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Rice’s Middle East tour: “Diplomacy” in furtherance of war
One day before US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was due to arrive in Tel Aviv to discuss the conflict in Lebanon and Gaza, the New York Times reported that the Bush administration was rushing through a delivery of satellite- and laser-guided bombs requested by Israel. The move epitomises the reality of Washington’s “diplomacy”—throwing American power behind its Israeli client state in furtherance of plans to secure its own hegemony over the Middle East by force of arms.
According to the Times, the Israeli request was made “around the time” Israel began pounding Lebanon by air and sea on July 12. The pro-Israeli newspaper does not say whether this was before or after hostilities officially began because it wishes to maintain the pretence that the war launched by Israel was a defensive operation in response to the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah.
Speaking of the Times report on the expedited US arms shipment to Israel, a US State Department official said: “We are not making any comment on this at all.”
No comment is needed. The arms shipment is further evidence that Israel is acting on behalf of and in direct consultation with Washington in its attack on the Palestinian Authority and Lebanon.
Tel Aviv requested the weapons under a $1 billion arms package approved in 2005 that authorises Israel to purchase as many as 100 GBU-28s—the 2,268 kilogram laser-guided “bunker-buster” bombs. No one knows how many are being shipped, but some analysts have pointed out that it indicates the bombardment of Lebanon will continue for some time. It is by no means certain, moreover, that Lebanon will be the only target.