Sunday, August 13, 2006

UNFIT in Lebanon

Hezbollah wins!

One can’t help but wonder how things would have turned out if Ariel Sharon were still at Israel’s helm. We doubt he would have supported this negotiated cease-fire—amounting to a de facto defeat at the bargaining table by Kofi Annan and the French. Think about it:

o Hezbollah achieves virtual statehood by being recognized internationally, in effect, as a sovereign power.
o Israel fails to recover its kidnapped soldiers, which started the whole conflict.
o The formerly anti-Syrian, pro-Western government in Lebanon morphs into an anti-Israel, anti-U.S. force.
o Until United Nations forces can be mustered and deployed, Israeli forces are stuck in southern Lebanon.
o Hezbollah warns that a cease-fire is not an unconditional guarantee that its shooting will stop.
o The cease-fire will be enforced by troops from France, Italy and Turkey, who may only shoot in self-defense and with no mandate to disarm Hezbollah.

We also can’t help but wonder: The previous UN deployment was known as UNIFIL—United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. Considering the well-known fighting prowess of France, Italy and Turkey, should this new one be called UNFIT? That’s probably what Sharon would have called it.


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