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It’s America’s War

As we go to press, the people of Lebanon and Gaza continue to be subjected to an obscene onslaught, day after day and week after week. Already there are hundreds dead, thousands injured and hundreds of thousands rendered homeless, many without food, water or shelter. The bombardment seems to be aimed at economic and civilian targets as much as the Hezbullah fighters. And it has aroused the indignation of people - Muslims and non-muslims - across the world.

Make no mistake, this is America’s war. Not only in terms of supplying the military hardware - the F16 fighter bombers, the Hellfire missiles and the Apache helicopters - but also the strategy. Bush wants to destroy Hezbullah so that he can turn Lebanon into a client US state, before turning his attention on Syria and Iran. This assault has been long in the preparation. That’s why they don’t intend to let the small matter of worldwide outrage divert them from their path and why they have little real interest in the safety of Israel’s civilian population or, indeed, the release of Israel’s captured soldiers. And the UK government has been wholly complicit. Without Blair’s support in blocking an immediate ceasefire the United States and Israel would have been isolated.

Israeli bombs destroy a Lebanese village
Hezbollah now has widespread support throughout Lebanon

But as with so many recent military efforts, it has seriously backfired. Hezbullah will not be destroyed. Indeed, it has consolidated its position among all the beseiged communities that make up Lebanon in a way that few thought possible. It has cemented a Shia-Sunni alliance with the population of Palestine. And it has helped radicalise the entire muslim nation and increased the pressure on reactionary ruling groups like the House of Saudi.

A Nuclear-Free Middle East

And what US-Israeli policy has been unable to do by war, it should not be allowed to do by peace. The peace settlement, and the immediate ceasefire, must not legitimise Israel’s occupation of Palestine and its dominance of neighbouring states.
Whats’ the connection for CND? Israel’s abuse of its conventional military superiority is backed up by the ultimate threat of its 200-odd sophisticated nuclear weapons. And it is this regional imbalance and the underlying injustice of Israel’s expansionist policies which lie at the root of Iran’s attempts to acquire nuclear technology. In other words the solution to the ‘problem’ of Iran’s nuclear power programme lies in a just 2-state settlement of the Palestinian issue and the establishment of the Middle East as a Nuclear Free Zone. Not for the first time, the occupation of Palestine stands at the centre of world politics and demands a solution.

Alan Mackinnon

The Views expressed in this article, as in other articles in Nuclear Free Scotland, are those of the author. They are not necessarily shared by Scottish CND.


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