Yo – Blair – speak for us, not US

I have been shocked and saddened by the events unfolding in Lebanon. As I write, the human toll of this latest conflict is more than 400 deaths, 90% of those Lebanese – mostly civilian. While no-one can condone hostage taking by terrorists, Israel is showing an arrogant contempt for human rights and international law. Wholesale bombardment of civilian areas in another country is an outrageous response to the hostage taking. Can any of us have imagined the RAF being scrambled in responses to IRA outages in the seventies and eighties? Of course not – but what is the difference? How sad, then, that the British government did not feel it could condemn Israel’s response and call for an immediate cease-fire.

One thing is certain, brute force alone will not stop the terrorists that plague Israel and her neighbours. Only dialogue can ever lead to any improvement in the situation. I fear that Israel’s heavy-handed response is more likely to serve as a recruiting sargeant for the terrorists. We in Britain have learned this – and that is why the situation in Northern Ireland has improved so much since meaningful dialogue began.

Once again, British foreign policy seems to be slavishly following the Bush agenda. Once again, I am led to question the so-called special relationship between the UK and the US. It seems to be all one-way traffic.

This morning, I hear that there is a possibility of a UN or an EU peacekeeping force being allowed in to Lebanon. I sincerely hope that Britain will be part of it – with or without George W Bush’s permission.

3 thoughts on “Yo – Blair – speak for us, not US”

  1. “Of course not – but what is the difference?”

    I guess the fact that Hezbollah is actually part of the Lebanese Government. They have two Cabinet seats. The Lebanese signed up to a UN peace deal which involved disarming Hezbollah.

    I think that if Sinn Fein had two seats in the Irish cabinet, and Dundalk was a launching ground for hundreds of rockets aimed at County Down, even the long-suffering Brits might have done something. Unless there’d been a Lib Dem government, of course.

    David LLoyd George is rotating at 3,200 rpm.

  2. It is a frightful situation…

    But I don’t think the analogy with the IRA holds up – they weren’t trying to wipe our nation off the map. Israel is a state with some enemies that don’t want it to exist at all.

  3. Steve, Hizbollah’s means are clear: terroristic unprovoked attacks. Their aims are unrealistic, undesirable, impossible and unnegotiable: the destruction of Israel and the extermination of all Jews. Their record on reliability as a “partner for peace” is non-existent: Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000; Hizbollah launch unprovoked attacks,so the message is clear that they cannot be trusted to respect internationally agreed borders.

    So, precisely what have Israel, or the International Community, got to negotiate with or for? What concessions can be made to find a negotiated settlement with an organisation with illegitimate aims and means who cannot be trusted to abide by agreements?

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