Thursday, September 02, 2004

The UN Resolution on Lebanon

In case you're thinking the poor, embattled neocons are still smarting from the recent Israeli spy scandal, or hope that they are under siege and have lost their power, think again! As if to show who is still in charge, the United States is now going after Syria and Lebanon. Lebanon is proposing to modify its constitution to allow its current pro-Syrian president to rule for another three years. The United States - with the backing of France, a backing which may cost some Frenchmen in Iraq their heads! - will propose a draft resolution before the United Nations rejecting that amendment and insisting that Syrian troops immediately leave Lebanon (on this whole issue, including the question of Syrian-American relations, see this comment from an outstanding blog on Syria called 'Syria Comment'). The Americans threaten that not following the terms of this resolution will lead to the taking of 'additional measures'. I don't think having Syrian troops in Lebanon is such a great idea, but the Lebanese apparently prefer them to the alternative of Israeli troops, and it should be up to Lebanon to make this choice. It is ironic that it is the United States, of all countries, that is upset at the presence of foreign troops in a country in the Middle East. After Iraq, it is a sick joke for an American State Department spokesman to be worrying about "Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity". You might be asking yourself what is the great strategic interest of the United States in meddling in the internal politics of Lebanon. Of course, there is absolutely no good reason for the United States to be involved in this issue. It is being done entirely for the interests of Israel, which apparently feels that the presence of Syrian troops complicates Israeli plans to annex parts of southern Lebanon. So in the middle of a series of scandals involving alleged improper influence of Israel on American foreign policy, what do the neocons do? They produce a draft UN resolution which clearly evidences improper Israeli influence on American foreign policy. Do you think they are worried in the least about the 'investigations' that are going on? Do you think they've lost any power in Washington?