Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The conflict in The Middle East

It seems that not a month can go by without global news being dominated by the tensions in the Middle East. This latest series of tragedies in Northern Israel and Lebanon serve only to illustrate why no peace can ever be accomplished there (or at least not in my lifetime).

While Israel randomly bombs civilians in Beirut and Hezbollah continue their slaughter of innocents in towns like Haifa the "World Leaders" ponder how to react at the G8 summit. Most of the work so far has been solely aimed at getting foreign nationals safely out of Lebanon. But what of the wider implications? Well Tony Blair has offered to go and mediate (hasn't he got enough failures on his record by now!), only to be slapped down by his real boss George W.

Unfortunately, these leaders seem far too embroiled in the standard blame culture that engulfs anything involving Israel and it's neighbours. Oh it's Syria!! Not it's Iran! Wait a minute, both are to blame! Rather than continuing these rituals, did it not occur to people that perhaps the most important action that needs to take place is to get a cease-fire in place so that diplomacy can begin?

Israel are not just being heavy-handed, they are committing atrocities. They cannot simply be allowed to bomb civilian buildings throughout Lebanon as an act of self-defense. I am not a bleeding-heart who blames Isreal for everything, but the fact remains that bombing Lebanon into submission will not defeat terrorism. It will not prevent further attacks on Israel, it will only serve to force more people into the waiting arms of the terrorists.

Hezbollah MUST be dealt with, but not like this. Only through strong arm covert tactics can they be defeated. If Syria are backing Hezbollah, then impose sanctions on Syria. However, such action cannot be taken without also punishing Israel for it's outrageous incursions into Lebanon. The main problem in the Middle East is that almost every Arab nation feels that Israel is treated with kid-gloves while the rest of region faces sanctions and possible invasions. Whether this is true or not, the perception exists. The Israeli response to terrorist attacks is as disgusting as the attacks themselves and all nations involved should be dealt with in a fair and equal way.

This is not about blame... it's about ensuring that innocent civilians live without persecution. There are innocents dying in both Israel and Lebanon. It's time for the World Leaders to be strong, alas I get the feeling that this is not going to happen. Being given a week in which you have permission to basically do what you want in Lebanon is not being fair to all sides. It is giving Israel a license to commit atrocities.

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