Friday, August 11, 2006

Lebanon Again Delays Peace

Jerusalem Post reports:

A new obstacle arose over the latest UN draft proposal to stop the fighting between Israel and Hizbullah on Thursday night, when Lebanon refused to allow the French to enforce its mandate as allowed by the UN's chapter VII regulations.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh said in an interview with Al-Jazeera news station that he was opposed to the draft proposal because it did not call for an immediate cease-fire.
I believe the Hizbollah government of Lebanon is trying to find a way to make its war efforts look like a victory. It hopes at minimum to make the Israelis look bad for responding to Hizbollah attacks. It is willing to pay in Lebanese lives for the headline: "Israel breaks cease fire".
US State Department envoy David Welch held meetings with Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni Thursday night to coordinate positions on the new cease-fire proposal. Welch arrived in Jerusalem from Beirut, where he held talks with Lebanon's Prime Minister Fuad Saniora.

Diplomatic officials in Jerusalem said that the US, which was working furiously with the French in New York to come to an understanding on a draft resolution, would press forward with their own proposal if agreement could not be reached with the French on the language of the document.

US Ambassador John Bolton said there could be a vote Friday on the resolution.

"We're making progress, and it's entirely possible we could have a vote tomorrow," Bolton said after a meeting with his French counterpart, Jean-Marc de La Sabliere. "We've closed some of the areas of disagreement with the French."
What Bolton said is diplo-speak for no fn way, we are as far apart as ever. But we will make it look good and keep the stall going.
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy confirmed there was progress, but also held out the possibility that if no agreement was forthcoming, France might present "a text on its own."

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni spoke Thursday with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and stressed the importance of including in the resolution an arms embargo to Hizbullah, as well as Israel's key demand that the Lebanese army must be supported by an international force with "operational capabilities."
Everybody has their deal breakers that they want to throw into the pot. Douste-Blazy admits they are getting no where. Tzipi Livni throws in the make Hizbollah livid clause. And now Olmert can unleash the dogs of war again.

An American expat in France takes notice of the condition of the Lebanese government. He quotes Michael Béhé in Beirut:
In fact, our country had become an extension of Iran, and our so-called political power also served as a political and military cover for the Islamists of Teheran. We suddenly discovered that Teheran had stocked more than 12,000 missiles, of all types and calibers, on our territory and that they had patiently, systematically, organized a suppletive force, with the help of the Syrians, that took over, day after day, all the rooms in the House of Lebanon. Just imagine it : we stock ground-to-ground missiles, Zilzals, on our territory and that the firing of such devices without our knowledge, has the power to spark a regional strategic conflict and, potentially, bring about the annihilation of Lebanon.
and then the expat comments:
The PC thing to say in Lebanon of course will have with the knowing nod of a well accepted lie have to make Syria and Hizballah into heros, the Israelis into Satan’s only field office on earth, and other melodramatic, irrational twaddle. It will, but it shouldn’t. What do you end up with when one grows accustomed to veiling and re-writing reality?

Others still seem broader-minded and more capable of seeing what this war is: motivated, funded, and possibly controlled by a twisted ideological entity more remote and even less concerned with Lebanon than the Israelis – and even the Europeans. Iran and Syria are clearly setting Lebanon ablaze from afar, and again using it in their unprompted war against the western civilization and values of humanism they long ababdoned.
Beautiful. But I have to ask. Why is a sane man living in France? It can't be the Gaullois.

Michael Behe finishes up with a stinging rebuke to the non-Hizbollah Lebanese:
Each Irano-Syrian fort that Jerusalem destroys, each islamic fighter they eliminate, and Lebanon proportionally starts to live again! Once again, the soldiers of Israel are doing our work. Once again, like in 1982, we are watching – cowardly, lying low, despicable, and insulting them to boot – their heroic sacrifice that allows us to keep hoping.

Update: 13 August '06 1459z

A full(er) translation of the Michael Behe piece can be found at Israel Matzav


Anonymous said...

Interesting post. My take is that the Lebanese feel they now have some momentum at the UN and are trying to get as much as they can - immediate ceasefire; withdrawal of IDF; Shebaa farms.

How did Israel arrive at this terrible outcome? Weak political leadership is the answer. There is no problem on the military front, it's just not being used. Israelis know that an incursion into Lebanon will result in bad losses, but they also know the stakes couldn't be higher and they are willing to fight. If Olmert hands HIzbollah Shebaa, withdrawal from Lebanon and permits them to keep the kidnapped soldiers, it will be the worst defeat in Israel's history.

eyesallaround said...

I hope you're right (that they're stalling).. I love the way you write.. the sarcasm is great!

Anonymous said...

It's looking pretty grim for the IDF's pincer plan you propose. Hashmonean & IRIS blogs seem to reflect a great deal of despair that Olmert & Peretz are politicians without a plan, over their heads, unwilling to listen to either the IDF or the public. What say ye?

M. Simon said...

Iowa Bill,

At this point it may be that Bekaa is a feint. Although i have heard of a resupply mission (helicopter) taking place in the area around Baalbeck.

And then there are the military llama corps (no area of operations mentioned) suitable for mountainous terrain.

At this point things are way too fluid for me to make any more than the most tentative judgement.

I'm way too full of theories and way too short of facts.

I'll look up the blogs you mention and see if I can get some data. At this point reports are fragmentary. Mistaken and possibly flat out wrong (i.e. you can't even believe the opposite of what is reported.).

If any one has data points with sources leave them in the comments or send an e-mail. Any article comment will do as I read them all.

Might I suggest "Campaigning with Grant" by Porter. I'm sure the armies have better sources. We however are in the position a general from the 1860s would be in.

Not bad because in the 1860s it might take citizens weeks to be informed.

Anonymous said...

don't know what say m. simon, but, i for one hope he's been right all along, and, the latest is that israel has rejected the ceasfire...praise the lord and pass the ammunition...

M. Simon said...

Hashmonean doubts Olmert Peretz

I will say this about that. If I was Hizbollah, I would be prepared to do weeks of flank attacks (on the supply lines) of any lightening advance. I would also have been prepared to fight when totally encircled.

The kind of moves the Israeli Army would be prepared to make. i.e. Hizbollah would want the army to rush into trouble. Then it would do what guerillas do best. Bleed theopposition. It is how they drove the Israelis out of Lebanon the first time.

I'll get to IRIS in the next comment.

M. Simon said...

Here is a general link to IRIS.

More similar complaints.

I'm not convinced.

M. Simon said...

anon Fri Aug 11, 05:33:57 PM UT,

You can see from my comments to this piece that I thought the delay was merely tactical and that the jaw-jaw was a cover for that.

Better to say "we are talking" than to say "we are having trouble moving."