The Daily Star, Lebanon
Lebanese 'Have Little Faith' in Rice's Show of Support


July 25, 2006
Lebanon - The Daily Star - Original Article (English)    


Condi arrives at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, at the start of a high-stakes
mission to find a solution to the unfolding crisis in Lebanon, Monday. (above)

—BBC NEWS VIDEO: Condi arrives to begin 'end game,' but may
have to speak to U.S. adversaries, June 24,00:02:52

RealVideo[SLIDE SHOW: Israel-Lebanon Crisis].

—IBA ISRAEL NEWS: Israel news roundup, July 24, 00:21:57WindowsVideo

Condoleezza Rice meets Lebanon's Prime Minister
Fouad Siniora at governemnt palace in Beirut, July 24. (below)


After aggressively supporting Israel's siege of Lebanon - a brutal military campaign that has threatened the very existence of the Lebanese state - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice came to Beirut to profess American "support" for the Lebanese government. Rice's arrival in Beirut - but failure to demand an immediate cease-fire - was seen by few here as a sincere show of concern for their alarming humanitarian situation.

Admittedly, Rice didn't have time during her brief visit to tour the scenes of destruction. Perhaps she would have had a greater sense of the utter devastation had she seen the many civilian neighborhoods, bridges and factories that have been reduced to rubble, or visited the more than 800,000 terrified refugees who are huddled in tents and schools around the country. Perhaps then she would have realized the human toll of Israel's military actions and would have recognized the need to expedite a cease-fire, not just with haste, but with urgency. Instead, Rice met with members of a Lebanese government that is near the point of collapse, under the weight of growing social tensions and a burgeoning humanitarian disaster.

Throughout this crisis, Rice has been right about one thing: that it would be pointless to resolve the current conflict in a way that will only bring us back to the same situation in six months' time. She is right that any lasting truce will require a dramatic change in the Lebanese-Israeli status quo. But the status quo is likely to deteriorate further without a cease-fire and will never improve until all of the core causes of the conflict are addressed.

In this sense, it is promising that Rice's talks addressed the entire range of concerns that have long plagued the Lebanese-Israeli front. These issues include Israel's air, land and sea incursions into Lebanese territory, which have occurred nearly every day since its withdrawal from South Lebanon in 2000; the decades-long occupation of the Shebaa Farms; and the detention of Lebanese citizens in Israeli jails. Addressing these and other core issues will be a prerequisite to any lasting resolution of the Lebanon-Israel file.

Any package that addresses all of these will lay the groundwork for a shift in Hezbullah's role in Lebanon. If the Americans and Israelis agree to a complete package encompassing all of the sources of Lebanese-Israeli tension, Hezbullah would no longer have any justification for its invasive activities. Such a change in the political atmosphere would also empower the Lebanese government to take the necessary steps to assert sole control over all of Lebanese territory.

Condaleezza Rice observes developments in the Middle East!

[Al-Ayyam, Palestine].


By pursuing a lasting resolution to the current crisis, Rice seems to be on the right track. But what remains to be seen is whether Rice has the conscience to call for an immediate cease-fire, and then the diplomatic stamina to convince the Israelis that it is in their interests - as well as Lebanon's and the region's - to peacefully resolve the underlying political issues. For nearly 40 years, the Israelis have ignored their neighbors' polite requests to do so, and have thus left the door open to future conflict. One hopes that Rice can persuade them to quickly close that door, before the Lebanese state is defeated and chaos and human misery prevail.



WindowsVideoIRINN NEWS CHANNEL, IRAN: Excerpts from a speech given by Iranian Parliament Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad 'Adel, July 18, 00:008:09, MEMRI

"England and then America wished to have control over the Islamic world, to prevent Muslim unity, and to have control of the oil resources in the Middle East. Therefore, following World War II, they established an artificial, false, and fictitious state called Israel in this region."

Gholam-Ali Haddad 'Adel, Iran's Parliament Speaker