30 July 2006
that know the “real” history of the Middle East are not
shocked with the recent tragic deaths of so many innocent people.
They know that this episode, along with so many other atrocities will
soon be forgotten. It is the nature of things that it is always the
winners and the powerful that write the history. The weak and the
conquered are always the ones that are blamed for all the misfortune
that has befallen them.
back, we see that these atrocities have been happening for a long
time and with some regularity. Those involved then are indirectly
involved now. They cheer, the slaughter of the innocent and the
defenceless, now as they did then. Iraq in 1920s (as she is today)
was occupied by a western power, namely Britain. T.E. Lawrence
(Lawrence of Arabia) a colonel in the British army seeing the
atrocities committed by British army questioned the morality of what
the British government was doing in Iraq. In an article that was
published on 8 August 1920, he wrote the following:
“These risings take a regular course. There
is a preliminary Arab success, then British reinforcements go out as
a punitive force. They fight their way (our losses are slight, the
Arab losses heavy) to their objective, which is meanwhile bombarded
by artillery, aeroplanes, or gunboats. Finally, perhaps, a village is
burnt and the district pacified. It is odd that we do not use poison
gas on these occasions. Bombing the houses is a patchy way of getting
the women and children, and our infantry always incur losses in
shooting down the Arab men. By gas attacks the whole population of
offending districts could be wiped out neatly; and as a method of
government it would be no more immoral than the present system.”
you see, things haven’t changed much. The Arabs are still being
killed and the leading Western leaders still cheer on the slaughter.
as the people of Lebanon and the Muslim world mourn the death of so
many of their children, the Israeli offensive is continuing, albeit
with reduced air activity. So far the Israeli Army despite its
tremendous superiority has not been able to break the Hezbollah’s
defensive lines in any serious or meaningful way. Everyone hopes that
the senseless killing of so many innocent women and children by
Israel, will at least on moral grounds, force Bush and Blair to stop
the Israeli attrocities.
alas morality has never played a major role in any war, and it
certainly will not play any role in this one. The Israeli strategy of
systematically bombing civilians, using Depleted Uranium on civilians
using cluster bombs 
on villages, towns, and cities, firing on ambulances and refugees
fleeing their homes 
and destroying infrastructure is considered by many to be war crimes.
Unfortunately, as long as these atrocities are tacitly approved and
indeed cheered by Mr. Bush and Blair, these war crimes will be
considered as normal acts of war.
let us be honest, who really cares if 10, 20 or even 100 kids are
blown to pieces? How many Iraqi children were killed during the
invasion of Iraq or for that matter how many died as the result of US
sanctions? Do you know? When Madeline Allbright was asked in 60
Minutes of CBS in 1996 whether it was worth to kill over 500,000
children in Iraq, she said that it was worth it. But it is unfair to
blame you in Belgium or Sweden for not caring. After all, if the
governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt keep silent and indeed
help Israel, why should you care?
Saudi Arabia was to reduce its oil export by one million barrels a
day, even for a short time, the whole world would put an end to these
atrocities in no time at all. But the “Holy Custodian” of
the two mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud and friends are
too busy paying tribute to their master in Washington, than actually
doing anything constructive.
for us, well, as long as we don’t see these children’s
faces or their mangled bodies on the TV, everything is fine. We must
thank the “embedded” journalists for keeping these
horrors out of our living rooms. They did a good job in Iraq, but
unfortunately since US and British troops are not present in Lebanon,
Journalists are allowed to film and take pictures. Although in all
fairness, I have to mention that a lot of really horrible stuff is
kindly censured, ooops sorry, sanitised before being published.
since US and Britain are actually for the war in Lebanon, it is
perhaps time for UN to intervene and pass a resolution against
Israel. But, again the US and Britain have the power of veto. The
events leading to the invasion of Iraq has shown that UN is not
capable of stopping US or its allies. UN is often used as a rubber
stamp of convenience for the major powers. They don’t need its
approval to invade other nations, and they certainly don’t care
about its disapproval. United Nation today, is not even capable of
passing a resolution “condemning” the killing of its own
unarmed observers, let alone trying to stop Israel. It seems
appealing to UN has become like shouting to the deaf, pointless.
again who cares? Well, to start with, if you are a citizen of a NATO
country you should be alarmed, because the powers to be are planning
to get the NATO into major wars in the East. It would not be
surprising to see that US, Britain, or Israel demand the stationing
of NATO troops in Lebanon as the price for agreeing to a ceasefire.
They have already got NATO involved in Afghanistan, so Lebanon should
not be that difficult.
on July 31st, NATO forces officially took over the
Southern Afghan campaign. According to Forbes “about 8,000
mostly British, Canadian and Dutch troops have deployed in southern
Afghanistan as NATO's International Security Assistance Force expands
its presence from the more stable north and west of the country. The
mission is considered the most dangerous and challenging in the
Western alliance's 57-year history. It coincides with the deadliest
upsurge in fighting in Afghanistan since late 2001 that has killed
hundreds of people - mostly militants - since May” .
should perhaps remind you that Afghan war was America’s war
that later was forced on UN, and now it is turned into a NATO war.
Similarly, for quite some time, the US tried to turn the Iraq war
into a NATO war. As soon as the Iraq was invaded, the Neocons started
asking NATO to join in the fighting. In 2003 William Kristol and
others of the “Project for the New American Century”
issued their second invitation to NATO to enter Iraq. In their second
statement they wrote:
“We write in strong support of efforts by
Prime Minister Tony Blair to "get America and Europe working
again together as partners and not as rivals….
The most important transatlantic institution is
NATO, and the Alliance should assume a prominent role in post-war
Iraq. Given NATO's capabilities and expertise, it should become
integrally involved as soon as possible in the post-war effort. In
particular, NATO should actively support efforts to secure and
destroy all of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and
production facilities (a task that should unite the United States,
Canada and all European allies committed to peace and
non-proliferation), ensure peace and stability are maintained in
postwar Iraq, and assist in the rebuilding of Iraq's infrastructure
and the delivery of humanitarian relief” 
to cap it all, the US and friends are trying very hard to bring
Israel into NATO, thereby ensuring the NATO’s involvement in
all future wars.
“The 42nd Annual Conference about the
security policy was held in Munich between February 4-5, 2006. The
300 participants discussed about expanding NATO and the Iranian
crisis. Angela Merkel, Donald Rumsfeld, John McCain, Michèle
Alliot-Marie and Mijail Sakachvili succeeded each other at the
NATO expansion project to include the US allies
had been explicitly requested in a report submitted by the former
Spanish Prime Minister José-María Aznar, L’OTAN,
une alliance pour la liberté in which he talked about the
possibility of including not only Ukraine and Georgia, but also Japan
and Australia, and why not Israel. The Alliance would become then a
permanent coalition for the service of Good as defined by the White
since the decision to bring Israel into NATO is still controversial
and requires more PR, at the end of June 2006, they decided to
include Israel in the joint NATO exercises that took place in the
Black Sea. . Israelis were naturally very happy with the development.
They were getting closer to their dream of having not only US army on
their side, but all of the Europeans too.
“Lt.-Col. Ilan Lavi told the Jerusalem
Post," The excitement is great. We feel like we are making
history by becoming the first Israeli ship to participate in a NATO
exercise." Lavi explained that it was important that Israel
learns different operating systems, especially NATO's. "The idea
is to create a better dialogue between us and NATO," explained
José-María Aznar the ex-prime minister of Spain, in an
interview (Hard Talk, BBC) gave the impression that not only he
wanted Israel in NATO, but that it was NATO’s job to take care
now we run the risk of seeing NATO, the defensive organisation that
was created to defend its members against USSR, embarking on the war
of conquest orchestrated by US or Israel. The funny part about this
is that people do not seem to realise that it is they, through their
blood and taxes, that have to pay for the coming wars. US would love
nothing more to see others pay for the cost of war in Iraq.
Similarly, Israel would love nothing more to see German, Italian,
French, or Spanish soldiers getting killed in Lebanon, not to mention
paying for the war as well.
the US and Israel will try their best to get NATO troops involved in
Lebanon. Tomorrow, it will be Gaza, and the day after it will be Iran
and later Syria.
the same UN that could not pass a resolution to condemn Israel for
killing its unarmed observers passed a resolution, threatening Iran
with sanctions. Who will enforce these sanctions? And when the
sanctions don’t work, who is going to start bombing Iran? US
and… NATO. And before you know it Europeans are knee-deep in
blood, fighting in far away places, wondering how on earth they got
into this mess in the first place.
have already warned that we are in the middle of a cold war (read
Cold War II). If the Europeans are not careful, they will be dragged
into the WWIII. The current US administration and its backers have,
by their own admission, made many mistakes. Those mistakes have cost
the American people thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of
dollars, not to mention the unbelievable suffering of the Iraqis. We
are well advised to keep clear of the US-Israeli actions in the
Middle East, lest we also become partners in war crimes.
Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar
lives in Norway. He is a consultant and a contributing writer for
many online journals. He's a former associate professor of Nordland
University, Norway. Bakhtiarspaceemail@example.com
Abbas Bakhtiar, all rights reserved.
T. E. Lawrence, 'France, Britain, and the Arabs' by Col. T. E.
Lawrence, The Observer, 8 August 1920
No. 6,742, 8 August 1920,
contains 'France, Britain and the Arabs: the beam in our own eye:
the road to peace in Mesopotamia', by T. E. Lawrence (p. 10 col. 4).