Who’s The Terrorist?

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(Secretary Rice, right, by opposing a ceasefire...who then is the terrorists?)

Callous disregard for non-white human life.

That’s the only way to explain how and why the Bush Administration could recklessly insist that there’s no need for a ceasefire in the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon.  Hezbollah attacks on Israel has resulted in nearly 50 deaths – of soldiers from combat and of civilians from rockets launched into Israel – while Israeli bombings of Lebanon has resulted in more than 400 deaths, with most being civilians.

The fighting started after Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers from a raid into Israel from Southern Lebanon. Yet, how could any responsible global superpower, the United States, oppose an immediate ceasefire as most world governments and the United Nations call for?

How could Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice publicly argue that it’s better for Israel to continue its genocidal bombardment which, it has become clear, is not primarily killing Hezbollah fighters, but rather Lebanese civilians? And why are the bombs killing so many civilians instead of Hezbollah fighters. Israel’s powerful army built its reputation on being bold, daring and precise. When 100 Israeli citizens found themselves in Idi Amin’s Uganda in 1976, after the hijacking of a commercial plane by PLO supporters, Israeli commandos traveled thousands of miles to Entebbe airport and whisked the captives to safety. In the past, the Israeli air force has boasted precision bombings. How is it that this time so many of the dead are civilians? Unless, of course, these civilians are being deliberately targeted. Why? In the hope that escalating Lebanese deaths with force Hezbollah to change its tune?

It won’t work if that’s the strategy. In fact, Hezbollah is now more popular in the Muslim and Arab world. Governments in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, normally allies of the U.S., have decried the civilian deaths from the bombardments. They condemned Israel’s disproportionate retaliation to Hezbollah’s initial attacks.

By opposing a ceasefire Washington has embarrassed the U.S. before the entire world by seeming not to care about civilians deaths – in Lebanon or Iraq. Even British Prime Minister Tony Blair has now rushed to urge Bush not to oppose the end of fighting while long terms measures are considered. Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice please remind me again: Who is the terrorist?

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