Saturday, August 12, 2006

They just don't get it

The government that is.
Howells criticises Muslim leaders' letter
No connection between Middle Eastern policies and terrorism? Just how stupid do they think we are? This government is remarkable for its contempt for the electorate, even dismissing the majority of its own voters as 'Old Labour'.

Policies that include bombing Iraq into democracy, and by that the sort of democracy they're seeking is the one to be found in the UK and the US. You're allowed to vote for two almost indistinguishable centre-right parties. I came across a marvellous example of this on a news programme a while back where a Labour minister was boasting of getting the UK an opt-out from an EU directive limiting working hours (unlike those poor, impoverished German and Scandinavian workers) and a Conservative spokesman argued against this with exactly the same position. Their argument became quite heated while both were in substance in agreement. Even drunks, when arguing, take a contrary position.

Policies that include tacit support for Israel's war against Lebanon. This statement may run against the grain of prevailing attitudes, but this was an attack that had been carefully planned and was just waiting for an excuse to be launched.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that “More than a year ago, a senior Israeli army officer began giving PowerPoint presentations, on an off-the-record basis, to US and other diplomats, journalists and think tanks, setting out the plan for the current operation in revealing detail.”...
By 2004, the military campaign scheduled to last about three weeks that we’re seeing now had already been blocked out and, in the last year or two, it’s been simulated and rehearsed across the board.”
Full story

All we get from Western politicians is that 'Israel must be allowed to defend itself'. Ever heard them claiming 'the Lebanon must be allowed to defend itself'? Quite the contrary, they're demanding that Lebanon must disarm Hizbullah. Moreover, this a war that will engender tremendous hatred.

And while Hizbullah's supposed targeting of Israeli civilians has yielded relatively few victims, Israel's repeated "mistakes" in Lebanon have maintained a civilian death rate of about 100 Lebanese to every three Israelis. The opposite side of this coin is that while Israel's hi-tech "surgical strikes" have killed hundreds more civilians than Hizbullah fighters, the Lebanese resistance's low-tech weapons have killed about three times as many Israeli soldiers as civilians.

It is Lebanon, not Israel, that faces a threat to its existence in this war

The whole of Middle Eastern policy is driven by one thing: oil. A shrinking resource becoming ever more keenly sought as countries such as China and India are looking to resource their industries and to let their growing middle classes drive SUV's too. A great pity that when it runs out, we're still going to be left with a global war from the bitterness ensuing from the current conflicts.
Unless we get a remarkable new generation of political leaders, which I doubt is on the cards, or we ditch our current system and embrace soft power.


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