What didn’t happen:
1- Israel did not win the war that it launched against Lebanon and Hezbollah;
2- The Lebanese did not fall into Israel’ s trap, and therefore did not turn against Hezbollah as a result of Israel’s massive bombardment of Lebanon’s infrastructure and mass killing of its civilian population;
3- Hezbollah did not lose the war that Israel launched against it and Lebanon, nor was its fighting capability daunted or significantly reduced by a full month of massive Israeli aerial bombardment; indeed, Hezbollah continued to launch missiles from within the very areas that Israel said it had occupied, cleaned-up, or mopped-up; did so from behind Israel’s advanced lines; attacked Israeli forces from behind; and forced Tsahal to beat a retreat from a town that the Israeli army had tried to occupy.
What did happen:
1- The Lebanese rallied around Hezbollah en-masse, instead of turning against it (yes, including Lebanese Christians) and Israel’s rain of death and destruction has fertilized and nurtured a vast new crop of future resistors, steeped in animosity against Israel’s zionist philosophy, and in abhorrence against its violent and brutal methodology;
2- Hezbollah inflicted heavy losses on Israel’s ground forces, thus puncturing the myth of the invincible (and grossly mislabeled) Israel Defence Force (sic) thereby setting the stage to win the inevitable guerilla war that is sure to follow, which will yet again drive the Israeli army back where it belongs: on the southern side of Israel’s northern border;
3- Israel’s government and armed forces were shown around the world for the brute and not too smart, war criminals that they have proven to be, and the US was exposed as a co-conspirator and organizer of the deadly and destructive assault on a country whose government the US praised as “a friend of America’s,” while it plotted to blow it to smithereens.
What will not happen
1- The US and Israel winning the war against Hezbollah;
2- The US and Israel winning a direct war they would launch against Iran, were they foolish enough to do so in the first place (though Einstein’s two certainties, the one about the infinity of the universe and the other about the infinity of man’s stupidity, somehow come to mind;)
3- The US and Israel perpetuating Israel’s “bully-of-the-Middle-East” status for much longer;
What will happen:
1- The US-Israeli war against Lebanon will restart with a vengeance, leading to further killing of innocent Lebanese civilians and greater destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure;
2- Israel’s deadly and destructive attacks against the Palestinians in Gaza will continue unabated, escalating into ever greater levels of cruelty and violence on the part of the military occupier;
3- Iraq’s Shiites will emulate America’s anti-British 18th century revolutionaries, by joining the liberation movement to rid their country of the Anglo-American, neo-colonial occupation that raped their people and plundered their resources.
What should happen:
1- Whatever is left of the pitifully named “coalition of the willing” should leave Iraq, and pay billions of dollars in reparations to the Iraqi government, allowing it perhaps finally to try holding the country together and putting a stop to the civil war that’s ravaging Iraq, provided of course that American-British misdeeds have not already relegated both these possibilities to the realm of Oz and Wonderland;
2- Having sacked their current government, and the one to follow it if it proves to be composed of similarly-minded idiots, the Israeli people should declare that their country is abandoning its expansionist and apartheid policies, in a bid to live in peace, harmony and total integration with its Middle East neighbors, and should provide concrete proof of this desire by dismantling Israel’s dangerous nuclear program, and decommissioning the country’s existing arsenal of 300+ nuclear war-heads;
3- Having thrown out George W. Bush ad his Neo-conservative administration, and Tony Blair and his government of small men and women who are displaying growing neo-fascist tendencies, the newly elected American and British governments should deliver Bush and Blair to the International Criminal Court, to be tried for war crimes, after which they ought to be rushed to the nearest hospital radiology lab, to check if they actually had a brain and a heart in the first –and right– place.
What is not likely to happen
1- None of the actions mentioned in “What should happen” above, are likely to see the light of day;
2- The American people are unlikely to take measures to deter their government and criminally minded politicians from continuing to plot an attack against Iran, which these politicians will cynically provoke for the additional purpose of ensuring their re-election into office, carrying on with hegemonic policies hatched by dual-loyalty Neocons: dually loyal to control the Middle East’s oil reserves, and to expand Israel’s powers in the service of racial and religious segregation;
3- The British people are unlikely to prevent the cabal of increasingly neofascists-in-lamb’s-clothing that calls itself Her Majesty’s government from continuing to scare them into relinquishing what little is left of their civil liberties, and into blaming Britain’s present and future woes on “Muslim-born” British citizens and their coreligionists around the world.
Where this leaves us
Folks, the Israeli-Lebanese proxy war ain’t over yet. There’s more and worse to come. As long as the American, Israeli and British governments and their electorates continue to believe that they can cow people into subservience ad infinitum through unfettered violence, and as long as they continue to assert that Western blood is more valuable than Arab, African or Asian blood, these 19th century throwbacks will continue to cause mayhem and commit war crimes in the 21st century.
George W. Bush’s formulation was right: it’s either him, his lapdog Tony, his Middle East agent Ehud, and their respective cabals, or us, the civilized rest of humanity.
Faced with a dangerous bunch of neocon criminals, a slobbering poodle, and an apartheid-minded, neocolonialist whose government is proving to be barely better than any of the other criminal governments that the Earth has suffered in the past century, I vote for the rest of us.
There are elections coming up. Throw the bastards out. Don’t vote worse, or equal bastards in.
Otherwise, you’re with them, and we remain on this side of the civilized divide.
RACHARD ITANI can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org