"Ain't Gonna Study War No More"

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Right-To-Life Party, Christian, Anti-War, Pro-Life, Bible Fundamentalist, Egalitarian, Libertarian Left

Saturday, July 22, 2006

What Alternative Is There But Resistance?

“The dead are rotting in the rubble of smashed homes”

Purity of Arms: “The IDF (Israeli Defense Force) serviceman and woman will use their weapons and force only for the purpose of their mission, only to the necessary extent and will maintain their humanity even during combat. IDF soldiers will not use their weapons and force to harm human beings who are not combatants or prisoners of war, and will do all in their power to avoid causing harm to their lives, bodies, dignity and property.”

Lebanon 7-20-06: 300 dead, 20,000 wounded, 500,000 displaced by Israeli aggression; vast swathes of the infrastructure in complete ruins; including airports, the highway grid, electrical power stations, sea-ports, factories, housing units and apartments, and all major bridges and highways. The Los Angeles Times reports, “Civil structure appears to have broken down almost completely. Ambulances have not been able to operate. The dead are rotting in the rubble of smashed homes. Food and clean drinking water are running out.”

The destruction of Lebanon is a completely man-made catastrophe orchestrated in Tel Aviv and rubber-stamped in Washington. The death and suffering are now on a scale that rivals the Asian tsunami.

Mission accomplished?

Why would Israel bomb Lebanon’s pharmaceutical factories, grain silos and water processing plants?

Why would they attack the mosques, hospitals and a Greek Orthodox Church?

Why would they flatten Lebanon’s largest milk factory?

Is Hezbollah in the dairy business?

There is no pattern or logic to the Israeli assault on Lebanon. It is simply a vicious attempt to destroy the working parts of Lebanon’s prosperity and bury the entire society under a pile of rubble. It’s a tragic example of pure, unalloyed revenge; another “black flag” operation successfully executed by the IOF. (Israeli Occupation Forces)

Lebanon posed no threat to Israel’s security. The comical Katyusha rockets may have killed a handful of Israelis (which is regrettable) but their military value is nil. Once they are fired, no one knows where they will land. Yesterday an errant Katyusha killed 2 Palestinians in Nazareth. Was that part of Nasrallah’s plan?

There’s no comparison between Hezbollah’s glorified fireworks and the high-tech, laser-guided, state-of-the-art weaponry wielded by the Israeli war machine. Lebanon is a case-study of the lethal efficiency of modern WMD and their astonishing ability to reduce a bustling metropolis into Dresden-like wreckage in a matter of days. It is truly an incalculable disaster.

Israel has succeeded in quashing an emergent, moderate nation with strong western leanings. The Lebanese are secular, urbane and educated. Israel’s rampage will only strengthen the fanatics and create a Petri-dish for extremism and retribution.

After 6 years, Lebanon had finally dug-out from Israel’s 18 year occupation which left the country in tatters and killed an estimated 30,000 civilians. Israel never contributed a dime to the reconstruction although its culpability has never been in dispute.

Now that Washington has given Olmert the “green light” to finish his onslaught, we can expect that the last few remnants of modernity will be smashed into pulp leaving behind the familiar moonscape of Israeli intervention.

No one should harbor any illusions of what it means to be Israel’s neighbor and the obvious risks it involves. That said, it would be foolhardy for Lebanese people to simply “start over” once Israel leaves. (If they do leave) What guarantees do the Lebanese people have that, 6 years from now, Israel won’t decide that its time for another tear through the Lebanese countryside; demolishing their towns and cities and leaving them to deal with another humanitarian crisis?

Lebanon should forestall any reconstruction until its leaders provide a coherent plan for national security. Not one brick should be set atop another, not one pane of glass should be replaced, until the Lebanese people can be certain that their government has acquired the “deterrents” necessary to fend off future Israeli aggression.

Providing security is the basic function of government. By now, the Lebanese people should recognize that they must do whatever is required to secure the weaponry they need to defend themselves from (inevitable) Israeli invasions. That is simply the price of occupying the land-mass adjacent to the world’s second biggest pariah-state.

This won’t be a popular idea. The United States and Israel are now spearheading a campaign to strip countries of WMD and leave them defenseless. The 2 blood-brothers are like the mugger in the park who forces his victim to “Drop your weapons” before he steals his money and beats him senseless.

Lebanon needs a credible deterrent to Israeli aggression. It cannot simply reemerge Phoenix-like every decade or so following another rampage by the Mongol hordes from the south.

No one can live like that. Nations need security just like individuals. Lebanon needs to find the means to arm itself by “fair means or foul”.

Besides, the obsession with WMD has been a sham from the very onset. Of course the US and Israel would like to remove the threat of retaliation; that way they can continue their forays throughout the developing world without fear of resistance. What Bush wants is a monopoly on violence so that he can keep his marauding armies working overtime on behalf of the global-corporate cabal. That is the real function of the military; to pave the way for debilitating loans and reconstruction by the multinational carpetbaggers.

But what about the Lebanese people; are they so intoxicated with their own prosperity that they don’t grasp Israel’s clearly stated regional aspirations; don’t they see that the Israeli leadership is chock-full of militarists and zealots; don’t they notice how Israel has been armed-to-the-teeth with every homicidal device know to man by its war-mongering U.S. patron; don’t they know that Lebanon is expected to be a powerless, vassal-statlet in the broader “Israeli Realm”?

How many times must Lebanon be bombed into oblivion before their leaders secure the means to ensure their safety?

The fanatics and militarists in Tel Aviv will not be deterred by fine words and lofty sentiments; they need to see a credible deterrent.

Perhaps, Lebanon should duplicate Israel’s apartheid wall and build a 32 ft high looming monolith along its southern border. Then they could establish a 5 mile-wide “demilitarized zone” along the Litani River followed by watch-towers and heavy-artillery. 10% of GDP could be allocated for military spending and R&D.

Or they can wait for Kofi Annan and the post-colonial Euro-morons in the so-called “international community” to pull their heads out of the sand and take positive action to isolate the US and Israel.

What a foolish waste of time that would be.

There are no good options, but one thing is certain. The invasion of Lebanon proves that the crackpot strategy to Balkenize the Arab world and redraw the map of the Middle East is moving forward according to plan. All eyes should be focused on Damascus and the growing likelihood of a regional war. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert has taken a chapter from Rumsfeld’s book and decided to “expand the conflict”, which means, there’s no telling where it will end. The entire area from the Red Sea to the Caspian Basin has been doused in gasoline and is ready to go up in flames.

Lebanon has become a lab-experiment to prove that Israel can extend its model of occupation from Gaza to Beirut. Hezbollah’s defensive maneuvers will only incite greater violence and devastation. Israel is now prepared to reduce the entire country into finely-ground sand to assert its dominance and quash the resistance.

When they finish their work, they’ll deliver Lebanon on a silver platter to the loan-sharks at the IMF and Wolfowitz’s World Bank. The global banking cartel can then apply the shackle of indentured servitude to the once-bustling nation; ensuring that their future remains in the vice-like grip of the American-Israeli banking establishment.

The sacking of Lebanon should rouse the world from its terminal state of apathy. The nut-jobs are on the loose and they don’t care who gets killed in the process. The United Nations, the U.S. Congress, and the Arab League have proved utterly worthless in slowing the prospect of an all-out, regional conflagration. The Bush-Olmert juggernaut will continue to lurch uncontrollably through the Middle East until it is stopped in its tracks.

What alternative is there but resistance?

By Mike Whitney

How Brave Our Warships Looked

This is not Dunkirk. This is Munich

How brave our warships looked at dawn. Spread over the pale blue Mediterranean, bristling with cannons and machine guns and missiles, it was an armada led by the destroyer HMS Gloucester and the USS Nashville and York and the sleek French anti-submarine frigate Jean-de- Vienne. They represented Us, those ships upon which the Lebanese stared with such intensity yesterday. They represented our Western power, the military strength of our billion-dollar economies. Who would dare challenge this naval might?

It was, our journalists told us, to be the greatest evacuation since Dunkirk. There it was again, the Second World War. And it was another cruel lie which the Lebanese spotted at once. For these mighty craft had not arrived to save Lebanon, to protect a nation now being destroyed by America's ally, Israel, Lebanon whose newly flourishing democracy was hailed by our leaders last year as a rose amid the dictatorships of the Arab world. No, they were creeping through the dawn after asking Israel's permission to help their citizens to flee. These great warships had been sent here by Western leaders (Jacques Chirac excepted) too craven, too gutless, too immoral, to utter a single word of compassion for Lebanon's suffering.

Even Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara could only condemn Hizbollah for attacking the Israelis last week - yes, of course, Lord Blair, they did indeed "start this", as our Foreign Secretary never ceases to say - without mentioning Israel's savage killing of more than 300 Lebanese civilians. No, those ships I watched steaming into Beirut port yesterday did not represent Dunkirk. They represented Munich.

Even the newspaper and television stories managed to avoid the reality. As our Jolly Tars helped the elderly on board and US Marines landed very briefly - or "stormed the beach", to quote the Associated Press's imperishable report - to protect their ship, television crews hunted through the crowds of refugees for suitable pictures. Their problem, of course, was that almost the entire evacuation is of Lebanese who happen to hold dual citizenship. Cameras moved inexorably towards the very few blue-eyed men and blonde ladies of the "kith and kin" variety, anyone in fact who didn't look remotely like most of the rest of the refugees. It was pathetic. Even while we are betraying the Lebanese, we tried not to film the lucky few who could escape on our ships.

Of course, there are various kinds of escape, and one of the most adept of political Houdinis is His Excellency Mr Jeffrey Feldman, the US ambassador to Lebanon. In the past few hours, he had to listen - in person - as the Lebanese Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora, desperately appealed for a ceasefire to end the destruction of Lebanon by the Israeli air force. "Is the value of human life in Lebanon less than that of the citizens of other countries?" Mr Siniora asked. "Can the international community stand by while such callous retribution by Israel is inflicted on us?" Answer: yes.

Now all this presented Mr Feldman with a little problem. This was the same Mr Feldman, remember, who was heaping laurels on Mr Siniora and his democratically elected government last year for its "cedar revolution", for throwing the Syrian army out. But if he were to praise Mr Siniora's speech condemning Israel, Mr Feldman would, no doubt, be summoned back to the State Department in Washington and dispatched to the US embassy in Ulan Bator. So what was he to say when asked for a comment on Mr Siniora's speech? It was, Mr Feldman said, "articulate and touching". Articulate - as in "he-knows-how-to-string-the-words-together" - and touching, as in "sad".

Now to the Department of Home Truths. Mr Siniora did not mention the Hizbollah. He did not say he had been powerless to stop its reckless attack on Israel last week. He didn't want to criticise this powerful guerrilla army in his midst which had proved that Syria still controls events in this beautiful, damaged country. And he did not dare criticise Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbollah's leader, whom Israel tried to assassinate a few hours later by dropping a massive bomb on what it called a "bunker" in Beirut's southern suburbs, an explosion which physically shook the entire city. Untrue, cried the Hizbollah. It was the building site for a new mosque.

Ho hum. One has to say that it was indeed a building site that was hit and a few of the unfinished walls appeared to be of Islamic design. But on closer inspection, it did also have a very big basement. A very big basement indeed. "Well," as one colleague put it to me, "I suppose even mosques have basements, but..."

Quite so. For no one takes anything at face value these days. And that applied to President Bush's promise to ask Israel to stop destroying any more of Lebanon's infrastructure. It was an eloquent gesture. And no doubt touching. But there isn't much of Lebanon's infrastructure left to destroy.

By Robert Fisk:

Independent News and Media Limited