Monday :: Jul 31, 2006

Israel's Rear-guard UNaction

by pessimist

Despite all of the world discussion regarding a cease-fire in Lebanon, Israel will continue its offensive against Hezbollah - an act which is the equivalent of flipping the bird at the world:

Israeli Security Cabinet OKs offensive
By MARK LAVIE Associated Press Writer
July 31, 2006

TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel's Security Cabinet approved early Tuesday widening the ground offensive in Lebanon and rejected a cease-fire until an international force is in place, a participant in the meeting said. [T]here was no deadline for the offensive, though the United Nations Security Council is expected to debate a resolution this week about a cease-fire.

The Security Cabinet, a decision-making body made up of senior ministers, decided to resume the offensive and broaden ground operations. Airstrikes in Lebanon would resume "in full force" after the 48-hour suspension expires in another day.

Thousands of army reserves have been called up in recent days in advance of the decision, which is expected to lead to sending more troops into the border area. Israeli forces have been operating in two segments of south Lebanon, sweeping through villages, fighting Hezbollah gunmen and leaving considerable destruction behind. Israeli leaders have said they want to carve out a zone about 1 mile wide that would be free of Hezbollah emplacements.

The participant, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters, said the international force must have the ability to intervene with force if necessary to keep Hezbollah guerrillas from returning to the border area.

In order to protect Israel's rear, expect another expert bird-flipper to go into action at the UN.

The only problem with this bird-flipper - he's already thoroughly disliked:

Still the Wrong Man for the U.N.
July 30, 2006

America desperately needs to repair the alliances and relationships damaged by the shoot-from-the-hip diplomacy of the Bush first term. It simply cannot afford to write off the possibility of winning back hearts and minds at the United Nations.

On a wide range of issues — winning the support of smaller countries for needed management reforms, mobilizing a strong international coalition to halt genocide in Darfur, attracting wider European support for stabilization and economic development in Iraq — an effective ambassador can make a huge difference.

Mr. Bolton, by temperament and conviction, is far too dismissive of the results that can be achieved by this kind of traditional diplomacy. That is what makes him the wrong man for the job.

American interests at the U.N. have suffered from Mr. Bolton’s time there, and will suffer more if the Senate confirms him in the job. At a time when a militarily and diplomatically overstretched Washington needs as much international cooperation as it can get — on Iraq, on Iran, on North Korea and now on the latest fighting between Israel and Lebanon — Mr. Bolton is a liability, not an asset at the United Nations.

Unfortunately for the world, the Opposition Party In Name Only (see also: Numbocratic Party) is already boarding the SS Bu$htanic, ready to set sail on its final voyage:

"Schumer Says Bolton Won't Face Filibuster"
by pandora

Mr. Schumer's comments yesterday [on CNN's Late Edition -ed.] serve as an acknowledgement that the war between Israel and Hezbollah may bolster Mr. Bolton's confirmation. The Senate will have a recess next month, and a vote could take place in September.
Both Mr. Schumer and Mrs. Clinton have made statements strongly supporting Israel and the Bush administration's position on the Israel-Hezbollah war, and they have faced increasing pressure from Jewish groups to show their backing by voting to confirm Mr. Bolton.

New York's senior senator said he was weighing Mr. Bolton's backing of Israel against his unwillingness to work with other countries at the United Nations. "There's a good part of Bolton. He's been a staunch and very good defender of Israel," Mr. Schumer said on CNN's Late Edition.

Isn't our UN Ambassador supposed to represent US interests?
Aren't our US Senators supposed to represent Americans?
Guess not. This week might really be the week I re-register as an Independent.

That's nice, but that is like closing the Lebanese border after the Israelis crossed over.

The bird-flipper is about to be joined by the flippy bird. Bolton can also count on reinforcement in the form of Clueless Condi the Incompetent, pinch-hitting in order to make nice-nice with all those mean, nasty UN deleagtes who wouldn't otherwise support the Bu$hco Crusade for Crude:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday she will seek international consensus for a cease-fire and a "lasting settlement" in the conflict between Lebanon and Israel through a U.N. Security Council resolution this week.
Rice acknowledged to reporters the "pretty political and dicey circumstances" in which she found herself.
Rice's marathon effort at shuttle diplomacy was marked by frustration... For eight days, Rice has been in meetings around the globe, trying to find a consensus to end the 20 days of fighting between Israel and Lebanon-based Hezbollah. She said the U.N. resolution that she will call for will include a cease-fire, political components to address issues that have repeatedly sparked fighting between the two countries and the authorization of an international force to help secure Lebanon.

Don't think for a minute that the battery of Bolton and Rice isn't expected to throw gopher balls. Their job is to see to it that the UN is disrupted into turmoil, nefariously pitting the various factions against each other to block a concensus long enough to allow Israel to achieve their goals:

Israeli officials say its military may need up to two weeks more to accomplish its objectives against Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite political party with its own militia. The Bush administration has stood by Israel's efforts to go after Hezbollah.

I received an email entitled "What's Really Happening in Lebanon?" from Ted Baiamonte, who posts The Dumb Democrat, "A blog devoted to the bold idea that while Democrats think they are caring and sensitive they are, sadly, just plain dumb, and often deadly". I haven't agreed with Ted's assessment up until today, but with Schumer's comments above, I just might think that he's right after all - though I draw the line for this description at incumbent Democrats and those who support them in spite of their DINO records [for now].

Baiamonte's rant [edited down to the points I can support] about the events in Lebanon, and the blathering about to go on at the UN in order to block any meaningful resolution prior to Israel achieving it's military goals, however, deserves some consideration [Emphases added, and some sentences reorganized to make the meaning more clear. Any errors are mine.]:

The United States is being and has always been stupid about the Middle East.

For 50 years we have offered blind support to Israel that they have used mostly to steal Palestinian land rather than to live defensively within... internationally recognized borders. While the hour is late and the situation has been aggravated to the point of suicidal hysteria it is never too late to do the right thing and possibly create peace as follows:

Tell Israel that not one more [American taxpayer] penny will be forthcoming unless:

* they build a defensive wall at the internationally recognized 1967 borders
* and live peacefully behind that wall except to counter attacks [from] over the wall.

When living behind legitimate borders, Israel will have the legitimate right to attack those who attack them...

Once the United States has finally taken a clear, simple, and moral position the entire world will no longer be so confused, befuddled and frightened by the Israeli trick of presenting the Middle East to us as a very technical, complicated region of the world in which only they can navigate.
Murderous fools hating and killing each other is neither technical nor complex.
Many countries led by the US will defend the UN sanctioned 1967 borders. All the preposterous rhetoric, arguments, speeches and garbage coming out of the mouths of the combatants will be instantly irrelevant and superfluous. We won't have to hear about water rights, Shabaa Farms, right of return, judifying Jerusalem, who got there first, who attacked first, or what holy book fanatics think, anymore. The Israelis will have no arguments and the Muslims will have one remaining argument that will sound silly even to them: Allah demands that we drive the Jews into the sea.

Of course if this had all happened 40 years ago ...

Sadly, 40 years of American stupidity and Israeli aggression has caused ... hatred across much of the world...

The US must become an honest peace broker rather than remain as a blind, dumb supporter of Israel.

An honest broker can be an effective advocate for peace while a partisan broker is someone in whom Muslims will have an ever growing hatred. And, "ever" can be a long deadly time when you're talking about a suicidally fanatic people with trillions of petrodollars with which to develop WMD and delivery systems.

More blind support for Israel as it destroys the entire nation of Lebanon, with American weapons, seems like nothing more than an exact continuation of the same policy that has failed so horribly for 50 years. This seems especially true when you consider that Shiite Hizbullah is what emerged from Lebanon the last time Israel destroyed it. [This seems especially true when you consider] that this time the US has opened up its own front against the Shiites in Iraq (thus making Western and US imperialism more obvious to the entire world). [This seems especially true when you consider] the pan-Arabic world in particular ... has always hated and feared US imperialism [even though they] may not have been absolutely convinced of it - even by Osama Bin Laden's attack on 9/11.

In Bush's neo-con zeal to chart a new course from Clinton's very engaged course, he immediately pronounced, upon taking office, that there would be no peace between Israel and Palestine until they were ready to make peace. That "who gives a damn" attitude toward a horrid, suppurative war, the continued blind support for Israel, the preplanned and executed attack on Iraq, the attack on Afghanistan, the current blind support for Israel as it destroys Lebanon, and the galvanizing effect on both sides of 9/11, have all virtually insured that only a military solution to our differences with the Muslims is possible.

If Bush had supported a wall at the 1967 borders with Clinton's persistent sensitivity and had not attacked Iraq, things might have been very different, but no one can be sure. When Arafat walked away from Clinton's very generous peace plan the Bushies may have correctly concluded that war, and the democracies that might have come from it, was the only possible course of action [left].

In any case, we've got multiple wars now (Iraq, Lebanon, & Afghanistan) that must be resolved. In Lebanon, we must encourage the world to support and defend the '67 borders to marginalize both Israel and the Hizbullah, and to insure that fanatic independent militias such as Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hizbullah don't conquer the region before we achieve energy independence.

In sum, our mistakes have been many: 1) blind support for Israeli aggression, 2) total somnambulance after the first attack on the World Trade Center and 3) attacking Iraq.

Now we face another mistake in Lebanon.
We can continue to support what Israel has done, namely, go for the military victory that has eluded them for 50 years despite overwhelming military superiority, and spawned a worldwide jihad that seemingly can never be defeated, or we can support a comprehensive peace plan at the 1967 borders.

Ted Baiamonte
comments welcome:

Allow me to recap now.

I believe that all of these points deserve discussion, but I don't necessarily think that these points are the actual answers to the questions. They are, however, a good place to start, and I want to hear what you have to say about it.

The floor is yours.

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