Finally, after 33 days of massacres and genocide, crimes against human rights and unrestrained violations to International Law perpetrated by Israeli aggressors with the support of the United States’ Imperialism, the United Nations Security Council passed the resolution 1701 demanding immediate cease-fire. It was not without embarrassment, however, that the highest body of the United Nations evidenced the lateness with which it took the position, only after the Lebanese people was massacred. That feeling was present in Secretary-General Koffi Annan’s speech.
The demand that the Lebanese people’s holocaust came to an end was an outcry of all humanity. The death of over a thousand civilians, the mass escapes of about one million people, the destruction of hospitals and schools, which constituted the painful daily life of Lebanon during over a month, will be indelibly marked in history as signs of a time in which the aggression war was chosen as the method by which the powerful impose their will on more vulnerable nations.
Measures adopted in political and diplomatic fields are always valid in avoiding the prevalence of such trends and interrupting the suffering of a people, as much as it is valid all that other countries do to keep the United States from deciding the destinies of humankind and imposing its conception of world order, which is imbued with threats to all dependent peoples and nations. For that reason, progressive forces all over the world welcomed the decision made by the Security Council regarding the cease-fire. It is a victory of all who manifested in the streets of all parts of the planet against the brutalities of the Israeli air force and army.
The Resolution on the cease-fire resulted mainly from the tenaciousness and heroism with which the Lebanese national resistance opposed the Israeli aggression and repelled the invaders. Despite all suffering inflicted upon the Lebanese people, the infinite technological superiority of the aggressors and all the political support granted by the United States’ imperialism, Israel was defeated. The Zionists and their US patrons postponed as much as they could the decision on the cease-fire since they supposed that when it would be finally inevitable their enemy would be already beaten and their objective of conquering again Lebanon’s South would be fulfilled.
However the opposite took place. The cease-fire became possible as much as the Israeli defeat became inevitable. The extent of human and material loss inflicted by the Israeli aggressors on the Lebanese national resistance — among which the Hezbollah and the Lebanese communists, who also registered victims among their ranks — is still unknown. But all observers unanimously state that the Arab militia is still able to fight and came out politically strengthened by the conflict. Even the creaky and conservative paper O Estado de São Paulo affirmed in an editorial from August 16th that "only Muhammad is more revered than Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s number one". To Israel, that was a useless war. Its constables did not manage to free war prisoners made hostages in July 12th, its territory was attacked by the Katyusha rockets in response to the air raids, its troops lost the land combats and endured many losses. As a result, the government was demoralized and a political crisis ensued.
All over the Arab world both the mourning for the lives lost under Israeli bombs and the feeling of national pride for being able to fight and defeat the aggressor are felt, what gives momentum to the whole of the Arab and Palestinian national struggle, to the Palestinian National State, to the withdrawal from Iraq and against the attempts at destabilizing Syria.
Although it bears positive aspects for determining the cease-fire, Resolution 1701 also presents some contradictory aspects. It is not correct to establish equivalence between the withdrawal of Israeli force from the Lebanon’s South and the Hezbollah’s disarmament and dismantling. The presence of Israeli troops in Lebanon harms the national sovereignty of the latter and therefore constitutes a flagrant violation of international law; moreover, the way of tackling with the Hezbollah’ militia is an issue that Lebanon has conditions to determine. As regarding the presence of troops commanded by the UN, it should correspond to a demand made clear by the Lebanon’s sovereignty bodies (government and parliament) and be restricted to the objective of protecting the Lebanese territory from the presence of foreign forces.
The cease-fire ruled by the UN Security Council does not put an end to the crisis in the Middle East since its determining factors were not addressed. As long as the Palestinian issue and the Iraqi issue are not resolved and the situation in the region is ruled by the "restructuring" plan of the Bush administration and by the expansionist interests of Israel, there will be no peace in the region.
Nevertheless, there is a spreading feeling that the Middle East is not the same after Israel was defeated in the war of 33 days. And the feeling that neither Israel nor its imperialist masters are invincible is what changed. And that is of great help in the anti-imperialist struggle.