Bush, Blair, and Israel: A concerted agression on Lebanese civilians during last year's July war

I was away from the blogosphere for one week and nearly missed this interesting post by Craig Murray* shedding some new light on what appeared to be the inability of western governments, especially Blair's, on which many have pinned hopes to stop the savage bombings of civilians in Lebanon by Israel because of its good relations with the US government who was actively and openly promoting and supporting Israel's war on Lebanon (remember Rice's many trips to the ME during this war and famous declaration about the ME pangs of birth ?).

Well, behind the scenes, UK's diplomacy was actually working the other way. While Margaret Beckett, Blair's minister for foreign affairs, as other western leaders, was showing support for the west's darling Lebanese PM Fouad Sanyura with a short visit and a declaration about how her country was working hard to achieve a ceasefire, the UK's mission at the UN was instructed to keep a ceasefire off the agenda.

Murray relates the following: "I had a friend and former colleague call me from our Mission to the United Nations phone me from New York at the time in deep personal despair, as he had been instructed to keep an early ceasfire resolution off the Security Council agenda by making it known that we would veto it. Meanwhile everyday he was seeing news footage of dead Lebanese children dragged from the rubble of their homes. "

At the time, I was deeply moved by British peace activists efforts to expose the UK's complicity and bring the case of war crimes against Israel and its allies in this war by attempting on the night of 6th to 7th August last year, when Israel knew it was loosing the war and consequently intensified its bombings on civilians in a will to inflict maximum damage, to look at Prestwick airport for evidence of US munitions bound for Israel for use in the Lebanon conflict, among them the infamous cluster bombs who continued to kill children well after the end of the war. At the time, we, citizen of Lebanon, felt totally abandoned by our own government and by the international community, who was supporting our government but refusing a ceasefire to save our children, our civilians, and our source of living and infrastructure (remember the ugly oil spill all over the Lebanese coast and the cluster bopmbs scattered in our fields resulting from Israel's bombings ?).

Eight activists were charged of trespassing. Seven were acquitted by the court this August. The remaining activist, Marcus Armstrong, who was charged, refused to pay a 750 pounds fine and preferred prison for 20 days. Indy media Scotland reports that a prominent expert witness of the defendants testified that "a collusion in war crime was relevant to the context of the trial.
Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University told the court that war crime by Israel was very much an issue at the time of the incident at the airport. Israel had been breaching international law by targeting its air strikes in Lebanon at areas and installations liable to contain civilians. They had asked the US for an emergency top-up supply of bombs. US planes delivering these armaments would need a fuel stop-over in the UK and Prestwick was one of the options."

This shows, among others, that activism is never vain, especially when it is brought to the courts of law where it can serve as a basis to build a case for war crimes against powerful governments by ordinary citizens. The impulse shouldn't be changed, it only need to be intensified and extended. As Craig Murray rightly states, Marcus Armstrong is a prisoner of conscience and I wish everyone had his conscience during this ugly war. I wish him well.

Read what Jonathan Cook, Correspondant in Nazareth, has to say about the July war of agression on Lebanon.

*As Britain's outspoken Ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan, Craig Murray helped expose vicious human rights abuses by the US-funded regime of Islam Karimov. He is now a prominent critic of Western policy in the region.


Wolfie said...

Terribly off-topic I know but I came across this interesting debate online recently and thought you might like a look. The Telegraph has been improving a lot in recent months generally and I think will be giving CIF a bit of a biff on the nose soon. I liked comments by "Stephanie" (reminded me a bit of you).


Sophia said...


Thanks for the link. I don't read the Telegraph usually. However, during the July war on Lebanon I was in London foir five days and found their coverage of the war more accurate as well as their editorials. Lord Black shouldn't be happy with that. Wasn't the Telegraph 'his property' ?

I found the article you linked to totally delirious. This is the first time I heard of Hiz-ut-tahrir. Yes, I can be ignorant sometimes. I did some search. They look to me more like a sect than like a djihadist group. They can be frightening in their message and so is Rael. But they are trying to unite around a lost cause. Their relative success must be due to the economic and dire conditions of the people in the countries where they are mostly implemented, Gaza a bit, but mostly former soviet republics.
I found an interesting source on them
The comments on the article seem to be infiltrated by GIYUS. When Irenelancaster, who litterally invaded the section, was proved to be a poor historian, someone came to her defence. As for Stephanie, yes she stated some obvious facts about Fatah, Arafat, and Arab governments. I still thing that the worst ennemy of the palestinians are within (i.e. their leaders). But their resiience has exhausted, not only Israel, but the most corrupt of their leaderships, and still do. This is a phenomenon that need to be sociologically explained...

Wolfie said...

Yes, the Telegraph was a Lord Black paper but since his departure from day-to-day running it has been on the up for sure, in many areas.

The original article is quite nuts, it was the ensuing debate I found interesting. Hiz-ut-tahrir has been popping up a lot lately in the UK media as our latest "straw man" threat from the near orient. However make no mistake their popularity is spreading in the political vacuum.

Irenelancaster is a gem. It was the self-important bluster with which she introduced herself as some sort of "expert" that amused me, good to see someone shooting her down though, people here tend take such pronouncements at face value. Esp. Jewish "researchers".

Personally I think the Palestinians keep on going because they simply have no other option, the well educated can make a decent life abroad but for the rest there is no other choice : be a third-class citizen in Israel proper or in another Arabic land as opposed to grit your teeth and hope.

Since March 29th 2006