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Commentary Last Updated: Jan 4th, 2007 - 01:08:31

Lebanon�s descent into hell
By Mike Whitney
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Aug 10, 2006, 01:13

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"I know I will die fighting them, then I will go to my God. But I will go to my God fighting like a lion. I will not be slaughtered like a lamb." Ahmed (last name withheld) �Destruction, Death and Drastic Measures� --Dahr Jamail

The assassination of Lebanese businessman Rifik Hariri now looks like the hoax that many suspected from the very beginning. Israeli newspapers� have already admitted that the current invasion had been planned for over a year, so how can anyone still believe that Syrian agents killed Hariri?

Syria had nothing to gain by killing Hariri and everything to lose. Israel, on the other hand, could use the murder as an excuse to push Syrian troops out of Lebanon, invoke UN resolution 1559 to attack Hezbollah, and bomb the country into submission annexing the south according to a Zionist scheme that dates back more than 60 years.

Game. Set. Match.

The UN investigation, which was led by American-stooge Detlef Mehlis, was a pure, unalloyed fraud that never produced a shred of evidence despite the relentless media innuendo and the finger-pointing at Damascus.

Consider the extent to which American NGOs and Israeli intelligence must have worked together to topple the Emile Lahoud government, force Syrian troops from Lebanon, foment the �made-for-TV� Cedar Revolution, and catapult the blubbering �Israel-friendly� Fouad Siniora into the presidency. The scope of the conspiracy is mind-boggling, but it gives us some grasp of the impressive level of collaboration between the Washington imperialists and the Tel Aviv Zionists. The calculated destruction of Lebanon is the polluted vision of both parties; they are equally culpable.

So far, the only obstacle to Israel�s plan has been Hezbollah, an organization that has remained steadfast in its preparedness for the inevitable Israeli onslaught. Under the guidance of Hassan Nasrallah, the group has stubbornly refused to be �disarmed� by the American-run United Nations or to evacuate their homeland south of the Litani River. That has forced US/Israel to scrap the pretense of �democracy-building� and resort to the �always reliable� carpet-bombing strategy.

After four previous invasions and countless border skirmishes, Nasrallah was wise enough not to trust his war-mongering neighbor to the south. And, of course, events have now proven that he was right. Israel stormed Lebanon with 10,000 troops, following a withering month-long bombing campaign, but has had to scratch and claw for every inch of Lebanese soil it has taken, incurring heavy losses in the process. So far, Hezbollah has held fast, giving up less than 8 km of ground to the most technologically-advanced army in the Middle East. It�s been a major �black eye� for the IDF.

Israel has been limited to doing what it does best; pelting unarmed civilians with American-made ordinance from 30,000 feet. Fortunately, Lebanon is not Gaza where 1 million people are corralled in a desert-gulag waiting for Israel to lob bombs into their midst.

The Olmert regime has already decimated most of Lebanon; setting the nation�s infrastructure back 20 years, triggering an environmental catastrophe on the coast (an 80-mile oil slick), and creating a humanitarian disaster. Still, Israel�s ground-offensive has sputtered to a near standstill, unable to overcome the ferocious resistance of a handful of well-disciplined, fierce-fighting guerillas who are willing to die defending their country. Their performance has been an inspiration to the entire Arab world.

There�s no doubt that Hezbollah is the de-facto National Lebanese Army and the only military force that is willing to defend Lebanese sovereignty. In Beirut, the simpering President Siniora has become a regular embarrassment to his people with his weepy appeals to the international community and Israel. His sniveling recital may be welcome in Tel Aviv, where Arabs are already considered untermenschen, but it detracts from his ability to mobilize his people for the struggle ahead. Siniora would be better off replicating Arafat�s �Kalashnikov-waving� performance at the United Nations some years ago, when he offered the world a choice between the olive branch or endless war. Instead, he persists with his clownish hand-wringing that only gratifies his adversaries and undermines his cause.

Show a bit of spine, man.

Siniora�s task is crystal clear; demand an immediate withdrawal of all Israeli forces, deploy his 70,000 troops to the south, and order the immediate conscription of all combat-age men between 16 and 65 years old. These are the same expectations we would have of our leaders in the United States if we were under siege.

Siniora should ignore the UN. The US-British-French ceasefire is nothing more than a �neo-colonial� scheme to divide Lebanon by conceding the southern portion to Israeli occupation.

The international community did nothing to discourage Israel�s 18-year occupation of Lebanon (1982 to 2000) and they�ll do nothing now. It is a meaningless debating society meant to provide international cover for imperial adventurism and war crimes, nothing more.

Siniora should resign and hand-over Lebanon�s army to Hezbollah. At least Nasrallah understands what needs to be done when the country is at war.

The Art of Ethnic Cleansing Israeli-style

Can killing innocent people be justified if it saves the lives of countless others?

Isn�t this what happened at Qana?

Israel was warned repeatedly to stop firing on the UN facility at Qana, but continued its assault until the building was eventually leveled by an American-made bomb that killed 57. The attack was clearly �deliberate� (as Kofi Annan said) and produced the reaction in the media that would have been expected from such an obvious atrocity.

Did the Israeli high-command know what the public reaction would be when they bombed the building or do they simply take these things in their stride?

Qana was the most successful Israeli operation to date.


Because it spread fear and terror throughout the south just as it was designed to do; precipitating an immediate and massive migration of some 750,000 mostly poor Shias.

It was the most carefully calculated, precisely executed act of terror since 9-11.

No one in the Western media would ever dare to accuse Israel of terrorism, but the facts are hard to deny. By pulverizing Qana (as well as by bombing a few fleeing mini-buses full of civilians), Israel triggered a stampede which drove the entire indigenous population northward over the Litani River. At the same time, Israel managed to keep casualties below 1,000, which is a nearly a miracle given the immensity of the devastation.

Wasn�t that Israel�s plan from the beginning: to evacuate the people but keep the death toll down?

When historians reflect on the IDF maneuverings in the Lebanon war, they will certainly credit Olmert and his staff with the most successful ethnic-cleansing operation in history.

This is "new world," high-tech ethnic cleansing, not the messy Darfur-type, where carnage is splattered all over the screen and terrified villagers are seen scurrying from their homes in a hail of artillery-blasts.

NO, no, no; this is the fully sanitized, meticulously executed military operation intended to purge the land of its unwelcome occupants and expand the perimeters of Greater Israel.

Israel has elevated ethnic cleansing to an art form. The mass exodus was carried out with Germanic-precision and less than 900 total casualties. That must be a record, for those who care to document such dubious achievements.

Civil War on the Horizon

Israel understands Lebanon�s ethnic dynamic as well as anyone. By thrusting 750,000 Muslim refugees into Christian and Druze areas, we can anticipate that traditional antagonisms will resurface leading eventually to another civil war. The blistering attack on the south and cutting off humanitarian aid creates the perfect laboratory setting for incubating a new round of sectarian violence. This is what Israel wants. In fact, the new world order requires endless cycles of internecine Muslim on Muslim violence. As Henry Kissinger said, �I hope they all kill each other.� American-Israeli foreign policy has never evolved beyond Kissinger�s callous axiom. In fact, it is an apt summary of the racist themes and homicidal doctrine which animates the entire war on terror.

Bush and Olmert agree that the �real enemy� is Arab nationalism and Muslim solidarity; the two vital threats to the US/Israeli occupation strategy. The same solution applies to Lebanon as Iraq: divide and conquer; pit one group against the next until the whole society is torn apart in a paroxysm of bloodshed.

Will Israel succeed in inciting chaos and civil strife or will it have to jump-start the process by packing explosives in the trunks of cars and detonating them in marketplaces and mosques like counterinsurgency operations in Iraq? We�ll have to wait and see.

Lebanon is at the beginning of a long descent into hell. Every opportunity for peace has been foreclosed by the Bush administration. The failures in Iraq and Afghanistan have done nothing to slow the machinery of state terror. The ghastly specter of mutilated corpses crushed beneath the twisted iron and powdery debris of bombed-out buildings only whets the appetites of the imperial warlords. They won�t be happy until the fire they started in Iraq consumes the entire Middle East in a pyramid of flames.

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

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