Saturday, July 29, 2006

World failed Lebanon

World failed
the Lebanese
July 27 20065

AS expected, the top US and European officials gathered in Rome to discuss the Israeli war on Lebanon did not call for an immediate cease-fire but focused on the establishment of an international force to be stationed at the Lebanese-Israeli border.
By reaffirming that any cease-fire must be "sustainable" and that there could be "no return to the status quo ante," US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warded off Arab and international pressure to twist Israel's arms into suspending its blitz against Lebanon. Again, that position is in line with the US goal to eliminate Hizbollah as a potential threat against Washington's interests in the event of a conflict with Iran, according to US analysts.
Granted that Israeli civilians are caught in the conflict and are living in fear of Hizbollah rockets. Going by what Hizbollah leaders have been saying, the group could now be expected to launch rockets beyond the range that they have been hitting in recent weeks. It is doubtful that the Israeli military would be able to check Hizbollah from carrying out its "promises of surprises" in the short term. As such, Israel's refusal to accept a ceasefire is in face exposing its own people as Hizbollah's targets.
In the meantime, the proposed international force, expected to be led by European countries, is designed to push Hizbollah away from the border and to disarm the group in a manner that would suit Israeli and American interests. By not providing details of the proposed force, the US and its allies gained more time for Israel to continue its devastating rampage against Lebanon.
It is in this context that Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora issued a dramatic appeal for peace because he knows only too well the suffering and agony that his people are already under and what could be in store if Israel continues to wreak havoc at will anywhere in Lebanon.
The questions that Siniora raised during the Rome meeting and later at a press conference should have hit the international conscience.
Are the war-cursed Lebanese were "children of a lesser God?" he asked.
"The country is really being cut to pieces .... to bring the country to its knees and that is what's happening," Siniora said.
Siniora asked "what future other than one of fear, frustration, financial ruin and fanaticism can stem from the rubble?"
"Is the value of human life less than in Lebanon than that of citizens elsewhere? Are we children of a lesser God? Is an Israeli teardrop worth more than a drop of Lebanese blood?" "Can the international community continue to stand by while such callous retribution by the state of Israel is inflicted upon us?"
"Is this what is called legitimate self-defence?"
The leaders gathered in Rome had the moral responsibility to answer these questions, but none did except speaking in terms of sympathy for the victims of the Israeli offensive.
Sympathy is not enough. The Lebanese mothers who had to flee their homes in southern Lebanon with their children and those who saw their homes in Beirut and elsewhere bombed out and now are sleeping in carparks and schools in the country cannot survive on sympathy. They needed concrete action that would address their plight. Every day, they are exposed to increasing dangers and suffering. Quite simply, the so-called civilised world gathered in Rome failed them.