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How many kids did the U.S. kill today?

By Sharon Smith | August 11, 2006 | Page 11

ON AUGUST 6, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and President George W. Bush pieced together a toothless United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution on Lebanon. The resolution does not even call for Israel's withdrawal from its neighboring Arab sovereign state.

The U.S. gave its imperial partner, Israel, a green light to continue its carnage. U.S. fingerprints are all over Israel's war on Lebanon, graphically illustrated by the July 30 massacre of civilians at Qana, using U.S.-made F-16 fighter planes, while a bomb fragment found at the Qana bombing site read, "For use on MK-84, Guided Bomb BSU-37/B"--produced by Boeing to convert MK-84s into precision bombs.

Lebanon is just the latest of the U.S.'s many fronts in its "war on terror," now approaching its fifth anniversary. Yet, despite its ferocity, this war is proving an abysmal failure for U.S. imperialism--in Afghanistan and Iraq, and also in its proxy wars in Palestine and Lebanon.

Perhaps for this reason, the civilian death toll has risen sharply in this latest phase. Lebanese civilian deaths, one-third of them children, now top 800 with a million displaced, while Iraqis are dying at a rate of more than 100 per day according to journalist Patrick Cockburn.

In southern Afghanistan, at least 600 of the 1,100 deaths this year have been civilians, more than at any time since the U.S. war on Afghanistan in late 2001, according to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC).

In July alone, Israel's onslaught against Gaza has killed 163 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, half of whom who were not involved in any military hostilities, the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem reported.

Israel's military bombardments of Lebanon and Gaza are failing in their aims, as are the U.S. occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan--and for the same reasons. The parallels are too striking to ignore.

Assuming that military superiority alone would ensure the submission of conquered populations proved a grave miscalculation--as it did for the U.S. in Vietnam. On the contrary, the would-be conquered populations have resisted with surprising force. Hezbollah fighters, most recently, have humiliated Israel by preventing a quick Israeli victory.

Israel's new war on Lebanon has backfired, greatly increasing Hezbollah's support among the Lebanese. A recent opinion poll by the Center for Research and Information in Beirut, 87 percent of all Lebanese support Hezbollah's resistance against Israel--including 80 percent of Christians, 80 percent of Druze respondents and 89 percent of Sunnis.

The war against Lebanon was designed to isolate Hezbollah--but has done the opposite. Hezbollah's standing has not only risen inside Lebanon but throughout the Middle East. This is not a religious, but an anti-imperialist, resistance.

Do not expect, however, either the U.S. or Israel to retreat at this juncture. The stakes are too high, and neither can back down because humiliation at the hands of a resistance movement spells imperial defeat.

In all likelihood, the war on terror will expand to include new targets--including possibly Syria, and more likely Iran. The U.S. has never forgiven Iran for the 1979 Islamic revolution that overthrew the pro-U.S. Reza Shah Pahlavi.

In the 1980s, the U.S. prevented an Iranian military victory in its war with Iraq, by first backing Saddam Hussein and later by arming both sides in the conflict. As one former Reagan administration official argued, "[Saddam] Hussein is a bastard. But at the time he was our bastard."

As conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer recently commented, "America wants, America needs, a decisive Hezbollah defeat....[This] would be a huge loss for Iran, both psychologically and strategically. Iran would be shown to have vastly overreached in trying to establish itself as the regional superpower."

In contrast, as journalist Tamim Al-Barghouti argues, for Arabs and Muslims, Hezbollah, as an indigenous resistance movement, "represents an all powerful example to Arabs and Muslims who have been longing to regain some of the dignity they lost at the hands of their leaders, who look more like employees in the American bureaucracy than heads of independent states."

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