Collaboration in a certain context epitomizes progressivism: people working together for the greater good. Collaboration, however, also has a dark side that is anathema to progressivist tenets: working against one's own society. In other words: treason and sedition.
In western society, those collaborating with the enemy were condemned as traitors. In Europe, the surname of Vitus Quisling, a Norwegian who collaborated with the Nazi occupation of Norway has come to mean "traitor" in much the same way as dual loyalist Benedict Arnold's name means "traitor" in American society.
There are two major contenders in the Middle East for eponymous recognition as traitors: Lebanon's prime minister, Fouad Siniora, and Palestine's president, Mahmoud Abbas, are willing to sell out their kinsfolk to Zionists and imperialists.
The Treason of Siniora
Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora shakes hands with Condoleeza Rice, the US Secretary of State who lengthened Lebanese exposure to Zionist bombing by working against a ceasefire. (Reuters)
The Lebanese government is beleaguered by its own people (particularly by a coalition of Maronites and Shi'a), a people impoverished by neoliberal policies and suffering the ravages of war caused by the same countries that Siniora has been cozying up to.
And what is the intention of the "aid" giving regimes? The Post answers: "The package is part of an effort by the United States, France, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and others to shore up the Lebanese security forces so they can eventually extend their control over the entire country." Let's see: We destroy you from inside and outside, then we give "aid" with the string attached that you acquiesce to puppets of your foreign masters. This would be a surrender of sovereignty.
The Post adds, "[The "aid" package] is also designed to strengthen the government's hand over the influence of Hezbollah." Hizbollah is the resistance that is credited with forcing Israel out of Lebanon (with the exception of Sheba'a Farms) and having recently fought Israel to at least a standstill. It compelled an end to Israel's latest aggression as Zionist impotency outside aerial bombing was proving humiliating. Strengthening the Lebanese government's hand over Hizbollah, though, is equivalent to strengthening imperialist hands over Hizbollah.
The Post is more forthcoming: "After Iraq, Lebanon has become the primary battleground for influence between the United States and Iran." Influence in Lebanon is part of the wider US effort to violently reshape the Middle East. "Aid" with the purpose of wider geo-political aims.
Since the infrastructure of Lebanon has been leveled and farms littered with cluster bombs, why is so much "aid" going to guns instead of food and rebuilding?
The US is the country that gave a green light for the Zionist army to devastate Lebanon, that held back the United Nations from acting to halt the violence. Why would the Lebanese government collaborate with such a nefarious entity that seeks to undermine Lebanese society for it and its client state's selfish interest?
The Post quotes "U.S. officials" that Iran is violating UN resolutions through current arms smuggling into Lebanon via Syria. The risible UN provides the context whereby the US may bring arms into Lebanon to arm its proxy regime, but the same is prohibited for Hizbollah.
Furthermore, the US opposes the Hizbollah push for an election to determine the public support for the Siniora government but pushes for an election in Palestine in the hope that starving Palestinians might oust the Zionist resisting Hamas-led government so western regimes might allow them to feed adequately.
The Treason of Abbas
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (R) grins after getting promise from Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert (L) to partial release of illegally seized Palestinian tax funds. (Moshe Milner/GPO)
The Hamas prime minister returned with money raised during his trip to Iran, Qatar and Sudan. The Israelis asked Lt. Gen. Pietro Pistolese, the commander of European Union Border Assistance Mission -- police and customs officers from 17 countries -- (EUBAM), to close the border and he complied.
According to an Israeli spokesman, Shlomo Dror, the Palestinians "promised to 'make efforts' to stop money smuggling." Since when is a government minister bringing money for his government "smuggling"? This was not armaments. This was not narcotics. This was money brought into a country where the population is starving. What kind of Palestinian would make a promise that aggravates the starving his own people?
It is all part of a broader confrontation. The United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations who comprise the Quartet, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, and Israel want to force the Hamas-led government to renounce violence, accept Israel and honor agreements concluded with it. The Islamic Hamas refuses to do so, and is subject to a political and economic boycott.
Why the allusion to the religious affiliation of Hamas? Why is the article so one-sided? Why is there almost never a mention that Palestine wants to force the Zionist-led government to renounce violence, accept Palestine and honor agreements concluded with it -- that the Jewish Kadima refuses to do so?
The Hamas-led government of Palestine finds itself opposed by several western regimes that have frozen "aid" to it. Except for the promised release of $100 million in Palestinian tax funds, Israel has frozen any transfers. But Israel has no rights to freeze transfers; in fact, Israel, as the occupying power, is legally (no use appealing to morality in the case of the Zionist state) responsible for the needs of the occupied people.
Because of the financial boycott, Hamas was forced to bring cash (estimated at $60 million by Pistolese) through Rafah. So while Haniyeh was out getting cash to feed the people, Abbas and his coterie were seeking to block such a hunger-busting move.
That move is from Abbas. As the UPI reveals:
President Abbas' men control the Rafah Crossing. However, there is no Palestinian law against bringing money that way. The importer just has to declare it. EUBAM's mandate says that the law that applies at the crossing is the Palestinian law.
Nor have the Palestinians violated Egyptian law because the money did not originate there, it just passed through Egypt.
President Abbas is quoted: "We heard that he (Haniyeh) has funds to smuggle into the country; we say here that we are in need of funds but not smuggled funds." What does Abbas mean? As UPI makes clear, no laws were broken in attempting to bring the money into Palestine. So there was no smuggling! How can Abbas genuflect to Zionist dictates while his own kinsfolk go hungry?
Lebanese people en masse are seeking to topple Siniora's collaborationist government. The opponents of Siniora's government transcend religious affiliations.  Imperialist and Zionist interests back the beleaguered regime of Siniora.
In Lebanon, the people are denouncing the collaboration of Siniora. In Palestine, the situation is being driven toward violence. The US regime has waded into the Hamas-Fatah confrontation by seeking congressional approval for $100 million destined for Abbas' presidential guard.
In Palestine, "deep dissatisfaction" with Abbas' Fatah Party -- "its corruption, inefficiency, and lack of progress in achieving the Palestinians' national goals of independence and a just settlement with Israel" -- saw Hamas sweep to a clear victory.  The democratic will of Palestinians has been stymied by western machinations that have plunged Palestinians further into poverty. Against this extortionary backdrop, Abbas, backed by his Zionist-imperialist friends, seeks another shot at electoral victory. In essence: "Vote Fatah and eat" or "Vote Hamas and starve."
The choice lies with the people, as it should. But choices extracted under repressive and extortionary circumstances demean any pretense to democracy. The Zionist-imperialist interferences have come back to bite them. Hamas, after all, is a zionist creation and the post of a Palestinian prime minister resulted from US attempts to trim the political power of Yasser Arafat.
Over the decades, Palestinians have embodied the courageous sentiment of Mexican revolutionary figure Emiliano Zapata who intoned: "I prefer to die standing, rather than live on my knees." Zionists-imperialists should not be surprised if the long-suffering, resisting, and still standing Palestinian people, even when faced with what amounts to a life-and-death election, might still reject the evil stench of collaboration -- food or no food.
Co-Editor of Dissident Voice, lives in the Republic of Korea.
He can be reached at:
 Robin Wright, "U.S.
Readies Security Aid Package To Help Lebanon Counter Hezbollah,"
Washington Post, 22 December 2006.
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