Israel – Lebanon War and related problems faced by the American community sample essay
Introduction At the time of cold war, democratic world was, virtually, confronted by only one threat, coming from communist regime of the Soviet Union. This foe, though being dangerous, was quite predictable and civilized to certain extent. After the cold war seized it seemed that world would finally find global peace and mutual consent. However, things turned different and such hopes vanished into a thin air. The world community faced new, formerly unwitnessed, threats related to religious, national, and ethnic intolerance.
Commonly accepted, though ultimately mistaken, is the belief that the fighting against these threats must be narrowed down to the war against a particular enemy, world terrorism. Comparing the old and new world (time before and after the cold war) it must be noted that confrontation between democratic world and the Soviet Union was based on certain rules, preventing the world from the global conflict. Confrontation with a new enemy has no rules at all.
It turns out that to settle a conflict of a new type is more difficult than it used to be, partially because of the reason that sometimes it is, practically, impossible to detect a real initiator of a conflict. All participators of a conflict are guilty. Besides, among the other significant reasons is the great number of conflicting parties and, as a consequence, there is a highly complicated interlacement of interests. To protect interests of one party without neglecting the interests of another one is almost an unattainable aim.
The bright example of the conflict of new type is a currently continuing war between Israel and Lebanon. This war affects the events all over the world and American community in particular. Israel – Lebanon war raises an array of problems that need to be solved by the world leaders as soon as possible. Short Historical Background It is reported that “on 12 July 2006 Hezbollah initiated Operation Truthful Promise named for a “promise” by its leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah to capture Israeli soldiers and swap them for the remaining three Lebanese held by Israel.
The early morning raid into Israeli territory resulted in eight Israeli soldiers killed and two captured. Israel then responded with Operation Just Reward later renamed Operation Change of Direction. Israel’s retaliatory strike has thus far encompassed bombing raids by the Israeli Air Force (IAF), an air and Israeli Sea Corps naval blockade of Lebanon (especially southern Lebanon and Beirut), “a force of tanks and armored personnel carriers”, and some small raids into southern Lebanon by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) ground troops.
Hezbollah has concurrently engaged in extensive rocket attacks on Israel’s northern cities, including Haifa. However, the Lebanese government has constantly disavowed Hezbollah’s actions and refused to condone them, while urgently calling for international peacemakers to end the conflict. ” (Wikipedia) This short passage gives a clear and overall picture of the background of current situation in Middle East. It must be noted that Hezbollah operations on Israeli soldiers capture was preceded by Israel occupation of the west bank of the Jordan River and Gaza Strip.
This occupation was in its turn preceded by “Hamas raid into Israel and capture of an Israeli soldier” (CNN. com) This bundle of events can be untwined to infinity. Analysis of events and their projection at US Foreign Policy The world community acknowledges that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization which directs its actions against Israeli state. Respectively, no one denies Israel’s right to protect itself and its citizens as well as no one rejects Israel’s demand to disarm or destroy this organization.
However, Hezbollah located its military camps on the territory of sovereign state of Lebanon, the government of which is, virtually, incapable to control the activity of this organization. Now the issue of Israel self-defense arises from a different perspective: is Israel authorized to conduct military actions against terrorist organization on the territory of a sovereign country? And if initially most countries justified Israel’s actions, civilian casualties made the world be divided basing on its reaction to the Middle East conflict. As it is stated in the article at CNN.
com “leaders in Europe and the Middle East see the attacks against Lebanon as disproportionate” and this statement provokes a new question: at what exactly moment these attacks became “disproportionate” and Israel self-defence transformed into aggression? When ten civilians were killed or twenty? This question is not a simple one as it raises the global problem of the right to resort to weapon against certain country. It is directly related to the American community and to get into the root of the matter it would be useful to have recourse to the investigation of the question of the legality of the USA invasion into Iraq.
Speaking about military invasion legality, as Crahan states, “… the answer may seem obvious: the U. N. is the world’s premier political body, its Charter requires Security Council authorization for the use of force […]”. (Crahan et al. , p. 135) No one can disagree with this statement. The situation in which the force can be applied is also obvious: there should be continuous failure to execute resolutions, carried by UN Security Council, or their systematic violation.
In particular, what concerns Iraq, there was an array of resolutions carried, which Iraq refused to execute. But it is necessary to clarify was it solely Iraq’s fault? As Crahan further continues “…the world body had failed in all those years to attain the goals that the President was seeking, in large part because the Council was bitterly and chronically divided on the critical question of how — sometimes even on whether — to enforce its numerous resolutions on Iraq. ” (Crahan et al., 135)
Thus it follows that the Council, while carrying its resolutions, even if under the pressure from U. S. side, itself resists their execution. Here the EC countries and Russia are to be fully reproached. No country in the world would execute any resolutions in such circumstances. However, when it came to the point when acts of force were very likely, Iraq, nevertheless, began to execute U. N. Security Council resolutions. But this time the USA and allies decided to launch the invasion with complete neglect to international law .
Such total neglect to the Council resolutions, even by its permanent members, caused the situation where UN Council turned into a fake organization, unable to solve global conflicts. Now it is time to return to the case with Israel-Lebanon war, which is more complicated. It should be noted that this war is, virtually, the war of radical Arabs against Israeli country where, unfortunately, peaceful civilians have to suffer. The UN Security Council has passed corresponding resolutions against both enemy parties – Hezbollah organization and Israel.
It must be observed that UN Security Council also passed the resolution concerning Hezbollah in 2004 , however, two years passed and it still was not applied either. Failure to fulfill this requirement was a formal ground for Israel to attack the territory of Lebanon. Moreover, the Security Cabinet of Israel “agreed Israel will not give up its demand for Lebanon to implement U. N. resolution 1559, which calls for the disarmament of Hezbollah and any other militias, and the deployment of the Lebanese army in south Lebanon”.
(www. gopusa. com) However, scrutinizing this war in the context of the Arabs’ war against Israel, one should notice, that Israel made it its principle to violate UN resolutions as related to its enemies. It is necessary to mention the resolutions, the ground of which is the principle of “land for peace” (See resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and 1515(2003) at Global Policy Forum, July 13 2006). Also it must be noted that Hezbollah movement is supported by Syria and Iran.
Syria regards Israel as enemy country due to the Israel’s occupation of Golan Heights, territory of Syria. The cessation of occupation of these territories, according to the “land for peace” resolution, would stop Syria’s support of Hezbollah. Important in that confrontation is the position of the USA. One should mention Council resolution, vetoed by US, which was forwarded by Qatar as of July 13 2006. Some excerpts from this resolution are relevant here:
“The Security Council, Reaffirming all its relevant resolutions, in particular, 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and 1515(2003),… Condemning military assault being carried out by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Gaza Strip, which has caused the killing and injury of dozens of Palestinian civilians, and the destruction of Palestinian property and civilian infrastructure, notably Gaza’s main power station, and condemning also the detention of democratically elected Palestinian and other officials, Condemning also the firing of rockets from Gaza into.
Israel and the abduction of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian armed groups from Gaza, and the recent abduction and killing of an Israeli civilian in the West Bank, … Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldier;… Calls upon the Palestinian Authority to take immediate and sustained action to bring an end to violence, including the firing of rockets on Israeli territory;…” (Global Policy Forum, July 13 2006) What exactly in this resolution was unacceptable for Bush’s administration that induced it to veto the given resolution?
Was not it the fact that the resolution one more time reminded of systematic UN Council resolutions violation by Israel? Was not it a demonstration of double standards? The idea on this issue is clearly expressed in the article The Economist “Israel ignores the United Nations and has weapons of mass destruction. So why all the fuss about Iraq? Soon after invading Kuwait in 1990, Saddam Hussein realized that he had made a mistake. […] But as the world debates the merits of another American-led war against Mr. Hussein, the idea has returned in a new form. Israel has violated countless UN resolutions and amassed weapons of mass destruction, say those who oppose this war.
Why then is Iraq singled out for yet more punishment while the Israelis get off scot-free? ” (www. economist. com, 2002). These question remains without answer. The analogy can be drawn between the case with Hezbollah and Israel and the behavior of a host as regards a thief. If a thief (Hezbollah) breaks into someone’s house (Israel) so what shall a host do? He should call police! (in case with Israel – appeal to the UN Security Council). And what does the host do? He starts striking with his axe destroying everything on his way, including innocent neighbours. But as it turns out the host is himself on the wanted list for countless crimes (resolutions violation).
What is then in this situation a host, victim or criminal? And who is to be protected by police (by the USA)? Exactly such inconsistency between the crime and punishment, elevation of one party and humiliation of another, provokes the Muslim world to hate the U. S. policy. Israel’s actions are treated by Arab countries as a challenge to the whole Muslim world. The USA and its citizens began to be looked at as Israel’s supporters who can disregard and manipulate international law leaning on their military and economic might. For a common American citizen this is a terrible situation. In any place of the world he or she becomes an object of hatred.
US government’s attempt to protect its people in military manner (in Iraq) and ignoring Israel’s aggression created the situation when neither in Europe nor even at home the Americans can feel safe (9/11 events). In other words, military methods, unapproved by world community, in fact, helped to solve Iraq or Hezbollah problems but immediately generated many other problems. But will Israel attain its aim (peace and remove the threat) when civilians die? Most probably it will not, while killed Hezbollah militants will be replaced by others those, who formerly were peaceful civilians but began to hate Israel because of bombings and there will be the same old story again.
The way out from this predicament is to defend not only the interests of own nation and citizens but stand upon the values common to all mankind. Thus Israel defends its citizens by bombing Lebanon but it does not care for dying civilians what leads to conflict escalation . Like Israel, other countries are not governed by human values too. Thus BBC reporting on the evacuation of civilians from Lebanon states: “A British warship has dropped off 180 UK citizens in Cyprus, and is returning to Beirut to pick up more people, A Norwegian ferry has taken hundreds of Norwegians, Swedes and Americans to Cyprus, while a US-chartered ship has left Beirut with US citizens” (BBC News). The immediate question arises: should not they take first women and children from the territory of conflict?
Only when American community realizes that human values are more important than any other, national, religious, ethnic or racial interests, and politicians adhere to this principle, only then the attitude of the world towards the USA and its citizens will change. Another aspect, that American community is confronted with, is constantly increasing military expenses. One can extirpate radicalism and extremism by military means but there is also a chance first to find reasons that induce extremism and then try to eliminate these reasons. Thus Ahmad S. Mousalli in the article Islamist Perspectives of Regime Political Response: The Cases of Lebanon and Palestine claims that “…Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine … are plagued, in one way or another, with poverty, inflation, underemployment, and exploitation.
Many Palestinians or Egyptians, for instance, may turn to Islamism because of the corruption of their political elites, exploitation of the nouveau riche, nepotism, favoritism and the like. ” (1996, 53) In this view the part of expenses, spent on army, could have been directed to support and reorganize economy of the Middle East countries. One more thing that deserves American community’s attention is that while possessing the veto power in UN Security Council, the US government abuses its power. To prove it there is a table below which shows the frequency of the use of the veto in the Security Council by different countries during the last decade. Period China* France Britain US Russia Total 2006 – – – 1 – 1 2005.
2004 – – – 2 1 3 2003 – – – 2 – 2 2002 – – – 2 – 2 2001 – – – 2 – 2 2000 – – – – – 0 1999 1 – – – – 1 1998 – – – – – 0 1997 1 – – 2 – 3 1996 – – – – – 0 Table is taken from Global Policy Forum “Changing Patterns in the Use of the Veto in the Security Council” Retrieved from http://globalpolicy. igc. org/security/data/vetotab. htm The USA has a strong leading position in this table. This table is the confirmation of the following statement: “Many member states have expressed their criticism of the veto, arguing that the veto privilege is an anachronism responsible for much of the Security Council’s undemocratic and ineffective procedures.
Not surprisingly, those enjoying the power of the veto don’t want to give it up. ” (Global Policy Forum “The Power of the Veto”) So, the countries with veto power in Security Council should abandon it. Conclusion The situation around Israel and Lebanon is not an exceptional one; it reflects the general tension in the world. This war only confirms that the world policy desperately needs revision. It is necessary to establish new world order and the USA has to head this process. International relations must be established upon the principles different from those existing today, in particular, economically powerful country while taking any actions is obliged to take into account the interests of less developed countries.
To settle conflicts it is necessary to resume the authority of United Nations and entitle it to make decisions as regards resorting to force in conflict settlement. The resolutions carried by this organization must be mandatory to all countries. This conclusion can be best supported by words uttered by the ex-president of the USA immediately after the cold war: “a new era-freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony … a world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle … where the strong respect the rights of the weak.
” (Miller, Yetiv 2001, 56) Unfortunately, in 15 year period following that speech news line on BBC says: “The USA is going to accelerate military supplies of high-precision missiles to Israel”. (BBC News) This is exactly the way George Bush junior and Israel decided to realize Bush senior’s dream of the harmony in the world. Works Cited BBC News Dozens die in fresh Lebanon raids BBC News 19 July 2006. 22 July 2006 < http://news. bbc. co. uk/2/hi/middle_east/5193662. stm>.
Crahan, Margaret E. , Goering John, and Weiss Thomas G. Wars on Terrorism and Iraq: Human Rights, Unilateralism, and U. S. Foreign Policy. New York: Routledge, 2004. Global Policy Forum Draft Resolution Proposed by Qatar, Vetoed By US.. July 13, 2006
Global Policy Forum The Power of the Veto. July 2006
Kirkwood-Tucker, Toni Fuss. “Germany’s Opposition to the Iraq War and Its Effect on U. S. -German Relations. ” Social Education. 68. 4 (2004): 285+. Labott, Elise U. S. diplomatic options limited in Israel-Lebanon conflict. CNN. com Jul 15, 2006.
22 July 2006
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