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The New York Times and the war in Lebanon: A cynical defense of US-Israeli war crimes
In an editorial published Friday, the New York Times weighs in as the liberal voice of American imperialism on the US-backed Israeli war against Lebanon.
Under the headline “More Than a Cease-Fire Needed,” the Times repeats the propaganda line of Washington and Jerusalem that Israel is the victim and Hezbollah the aggressor. It lines up with the US and Israel in opposing demands that Israel halt its bombing campaign—an assault so flagrantly in breach of international law and so nakedly directed against civilians that Louise Arbour, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, was moved to declare on Wednesday that those “in a position of command and control” could be held personally responsible for war crimes.
The editorial begins by declaring that the “international community” needs to “step in and guarantee the security of Israel and Lebanon.”
Behind the demand for “the security of Israel” lies a web of unstated premises and assumptions that the Times has no interest in illuminating. As the nearly 60-year history of the Zionist state has demonstrated, Israel proceeds from the premise that its security depends on the prostration of every other state in the Middle East, along with the violent suppression the Palestinians and their permanent status as a stateless and dispersed people.
As the historical record further shows, Israeli security and genuine Lebanese security stand in irreconcilable opposition to one another. The drive by Israel, over the course of decades, to undermine Lebanese sovereignty, either by means of political subversion or military aggression, makes it clear that the only type of “security” Lebanon will be allowed is one that assures that its foreign and domestic policies are aligned with those of Israel.
What, according to the Times, is needed to establish security? “That will require not only a cease-fire and peacekeepers but also a guarantee that Hezbollah will be forced to halt its attacks on Israel permanently and disband its militia.”
In other words, international pressure must be brought to bear to secure Israel’s war aims. The disarming and political destruction of Hezbollah, a mass nationalist movement supported by the bulk of Lebanon’s impoverished Shiite population, means the liquidation of all popular resistance to Israeli domination of Lebanon, as well as to the Zionist state’s repression of the Palestinians.