"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Israeli Army of Lebanon

In a recent Sky News report it was suggested to the the Israeli army spokesperson being interviewed that perhaps the Lebanese government were unable to control Hizbullah. He responded that this was probably the case and that is why the Israeli army are now helping them conclude this task.

Joschka Fischer, 'a leader of the Green Party for nearly 20 years', explains in today's Irish Times how this present war offers a realistic chance for peace.

He writes that since "Hizbullah ... does not act in the interest of the Lebanese state. Rather, its interests are defined in Damascus and Tehran, where much of its arsenal originates. This ... essentially constitutes a "proxy war"."

Yet few/no-one in the mainstream press has dared to call the present Israeli 'incursions' a proxy war of US making.

He traces the cause of this war back to "the attack on a military post in Israel in which several soldiers were killed and one was abducted."

While at this stage there is nolonger need to go into detail about who did what first, FAIR have gone into some about the 'less important' events leading up to the 'escalation' kidnapping.

He continues; the Hizbullah response to Israeli shelling, "firing missiles on Haifa," means "the issue is no longer primarily one of territory, restitution, or occupation. Instead, the main issue is the strategic threat to Israel's existence."

Yet constant bombardment of Lebanese infrastructure is not a threat to Lebanon's existence? Is their existence recognised?

Which brings him keenly on to UN Resolution 1559:

"This miscalculation will become obvious as four developments unfold: Israel avoids being sucked into a ground war in Lebanon; UN Resolution 1559 - which requires the disarmament of all militias in Lebanon with the help of the international community - is enforced;today's de facto "anti-hegemon" coalition, comprising moderate Arab countries (including moderate Palestinians), is transformed into a robust and serious peace initiative; the Middle East Quartet, led by the US, becomes actively engaged for a viable solution and provides the necessary political, economic, and military guarantees to sustain it."

But what does 1559 actually call for:

["By a vote of 9 in favour to none against, with 6 abstentions, the Council adopted resolution 1559 (2004), reaffirming its call for the strict respect of Lebanon's sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and political independence under the sole and exclusive authority of the Government of Lebanon throughout the country."

"By acting in a robust manner, [the Council] was showing its confidence in Lebanon's future, which must include its full restoration of sovereignty, and not the intensification of interference."

The resolution states:

"Reiterating its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally territorially recognized borders,"

"Noting the determination of Lebanon to ensure the withdrawal of all non-Lebanese forces from Lebanon,

JOHN DANFORTH (United States) said that the Security Council had consistently affirmed that it supported the full sovereignty and independence of Lebanon, free of all foreign forces.]

Therefore the resolution's primary stated function is to protect Lebanon's sovereignty, fundamentally by the removal of all foreign forces. Since it is Lebanon's choice whether to 'evict' Hizbollah, or indeed call the International community to assist in this eviction, Israel has absolutely no rights to enforce the resolution militarily, as this would constitute a breach of the resolution by Israel, not to mention it would be an act of aggression. But as I outlined at the beginning of the post, Israel makes no bones about stating it is acting within a sovereign country as a foreign +invading+ force. And obviously no-one on Sky News would dare question the legality of this.

Lara Marlowe wrote yesterday in the Irish Times: "Do Washington and Tel Aviv not see the irony in their demand for enforcement of Security Council resolution 1559, which calls for the disarming of Hizbullah? Since Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the US has vetoed 32 Security Council resolutions criticising Israel."

But Joschka Fischer also neglects to see the problem with Israel's invasion, or 'limited incursion' in the world of doublespeak, of Lebanon. "Israel has a key role to play here. Twice, it withdrew its troops unilaterally behind its recognised borders, namely from southern Lebanon and Gaza. Both times, Israel's land-for-peace formula resulted in land for war. Now, with Israel's existence under threat, peace with its Arab neighbours seems a more distant prospect than ever."

Therefore Israel must now remain as occupiers of a sovereign country? They certainly couldn't make the same 'land-for-peace' deals that went so horribly. So horribly indeed that they appeared to be a massive PR stunt focusing on the withdrawal, and typically not, on the resettlement in the West Bank.

While we on the periphery of the news media still argue over who started the war the irony of the mainstream media's perspective remains lost. Mary Fitzgerald, the Irish Times' promoted expert on Islam worries: "Fears are growing that a whole new generation may turn to militancy." She quotes Oraib Rantawi, director of the Al Quds Centre for Political Studies in Amman, Jordan, "Arab public opinion is seething with anger. Even those secular Arabs who would have opposed Hizbullah before, now feel they have to support them against this aggression by Israel. Anti-American sentiment is rising in a very serious and dangerous way, as is opposition to any normalisation with Israel. It puts the entire democratic process in the region in jeopardy."

So we are to believe peace in Lebanon and Palestine is being put in jeopardy by Arab Muslims, not Israeli fire power. At no point do these experts on Islam ask, "is anti-Muslim sentiment on the rise?" or "why is that those that profess they want only peace in the Middle East are the same ones who supply the weapons and the International support for the conflicts that stand in its way?"

Or "are we seeing the product of the military radicalism of the Israeli youth?"

According to GlobalResearch.org an Israeli/Palestinian peace agreement was in process, based on 1967 borders, following the capture of the Israeli soldier, yet th meeting was halted by Israeli Shin Bet internal Security Service arresting Abu Tir and Abu Arafa (The Palestinian Cabinet Minister for Jerusalem Khaled Abu Arafa, and the senior Hama's Member of the Palestinian Parliament, Sheikh Muhamed Abu Tir) and warned them not to attend the meeting, under threats of detention.

"Israel simultaneously began conducting covert incursions on to Lebanese territory, provoking Hizbollah’s capture of two IDF soldiers. Credible sources confirm that the soldiers were not abducted on Israeli territory, but inside Lebanon. Like the scuppered peace negotiations, Western officials have ignored this, and misinformed the media. However, some reports corroborate the sources. Israeli officials, for instance, informed Forbes (12.7.06) that “Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from Israel.”"

So what does the future hold?

According to General Wesley Clark--the Pentagon, by late 2001, was Planning to Attack Lebanon

"Winning Modern Wars" (page 130) General Clark states the following:

"As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.

...He said it with reproach--with disbelief, almost--at the breadth of the vision. I moved the conversation away, for this was not something I wanted to hear. And it was not something I wanted to see moving forward, either. ...I left the Pentagon that afternoon deeply concerned."