August 13, 2006



***Scroll for updates -- Hezbollah torpedoes Lebanese gov't meeting on disarmament***

From FoxNews: Israeli Cabinet Approves U.N. Cease-Fire Deal Amid Military Push.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the cease-fire agreement would ensure that "Hezbollah won't continue to exist as a state within a state."

"The Lebanese government is our address for every problem or violation of the agreement," Army Radio quoted him as saying. ...

The deal was seen at best as a draw with Hezbollah, and some felt Israel — unable to subdue a guerrillas force — had lost.

Neither the Lebanese army nor U.N. forces can be counted on to challenge Hezbollah and prevent the Iran-supplied guerrillas from rearming, military experts and commentators said.

The deal buys a period of calm, at best, and sets the region up for the next war with Tehran's proxy army, critics said. The truce will be "a time-out until the next confrontation, and maybe not even this," commentator Nahum Barnea wrote in Israel's Yediot Ahronot daily.

Regarding U.N. forces ... From Reuters: Hizbollah says it will abide by ceasefire. (via LGF)

The U.N. resolution authorizes up to 15,000 U.N. troops to move into Lebanon to enforce a ceasefire. France is widely expected to lead the force, which will expand the existing U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), but have a stronger mandate. ...

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy made clear in an interview with Le Monde newspaper that the mission of the larger UNIFIL would not include disarming Hizbollah by force.

"We never thought a purely military solution could resolve the problem of Hizbollah," he said. "We are agreed on the goal, the disarmament, but for us the means are purely political."

Regarding the Lebanese army ... Dafka posted an interesting July 30th letter by a Lebanese who described Lebanon's culpabilty in this war, in particuar how his country completely failed to disarm Hezbollah under the last U.N. resolution: A Lebanese Speaks Out.

[O]ur army, reshaped over the years by the Syrian occupier so it could no longer fulfill its role as protector of the nation, did not have the capacity to tackle the militamen of the Hezb [hezb-Allah : the party of Allah. Translator’s note]. Our army whom it is more dangerous to call upon – because of the explosive equilibrium that constitutes each of its brigades – than to shut up behind locked doors in its barracks. A force that is still largely loyal to its former foreign masters, to the point of being uncontrollable ; to the point of having collaborated with the Iranians to put OUR coastal radar stations at the disposal of their missiles, that almost sunk an Israeli boat off the shores of Beirut. ...

It is easy now to whine and gripe, and to play the hypocritical role of victims. We know full well how to get others to pity us and to claim that we are never responsible for the horrors that regularly occur on our soil. Of course, that is nothing but rubbish! The Security Council’s Resolution 1559 – that demanded that OUR government deploy OUR army on OUR sovereign territory, along OUR international border with Israel and that it disarm all the militia on OUR land – was voted on 2 September 2004.

We had two years to put implement this resolution and thus guarantee a peaceful future to our children but we did strictly nothing. Our greatest crime – which was not the only one! – was not that we did not succeed but that we did not attempt or undertake anything. And that was the fault of none else than the pathetic Lebanese politicians.

Our government, from the very moment the Syrian occupier left, let ships and truckloads of arms pour into our country. Without even bothering to look at their cargo. They jeopardized all chances for the rebirth of our country by confusing the Cedar Revolution with the liberation of Beirut.

And naturally Iran doesn't want its proxy disarmed ... From Reuters: Iran says disarming Lebanese Hizbollah "illogical".

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution on Friday calling for a "full cessation of hostilities" and for the implementation of a previous U.N. resolution requiring the disarming of armed groups including Hizbollah.

"We are happy for the ceasefire in Lebanon. But the resolution is not balanced," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told a weekly news conference.

"It does not condemn the Zionist regime (Israel) and its crimes in Lebanon."

Asked about the call for disarming Hizbollah, Asefi said: "This is a totally unreasonable demand. It is illogical."

"Let us not forget that as long as there is occupation there is resistance," he added.

As I said before, the only party to benefit from the cease-fire is Hezbollah, and by extension its sponsor, Iran.

UPDATE I: From AFP: Truce will be Israel's last, Lebanon envoy declares. (via LGF)

Lebanon's UN ambassador bitterly slammed Israel's month-long bombardment of his country ahead of a hard-won truce, and vowed that the treaty would be Israel's last with any Middle East country.

"Lebanon will be, I think, the last state to sign a peace treaty with Israel," UN ambassador Nouhad Mahmoud told CNN television's "Late Edition" program, without explaining the remark. ...

The diplomat added that the 15,000 Lebanese soldiers to be dispatched to south Lebanon to help keep the peace alongside a similarly-sized international UN force "are not going to use force" to disarm the Hezbollah militia which has been battling Israel.

"Hezbollah will just leave the area as armed elements as I understand it, and the Lebanese army will take over the whole region along with the United Nations forces," he said

UPDATE II: From Haaretz: Hezbollah torpedoes Lebanese gov't meeting on disarmament. (via Donald Sensing who has more)

A meeting of the Lebanese government on the disarming of Hezbollah south of the Litani River was canceled on Sunday following an announcement by the Shi'ite organization that it was not willing to discuss the subject. ...

A Lebanese government source wrote on the Arab internet site Ilaf that "when it comes to crunch time, Hezbollah is refusing to give up its arms."

UPDATE II -- Aug. 14: More on the Lebanese army's complicity in arming Hezbollah. From The Australian: Iran's rocket route to Israel. (via Tom Minchin)

The Lebanese army said the transportation and storage of ammunition belonged to the "resistance". Once inside Lebanon it was subject to a ministerial policy statement of the Lebanese Government, which considers the "resistance" to be legitimate.

"As the Government of Lebanon has confirmed, the Lebanese Armed Forces has thus not been authorised to prevent further movement of the ammunitions, which had been a common practice for more than 15 years," UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a letter to the Security Council in April. "Hezbollah publicly confirmed that the arms were destined for the group."

It's this uninterrupted flow of weapons, mostly made in Iran, under the nose of the Lebanese Government, that has allowed Hezbollah to stockpile some 12,000 Katyusha rockets. Over the past 29 days of conflict, Hezbollah has fired more than 3000 rockets into Israel.

The fact that Annan knew this before the latest cease-fire resolution was signed shows that there never been any real intention to disarm Hezbollah.

Posted by Forkum at August 13, 2006 05:30 PM