Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local News & Opinion

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education

09.30 30 Years of Coens: Inside Llewyn Davis

09.29 Naomi Klein: Fossil Fuels Threaten Our Ability to Have Healthy Children

Letters
Open Letters:

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

09.30 Yes, the Health Care Industry Is Conspiring to Steal Your Money

09.30 Beyond GMOs: The Rise of Synthetic Biology

09.30 The Berlin Patient and the Mysterious Cure for HIV

09.30 Can Narendra Modi bring the solar power revolution to India?

09.30 Earth lost 50% of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF [related photos]

09.29 MIT's new cement recipe could cut carbon emissions by more than half

09.28 Germany’s Grass-Roots Energy Revolution [6:00 video]

09.28 Interview with Ebola Discoverer Peter Piot: 'It Is What People Call a Perfect Storm'

09.28 We Can Transition to 100% Renewable Energy Starting Today

09.28 Study predicts California will use only renewable energy by 2050

09.27 Obama Presses Chinese on Global Warming

09.27 Obama Urges Global Effort to Help Prevent Epidemics

News Media

09.29 Political TV Ads Will Soon Reach Facebook-Level Creepiness

09.29 ANATOMY OF A NON-DENIAL DENIAL

Daily FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

Justice Matters

09.30 States Take the Lead on Sexual-Assault Reform

09.28 Iceland: Bankers Convicted, Unemployment Down

09.26 For Oil and Gas Companies, Rigging Seems to Involve Wages, Too

US Politics, Policy & Culture

09.29 GWU students tackling income inequality in their own backyard

09.29 Failing the Midterms

09.29 “Not the true Republican Party”: How the party of Lincoln ended up with Ted Cruz

09.27 ALEC Exodus!

09.26 How the 0.00003 Percent Lives

09.26 A GOP Senate's First Target: Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Protection Agency

09.26 Real Time with Bill Maher: Overtime - Episode #329 (HBO) [9:23 video]

09.26 LA workers win $15 minimum wage

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

09.29 Grossly Distorted Procedures: Mish Proposal to Raise GDP Calculation

09.28 German Central Bank Head Weidmann: 'The Euro Crisis Is Not Yet Behind Us'

09.27 Inside the New York Fed: Secret Recordings and a Culture Clash

09.27 Taliban Storm Afghanistan, Beheadings Galore

09.27 Europe’s Austerity Zombies

09.26 G.O.P. Error Reveals Donors and the Price of Access

International

09.30 One of America's Most Famous Slow-Food Chefs Says Farm-to-Table 'Doesn't Really Work'

09.30 "When We Felt Threatened, We Opened Umbrellas and Raised Our Hands"

09.30 Gitmo hunger strikes are a cry for help. Why is the US fighting back with secret torture?

09.29 Obama’s Syria Strategy: Hit And Hope

09.29 Meet the Controversial Muslim Leader Who Has Advised the White House

09.29 Hong Kong Demonstrators Unveil 'Umbrella Revolution' [photos]

09.29 Hong Kong protests 'must go on' [3:00 drone video]

09.29 US-led air strikes pound Isis bases in Syria

09.28 Full Show: America’s New War in the Middle East [25:20 video]

09.28 The Syrian Front: Waiting to Die in Aleppo

09.27 How Israel Silences Dissent

09.26 Air strikes 'hit Islamic State bases and oilfields in Syria'

09.26 ISIS Revenue Sources Remain Crucial Target, U.S. Says

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: