Monday, July 31, 2006

Meanwhile, in the Middle East

As American bombs keep falling on Lebanon (via the Israeli Air Force) the Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has basically thrown down the gauntlet in Iraq:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraq's top Shiite cleric demanded an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon, warning Sunday that the Muslim world will ``not forgive'' nations that stand in the way of stopping the fighting.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued the call following the Israeli airstrike that killed at least 56 Lebanese, mostly women and children, in the village of Qana. It was the deadliest attack in nearly three weeks of fighting.

``Islamic nations will not forgive the entities that hinder a cease-fire,'' al-Sistani said in a clear reference to the United States.

``It is not possible to stand helpless in front of this Israeli aggression on Lebanon,'' he added. ``If an immediate cease-fire in this Israeli aggression is not imposed, dire consequences will befall the region.''
Oh, and the Syrians have moved up a notch on whatever passes for their version of DEFCON:
DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told the Syrian military on Monday to raise its readiness, pledging not to abandon support for Lebanese resistance against Israel.

"We are facing international circumstances and regional challenges that require caution, alert, readiness and preparedness," Assad said.

"The barbaric war of annihilation the Israeli aggression is waging on our people in Lebanon and Palestine is increasing in ferocity," Assad said in a written address on the occasion of the 61st anniversary of the foundation of the Syria Arab Army.
In all this, Kevin Drum writes:
There is, essentially, no one left in the entire world that supports our position on Lebanon.
Just like a bloody Yank. Always forgetting Canada, all tucked away down there.

So basically it's Canada, Israel, the United States vs. the other, oh, 6 billion people on the planet.

Of course, Harper - before he disowned his own words - supported one diastrous war in the Middle East. Maybe he's just pissed off that he missed his chance to get in on that fiasco. But I really don't want to think about where this is leading.

1 comment:

North of 49 said...

Usually I grind my teeth when I see Canada getting overlooked, though in this case I'm grateful. It won't last, though, unless Harper and McKay start backpedalling furiously.

I'm spitting mad at the way the new Bush family pets have put every Canadian at greater risk. Harper, by framing Israel's actions in Lebanon as "measured", has implicitly endorsed the idea of collective punishment instead of condemning it.

What are the odds of that coming back to bite him? (Not that he himself will suffer; it'll be innocent Canadians that pay the price.)

Who knows, perhaps he's even hoping for it, since he knows his own head is safe for the time being. An attack on Canadians anywhere would be the perfect "PNAC moment", and thanks to his ideological colleagues in the USA he's got access to a ready-made and tested game plan for exploiting the fear and hysteria into an increase in unitary executive power and attacks on civil liberties.