Bloodshed is bad but it's even worse when it is purportedly done for religion and race.The war against the Lebanese is obviously both racial and religious. Lebanon has nothing like a real army. The Hezbollah 'villain' is a shia religious organisation made up of haters of Israel but they happen to be Lebanese and live, vote, and even hold a minority of parliamentary seats in Lebanon. The "Party of God" came into being for self defense sometime after the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
Hamas, on the other hand is a suni religious organisation. It is claimed that Hamas learned how to use suicide bombers from Hezbollah. The Israelis are of course simultaneously continuing their incursions into Palestine (though this is far less reported on than the war in Lebanon).
The world and the media have been surprised by the Israeli inability to quickly destroy Hezbollah. The continuing horrors of civilians being massacred in Lebanon has supposedly put both Blair and Bush in a bit of a tight spot. But, I have my doubts on that reading of the situation. It almost seems that they want such horrors to occur that the world will heave a sigh of relief and not worry too much about the fine print of the resulting ceasefire!
For, it seems that a tacit goal of the present campaign is to win for Israel a neutral zone covering large parts of Palestine and Lebanon. That is to say that Israel wants complete control over swathes of these two countries. The current negotiation really involves who will provide security in these "buffer areas" of Lebanon/Palestine. And that's why I think the 'security council resolution' (itself not even really demanding a ceasefire) never made it out of the security council.
Public outcry from around the world has had no effect on those in a position to stop this war. The stakes are perhaps too high. In any case neither Bush nor Blair are going to be around for very much longer as heads of state. So, they have nothing to lose. The real question is, what do they have to gain?
I see two strong contenders. 1. A diversion from the horrible quagmire that they have been wallowing in in Iraq. 2. An opportunity to get Iran involved in the imbroglio - the first salvo on that front was the lopsided attempt to shut down Iran's nuclear activities. Now, the 'war on terror' gets to carry the baton.
In the meantime Israelis, Palestinians and Lebanese pay the ultimate price.
There was never a hope of 'success' in Iraq for it was always a no-win situation. A strong, democratically elected government there would have to have been shiite and therefore trouble (from a neocon perspective). Under the eye of the world, the chances of setting up another puppet government in Iraq is slender. Don't forget that both the Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein were puppets set up, trained and funded by U.K.-U.S. as a bulwark against the Soviet Union during the cold war. the main possibility of doing the puppet act and getting away with it only arises if an Iraqi civil war takes place...hmmm
I also wonder to what extent 'filthy lucre' (or "mammon" as the bible also calls it) is involved, for with the predictable rise in oil prices, whether or not the long term goals are achieved, in the short run Bush and his coterie will make a killing
The Perpetrators have nothing to lose; the horrors of war? That's all just a bit of necessary, and therefore unavoidable, collateral damage.
(check out the interview with Seymour Hersh (click on the title) that came out 2 days after I posted this blog)
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