Powered by WebAds

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Lebanese political factions approve arming Hezbullah

A statement issued from Lebanon on Friday approved Hezbullah's keeping its weapons and "agreed on the right of Lebanon's people, the army and the resistance to liberate all its territories." The 'resistance' refers to Hezbullah. The statement must still be approved by the Lebanese parliament.
Lebanese political factions reached a compromise on Hezbollah's arsenal, the country's information minister said Friday, releasing a vaguely worded draft statement that implies the militant group can keep its weapons.

The position paper must now be approved by Parliament, whose vote will decide whether to accept a unity government that includes Hezbollah. The new cabinet was formed after Hezbollah gunmen routed armed supporters of the previous pro-Western administration earlier this year.

Hezbollah's arms have long been a point of dispute, with many legislators in the Western-backed majority in Parliament attempting to disarm the group. Hezbollah rejects the demand, and it will hold veto power in the new government.

The draft statement announced by Information Minister Tarek Mitri is deliberately vague, saying only that the committee agreed on the right of Lebanon's people, the army and the resistance to liberate all its territories.

Resistance is Lebanon's jargon for Hezbollah, which is admired by many in Lebanon for its stand against Israel. All territories alludes to Lebanon's territorial claim on the Shaba Farms area that Israel captured from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War.

After Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war, an order was issued stipulating the dissolution of all militias. Hezbollah fighters, however, were allowed to keep their weapons because they were considered a resistance group fighting Israeli troops that occupied part of southern Lebanon until 2000.

Many officials in the pro-Western bloc had argued that statement should not include the word resistance and that it should make liberating the occupied lands solely the national army's responsibility. But Hezbollah and its allies strongly opposed those demands.
Here's how Hezbullah views the statement that was adopted on Friday.
MP Hassan Fadlallah said Hizbullah's concept of the cabinet's policy statement draft is that "the resistance cooperates with the army so that resistance weapons would have the freedom to defend the terrain and resist Israel."

"When we accepted this policy statement we approved it as a whole and we hope it would be fully applied, but experience tells us that the policy statement in Lebanon is mere headlines," he said in a television interview.

Fadlallah said Hizbullah at present "deals within the framework of partnership and cooperation and we have over passed the past and I believe that this policy statement has outlined the government's role."
In a column earlier this week, Caroline Glick pointed out that at the start of the Second Lebanon War two summers ago, Israel went after Lebanon's infrastructure. When Lebanese President Fouad Siniora went crying (literally) to the international media, Israel was ordered to let up.

IN JULY 2006, understanding the Saniora government's collusion with Hizbullah, Israel's immediate reaction to Hizbullah's abduction of its soldiers and bombardment of northern Israel was to hold Beirut accountable. In his first press conference of the war, just hours after Goldwasser and Regev were abducted and their comrades killed, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made this point explicitly. He declared, "This morning's events were not a terror attack. They were the act of a sovereign state that attacked Israel, without reason and without provocation. The government of Lebanon, of which Hizbullah is a part, is attempting to destabilize the region. Lebanon is the responsible party, and Lebanon will pay the consequences for its actions."

Israel's initial strategy for fighting the war was to disable Hizbullah's war machine by bombing Lebanese infrastructure targets such as highways, the airport, bridges, electricity grids and the telecommunication systems. All of these facilities enabled Hizbullah's war effort. It is possible that if Israel had in fact attacked Lebanon's national infrastructures, the blow to Hizbullah's war machine might have been strategically debilitating. In that event, the task of land forces charged with defeating Hizbullah forces on the ground would have been smoother.

But US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would have none of it. Already in the earliest stages of the war, she began putting pressure on Israel not to attack Lebanese infrastructure. Her demand was formalized in the G-8 declaration three days after Hizbullah initiated hostilities.

Rice's support for Saniora's government was so strong and consistent, that she eventually forced Israel to cave to all of Hizbullah's demands in UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which set the terms of the cease-fire at the end of the war. Rice defended her support by noting the democratic character of the March 14th movement and its success - with US and French support - in forcing most Syrian forces to depart Lebanon in April 2005.

When the next war comes in Lebanon, Israel needs to understand that Hezbullah is no longer the only enemy. Lebanon is Hezbullah and Hezbullah is Lebanon. Both should be treated accordingly.


At 10:50 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

When, not if the next war happens with Lebanon

No Leaflets warning people

No phone calls.

No off limit targets

Level all electric, water, sewage, bridges, overpasses, airports, industrial areas, ports, hospitals & buildings

Israel needs to re educate the arab world...

just like pavlav and the dog...

it's time for a real boot in the ass

At 1:46 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

At the start of the next Lebanon war, lets make sure Israel focuses upon its needs and not its "friends" realpolitik views.

Condi has been an unmitigated disaster for all things Israeli. The next SoS may be as bad or worse. John Kerry? Oy vey!

Israel needs to go it alone now, thanks in large part to a clueless Olmert screwing up the relationship.

At 6:01 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

We know now who the Arabs are like. They shouldn't be treated like civilized beings. Enough of that pagan tohar haneshek BS towards the irremediably evil. Kill them all.

At 11:40 AM, Blogger Ashan said...

During the next war, Israel has to have the guts to tell the State Dept. to shut up.

It might be interesting to read Arms Transfers to Israel
The Strategic Logic behind American Military Assistance
by David Rodman
Portland: Sussex Academic Press, 2007. 129 pp. $45

Review: http://www.meforum.org/article/1938
A pertinent quote:
In perhaps the most striking example [of US pressure on Israel], in 1973 U.S. pressure appears to have dissuaded the government of Israel from taking preemptive military action against Syria and Egypt. "Caught between the Israel Defense Forces General Staff and the Nixon administration," Rodman says, "the Meir government chose to follow the position of Israel's patron rather than the advice of its own military experts." After the outbreak of hostilities, the Meir government accepted the Nixon administration's cease-fire proposal because, Rodman writes, Israel had no alternative but to "trade the postwar concessions desired by the United States for continued American [military] support."

Sound familiar?


Post a Comment

<< Home