Saturday, August 26, 2006

Chomsky on Lebanon

At an emergency Arab League meeting, most of the Arab states (apart from Algeria, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen) condemned Hezbollah. In doing so, they were willing to "openly defy public opinion," as the New York Times reported. They later had to back down, including Washington's oldest and most important ally in the region, Saudi Arabia: King Abdullah said that "if the peace option is rejected due to the Israeli arrogance, then only the war option remains, and no one knows the repercussions befalling the region, including wars and conflict that will spare no one, including those whose military power is now tempting them to play with fire." Most analysts assume -- plausibly I think -- that their primary concern is the growing influence of Iran, and the embarrassment caused by the fact that alone in the Arab world, Hezbollah has offered support for Palestinians under brutal attack in the occupied territories.

Interviewed by Nermeen Al Mufti

The only meaningful support for Palestinians facing national destruction is from Hezbollah. For this reason alone it follows that Hezbollah must be severely weakened or destroyed, just as the PLO had to be evicted from Lebanon in 1982. But Hezbollah is too deeply embedded within Lebanese society to be eradicated, so Lebanon too must be largely destroyed. An expected benefit for the US and Israel was to enhance the credibility of threats against Iran by eliminating a Lebanese-based deterrent to a possible attack. But none of this turned out as planned. Much as in Iraq, and elsewhere, Bush administration planners have created catastrophes, even for the interests they represent. That is the primary reason for the unprecedented criticism of the administration among the foreign policy elite, even before the invasion of Iraq.

On the US-Israeli Invasion of Lebanon

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