Friday, August 04, 2006

Lebanon: In Need of a 'Sustainable' Cease-fire?

I realized the United States of America is in trouble when the Condi Rice started using a phrase like: "sustainable cease-fire".

The last time I checked, the definition of Cease-fire is, according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 'a suspension of active hostilities'. So to talk of 'sustainability' of a cease-fire- a temporary action- in the midst of the carnage in Lebanon is indicative of a bankrupt and directionless foreign policy. The events in Iraq is just one measure of how hopeless and redundant this policy has become of late.

My shock at the use of the oxymonoric phrase isn't as much as my disappointment at the US's role- direct and indirect- in the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict. The fact the Iran and Syria are being given cold shoulders and not invited to the negotiating table is a display of an empty pride that reeks of gross naivety on the part of the American peace-broker!

I'm yet to see how the continued exclusion Iran/Syria from the peace process is going to yield a plan that wouldn't always fall short of being 'sustainable'. Iran and Syria hold a significant portion of the political and diplomatic stakes in the Middle East as of today. That Iran could wield so much influence in the region may not be unrelated to the fact that its de-facto checkmate, Iraq, has been incapacitated by the powers in Washington and London.

I refuse to get into who is wrong or right, besides that talk was relevant three weeks ago. Now the issue is stopping the macabre drama unfolding in the region where children on both sides of the conflict are constantly slaughtered in cold blood.

In my opinion, if 'dealing' with rogue leaders of Iran and Syria would bring peace to the Middle East, then that is fair a price to pay.

Related articles:
+ Beyond the Criticism and Ballyhoo: is there a Hidden Agenda in the Hezbollah-Israeli Conflict?
+ Israel's Bleak Future