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Posted by wmmbb in Category to be ascribed.
Flag of Hizbullah, via Wikipedia

Addressing a Liberal Party meeting today, John Howard declared that Hizbullah was a terrorist organization, and implicitly declared his support and that of the Australian Government for the Israeli war crimes in Lebanon. At least Howard is reading from the same hymn book as both The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald. Then he went out into the street and his car was surrounded by an angry crowd.

The Maronite President of Lebanon, Emile Lahoud had a somewhat different description. He said, according to Wikipedia:

“For us Lebanese, and I can tell you the majority of Lebanese, Hezbollah is a national resistance movement. If it wasn’t for them, we couldn’t have liberated our land. And because of that, we have big esteem for the Hezbollah movement.”

Juan Cole states that Hizbullah are committing war crimes by sending the Kaytusha rockets onto Israel because they are so inaccurate that they cannot distinguish between civilian and military targets.

The bombing of Lebanon by the Israeli Defence Forces has demonstrated that Israel is a terrorist state. A conclusion supported by their behavior in Gaza and on the West Bank. Of course Israel is armed and bankrolled by the United States, so I suppose draw your own conclusions. It is reasonably clear that the American Government effectively gave permission for the Israeli assault, while perhaps not expecting the ensuing war would last close to three weeks, and no immediate of it ending any time soon.

As has been pointed out Hizbullah means “party of god”, not “army of god”, but in it military operation it suggests a likeness, to me at least, of the Hospitallers and the Templars from earlier times. It seems that Hizbullah, according to this report in The Guardian, is a disciplined organization, forged by war.

It seems to me that Israel’s aerial assault on Lebanon was designed not merely to destroy its economy, but also Lebanon’s democracy, because as we are told the Christian areas of Beirut have been spared. I do not believe there are too many precedents, and it is a reminder perhaps of the how democracies can be internally gutted. One case, suggested by Jacobo Timerman in The Longest War (1982), is the repeated electoral success of Juan Peron in Argentina.

Israel may prevail militarily, or may not, but by its inhumanity and disporportionality of its response, it must, I believe lose the support of world opinion, and increasingly many may well observe that there is something rotten in the State of Israel. Healthy democracies will, by definition see through the fog of lies, half truths and propaganda. This situation is a test for us as well.

Postscript: 30 July 2006

ABC Radio National program Rear Vision has just played its take on the history of Hizbullah. You should be able to replay the program within a short time by going here.

And here we get to listen to, or see, the voice of power, and we are told the problems in the Middle East all arise from September 11, and not the other way round. Although as I recall almost none of the perpetrators of the crime of 11 September 2001 were Palestinians, and none were Lebanese. Brad DeLong:

Not One of the Twenty-Five Million People You Would Think Might Be President Someday – 28 July

Somewhat impressed with Bush’s perspicuity – just the kind of bloke, with just those intellectual skills, who ought to be leader of the Western World, Brad DeLong lays on the praise.

Here is the excerpt from the Press Conference with Blair and Bush , via Talking Points.



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