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Thursday, August 17, 2006

How to disarm Hezbullah: Ask nicely Beg or Why I'm glad to have a toothless 'peacekeeping force'

Make sure you read through to the end of this, because I think I have a new take on the UN 'force.'

In USA Today, US Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice says that the 15,000-member U.N. force being created for southern Lebanon will 'keep the peace and enforce an international arms embargo', but it won't be charged with disarming Hezbullah terrorists:
"I don't think there is an expectation that this (U.N.) force is going to physically disarm Hezbollah," Rice said. "I think it's a little bit of a misreading about how you disarm a militia. You have to have a plan, first of all, for the disarmament of the militia, and then the hope is that some people lay down their arms voluntarily."

If Hezbollah resists international demands to disarm, Rice said, "one would have to assume that there will be others who are willing to call Hezbollah what we are willing to call it, which is a terrorist organization."

Hezbollah would find itself increasingly isolated from European and other nations, she said, and the weapons embargo would prevent it from being rearmed by its sponsors in Syria and Iran.
So Hezbullah is going to be disarmed by 'moral force' or because the world is going to call them 'terrorists'? Tell me she's kidding.... Sounds like something Tzippi Livni would say....

In the meantime, remember how we were going to have an international force 'with teeth'? I think at this point, we'll be lucky if it has gums. France, which is supposed to lead the force, has agreed to double its contribution... to 400 men.... And the Italian soldiers in a planned UN force for Lebanon will not be expected to 'disarm Hezbollah' but to 'help the Lebanese army impose its authority', said Italy's foreign minister in a magazine interview.

"It is wrong to say that our soldiers are going to disarm Hezbollah," Massimo D'Alema told L'Espresso in an interview made available to Reuters a day ahead of publication on Friday.

The Jerusalem Post reports that UN officials were scrambling to convince the French that sending so few troops would be devastating.

The Post also reports on which countries are willing to send troops:
Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey have expressed willingness to contribute troops. Germany said Wednesday it would help provide security at Lebanon's border with Syria, but made no commitment to send troops to act as peacekeepers.
This sounds miserable. And it's clearly not what Israel bargained for. But as far as I am concerned, there is a good side to this: Since Hezbullah is not going to disarm, it is inevitable that at some point in the not-too-distant future Israel is going to have to go through the UN forces to get to Hezbullah. If that is the case, I would rather that the IDF be 'going through' troops from Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia - and for that matter Turkey (all Muslim countries) - than French, Italian and German troops. If this force is going to be pathetic, I'd rather that it be completely pathetic than halfway effective.


At 1:20 AM, Blogger harry said...

shame on d'alema!


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