Stop the war now

THE Middle East conflict has spread to new areas. Israel's attacks on Lebanon are not limited to south of the country or capital Beirut anymore. The Mediterranean country is being indiscriminately bombarded across its length and breadth as Israeli attacks grow in their devastating intensity.

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Published: Mon 17 Jul 2006, 10:29 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:10 PM

Death toll on the Lebanese side has almost touched 100. Hezbollah is fighting back too -- striking as deep inside the northern Israel as it can. A Hezbollah rocket attack yesterday is said to have killed eight people in Haifa.

This is as bad as it gets. If this madness persists, it won't be long before this conflict transforms itself into a large scale regional war dragging many neighbouring countries into it. Syria and Iran have already been accused of encouraging and aiding Hezbollah. Goes without saying that such an eventuality could be a real nightmare scenario not only for the Middle East but the entire world.

And this is not completely improbable either. After all Ehud Olmert has done since taking over from Sharon over the past few months, you can't put anything past him now, intent as he is to build a fan club of his own.

So this is just as well that the world finally appears to have woken up to the explosive nature of this conflict and its regional and global implications.

Four days after the relentless blitz of Lebanon, US has come around to asking Israel to show 'restraint.'

The Middle East conflict dominated the Group of 8 summit in Russia too with US and Russia taking completely opposite view of the Lebanon crisis.

The Arab League meeting on the issue in Cairo yesterday unfortunately but not surprisingly failed to come up with a collective and workable strategy to deal with the threat facing its two member states.

But even if the League is unable to take a stance, international public opinion is fast building up against this aggression amid concerns that the conflict could expand to other parts of the volatile Middle East.

The Non-Aligned Movement, the largest grouping of nations after the UN, has rallied behind Lebanon urging the G-8 leaders to stop the war. It is the force of this global public opinion that the movers and shakers the G-8 summit were unable to ignore.

It is high time for the world leaders, especially the US and other members of the Middle East Quartet, to realise their responsibility in this hour of crisis.

And pray, why is the UN, the world's peacekeeper, silent? At a time when Lebanon is burning and its people are fleeing, UN chose to take up the 'pressing' issue of North Korea's missiles yesterday. For God's sake, when will the world body get its priorities right?

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