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Hezbollah refusing to disarm
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, August 16, 2006

If this comes as a surprise to anyone out there, please do let me know:
Hezbollah refused to disarm and withdraw its fighters from the battle-scarred hills along the border with Israel on Tuesday, threatening to delay deployment of the Lebanese army and endangering a fragile cease-fire.
So we have the first act in the show "Promise Them Anything But Give Them Rocket Attacks", starring our old buddy Hasan Nasrallah and the Hezbollah Bad Faith Actors.

If anything, the refusal should finally, once-and-for-all and forever point to the fact that you cannot negotiate with terrorists (thank you for finally making that point clear for those who've refused to accept that in the past, Mr. Nasrallah).

So what is a "fragile democracy" to do?
The makings of a compromise emerged from all-day meetings in Beirut, according to senior officials involved in the negotiations, and Prime Minister Fouad Siniora scheduled a cabinet session Wednesday for what he hoped would be formal approval of the deal. Hezbollah indicated it would be willing to pull back its fighters and weapons in exchange for a promise from the army not to probe too carefully for underground bunkers and weapons caches, the officials said.
Yup, if the Lebanese government will agree to a little "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" in the "Bunkers? What bunkers?" department Hezbollah will pretend it has withdrawn it's fighters.

But wait, there's more!
Hasan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, had insisted that any disarmament of his militia — even in the border area — should be handled in longer-term discussions within the Lebanese government, according to government ministers.
Heh ... "longer-term discussions", like through 2105 or when Israel ceases to exist, whichever comes first?

The Lebanese army has said it can't abide with that:
But the Lebanese army, backed by key political leaders, refused to send troops into the just-becalmed battle zone until Hezbollah's missiles, rockets and other weapons were taken north of the Litani River, the ministers said.
That's all well and good, but it doesn't solve the problem does it? No troops, no control. No control, no guarantee. No guarantee, Hezbollah remains in the same position it was in prior to attacking Israel.

But there is a difference now. Hezbollah suddenly finds itself elevated from an "Israeli problem" to a UN problem. And a UN that has been battling a negative image problem for several years (ok, decades), may be looking for an opportunity to reverse the thinking that says it can't do jobs like this (or so one could hope).
At stake in the standoff was implementation of a crucial provision of the U.N. Security Council cease-fire that went into effect Monday. The accord called for quick deployment of 15,000 Lebanese army troops south of the Litani River along the border with Israel. They were to take up positions under the aegis of a reinforced contingent of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, to form a peacekeeping corps with a total strength of about 30,000.

Hezbollah's reluctance to get its men and arms out of the border zone reflected nervousness over the continuing presence of Israeli soldiers on Lebanese soil. But it also demonstrated the militant Shiite Muslim movement's increased assertiveness here after a war of more than a month during which it stood off the Israeli army while Lebanon's national army stood aside.
So now Lebanon gets to decide who's in charge of their country, the UN gets to decide if it wants to be relevant and Hezbollah gets to decide if it is worth it to attack Israel again or abide by the cease fire, move itself north of the Litani River, and, in effect, give Israel all of its strategic goals voluntarily.

In the meantime, Israel gets to sit back and watch it all happen. It is no longer its problem. And if Hezbollah decides to attack Israel again, and the UN and Lebanon decide to look at each other and point fingers instead of doing something about it, what's a nation to do ... except defend itself?

UPDATE: Tim Blair asks: "By the way, if Israel’s attacks were so brutally disproportionate, how come Hezbollah is claiming victory?" Heh ...
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
ooooh is this like Double Secret Probation? NOW Hizb’Allah, Lebanon and the UN have to perform? Oh yeah that’s SURE to happen...
Israel had the right PRIOR to this debacle. It blew it then amidst international consternation and the NEXT time the same folks will say the same things. Let’s just hope Israel doesn’t blow it this time.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Round Two will go to Israel. Some Hezbollah hothead will fire off a couple of war-rockets into the caravan of returning soldiers and then it’s "game on". This time, Israel will truly have the moral high ground, they can show more film of their troops leaving the area to back up their statements that they ’really, really wanted the ceasefire to work’. Then they can blow Hezbollah (and Lebanon) to smithereens.

Unless, of course, the UN actually stands up and does something about Hezbollah.

Fat chance.
 
Written By: Stephen
URL: http://
Hizb’Allah says it won’t disarm...
Lebanon says it won’t disarm Hizb’Allah...
The UN says it won’t deploy UNLESS Hizb’Allah disarms (heard on Right-wing Talk Radio, so it may or may not be true)

So tell me again, WHEN IS HIZB’ALLAH DISARMING? And someone tell me the story of the "Glorious Victory" won in Lebanon lo these last 34 days.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
If anything, the refusal should finally, once-and-for-all and forever point to the fact that you cannot negotiate with terrorists (thank you for finally making that point clear for those who’ve refused to accept that in the past, Mr. Nasrallah).
Wrong again, McQ. You are on a streak.

Not that I think it would have mattered but no one ever really did ask Hezbollah to negotiate and they were always up front about not giving up their arms. There are two Hezbollah ministers in the government who extracted promises from the Lebanese government not to try to take their weapons away.

I’ll also note that back in the good old days, Sharon negotiated with the PLO to leave Lebanon and they left. Of course that caused the power vacume that created Hezbollah. Hopefully you can tell the difference between them.


 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
Actually CindyB, the US, France, italy and the UN negotiated the withdrawl of the PLO from Beirut, if memory serves.

And I don’t think the sending forth of the PLO to Tunis creted a "power vacuum" that created Hizb’Allah.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Not that I think it would have mattered but no one ever really did ask Hezbollah to negotiate and they were always up front about not giving up their arms.
Really, you ought to try and keep up a little better, Cindy:
Hours earlier, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that his militia would honor the call for a cease-fire once a deal on the timing was reached.
Apparently someone ask them and they responded to the query.

That "timing" had to do with withdrawal of Israeli troops, now underway. Now, given the bit about the bunkers (above), the goal posts are being moved by Hezbollah... again. And they’re using it as a reason to not honor what they said they’d honor. What a surprise.

But hey, I guess they need an apologist or two and you’re about as handy (and effective) as any.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I can tell the difference -
Nasrallah has a better beard than Yassir was ever able to manage,
and he doesn’t wear the traditional checkered table cloth headdress that Yassir was so fond of.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
actually the hesbos will wait for the UN peacekeepers to arrive before they really open fire again. That way the UN peacekeepers are killed in the crossfire by the Israelies (the hesbos will be shooting at civilians not the troops) stirring up more international criticism of Israel.
 
Written By: Mac
URL: http://
"And a UN that has been battling a negative image problem fo"

Only in the US, I think.

It appears to me that Hezbollah rules Lebanon in all but name. This works well for Hezbollah; they can use the entire country as a human shield.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Lebanese civilians were killed at a 10/1 ratio to Israeli civilians.

You can slice it and dice it anyway you want, but when you argue about a 10/1 civilian death ratio not being disporportionate, you’re making a mockery of the language.

Why is hizballah declaring victory anyway? Can’t you answer that yourself?
If not, here’s Daniel Pipes, suprising me with lucidity today - in the second half, when he’s finished accusing the media of treason.

http://www.danielpipes.org/article/3849
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Glasnost,

Its’ not Israel’s fault that Hezbullah rockets are not accurate.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Harum -
Sure it is! level the playing field! No terrorist organization left behind!
The IDF should be forced to contribute money to Hezbollah to achieve weapons
parity!
Up the UN!
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Harun, that may be true, but it doesn’t make what I’ve said untrue. It’s Israel’s fault that their targeting decisions were repeatedly reckless enough to have achieved civilian kills a factor of ten times higher than the terrorist group they were opposing.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
People making pronouncements on TV is only considered a "negotiation" in neo-conservative theology. Classical diplomacy requires that people talk to each other when they negotiate.

... and I’m not apologizing for Hezbollah. I’m just pointing out that you can
negotiate with terrorists. The IRA sat down and made a deal. The PLO sat down and made a deal. When you say you can’t make a deal with these people then your only option is genocide ... which it seems that many here would condone.


 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
People making pronouncements on TV is only considered a "negotiation" in neo-conservative theology.
So words don’t mean things and leaders don’t speak for their groups.

OK, then, Cindy, nice talking with you.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
The PLO sat down and made a deal.

And promptly broke it, just as they did every deal before that and every deal since. Thus proving, once again, there is no point in negotiating with them.

And, frankly, the IRA has been only marginally better at sticking to their word. And they’re a different case — their goal was not genocide. Hezballah’s is. Hamas’ is. Genocide is non-negotiable.
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
IRA has been only marginally better at sticking to their word.

Neither is a) any given US leader b) the US in world affairs generally. Nobody’s good at sticking to their word out in the Jungle of International Relations. That does not in fact mean that there is no point in trying. Imperfectly kept agreements influence behavior in the direction of the agreement’s goals.

Hezballah’s is. Hamas’ is. Genocide is non-negotiable.

A lot of unhinged Arabs believe that Israel’s goal is genocide. We make fun of them. Correctly.
I haven’t heard Hizballah or Hamas attempt to negotiate their right to commit genocide much. Most negotiations are about releasing prisoners, mutual cease-fires, land disputes and symbolic arguments. So, sure, genocide is non-negotiable. No one is considering negotiating it. So it’s not really relevant.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
So words don’t mean things and leaders don’t speak for their groups.
Who said that?

I said that making pronouncements like "Hezbollah must disarm" is not a negotian. Sitting down with Hezbollah and saying "you disarm in the south and we will return your prisoners and rebuild your country" is a negotiation.

That’s how wars end and thats why Israel will never have peace.

 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
I said that making pronouncements like "Hezbollah must disarm" is not a negotian.
That’s not what I was talking about Cindy. Hezbollah agreed to the cease-fire terms. Nasrallah agreed to them personally, all by himself and in front of the world.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
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Written By: OOOYY
URL: http://

 
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