Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"How many have to die before the swaps begin?"

That's what Robert Fisk wants to know about the current crisis in the Middle-East. So, if you were paying attention to CNN this week, what you'd mostly be hearing about would be Israel's attack on Lebanon, and you'd be hearing that this was all about "retaliation" for the capture of Israeli soldiers/missile attacks on Israel. You'd also hear that it was somehow connected to the ongoing attack on Gaza,a about which you might not be hearing much at all, certainly not about the way that the bombing of the power-plant has already led to a massive humanitarian crisis. And because of Bush's latest over-heard conversation, you'd also know that he was blaming Syria for the actions of Hizbollah in Lebanon. If you watch Fox news you'd probably be hearing that all this had to do with radical Islam.
Yes, Hizbollah are Shia fundamentalists and Hamas are another fundamentalist group, but that's not the main reason that all this is happening.

First, the attack on Gaza is part of long-range Israeli government goal of eliminating what they call "the Palestinian problem." For a long time, they hoped to do this by encouraging the Palestinians to migrate to Egypt and Jordan. Now, they're just wearing them down in a war of attrition. As Tanya Reinhart explains in "The Palestine Chronicle," Israel has been planning the current attack on Gaza since long before these hostages were taken by Hamas.
It also helps to know that Lebanon for Israel is like Vietnam for America. It sparked some of the first conscientious objectors in the Israeli military, and included aerial bombardment of urban apartment blocks and the use of white phospherous, not to mention the collusion in the Sabra and Shatila massacre. Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, to attack Palestian refugees living there in camps like Sabra and Shatila (hence the massacre), and allied with the Christian-fascist Phalangists (Maronite Christians) against the Palestinians and their Muslim allies. Syria, Lebanon's Norther neighbor, also wants a piece of Lebanon and came in 1976 during the civil war, which was related to the Palestinian refugee camps and the PLO.

So,not only were the attacks on Gaza long-planned, but according to Fisk, Hizbollah's attacks on Israel were too, in coordination with the Syrian government, so eager to retain their influence on Lebanese politics .The escalation of aggression now going on in Lebanon is eerily reminiscent of the 1982 fiasco that led to the creation of Hizbollah in the first place. And just as in the past, it involves Syria.
So, wait a minute, does that mean that Robert Fisk and George Bush agree?
Not exactly...but my hour of web-time is up. More on this issue soon.

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