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"The mice voted to bell the cat"

Well, the United States and France have agreed on a tentative ceasefire in Lebanon.

Unfortunately, neither the United States nor France are a party to the fighting.

The fighting is between Israel (a sovereign state) and Hezbollah (a terrorist organization). Hezbollah is the de facto government in southern Lebanon, as well as a legitimate political party with a sizable representation in the de jure government of Lebanon.

The solution presented by the United States and France sounds good, but there's one tiny hitch: any outside solution has to be accepted by the involved parties, and it has to be enforceable. Getting Israel to abide is not that difficult -- they are, after all, a civilized nation-state. And if that doesn't work, there are plenty of other ways (economic, diplomatic, and so on) to "encourage" them to go along.

With Hezbollah, though, only a few parties have enough leverage to sway them short of outright violence. And even then is problematic -- recall how they treated the peacekeepers in Beirut back in 1983.

The only feasible solution I can see is for Israel to do what Lebanon and the United Nations have not been able to achieve in years, and that is to wrest the southern portion of Lebanon from Hezbollah's control, then turn it over to the vaunted "international force" -- and that force must be prepared to enforce the separation by force.

Naturally, that is the last thing Hezbollah wants. They say that they will not accept a ceasefire before Israel withdraws entirely from Lebanese territory. (The dirty little secret is that they are including the Shebaa Farms, and that territory is, like the Golan Heights, being held by Israel until it gets a peace treaty with Syria.) Their plan is simple: get Israel to withdraw, move back quickly, declare a great victory, and then make damned certain the "peacekeepers" don't do a damned thing -- just like they haven't done a damned thing in the last six years.

In the meantime, though, the United States is doing the precise thing we should be doing: keeping the various busybodies doing what they do best (talking pointlessly) while Israel does what needs to be done in destroying Hezbollah.


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Comments (11)

BINGO!... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

BINGO!

For once, France is working... (Below threshold)
Adjoran:

For once, France is working with us on something. They want to participate in the "peacekeeping" force, as Lebanon was a part of France's postwar "sphere of influence" - it really shows your age if you remember when France had any influence - but they do NOT want to send French soldiers in if there is still fighting going on.

If shots are still being fired, the kepis will reflexively either run away or surrender.

So, the Lebanese government and Hezbollah play right into Israel's game plan by refusing to accept any ceasefire not on their own terms. Sorry, fellas, but you only get to dictate the terms if you are winning the fight. Getting your clock cleaned brings no such privilege.

For once, France i... (Below threshold)
stan25:
For once, France is working with us on something. They want to participate in the "peacekeeping" force, as Lebanon was a part of France's postwar "sphere of influence" - it really shows your age if you remember when France had any influence -

Lebanon was France’s sphere of influence from the end of the First World War to the start of WW2. That was the price that they exacted from the British. for France’s help in the ME. They are the ones that betrayed the Arabs and their revolt against the Turks. T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia)was dead set against the French plans, because he knew the French would not keep their word. History has proven Lawrence right.

The French were booted out of the area, when WW2 was over by the United Nations and the French have not ever forgiven them for that. That is why they are so hot to trot to help out in Lebanon.

Just as Iraq and Saudi Arabia were British areas, the French did not want anything to do with them, except appease Saddam and his cronies. Just another way to stick it in the ear of the Brits.

It takes no skill to keep t... (Below threshold)
K:

It takes no skill to keep the busybodies talking pointlessly. The wonder would be that they shut up.

So Israel has the tough part of the work.

I agree, another UN resolution without a 'peacekeeping' force that is large, willing to fight, take casualties, and stay for years will not disarm militia in Lebanon. In fact, it will make things worse.

And the UN making matters worse is the way to bet.

If a Frenchman surrenders l... (Below threshold)
Robb H:

If a Frenchman surrenders land that doesn't belong to him, who gets it? Are we looking at an Isreali annexation??

Also, if a Frenchman surrenders in the desert, and there's no one there to surrender to, does he really surrender?

I agree the Hezbollah theo... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I agree the Hezbollah theology or ideology in Lebanon and elsewhere is at throw back to the Middle or Dark Ages, but I don't agree the civilized response is a massive whole scale destruction of Lebanon; through heavy civilian bombing ' the civilian infrastructure' (if you will) which is only strengthening the Hezbollah, in the eyes of the Arab main street, and making them even more formidable in the long term.

There is no escape from the... (Below threshold)
TM:

There is no escape from the truth and logic of Jay Tea's thread. That is the way it is.

What is interesting is even Lebanon's actual government is rejecting the France/US/UN proposal right now and, in effect, stalling the whole process. Why are no news organizations picking up on this???

No doubt, the majority in Lebanon can see reality and that means the terrorists backed by outside forces have to go. Afterall, wasn't it a great thing in Lebanon, celebrated far and wide, when Syria was punted out of there just recently? That was a big news item. All those crowds with flags celebrating that the assholes were gone. And yet, here's Hezbollah's backers, Syria (and Iran) still hanging out in the south by defacto, ruining the great rebirth of Lebanon, backing a couple thousand maniacs who won't, at least, simply ignore Isreal.

The people in Isreal won't mind if you ignore them or don't even recognize their country, probably. They get real touchy when you lob rockets into their country and kill and kidnap people without provacation (by a terrorist organization no less!) as would any legit nation on Earth. From any country, that demands war. Any country, in the same situation, would conduct a war. Their citizens would demand it. And rightfully so.

What is interesting is e... (Below threshold)
mantis:

What is interesting is even Lebanon's actual government is rejecting the France/US/UN proposal right now and, in effect, stalling the whole process. Why are no news organizations picking up on this???

I'd like to suggest a moratorium on "Why does the news ignore this?"-type questions. Far too often the people writing such things are too lazy or stupid to actually check the news before they toss around their complaints and accusations.

Steve Crickmore:Ti... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Steve Crickmore:

Time to wake up and smell the roses. The Shites in Iraq that we just liberated from Sadam are rallyimg in the streets of Bagdad, in support of Hizbollah. All of the Arabs are for anyone that is against Israel. You can't piss off anyone who already wants you dead. The idea that there is anything such as a moderate Muslim is retarded. If the Muslims in this country ever became the majority, you will be facing Meca seven time a day on your knees.

One of the military experts... (Below threshold)
Judith:

One of the military experts suggested, today, that we have Israel implement Resolution 1559. Sounds good to me, as they are already doing that.

"The idea that there is any... (Below threshold)
Robert:

"The idea that there is anything such as a moderate Muslim is retarded."

Nice!!

and Christians too (Falwell, Robertson, etc).




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