Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Harper no Pearson

As Israel's war against Lebanon continues, and as the possibility of a multinational deployment to act as buffer between Israel and Hezbollah is debated upon, Prime Minister Harper yet again shows his utter ignorance of the realities in the Middle East and once more displays his open bias in favor of Israel.

This time, Harper argues that it wouldn't be in Canada's interest to deploy soldiers as part of a multinational force in Lebanon. He claims, instead, that the responsibility is that of the regional powers, that it is they who should create durable peace, security, and an end to extremism and terrorism (here again, in Harper's view, the responsibility for the conflict are Hezbollah's and Hezbollah's alone). Let us assume for a moment that the PM is right, and that the so-called regional powers should take the lead. Besides the fact that few countries in the region come anywhere close to possessing Israeli firepower (and therefore of questionable value), surely the deployment of a MNF would have to be acceptable to Israel (at this point Lebanon has been so weakened that it no longer is in a position to be choosy over who enters its territory). Most assuredly, Syria and Iran would be out of the question, as would Palestinians, if they had a state and an army in the first place—which they don't. Another choice would be Iraq—but Iraq has huge problems of its own and doesn't have a military to speak of anymore. Who does this leave us with? Jordan and Egypt, and perhaps Saudi Arabia, plus a few Gulf Arab states, all of whom are toeing the U.S. and Israel line to ensure they remain on Washington's "best buddy" list. In other words, there would be nothing neutral about a MNF deployment in Lebanon; rather, in complete contradiction of the spirit of an interceding force, it would represent a proxy acting onJerusalem's behalf. Anything else would lead to Israeli accusations, yet again, of anti-Semitism and Arab hatred towards the Jewish state.

Either Harper thinks all Canadians are idiots, or he's even deeper in the Israeli's pocket than was previously believed. Or perhaps, as today's events have demonstrated, he's finally reached the conclusion that Lebanon simply is too dangerous a place for Canadians—not because of Hezbollah, mind you, but because of Israel's criminal, indiscriminate and unfortunately unchecked use of military force. As if the killing of eight Canadian civilians two weeks ago wasn't enough, it now appears that a Canadian peacekeeper was among the four U.N. peacekeepers (the others were Chinese, Austrian, and a Finnish) who were killed by a direct hit by an Israeli missile on the United Nations observation post—and this despite numerous assurances given by Israel to U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan that the outpost would be spared (Israel rebukes Mr. Annan's contention that the hit was deliberate and counters that the bombing was the result of error, that the peacekeepers were caught in the crossfire. But why is it, I wonder, that every time U.N. peacekeepers are caught in the crossfire, the side responsible for the killing is Israel?

Reports on the Canadian death remain to be confirmed, but if it turns out to be true, Israel will now have killed Canadian civilians and military alike.

No comments: