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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

UNIFIL may have decided it was the LAF's fault, but Obama hasn't

It's good that Congress has the sense to put the brakes on US military aid to Lebanon. Because the Obama administration sure doesn't.
Nevertheless, it’s worrying that the administration clearly doesn’t share this understanding. The 2009 aid that remained in the pipeline is still being handed over as scheduled, because, a State Department official told the Jerusalem Post, the U.S. is still trying to determine the facts of the incident.

Yet on Wednesday, a day after the incident occurred, UNIFIL — an organization not known for its pro-Israel bias — had already confirmed that the Lebanese soldiers fired first, without provocation, and that no Israeli soldiers had strayed into Lebanese territory, contrary to Lebanon’s claim. Moreover, the Lebanese government has vociferously endorsed the attack and, as I noted earlier, even justified it on the grounds that Beirut no longer recognizes the UN-demarcated international border. Are any other facts really necessary to grasp that this is not behavior Washington should be encouraging by making it cost-free?

But it gets even worse. The official also told the Post, “we continue to believe that our support to the LAF and ISF [Internal Security Forces] will contribute toward improving regional security.” How exactly does supporting an army that has just launched an unprovoked, deadly, cross-border attack on a neighbor — and whose government has just announced that it no longer recognizes the international border, thereby implying that more such attacks are likely to follow — “contribute toward improving regional security”?
Good question.


At 8:58 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The LAF is dominated by Hezbollah. Does any one really believe strengthening Hezbollah is going to make Lebanon more secure or avoid laying the seeds for a future war?

Congress has decided it doesn't make sense. It can enforce that judgment even if the Obama Administration won't.

And its about time.

At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Obama administration suffers from the disease that pervades the left everywhere. If something comes out condemning Israel, it must be true. But if something exonerates Israel, the facts obviously have not been (properly) ascertained...

Netanyahu needs to get Israel out of that UN investigation of the flotilla fracaso right away. America is not going to be anymore evenhanded and fair on that than they have been on anything else having to do with Israel. Which means not at all.

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Rather than any international peacekeeping mission, the best course is bilateral security arrangements. The Israeli experience with an international presence has been poor. UNIFIL in Lebanon has not lived up to Israeli expectations in preventing the re-armament of Hizbullah after the 2006 Second Lebanon War. For more on defensible borders to secure Israel's future, see this piece by Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan -  http://www.jcpa.org/text/security/dayan.pdf  and www.defensibleborders.org.


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