With U.S. backing
Israeli terrorists bomb Lebanon
A clear-cut act of aggression, not defense
Published Jul 20, 2006 12:04 AM
The racist Israeli settler regime, with the
full support of the Bush administration, is raining death and destruction on the
people of Lebanon in an attempt to wipe out the Lebanese national resistance
Hundreds of Lebanese have been killed, mainly
civilians; over 1,000 have been wounded. Neighborhoods in cities throughout
Lebanon—from north to south—have been destroyed, along with power
plants, bridges, fuel tanks, roads, hospitals, a Red Crescent Society medical
van and trucks along the roads.
The execution of this military plan by
Tel Aviv was clearly years in the making. The expanded Israeli aggression in
Lebanon against Hezbollah has been operating under the diplomatic and political
protection of the Bush administration, and is being carried out with weapons
supplied or paid for by the U.S. government.
Israel launched its offensive
after Hezbollah carried out an attack on Israeli forces in which it captured two
Israeli soldiers. Its object was to get a prisoner exchange. The Israelis are
holding more than 9,000 Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian prisoners—men,
women and children.
Hezbollah acted after the Israeli invasion of Gaza,
during which many Palestinians were brutally killed and eight cabinet ministers
of the elected Hamas government were kidnapped and imprisoned.
government responded to Hezbollah’s offer for a prisoner exchange with a
massive air, land and sea attack that destroyed the Beirut airport and heavily
targeted densely populated, poor Shiite neighborhoods in the south of Lebanon
and southern suburbs of Beirut. Hezbollah then retaliated with rocket attacks on
cities in northern Israel.
The day after Israel’s massive attack, on
July 12, the U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning the
“disproportionate reaction” by Tel Aviv.
At a Group of Eight
summit meeting of the imperialist powers held July 15-16, Bush made sure that
there was no call for a cease-fire, even though the British and the French
imperialists, each for their own narrow interests, were trying to slow down the
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended
Israel’s terror campaign as the “right to self-defense,” and
White House Press Secretary Tony Snow has been promoting what amounts to joint
U.S.-Israeli conditions that Hezbollah must meet before Israel ends its
aggression— including the unconditional return of the two Israeli military
prisoners and an end to Hezbollah attacks on Israel.
Bush, in a
presentation to the media after a bipartisan meeting with Republican and
Democratic Party leaders, openly declared that Syria and Hezbollah were
“the root cause of the problem” and called for further efforts to
Imperialism is the root cause
“root cause of the problem” is 58 years of occupation of Pales
tinian land by the Zionist state in the service of U.S. imperialism—to be
used as a weapon against any and all attempts by movements or governments in the
oil-rich Persian Gulf to take control of their resources and their lands and
The Israeli state is basically a military
base armed to the teeth by the Pentagon in the midst of hundreds of millions of
oppressed peoples of the region—from Cairo to Tehran. Tel Aviv has made
war and carried out military aggression numerous times and has created an
apartheid regime for the Palestinians. It is universally hated by the masses
throughout the Middle East.
Its degree of coordination with Washington was
blurted out in a Washington Post article on July 16. “Israel, with U.S.
support,” writes the Post, “intends to resist calls for a cease-fire
and continue punishing Hezbollah, which is likely to include several weeks of
precision bombing in Lebanon, according to senior Israeli and U.S.
“For Israel, the goal is to eliminate Hezbollah as a
security threat—or altogether, the sources said. … For the United
States, the broader goal is to strangle the axis of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and
Iran,” the Post article continued.
said, Israel and the United States are looking to create conditions for
achieving one remaining goal of UN Resolution 1559,” which would eliminate
Resolution 1559, organized and pushed through by the Bush
administration in 2004, was directed at driving Syrian troops out of Lebanon, a
goal which it achieved with its so-called “cedar revolution” and the
disarming of Hezbollah. This Washington-introduced resolution was supported by
Israel as well as Saudi Arabia and other dependent Arab states.
article explained that today, in order to accomplish this objective, Washing ton
has no intention of halting the Israeli siege of Lebanon. “They do have
space to operate for a period of time,” a U.S. official said about Israel.
“There’s a natural dynamic to these things. When the military
starts, it may be that it has to run its course.”
The “natural dynamic” of the state terrorist
Israeli Defense Forces was descri bed by journalist Dahr Jamail in a July 17
dispatch carried by Inter Press Service. He quoted a teacher from the United
States who was on vacation in Beirut: “Every thing is being bombed.
It’s terror. We’ve literally been terrorized.”
is a 31-year-old pastry chef from Beirut who crossed the border into Syria
carrying his suitcase, in search of food and water. For three days there had
been no water or electricity in Beirut. Aziz told IPS, “Yesterday I saw
two hospitals bombed.”
Hamed, a 25-year-old construction wor ker,
also recounted, “I saw them bomb a hospital yesterday. I left just hours
ago. They are bombing everything— houses, casinos, fuel stations and so
Another eyewitness, Hasna, said, “The Israelis
bombed a bridge to the airport near us and killed many people. When other people
went on the bridge to help the wounded, the planes bombed
Robert Fisk, writing in the July 16 Independent about an
Israeli assault on a border village, declared, “It will be called the
massacre of Marwaheen.”
Fisk wrote, “All the civilians killed
by the Israelis had been ordered to abandon their homes in the border village by
the Israelis themselves a few hours earlier. Leave, they were told by
loudspeaker; and leave they did, 20 of them in a convoy of civilian cars.
That’s when the Israeli jets arrived to bomb them, killing 20 Leban ese,
at least nine of them children. The local fire brigade could not put out the
fires as they all burned alive in the inferno. Another ‘terrorist’
target had been eliminated.”
Hezbollah: strong mass
Washington is protecting the Israelis and allowing the military
operation to “run its course,” vainly hoping to eliminate the
resistance. But Hezbollah’s popularity as a national resistance movement
extends throughout Lebanon and the entire Gulf region for its role in fighting
the Israeli occupiers. It drove the Israelis out of Leba non in 2000 after 18
years of occupation.
Hezbollah is not only a military movement, it is a
social and political movement. It provides the poor Shia population—the
downtrodden of Lebanon—with social ser vices, farms and jobs. Its military
wing consists of workers, students and the general population. In its first
parliamentary participation, in 2005, Hezbollah won 14 seats.
The U.S. and
Israel were hoping that they could divide Hezbollah from the masses of Lebanon
and cause a split in the Middle East in general. But Tel Aviv’s
aggression, aided and abetted by Wash ing ton, is only bringing greater unity
throughout the region.
The imperialists think they have achieved
something politically because for the first time Arab regimes like Egypt, Saudi
Arabia and Jordan criticized a resis tance movement that was under attack from
the Israelis. But getting the support of the only two governments that signed
peace treaties with Israel—Egypt and Jordan—and a bourgeois-feudal
monarchy completely tied to the imperialist oil companies is a thin reed to lean
As Abdel-Menem Mustapha—Egypt bureau chief of the pan-Arab daily
Asharq al-Awsat—noted in the July 18 Wash ing ton Post, “The
reservations some governments have expressed about Hezbollah are not widely
shared among the common people of the Middle East.”
popular support for Hezbollah and its leader, Hasan Nas rallah, “is
overwhelming throughout the Arab world and that the region’s governments
would be wise to take heed.”
He concluded, “The Arab street
feels strong sympathy with Hezbollah and with Nasrallah, because its pride has
been battered, and it is weary of decades of concession made to Israel by Arab
‘Shock and awe’ fails
Bush administration, acting through the Israeli government, has expanded the
adventure it began in Iraq into Lebanon. It is unlikely that this new offensive
will conquer Lebanon and destroy the national resistance. Hez bollah is
supported by the masses and is in alliance with Hamas, Syria and Iran. These
plus the Iraqis fighting occupation make up the basic forces of resistance to
imperialist domination in the Middle East. This is the “axis” that
Bush wants to strangle—the axis of anti-imperialism.
and awe” bombing did not work in Iraq. Brutal military occupation is not
working in Iraq. If the failures of Washington and Tel Aviv’s adventures
in Iraq and Palestine are any example, the Lebanon offensive will ultimately end
up in a greater crisis for imperialism.
The developed resistance movement
of Hezbollah has showered missiles down on northern Israeli cities and put up
unprecedented resistance to Tel Aviv’s bombardments. The U.S.-Israeli plan
to eliminate Hezbollah may drive Tel Aviv to order a ground invasion. This can
lead only to another quagmire.
The propagandists of Washington and Tel
Aviv are trying to rally their populations at home by presenting this conflict
as part of the so-called “war on terror” and as a war of
“Islamic fundamentalism” against Western civilization and
First of all, Islam—like most developed
religions—has varied interpretations and doctrinal emphases and practices.
Only chauvinists would lump everyone who practices some form of Islam into one
The Saudi monarchy is Islamic, as is the Kuwaiti monarchy and the
Jordanian monarchy. The Shiite collaborators in the Iraqi puppet government are
Islamic. They are all with imperialism.
But Islam also plays a role as the
rallying cry for the masses of the Middle East and elsewhere to take up arms
against Washington and its agents in the region. To that extent, it is the
ideological form whose actual content is the struggle against imperialism. Hamas
is Sunni and Hezbollah is Shiite—and these Islamic groups are fighting
No one should be confused about the essence of the struggle:
It boils down to who is against imperialism and who is collaborating with it.
And in this world battle, those in the anti-war movement and the progressive
movement as a whole must not be swayed by imperialist propaganda that is racist,
chauvinist and anti-Islamic.
Nor should anyone attempt to separate the
Zionist Israeli state and its aggression from the aims of its overlord in Wash
ington, without whose billions in funding and military hardware the regime in
Tel Aviv could not survive.
The present situation in the Middle East is
fraught with the potential for a vast military expansion because of the tensions
created by the Bush administration’s present campaign to re-conquer
territories that had broken away from imperialism during the period of
anti-colonial uprisings after World War II. That is what is driving the
imperialist occupation of Iraq and its campaign against Syria and Iran, as well
as its attempts to crush the Palestinians and Hezbollah.
The situation is
highly unstable. Even though the U.S. and Israeli governments may have limited
aims in the present offensive, the potential for an expanded war—despite
their intentions—is great. The anti-war movement must mobilize now to get
the U.S. out of the Middle East and to end the Israeli occupation of Arab lands.
This is the only road to stability and peace in the region.
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