Scheme for re-shaping the Middle East [Archives:2006/968/Opinion]

August 31 2006

By: Mohammed Khidr
After almost two weeks since the beginning of the ongoing all-out Israeli aggression on Lebanon and fierce confrontations between Israel and the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in the region Monday 24 July. With Beirut as her first leg, her tour includes Tel Aviv before attending the Rome conference on Wednesday. Rice has arrived in Beirut at a time when most Lebanese towns and villages, especially the capital Beirut, have been bombed and reduced to rubble. Israeli air force fighter planes, warships and heavy artillery have been pounding all of Lebanon around the clock under the pretence of fighting Hezbollah to force it to release the two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah fighters Wednesday 12 July.

The US Bush administration has continuously blocked any attempt by the UN Security Council to declare a ceasefire in Lebanon. The aim is to empower Israel to deal as many deadly blows on the Hezbollah resistance movement in prelude to its preplanned scenario for the region. Rice came to Lebanon to dictate to the Lebanese government the Israeli declared conditions for a possible ceasefire that the American administration sanctions and defends strongly. Explicitly, the Israeli and American conditions are the release of the two kidnapped Israeli soldiers, the removal of Hezbollah from southern Lebanon to the north and the disarmament of Hezbollah according to UN resolution 1559.

Implicitly, the objectives of the US-backed war on Hezbollah and Lebanon are far beyond those already made public. The aim is to enforce the American scheme in reshaping the Middle East region and the Arab region in particular. The scheme first needs to eliminate all elements of resistance in Palestine and in Lebanon and anywhere else in the Arab region. Arab resistance movements constitute the main obstacle facing the American New Middle East scheme and it needs to be removed for good. Many observers believe that had the crisis between Hezbollah and Israel not occurred, Israel and the US would have created any pretext to create a situation leading to a crisis in the region in order to start a war annihilating the resistance movements in the Arab region. However, the incident of capturing the two Israeli soldiers by the Hezbollah, despite the action's legitimacy and aim of exchanging prisoners for release, has given the US administration and Israel an excellent opportunity to embark on their colonialist scheme and spared them the effort of looking for pretexts.

To prevent any Arab effort to avert any escalation of the situation in the Arab region following the outbreak of the Israeli war on Lebanon, especially the shy effort by Arab League foreign ministers, the US administration moved quickly in contacting its Arab allies to take a firm stand in support of the American plan and to stop any resolution that would end the fighting and ultimately spare Hezbollah and Lebanon any further destruction; hence the Saudi, Egyptian and Jordanian governments' stance. They have blamed Hezbollah for sparking off the crisis by taking 'irresponsible action of uncalculated adventures', claiming that Hezbollah has 'assumed alone the full responsibility of their irresponsible acts'. The Arab foreign ministers did not come out with any solution capable of preventing further deterioration of the Israeli-Lebanese confrontation that may prevent it igniting a full-fledged regional war. The US allies in the Arab region have also exerted a great effort to undermine the Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh's call for holding an Arab summit to stop the dangerous situation escalating because of the Israeli savage aggression. As a result, Yemen found itself forced to withdraw its call for an Arab summit.

After its invasion and toppling of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, the Bush administration has believed it should go ahead in its scheme of reshaping the Middle East situation and even redraw its map in line with its short and long-term interests in the region so that it can spread its full control in this strategically vital region in the world. The scheme includes, of course, plans of settling accounts with both Iran and Syria.

In the current developments of the Israeli war on Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine, which is fought on behalf of the direct involvement of the American Bush administration, the US is putting pressure on regimes in the region to suppress anybody uprising against that scheme and subdue any such popular attempts to refuse the US, the New Middle East imperialist. The US administration presumes that by destruction of Hezbollah, Hamas and other Arab resistance movements it will have the road well paved for it to go ahead in implementing its colonialist project. It presumes that the Arab people all over the Arab world can be conquered for good, especially by their regimes. The US attempts to carry out in its policy and plan in the Arab region as if it is moving in an area devoid of people or patriotic nationalist forces. The US administration's behavior in the region and its plans for it display its ignorance of the history of this nation and its misguided interpretation of it. It supposes it will succeed, for a while, but that does not mean the situation will be an easy ride. This nation is a living one and throughout history it had faced many setbacks and aggressions, but it has always managed eventually to rise again and recover from its misstep.

Mohammed Khidr is a Yemen Times journalist and a senior translator ([email protected])