[Marxism] Annan call for immediate cease-fire reflects Israel failure to defeat Hezbollah

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Thu Jul 20 15:12:15 MDT 2006


Annan's statement may indicate that Rice and the State Department
professionals may be deciding that Israel has had enough time and shows
no sign of breaking Hezbollah.  On the contrary, as far as we can tell. 

On this see
William S. Lind
Why Hezbollah is Winning
www.counterpunch.org

Annan's position shows the weakness and vulnerability of the stance
taken by UFPJ whose demands, not including justice for the people of
Lebanon and Palestine, and not acknowledging Washington's responsibility
for Israel's course, can be taken as a "curse on both houses"
(especially, as always, the weaker, less heavily armed, more oppressed
house of the Arabs and Palestinians).  (Steffie Brooks pointed to the
problems in a prior post.)

Nonetheless  the continuing war calls for continued public visible
opposition efforts in this country, including tomorrow's 4pm UFPJ
protest at the US mission to the UN..  Such protests are not only useful
in themselves, but will open opportunities for speakers and demands that
go beyond the UFPJ stance which SEEMS identical with Annan's variation
on US imperialist policy.

For Israel the problem is becoming difficult -- threatening to reveal
the limits of their military power (both in the hesitancy to carry the
costs of a large-scale ground invasion and in the fact that Israeli
territory has proven highly vulnerable to Hezbollah rockets.  This
raises further questions about what the consequences would be for the US
and Israel of an attack on Iran or/and Syria, where the weapons
presumably come from.  Not extremely promising.

Israel has to be truculent in response to the wind shifting slightly
against them.  There customary posture is to continue to refuse to halt
until Washington hints that it might pinch the supply line just a tad.
Then they halt until the next opportunity to attack and expand comes
along.



Aljazeera.net
Annan calls for Lebanon ceasefire
by
Thursday 20 July 2006 12:31 PM GMT

Israel is attacking Hezbollah sites in the south of Lebanon

Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary general, has called for an
immediate ceasefire between Israeli and Hezbollah, criticising both
sides for the conflict that has left more than 300 people dead.

Annan urged Israel and Hezbollah to stop the violence and "prevent
further loss of innocent life and the infliction of further suffering."

He condemned Hezbollah for their actions that "hold an entire nation
hostage" and called Israel's response "excessive."

But Israel's UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman told reporters after Annan's
speech that there would be no ceasefire.

"We will do whatever is necessary," he said. "We have no timeline.

"The first thing that must be addressed is cessation of terror before we
even talk about cessation of hostilities."

Truce demands

Annan also urged the UN security council to take "firm action" to ensure
peace and stability in the region.

The UN secretary-general met the 15-member council on Thursday to
discuss how to bring a quick end to the fighting, which began when two
Israeli soldiers were captured by Hezbollah fighters in a cross-border
raid last month. 

Security council nations Russia and France - along with the European
Union - have also demanded a truce.

"We are calling, as a first step, for the immediate declaration of a
ceasefire," Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, told Kommersant
newspaper on Thursday.

Russia criticised Israel's actions saying they went "far beyond the
bounds of an anti-terrorist operation."

French proposals

France has been circulating proposals at the UN aimed at forging a
binding resolution on the conflict.

"We think a truce is needed for humanitarian reasons," Jean-Marc de La
Sabliere, the French ambassador and council president for July, said.

France also made it clear that its saw the key to resolving the conflict
being security council resolution 1559, which calls for Hezbollah to be
disbanded and disarmed and the Lebanese government to take control of
its territory.

Annan called for an international conference to develop "precise
timelines" for implementation of the resolution and other measures.

The United States has blamed Hezbollah for the violence and opposed
calls for the United Nations security council to push for a halt to the
fighting.
  
US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice intends to travel to the Middle
East next week to try to find a political solution to the situation, her
spokesman said on Thursday.

The US says it is pushing for a long-term solution that would disarm
Lebanon's Hezbollah fighters.

The European Union has pledged 10 million euros ($12.6 million) to help
civilian victims of the violence.

Annan criticised Hezbollah and
Israel over the violence
Matti Vanhanen, the prime minister of Finland which holds the rotating
EU presidency, urged Israeli troops and Hezbollah guerillas to stop the
violence.

"The EU stands ready to help. A strong international presence in
southern Lebanon, approved by the (UN) security council, may be needed,"
Vanhanen said. "However, all parties to the conflict must first commit
to a ceasefire."

Israeli troops met fierce resistance when they crossed into Lebanon on
Thursday to destroy Hezbollah positions and search for weapons.

An Aljazeera correspondent said four Israeli soldiers had been killed
and three wounded in the fighting. Israeli media reported eight soldiers
had been wounded.

An Israeli military source said one Hezbollah fighter had died.

The source said the firefight took place near the northern Israeli
village of Avivim, near the place where Hezbollah guerrillas killed two
soldiers and wounded nine on Wednesday.
   
Earlier on Thursday three soldiers were wounded, two seriously, in
clashes in the area. The army said two Hezbollah fighters were killed in
that clash.

Israeli offensive

Israel's army chief said the offensive would not end until Israel's
security was restored and pledged to destroy Hezbollah's arsenal and
military capabilities.

"The fighting in the north ... could last much longer, Lieutenant
General Dan Halutz, the army's chief of staff, said in a letter to
soldiers and officers.
   
More than 300 people have been killed by Israeli air strikes in Lebanon
over the past nine days, while Hezbollah rockets have caused the death
of 15 civilians in northern Israel.

The number of Katyusha rockets fired into northern Israel from Lebanon
on Thursday was fewer than in previous days, police said.

26 rockets have landed on Israeli territory - four times fewer than the
average of previous days.

Former Malaysian deputy prime minister and democracy campaigner Anwar
Ibrahim said Israel's bombardment of Lebanon could enrage moderate
Muslims across the world and encourage extremism.

Anwar said anger was spreading among Muslims, including moderates and
supporters of Israel's right to exist.
   
"It is not only confined to the Middle East. You can sense the rage
throughout the world," Anwar told reporters in Canberra.

He said it was important for Muslim leaders and western nations to take
a strong stand on the current crisis and to be unbiased with their
criticism.

Aljazeera + Agencies
By 

You can find this article at:
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/609D9657-E857-4015-9A48-1AFA2E628
901.htm





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