Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lebanon Catch 22 = Death for Innocents and Environment

Lebanon Catch 22 = Death for Innocents and Environment

Lebanon Oil Spill May Rival Exxon Valdez of 1989 - Dania Saadi, Bloomberg News

"In the worst case scenario, and if all the oil contained in the bombed power plant at Jiyyeh leaked into the Mediterranean Sea, the Lebanese oil spill could well rival the Exxon Valdez disaster of 1989," the UN said in an e-mailed statement todayIsraeli jets, which attacked the power plant twice, deterred firemen from putting out the fire at the storage units, which continued for 10 days, Sarraf said in an interview on Aug. 3. [..] The spill, which has polluted around two-thirds of the Lebanese coast and spread into neighboring Syria, may threaten East Mediterranean countries such as Cyprus and Turkey, Lebanon's Environment Minister Yacoub Sarraf has said. [..]

[..] The Israel navy prohibited Lebanese and foreign officials from surveying the damage of the spill from Lebanon's territorial waters, the minister said. The spill has grown into a 3,000-square kilometer area because it absorbed water, Sarraf said.

The Lebanese government is relying on the international community to provide as much as $200 million to clean up Lebanon's territorial waters, the minister said.


A 'Pretext' War in Lebanon by Robert Parry - Consortium News
Israeli sources indicate that Bush gave Olmert a green light for the [current] conflict at the May 23 summit. The sources said Bush has even encouraged Israel to expand the war by attacking Syria, although Israeli leaders balked at that recommendation because they lacked an immediate justification. [..]

[..] Only days after the Lebanon-Israel conflict began, Washington Post foreign policy analyst Robin Wright wrote that U.S. officials told her that “for the United States, the broader goal is to strangle the axis of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and Iran, which the Bush administration believes is pooling resources to change the strategic playing field in the Middle East. …

“Whatever the outrage on the Arab streets, Washington believes it has strong behind-the-scenes support among key Arab leaders also nervous about the populist militants – with a tacit agreement that the timing is right to strike.” [Washington Post, July 16, 2006]


Has the War on Terrorism Been Good for Iran? an analysis by Michael Scott Moore - Spiegel Online
"Thanks to the aggressive policies of the US and Israel, Iran has become a great regional power."

- Editors of German newspaper Die Tageszeitung, a left-leaning daily

[...] The right-leaning Die Welt seems to agree -- not on Iran, but on the policy of violence. Its lead editorial wonders if all-out war in Lebanon hasn't hurt Israel. Soldiers and generals, the paper writes, don't worry about "collateral damage," even if they lead to humanitarian and political catastrophes. Now the destruction in Lebanon -- "TV networks, mobile phone networks, water, electricity, the Beirut airport: this has all been declared 'Hezbollah's infrastructure'" -- threatens to create enemies in Lebanon of both Israel and the United States. The paper notes that the war has unified religious factions in Lebanon under the national label "Lebanese." "This, of course, was the hope of the West before the Cedar Revolution," which drove out Syrian troops last year. "However, the new (Lebanese) identity orients itself against Israel and the US ... Whether this 'collateral damage' can be fixed will depend on how long the war lasts."


Israel refuses to leave until the force is in place, and nations won't go in until a cease-fire is in effect.

Arab nations: Israel must pull out by Cameron Simpson - Herald UK
Arab nations demanded Israel pull its troops out of Lebanon as part of any UN resolution to end a war in which 45 people were killed yesterday by Israeli strikes. [..]

Bush's Line of Reasoning Isn't Helping to Ensure a UN Agreement
...Calling upon nations for assistance - nations to whom he forbids Condi Rice to speak - is insane if he thinks those nations will comply after being labeled 'Axis of Evil'. It will surely undermine the UN effort and prolong the violence - and Bush should know this. What is he attempting here? Why does he seem to want this UN effort to fail?

[..]President George W Bush insisted that he wanted the UN resolution as quickly as possible and called on Syria and Iran to rein in Hizbollah. Hizbollah says that it will fight on until Israel stops bombing Lebanon and pulls out around 10,000 troops from the south.
Hezbollah isn't even a party to the UN discussions or decisions, so it's moot whether they agree or not!

Lebanon is the nation that is under attack. This is a lopsided UN referendum on Lebanon's government, of which Hezbollah is only a part. It's destined for failure. Bush's neocon administration are calculating. They have made no silent affair of talking about wanting to attack Syria and perhaps Iran. What better way than to get President Bush to front-load sure failure at the UN?

Israel Plans Deeper Push Into Lebanon and Americans press Bush: Talk to Syria. Bush assumes: "Syria knows what we think." Not a good answer - so says the New York Times: "Start talking."

The people of this country and the world have something universal in common, regardless of our respective country of origin. We see the immorality in the senseless killing of innocents on both sides. The irrational expectations of President Bush (a lopsided mess) are beginning to flourish into yet another unsuccessful UN resolution, more senseless death of innocents, more danger to the environment, and more alienation of the Arab and Muslim people.

As a concerned American, I want to see good-faith effort on the part of this President to talk to those he perceives as our "enemies" - not a feel-good chat, but real diplomacy....and to encourage our ally Israel to back off and allow that diplomcy to work. There are age-old hatreds at play in the Middle East - one kidnapped soldier wasn't the lone catalyst - President Bush needs to stop insulting our intelligence. The hatred is irrational, and we certainly don't need an irrational foreign policy to match it! Bush talks a pretty game about freedom. If we're going to survive together, we'd best do every last thing we can possibly do to secure real freedom which can ony come when enough people are left alive to find peace with one another.

Thomas Mann said that war is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace. If that's true, we have a world dominated by cowards, and I'm disappointed to know that my own President is at the top of the heap of them all. Why? Because he always had the power to show others the way to peace, and he failed, promoting the kind of protracted war that Alexis de Tocqueville assured us would "never fail to endanger the freedom" of our own country.