[Marxism] What's Happening in Lebanon

Pieinsky pieinsky at igc.org
Fri Jul 14 04:53:08 MDT 2006

FYI, this is a translation by M. Abu Nasr of an editorial in the 
left-leaning, patriotic Lebanese paper as-Safir, written by their editor 
emeritus Talal Salman.  Abu Nasr says he thinks this gives a good overview 
of what it's all about in Lebanon.


What they want is the head of the resistance movement.

By Talal Salman.

As-Safir, Beirut, Friday, 14 July 2006.

It's war again.  As in the past, it's an Israeli war
in terms of the men and materiel; a joint
Israeli-American war in terms of its declared and
implied political aims.  We must prepare for a long,
bitter, and costly confrontation because the first aim
of the war is to change the rules of the game -
radically - in Lebanon for starters, then in its
neighbor Palestine, then in the "rogue state" Syria
and "rebellious" Iran.

Nothing but an excuse is the claim that this is a
response to the successful capture by Hizballah
fighters of two Israeli soldiers (with the aim of
securing the release of Lebanese prisoners who have
languished in Israeli jails for decades).  The real
reason for the war is the presence of the resistance,
and then its influential role, not only on Lebanese
politics, but on the Arab level in general and the
Palestinian level in particular.

The waves of this resistance have reached out to Iraq
under the American occupation, where the blood of its
martyrs spelled out the invaluable lesson that only
with unity could liberation be achieved.  With
sectarian strife comes only partition and
fragmentation until the homeland disappears.

The aim of this war is to "liberate" Lebanon from the
"resistance" which crossed borders and thereby
provided the excuse for the American-Israeli plan to
be carried out in its entirety, by resorting to the
implementation of UN Resolution 1559 and by pressure
to implement it to the letter - that is to say, to
treat the resistance as if it were some armed militia
that must be disarmed . . . as a necessary first step
to pushing it back from the borders, beyond the range
of its missiles, and then handing over the task of
guarding the "blue line" border to Lebanese government
forces aided by international troops.

The American President George Bush was as clear as
could be when he said he wanted to rescue the Siniora
government and the Lebanese "democracy" that he
regards as a personal accomplishment and support it so
that it can regain control of affairs in Lebanon.  And
in order for this American goal to be achieved, the
resistance must fold its banners and withdraw from its
land (Israel has already specified that it should be
pushed 20km away from the borders) leaving the
sovereignty, independence, and unity of Lebanon in the
protective care of Resolution 1559 and the Israeli
Defense Forces - who are so well known for their total
commitment to and meticulous observance of all United
Nations resolutions.

This is why the Israelis, and then the Americans, have
emphasized what they call the responsibility of the
Lebanese government for this "war" and the need for
Lebanon to take matters in hand.  In other words, they
want to put the Lebanese government in the position of
confronting the resistance and thereby transform the
war into a civil conflict.

To make this easy for the Lebanese government, the
Israeli army, with its air force, navy, and long-range
artillery, have imposed a blockade on Lebanon, on the
land, sea, and in the air.  They shut down Beirut
airport and the other old airstrips in Riyaq,
al-Qali'at, and Marfa'ah.  They systematically
destroyed the communications network between Beirut
and the southern border, blowing up bridges and
launching deadly raids at numerous towns and villages
that they regard as "rear bases" of the resistance.

So, it's war, with all its agonies, human and cultural
losses, with all its heavy costs (including the
departure of the tourists and vacationers back to
where they came from).

And then there is that new Israeli government headed
by a "civilian" who needs to prove himself able to
deliver victories.  The opportunity for which he has
been looking has now arrived whereby he can prove
himself worthy of his lofty position and show that he
is no less capable than those generals who preceded
him, all of whom had built their glories on crushing
"enemies" in Palestine and around it.

The aim is a joint American-Israeli one.  And the war
is a joint American-Israeli one.  What they want is
the head of the resistance movement, that successful
example of the ability to win, that beacon whose rays
reached all four corners of the Arab land, and even
beyond to the neighboring areas, most of which are
Islamic and are also looking for their way into the

Experience has shown that not everything which Israel
and Washington decree in the end succeeds.  It was
Lebanon alone that provided the example in this
context by means of its steadfastness and ability to
achieve liberation and expel an occupation.

But the condition for success is to forge national
unity and a cohesive leadership, one whose existence
is dependent on the ability of the resistance to
achieve liberation.

It's war.  The enemy has imposed it.  But the
potential for steadfastness is present.  The
resistance is there, confronting the enemy with the
efficiency that we have come to trust.  So, steady on.


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