August 30, 2006
WAR: A Fraudulent Deal
You need only review the latest statements from Kofi Annan (here and here) to grasp the fraudulent nature of the cease-fire in Israel's war with Hezbollah. While I had initially regarded the cease fire as a good idea in theory that was impractical in light of the facts on the ground, it is increasingly clear that it's not even defensible on paper. Annan is demanding verifiable compliance by Israel, by a date certain, with specific terms regarding the withdrawal of troops and the lifting of a blockade. He makes no similar demands on Hezbollah, but merely expresses his hope that Lebanon will make progress in dealing with Hezbollah:
Mr Annan said that the Lebanese authorities yesterday assured him they were taking measures to stop the flow of weapons from Syria and Iran their ally Hezbollah via sea and air, and that he believed Israel's security concerns could be addressed.
"In the meantime, I do believe the blockade should be lifted," Annan said.
He added: "I had serious discussions with the Lebanese leadership and I am really convinced that they are serious about implementing Resolution 1701 in its entir[e]ty."
The same goes for the Israeli hostages:
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Wednesday morning that he'll do everything he can to return the captured Israeli soldiers.
Cease-fire agreements are contracts. Contracts require verifiable compliance by both sides. This deal has specific requirements on Israel and nothing but hope and promises to which no one can be held, on the other.
I remain undecided as to whether the cease fire was a wise move by Israel. Supporters of the agreement have argued that sooner or later it will be clear enough that Hezbollah can not and will not comply with even its most minimal terms regarding disarmament and the release of hostages, and that this will enable Israel to reopen hostilities with greater international backing. Either way, however, one can not possibly take this agreement at face value as being worth anything at all.
I was away for nine days in Londonistan. Aptly named depending on where in London you are. My hotel was in the Marble Arch area, which is very much an Islamic neighborhood. Did I feel intimidated? Frankly I did, although not one person there was nothing less than polite. It was a lot of fun there at night, as it was very lively, all the shops open. In fact, the area had many Lebanese shops. And mny women in something you don't see in NY: Chadors. Those all covering black body blankets with the eye slits. Going in with their kids to Burger King and Subway. Which serves non Halal products, so I am unsure just what their "religiosity" covers. Anyway, back to Hezbollah...
The tv in the hotel room had about 20 stations, 1 in German, 5 in Arabic and the rest in English, including CNN. One of the Arabic stations was showing some show with masked men proudly demonstrating how to prep and launch a Katyusha rocket. Since I don't speak Arabic, we could hope the dialog went something like this: "This is a Katyusha rocket. We keep them in civilian areas so the Israelis won't kill the innocents we are using as shields. Since we now have a cease fire, we will, of course take them away. These rockets are baad." However, I doubt that is how the translation went.
Kofi Annan has overstayed the welcome he never should have enjoyed. The reason he is the Sec Gen is that no one could figure out just who and where the Sec Gen should come by, so they promoted from within. He is a career civil servant, not elected. Promoting from within is probably a good way to keep a company running well; it's not a good way with a policial entity.
Clearly this cease fire will fail, in that it does not come up to the smell test (the term Kerry should have used, but was too stupid to). Reagan called it trust but verify. Nothing wrong with it either. Every international agreement that was worth a damn included it, and in the end, what do agreements mean? We had one with Taiwan until Carter came along, and simply ended it. Hitler had one with Stalin too..I don't think it was honored. International agreements only work when both sides get what they want. Since Hexbollah really wants power, and is a paid agent for another nation (Iran), it's not in their interest to honor it, and Kofi Annan knows it. He plays lip service becasue, in the end, what can he do?
The UN will only work when it has its own, autonomous army, with loaded guns and the right to shoot. And let's be real, who in their right minds is going to allow that? If we were to allow the UN to become an autonomous military power, then we wouldn't need it at all, would we?
I agree with both of your sentiments. This cease-fire will fail for the same reason we had to go back to Iraq, the job wasn't finished. Whether you agree with Rush or not the Limbaugh Doctrine is correct. For there to be peace after a conflict, there has to be a clear winner. Until the Hezbo's and their backers are defeated they will keep coming back.