War crimes and Lebanon
Thursday August 3, 2006
The deliberate and systematic destruction of Lebanon's social infrastructure by the Israeli air force was also a war crime, designed to reduce that country to the status of an Israeli-US protectorate. The attempt has backfired. In Lebanon itself, 87% of the population now support Hizbullah's resistance, including 80% of Christian and Druze and 89% of Sunni Muslims, while 8% believe the US supports Lebanon. But these actions will not be tried by any court set up by the "international community" since the US and its allies that commit or are complicit in these appalling crimes will not permit it.
It has now become clear that the assault on Lebanon to wipe out Hizbullah had been prepared long before. Israel's crimes had been given a green light by the US and its loyal British ally, despite the opposition to Blair in his own country.
In short, the peace that Lebanon enjoyed has come to an end, and a paralysed country is forced to remember a past it had hoped to forget. The state terror inflicted on Lebanon is being repeated in the Gaza ghetto, while the "international community" stands by and watches in silence. Meanwhile, the rest of Palestine is annexed and dismantled with the direct participation of the US and the tacit approval of its allies.
We offer our solidarity and support to the victims of this brutality and to those who mount a resistance against it. For our part, we will use all the means at our disposal to expose the complicity of our governments in these crimes. There will be no peace in the Middle East while the occupations of Palestine and Iraq and the temporarily "paused" bombings of Lebanon continue.
As our political leaders argue over the difference between a "cessation of hostilities" and a "ceasefire", more and more children die. The British government (unlike the US) has agreed to be bound by the UN convention on the rights of the child. This is a legally enforceable international treaty which enshrines the "right to life" as one of its four core principles. I would be very interested to know how the government justifies its actions in relation to its responsibilities under the convention and why our new children's commissioners have remained silent on what appears to be a flagrant disregard of children's rights, as well as a breach of our international obligations.
Professor Steve Trevillion
University of Leicester