From The Age: Disarming Hezbollah put on hold.
ISRAEL has dropped its demand for the immediate disarming of Hezbollah and begun to focus on persuading UN forces to stop the flow of weapons into Lebanon.
Israel accepted that its goals must be realistic and the first step was to prevent Hezbollah from staging cross-border raids or acquiring long-range weapons, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said.
"It is not that we have given up on disarming Hezbollah in Lebanon, but we see it as a process and the most important thing is ... to prevent their strategic rearmament," he said.
The UN-brokered ceasefire says international forces must help the Lebanese army disarm militias, but it does not specify whether they should actively remove weapons from Hezbollah fighters.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan stressed Friday it was not the peacekeepers' task to strip the guerrillas of their weapons, saying that was an issue for Lebanon's government and "cannot be done by force."
"The troops are not going there to disarm Hezbollah. Let's be clear about that," he said.
Meanwhile in Iraq, from AP: Blasts in Iraq kill 31, injure dozens.
A series of explosions left at least 31 people dead and wounded dozens Sunday as Iraq's relentless violence remained unabated despite an appeal from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for an end to sectarian fighting. ...
The bombings — which came a day after 26 people were killed in dozens of attacks — showed that national reconciliation is a distant goal even though it was endorsed by hundreds of tribal chiefs at a conference on Saturday.
After the conference, the tribal chiefs signed a "pact of honor" to support al-Maliki's plan.
Tribal ties have considerable influence in Iraqi society, especially among rural people. But like all other institutions in Iraq, tribal affiliations are sometimes tenuous.
Among other things, the plan offers amnesty to members of the Sunni-led insurgency not involved in terrorist activities, calls for disarming primarily Shiite militias and promises compensation for families of Iraqis killed by U.S. and government forces.
But no major Sunni Arab insurgent groups have publicly agreed to join the plan, and many of the Shiite militias are controlled by legislators themselves.
This cartoon is a take on Ben Franklin's "Join, Or Die" cartoon (and not our first).
UPDATE -- Aug. 28: From the Intelligence & Terrorism Information Center: "Exporting" the radical ideology of the Islamic revolution in Iran (via Iran Press News)
Surrendering this jihadist-Islamic identity, the practical implications of which would be disarmament and cessation of fighting against Israel, are viewed by the organization [Hezbollah] as surrendering a religious Islamic principle, rather than a strictly military act that is supposed to take place under external or internal political pressure. It may be assumed, against this ideological background, that Hezbollah will remain inflexible in its adamant refusal to disarm, as required in UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701. ...
Khamenei's worldview is "exported" to Lebanon in order to disseminate it among Shi'ite Muslims and turn Hezbollah into the spearhead of the implementation of the Iranian view of jihad, a kind of Lebanese branch of the Iranian armed forces.
Posted by Forkum at August 27, 2006 07:52 PM