WikiLeaks and US-Israeli Aggression

After almost ten months into the Obama administration we learn—thanks to WikiLeaks—in a document entitled "Is now the time to raise Hizballah with Syria" that, “Syria's determined support of Hizballah's military build-up, particularly the steady supply of longer-range rockets and the introduction of guided missiles, could change the military balance and produce a scenario significantly more destructive than the July-August 2006 war.”

This is unacceptable to our leaders. It provides “compelling reasons for targeting Hizballah facilities in Syria, some of which are in and around populated areas.”

What you are reading is bordering on, according to international law, a crime against peace: the planning of war crimes. It's very plausible that plans already exist.

We give weapons to Israel all the time but that’s us. We own the world. We are THE global military force. We can do what we want and we do not tolerate competition, and certainly not resistance. It “could change the military balance.”

And speaking of WikiLeaks and an imbalance of power in the region, another classifed document entitled "DASD Kahl Meeting with Egyptian Military Officials," from earlier this year, shows Egyptian Major General Mohammad al-Assar, Assistant to the Minister of Defense, met with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Dr. Colin Kahl and "reiterated the fact that Israel possesses unconventional weapons and sophisticated conventional weapons, which creates a regional imbalance and contributes to instability. He noted that stability in the region cannot be attained without balance of power."

Notice that Kahl didn't say "the claim," but "the fact that Israel possesses unconventional weapons." And we know we what they are: biological, chemical and in particular: nuclear weapons. In all our rhetoric about the threat Iran would pose if they acquire a nuclear weapon, and there's no proof their program is for weapons purposes, no one ever mentions (this is a bit of an exaggeration since earlier this spring Arab countries were pressuring the UN to adopt a nuclear weapons free zone treaty for the region but President Obama said, "We strongly oppose efforts to single out Israel, and will oppose actions that jeopardize Israel’s national security." He failed to recognize that Israel is the only country in the region with nukes, that's why they were being singled out, and that the proposal applied to everyone. But it's revealing to hear him assert that Israel's nuclear disarmament, especially in the context of a weapons free zone for the region, jeopardizes their "national security") what the Major General is pointing out: it is Israel's stockpile that is a "a regional imbalance and contributes to instability."

Straight from George Orwell's Doublespeak, we learn that the imbalance of military force—in favor of the NaZionist state of Israel—is balance and the instability it causes—which allows to have strong military presence and divide and conquer—is stability.

Israel can use their weapons to target civilians resisting their aggression and expansion on stolen land and our support for them will be "rock solid" (Hillary Clinton) but if their opponents seek to protect themselves then it's time to "raise" them. From the context it appears the author of the document meant "raze": to destroy.

What happened in 2006? The official story as promulgated by the US government and echoed by mainstream press is that Hezbollah forces attacked Israel and the latter responded in defense. But the reality is that Israel had been routinely carrying out provocations in Lebanon. Hezbollah showed considerable constraint but once they responded with some rockets then the war officially began—much like the Downing Street memos showed “spikes of activity” (the US was escalating aerial attacks in Iraq in order to provoke Saddam into responding in order to create a justification to invade)—and the party line was Israel was defending itself from rockets. But maybe some history is in order.

Back in the 1980s Israel pounded away at Beirut and other parts of Lebanon in a war of aggression that killed more than 20,000 Lebanese (human beings with names and loved ones left to grieve them). All just to send the PLO a message: to hell with your “peace offensive," which subverted Israel’s expansionist policies and reasons for needed US support. The term was provided by Avner Yaniv, an Israeli strategic analyst, who noted in his book Dilemmas of Security: politics, strategy, and the Israeli experience in Lebanon, that "The growing concern in the face of the PLO 'peace offensive,' a strategy of sustained attacks against its bases was perfectly rational from the Israeli point of view."

The basis of US-Israel relations is the supposed threat Israel faces by its neighbors but for decades Israel has been offered peace time and time again or international law has demanded Israel to end its illegal military activities, only for Israel and the US to reject and obstruct peace and justice.

According to Moshe Sharett's (Israel's second Prime Minister) personal diary he writes that, 

I have been meditating on the long chain of false incidents and hostilities we have invented, and on the many clashes we have provoked which cost us so much blood, and on the violations of the law by our men-all of which brought grave disasters and determined the whole course of events and contributed to the security crisis.

From Chapter 10, Never Missing an Opportunity to Miss an Opportunity; The Israeli Nonpolicy of Peace in the Middle East of Zeev Maoz's book, Defending the Holy Land; A Critical Analysis of Israel’s Security & Foreign Policy:

Israel's decision makers [from 1949 through the present] were as reluctant and risk averse when it came to making peace as they were daring and trigger happy when it came to making war. Second, the official Israeli decision makers typically did not initiate peace overtures; most of the peace initiatives in the Arab-Israeli conflict came either from the Arab world, from the international community, or from grass-roots and informal channels. Third, when Israel was willing to take risks for peace, they usually paid off. The Arabs generally showed a remarkable tendency for compliance with their treaty obligations. In quite a few cases, it was Israel – rather than the Arabs – that violated formal and informal agreements.

Maoz also points out that when Israel took "risks for peace" those risks entailed little risks at all or after being shown the risks of not accepting peace.

For example, in 1971 Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat offered Israel peace. Israel rejected. In 1973 Egypt attacked Israel and showed it was militarily stronger than Israel thought. Israel then accepted peace.

Israel accepted peace from Jordan but there was no risk, no cost. Pretty much Jordan capitulated to Israel.

From 1953 to 1979 Israel accepted peace from Iran, but again it received more than it gave. Israel's motives for peace or the denying of it has largely centered around its malignantly perceived self-interests, which Maoz attributes to the domination of the security establishment within Israeli politics.

Anyway, let's get back to Lebanon in the 1980s: when the smoke had cleared and the blood of Sabra and Shátila had dried, Israel occupied parts of Lebanon and the Hezbollah resistance followed until 2000 when Israel finally left.

But it wasn’t over.

Israel continued to provoke Lebanon. They continued to kidnap Lebanese and torture them in Israeli dungeons like Camp 1391. They continued to carry out assassinations in the country. They violated Lebanese air, land and sea space thousands of times. The months preceding the 2006 war Lebanon complained persistently to the UN about these acts. In May of 2006, two months before the war officially began, the Lebanese government sent a letter to the UN that “contains details about the Israeli attacks and the civilian areas targeted by Israel‘s military. It also highlighted Tel Aviv's threats to conduct more operations against Lebanon.”

On January 29, 2004 Israel did a prisoner swap with Hezbollah. According to the Guardian UK,

Israel held on to three Lebanese detainees as bargaining chips and to keep the battle front with Hizbullah open.

Zeev Maoz, the Israeli historian and military scholar mentioned above, noted on the 2006 war that:

The IDF has fired thousands of shells into south Lebanon villages, alleging that Hezbollah men are concealed among the civilian population. Approximately 25 Israeli civilians have been killed as a result of Katyusha missiles to date. The number of dead in Lebanon, the vast majority comprised of civilians who have nothing to do with Hezbollah, is more than 300.

Worse yet, bombing infrastructure targets such as power stations, bridges and other civil facilities turns the entire Lebanese civilian population into a victim and hostage, even if we are not physically harming civilians. The use of bombings to achieve a diplomatic goal – namely, coercing the Lebanese government into implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1559 – is an attempt at political blackmail, and no less than the kidnapping of IDF soldiers by Hezbollah is the aim of bringing about a prisoner exchange.

Some who remember the details of the war might recall claims that Hezbollah was targeting Israeli civilians. Even the leaked cable hints at the prospect with the statement that, "If rockets were to rain down on Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv, Israel would still have powerful incentives, as it did in 2006." But as one journalist on the scene noted:

[W]e cannot easily know what Hizbullah is trying to hit because Israel has located most of its army camps, weapons factories and military installations near or inside civilian communities. […] At the very least, we should concede to Hizbullah that it is not always targeting civilians, and very possibly is not mainly targeting civilians, which might in part explain the comparatively low Israeli civilian casualty figures. […] Hassan Nasrallah has repeatedly warned Israeli residents of areas like Haifa, Afula, Hadera and Tel Aviv that Hizbullah will hit these cities with rockets days before it has actually done so. Hizbullah can claim just as fairly that it has given Israelis fair warning of its attacks on civilian communities.

It's not Hezbollah who has a history of disproportinately targeting civilians. In the 2006 war Israel deliberately targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure. Of the 164 Israelis killed only 25% were civilians (and the point Jonathan Cook is making above about the extent to which Israel embeds its "military installations near or inside civilian communities" needs to be kept in mind), and of the 1,500 Lebanese killed 80% were civilians. This disparity was also found in the 2009-2010 Gaza War where of the 16 who were killed only three were civilians (less than 19% of casualties were civilians) and of the 13 soldiers who were killed ten of those were by friendly fire! And of the just over 1,400 Palestinians killed more than 900—or two-thirds—were civilians.

Here's a memorable example from the 2006 war:

It was early in the morning on July 30, 2006 in Qana, Lebanon. Without warning, a three-story building housing more than sixty Lebanese was bombed by Israel with American bombs.

By now you have probably forgotten about it, but as the story progressed the truth started to reveal itself.

At first the Israeli military said they were responding to rocket fire from the village. Air Force Chief of Staff Brig.-Gen. Amir Eshel even showed video footage of rockets being fired. You might have seen the footage.

According to Jeruselem Post at the time:

Some 150 rockets were fired from the Lebanese village of Qana over the past 20 days, Air Force Chief of Staff Brig.-Gen. Amir Eshel said on Sunday evening. Speaking to reporters, Eshel added that Hizbullah rocket launchers were hidden in civilian buildings in the village. He proceeded to show video footage of rocket launchers being driven into the village following launches.

According to "Red Cross workers and residents of Qana, where Israeli bombing killed at least 60 civilians, [IPS was told] that no Hezbollah rockets were launched from the city before the Israeli air strike."

It gets worse…

According to reporters at the scene, an Israeli missile hit a three-story building where relatives from two extended families were seeking refuge. There were only eight survivors. The youngest of the dead was 10 months old. The oldest was 95. One person was in a wheelchair. No weapons were found in the building that was hit.

Robert Fisk quickly reported on this war crime too:

And there was no doubt of the missile which killed all those children yesterday. It came from the United States, and upon a fragment of it was written: ‘For use on MK-84 Guided Bomb BSU-37-B.’ No doubt the manufacturers can call it "combat-proven" because it destroyed the entire three-storey house in which the Shalhoub and Hashim families lived. They had taken refuge in the basement from an enormous Israeli bombardment, and that is where most of them died.

Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz informs of us new developments that put what Eshel said/showed in contradiction:

It now appears that the military had no information on rockets launched from the site of the building, or the presence of Hezbollah men at the time.

The Israel Defense Forces had said after the deadly air-strike that many rockets had been launched from Qana. However, it changed its version on Monday.

This change of version raises quite a few questions, but none more than those that do with the obvious lie and cover-up.

Some of you may have seen the photographs of the carnage in Qana. If not then you can view it here on a fellow blogger’s, Saracen, website.

Following the war, Hezbollah came away intact and stronger, politically and militarily. Which is why the Obama administration, in collusion with Israel, is now considering targeting civilian areas in Syria in order to ensure the balance of military power stays shifted towards Israel.

These are the kinds of things we are learning from the WikiLeaks and why their publications are so important. The attack hasn’t happened yet and with enough public outrage they might not.

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