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Pat Buchanan on the Israeli blitz of Lebanon « Previous | |Next »
August 10, 2006

This quote is from an entry in Pat Buchanan'sCreators Syndicate column. He questions the dominant narrative that Israel is simply fighting terrorism of the sort represented by Hezbollah (which is nothing more than a Shi'ite version of al-Qaeda) and that U.S. interests are identical with Israel's. He says:

Hebollah ignited the hostilities. But it was Israel that escalated to rain destruction on a people and nation that had not countenanced or condoned Hezbollah's provocation, but condemned it. Think back. Had Ronald Reagan done to Lebanon, when half a dozen Americans were seized as hostages, what Israel has done, when two soldiers were taken hostage, Democrats would have denounced Reagan as a war criminal. Conservatives would have begged him to ease up. Yet, almost to a man and woman, US politicians are falling all over one another to express their 100 per cent support of what Israel has done to Lebanon. Even Israelis must feel a measure of contempt for this kind of grovelling.

The other side of this in the context of U.S. policy towards Israel and the Middle East, is playing the anti-Semitism card against the dissent of Israel's shock and awe military strategy---the Israeli blitz of Lebanon. This card demands that everyone accept the basic premise that criticism of Israel, the country, must equal hostility towards Jews, the ethnic group. Media newscasts, more often than not, lead off with reports of Israeli casualties, even though the damage done to the Lebanese is usually far greater that day.

What continues to suprise me is that Canberra accepts that America's enemies (now identical with Israel's enemies) represent the ultimate in evil ("terrorists as evildoers" or murderous religious fanatics) and so sanctions the 1,000 civilian deaths in Lebanon caused by Israels use of overwhelming force. Somehow the practically defenseless Lebanese and Lebanon just don't matter.

The neo-con war party in Canberra don't even sense the ground shifting beneath their feet. Iran and Syria are deemed to be villains for their support of Hezbollah, even though they are a key to the regional balance of power. Canberra does not recognize that, though it sees Hezbollah as a "terrorist organization", this is not so in Lebanon. Hezbollah is an anti-Israeli Lebanese Shia group with seats in the Lebanese parliament. Hezbollah is seen as a legitimate political group by the Lebanese. It provides the basic social-service infrastructure in the neglected Shi'ite areas of the country - hospitals, schools, construction projects, welfare programs and a well-trained, highly disciplined militia for protection. Hezbollah is seen to be defending Lebanon's sovereignty, even by the Druze and Christian leadership who have condemned the Israeli destruction of their country.

Canberra seems to be living in some kind of bubble.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:32 AM | | Comments (0)