Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 21, 2006


Frontpage of today's Independent

Hat tip to Cloned Poster

Posted by b on July 21, 2006 at 11:22 UTC | Permalink


Also from The Independent - today's Robert Fisk comment

How brave our warships looked at dawn. Spread over the pale blue Mediterranean, bristling with cannons and machine guns and missiles, it was an armada led by the destroyer HMS Gloucester and the USS Nashville andYork and the sleek French anti-submarine frigate Jean-de- Vienne. They represented Us, those ships upon which the Lebanese stared with such intensity yesterday. They represented our Western power, the military strength of our billion-dollar economies. Who would dare challenge this naval might?

It was, our journalists told us, to be the greatest evacuation since Dunkirk. There it was again, the Second World War. And it was another cruel lie which the Lebanese spotted at once. For these mighty craft had not arrived to save Lebanon, to protect a nation now being destroyed by America's ally, Israel, Lebanon whose newly flourishing democracy was hailed by our leaders last year as a rose amid the dictatorships of the Arab world. No, they were creeping through the dawn after asking Israel's permission to help their citizens to flee. These great warships had been sent here by Western leaders (Jacques Chirac excepted) too craven, too gutless, too immoral, to utter a single word of compassion for Lebanon's suffering.

Posted by: b | Jul 21 2006 11:32 utc | 1

Fred S. Zeidman, a Texas venture capitalist who is active in Jewish affairs and has been close to the president for years, said the current crisis shows the depth of the president's support for Israel. "He will not bow to international pressure to pressure Israel," Zeidman said. "I have never seen a man more committed to Israel."
WaPo In Mideast Strife, Bush Sees a Step To Peace

Posted by: b | Jul 21 2006 11:48 utc | 2

Rosa Brooks: Bush's Burned Bridges

At the beginning of this millennium, the Cold War was over, the prosperous United States was the sole remaining superpower and global opinion was largely sympathetic to U.S. aims. In the wake of brutal ethnic wars in Central Europe and Africa, the international community had forged a new determination to prevent conflict and atrocities. The volatile Middle East was quiet, and the world seemed headed toward stability rather than chaos.

Only six years later, things couldn't be more different. The Bush administration's tunnel-vision approach to foreign policy has pushed the U.S. and the world into a devastating tailspin of conflict without end.
The cataclysm in the Middle East represents the final and total failure of the Bush administration's foreign policy. After 9/11, the world was on our side, and we had a unique opportunity to turn tragedy into triumph, to strengthen the alliances and global institutions that have long sustained American preeminence.

We wasted that opportunity. We promised to make the world safer, but we've turned it into a tinderbox. We promised to unite our allies, but we've sown rage and division. We promised to promote democracy, but we did so through violent and poorly thought-through "regime change" rather than through diplomacy, friendship and foreign aid.
A year ago, the administration was pledging to support Lebanon's fragile and hard-gained democracy. Today, "the country has been torn to shreds," as Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora bitterly told diplomats. "Is this the price we pay for aspiring to build our democratic institutions?"
We've burned up every ounce of goodwill we ever had, we've burned every diplomatic bridge we ever had, and now we can do nothing but sit on our hands as the ashes rain down all around us.

Engraved on a wall at the British Imperial War Museum is a phrase attributed to Plato: "Only the dead have seen the end of war." It was meant as a warning about the perils of arrogance and empire — and the Bush administration seems determined to prove the aphorism's truth.

Posted by: b | Jul 21 2006 12:17 utc | 3

The Independent cover is superb. Unfortunately it is wrong. Most of the Arab States support the action. I found this excellent explanation. We knew they would 'cuz of disaster xUS made of Iraq has greatly inc. Iran's power, so they would oppose Hezbollah on those grounds. But there's more. They're terrified 'cuz Hezb. & Hamas, unlike the corrupt PLO are indigenous mvmts. not under the control of any of the Arab states:

At the same time, as Arab regimes' influence over organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah has waned, Israel has lost a kind of buffer zone. Unlike the PLO in the past, neither Hamas nor Hezbollah is dependent on Arab state support. Syria's influence over Hezbollah takes second place to that of Iran.

Hence, the Israeli government is very concerned that any success achieved by Hamas or Hezbollah will open the way for more groups -- perhaps even Al Qaeda -- to fight Israel or terrorize Israelis.

Arab regimes are very concerned as well. The aftershocks left by the elections in Gaza are still felt beneath the seats of monarchs and leaders stretching from Riyadh to Rabat. Many Arab rulers are threatened by democracy and the rise of Islamism in the region. In Gaza, they are challenged by a democratically elected Islamist government, Hamas. In Egypt, the challenge comes from the Islamic Brotherhood, and in Lebanon, from Hezbollah, commonly referred to as a "state within a state.

...Arab regimes and Israel have forged an undeclared alliance to rid themselves of the growing menace in the region, "popular Islamist movements." Israel is doing the bombing and destruction, while Arab regimes quietly cheer on the sidelines" Arab Regimes Back Israel's Attacks on Islamist Groups

Posted by: jj | Jul 21 2006 12:26 utc | 4

@jj - wait until the the Friday prayers are over. Even Arab dictators have to listen to their constituencies.

The Saudis are already backtracking:

Israel cannot keep bombing Lebanon, says Saudi Arabia

"We cannot let Israel pursue its actions. We cannot tolerate that Israel plays with the lives of citizens, civilians, women, old people and children," Saudi Defence Minister Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz told reporters after a meeting with French President Jacques Chirac.
His foreign minister, Prince Saud Al Faisal, who also met his counterpart in Paris, denounced Israel's assault, launched after Hezbollah abducted two Israel soldiers, as disproportionate and arrogant.

"The Lebanese crisis today has reminded us of the pride which characterises Israel's policies toward its Arab neighbours," he said after meeting France's Philippe Douste-Blazy.

"An entire country has been destroyed as the result of the kidnapping of two soldiers."

Looks like not even this timely "bribe" did not keep them in line: Pentagon OKs $6 bln in arms sales to Saudi Arabia

The Bush administration said on Thursday it approved the sale to Saudi Arabia of 24 UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters, radios, armoured vehicles and other military equipment worth more than $6 billion (3.25 billion pounds).

Posted by: b | Jul 21 2006 12:54 utc | 5

That was nice to see CP.

It looks like the movement to condemn and demand cease-fire grew rapidly - as pointed out above, Saudi was off and now is on. That the initial reluctance and mealy mouthed talk about ‘the right to defend oneself’ and ‘restraint’ and so on melted a bit, like ice cream in the fridge these days, is bad news for USukIsr, though it won’t change much on the ground, at least for the moment. It feels to me like the outrage was simmering and needed just a few little pushes or events to break out. Not unrestrainedly (!), for sure, but still, far better than nothing.

1) the destruction of Lebanon can be read as a warning sign - it spells, look what we can do, and don’t hesitate to do, even if the political gains are nil or slim. (E.g. we can air bomb Iran even if we can’t hit whatever.)

2) The US saying they allowed Isr. one more week to ‘finish the job’ or whatever terms were used was a terrible mistake. Utterly crass. (Its like saying: you may torture the prisoner for one more week but if that is not fruitful then you must stop, as we don’t really condone torture.) Too absurd, it showed up the vacuousness of ‘proportionality’ and ‘restraint’ - like bombing all of Tyre is a no-no but bombing half of it is fine. Jeez.

3) Egypt, Jordan, Saudi, are client states. Still, there are plenty of royals, elite, rich, religious, and business people who absolutely cannot condone this kind of thing - be it either because the instability is economically unbearable, or because muslims are all brothers under the skin, or because they hate Israel, or because they will take money from the US but only for this or that - not more - bargaining partners must draw lines in the sand or they become vassals-, or because they understand that alienating the street will create problems for them.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 21 2006 16:09 utc | 6

Just came across the front page of yesterday's Evening Standard which is sick beyond imagination.


Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jul 21 2006 17:04 utc | 7

Michael Scheuer: Doing bin Laden's Work for Him

As Lebanon burns, bin Laden's words will reinforce and harden Muslim perceptions – including the views of Muslims in Europe and North America – that the U.S.-led West is warring on Islam and its followers. Bin Laden's claims that Arab regimes cannot protect Muslims and are the West's apostate lackeys were underscored when Arab kings and dictators acted through the Arab League to condemn Hezbollah. Nothing better proves bin Laden's consistently made point than the juxtaposition of the Arab leaders' damning of Hezbollah – heretofore always a "legitimate resistance group" in their rhetoric – and their implicit acquiescence in Israel's leisurely razing of Beirut.

And what Muslim in his or her right mind can now doubt bin Laden's claim that Washington and its allies have given Israel carte blanche to do what it will to Hezbollah, Hamas, and Muslim civilians? The G-8 grandees called for mutual restraint but assigned sole culpability to Hezbollah and Hamas; Prime Minister Blair and Secretary-General Annan call for undefined diplomatic efforts that might, someday, lead to UN peacekeepers; and Secretary of State Rice said she really does hope to find time in her busy schedule to visit the region. Muslims will see this lack of enthusiasm for ending the fight for what it is – the West's forelock-tugging deference to Israeli Prime Minister Olmert's estimate that his military still needs a week or so to finish off Hezbollah and Lebanon.
The impact of this Israel-Hezbollah round will not stop with the inevitable truce that will be declared after Israel ruins Lebanon. While temporary order may return to the Levant, America, Britain, and the West should not fool themselves. They have again gratuitously picked sides in a fight between two inconsequential nations; the survival of neither is a genuine national security interest for any G-8 state. Led by Washington's absurd, 30-year obsession with the minimal Shia threat to America, and blind to the hatred generated among Muslims by their foreign policies, the G-8 have mightily strengthened the enmity, durability, and resolve of the Sunni extremist movement that bin Laden leads and personifies.

Posted by: b | Jul 21 2006 17:30 utc | 8

Very arresting image.

Unfortunately, it may not be quite correct.

Because it appears that the country formerly known as Canuckistan may have joined theAxis Of Boweevils


Posted by: RossK | Jul 21 2006 17:44 utc | 9

I just discovered this site.

Thank you for your support! There are very few outlets in the West in which to expose the crimes of 'zionism'.

With God's help, and with your help, we will prevail against 'zionist' mayhem and aggression.

As Sheik Nasrallah said in October 2002, "if the Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."


Maha G

Posted by: maha | Jul 22 2006 15:15 utc | 10

You are sadly mistaken if you think the patrons of this bar, support Nasrallah. We, --perhaps I should say I- are not followers of necropolitics in this bar. Only to the extent that we watch the black magic rituals of the war pigs. I am as disgusted with Nasrallah, as I am Israel, as I am with America.

"It is no sign of mental health to be well adjusted to a sick society."
- J. Krishnamurti

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 22 2006 15:47 utc | 11

Nice try maha but you will not find anyone here who supports what you suggest.

If you had stayed with self defense you might have found friends and supporters. Your call for the killing of Jews can not be well received. As it is I suspect you are an AIPAC troll.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 22 2006 16:08 utc | 12

Guess its too bad that Hamas and Hezbollah dont have national flags, or just think how one sided the vote would be.

All things considered, I still choose to side with the americans.

Posted by: John | Jul 22 2006 17:35 utc | 13

George Galloway is organising a boycott of the London Evening Standard for that cover, and I would suggest that anyone visting the city declines to buy that particular newspaper in future.

The link is buggered now, and I didn't see the cover myself, but I understand it was a picture of someone holding a dead Lebanese baby with the words "Human Sandbag" printed by it - the suggesting being that the Lebanese are using their children to protect Hizbollah within Lebanon.

Posted by: Dismal Science | Jul 24 2006 11:07 utc | 14

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