POWER AND POWERLESSNESS
Israel and Lebanon's Devastation
By Werner Pirker
[This article published in: Junge Welt, 7/31/2006 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.jungewelt.de/2006/07-31/040.php?print=1.]
South Beirut as living quarters for hundreds of thousands of Lebanese - the poorest sectors - no longer exists. The burning oil tankers of a Beirut electricity plant cause an environmental disaster of enormous proportions. More than a half million of the 4.5 million inhabitants wander aimlessly in circles trying to escape the inferno of destruction. The Israeli terror machine mows down all humanitarian limits set by the international law of war. UN posts are cleared away. Embarrassingly involved but totally paralyzed, the "international community" stares at the Middle East war events.
The UN experiences the hour of its deepest humiliation. The UN cannot even condemn attacks on itself. The veto power of the US does not allow Israel's condemnation. Conversely, no veto can hinder the US in enforcing its war goals. The UN bureaucracy that recognized the results of illegal wars not legitimated by the Security Council in Kosovo and Iraq by administering an illegal peace order stands before the scrap heap of its opportunistic policy today.
A resolute counter-position has not appeared although Israel's ruthless actions and its unconditional support by the US cause disgruntlement. Russia and China are far from adopting the cause of the Arab people and reactionary Arab regimes follow the massive Israeli attack on the "Arab street" in Lebanon with indifference. The EU cannot take a sovereign position regarding an immediate ceasefire different from the American position. Germany plays an inglorious key role. The CDU chancellor and the SPD foreign minister strive for moderation but make clear they completely share the Israeli war goals, crushing the - Shiite and non-Shiite - popular resistance in Lebanon and reorganizing the land into a protectorate ruled by Israel and NATO.
The German peace movement is also unable to free itself from its mental rigidity that regularly assails in Middle East questions. Except for anti-imperialist currents, the peace movement remains in the spell of the dogma that the "state of holocaust survivors" has to fight for its survival. Thus the movement is incapable of an unconditional position against the war- and oppression policy.