Thursday, August 3, 2006

U.S. to Supply Food with One Hand, Arms with Other by Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS - As Israel's bombing of Lebanon continues unabated into its fourth consecutive week, the United States says it stands ready to provide food, medicine and humanitarian assistance to the thousands of internally displaced Lebanese caught in the crossfire. But Washington has also decided to accelerate the supply of lethal weapons to Israel -- ''perhaps intended to kill the very Lebanese the United States is planning to feed and shelter,'' says one Arab diplomat at the United Nations.

''It is U.S. hypocrisy at its worst,'' he told IPS, speaking on condition of anonymity, because his country receives millions of dollars in U.S. economic aid.

''The right hand obviously does not know what its left hand is up to. Or does it?'' he asked.

Irene Khan, secretary-general of the London-based Amnesty International (AI), is equally harsh in her reaction. ''It is ridiculous to talk about providing humanitarian aid on the one hand, and to provide arms on the other,'' she says.

In the face of such human suffering in Lebanon and Israel, Khan says, ''It is imperative that all governments stop the supply of arms and weapons to both sides immediately.''

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