Daily archives: July 23, 2006

Craig Murray on Lebanon

I have just watched on television sixty bodies being buried in a mass grave in Tyre, victims of Israeli bombing. At the same time I saw the odious Kim Howells, Foreign Office minister, arguing that a ceasefire would not solve the problem.

British diplomats at the UK Mission to the United Nations in New York – people I know personally – are putting massive effort into working against a ceasefire. They have the ultimate weapon that they and the US can veto any resolution at the Security Council, but are bending their backs into heading the subject off the agenda.

I hope they are proud of their succesful efforts. For every hour they prevent a ceasefire, on average two more Lebanese children are dying. Israel claims now to have killed 100 Hizbollah fightres. Even if true, that means they are killing two children to every fighter.

Blair and Bush take an obscene joy in the killing. It is as though they have to work through their obsession with the concept of “The War on Terror” to its crazed conclusion of eternal conflict. Faced with increasing public scepticism at the hideous quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan, I am sorry to say that I believe they both will be secretly hoping for more terrorist incidents in London and New York. By provoking, goading and humiliating the Arab world beyond reason, they can provoke a reaction and rage at us “I told you so”. Then race down the next spiral on the road to mutual destruction in their self-fulfilling warwithout end.

On Tuesday the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are holding an “Open Day” for potential recruits. How large a salary to you need to work to delay a ceasefire and secure the deaths of children? Is there really much fulfilment left in a career as a messenger for a poodle state?

Britain had a certain amount of respect in the Middle East for a consistent policy on Palestine that was broadly fair. Who remembers David Mellor as a junior Tory minister laying into an Israeli soldier for brutality against Palestinians? In his footsteps comes Kim Howells, offering to keep the way clear for the Israeli to get a better shot. We now remember the Security Council Resolution which calls for Hizbollah to disarm, but have forgotten all the other SCRs on the Middle East, most notably the Security Council’s demand that Israel returns to its 1967 borders. Our policy now is to slavishly follow the Bush line that Israel may unilaterally define its own borders.

We condemn Syria and Iran for supplying weapons to Hizbollah, while 100 times their weight of US munitions have fallen on Lebanon, and more US bombs are now being urgently dispatched to kill more children, with UK support. Britain has broken the longstanding EU concensus on Palestine and removed any counterweight to the US. Whenever you think Blair can bring us no lower in international morality, he does it. It is no longer possible for anyone to justify continued membership of the Labour Party. This government is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocents through its support for Bush’s imperialist wars. Anyone who stays in the Labour Party should be shunned as a moral pariah.


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