Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local News & Opinion

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education

02.27 How to Make College Cheaper

Letters
Open Letters:

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

02.28 Prince William will take plight of Africa's elephants 'behind enemy lines' in China

02.26 Shell shelves plan for tar sands project in face of low oil prices

02.25 Obama blocks Republicans' Keystone pipeline bill in rare veto

02.25 Driverless big rigs: new technologies aim to make trucking greener and safer

02.25 Lester Brown: 'Vast dust bowls threaten tens of millions with hunger'

News Media

02.27 CBS Has Released the Falklands Protest Footage Bill O'Reilly Asked For. It Doesn't Support His Claims. [13:41 video]

02.26 America’s cult of the newscaster-hero has swallowed itself

Daily FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & Culture

02.28 Eight dead in Missouri shooting rampage at multiple crime scenes, police say

02.28 Texas school on lockdown after spate of apparently random shootings

02.28 Gun-rights advocates fight Obama over ban on 'military-grade' AR-15 bullets

02.27 SPIEGEL Interview with Naomi Klein: 'The Economic System We Have Created Global Warming'

02.27 The Warming World: Is Capitalism Destroying Our Planet?

02.27 DC legalises recreational marijuana despite GOP opposition in Congress

02.26 This Billionaire Governor Taxed the Rich and Increased the Minimum Wage -- Now, His State's Economy Is One of the Best in the Country

02.26 As Shutdown Nears, McConnell and Boehner Remain Far Apart

02.26 DHS shutdown: Boehner says House in 'wait-and-see mode' as deadline looms

02.26 Warren and Cummings on MSNBC's Morning Joe [9:26 video]

Justice Matters

02.28 Truth and reconciliation is coming to America from the grassroots

02.27 Watch John Oliver Tackle One Of the Biggest—And Least Talked About—Problems in US Politics [13:26 video]

02.26 Rape in the American Prison

02.26 Can Bipartisanship End Mass Incarceration?

High Crimes?

02.27 Aid agencies sound alarm on Gaza amid fears rebuilding could take a century

02.25 Syria has used barrel bombs in hundreds of locations, says rights group

Economics, Crony Capitalism

02.28 Giving Obama fits: The Elizabeth Warren way

02.25 Net neutrality: Republicans to strike back against Obama's 'internet grab'

International

02.28 What We Still Need To Learn From Spock's Utopianism

02.28 World leaders condemn muder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov

02.27 A Partial Accounting of the Damage Netanyahu Is Doing to Israel

02.27 The Human Stain

02.27 The Increasing Harassment of Jews Around the World [600 comments]

02.27 An Anti-ISIS Summit in Mecca

02.27 China 'aggressively' expanding into South China Sea says US

02.26 Saudis Said to Aid Israeli Plan to Bomb Iran

02.26 Emma Thompson and Greg Wise in tax boycott over HSBC scandal

02.26 3D-printed cities: is this the future?

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Not World War III
Newspaper logo

COMMENTARY:

Not World War III

by SHELDON RICHMAN
Instead of seeing this ultimately as a dispute between the Israeli government and the Palestinians, the neocons insist on twisting the latest violence into a global war. This is nonsense.
When a war breaks out somewhere, two sound principles for civilized people are: (1) demand an immediate ceasefire and, failing that, (2) keep the war contained--do not broaden it, do not join in.

We can gauge the civility of the Bush administration's neoconservative boosters by the fact that they reject both principles. They oppose an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East, even though it would spare the lives of hundreds of Lebanese and Israeli men, women, and children, because Israel would be thwarted in its ambition to remove an opponent of its occupation policy. And they are doing their best to expand the conflict by pronouncing it World War III or IV and urging U.S. participation--specifically, by bombing Iran or Syria. Instead of seeing this ultimately as a dispute between the Israeli government and the Palestinians, the neocons insist on twisting the latest violence into a global war of "Islamo-fascists" against the "free world." This is nonsense.

When governments make war, innocents get killed. The heads of governments may say they don't intend this, but they take measures they know will have that effect. At best they are guilty of criminal negligence.

By any reasonable definition, the so-called provocation by Hezbollah--the seizing of two Israeli soldiers--was part of a continuing military conflict, not an act of terrorism.
The current conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, of course, is not between two governments. But it's close. In its rocketing of Israeli civilians, Hezbollah is behaving like a government. The strikes on civilians are not only criminal, they are stupid, although we should bear in mind that ten times more Lebanese civilians have been killed than Israeli civilians. Hezbollah could have held the high ground by abstaining from such immoral conduct. Imagine how President Bush and Israel would look if Hezbollah declared a cessation to all offensive actions. Nevertheless, we should judge the Israeli government's and Hezbollah's respective crimes in light of the context: Israeli's 40-year occupation of Lebanon's Shebaa Farms, Syria's Golan Heights, the Palestinians' Gaza Strip and West Bank. By any reasonable definition, the so-called provocation by Hezbollah--the seizing of two Israeli soldiers--was part of a continuing military conflict, not an act of terrorism.

Thus stopping the threat to innocents is imperative. That cause should not wait until issues are sorted out. But Bush is not content merely with opposing a ceasefire. He is shipping precision bombs to Israel. The Lebanese will know where those bombs were made. This guarantees anti-American violence in the future. Thanks for looking out for us, Mr. President.

If a ceasefire can't be achieved, the least the rest of the world can do is keep the conflict contained. The more governments that join in, the greater the threat to innocents is likely to be. This principle exposes the iniquity of the bomb-Iran World War III crowd, such as Newt Gingrich and the Weekly Standard folks. The root of the conflict is the Israeli occupation of Arab land. Hezbollah didn't exist before Israel invaded and occupied Lebanon beginning in 1982. And Israel invaded Lebanon to root out Palestinian refugees, who had moved there via Jordan after they were forced to leave their homes, first, when Israel was being established, culminating in formal nationhood in 1948, and again during its 1967 preventive war against its Arab neighbors.

This is not "our" fight, unless we foolishly insist on making it so. There is one way to turn the current conflict into World War III: self-fulfilling prophecy.
Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation (www.fff.org) and editor of The Freeman magazine.


Copyright © 2006 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on July 27, 2006.
 


Public Service Ads: