[star]The American Mind[star]

August 11, 2006

U.N. Approves Israel-Hezbollah Ceasefire

The U.N. Security council passed a ceasefire resolution that will bring in 15,000 U.N. peacekeepers to bolster the Lebanese army:

At the heart of the resolution are two elements: It seeks an immediate halt to the fighting that began July 12 when Hezbollah militants kidnapped two Israeli troops along the Blue Line, the U.N.-demarcated border separating Israel; and it spells out a series of steps that would lead to a permanent cease-fire and long-term solution.

That would be done by creating a new buffer zone in south Lebanon "free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and UNIFIL" the acronym of the U.N. force deployed in the region since 1978. The force now has 2,000 troops; the resolution would expand it to a maximum of 15,000.

South Lebanon had been under de facto control of Hezbollah, a Shiite militia, for several years until Israeli forces occupied parts of it after the start of the fighting last month. The political solution would include implementation of previous Security Council resolutions calling for Hezbollah's disarmament.

Under the resolution, UNIFIL would be significantly beefed up to help coordinate when 15,000 Lebanese troops deploy to the region. As Lebanese forces take control of the south, Israeli troops would withdraw "in parallel."

Israel will withdraw in parallel from Hezbollah-controlled southern Lebanon when the U.N./Lebanese forces move in. Israel will still be allowed to continued defensive operations. They'll be able to launch attacks at Hezbollah rocket positions.

The resolution will stop the killing, but unless Hezbollah is disarmed and not allowed to simply build up its military stores with Syria's and Iran's help war will return.

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert asked his cabinet to accept the deal while at the same time he ordered troops to push into southern Lebanon. He must see his window of opportunity closing and wants to damage Hezbollah as much as possible before the ceasefire is implemented.

Captain Ed sees the resolution as putting blame on Hezbollah. The terrorist organization indeed was the protagonist antagonist. However, it stood up to the vaunted IDF and didn't lose. Hassan Nasrallah earned honor in the Arab tribal culture that is the Middle East, while Israel lost some face. Israel's Arab opponents may see that she isn't the same Israel that defeated Arab forces in the 1960s and 70s. Much importance now falls on Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora. Will he actually order the Lebanese army to disarm Hezbollah in the south? Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government and such action risks returning the nation to civil war.

Andrew McCarthy at The Corner declared an Israel defeat:

Hezbollah wins this big just by being legitmized. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, not a country. The resolution we are signing on to, however, addresses it as if it were a country. The resolution doesn't purport to direct any UN member nation to make Hezbollah cease firing ó least of all Lebanon, the purported sovereign of this territory. Instead, it appeals to Hezbollah directly ó in the same paragraph in which it addresses Israel, as if there were no difference in status between the two ó and "calls on" it to stand down.

If Hezbollah is perceived in the region as being the victor then it will gain public support and make it difficult to be disarmed. An armed Hezbollah means future war with Israel since the goal of the organization is the destruction of the Jewish state.

"Security Council OKs Deal"

"Olmert Accepts UN Deal"

UPDATE: John Hawkins writes, "Actually, I think Israel has accomplished more than most people realize."

del.icio.us | Digg it | Furl | reddit | Spurl | Yahoo MyWeb
Posted by Sean Hackbarth in War at 10:07 PM | Comments (17) | Trackbacks (0)