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whither Lebanon « Previous | |Next »
November 28, 2006

While Washington fiddles about what it is going to do in Iraq, and London agonises over cut and run, it sure looks as if a lot of things are happening in the background--a civil war between Sunnis and Shiite raging in Baghdad that sidelines the US. A blackened landscape of a regional sectarian war means that national reconciliation is a no goer, whilst events are outside the control of the US. Reality dawns.

David Brookes

Meanwhile, most of the American policy community is eagerly awaiting the Baker-Hamilton Report, which will urge intense talks with Iraq's neighbors, including Syria and Iran. The strategy is to talk victory in Iraq whilst squirming towards an exit strategy. It's called realism--- desigend to provide cover for a failed and even catastrophic policy. Realism, Kissinger style, requires Syria and Iran to allow a decent interval for the US army to exit from Iraq. But there is not in Iraq a government that can defend, govern and sustain itself.

So what happens post exit? Are Iran and Syria determined to seize Lebanon and yank it into their axis? Is Lebanon resuming its historic role as a proxy war battleground for countries more powerful than itself? Recall that Dan Halutz, chief of the israeli General Staff, owed to set Lebanon back 20 years. Sure, Israel wears the stain of defeat in Lebanon, but it treated Lebanon as a battleground in a proxy war with Iran. Bush and Blair were quite prepared not to even seek a ceasefire in Lebanon when Israel was bombarding this country and killing more than 1,000 of its citizens, including Christians. As Robert Fisk, the Middle East correspondent for The Independent newspaper,observed
on Lateline:

I think you need to realise that one thing the Lebanese have learned is that they’re on their own. They can't trust the Americans, they can’t trust the Syrians, they can’t trust the Israelis; they trust nobody. That, in a sense, is a good thing because the more the Lebanese try to trust each other, the less the chance of a civil war.

Lebanon is distintegrating as the Shi'ite community becomes more and more divided from the rest, whether it be the Christians or the Sunni Muslims.

The media flows on Fox Television are about not talking to Iran about Iraq-- a la the Baker-Hamilton Report--or even the disintegration of Lebanon. According to the talking heads Iran is the enemy. It's run by a Hitler according to the Israeli ambassador in the US. He says that Iran is going to use nuclear weapons to destroy Israel. So the US needs to put Iran in its place. Israel cannot do it on its own. Only a super power can do that. The Republican talking heads on Fox says that action not talking is required.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:55 PM | | Comments (0)