Home Ed: 31: September/2006
Ed: 31: September/2006
The war is over, for now. UN Security Council Resolution 1701 ended, at least for the time being, the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah. The overarching problem, unfortunately, is that it lacks adequate mechanisms to implement its stated objectives.
The lull that finally settled over northern Israel and southern Lebanon as the UN-brokered ceasefire went into effect on August 14 has misled none of its many protagonists.
Long before there was al-Qaeda, there was Hezbollah. As the former director of the CIA, George Tenet warned on February 12, 2003, "Hezbollah, as an organisation with capability and worldwide presence, is [al-Qaeda's] equal, if not a far more capable organisation."
It took US President George W. Bush to tell the truth to Britain about the massive plot to blow US-bound airliners out of the sky. In his first comment on the apparently foiled attempt to explode airliners flying from Britain to the US, Bush put it simply: "This was a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists."
Despite characterisations of last month's thwarted attempt to blow up ten transatlantic flights as "homegrown," Pakistan, rather than the United Kingdom, has emerged as the epicentre of planning.
One of the eye-opening outcomes of the Lebanon conflict was the degree of exposure of dubious practices in photojournalism that it led to.
Undoubtedly the media coverage of Israel's war against Hezbollah could have been greatly improved, with the very honourable exception of The Australian. By a mile, the worst outlet in the electronic sphere was SBS-TV News.
It can't be easy being the diplomatic representative of Syria in Australia. The job description would include putting a gloss on the Baathist regime, with its strong ideological roots in European fascism of the 1930s.