Is Lebanon the Great Unravelling? By William Bowles

28 July 2006

‘We are farmers, we can fall back on the land, hide in caves, make our own cheese and eat our lambs. The Israelis in their bunkers, this life upsets them. They will quit.’ — Mohammed Mulimh, 29, a Lebanese farmer

I think it’s now clear that the gamble the US took with its proxy force, Israel, is a military-political disaster. Soon, there won’t be much left to destroy in Lebanon, then what? There are several options open to Israel (US), none of them too inviting, yet sooner or later the real world will force the US to reconsider what it has done (if it’s not done so already):

1. Occupy southern Lebanon, in which case Hezbollah will simply regroup further north and continue to bombard the occupying forces which will force Israel to extend its occupation deeper into Lebanon, stretching its lines of supply and stretching its economy to breaking point. In effect, another Iraq;

2. Push for an international force to step in and all indications are that nobody wants to take this on, not the least because this option might well reduce US control. Already, the US and Israel have nixed a UN-led force (Update: Bush and Blair are now pushing for a “multi-national force”, though what it will be composed of is as yet unknown. As I predicted earlier it would appear that only a NATO force would fit the description). And, it appears that Blair has now done a ‘turnaround’ on the idea of a ceasefire, again because the reality of the situation has, at last, sunk in);

3. Pass the ball to the US (see the latest Wayne Madsen report)? But in spite of what Wayne Madsen thinks, US military commanders are not too keen on this idea, after all, it means fighting a war on three fronts (I assume these guys have read their Clausewitz or Zhukov unlike the warmongers in the Bush govt. who appparently don’t read anything except their own press releases);

4. Sue for peace or at least a ceasefire? Right now it appears that this is not an option the US want Israel to pursue, but then it’s not US soldiers who are doing the dying. Once more, I reiterate to all those who push the ‘tail wagging the dog’ hypothesis, that surely even the public utterances of the US show this to be a complete nonsense. According to at least one report, the entire enterprise was a joint US-Israeli operation and it seems to be a case of the blind leading the blind.

It’s a classic case of self-deception and one predicated on unfounded assumptions about the nature of the enemy. Did the US think that destroying Lebanon would force the Lebanese people to turn on Hezbollah (see the poll that found that 86% support the resistance)? With what, the Lebanese army, all 50,000, most of whom support Hezbollah and are less than enthusiastic about seeing their country systematically dismembered? According to reports, there are some 100,000 Hezbollah under arms and reportedly being reinforced by fighters from Iraq.

The most likely outcome of an occupation, unless it’s one that’s prepared to confront Israel, an almost unthinkable option, is the creation of a regional war of resistance to US/Israeli plans.

That Hezbollah was a pushover, a ragtag guerrilla force that would fold in a couple of days? Judging by Israel’s military commanders’ statements, this is exactly what they led their political leaders to think (‘Give us another 72 hours to finish the job’). But again, there were those who counselled against this but whose opinions were ignored.

There are of course other considerations chief of which is the fact that whilst the world’s eyes are on Lebanon, Israel is busy destroying what’s left of the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian infrastructure and essentially re-occupying Gaza as well as extending its grip in the West Bank.

In addition, the situation in Iraq is spiralling out of control but not as the US/UK and Western media would have us believe, into a civil war, but what amounts to a US internal ‘withdrawal’ to its firebases. Most cities in the country are effectively ‘no-go’ areas for the occupation forces.

And the situation in Afghanistan is going from bad to worse with even the head of the NATO forces there talking of a “state of complete anarchy”.

I’m tempted to think that the Lebanese invasion is nothing more than a horrendous diversion from the failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, designed to create complete chaos in the region, but it’s worth reminding ourselves that the author of modern propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, cautioned propagandists not to start believing their own propaganda.

We tend to assume that governments, regardless of whether we agree with their policies or not, operate on the basis of a rational analysis of the situation, but I think it’s pretty obvious by now that this is not the case. Plans and objectives are all well and good but they need to be based in the real world of what is realisable. Gamblers still need to weigh the odds.

Thus I contend that the Lebanese ‘adventure’ is a sign of increasing desperation on the part of the Wolves. Some on the left (and not so left) contend that this is a portent of a coming invasion/attack on Iran but again, I caution against this interpretation, not that ‘taking out’ Iran isn’t an objective, the question is, is it a realistic objective?

But how is it to be realised short of nuking the country? Invasion is obviously out of the question in spite of all the ominous talk (fight the ‘war on terror’ on four fronts?). What it does reveal I think, is the bankruptcy of the ‘war on terror’ as a sustainable basis for a foreign policy. Once again, it reveals that the power elite have fooled themselves into confusing propaganda with real policies and real situations.

So has the ‘war on terror’ run out of road? I think the ‘war on terror’ must be viewed from two positions; the first is as a rationale for projecting imperial power and the second, and I contend far more important, as a rationalisation for the control of domestic populations who they view potentially at least, as a real opposition to their plans for world domination. After all, when all is said and done, it will be US and UK soldiers who will have to do the dying and in increasing numbers if their objectives are to be realised.

And without domestic support, the global plans of the USUK are almost impossible to realise unless all pretence at democratic government is abandoned and all the actions of our governments reveal this to be the case.

However, it’s not as simple as it first appears for without an enemy, whether within or without, justifying increasing repression becomes all the more difficult. Eventually, all pretence of a free society will have to completely abandoned.

Some are predicting an even more dramatic 9/11-type scenario as the basis for the establishment of an out-an-out fascist state and I don’t rule it out but unlike earlier periods where such options could be realised, we now live in a completely inter-connected world. So for example, how would the rest of the countries of the EU react to the creation of a fascist state in the UK? 9/11-type events can be pulled off only under very specific circumstances and I contend that the Wolves have no more wolves left to cry over.

In all likelyhood such an eventuality would lead to the increasing isolation of the UK and should it come to pass in the US, I contend that it too would become a pariah state. We should bear in mind that the economies of the US and the UK are totally dependent on their relationship to a globally connected production and trading system.

The increasing power of those countries that possess the key raw materials needed to keep the entire insane enterprise going, such as petroleum, copper, silver, zinc and nickel have seen the prices increase dramatically and with it has come increasing leverage. The increasing indebtness of the US makes it extremely vulnerable to unstable situations and all the signs are that we are approaching a global financial meltdown.

In spite of all the alarmist talk coming out of Caracus about an invasion, do we really believe that the US will or can, fight a war on five (or possibly even more) fronts?

But will such a collapse follow the same course and with the same outcomes that came with the Crash of 1929, Fascism in Germany and Japan as a prelude to yet another world war?

Currently the countries of Europe are in thrall of the US monster but for how long? The bottom line is still economics, as they say, ‘money talks, bullshit walks’. Will they stand idly by and watch the US drag the world into barbarism and destruction that would make the previous conflagrations look like picnics?

It’s conceivable that they are as deluded and short-sighted as the pirates of the Beltway, in which case, it’s all over, kaput, finito. Ultimately, only action by all of us can stop it spinning completely out of control but without what I contend must be a transnational movement, there is little it seems we can do except howl our individual outrage.

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