Tuesday, August 08, 2006

European-US Rift Over Lebanon

The Asia Times outdoes itself again. They have had some of the best features on the Middle East for several years now (including Nir Rosen’s amazing reports from pre-destruction Fallujah), by combining professional journalism with a perspective from the global south. Here they do the best job of dissecting US-European relations in light of the Israeli war on Lebanon I have yet seen:


In truth, a number of UN diplomats concede that the battle between the US and France inside the Security Council only diverted the attention of both countries from the conflict in the Middle East. Getting Arab nations to sign on to the resolution was postponed in order to get the resolution agreed to. Nor, it seems, were the Lebanese consulted at all during the process. The resolution, in fact, seems to satisfy the French and Americans - but no one else, and so angered Arab diplomats that Amr Moussa, the head of the Arab League, denounced it publicly, while privately calling the resolution "a surrender document". A spokesman for Hezbollah in Beirut was even blunter, saying that the resolution was "dead on arrival". He added, "The French caved in to American and Israeli pressure. Israel gets to stay on our land. We are required to disarm. Why isn't an international force deployed in northern Israel? Our arms get cut off and the US gets to fly cluster munitions into Ben Gurion [Airport in Tel Aviv]. Just who do they think is winning this war?"

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