Inside a Lebanese mind
If Bush is deterring Syria and passing 1559 indirectly through the Arabic support of the Sanioura’s 7-point plan, while giving Israel its exit strategy, why did Israel refuse?
HA said they will disarm and that they support the Lebanese government, Nasrallah said directly, and indirectly through Berri, that he supports the deployment of the Lebanese army to the south and the presence of UNIFIL, what does Israel still want?
Why did Chirack support the original French/American UN resolution plan?
Why is Iran not allowing its people to join the ranks of HA in Lebanon?
What does Syria want?
Chirack expressed his frustration at Syria lately. Syria wants to be back in the international community. The regime in Syria after Assad the father is basically an Iranian regime and is very reminiscent of the Syrian control over Lebanon. The US has been stalling. The goal is to isolate Syria from Iran by weakening HA in Lebanon and showing Syria that it won’t gain pressure on Israel and the USA through its HA card and it’s basically just using Israel to pressure Syria by destroying its card. Bush recently encouraged Olmert to hit “terrorist cells” in Syria and I think this was only a strategy to scare Syria. Meanwhile Olmert asks Washington to talk to Syria and Bush refuses. Syria wants to be talked to and Bush still refuses. Why is the whole region being dragged into a war you might ask? Bush wants chaos in Lebanon and in Syria, created through Israel, while weakening the resistance, just to get its troops in to “keep the peace”. Why did i say Syria so many times. Right now i tend to think it's all about that. The Iran/USA war might come down to cold war while using Syria as a pressure point and Lebanon merely as a battlefield (of course). While Israel HA is being used as a bait.
Very interesting update that might answer all questions:
A disagreement between Washington and Israel about the Shebaa farms. While the Israeli ambassador to the UN (the devil) stated that the Shebaa farms are outside of this present conflict and that basically Israel does not want to give it back, Washington is pushing for the Shebaa farm to be given to the UN and to be temporarily under UNIFIL control.
I just heard this today and it was just the expected move to support the theory below:
What’s the war in Lebanon about you might ask?
This is one theory:
THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN THE WASHINGTON POST.
The war on Lebanon of July 2006 presents a much-awaited opportunity for The United States to place a 'robust enough' force in southern Lebanon along the Tapline route connecting Saudi Arabia and Iraq's oilfields to the Mediterranean. In this way the US secures a vital route and preparesthe ground for Syrian-Israeli talks.
US goals in Lebanon:
In Lebanon, the US is intent on securing the vital -- and only -- pipeline route that connects the Saudi and Iraqi oil fields to the Mediterranean, and onto the lucrative European market as part of a longstanding strategy to beat Russian energy sales to the EU.
On its way to the Mediterranean refineries of Zahrani south of Sidon, Tapline crosses through the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights and into the heartland of the Lebanese south. To ensure the safe passage of oil through Tapline, the US seeks to bring regional stability by coercing Israel and Syria to resolve the Golan dispute and solve the border and resource disputes between Lebanon, Israel, and Syria. The current war seems to be a step in that direction.
Following several years of pressure on both Israel and Syria, including stripping Syria of its influence on the Lebanese government while simultaneously exposing the role of the Israeli lobby in determining US foreign policy, there remain three issues before the negotiations can resume on US terms:
First, the US needs a pretext to place troops in southern Lebanon -- and eventually the Golan - to secure the route. Israel has adamantly resistedthis option for years, sometimes even mobilizing its domestic partners in the US to oppose such moves.
Second, the US needs to stabilize the route by adjusting the power balance by weakening Hizballah's military capability so that the US-backed Lebanese army could control all of the country including the areas controlled currently by Hizballah.
Third, the US needs to ensure that its presence in the area is accepted - if not called for -- by all the parties involved. From the Lebanon side, for years US funded NGOs have been active in the south, in what seems to be a prescient sense of positioning of US 'public diplomacy' with the local population. (Today, the multinational force of about 7,000 will be dominated by NATO forces, including Turkish troops, with token contingents from Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia and Russia. The actual US role today seems to be limited, but it might change during the course of the resolution. The main base will be near the port of Sidon, and another logistical base may be established near Tripoli). From the Israeli side, preventing Hizballah rocket fire will be the primary role of the US-led force and will be tolerated only if it appears 'robust enough' to do so.
So what is the US strategy?
1- Encourage Israel to destroy Hizballah's fighting capability.
2- Hope that the escalation in fighting will result in a serious and credible threat from Hizballah to Israel that Israel cannot solve on its own.
3- Make sure there are US partners both in Lebanon and Israel that support US presence on the border zone (Siniora and Peres).
4- Sell the idea of multinational troops that are more effective than UNIFIL troops as the only alternative to a continuous war.
5- Ensure that Syria is not alienated, and perhaps engaged, so that it can negotiate Golan with an exhausted, dependent Israel.
Why is the US silent on Lebanese infrastructure destruction?
1- It needs to give Israel space and time (3 weeks seems to be the pre-war agreement) to complete the task--at the risk of being complicit in the war crimes against Lebanon, more blatantly than in Kosovo.
2- It foresees that its presence in Lebanon will bring it the lion's share of lucrative contracts to rebuild, following the same logic used in Panama,Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
3- It might have been the price Israel demanded for Israel to accept the multinational force. The logic is that since Lebanon is going to become a US 'affiliate', in preparation for a peaceful agreement, the economic war is about to begin. 'Setting back Lebanon 20 years', the stated goal of the IDF before the attacks, fits the convoluted logic of giving Israel a 'head start'.
4- Targeting civilian infrastructure brings unity to the Lebanese polity, something that serves the US intention of stabilizing the country in the aftermath, marked by Washington's insistence that Sinioria's democracy is not weakened.
5- Escalating the war and widening the target base increases Hizballah's response against Israel, prompting its people to call for an end to the war.
The precedents for this approach of using a simmering conflict as a pretext to bring in the troops are several. Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Panama's invasion, and the establishment of bases in Macedonia during the Kosovo crisis are all examples of the US exploiting a local conflict to provide a pretext for the US to intervene militarily. The strategic goal is the securing of the transportation and marketing routes of energy from Saudi Arabia to the European market.
The conflict exploited is the Hizballah-Israel simmering confrontation."
Have you seen Syriana?
And to clear up the Kosovo example read here.
Meanwhile in Lebanon:
After the Lebanese Civil War ended in 1991, the infrastructure, in fact the wholecountry, was in ruins. Cities and towns needed rebuilding, millions of Lebaneserefugees were displaced throughout the country, Government institutions, those thatsurvived destruction, were totally dysfunctional. Between 1991 and July 11th 2006,Lebanon and its people paid very dearly, in cash and in sweat, towards therebuilding of their country. That came at a cost: $45 billion in foreign debt--a lotwhen you think the population of Lebanon is only 3.75 million. What was morecolossal, however, was the rebuilding of Lebanon's image as a beautiful country(which it very much is), safe for tourists and attractive to foreign investment.Lebanon's economy is a "trust economy"--the country's image is a vital stimulant andcatalyst for Lebanon's economic stability and growth.
In the past 29 days, the following has happened:
a.. Total direct damages in Lebanon is estimated at $6 billion, of which $1.2 Billion is in infrastructure. The consequential and indirect damages are incalculable.
b.. The Union of Engineers estimates that there are 440,000m2 (109 acres) worth of rebuilding in the South alone.
c.. There are over 7,000 buildings -- not homes, buildings-- that have been totally destroyed.
d.. Over 100 bridges have been destroyed, most of them essential for linking villages, major town, and cities together.
e.. For those of you who live in, close to, or commute daily to large cities, think of what would happen if the main highway artery into the city was taken out.Think of the colossal traffic. Think of the stress. The Israeli destruction of Ghazir, Casino, Halat, and Madfoun bridges did just that, cutting off hundreds of thousands of Lebanese in the Kiserwan and Jbeil provinces from entering Beirut.The only alternative now is to use local roads and village streets to make the crossing.
f.. Villages in Southern Lebanon are completely cut out: there are no roads leading into the villages, there is no electricity, and many of the mobile and telephone lines have been brought down. The President of International Red Cross, upon visiting a number of Southern villages a few days ago, declared that the South of Lebanon is nearing a humanitarian disaster. To note that, the second largest Red Cross operation in the world today is in South Lebanon, Darfur, Sudan being the first.
a.. +1000 killed, 30% of whom are children under the age of 12, +3000 injured.
b.. Over 900,000 refugees, over 60% of them no longer have homes.
c.. Over 220,000 Lebanese (5.9% of the population) have already left the country with a wave of mass-immigration expected to take place with the opening of Beirut International Airport
The lebanese shore has 3cm of black thick crust onit of fuel and dead fish and according to the bioecologist will need 10 years to beclean again.
Beirut has a black cloud one can see from some altitude and people who live in it inhale gunpowder mixed with CO. This is not mentioning the accumulating garbage.
Industry & Economy (Source: Minister Gemayel, ex-President, Association of Lebanese Industrialists, Jacques Sarraf on political talk show Bikoull Jour'a)
a.. 60% of the expected $4.4 Billion tourism dollars for 2006 are lost, and withit the potential revenue of years to come.
b.. Half of the expected 1.6 million tourists (an influx of 42% of Lebanon's population) are long forgotten
c.. 17,000 businesses, between pubs, bars, and restaurants, have shut down
d.. 165,000 summer-time jobs are lost
e.. There are between 25 - 30 major industrial/manufacturing companies that havebeen destroyed
f.. Of the major manufacturing companies destroyed, four of them are joint-ventures with direct foreign investors--this marks a terrible blow in investor confidence
g.. About 90 small to medium size industrial/manufacturing companies have been destroyed
h.. LibanLait, one of Lebanon's leading dairy and dairy products producer whose facility is said to top the standards and technology available in similar European plants, has been completely destroyed.
i.. Total industry/manufacturing direct damages estimated at $190,000,000
j.. Officials estimate Lebanon needs $10 Billion to effectively cover damages and start its recovery process
k.. The country has passed its critical fuel reserves.
a.. Hospitals are running out fuel, including the American University Hospital (AUH) in Beirut, the country's number one hospital and one of its largest. No fuel means no electricity. No electricity means a disaster to thousands of patients whose life is dependent on the running of certain medical equipment, from kidney dialyses to life-support. Fuel ships stand a few nautical miles from the Lebanese ports but won't enter until Israel guarantees they will not be targeted. That guarantee has been systematically denied by Israel on the basis that some of that fuel might go to Hizbollah. Israel has even rejected plans to have international monitoring groups that will ensure the fuel goes only to hospitals.
b.. The siege is also preventing much needed medication to enter the country. Ofthe many hospital inventories that have almost run out, perhaps the most tragicand touching is that of St. Judes Children Cancer Hospital.
c.. Pharmacies have raised the alarm of not only depleting stocks but a surge in sales of stress-relief medication.
a.. Officials are not even speculating as to when schools will re-open. For one, many of these schools now house thousands of refugees. Second, many of the principle roads are no longer accessible preventing a large mass of students from practically making it to school.
b.. Universities are closed until further notice.
c.. When schools and universities do open, the magnitude of change on students and parents, and the emotional, psychological, and practical consequences of that, is going to be very severe.