Monday, July 17, 2006

The US NEVER uses its power of veto... 2

...and this is how it is usually done.

United Nations, July 16: The United Nations Security Council held closed-door consultations on the mounting violence in Lebanon but failed to reach agreement on a statement that would have called for a ceasefire.

After the meeting last night, Lebanese Representative Nouhad Mahmoud said he was "very disappointed" at the 15-member council's inaction, which he blamed on the United States.

"There was no agreement on a text tonight," French Ambassador Jean-Marc De La Sabliere, the Council President for July, said.

Jean-Marie Guehenno, the Under Secretary General for UN Peacekeeping Operations, earlier briefed the Security Council on the latest Lebanese developments.

"I expected much more from the Security Council," Mahmoud noted, warning that the council's failure to act to stop the bloodshed "would send a very wrong signal not only to the Lebanese people, but to Arab people, to all small nations that we are left (to face) the might of Israel."

He had pressed the council to call for a ceasefire and for the protection of civilians in the face of relentless Israeli bombardments yesterday that killed 38 civilians and struck targets close to the centre of Beirut.

"We wanted more than a statement, we want a resolution, we wanted a ceasefire," he added.

The rationale is, of course, that Israel has the right to defend itself. No problem with that in my mind. Nor is the "proportionate response" argument one that I would try and take up.

But, there is something quite obsene about any military action that has the intention (and let's face it, Israel has been quite open) of destroying the economic infrastructure of both Palestine and Lebanon.

That is about the one word that I can find to describe what is happening, and it is totally inadequate in the context. It is the same kind of obsenity as shooting ducks on the ground, or fishing with gelignite.

But the most obsene is the (intended) implication that the Palestinians have no right to defend themselves, their land, or their families.

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