Road-map to war

I wrote and posted this article to the Baileymail July 31st, the day after Watching The Beginning. 

U.S/U.K created hopes of an earlier than expected ceasefire in the Middle East won’t materialise. The resolution on Iran was passed today. The world continues on its “road-map to war”.

By Liam Bailey

Rice’s second visit to the Middle East achieved a small concession from Israel late on Sunday, after an Israeli strike which killed around 60 Lebanese, mostly women and children in the early on Sunday morning. Later Israel agreed With Condoleezza to suspend its aerial bombardment of Lebanon from midnight, to allow for an investigation to be carried out by their military, and co-ordinating with the UN for a 24 hour period to allow safe passage for any remaining civilians wanting to flee. The 48 hour period was in a statement issued by Adam Ereli, State Department spokesman in Jerusalem, Israeli statements said “Only targets that are about to attack Israeli targets will be hit, and this will be the case until the full IDF [Israel Defence Forces] inquiry is concluded.”

Israeli warplanes and artillery continued to hit targets in Southern Lebanon, including a Lebanese soldier in the Souther city of Tyre, in a jeep believed to be carrying a top Hezbollah official. Hezbollah strikes also continued Monday, altough much fewer than previous days of the conflict; Sunday ending with reports of 156 Hezbollah rockets attacks on Northern Israel resumed barely after the suspension began b ut only three attacks were confirmed on Monday. The announced suspension coincided with a change in tone from U.S and U.K statements by Bush, Blair and Rice today, indicating they hoped to see a ceasefire this week, Olmert’s hard-line statement: The fighting continues. There is no ceasefire and there will not be any ceasefire in the coming days.” coinciding with the continuing artillery and occasional air strikes and Defence secretary Amir Peretz saying today that Israel plans to “Expand and strengthen” its attack on Hezbollah indicated otherwise.

In my articles I have implied that the U.S wouldn’t stop Israel until it had prompted Iran into actions justifying attack, so today’s news reports of new optimism as Bush and Blair changed their stance contradict me somewhat. In other news today however, the UN passed the resolution on Iran I have discussed in previous posts, resolution 1696 gives Iran until August 31st to suspend Uranium enrichment and open its nuclear programme to international inspections, but not containing the strong definite threat of sanctions as suggested by John Bolton, Russia and China watered it down to taking “appropriate measures” if Iran fails to comply. As I said in yesterday’s post, Iran has already made it clear it will not comply with this resolution and will abandon the six-nation incentives package because of it.

The Israel conflict has therefore killed two birds with one conflict, in a pre-emptive strike on Hezbollah which discredits and undermines the UN in the process. Not to mention Iran being more likely to comply with this resolution was it not for the U.S and U.K’s continued support of Israel in their carnage of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, they certainly won’t in the current conflict. The suspension of Israeli bombardment today was promising but Israeli statements and actions shortly after the announcement confirmed it was a symbolic gesture to alleviate tensions with the Lebanese government, which reached a new high when they refused to hold talks with Condoleezza Rice on her latest visit to the region after the raid on Qana, the Bush administration doesn’t mind if Israel destroys all of Lebanon, as long as the fledgling democracy remains. This is why every effort has been made to involve the Lebanese Army in the international force patrolling the border.

The suspension is a U.S effort to bring Fuad Saniora back to the table and away from the brink of all out support for Hezbollah, after his statements thanking Hezbollah for their sacrifices during the conflict, and similar statements from other Lebanese officials. I still don’t believe we are really any closer to a ceasefire, don’t forget Hezbollah will have to agree to a ceasefire before peacekeepers go in, and Israel has stated it will not cease defending itself until the international force is in Lebanon and willing to fire on Hezbollah if it breaks the ceasefire agreement. Even if U.S support dries up completely, Israel will go it alone until Hezbollah to is defeated once and for all, and the UN has been sufficiently undermined by august 31st, so Bush can overrule it in favour of a war to protect us from Iran, a state sponsoring terrorism obtaining nuclear weapons.

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