During the summer of 2006 the people of Lebanon found themselves caught in the midst of fire. The memories of brutal war made a come back destroying live, infrastructure and indeed the whole of Lebanon. Beautiful suburbs and lively streets in Beirut came to a standstill amid the devastation of astronomical scale caused by mighty Israeli shelling from air, sea and land. Though the war raged in full swing for weeks, and despite clear military advantage to Israel, the will of the people of Lebanon, the determined defence of highly committed Hezbollah forces meant Israel came out of the war as the wounded lion that lost its pride. The people of Lebanon and indeed the whole of Arab for first time in modern age felt proud of their strengths, not the governments and leaders but the people found heroes in the men of Hezbollah. These experiences undoubtedly led the leadership of Hezbollah confident who immediately after the war attempted to strengthen their grips in the corridors of power in Beirut.
A year later now that we approach the summer once again, people in Lebanon yet again finds themselves in the midst of war-noises. This time the attacks and the parties of the war no longer are the old enemies, the Israelis against defenceless Lebanese, but rather, the Lebanese Army laying siege against Palestinian refuges apparently taken hostage by a militant group. This development brings about yet again bitter memories of the past when multi racial, multi-faith Lebanon was engulfed in horrific civil war primarily fought along the religious lines. Already Hezbollah made their views known while the government continuing to show their determination to go ahead with ‘finishing’ their business. Recognising the strengths of the militants and potential support from powerful political blocks, military equipments and other necessary resources have already been channelled to the Lebanese army from the US and other Middle Eastern countries. Irony of course is that the Americans only last summer supported the Israeli effort in all forms against this very government even on the face of massive civilian casualties and clear violation of international laws by the Israeli warmongers. Although they argue to help the Lebanese army to increase and improve its capacity, reality is the result of a strengthen Lebanese army and continued siege on the refugees camp will only weaken the Lebanese government and bring about destruction of Lebanese infrastructure and society. There is no interest to be served by the Lebanese as far as the USA is concerned. The only outcome that will satisfy the US and in turn their masters in Tel Aviv is the outcome that will ensure a fragile Lebanon divided along sectarian lines, this latest crisis will go much far into achieving such objectives.
Interesting it is to see how this crisis unfolds. The effort of the Lebanese army is seen as a war against al-Qaeda necessary to defeat the forces of ‘evil’ threatening our global stability. Interesting too to see how other major obstacles to US ambition to control the Middle East are shown to be ‘engaged’ in this conflict. I of course am talking about Iran and Syria. Only this morning Walid Jumblatt, the leader of the Druze Community pronounced the lines so loved by the USA unchallenged by BBC in the Sunday AM programme where he sensed active Syrian and Iranian hands behind the escalation of the current crisis. Irony of course is that these are the lines also expresses the views of Neo-conservative ideologues in the Washington and beyond. It would be significant therefore to see how this latest crisis unfolds in Lebanon. What is clear however that certain forces with deep interest in the region will continue to see an unstable middles east to further their interest. What we of course do not hear is the potential gain by the USA from this conflict. Let’s just look at two such gains.
While the Lebanese siege continues, Israel suffocates the Palestinians, arrests the members of democratically elected government and continues to strengthen its grips on the Palestinian territory. In fact, it is evident that while the media spotlight continues to be away from Gaza, Israel aims to force the Palestinian government of Ismael Hniya to become dysfunctional by arresting his ministers and threatening to kill as many of his activist as possible. All these happen of course while media, especially in the west continues to avoid giving any coverage on the issue. The middles eastern powers too seem to be not bothered by the developments.
It would not be a bad thing to get rid of the ‘evil forces’ if it was to ensure peace and stability in the Middle East forever. The difficulty of course is that the forces identified by the Us-Israeli axis and their allies to be the ‘forces of evil’ continues to enjoy popular support by standing for the rights of the oppressed on the face of mighty enemy while the self proclaimed ‘forces of good’ remains deeply attached to committing evil deeds. Their allies hoping silently to see the end of the popular movements on the other hand continues to lose their grips on power and becoming increasingly unpopular. If this story continues, we shall continue to go round the cycles without ever finding a solution for the deeply troubled region that has so much influence in our lives, in deciding our future.
The peace loving people of the world must demand, and the self proclaimed leaders of the ‘civilised world’ must first stop associating themselves with the evil regime of the Zionists in Israel. Justice must be put before any other consideration regardless of the potential consequences. As an immediate step, Israeli incursion and continued detention of Palestinian people must come to an end and the Unity Government of Ismael Haniya must be given a chance to bring about order, run his country and rebuild the economy. The government of the Palestinian people must be allowed to rule their country free of interference from the outer world. Once the current situation is neutralised, tension reduced and normality return on the streets of Palestine, pressure must be brought about on Israel to give up its settlement of the west Banks and return to internationally recognised borders. Pressure must also be ensured on Israel to force her in accepting the refugees or compensate them if they so wish to be duly which will bring an end to lifelong imprisonment of generations of Palestinians spread all over the world.
There are of course those, in fact the dominant factions of global power, who argues that Israelis must be given assurance of security and left unattacked and undisturbed for any settlement to take place. This argument defies common logic and runs contrary to commonly accepted protocol. The people of Palestine are desperate, under occupation they have lost their loved ones, their homes, their lands and of course their freedom, what hope do they have of living a fulfilling life in an independent Palestine? How can we demand desperate people living in total despair accepting responsibility for situations in which they never played any major rule? The response from the Palestinian side, however harsh may look, is a response that should reasonably be expected from any occupied people, they are merely defending and in most cases seeking to regain the lost honour, dignity and pride, their country and their homes. Surely, for them to stop a clear progress must be made in ensuring their return to their homes, their freedoms must be brought in sight for them to stop fighting for it.
Coming back to the original issue, I was talking of two gains by the Israel-US and their allies from keeping Middle East chaotic. I mentioned one above with regards to Israel Palestine. The other major gain is that given the role of the USA in the middle eastern politics and their biased and totally unjustified stand over many years in supporting Israeli aggression, the continued biased of USA against Muslims and those who aspire to see Islam prevail, even the name of USA should have caused enormous anger in the middles east. The infighting within Middle Eastern society ensures that USA is in demand. As mentioned before, despite the USA role in Israel’s attempt to destroy Lebanon, Lebanese government turn to USA for help in its internal fight, Saudi Arabia remains dependant on USA fearing potential uprising bringing an end to the rule of the House of Saud, Fattah relies on US support to regain its control over Palestinian people and the list can continue. It is not in the interest of the US and indeed the ‘west’, therefore, to see an end to Middle Eastern violence. On this backdrop, therefore, it is not realistic to expect a solution with US at the driving sit. On the other hand, without the US involvement a solution is unthinkable, thus the conclusion is that there is no solution to Middle East problem. The only way out therefore is a new renaissance in the middles east, a renaissance bringing about empowerment of people, true democracy that ensures people’s participation in the governance of their country. For such time to become reality, a new grass root level activity must now be the focus of all peace loving determined people of the Middle East. Only when the puppets are driven out power will we see a truly stable middle east. Of course in the process there will be bloodshed, chaos and conflicts, there will be bitterness and pain. But the pain and bitterness is like the unbearable suffering of a mother prior to birth, once the birth of the new dawn takes place, all pain shall wane away ushering a new era of peace, stability and humanly love and kindness. Of course, there will be the death of the ‘birth giving mother’ as it so happens in real life, but the success if inevitable, however long it may take.