Craig Murray on Lebanon 7

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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7 thoughts on “Craig Murray on Lebanon

  • septicisle

    Well said. I'm currently half way through your book – and while I know how everything ends, I'm still willing you on all the same.

  • Strategist

    I'm interested in what is going through Kim Howells's mind. He used to be one of the good guys, I'm pretty sure.

    I heard him on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday calling Clare Short's pro-ceasefire remarks "shameful", and claiming that in effect it was the easy option and self-indulgent to be calling for a ceasefire. He's then gone to Israel and had a bit of a go at the Israelis – for which, OK, well said. For this, he's now being undermined by the wise, experienced and fearless spindoctors of FO HQ and No.10.

    What next for Kim?

    Does he really believe he can do his bit by staying in the Blair government and doing something at the margin? How can he believe this?

    He should resign from the govt and go with a bang.

  • Craig

    Yes, this is a real threat to freedom of speech – we will be left with just an "Official version" of history. I bulldozed my way onto Today and Newsnight yeaterday, but the media in general managed to ignore me – even though the actual Public Administartion Committee report itself both names me and quotes me more than any other individual!

  • Chuck Unsworth

    There are some reports that Margaret Beckett (and others) had a row with the delectable (by comparison!) Ms Rice over apparently unauthorised usage of Prestwick as a staging post for munitions on their way from the US to Israel. It's difficult to assess the accuracy of these leaks, but one hopes there was a certain amount of blood on the carpet.

    Of course Mrs Beckett's caravan has now moved on….. Holidays and gourmet menus beckon.

    In any event, congratulations to Craig for raising the profile. One hopes that potential recruits to the Diplomatic Service do not wish to join merely to acquire a lavish lifestyle – as demonstrated by Straw and Becket in their various ways. What they should be looking to do is to further Britain's interests by means other than war. Sadly, that may be an alien concept to many of the candidates.

    What's notable is that the public pronouncements of our senior politicians seem to conflict. Clearly Downing Street has been caught on the hop. So much so that some of these politicians are actually echoing public sentiment. That won't last once Bush realises what's happening…

  • watcher

    It is hard to understand what the Israelis want . Every child killed will increase the determination of their opponents . Their "victory" will be fleeting and will only be sustained by war .

    This morning on the radio I heard a Israeli spokesperson state that it was legal according to Geneva to attack civilians if "terrorists" were amongst them – so that's all right then . To my mind the war mongers are barely human beings- perhaps running from the layer of our brains that we have in common with reptiles.

  • Andy Young

    "For every hour they prevent a ceasefire, on average two more Lebanese children are dying."

    Please could you let us know from where is this figure – which equates to 48 Lebanese children every day – comes from?

    It seems remarkably high to me, given the reports we have heard from Lebanon.

    Or, are you using the phrase "Lebanese children" in the sense that every person in Lebanon, regardless of ther age, is a child of Lebanon?

    (Sorry – just to clarify – I'm not commenting on your thoughts as such – I'm just a little bit anal about figures… and I worry that inaccurate figures tend to distract from otherwise useful arguments).

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