Playing with Political Fire

by Brenda Heard

The timing of political manoeuvring often reveals the stark business of domination.  Sometimes the timing is flagrant, like the recent commotion in Greece.  In the very hours of forbidding the passage of the aid flotilla to Gaza, the financially strapped Greek government welcomed the approval of an €8.7 billion aid payment from the European Union.  With Israel’s position as an EU-groupie, even the Associated Press couldn’t resist smirking at Greece’s underlying ‘incentive to cozy up to its rich Mediterranean neighbor’.

Political manoeuvring also thrives on more subtle timing, as for example in the case of the notorious indictments of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Widely announced as imminent in December 2010, they somehow found themselves on the backburner when the Arab uprisings claimed every corner of Middle East news coverage.  Some six months later, on the heels of the formation of a Lebanese government non-hostile to the targeted Hezbollah—in the very hours between finalising the government’s policy statement  and its being subject to a parliamentary vote of confidence—only then were the indictments set into motion.  Bored of battling the credibility of Arab protests, international media eagerly shifted to the new sensational headlines.

Particularly when it comes to the Zionist project, the Western Israeli Alliance has often banked on timing—on distraction and exploitation. Five years ago, for instance, Israeli forces repeated the pretext-invasions of 1978 and 1982.  Five years ago, Israeli forces renewed their aggressive campaigns of 1978 and 1982.  With the full backing of their Western allies, five years ago Israeli forces again attacked Lebanon.

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The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL): Prerequisites for Injustice?

Omar Nashabe delivers the LSE Global Governance public lecture.

This event was recorded on 18 January 2011 in Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
The indictment of the STL in the Hariri assassination case is expected to be filed soon. However there are suspicions that the judicial process has been politically manipulated. This lecture will attempt to show that there have been serious flaws in the STL as an international mechanism for achieving justice. Omar Nashabe received a PhD in Criminal Justice; he serves as editor of the justice section of al-Akhbar newspaper and advisor on human rights and prisons to the Lebanese government. In 2007 he published The Roumieh Prison, if it could speak [in Arabic] with Dar as-Saqi, Beirut/London. The event was chaired by  Professor Susan Marks.
Available as:
mp3 (51 MB; approx 112 minutes)
Editor’s note: Unfortunately the first few minutes of the lecture are missing from the podcast.
Event Posting: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL): Prerequisites for Injustice?