Monday, July 24, 2006
Ceasefire NOW in Lebanon
Google "Oslo Accords" and pictures of a 1993 Prez Clinton outstretching his arms to then Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin and then not-yet Palestinian Prez Yassar Arafat who agreed to an unprecadented peace agreement will pop up. This article by Jerusalem-based writer Ziv Hellman explains why the Accords ultimately failed: "The success of the Oslo process was predicated on a beneficial spiral of confidence-building measures that would bring Israelis & Palestinians ever closer to trusting in the possibility of peaceful co-existence. In light of these facts, it might be said in hindsight that Oslo ultimately failed b/c while its fashioners set in motion a process that could potentially lead to trust and confidence, they did not establish mechanisms for monitoring violations or ensuring that claims of violations could be arbitrated and corrections could be guaranteed. W/o such safeguards, the dynamic of the Oslo process fell prey to longstanding sentiments of mistrust and anger between Palestinians & Israelis." Wow. Some presidents (even in their itty-bitty 1st term) call upon diplomacy instead of war mongering. Some presidents use diplomacy to bring 2 mortal enemies together and get them to talk face to face instead of the unheard of ghastly move of tossing a ceasefire into the trash while encouraging the bombing of innocent families and the utter destruction of an entire sovereign nation that did NOT kidnap 2 or kill 8 soldiers. And some presidents realize that their position as leader of the world's largest superpower comes w/ a set of responsibilities and obligations, some of which supercede their own agendas. Yes. He was NOT perfect, but admit it: Ya long for the day when the worst that could be said of your prez was that he liked the ladies. This diary by Thursday Next (a progressive Canadian w/ a blog) succinctly sums up the current horrifying situation in Lebanon: "I can't believe that the US, formerly a force for peace in the Middle East, would condone ongoing hostilities. What set me off is an article by a reporter in Beirut. Hanady posts pix of charred victims of Israeli weapons and asks if we can identify the type of weapons used, because the corpses look "weird." I don't know what weapons were used but maybe it's white phosphorus, an illegal weapon that produced many charred corpses in Iraq? Lebanese deaths outnumber Israeli deaths 10 to 1. Why is that? Why are so many civilians, including many children, dying in Lebanon? Israel says that Hezbollah plants its weapons in residential neighborhoods, that it is Hezbollah's fault that civilians are being killed. But why would Israel bomb Lebanon's pharmaceutical factories, grain silos & water processing plants? Why would they attack the mosques, hospitals and a Greek Orthodox Church? Why would they flatten Lebanon's largest milk factory? Is Hezbollah in the dairy business? This article actually goes on to recommend that Lebanon arm itself. "Lebanon needs a credible deterrent to Israeli aggression. It cannot simply reemerge Phoenix-like every decade or so following another rampage by the Mongol hordes from the south." (See what happens when you attack people who posed no direct harm? They suddenly feel the need to stockpile arms or to fight back via an insurgency... just ask the Iraqis.) The word is that the Arab world is pushing Syria to stop supporting Hezbollah (but given that Syria is opening their homes to fleeing Lebanese who have no where else to go, ya have to wonder if they will regard Syria as their heroes) and that the Saudis are now demanding that BushCo push for a ceasefire. Given the close and personal relationship 'ol W has w/the House of Saud, maybe this is just the pressure needed. And given that as late as 2 months before invading Iraq, Bush didn't even know there was a difference between or any hostility between Shiia and Sunni, maybe Bush needs to check out this FAQ by CSM about the conflict between Israel & Hezbollah. As screw it... Lou Dobbs said it best: We're just stupid when it comes to the Middle East.