Monday, 14 August 2006

A large body count with no ease as war ceases

The seeds of war

Just over a month ago when hostilities started with some Hamas faction seizing an Israeli soldier killing two others and the Hezbollah seized two Israeli soldiers killing eight, we now have a body count for the number that have perish in this senseless war. Does anyone remember Gilad Shalit? No, he has become an irrelevance in the whole scheme of things.

Gilad Shalit

Gilad Shalit - refreshing your memory.

First of all, ostracising a duly and popularly elected Hamas by denying them funding when we all know that Palestine has no other means of income generation, in order to either force Hamas to abdicate the platform on which they were elected or create unrest to topple that government was definitely not the smartest thing to come out of the West.

Occupation is the problem

There are reasons why Israel finds little legitimacy in the Middle East, much of which stems from the occupation of Arab lands and the lack of progress towards the two-state solution of Israel and Palestine – that would remain the sticking point till a kind of grand solution is proffered that is acceptable to all – it would not be far from the 1967 lines and anything different would continue to fuel the extremism that seeks the destruction of Israel.

As the Palestinians seemingly crumbled under the onslaught of Israeli belligerence, Hezbollah launched their own raid which resulted in a large scale destruction of Lebanese infrastructure as well as the loss of innocent life.

This situation could have been arrested, but there is not politician presently in the world of the stature that can really bring the kinds of ideas that would command the respect of all affected parties.

The sad thing is, this war turned into a proxy war where America supplied sophisticated weaponry to Israel and Iran offered some weaponry and even men to Hezbollah turning Lebanon into the grass trampled on as a result of two elephants fighting.

The solution is not military

If there is any lesson to be learnt about this reckless gamble with human life in the quest for a military solution to a political and diplomatic puzzle, it is that guns might kill people but they cannot kill the aspirations of a people.

Hezbollah has been called every unprintable terrorist-linked name under the sun, they are however, victors in the eyes of their people, and they now garner a lot more support amongst Arabs than they ever did – they might have been curtailed but definitely not subdued.

Lumping Hezbollah together with the elements of Al-Qaeda is disingenuous at best and really a scandalous propaganda which should heap derision on America because their involvement in this war has earned them no plaudits from either Arabia or a good deal of the non-religiously biased world view of Israel’s status.

New occupations is not the answer

We now have a ceasefire or sorts, but we are still with the selfsame problem that has bugged the Middle-East for close to two generations – Israeli occupation of land that is not theirs.

The guns have stopped but Israel is in Lebanon up to the Litani River, this peace just cannot hold, neither would it hold if the Israelis are replaced with a UN peacekeeping force. The way forward is the legitimate return of lands to their proper owners, this affects Palestine – Gaza and the West Bank in its entirety; Syria with the Golan Heights and Lebanon with the Shebaa Farms.

The occupations must stop, if Israel then wants to build walls, the walls must only be built within the confines of the legitimate state of Israel.

The Middle-East in a nutshell

The Economist of August the 5th, sums up the Middle-East problem in these topics – The bomb in Iran; the future of Iraq; the isolation of Syria; the Hezbollah state within Lebanon and the unrequited cause of the Palestinians – the amazing thing about these situations is that all this is linked up with the resolution of the Israeli-Palestine question.

This does even begin to address the issue of authoritarian religious governments, absolute monarchies with democratic trimmings and dictatorships.

The Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979 was a counter-reaction to American influence in the corrupt monarch of the Shah of Iran as well as the non resolution of the Palestinian cause. The Iran “bomb” which only really exists as an American suspicion rather than a North Korean reality takes up more diplomatic energy than more pressing issues of greater importance.

America backed Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war; however, Iraq went on to support Palestinian causes in supporting families of suicide bombers – hence, the ability for American government to link Iraq with terrorism.

Syria is isolated for its involvement in Lebanon, however, they were also instrumental in getting Israel out of Lebanon, and their support for Hezbollah is mutual, in the sense that Israel still occupies Syrian and Lebanese land whilst the unanimously adopted UN Resolution to return those lands languishes in the dormant basket.

Hezbollah has always justified its existence on the basis of the occupation of the Shebaa Farms, their legitimate purpose for bearing arms would be diffused if that land is returned as they are also already part of the political and democratic process in Lebanon.

No one dares take bold decisions

Land for peace would be the core requirement for peace in Israel, it would involve removing settlements in the West Bank regardless how they read their religious tomes, the world order should be a secular acceptance of the civilisation of man and the dispensing of justice for the good of all including that contentious division of the Mandate of Palestine into the state of Israel and the state of Palestine.

America must come in for sound criticism and condemnation for letting this war carry on for so long and for literally goading Israel into doing their dirty work of hopefully eliminating Hezbollah – we now know the better of this wishing thinking and drunken gamble.

The devaluation of human life

After the loss of about 4,000 lives in the World Trade Centre, America has become a blood-thirsty marauder that has have done much to foment war and done little to sue for peace. The value of human life has depreciated to basic collateral damage, we see much for damaged buildings than for loss of innocent life.

America has lost so many soldiers in Iraq we have literally stopped counting, this war on terror is prosecuted in a way that terrifies all and brings little in gains to preserve our freedoms and way of life, it would appear world leaders could not really care less for how humanity suffers in the quest for their radical and unconscionable goals.

We do need strong leadership but not of the kamikaze sort which is what we experienced in this Israeli-Lebanon pseudo-war.

Blood on many hands

And there was no man to bring us the grand solution to the Middle-East problems, the life blood of terrorism as we are taught to know it. Great is the tribulation we suffer because they would rule are soaked in blood and like King David of old, that blood, even if shed in legitimate caused prevented him from building a temple for the Lord.

If no one values human life, thankfully, God up there does count human blood for something, good guy and bad guy alike. The religious guys had better listen up; you cannot fully participate in honouring God if you are complicit in shedding blood.

The body count – Israel 163, UN 4, Canada 8, Lebanon 1,000 and Nigeria 2 for 3 living Israeli soldiers and 10 dead ones. ‘Nuff said.

References

Hamas Isolation on Israeli recognition

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701

Lebanon's middle class is disillusioned with America

Hezbollah leader a hero to many Arabs

To King David – You are not to build a house for me

Israeli-Lebanon Body Count

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