måndag, augusti 07, 2006

"Fredsförslag"

Fortsatt krig - fredsförslaget avvisas av Libanon”, påade Rapport 19:30 igår. Meningen är belysande instruktiv för mediernas galna utgångspunkter.

Ty det där är en fullkomligt lögnaktig beskrivning av det cyniska spel som nu utspelat sig i FN-skrapan. Det finns naturligtvis inget ”fredsförslag”.

USA:s resolutionsförslag, som nu alltså Frankrike också gett sitt stöd till, för att få vara med och leka stormakt igen, går ut på att Israels angreppskrig – en handling som FN-stadgan går ut på att förhindra och fördöma – glöms bort och att det ges acceptans till att stora delar av Libanon ockuperas av Israel, så länge Israel så önskar. För Israels militära angrepp spelar detta inte så stort roll. Som så många gånger tidigare har Israels regering deklarerat att man i grunden struntar i FN-resolutioner och endast följer dem i den mån man ändå hade tänkt göra likadant som resolutionen föreskriver.

En ”internationell styrka” av det slag som Israel vill ha kommer att bestå av pålitligt pro-israeliska trupper från länder vars regeringar har ett intresse av att USA och Israel kontrollerar Mellanöstern och undertrycker de arabiska folkens behov av frihet och självständighet. Något annat är heller inte troligt i ett läge då Israel demonstrerat att man beredvilligt mördar obeväpnade FN-observatörer som kunnat dokumentera krigsbrott och komma till civila libanesers undsättning – och detta med stöd från USA. Det innebär i slutändan att någon sådan styrka antingen inte blir av – vilket Israel då kommer att använda som förevändning för fortsatta stridshandlingar – eller kommer att bestå av tungt beväpnad ockupationstrupp från Nato, och som självklart kommer att vara legitim måltavla för angrepp från det libanesiska motståndet.

Resolutionsförslaget handlar med andra ord inte om att göra något åt Israels pågående övergrepp mot Libanon. Inte om fred. Tvärtom. USA, primus motor i framtagandet av det som Rapport betecknar som ”fredsförslag” utgör själv det ojämförligt största hotet mot fred och frihet i världen. Dess egna terroristiska krigsföretag runt om i världen kräver förståelse för och stöd till Israels dito i Mellanöstern. (Läs angående detta Guillous lysande krönika i Aftonbladet igår!) Resolutionsförslaget handlar om att skapa en opinionsmässig twist för Israels rykte, medan massdödandet fortsätter i dessa ”det Nya Mellanösterns födslovåndor”, som Condi Rice kallade det som nu sker. Och en påtagligt nöjd Rice gladdes över resolutionsförslaget igår, bland annat med orden: ”nu får vi se vem som är för fred och vem som inte är det”!

Visst är det härligt! Israel, som fortfarande ockuperat delar av Libanon, har, efter de vidrigaste terroraktioner i det ockuperade Gaza, och efter att två av dess soldater tillfångatagits inne i Libanon, gått till angrepp mot staten Libanon, som inte ens förmår delta i försvarshandlingar. I detta angreppskrig har den absoluta majoriteten dödsoffer varit civila. Israel har omsorgsfullt förstört Libanons civila infrastruktur – broar, elstationer, vattenverk – för att demonstrera styrka. Denna katalog av krigsförbrytelser utlovades till och med från start; Israel lovade bomba Libanon ”tjugo år tillbaka i tiden”.

Nu utarbetas ett ”fredsförslag” av det land som levererat de flesta vapen till dessa krigsförbrytelser. Och det som ska hända är att ”nu får vi se vem som är för fred och vem som inte är det”! Ursäkta mig, men alla svar som inte kan sammanfattas med orden ”fuck off”, är värda blott och bart förakt.

Programledaren i Rapports sändning sammanfattar inslaget: ”Ja, Libanon säger alltså nej till förslaget till FN-resolution”, vänder sig sedan till Bo-Inge Andersson och säger: ”Vad ska få Libanon att acceptera det här förslaget?”.

Tja… Man kanske kan göra som Israel har gjort tidigare; ockupera fullskaligt, bygga upp egna terrormiliser och tortyrcentra, sedan fortsätta mörda libanesiska politiker och motståndsmän. Eller som i Palestina; testa ytterligare 40 år av ockupation, systematisk förnedring av befolkningen, kidnappa demokratiskt valda ledare. Sedan kräva att Libanon ska ”erkänna” de nya ”facts on the ground”. Självklart kan man göra grejer som ska ”få Libanon att acceptera det här förslaget?”.

Och sen kan vi ”se vem som är för fred och inte”.

Ännu en skön informationsdag i de vita ”liberalernas” värld.


----------
Mer om FN-resolutionen – ta dig tid att läsa:
- Kurt Nimmo: U.N. Lap Dog “Ceasefire” Rejected by Lebanese
- Robert Fisk kallar utkastet för “toalettpapper”; översättning av Amir Sariaslan. (Originalartikeln i Independent här).

23 kommentarer:

Fredriksson sa...

Ey, vilken svada.

Den här skiten startades av Libanons ovilja eller oförmåga att kontrollera sitt eget territorium vilket gav Hizbollah möjlighet att inleda sin terror.

Libanon är ingen självständig stat.
Det är ett islamistiskt träningsläger. Förut för PLO, nu för Hizbollah.

Anonym sa...

Och för denna 'ovilja' är alltså det rättmätiga straffet massdöd av civila, totalförstörd infrastruktur och fördrivning av hundratusentals civila? Jag kan inte fatta hur man kan tänka så jävla sjukt, hur avhumaniseringen kan gå så jävla långt att man resonerar som du gör. Jag fattar det inte.

Peter Björkman sa...

Fredriksson
PLO var inte islamister.

Fredriksson sa...

Peter Björkman,

islamister var inte ett vedertaget begrepp under PLOs terror men de är samma skit.

Anonym, alternativet för Israel är att vika ner sig och bli utkörda i havet. Araberna borde ha lärt sig att inte anfalla Israel. Det är tamejfan obegripligt att de aldrig lär sig. Jag fattar det inte.

Anonym sa...

... att avhumaniseringen kan gå så långt handlar om rädsla... man är livrädd för att ifrågasätta sina ledare och åsikter, för om detta då visar sig vara oförsvarbart så fallar även allt det andra som man baserar sin vardag på... M.a.o skulle jag inte vilja byta med någon som lever en vardag som inte håller för ifrågasättande... är helt övertygad om att denna trångsynthet och rädsla skapar begränsningar i alla delar av livet...

Fredriksson sa...

Anonymous....

Det låter som du beskriver människornas vardag i de muslimska diktaturerna i arabvärlden.

Ifrågasätt inte din ledare, din imam, din Muhammed, din Allah. I Koranen står Sanningen och sticker du upp din otrogna jävel så sticker vi ut ögonen på dig.

Snacka om avhumanisering.

Anonym sa...

Fredriksson...

visst, självklart gäller det båda sidor av konflikten... och visst, det är enkelt att sitta i trygga sverige och vara eftertänksam... men samtidigt går det inte att blunda för att en Israelisk familj med ett sönderbombat hus troligen har mer gemensamt med en Lebanesisk familj i samma situation än vad de har med Olmert & Co...

Magnus Ahlkvist sa...

Hur SKULLE Libanons reguljära armé kunna avväpna Hizbollah? Så snart inbördeskriget slutat rasa i Libanon stack ju det internationella samfundet som en avlöning. Libanons regering hade alldeles säkert med glädje tagit emot hjälp för att bygga upp en styrka som både kunnat avväpna Hizbollah och tagit över uppgiften att försvara gränsen mot södra Libanon. Men eftersom någon sådan hjälp inte stod att få för Libanon har inte Libanons regering förmått avväpna Hizbollahs väpnade gren.

Fredriksson sa...

Magnus,

Libanon have väl kunnat fråga om hjälp från sina fredsälskande arabiska grannar. De vill ju inget annat än leva i fred. Syrien och Iran hade väl kunnat hjälpa till att avväpna Hizbollah?

Eller de kanske hade en annan agenda?

jinge sa...

Bra inlägg Ali!

Men kommentaren om "sinnessjuk rasist" borde du radera. Man kan ha synpunkter på andras åsikter, men omodererade kommentarer känns allt svårare att försvara.

Anonym sa...

Sign. "Jinge", Du menar att Ali ska radera mer än han redan gör?

Bästa sättet att bränna sin trovärdighet i blogg´världen är att börja radera inlägg.

Räcker med att ta bort anonyma kommentarer och tvinga alla att skaffa blogger konto. Då vet alla vem som skriver vad och man kan då lätt ignorera folk som använder utrtyck som "sinnessjuka rasister", "kommunistkräk", "judesvin" etc.

Ali har dock valt att radera inlägg som slår hål på hans "argumentation" istället för de fyllda med hat. Säger en hel del.

Jim sa...

Har tänkt på en sak.

Även om medias rapportering ofta är märkvärdig så är det ju möjligt att få fram "sanningen", eller vad är det annars som Ali håller på med. Tror inte Esbati att människor är smarta nog att inte låta sig luras av de elaka journaliserna?

mika sa...

Det är som sagt ett mirakel att en relativt vältränad motsåndsrörelse ger ett sådant hårt och ovillkorligt motstånd mot den sionistiska apartheidstaten.

Detta trots att USA fortsätter att pumpa in atomsopor i bombform, fosforvapen napalm och kemikalier till sin lilla terrorenklav, som inte skulle överleva en dag utan de pengar och vapen amerikanska medborgare bekostar ockupationerna med.


Intressant om svensk lydmedia förresten, vi kan få se Israeliska och amerikanska massmördare och krigsförbrytare rakt upp och ned på bästa sändningstid utan kommentarer eller avbrott men hur ofta får man höra Nazrallah Ahmadinejad Chaves eller någon annan motståndare till den "nya världsordningen" och i så fall i sin helhet utan "förklarande kommentarer" och "expertpaneler"?

Tiden har dock gått ifrån SVT/Bonniermedia/Stenbeck och Schibstedt, en klar majoritet Svenskar väljer andra källor för information om större världshändelser och kan lätt avslöja propagandan.

Anonym sa...

angående lydmedia, så tror jag inte att det direkt skulle öka sympatierna för vänsterns allierade om de fick propagandera för utplånandet av Israel under bästa sändningstid.

kommune1 sa...

En intressant analys av de geopolitiska skälen bakom USA:s/Israels senaste anfall mot Libanon:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CHO20060726&articleId=2824

Se framför allt kartan längst ner för att förstå hur problematiskt Irans geografiska läge är för USA, och hur Iran nästan är helt omringat av länder med amerikanska militärbaser.

mika sa...

Trams.

"Utplånandet av Israel" som sionistfascister och Israelfanatiker gallskriker om i media och bloggar handlar inte om utplånandet av folket som bebor staten utan den rasistiska statsbildningen Israel (en gränslös stat enbart för judar) som sådan och den fascistiska grenen av judendomen, Sionismen, som styr den.

Mig veterligen finns det bara en enda stat som öppet beklagar det likaledes fascistiska Sydafrikas upplösning och det är dess närmsta allierade, Israel.

Västmakternas lilla koloniala terrorenklav som forcerades och tvingades på ursprungsinnevånare och grannstater lever också på lånad tid och varje ny dag denna skamfläck til statsbildning tillåts existera kommer att leda till mera blod och krig.

Anonym sa...

Från "Counterpunch" kolla in den här Ali:

Goliath Pretending to be David
The Deadly US-Israeli Shell Game at the UN

By JONATHAN COOK

Nazareth.

If there were any remaining illusions about the purpose of Israel's war against Lebanon, the draft United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a "cessation of major hostilities" published at the weekend should finally dispel them. This entirely one-sided document was drafted, the Hebrew-language media have reported, with close Israeli involvement. The top adviser to the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, talked through the resolution with the US and French teams, while the Israeli Foreign Ministry had its man alongside John Bolton [yet another of Israel's men, Eds ] at the UN building in New York.

The only thing preventing Israeli officials from jumping up and down with glee, according Aluf Benn of the daily Haaretz newspaper, was the fear that "demonstrated Israeli enthusiasm for the draft could influence support among Security Council members, who could demand a change in wording that may adversely affect Israel." So no celebration parties till the resolution is passed.

Instead, in a ploy familiar from previous negotiating processes, Israel submitted to the US a list of requests for amendments to the resolution. When Israel agrees to forgo these amendments, it will, of course, be able to take credit for its flexibility and desire to compromise; Lebanon and Hizbullah, on the other hand, will be cast as villains, rejecting international peace-making efforts.

The reason for Israel's barely concealed pleasure is that Hizbullah now faces an international diplomatic and public relations assault in place of the unsuccessful Israeli military one. Israel, and the United States, are trying to set a series of traps for Hizbullah -- and Lebanon too -- that will justify Israel's reoccupation of south Lebanon, the further ethnic cleansing of the country, and a widening of the war to include Iran, and possibly Syria.

The clues have not been hard to decode. The US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, characterized the aim of the resolution as clarifying who is acting in good faith. "We're going to know who really did want to stop the violence and who didn't," she said. Or, in other words, we are going to be able to blame Hizbullah for the hostilities because we have offered them terms of surrender we know they will never agree to.

The main sticking point for Hizbullah is to be found in the resolution's requirement that it must stop fighting and begin a process of disarmament at a time when Israeli forces are still occupying Lebanese territory and when there may be a lengthy, if not interminable, wait for their replacement by international peacekeepers. Not only that, but the resolution allows Israel to continue its military operations for defensive purposes: Hizbullah only has to look to Gaza or the West Bank to see what Israel is likely to consider falling under the rubric of "defensive".

Hizbullah has been stockpiling weapons since Israel's withdrawal in May 2000 precisely to create a "balance of deterrence", to make Israel more cautious about sating its appetite for occupying its neighbors' lands, particularly when the neighbor is a small country like Lebanon without a proper army and divided into many sectarian groups, some of which, for a price, may be willing to collaborate with Israel.

This time, however, as Israeli troops struggle back towards the Litani River and their initial goal of creating a "buffer zone" similar to the one they held on to for nearly two decades, the Lebanese are rallying behind Hizbullah, convinced that the Shiite militia is their only protection against Western machinations for a "new Middle East".

Israel and Washington, however, may hope that, given time, they can break that national solidarity by provoking a civil war in Lebanon to deplete local energies, similar to Israel's attempts at engineering feuds between Hamas and Fatah in the occupied Palestinian territories. Certainly, it is difficult to make sense otherwise of Israel's bombing for the first time of Christian neighborhoods in Beirut and what looks like the intended ethnic cleansing of Sunni Muslims from Sidon, which was leafletted by Israeli war planes at the weekend.

On the US-Israeli view, a nation of refugees living in an open-air prison cut off from the outside world and deprived of food and aid -- a more ambitious version of the Gaza model -- may eventually be persuaded to take their wrath out on their Shiite defenders.

Hizbullah understands that the proposal to bring in a force of international peacekeepers is another trap. Either the foreign troops will never arrive, because on these Israeli-imposed terms there can be no ceasefire, or, if they do arrive, they will quickly become a proxy occupation army. Israel will have its new South Lebanon Army, supplied direct this time from the UN and subsidised by the West. If Hizbullah fights, it will be killing foreign peacekeepers not Israeli soldiers.

But Israel knows the international force is almost certainly a non-starter, which seems to be the main reason it has now, belatedly, become so enthusiastic for it. Senior Israeli government officials were saying as much in the Hebrew media on Sunday.

Israel's Justice Minister, the increasingly hawkish Haim Ramon, summed up the view from Tel Aviv: "Even if it is passed, it is doubtful that Hezbollah will honor the resolution and halt its fire. Therefore we have to continue fighting, continue hitting anyone we can hit in Hezbollah, and I assume that as long as that goes on, Israel's standing, diplomatically and militarily, will improve."

Israel hopes it will be able to keep hitting Hizbullah harder -- at less cost to its troops and civilians, and with improved diplomatic standing -- because in the next phase, after the resolution is passed, the Shiite militia will find that one arm has been tied, figuratively speaking, behind its back.

Not only will Washington and Israel blame Hizbullah for refusing to agree to the ceasefire but they will seek to use any retaliation against Israeli "defensive" aggression -- including, presumably, further invasion -- as a pretext for widening the war and dragging in the real target of their belligerence: Iran.

This subterfuge was voiced at the weekend by Israel's ambassador to the UN, Dan Gillerman, who told the BBC that if Hizbullah fired at Tel Aviv -- which it has threatened to do if Israel continues attacking Beirut -- this would be tantamount to an "act of war" that could only have been ordered by Iran. In other words, at some point soon Israel may stop blaming Hizbullah and turn its fire -- defensively, of course -- on Iran.

This linkage is being carefully prepared by Olmert. On Monday, according to the Hebrew press, he told some 50 government spokespeople what message to deliver to the foreign media: "Our enemy is not Hezbollah, but Iran, which employs Hezbollah as its agent." According to Haaretz, he urged the spokespeople "not to be ashamed to express emotion and appeal to feelings".

So in the coming days, in the wake of this US-Israeli concoction of an impossible peace, we are going to be hearing a lot more nonsense from Israel and the White House about Iran's role in supposedly initiating and expanding this war, its desire to "wipe Israel off the map" and the nuclear weapons it is developing so that it can achieve its aim.

The capture of two Israeli soldiers on July 12 will be decoupled from Hizbullah's domestic objectives. No one will talk of those soldiers as bargaining chips in the prisoner swap Hizbullah has been demanding; or as an attempt by Hizbullah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, to deflect US-inspired political pressure on him to disarm his militia and leave Lebanon defenceless to Israel's long-planned invasion; or as a populist show of solidarity by Hizbullah with the oppressed Palestinians of Gaza.

Those real causes of hostilities will be ignored as more, mostly Lebanese, civilians die, and Israel and the US expand the theatre of war. Instead we will hear much of the rockets that are still landing in northern Israel and how they have been supplied by Iran. The fact that Hizbullah attacks followed rather than precipitated Israel's massive bombardment of Lebanon will be forgotten. Rockets fired by Hizbullah to stop Israeli aggression against Lebanon will be retold as an Iranian-inspired war to destroy the Jewish state. The nuclear-armed Goliath of Israel will, once again, be transformed into a plucky little David. Or at least such is the Israeli and U.S. scenario.

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. He is the author of the forthcoming "Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State" published by Pluto Press, and available in the United States from the University of Michigan Press. His website is www.jkcook.net

Anonym sa...

Men snälla Ali - du skriver ju inte vad det är för fel på FN-förslaget, mer än att USA står bakom det. Har du kanske inte ens läst redogörelserna av vad det går ut på?

OM det nu blir en fredsstyrka från tredje land i södra Libanon, så har väl de senaste veckorna ändå visat att den måste vara "tungt beväpnad" (vilket du tycks anse vara en belastning).

Effektiv beväpning och ändamålsenlig utbildning (=NATO) innebär inte att det är en "ockupationsstyrka", och än mindre naturligtvis att styrkan ifråga kan vara en "legitim måltavla för angrepp från det libanesiska motståndet".

Jag tycker Israel har visat beundransvärd återhållsamhet, med tanke på vad de utsätts för. Sådan moral vinner i längden.

Anonym sa...

En bra artikel från www.zmag.org

#######################################
"The defeat of Hezbollah would be a huge loss for Iran, both psychologically and strategically. Iran would lose its foothold in Lebanon. It would lose its major means to destabilize and inject itself into the heart of the Middle East. It would be shown to have vastly overreached in trying to establish itself as the regional superpower. The United States has gone far out on a limb to allow Israel to win and for all this to happen. It has counted on Israel's ability to do the job. It has been disappointed. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has provided unsteady and uncertain leadership.... His search for victory on the cheap has jeopardized not just the Lebanon operation but America's confidence in Israel as well."

Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, August 4, 2006



"But the administration now has to admit what anyone -- including myself -- who believed in the importance of getting Iraq right has to admit: Whether for Bush reasons or Arab reasons, it is not happening, and we can't throw more good lives after good lives.... But second best is leaving Iraq. Because the worst option -- the one Iran loves -- is for us to stay in Iraq, bleeding, and in easy range to be hit by Iran if we strike its nukes.... We need to deal with Iran and Syria, but from a position of strength -- and that requires a broad coalition. The longer we maintain a unilateral failing strategy in Iraq, the harder it will be to build such a coalition, and the stronger the enemies of freedom will become."

Thomas Friedman, New York Times, August 4, 2006





Everyday that passes shows more of those who enthusiastically supported the Bush administration's imperial drive in the Middle East leaving its sinking ship. There can be no doubt any longer that what many had forecast long ago is proving absolutely true: the Bush administration will definitely go down in history as the clumsiest crew that ever stood at the helm of the American Empire.



Bush and his cronies have already secured their position in the collective memory as the grave-diggers of U.S. post-Cold War imperial ambitions: they have accomplished the incomparable feat of squandering the exceptionally favorable conditions that U.S. imperialism faced since the other world colossus started crumbling from 1989 on. They have wasted the unique window of opportunity that the same Krauthammer quoted above had called in 1990 the "unipolar moment." But they have wasted it because they were inspired by precisely the same imperial hubris that has distinguished the likes of Krauthammer and Friedman.



The lead-article in a recent issue of Time magazine, published before the start of Israel's new Lebanon war, heralded "the end of cowboy diplomacy" -- it took note of the obvious fact that "the Bush Doctrine foundered in the principal place the U.S. tried to apply it":



"Though no one in the White House openly questions Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq, some aides now acknowledge that it has come at a steep cost in military resources, public support and credibility abroad. The Administration is paying the bill every day as it tries to cope with other crises. Pursuing the forward-leaning foreign policy envisioned in the Bush Doctrine is nearly impossible at a time when the U.S. is trying to figure out how to extricate itself from Iraq. Around the world, both the U.S.'s friends and its adversaries are taking note -- and in many cases, taking advantage -- of the strains on the superpower. If the toppling of Saddam Hussein marked the high-water mark of U.S. hegemony, the past three years have witnessed a steady erosion in Washington's ability to bend the world to its will." [1]



The authors' most serious grievance was stated as follows:



"As it turns out, Iraq may prove to be not only the first but also the last laboratory for preventive war. Instead of deterring the rulers in Tehran and Pyongyang, the travails of the U.S. occupation may have emboldened those regimes in their quest to obtain nuclear weapons while constraining the U.S. military's ability to deter them."



This very bitter assessment was accompanied in the Time article by the same hope that was shared by the large chorus of U.S. allies, protégés and clients: for all of them, with the outstanding exception of the Israeli government, the fact that the most prominent neocons of the Bush administration have been pushed aside nurtured the hope that a new salutary course of the administration's foreign policy was in gestation. The reshuffle that went along with George W. Bush's second term, despite the exit of realist-in-chief Colin Powell who, anyway, had quite limited influence on the administration, seemed indeed to confirm the "twilight of the neocons" that some Clintonites had announced two years ago. [2]



However, what the Time authors announced as marking the end of "cowboy diplomacy" -- "a strategic makeover is evident in the ascendancy of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice" -- proved to be no more than wishful thinking almost as soon as it was printed, in light of the events that unfolded subsequently as Israel launched its most brutal aggression. Cowboy diplomacy, it turned out, had just been replaced with cowgirl diplomacy -- essentially the same.



True, Condoleezza Rice did her best to put some make-up on the face of the Bush administration's foreign policy, but there was no significant shift in substance. A pillar of this administration since its inception, she shares the same delusions of grandeur and folly of overreaching designs that characterize the rest of the team. Put in charge of the State department for Bush's second term, Rice's mission consisted primarily in sealing off the many leaks in the administration's foreign policy ship: it was indeed a mission impossible. The ship is sinking inexorably in the dark waters of the Iraqi oil slick.



The U.S. "hyperpower" that is able to knock down any other regular army on earth -- the hyperpower whose military expenditure exceeds that of the 200+ states that constitute the rest of the world, and whose military budget alone exceeds the GDP of all other countries but for 14 of them -- proved one more time in contemporary history that it is unable to control rebellious populations. For that, all the sophisticated killing gadgetry that the Pentagon possesses is of very limited help. Controlling populations involves troops: it is a kind of industry where labor-force can hardly be replaced with hardware. That is why, incidentally, dictatorships are relatively more at ease in this business, as they can mobilize at will from their populations and don't fear paying a high price in soldiers' lives.



The U.S. proved unable to control Vietnam with a much higher rate of occupation troops to inhabitants than is the case in Iraq. And yet, U.S. military power is today much greater than at the time of Vietnam in all respects except the one that is most crucial for occupation endeavors: troops. The number of U.S. troops has been radically cut since Vietnam and the end of the Cold War. Inspired by a spirit typical of the capitalism of the automation age, the Pentagon believed that it could make up for the unreliability of human resources by depending heavily on sophisticated weaponry -- the so-called "revolution in military affairs." It thus entered in the age of "post-heroic" wars as they were aptly called by a maverick analyst of military affairs. [3] And, it did not take much trouble indeed for the U.S. to defeat "post-heroically" the Iraqi army of Saddam Hussein. Controlling the Iraqi population "post-heroically," however, proved an altogether different challenge.



The U.S. has been steadily losing control over Iraq ever since the occupation settled down in 2003. It was confronted, on the one hand, by the unfolding of an armed insurgency in the country's Arab Sunni areas that proved impossible to quench with the limited number of U.S. occupation troops available. For, if an invading army is not capable of exerting control over every single acre of inhabited territory as local armed forces usually do, there is only one secure way to get rid of an armed insurgency moving within its popular constituency "like a fish in water" as Mao Zedong once put it: drain the pool. This means either to commit genocide, as the Russian army has started to do in Chechnya, or to displace the population into concentration camps, or a combination of the two as the U.S. tentatively practiced in Vietnam, but could not carry to conclusion because the American population wouldn't have tolerated it.



In Iraq, Washington was faced, on the other hand, by a much graver problem, one that became clear by the beginning of 2004: the Bush administration had been induced -- by its own foolishness and the sales patter of some of the Pentagon's Iraqi friends or the stupid delusions of others -- into believing that it could win the sympathy of a major chunk of Iraq's majority community, the Arab Shiites. This proved a total disaster as the clout of Iran-friendly Shiite fundamentalist organizations completely dwarfed whatever constituency Washington's henchmen could buy among Iraq's Shiites. The Bush administration was left with no alternative for its imperial design but the classical recipe of "divide and rule," trying to foster antagonism between the three main components of the Iraqi population, countering the Shiites with Arab Sunni forces in alliance with the Kurds. It ended up fueling Iraq's slide toward a civil war, thus aggravating the overall spectacle of its failure in controlling the country. [4]



There is no doubt that the way in which the American Gulliver got tied down by the Iraqi Lilliputians has considerably emboldened Iran, the other Middle Eastern pillar of what George W. Bush labeled the "axis of evil" at the onset of his post-9/11 war drive. The utterly defiant, nay provocative, attitude of Iran against the U.S. colossus was made possible only because the latter proved in Iraq to stand on feet of clay. And Tehran countered successfully the attempt by Washington's Arab clients to expand the sectarian feud from Iraq to the rest of the Arab region so as to isolate the Iranian regime as Shiite -- a ploy that was used with some measure of success after the Iranian revolution of 1979. Tehran countered it by outbidding all the Arab regimes in hostility to Israel, thus building up its image as a champion of the pan-Islamic cause.



A key to Tehran's success is the alliance that it weaved with Hamas, the most popular embodiment of Sunni Islamic fundamentalism. This alliance was enhanced when the largest section of the Muslim Brotherhood (of which Hamas is the Palestinian branch), the Egyptian section, came out openly in support of Iranian President Ahmadinejad's provocative anti-Israel statements. Hamas's accession to power through the January 2006 Palestinian election dealt a further blow to Washington's regional strategy. Tehran jubilated, outbidding again all its Arab rivals in supporting the new Palestinian government. It is at this point that Israel stepped in, seen from Washington as the likely savior of what otherwise is looking more and more like an imperial Titanic.



One more time in four decades of strategic alliance between the U.S. sponsor and the Israeli champion, Washington, still believing in the Israelis' old reputation of infallible know-how in dealing with their Arab foes, unleashed its favorite proxy against those that it deemed to be Iran's proxies, namely Hamas and Hezbollah. What the Bush administration has overlooked, however, is that Israel's reputation had already been very much eroded by its blatant failure in controlling the 1967-occupied Palestinian territories, and even more so by its Saigon-like withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, after 18 years of occupation. Israel has already met its own Vietnam in Lebanon.



And like the Pentagon after Vietnam, Israel's war planners have shifted since Lebanon to a "post-heroic military policy," relying much more on their very much superior hardware than on their ground troops' fighting capability. When it invaded Lebanon in 1982, Israel was chiefly fighting the PLO guerillas: in Lebanon, these were anything but "fish in water" as they had managed to alienate the Lebanese population through arrogant and clumsy behavior. The Lebanese resistance that gathered momentum from 1982 onward, and in which Hezbollah came to play the major role, was a completely different story: this was the Israeli army's first encounter with a truly popular armed resistance with lines of supplies on a terrain adequate for guerilla warfare. Israel faced the same dilemma described above with regard to Iraq and, like the U.S. in Vietnam, it was compelled to swallow the bitter cup of a withdrawal that was tantamount to defeat.



Israel's belief in the invincibility of its superior weaponry -- with a hubris that was enhanced by the amateurship in military affairs of Olmert and Peretz, the present captains of its crew -- led the Israelis to believe that they could force the Hezbollah into capitulation, or push the Lebanese to the brink of a new civil war, by taking the whole of Lebanon hostage, destroying the country's civilian infrastructure and pouring on its Shiite-populated areas a deluge of bombs. Israel deliberately flattened whole neighborhoods and villages on a pattern that resembles some of the bombings of WW2 -- or a Fallujah on a much larger scale, and accordingly much more visible. Israel's new war on Lebanon displayed the murderous fury of an act of revenge against the only population that managed to oblige it to withdraw unconditionally from an occupied territory.



The criminal behavior of the Israeli armed forces in Lebanon, with regard to the international conventions defining what constitute war crimes, went beyond those that the U.S. perpetrated on a mass scale in its post-Vietnam military endeavors, whether in Iraq or in former Yugoslavia. In this, Israel's onslaught on Lebanon amounted to a peculiar instance of the so-called "extraordinary rendition" policy. It is well-known how Washington has handed over individuals it wants "interrogated" well beyond the limitation imposed by U.S. legislative constraints to those among its clients who face no hindrance in the dirty business of torture. Now Washington has entrusted to Israel the task of defeating Hezbollah, seen as a major piece in a regional counter-offensive against Iran, in the hope that Israel could do the dirty work and accomplish the task without incurring much trouble.



Shamelessly exploiting one more time the horrible memory of the Nazi judeocide -- an exploitation which reached new peaks in indecency on the occasion of the ongoing war -- Israel's leaders believed that they would thus be able to deflect any criticism from the Western powers a.k.a. "the international community." And although the resources for this exploitation are unmistakably depleting with every new threshold in brutality that Israel crosses, it is still effective indeed: any other state in the world that would have attacked a neighboring country, deliberately committing war crimes concentrated in time in the way Israel is doing in Lebanon would have brought upon itself an outcry of a magnitude that bears no relation to the faint or timid reproaches made to Israel on the theme that it is overdoing it.



But for all that, Israel's brutal aggression was not able to succeed. On the contrary, it has already proved to be what Ze'ev Sternhell described somewhat euphemistically as Israel's "most unsuccessful war" [5] concluding with this bitter statement:



"It is frightening to think that those who decided to embark on the present war did not even dream of its outcome and its destructive consequences in almost every possible realm, of the political and psychological damage, the serious blow to the government's credibility, and yes -- the killing of children in vain. The cynicism being demonstrated by government spokesmen, official and otherwise, including several military correspondents, in the face of the disaster suffered by the Lebanese, amazes even someone who has long since lost many of his youthful illusions."



Far from inducing civil war between the Lebanese, Israel's brutal aggression only succeeded so far in uniting them in a common resentment against its murderous brutality. Far from forcing Hezbollah into surrender, it turned the Shiite fundamentalist organization into the most prestigious foe Israel ever had since it defeated Egypt in 1967, transforming Hezbollah's chief Nasrallah into the most popular Arab hero since Nasser. Far from facilitating the efforts by Washington and its Arab clients to drive the wedge further between Sunnis and Shiites, it led many prominent mainstream Sunni preachers to proclaim open support to Hezbollah, including preachers from within the Saudi kingdom -- the ultimate humiliation for the Saudi ruling family. The Iraqis unanimously denounced the Israeli aggression, while Washington's most formidable Iraqi foe and Tehran's ally, Moqtada al-Sadr, seized the opportunity to organize another huge demonstration matching the one he organized against the occupation on April 9, 2005.



At the time of writing, Washington is still striving to buy Israel some more time by imposing unacceptable conditions for a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire. And Israeli generals, faced with the total failure of their "post-heroic" bombing campaign, are engaged in a race against the clock in order to grasp, through an utterly destructive "post-heroic" ground offensive, as much as possible of southern Lebanese territory at the lowest possible cost in Israeli soldiers' lives.



But the most they can realistically expect now is to hand back this territory to an international force that would be accepted by Hezbollah. French President Jacques Chirac himself, though he's been Washington's close collaborator on the issue of Lebanon since 2004, has emphasized that Hezbollah's concurrence is a condition that must be met. No country on earth, to be sure, is willing to try to accomplish in Lebanon the mission that Israel itself is unable to fulfill. And the Shiite organization has already stated that it won't accept any force with a mandate going substantially beyond that of the already existing UNIFIL that Israel considers as a nuisance.



Whatever the final outcome of the ongoing war on Lebanon, one thing is already clear: instead of helping in raising the sinking ship of the U.S. Empire, the Israeli rescue boat has actually aggravated the shipwreck, and is currently being dragged down with it.





August 6, 2006





Notes



1. Mike Allen and Romesh Ratnesar, "The End of Cowboy Diplomacy," Time, dated July 17, 2006.



2. Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke, 'Twilight of the Neocons," Washington Monthly, March 2004.



3. Edward Luttwak, "A Post-Heroic Military Policy," Foreign Affairs, vol. 75, n° 4, July/August 1996.



4. I have described this process in Perilous Power (see bio line below). An excerpt on Iraq 2006 will soon be posted on the Internet.



5. Ze'ev Sternhell, "The Most Unsuccessful War," Haaretz, August 2, 2006.





Gilbert Achcar grew up in Lebanon and teaches political science at the University of Paris-VIII. His best-selling book The Clash of Barbarisms just came out in a second expanded edition and a book of his dialogues with Noam Chomsky on the Middle East, Perilous Power, is forthcoming, both from Paradigm Publishers. Stephen R. Shalom, the editor of Perilous Power, has kindly edited this article.

Micke sa...

Anonymous said...
Men snälla Ali - du skriver ju inte vad det är för fel på FN-förslaget, mer än att USA står bakom det.
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Det bästa är om Israel retirerar och att en internationell FN styrka tar över tilsvidare.

PÅ så sätt kan Hizbollah lämna in resten av sina raketer och övriga vapen(som ju inte kommer från nånstans alls utan bara.....finns....på nåt konstigt sätt.Kanske har dom dom helt enkelt hittat dom?) och ägna sig åt att respektera Libanons demokrati och suveränitet.
Förvisso inget krav från vänstern men ändå...

polhem sa...

"Araberna borde ha lärt sig att inte anfalla Israel. Det är tamejfan obegripligt att de aldrig lär sig. Jag fattar det inte."

Haller med.
De far alltid stryk av Israel.
Det ar sannerligen darfor de kidnappade de Israeliska soldaterna. -De ville ha ett krig. De ville att Israel skulle bomba skiten ur Libanon sa att hela varlden staller sig pa deras sida.

Israel hade forlorat hur de an agerat.
Antingen sulle de inte bomba skiten ur Hezbollah och darav sett veka ut eller sa skulle de gora precis vad de gor nu vilke tinte heller ar ett PR jippo for staten Israel.

Personligen hoppas jag att de alla har ihjal varandra.

Anonym sa...

Enmansdebattören som håller med sig själv ovan borde stänga av FOX och lägga ifrån sig Jerusalem Post och Jews uber alles en stund och inse faktum:

De Israeliska ockupationssoldaterna tillfångatogs INNE på Libanesiskt territorium, delar av Libanon har är fortfarande sedan aggressionen -82 ockuperat av den heljudiska apartheidstaten.

Den Libanesiska motståndsrörelsen har all rätt i världen att förvara sig mot dessa ständiga angrepp söderifrån, vad Israel och USA "försvarar" är dess självutnämnda rätt att ockupera andra länder mörda dess medborgare och tvinga på dem en politik och depraverad kultur de inte vill ha.

Micke sa...

De Israeliska ockupationssoldaterna tillfångatogs INNE på Libanesiskt territorium, delar av Libanon har är fortfarande sedan aggressionen -82 ockuperat av den heljudiska apartheidstaten.
------------------------

Tillångatogs dom av Libanons regulära arme som agerar på order av Libanons demokratiskt valda regering eller tillfånga togs dom av den förra ockupantens quisling arme?




Den Libanesiska motståndsrörelsen har all rätt i världen att förvara sig mot dessa ständiga angrepp söderifrån,
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Libanesisk motståndsrörelse?
Motstånd mot vadå?Libanons folk?
Libanons demokratiska regering?

Angrepp söderifrån?
Ja om quisling milisen ger fan i att skicka raketer från det land dom inte regerar så ordnar det sig med "angrepp söderifrån".



"självutnämnda rätt att ockupera andra länder mörda dess medborgare och tvinga på dem en politik och depraverad kultur de inte vill ha"
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På vilket sätt är Hizbollah mindre självutnämnt?

Kan du logiskt förklara hur en rörelse som inte lyckats vinna folkets förtroende i val och som sedan startar krig mot ett annat land utan att ha detta förankrat i nån folkvilja är mindre självutnämnt än nåt annat?