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Commentary Last Updated: Jul 26th, 2006 - 01:12:22


War is cloaked in hypocrisy
By Linda S. Heard
Online Journal Contributing Writer


Jul 26, 2006, 01:07

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US President George W. Bush has condemned Syria and Iran for supplying weapons to Hezbollah and says the US has pressed Israel to avoid civilian casualties.

Yet, according to the New York Times, Washington is expediting a consignment of US-manufactured precision-guided bombs to Tel Aviv. What does Bush think Israel will do with those? Use them for lamp posts?

Doesn't this make the US complicit in Lebanon's destruction, described by the UN's top humanitarian official, Jan Egeland, as he looked askance at the rubble, as an "infringement of humanitarian law"?

Does Washington or Tel Aviv even care when the International Criminal Court, reduced to pursuing weak Third World leaders, hasn't been ratified by either of them?

One million Lebanese have been ethnically cleansed from their homes; Israeli leaflets ordered them to leave or be killed. They have nothing to go back to and nowhere to go. But Israel will never be held to account for this crime.

Isn't it a case of the pot calling the kettle black when the US and Israel maintain Israel's fierce onslaught was due to Hezbollah's contravention of Israel's sovereignty?

Ask yourself this. Where was the outrage when Israeli jets recently crossed into Syrian airspace and buzzed the summer home of President Bashar Al Assad in an attempt to force him to expel Hamas leader-in-exile Khalid Mesha'al?

Israel can hardly claim the moral high ground when for 18 long and bloody years it was in occupation of Lebanon and was still bombing that country's power stations days before its hurried exit in 2000. Patently it doesn't give two shekels for international law.

A startling example of Israel's hypocrisy was its condemnation of the Lebanese government for not preventing the kidnapping or disarming militants under UNSC Resolution 1552.

Since when has Israel bothered about UN resolutions? If it had adhered to any of them at all the region wouldn't be in this mess.

Israel knew full well that the Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora did not have the means to control Hezbollah that has an estimated 1.4 million supporters, yet this was a convenient pretext for it to smash the whole of Lebanon into smithereens, rather than going after Hezbollah fighters.

Later, mealy mouthed Israeli officials were to claim they have the interests of Lebanon at heart even as they were turning the country into dust.

The Bush administration is equally hypocritical with its reprimands. Does it think the world has forgotten its entr´┐Że into Iraq based on lies and the subsequent crimes of its minions in Abu Ghraib, Fallujah, Tel Afar and Haditha? Who are they kidding?

The elected Lebanese government doesn't entirely get off the hook either when it professes total ignorance concerning Hassan Nasrallah's intentions.

Five months ago, the leader of Hezbollah gave a much reported public speech complaining that appeals to Israel to release Lebanese prisoners were being ignored and vowing, "If those prisoners are not released, we will try to get an Israeli soldier."

The United Nations has been exposed as an ineffectual body that has little choice but to help further US/Israeli hegemony.

UN envoy Terje Roed Larsen has told the Lebanese army not to get involved in the conflict even as their comrades are being deliberately targeted. Bush keeps telling us with regards to Israel, that every nation has a right to defend itself; every nation except Lebanon apparently.

In the meantime, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who delayed a visit to the region to give Israel more time to do its worst, says the pain resulting from the Israeli action is nothing but a birth pang that will result in a new Middle East.

Easy to say when she isn't the one experiencing labour pains. Her family isn't fleeing from their home, their toddlers turned into limp, ashen rag dolls.

And what will this "new Middle East" look like? Is this the Project for a New American Century Part II?

Future of the region

There, within that neocon paper, the future of this region is mapped out. It is one where the US and its client state Israel will play the tune, leaving Arab nations the choice of either dancing to it or being crushed.

Israel's Defence Minister Amir Peretz says the rules of the game have changed. Indeed they have. This new "game" being played is an extremely dangerous one for everyone involved.

For Israel and for Jews everywhere, it risks unprecedented worldwide anti-Semitism and strained international relations. Moreover, poor little Israel's "victim" status is shattered for all time. For the US, Britain and the Arab world "the game" will mark a rise in anti-western hatred and extremism.

When bombs went off on London's tubes and buses last year, British Prime Minister Tony Blair was a lone voice insisting this was a result of a sick ideology and had nothing to do with his country's involvement in Iraq.

Today, British Muslims are reeling from their prime minister's refusal to condemn Israel's disproportionate use of force. Many young British Muslims can no longer identify with their own government's policies and are beginning to feel strangers in their own land.

Tens of thousands dressed like Lebanese militia on the streets of Britain's main cities carried Hezbollah flags and hoisted coffins draped in black on their shoulders. It was a scene repeated in capitals around the world.

It's clear that the unjust policies of Israel, the US and Britain - the axis of hypocrisy and double standards - are fanning the flames of hatred and putting everyone on the planet at risk.

Linda S. Heard is a British specialist writer on Middle East affairs. She welcomes feedback and can be contacted by email at heardonthegrapevines@yahoo.co.uk.

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