The petition for war and recolonisation
A friend sent me a link to an online 'Ceasfire Petition' yesterday. The organisers of the petition claim that almost a quarter of a million people have already given their support to this call:
The world cannot allow the bloodshed in the Middle East to continue. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed and wounded, almost 1 million made homeless, and a catastrophic larger conflict is possible. We call on US President Bush, UK Prime Minister Blair and the UN Security Council to support UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's call for an immediate ceasefire and an international force to stabilize the situation.
Like all sane people, I want the carnage in Lebanon and the rocket attacks on northern Israel to end. That's why I won't be signing this petition. Kofi Annan's 'ceasefire' would see Israeli troops remaining in southern Lebanon until they could be relieved by a United Nations force that would be dominated by France, Lebanon's old colonial master.
Like the Israelis before them, the UN troops would be charged with disarming Hizbollah's militia, a task that is not going to achieved by anything short of armed force. Far from 'stabilizing the situation', a UN army would simply continue the war. The only difference would be that the Lebanese people would see their country occupiued by half a dozen foreign armies instead of a single army. The 'Ceasefire Petition' is in fact a proposal for recolonisation and war.
The simple truth is that there will be peace in Lebanon when the south of the country is free of foreign occupation. The war began when Israel invaded Lebanon, and the Lebanese defending their country have made it clear that they will stop fighting as soon as Israel withdraws from their country. Israel has tried to present the rocket attacks launched by Hizbollah as justification for its invasion, but the attacks began only after Israeli air raids began killing Lebanese civilians. Hizbollah leaders have repeatedly offered an immediate ceasefire and an end to rocket attacks in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal.
Instead of wasting their time appealing to Bush and Blair to transmogrify from warmongers into peacemakers, the signers of the Ceasefire Petition should be on the streets demanding that Israel end its occupation of Lebanon.