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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS -
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The Route To Iran -- Through Lebanon?

Posted in the database on Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 18:21:20 MST (1998 views)
by Joseph M. Cachia    AntiImperialist League  

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If you've been watching the television images from Lebanon, Israel and Palestine and have been feeling a little depressed, cheer up! US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has explained that the scenes of death, destruction and human misery from Beirut, Haifa and Gaza are only the “birth pangs of a new Middle East”.

It is now crystal clear that the vicious attack on Lebanon was premeditated with the aim of destabilizing the area of the Middle East.

When President Bush responded to the attacks by blaming Syria and Iran, he further encouraged the conflict and its probable expansion. In his radio address, Bush accused Syria as a 'primary sponsor' of Hezbollah and of helping provide Hezbollah with shipments of Iranian-made weapons. Although in a roundabout way, the indications are all pointing in one direction.

Consider the pretext!! Is the capture of two soldiers by the Hezbollah worth more than the killing of civilians, including innocent children and the destruction of a whole country? Did it entail a declaration of war? Over the last 6 years Israel has killed 4,500 Palestinians, destroyed 71,470 homes and confiscated 220 hectares of Palestinian land to construct a wall between Israel and Palestine territory. Besides, more than 9,000 Palestinians languish in Israeli prisons.

Instead of negotiating the release of the captured soldiers against the release of 95 Palestinian woman and 313 youths under the age of 18, pining away in Israeli prisons, the Israeli army immediately detained a number of democratically elected Palestinian government ministers in the Occupied Territories, while destroying essential establishments. Can this, in any way, be considered as appropriate retaliation?

The Israeli government knows well enough that its continuing bombing of South Lebanon and Beirut might just have strengthened the Hezbollah as more and more Palestinians and Lebanese regard them as their protection against Israeli aggression. You cannot fight terrorism by increasing violence. So, knowing all this, what was the scope of Israel to launch this devastating attack on Lebanon? Is Israel trying to start World War 111 by trying to involve Iran and Syria in the melee?

When a war breaks out somewhere, two principles for civilized people should prevail: (i) demand an immediate cease-fire and, failing that (ii) keep the war contained, do not broaden it. One can gauge the civility of the Bush administration by the fact that it rejected both principles. It opposed an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East and is not hesitating to involve other nations.

Is the conflict in Lebanon a proxy war, as Israel is also acting as an American strong-hand in confrontation with Iran? Lebanon is only a stepping-stone. Iran is the ultimate target!

Israel and the US are leaving no stone upturned in their efforts to involve Syria and Iran behind the Hezbollah's attacks. The western media is giving them more than a helping hand in implanting this belief in the hope of expecting the unexpected. Together with Israel, the US is trying hard to get Iran and Syria to serve as 'guilty partners'. Condi Rice and other western media immediately cited Iran and Syria as the 'masterminds' behind the scene, even before having any tangible evidence. President Bush had tried, but failed, in his insistence at the recent G8 Summit to incorporate into the joint statement the wording on the support of Iran and Syria on terrorism. Iran did not swallow the bait! In spite of vowing to continue diplomatic and political supports to Lebanon, Iranian authorities have said that Iran will not enter the crisis in Lebanon militarily.

The Israeli government threatens Syria and Iran over their alleged role in the Lebanon crisis and thus shows that it doesn't want peace but wants to escalate the conflict. It seems evident that their distant target is an attack on Iran, with US support. In a situation where Israel has unofficially got weapons of mass destruction, and the right to use nuclear power by Iran is denied, there is no doubt that the countries in the Middle East are not equal and sovereign. After all, what is the difference between Ahmadinejad and Olmert? One has called for the destruction of a sovereign state and the other has put it in practice! Talk is cheap, while mounting lost lives are costly!

The Western media propaganda did not fall behind in its tries to implicate Iran, continually alleging that Hezbollah's attack on Israel was directed by the highest levels of the Iranian government. In the same vein, Israel alleged that Iranian guards assisted Hezbollah fighters in firing a radar-guided C-802 missile that hit an Israeli navy vessel off the coast of Lebanon, adding that Iran acquired the missile from China.

The US media has alleged that 'Israeli intelligence has now leaked 'new evidence' that Iran has stepped up its arms shipments and support for Hezbollah through Syrian camps'. “The order to increase assistance to Hezbollah came directly from Tehran with the approval of the bureau of the leader Khamenei” quoted the Los Angeles Times.

However, in spite of all this, there is no evidence that Iran has any tighter control over Hezbollah than the US has over Israel!

Finally, one must recall that on the eve of the invasion in 1982, the then American Secretary of State, Alexander Haig, had advised Ariel Sharon of the need of a clear provocation to render the invasion of Lebanon acceptable to international opinion.

A passage from Orwell's 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' aptly describes the US ultimate empire.

“And in the general hardening of outlook that set in...... practices which had been long abandoned – imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture to extract confessions... and the deportation of whole populations -- not only became common again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered themselves enlightened and progressive.”

“War is the total failure of the human spirit.”

_________________________

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