Three weeks into the war in the Lebanon and the UN has finally agreed, after some intense wrangling about the specifics, to prevaricate some more.
The process in the UN to forge a draft resolution on the war ground to a halt with disagreement between France and the US. The former insisted that the wording of the UN draft resolution should include two ‘buts’, one ‘and’ and an ‘if’. The US on the other hand wanted three ‘buts’, no ‘ands’, two ‘ifs’, and a cast iron assurance that any UN resolution would permit Israel to continue its military campaign.
Looks like the US won.
The press have been calling the draft a climbdown for the US, but it seems clear to me that the press has been on a strict diet of magic mushrooms this weekend.
The draft declares that Israel should cease all offensive military action. However, since Israel sees the entire action as a matter of self defence, the draft is carte blanche to keep up the bombing.
And while the superpowers bicker over syntax and utter platitudes about ending the violence, real people are dying real deaths on the ground — the vast majority of them civilians.
And let’s stress another point: the draft resolution that the UN has suffered so long to work out is only that — a draft; a possibility, a maybe, a perhaps. The damn thing still has to be disputed by yet more fat men in suits.
Kaboom! There goes another entire family in Tyre. Blam! There goes another apartment building in Haifa.
You just look at the news and you have to think that none of the major players actually want a resolution. The UK, US and Israel want Hizbollah broken whatever the cost. Yet Hizbollah are doing rather well in military terms and they are in no hurry to give up either.
Indeed, the reaction to the UN draft from both the Israeli and the Hizbollah camps today has been “Interesting, but we’re not ready to stop yet, so go ahead and piss about with the syntax and prepositions some more until we are ready.”
The Lebanese government has seen through the draft and are not happy, and now some Israeli military personnel are saying that they have seen through their own establishment.
At least two Israeli pilots have admitted to deliberately missing their targets because they don’t trust the information they are being given. Well, if you were the pilot that had killed those 54 civilians at Qana, what would you be thinking now? You probably wouldn’t be getting hung up on punctuation.