Friday, March 23, 2007


Raw Story pointed me to an interview that John Bolton, former U.N Ambassador gave to the BBC. In the interview, Bolton said he was "damned proud of what we did" (meaning the United States government) to prevent an early ceasefire in the war between Israel and Lebanon.

Recall that during the time of the conflict, the U.S. was supplying Israel with bunker-busting bombs, as well as cluster bombs. It turns out that the U.S. was resisting calls for a cease fire because according to the BBC,

" . . .US officials argued a ceasefire was insufficient and agreement was needed to address the underlying tensions and balance of power in the region."

Meanwhile the U.S. was happy having Israel attempt to destroy Hezbollah, as if a social and political organization could be destroyed by mere bombing.

"Mr Bolton, a controversial and blunt-speaking figure, said he was "damned proud of what we did" to prevent an early ceasefire."

The BBC's piece also indicates that other Arab states showed little sympathy for Hezbollah.

There were many not - how should I put it - resistant to the thought that the Israelis should thoroughly defeat Hezbollah, who... increasingly by Arab states were seen as an Iranian proxy," said UN special envoy Terje Roed Larsen.

This is understandable both from a religious and ethnic position. The Arab states for the most part are Sunni whereas Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon are Shia. Furthermore and equally important, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have populations that are primarily Arab. Iran's population is Persian, not Arab.

According to the BBC,

"More than 1,000 Lebanese civilians and an unknown number of Hezbollah fighters were killed in the conflict. Israel lost 116 soldiers in the fighting, while 43 of its civilians were killed in Hezbollah rocket attacks."

1 comment:

  1. Roberto:

    I find John Bolton to be among the most bloody-minded of the president's men.

    A cantankerous warmonger, with an appetite for destruction, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is indeed the very embodiment of the recklessness that has characterized the Bush administration's foreign policy since the tragic events of September 11.

    Bolton is the god of false dichotomy, creating simple worlds of seraphs and demons, with America in the role of the guardian archangel.

    A dangerously misguided vision, to say the least.

    You correctly ridicule Bolton's endorsement of an American-Israeli campaign to subjugate Hezbollah by use of force. To be sure, this ill-fated reliance on armed aggression to solve nuanced sociopolitical problems is at the root of the administration's blundering in the Middle East.

    Bolton and the rest of his ilk fail to comprehend the plain fact that the current conflict is as much an ideological battle as a military venture. Fighting the war on one front while ignoring its other dimensions will only ensure long-term defeat.