Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The US to practise the art of diplomacy

The English weekly Observer in a notably compact editorial (August 21, 2006) deals with the dilemmas of American power-politics because its closest ally Israel, despite its overwhelming military power and destructive aerial bombs, failed to annihilate the opponents of Israeli expansionism and aggression. It also rightly points to the limits of military power of America and Israel. Their coordinated plan and preparations to crush Hezbollah that could have immediately set the stage for invading Syria and Iran did not go according to the grand imperial strategy. At least, for the present moment, events took an unexpected turn, and this 'failure' sends an alarming signal to others, both friends and foes, that America and Israel are not absolutely invincible. America was defeated by Vietnamese and now Israel has been defeated for the first time since its inception. It is apparent that Israel has managed to destroy the infrastructure of Lebanon and inflicted unmentionable misery on its population for 34 days and nights by aerial bombardment and guns. So in a limited way Israel has succeeded to destroy as much as possible, but it failed to walk over Lebanon as victor. The reason is simple: The resistance movement, Hezbollah, fought back. Who would have believed this happening even in their wildest dreams in Tel Aviv, Washington or London? But the fact remains that the heroic people of Lebanon have written a new chapter in the history of the twenty-first century with their blood and determination by making a stand against the mightiest powers.

Being aware of the humbling of the Bush administration that thwarted all calls and efforts for an immediate ceasefire by the UN secretary general and other world leaders because Washington wanted to give more time to Israelis to wreak havoc in Lebanon and to facilitate the 'divine mission' supplied more missiles and more cluster bombs for use on the civilian population, the paper notes that 'this could not win the hearts and minds of the civilians caught in the crossfire'. It sounds as if Israeli and (and American) leaders were concerned to win the hearts and minds of the Lebanese by unleashing this blitzkrieg. Surely it must be an understatement! In the like vein, we may ask the editor: When German pilots were targeting London during the Second World War, were they instructed by Herr Hitler to win the hearts and minds of their English blood-brothers? Perhaps the English may have been lured into believing that what they were receiving were only chocolates, which auntie Bertha from Germany had prepared for her English nephews and nieces!

The paper exhorts America to practise the art of diplomacy now. Who will not agree with such an enlightened perspective? At the same time, I am quite certain that the learned editor knows fully well that American diplomacy has never taken a back-seat; it works in unison with the military-industrial complex and their periodic wars, especially against the weak and vulnerable countries with the aim of controlling their political developments or their resources, or both. Have we not seen how secretary of state Ms Rice standing along Mr Olmert told the world that they were 'creating a new Middle East,' and it was at a time missiles and cluster bombs were raining on Lebanese civilian population and the country was being torn to bits, and American top diplomat and her boss wanted the aggression to continue.

I admit that Observer does not support American and Israeli aggression and their crimes against humanity. But it needs to redefine its role in combating the threat and dangers we face at the hands of the one-eyed giant who of late has become totally blind. There are far too many problems in the world and their solution cannot be found by predatory wars, imperial diplomacy, land-grab, plunder or by false propaganda. Neither can Eurocentric approach to global issues lead us anywhere. We need to emphasise the community of interests which unites humankind, and the way towards lies through peace and respect for all, including the weak.