/faqs.html#Anchor-17304

Take care
Posted By Anonymous Brigitte M. Montreal Canada : 3:30 PM ET
Dear Mr. Cooper,

I am impressed with your reporting of the events in the Middle East but I think the picture that was sneaked out by a Canadian reporters showing Hezballa among the general population with Katusya rockets which begs the question, why are innocent civilians are getting killed? The roads from Qana were wide open to leave, this was never mentioned that the general population is used as a shield, be fair and balanced as you your reporting should be. Let Hezballah come out a fight if they think they can win.
Posted By Anonymous Peter Frankel, L.A., Ca : 3:30 PM ET
The death's of the children in Qana, while very sad indeed, have not caused me to waver in my steadfast support of Israel. The rockets and bombs hidden in that building were meant to kill Jewish children. As well, the citizens of Qana were given ample time and warned to leave. They chose to stay and keep their children in the war zone. I will always stand by my Israel.
Posted By Anonymous Swooz , Charlotte, N.C. : 3:34 PM ET
I thought this morning about a documentary I'd seen in high school about the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. I was born well after it happened, but the incident itself and the guilt felt by the American soldiers in its aftermath stayed with me.

Maybe we need to hear about these things, so we really realize the horror of what's happening. This isn't a football game with competing casualty numbers on each side, an analogy that was posted previously. It's so easy to forget when it's a world away.
Posted By Anonymous Catherine,Vancouver, B.C. : 3:34 PM ET
I feel sorry for the innocent people that were killed yesterday in Qana. However, they are in a war and non-combatants do get killed. Can you really trust anything either side says. Israel says they only launch rockets in the territory where they see Hezbollah rockets being launched. But Hezbollah says they weren't there. So who do you believe or more over who can you believe??

I think your cameraman may be red for a while. I've see the flame retardant dropped on fires and the surroundings stay red for a while. I don't think I would want it to stay on my skin though.

Keep your head down and stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous Wynona, San Diego, CA : 3:35 PM ET
My views on the Middle East crisis remain unchanged. The fact is, it does not matter who started what. Killing innocent people is totally Godless. I suggest Hezbollah and Israel rent a football stadium, sell tickets, and blow each other into orbit. Let the rest of us live in peace.
Posted By Anonymous Jayne, Charleston, SC : 3:35 PM ET
I am not blase about collateral damage in war zones. I deplore the civilian deaths in Qana. We were wrong to invade Iraq and the Israelis over-reacted but I am committed to Israel's right to exist, to defend their borders, and to demand a nation state control their citizens. The west will fail to defeat terrorism if we do not overcome our distaste for the death of innocents and our own soldiers in combat. Terrorism is messy business. Democracies and multi-cultural societies are psychologically ill equipped to fight jihadist and terrorist organizations. WE have lost the hearts and minds of the Arab street and we will not win them back with bombs. Forcing modern armies to fight street by street to avoid collateral damage and world sympathy for the underdog, balances odds for outmanned guerillas and terrorists. It's smart and tough on emotions and policy. If you are going to bomb, you better have inrefutable facts and just principles. I see a cessation of bombing as a win for terrorist that will save innocent lives in the short term but prolong meaningful resolutions. The terrorist is winning.
Posted By Anonymous Irma Trommlitz, Portland, Oregon : 9:28 PM ET
Dear AC,
I called my brother-in-law who is a fire chief about the flame retardant and he didn't know what was in the stuff (so much for my brother-in-law). I did look it up in the MSDS sheets (I'm a nurse) and it's non toxic to humans). ALL of the pictures of those poor children (burns, tears, bodies) are too awful to speak about. I think we should provide safe passage for all the sane people over there to leave(take their children with them) and leave the rest to get it over with. I'm sick of all of them (Jews,Muslims.) What are they still fighting about after all of these years..land? What the hell? Is it worth hurting and killing their children for?
Posted By Anonymous Kate, Atlanta, Ga. : 3:27 PM ET
I don't want to enter the political debate. I want to remind us all that children's lives should be sacred. It is our responsibility as adults to protect them and give them the chance to have healthy, happy and full lives. Once we begin with that as a core concept or starting point, all else becomes clear. As a mother, I cannot and will not EVER support or justify the killing of innocent children. Saying that the deaths of the innocent are sometimes necessary to achieve some greater objective (preventing terrorism, strengthening security, whatever) turns us all into something less than human beings.
Posted By Anonymous Anne, Columbia, MD : 3:41 PM ET
The way Israel has been handling things lately, 1) dropping leaflets telling civilians to leave, then 2) bombing the very roads that lead to safety, is quite hypocritical and moronic. Why not just save a plane trip and attach the leaflets to the 500lb. GBU bomb.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin, Nashville, TN : 3:51 PM ET
To say the news left my views unchanged sounds heartless, but it is true. I grieve the loss of ALL the civilian and military lives on both sides of the border.

But what else was expected? The Hezbollah are intentionally fighting among the very citizens they proclaim to take care of from birth-to-death. They lob their rockets from a building they know is sheltering women and children, scatter like the cowards they are, then when the retaliatory strike hits (as they know it will) they rush back with cameras and reporters to record the travesty.

As you reported last week, they have their PR working.
Posted By Anonymous Pixie Gresh, Muncie, IN : 5:26 PM ET
My views have not changed. Did these people not realize the danger of letting their children stay so close to the war?! If your a civilian with or without children, you leave. The people who stay are either forced to by hezbollah for propaganda reasons (see Qana) or they are sympathetic to terrorists and are therfore no longer civilians. The fact that they would endanger their children in such a way underscores the differences among our two societies. There will never be peace in the region because the arab world and western civilization are just on two different planes of existence. They don't get us and we don't get them. That said, Isreal has every right to continue until they feel their people and country are safe or at least more safe.
Posted By Anonymous Matt Levis, Towson, Maryland : 5:30 PM ET
The comments here are hysterical. Read in my best sissy voice, "If we could just get them to sit down and talk... talk, talk, talk." Talking with terrorists hasn't solved anything in the past 30 years, because Third Century Barbarians do not respect talks and in fact see them as a weakness to be exploited for gain. What did the Oslo talks produce other than classic Clintonian photo-ops?
Posted By Anonymous Eric, S.A., TX : 5:31 PM ET
As a captian in the army and one who was involed in combat in 1996 in Lebanon it is painfull to see civilians die Arab or Jewish we spill the same color blood.However Hezbollah fired rockets meters from where those people were taking cover.They did it on Sunday,they did it from the start of this conflict and they did it in 96' just outside the UN compound in Qana.The Israeli army is taking heavy losses to its tanks and groud forces because we are taking every step not to danger the civilains held hostage by Hezbollah.Hezbollah started this conflict and Israel needs to finish it!Only then I can hope to one day sit in a cafe in Beriut by the sea and drink tea with our neighbors.
Posted By Anonymous david,brooklyn ,ny : 5:51 PM ET
There's always one incident that the Media takes and exploits. I think any incident occuring right now between Lebanon and Israel is enough for the UN to get involved. We have the ability to react and do something right now but too many liberals in this country don't want us to get involved like with IRAQ. The question I have is why is it everytime I read the LA Times or any other paper they make it sound like Israel is the one to blame for all the bombing in Lebanon. Wouldn't the U.S. defend itself if we had another country sneak into one of our military bases and take two U.S. soldiers hostage. Or is that what were all waiting for so we can rush in there to help the Israelis with this terrorist cancer called Hezbollah. The time is now to react or were all going to be pointing fingers at Bush again for not making the right decisions. Come on Americans WAKE UP!! These finatic muslims want us all dead period. There's no negotiating here with these animals!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let's not be ignorant and allow them to get away with this!! If we don't all stand up now were all going to pay for it in the long run!
Posted By Anonymous Ken Reza, Lakewood, CA : 5:53 PM ET
All of the death and destrution in Lebanon is the direct fault of Hezbollah and their suppliers, Iran and Syria. If Hezbollah was concerned about innocent Lebanon civilians why have they not helped them go North? They hide behind women and children and use them as a shield then blame it on Israel.
Posted By Anonymous Marilyn Ladig, Los Angeles, CA : 6:08 PM ET
Sherman said it. War is Hell. At least Israel is trying to avoid killing civilians. Hasballa celebrates when it kills Israeli civilians. When an orgaization has the avowed goal of detroying Israel, what other choice do they have?
Posted By Anonymous S Daugherty, Chicago, IL : 6:11 PM ET
My opinion has not changed about the destruction that's taking place, but to continue this distraction is always good for our current administration.

While we continue this game of diversion, the current administration lures our thoughts away from the administrations vote to open protected land, I believe in New Mexico, up for oil drilling, and it also lures our thoughts away from our failure in Iraq. On average there seems to be 40 to 60 people dying every day. We have Blair coming into California, almost as a means to drum-up more support for the current administration.

You should do a story on who benefits from this... Israel with peace, Lebanon with more US and world support and money, everyone else with possible dibs on who gets to rebuild and develop. The Arabs talk, the world talk, but there's no action.

I know that our current administration, and possibly their Arab buddies just want the troublemakers, thoughts who are in the way of them owning all the oil and who's not their buddy, to disappear.

We will find a way to pick a fight with Syria, Iran, and Palestine soon.

Make friends, not enemies and you should stay safe...
Posted By Anonymous Miriam, Oakland, California : 6:12 PM ET
Many of us are just repeating what we hear and just adding passion to it. Of course in certain direction. Think of it this way: In order to judge you need view from both sides. In the court room everybody is questioned and answers are out. Once you hear them, you can conclude who would be who and who started what. We believe that media can help us there: to get balanced point of view. Maybe CNN is doing that and it is just us that ignore balance. We are biased.
One more thing. Imagine that you know who is wrong. Would you hide it. That is most problematic thing today: IGNORANCE. We are all either truthfull or ignorant. Choose the side.
Posted By Anonymous Dino, Chicago, IL : 6:16 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

Quick note on the flame retardent. I know the Material Data Safety Sheets say it is non-toxic, but keep in mind those were prepared by the companies that manufactur the stuff and try to sell it. Repeated exposure to chemical agents is NEVER good. I am a former chemical risk coder from a major medical institution and a biomedical researcher. We wear the gloves and the labcoats buddy! Tell Neil to find a nice mud puddle out there and take a soapy bath before the next rocket flies in. Drink some pomegranite juice and hope for the best.

As for the images of the sweet itty-bitties wounded and dead, it breaks my heart. We all start out as sweet and innocent of heart like them, and life transforms us into something else along the way if we let it. We all have a choice, and we have to ask God to show us how to choose well. Those babies are fresh from the kingdom of heaven, and look what the world has done to them. Both sides need to consider that.
Posted By Anonymous Jill , Ann Arbor, MI : 7:15 PM ET
I am on information overload. CNN needs to remind us from time to time exactly what it is Israel and Lebanon are fighting over. Keep up the good work ya'll.
Posted By Anonymous Candy Strader, Brandon, MS. : 7:17 PM ET
Anderson, you and most of your readers and listeners have missed the point. You mentioned the great change since Qana. There is no change. The ISSUES are the same. When the rockets his London, the Allies were sending hundreds of planes, nightly to bomb Germany - Remember Dresden? This is all fanfare. As Churchill said after losing his Oxford debate on whether England should enter the war ( I believe he lost 99 to 1 votes - just like today!), the fools think that they can have peace by voting for it.

Until people limit their hatred to throwing darts at pictures of Bush, and others, in their own homes, and stop the perpetration of killing as a resolution to thier own frustrations, these wars will continue. Those are the issues, not the footage that you show every night for the sole purpose of angering and arousing people.
Posted By Anonymous Ron Steinberg, Huntington Beach, CA. : 7:17 PM ET
The Quana attack did change my perspective on the attacks because they are sinceless if people die that don't even know the reason the bombs are coming. People have obligations when there is a vendetta.
Posted By Anonymous israel, Raleigh,NC : 7:36 PM ET
My views have not changed at all. They have only been reinforced by the pictures you refer to. It does not matter to me in the least who people say is at fault for this whole situation. The only thing that matters to me are these innocent children who die and often, very tragically, survive these violent attacks. So many young lives are being cut short and we will never know what the future may have had in store for them.
Posted By Anonymous Kim U., Grand Rapids, MI : 9:04 PM ET
I was standing in the kitchen with the sound of the tv in the next room in the background- then I heard a child screaming. This was no ordinary scream to hear coming from a child- it wasn't one you hear when they're upset or have fallen and hurt themselves. When I looked at the TV it showed a young Lebanse boy screaming down at the bodies of his parents as they lay dead in the street after an Israeli attack. His parents had nothing to do with Hizbollah. Too poor to leave the targetted area (even if they wanted to I think people need to remember all major roads, bridges, infrastructure has been destroyed so to leave is virtually impossible) they were victims of a fight that has little to do with them. Do you really believe this little boy will grow up with anything less than hatred in his heart? Does anyone realise how many people have been affected by this war? how can people ignore that the MAJORITY of the people being killed on the Lebanese side have nothing to do with Hizbollah?! Israel says it is trying to thwart Hizbollah yet instead is totally destroying a country (which is NOT majority Hizbollah and in fact is a VERY liberal country often termed the "Paris of the Middle East") Lebanon has spent billions pulling itself out of a civil war and investors in the region have poured their money into the country to bring it up to one of the top toursit destinations in the last few years. In a matter of weeks all this is destroyed- an entire country! It will take years for it to re-build all the infrastructure that has been destroyed and at an impossible cost. Where will they get the money when it is highly unlikely a tourist will risk going there for even years to come? Israel's economy and tourist industry will remain largely unaffected. If Hizbollah are so dangerous and powerful- why are there 60 dead in israel and 700 dead in Lebanon? What is being gained here? The truth of the matter is only more anger, hostility, frustration and hatred is emerging as a result of Israeli's over-reaction to the kidnapping of its soldiers. How are their actions making us feel safer? I'm more afraid of Israel now than I have ever been. Do not ignore their power over the US.
Posted By Anonymous D, Dublin, Ireland : 8:34 AM ET
Anderson & red colored cameraman:

Flame retardants are mostly Ammonium sulfate with a little Ammonium phosphate, some red coloring, and some gum thickener. They're not particularly toxic and can also be used as fertilizers. It should wash off easily with water (the gum would be the hardest part to get off).
roz

This came straight from a chemist who works at a government lab(Lawrence Livermore)and I copied and pasted her reply so you know I didn't delete, skip, or screw any of it up. Hope this helps. Sorry, it took so long but she just answered me today.

You guys be careful and stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous Christina, Windber, PA : 2:51 PM ET
My opinion remains the same, that this is a gross overreaction and the people of Lebanon who have been trying to form a democratic government are caught in the slaughter. People need to understand that we're just exacerbating the already terrible relations we have with the arab world because of the pictures of dead babies. Is it really worth supporting Israel in this matter? Where has it gotten us so far? One key to moderating the Islamic extremist threat is acting fairly with the Arab world. Are we really being fair to the citizens of Lebanon by sitting by and waiting for Israel to do our dirty work with means that we wouldn't dare use?
Posted By Anonymous C Patterson, Orlando, FL : 3:17 PM ET
As a Jewish American teen who spent last semester in Israel and formed an ubelievable connection with the people, the culture, the land, and the history, it has been made very clear to me in my studies that the sole purpose of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad is to completely obliterate Israel because they see it as an illegitimate nation-state. I stand by Tzahal, my army, which fights to defend my homeland from these people who only want to destroy us. I tend to be central-right when it comes to Israeli politics, and my views have not changed in the wake of what happened in Qana. All nations have the right to defend themselves, including Israel, and there have also been civilian deaths and casualties there.
Posted By Anonymous Allison, New Orleans LA : 12:04 PM ET
Look around the world. Islamic militants are fighting almost everwhere. If you are not one of them you are an enemy to be vanquished. They grow stronger every day as moderate Moslems do nothing to deter them. Moslems everywhere, including here in the U.S. feel their world assault is somehow justified. If the moderate Moslems do not curb their militants, the rest fo the world must do so. A world ruled by militant Moslems is not one that any civilized nation would want to see. Is it time for another world war, or should we wait until the danger grows even larger and the militant Muslims work to create a world not worth living in?
Posted By Anonymous Fred Riek, Greensboro, NC : 9:11 AM ET
My opinion has changed toward this conflict - it went from a tiny tolerance of what Israel is doing to a complete rejection of it. Punishing Lebanon by destroying essential infrastructure while blaming Hezbollah for it is sounding more and more like an excuse for their outright failure to stop Hezbollah rockets from constantly being fired on Northern Israel. My respect for Israel's right to defend itself is diminishing despite being under verbal and physical attacks from its surrounding Arab nations. Many people also ignore the fact that Lebanon has constantly asked for help to disarm and control Hezbollah but no one extended their help - perhaps it was a precedent to give the Lebanese people false hope that they could rebuild their nation and live democratically, only to have it destroyed right in front of their eyes with punishing and even indiscriminate bombings (many times multiple bombings of the same location that was already in ruins).
And armed militias exist everywhere in the world that cause extreme terror on innocent civilians (Sudan, Rwanda, Congo, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Indonesia)- why are the Arab ones the most covered? Perhaps Israeli influence on the western world is fueled by the internal influence that exists in the U.S. ...?
Posted By Anonymous Ivan K., NYC : 4:31 PM ET
War is very similar to democracy, they exist because of resource, capitol and collateral. The reality of war is that it must be a cost effective means of gaining one or more of these. If you are an arab 'terrorist', then you are so because you use collateral (humans in military parlance) to gain resource or capitol. IF you are a US 'peacekeeper' then you use capitol and resource to protect collateral. Unfortunately collateral (we humans) might refer to a bus of school children being held to ransom for a consignment of AK47's. Introduce the word 'terror', segue to a pie chart and show us where x marks the spot on the map...But it's not that simple...
From the perspective of am impoverished man, with no present or future to look to, who perhaps lost family to a 'foreign' enemy, who can judge this man call him evil - a terrorist. It would be every Americans duty to do the same if we were cursed with such circumstances. Wouldnt you be out there, holding enemy soldiers to ransom, trying to get your hands on some powdered milk and some rounds?

How can we, the richest people in the world, cast anything but aspersions on and about those who fight for their lives and their families in such circumstances of poverty and deprivation? On either side? Anywhere?

Survival, after all is born of lack of resource and capitol, and inspires terrible and selfish acts simply because survival is an animal response. That we are morally outraged at the actions of either side in war is simply ridiculous. We are rich, of course our animal instincts are repugnant to us. We are not driven by them. But for these unfortunate souls their actions are based on the response of the animal that lives in every one of us. The one we americans try so hard to distance ourselves from through talk instead of action. But by talking in black and white terms about good and evil is futile and provocative. When the US expects to lead the world to the ballance that morality and democracy require, name calling is a poor substitute for the resource and the capitol that makes democracy possible in the US and anywhere else.

Simply put, 'Put up, or shut up'. We all know democracy is not free, it costs a fortune - Look at your tax bill. 'Terrorist' is a misnoma in the much misunderstood context of war. 'Survivalist' might be a better one.
Posted By Anonymous glen durrant, los angeles, california : 5:21 PM ET
Wars are meant to kill. The innocent who die are the responsibility of parents and government in that order. The enemy just does what it is supposed to do at wars. And as Ehud Olmert said, "the difference between Israel and Hezbollah is that for Israel the death of a Lebanese civilian is a tragedy, for Hezbollah the death of an Israeli civilian is a triumph".
Posted By Anonymous Rut Barales, Rosario, Argentina : 6:19 PM ET
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