August 2006

What’s that all about eh? I’ll tell you this much… I immediately took the side of oor Tommy, the leader of oor kind. Like most conclusions jumped to in a rash manner, I was wrong.Tommy Sheridan is a fucking eejit. His antics, post trial, have shown him up to be nothing more than a despicable scab. Why do I use that word in this instance? Because he has aided and abetted both the NOTW and the other mob. He has fed them gossip. Lets face it comrades, that is all that these filthy rags can peddle. Filthy gossip!

He has turned on his own. People that have stood shoulder to shoulder with him in the fight against thatcherism. All this because of his ego. Well I’ve got news for you Tommy. Fidel Castro you are not. It hurts me to say it as I’m sure it does everyone connected with the party but you have dragged the whole socialist movement in Scotland down to the level found south of the border with it’s sectarian nature. It will take a long time to recover from this and to do so it’s a given that you have to be removed.

Funnily enough, I did a wee straw poll and have found that the overwhelming majority of working class people in Scotland think he’s still the messiah. However, when I then debated the thing with them I found that they had not scratched the surface and had a closer look. They are blinded, as I was, by a hatred of all things thatcher including the Murdoch gossip empire. I hope it works it’s self out but the only real solution I can see is Tommy Sheridan leaving to pursue his media career.

By Danny Morrison.

In August 1969 the United Nations, on one of those rare occasions, used the word “condemn” in relation to Israel.

In Resolution 270 it said that the Security Council, “condemns the premeditated air attack by Israel on villages in Southern Lebanon” and deplores all violent incidents in violation of the 1967 ceasefire between Lebanon and Israel. It said these grave violations cannot be tolerated and that it would consider further and more effective steps to ensure repetition of such acts.

Then there was Resolution 347 in April 1974 when the UN said much the same. The Security Council, “condemns Israel’s violation of Lebanon’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and calls once more on the Government of Israel to refrain from further military actions and threats against Lebanon.” Furthermore, the UN called upon Israel “forthwith to release and return to Lebanon the abducted Lebanese civilians.”

Then there was Resolution 425 in March 1978 in which the Security Council, “calls upon Israel immediately to cease its military action against Lebanese territorial integrity and withdraw forthwith its forces from all Lebanese territory.”

Then there was Resolution 450 in June 1979 in which the Security Council, “calls upon Israel to cease forthwith its acts against the territorial integrity, unity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon, in particular its incursions into Lebanon…”

Then there was Resolution 521 in September 1982 in which the Security Council, “condemns the criminal massacre of Palestinian civilians in Beirut”, a reference to the slaughter of refugees in the camps of Sabra and Chatilla by Israel’s allies, the Lebanese Christian Phalangists, as Israeli forces sealed off the area.

It should be remembered that it wasn’t until 1983 that Hezbollah arrived on the scene – influenced and financed by Iran. It later began its guerrilla war in the south against the occupying Israeli military forces which it then extended against Israeli civilians across the border. Despite its rhetoric, it remains a pragmatic organisation. Its demands are the return of Lebanese land which Israel has occupied since 1967; the supply of maps showing where Israel planted landmines in Southern Lebanon; and the release of Lebanese prisoners in exchange for two captured Israeli soldiers.

There is no difference between the suffering and terror experienced by innocent civilians on either side of the border. Opinion polls indicate that Israeli civilians are as loyal to their forces and supportive of their tactics as Lebanese Shias in the south are to Hezbollah.

But the Lebanese do not hold the key to the problem. They are not occupying Israeli land. No superpower arms them or re-supplies them. They are just Arabs and they and their babies will die in greater numbers because the world does not care or care to challenge the USA.

To understand why last Sunday’s killings of 54 Lebanese civilians in Qana, half of them children, will not force a change of heart by the Israeli government one need only compare this massacre to a similar massacre in the same place ten years ago.

In April 1996 Israel launched Operation Grapes of Wrath against Hezbollah.

A few days before the first massacre at Qana an Israeli Major-General, Amiram Levine, said that, “the residents in south Lebanon who are under the responsibility of Hezbollah will be hit harder, and the Hezbollah will be hit harder, and we will find the way to act correctly and quickly.”

A few days before the most recent massacre at Qana, the Israeli Minister of Justice, Haim Ramon, said that anyone found in the border region would be regarded as a target. He advocated bombing villages to make the advance of land forces easier.

“These places are not villages. They are military bases in which Hezbollah are hiding and from which they are operating… All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah.”

During Operation Grapes of Wrath almost twenty Lebanese villages were destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless. Many who attempted to flee to the North were attacked by Israeli planes.

That is why civilians stayed put or took refuge at the UN post in Qana. This time, again, Israeli planes dropped leaflets and cynically encouraged people to leave, only to attack them once they were on the road. Many of the 600 civilians who died in the past two weeks were killed as they tried to flee.

In 1996 refugees sought protection at the headquarters of the Fijian battalion of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. There, over one hundred of them, mostly women and children, were killed by Israeli shells.

An inquiry carried out by Major-General Franklin van Kappen, the Military Adviser to the UN Secretary-General, found that, “the pattern of impacts in the Qana area makes it unlikely that the shelling of the United Nations compound was the result of technical and/or procedural errors.”

He noted that “no impacts were found” at the location from where Israeli forces claimed Hezbollah had fired at them. He also said that, “Contrary to repeated denials, two Israeli helicopters and a remotely piloted vehicle were present in the Qana area at the time of the shelling.” These would have enabled the Israeli forces to observe and adjust their fire if they were not on target.

The Israeli government promised that its army would adopt new precautions with regard to firing at targets near United Nations positions.

But last week its forces repeatedly fired on a UN position and killed four observers, an act which UN Secretary General Kofi Annan condemned as a deliberate targeting of the post. Afterwards, the Israelis agreed to give safe passage to two UN armoured personnel carriers to remove the bodies and evacuate the position – and then opened fire on them as well.

There was no UN resolution using the word “condemn” because the US threatened to veto any condemnation of Israel.

That’s how far we have come since Resolution 270 in August 1969.

If the UN cannot condemn the murder of its own personnel why should Lebanese civilians trust it to protect them?

Israel wanted the UN monitors out of the area so that it could kill civilians, given that “All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah.” It wants to create a wasteland.

On Monday it agreed to a 48-hour air strike suspension and then broke that agreement immediately and has widened its ground offensive. When it is finished it will want other nations around the world to supply cannon fodder to act as its policemen in South Lebanon and put down Hezbollah if Lebanon fails to implement UN Resolution 1559. That resolution calls for the disbandment and disarmament of groups such as Hezbollah and for their replacement by the Lebanese army. That is something which is now unimaginable given that Hezbollah is being hailed in Lebanon as defenders of the people.

Israel couldn’t care a toss about the UN, except for whatever strategic, tactical or propaganda use it can provide it. No signatory to the Charter of the United Nations has consistently and arrogantly defied resolutions more than Israel, with the support of the USA.

As for the hypocrisy and double-standards of the United States – supplying missiles to Israel to attack and make Lebanese civilians homeless, civilians to whom it then donates blankets as an act of humanity – it would make you want to vomit.