Saturday, July 22, 2006


Just sick to my stomach--some days literally--about the war on Lebanon. I'm amazed, though a cynic shouldn't be, that the BBC reportage has gone to some lengths to justify Israel's military expedition by constantly going on about kidnapped Israeli soldiers and the bunker-bound popular support for yet another invasion of Lebanon. The Americans want to give Israel free reign (whoops, Freudian slip--I meant 'free rein') rather than go for an immediate ceasefire so they can ratchet up the pressure on Syria and Iran. The arrogance with which Condee Rice can blithely wave away calls for an immediate ceasefire is gobsmacking. The US doesn't want a democratic Arab government in the Middle East so it's scuppered progress on that front in Lebanon by taking out the infrastructure and killing civilians. Hezbollah may not be destroyed. More insurgents, terrorists, freedom fighters who hate Israel and the United States will emerge from shelled neighbourhoods and refugee camps. Islamist recruitment will only benefit. There's shitloads of media reportage out there at the moment and frankly it's depressing listening, watching and reading, so I haven't followed the crisis exhaustively. Besides I'm desperately trying to finish an overdue piece on black music and technology for a journal. And family illness has made that harder too. But these woes and commitments aside, in the comments pages of The Guardian, rather than the 'proper articles' you can find a piece about the 'framing of Hizbollah' by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, assistant-professor at the Lebanese-America University. And stalwart of the British left, Tariq Ali comments about 'a protracted colonial war'. I'm no apologist for the authoritarian anti-democratic governments of Syria and Iran and their spheres of influence, but this war has not been 'started' by them. Make no mistake: this is an Israeli-American war. Biased.

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