Online Journal
Front Page 
 Special Reports
 News Media
 Elections & Voting
 Social Security
 Editors' Blog
 Reclaiming America
 The Splendid Failure of Occupation
 The Lighter Side
 The Mailbag
 Online Journal Stores
 Official Merchandise
 Progressive Press
 Barnes and Noble
 Join Mailing List

Commentary Last Updated: Jul 31st, 2006 - 00:29:36

The �honest broker�s� plan for occupying Southern Lebanon
By Mike Whitney
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jul 31, 2006, 00:25

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

�The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually ever talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised quite a clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It is a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.� --Harold Pinter; Nobel Prize acceptance speech 12-7-05

�Misery and war are children of the same father.� --Eduardo Galeano

The Bush administration has played an integral part in the war on Lebanon. They blocked the �peace initiative� proposed by the 15-member coalition at the Rome Conference and they supplied �precision-guided weapons� during the hostilities so Israel could continue to pulverize Beirut and the cities in the south. They have been as engaged in the fighting as any combatant in the field and should not be regarded an �impartial arbiter.�

The United States participation in the conflict precludes it from participating in any settlement of the dispute. The administration cannot be trusted as an �honest broker.�

President Bush and Tony Blair have come up with a plan for sending a UN multinational force into southern Lebanon to provide a buffer-zone for Israel.


The UN just withdrew its observers after their compound was �deliberately� flattened by a well-placed Israeli missile killing four of its staff.

What makes Bush and Blair believe that a multinational force would fare any better?

The real motive behind the initiative is to �militarize� the area south of the Litani River and �ethnically cleanse� the predominantly Muslim population. This is how Bush intends to stealthily annex more Lebanese land and create a new de-facto northern border for Israel.

Hezbollah should reject this offer outright as a violation of its national sovereignty and an obvious attempt to occupy its southern flank.

If Bush and Blair believe that this is a reasonable offer, then they should not object to �militarizing� the �67 borders between Israel and Palestine. That would force Israel to accept the �unanimous ruling of the international body� in Resolution 242 demanding that Israel withdraw to the pre-war borders. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah would undoubtedly give greater consideration to the present plan if the UN demonstrated that it was as willing to provide the same security guarantees for the Palestinians as it is for the Israelis.

Let the multinational force protect the Palestinians first; then, we�ll see.

Israel�s claim that it has the right to unilaterally enforce UN Resolution 1559 (�Disarming� Hezbollah) is a non-starter. UN member states are forbidden from taking military action that hasn�t been formally authorized by the Security Council. Israel�s assertion implies that other nations in the region would be equally free to enforce any of Israel�s 46 or so violations of UN resolutions without UNSC approval. That�s just crazy. Israel�s sudden conversion to international law is nothing more than a public relations stunt devoid of meaning.

The Final Demise of the UN

The only �silver lining� to Israel�s lethal rampage is that it signals the death knell for the enfeebled United Nations. The Bush administration has torpedoed every effort to reach a peace agreement and blocked all resolutions criticizing Israeli aggression. This, of course, is why Israeli-loyalist John Bolton was installed as US ambassador in the first place: to oversee the destruction of the UN and pave the way for a wider regional war. So far, he has succeeded admirably.

Working in tandem with Condi Rice, Bolton has delivered a ferocious �one-two� punch that has KO�d the diplomatic work of the EU, the Arab League and the bumbling foreign ministers from around the globe. Now, whenever Condi or Bolton speaks, it looks like the entire world stands behind them lending international credibility to Israel�s ongoing depredations in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, the feckless Kofi Annan is scampering away as fast as possible from his bombed-out outpost on the Lebanese border. The UN�s humiliating retreat is bound to be the final nail in the coffin for the toothless organization. The UN has done nothing to defend Lebanon�s civilians just as it did nothing during Israel�s 18-year reign of terror from 1982 to 2000. While innocent people are being cut down in their homes and cars and the country�s infrastructure is being reduced smoldering heaps of twisted iron and rubble; the so-called �international community� is breezily debating how to punish Hezbollah.

What a farce. Some one should remind the secretary general that the Daisy Cutters, cluster-bombs and napalm descending hourly on Beirut are not the work of Hezbollah, but their marauding neighbor to the south.

The UN is powerless to stop the fighting and Kofi Annan is too frail to call for an emergency meeting of the General Assembly to eject the US from the Security Council. Thus, the institution continues to slip further into disrepute lacking the moral authority to be effective and quickly becoming a �rubber-stamp� for US/Israeli aggression.

Bush�s delusional vision of a �New Middle East� now extends from Baghdad to Gaza City, and from Beirut to Kabul; each �failed state� now bearing the imperial imprimatur; each decimated Muslim homeland is just an inconsequential part of the grand colonial schema.

This is the war on terror promised to us by Western, white elites who aim to control the world�s last dwindling resources and reshape the Middle East into a modern-day Israeli Kingdom. (�A Clean Break; Strategy for Securing the Realm�)

Now that four countries are awash in the blood of civilians and progressively deteriorating into chaos; who will still foolishly argue that this is not a war on Muslims?

Will the world continue to stand by while Bush and Olmert bulldoze their way to Damascus and Tehran, creating even larger mountains of carnage? Or will the grumblings in Moscow, Caracas, Beijing, and New Delhi coalesce into some tangible form of resistance?

So far, the silence from the foreign capitals is deafening.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at:

Copyright © 1998-2006 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
Skilling: An epitaph
The politics of delusion and crisis denial
American voters must not reward failure
Foreclosure USA
Degradation of democracy
Will Rogers delivers the Gettysburg Address
Chickenhawks in chief
Charnel house
Selling Satan: Iraqi war dead and the collateral damage to America's soul
What arrogance and stupidity?
Hitchens hitches his future to the Death Star
Political prestidigitation: The Illusion of a two-party system
The woman who would be speaker says, "Impeachment is off the table"
Putin gets mugged in Finland
Israel, Palestine and Canada
Godzilla vs. the Condoleezzard (Celebrating Halloween in the United States of Anxiety)
America is no longer free
The nuclear arms race and national sovereignty
One crime too many
Iraq's Orwellian calamity