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Middle East Temperature rising

The ill judged approach relating to Lebanon seems to be heating up the temperature in the Middle East. Rockets have landed in Syria (probably in error), there has been a march of potential suicide bombers in Baghdad. The Lebanese media are calling for unity against the Israelis.

In Iraq it is the Sadr supporters that are particularly vocal, but even the Iraqi government has made its views known.

The Sunni governments, however, are still relatively moderate in their comments.

There is an interesting difference between recalling the House of Commons and recalling the House of Lords to consider the UK approach to all of this. To recall the House of Commons requires action from the government to call for it. Recalling the House of Lords can be done by the Lord Speaker in consultation with the government - it does not require effective permission from the government.

In many ways, however, the debate a couple of weeks ago covered the key issue - the government confirmed that they did not want an unconditional ceasefire.

Syria has made it clear that they do not support a force to disarm Hizbollah. I am not sure that the Lebanese population would support this at the moment. That would cause any peacekeeping force a problem.

I presume John Prescott's thumbs have been taped up so he cannot press the nuclear Button whilst his boss goes on holiday. I wonder, however, if could actually do a worse job relating to Foreign Affairs than Tony Blair. Tony Blair's record: Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon ... what next.


shaz said…
>>"Syria has made it clear that they do not support a force to disarm Hizbollah. I am not sure that the Lebanese population would support this at the moment. That would cause any peacekeeping force a problem."

Some of the more prominent sunni scholars of syria have openely declared their support for Hizbollah. Hizbollah support is growing in Lebanon, even amongst Christians, with the Bishop of Beirut making a clear statement to this effect.

Hizbollah seem to be different calibre of orgainsiation to the terrorist groups such as Al-Qaida, and have helped build the infrastructure in Lebabnon for two decades, schools, hospitals and orphanges - i can't see the average lebanese ignoring these endeavours...

interesting talk by Sh. Nasirullah
john said…
The word "terrorist" is one of the more misused words. Hizbollah is clearly a quasi-state organisation in Southern Lebanon.

Such organisations which can involve unjust "acts of terror" against others also often provide substantial social support.

The Mafia have been known to operate in similar ways in Sicily.

There is a whole spectrum of organisations and many organisations have elements of social support.

There are similarities between Hizbollah and Sinn Fein. Hizbollah does not, as far as I know, rob any banks.
shaz said…
"Such organisations which can involve unjust "acts of terror" against others also often provide substantial social support."

Does sound abit like our governments - involved in unjust "acts of terror" and often offer aid to the same countries that have been on the receiveing end of "acts of terror"!
john said…
True. I often think it is worth talking about "unjust acts" rather than "acts of terror". For example the attack on Qana as unjust and a war crime as are the Hizbollah bombings of Israel.

There is an image of a US missile system involving first attacking people then offering support which makes the same point.
PoliticalHack said…
Terrorist groups very often have some sort of civilian counterpart that attempts to offer an alternative political structure and even elements of an alternate government. Hizbollah has no need to rob banks because of the substantial support from Iran, channelled through Syria.

I'm not sure what the comment regarding Afghanistan is supposed to mean. Last time I checked, there was considerable international support for the actions in Afghanistan and also cross-party backing in the UK - even Ming is behind the operations. Or would the Hemming approach have left the vicious fundamentalist government in power in Kabul?
Simon said…
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Simon said…
John, Tony Blair - despite his many failings - cannot be held responsible for what is happening in Lebanon, any more than a U-turn in British policy could stop what is happening in Lebanon. Trying to pin all of the World's ills on Tony Blair is facile, but if you insist: there is some graffiti on the side of my house. I reckon Tony Blair is responsible - for not reigning in young hooligans. Do you think he can be prosectued under UK law for defacing my house? And if not, why not

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