Blair stays at number 10 to try help Israel out of the Lebanese mire


PRIME minister Blair, at the last minute, postponed his holiday to try to assist the UN Security Council efforts, headed by France, to fashion a resolution that will declare an immediate ceasefire in the Lebanon and send in a French led ‘stabilisation force’ to police its border with Israel.

Blair is the political leader who, only a few days ago, was insisting that the slaughter of Lebanese women and children could not be stopped before the expected Israeli victory, which was to be the basis of a ‘permanent solution’ to the crisis in the Lebanon – the disarmament of Hezbollah.

Now he believes that achieving an ‘immediate ceasefire’ in the next few days is vital.

What has changed. It is certainly not Blair’s political allegiance to Bush or his partiality for Olmert and Israeli stormtrooper tactics.

What has changed is the position of Israel.

Israel has slaughtered 900 Lebanese, many of them children, turned a million Lebanese into refugees, and ruthlessly smashed the Lebanese infrastructure – bridges, roads, power stations and hospitals. It has demolished up to 20 border villages. It slaughtered dozens of Lebanese farmhands yesterday. It is however losing its war with the Lebanese people.

Blair has delayed his holiday to play his part in rescuing Israel, and securing its northern border with the Lebanon with the help of French, Malaysian and Turkish troops.

After two weeks of very heavy fighting, the elite units of the Israeli army have not been able to secure even a 2 kilometre corridor inside the Lebanon.

From the moment they cross the border Israeli troops are under attack from all sides, from the front, behind, above by missile and below by mines and rockets fired from caves and tunnels.

They have never had a military experience like this.

Now Olmert has called for one great effort to advance 30 km to the Litani River. Even if they managed this, they would not be able to hold their positions even for half a day, and could even have the greatest difficulty returning to their side of the border.

So now Israel is relying on a UN ceasefire resolution that will be partial to it. Blair is working for this, and on France being able to gain acceptance from Hezbollah, Syria and Iran, so that Israel can get out of the Lebanese mire and see the end of Katyusha rocket attacks on its cities.

Such a deal will have to include an exchange of prisoners, Palestinians and Lebanese jailed by Israel, in return for freeing Israeli POWs.

The political implications of such a deal, and the military setbacks that Israel has experienced on the ground,will see the stock of Hezbollah rising enormously in the Lebanon and throughout the Arab world.

It will become the major political party in the Lebanon and play a much bigger role in the government.

Across the Arab world its selfless action in support of the beleaguered Palestinian masses of the Gaza Strip has had an even more profound impact. Hezbollah has raised the banner of a revolutionary unity of all the Arab masses whether Sunni or Shia to smash imperialism and Zionism.

The situation in Iraq, where the imperialist powers are seeking to fracture the country and turn it into a group of rival sectarian statelets, shows just how necessary this revolutionary unity is.

Hezbollah has struck a major blow at the imperialists and Zionists, the Arab masses will certainly follow its lead.

It is under the banner of the revolutionary unity of the masses that the US and UK imperialists and their puppet regime will be driven out of Iraq, and the conditions created to free the whole region, including Palestine, from imperialism and Zionism.

Hezbollah has provided the inspiration for the Muslim, Christian and Jewish masses to put an end to the Zionist outpost of imperialism, Israel, and to go forward to a Middle Eastern Federation of Socialist States where the people of the region will be able to live side by side.