Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sanity Returns?

Reading various news pieces, I don't think there is any question that Israel is changing direction. Either the United States has finally pulled the plug, or Israel has resigned itself to the fact that Hezbollah isn't going anywhere. Whatever the rationale, finally some positive developments:
Israel will accept the deployment of NATO-led forces along the Lebanese border to deter Hezbollah militants, Israel's defence minister said Sunday as his country continued air strikes for a 12th day.

"Israel's goal is to see the Lebanese army deployed along the border with Israel, but we understand that we are talking about a weak army and that in the mid-term period, Israel will have to accept a multinational force," Peretz said, according to the officials

Remember that old thing called diplomacy. It actually works sometimes:
The United States, Israel, the United Nations and the European Union have reluctantly concluded that despite punishing military attacks, Hezbollah is likely to survive as a political player in Lebanon, and Israel now says it is willing to accept the organization if it sheds its military wing and abandons extremism, according to several key officials.

"To the extent that it remains a political group, it will be acceptable to Israel," Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon said yesterday in the strongest sign to date that the Israelis are rethinking the scope and ultimate goals of the campaign. "A political group means a party that is engaged in the political system in Lebanon, but without terrorism capabilities and fighting capabilities. That will be acceptable to Israel."

I actually find the last quote shocking. Despite the bombings, all indications are that Hezbollah's support is actually growing. If the international community can man the border, effectively taking control of the situation, then it lays the groundwork for diplomatic pressure to engage Syria, offer incentives for Hezbollah to disarm and maybe actually move the process forward. Important to remember that at one time the P.L.O was the equivalent of Hezbollah, but has now evolved into a "moderate" organization, and this was only achieved through engagement, not bombings.

The sad part, Canada is nowhere to be found on the landscape, aside from merely puppeting whatever the Americans suggest. The British actually came to the fore, condemning the bombing campaign, which has effectively stepped up the pressure to end this offensive. I have little doubt that the growing consensus against Israel's actions have led to this epiphany. Canada, looks entirely irrelevant, given its inability to craft an independent opinion. No pragmatism, no re-evaluation to fast changing events, just kneejerk support that ignores the situation. As the world community reaches a consensus, Canada was invisible and these latest developments highlight our government's failure to show moral leadership.


Larry Gambone said...

I don't think Hezbollah will disarm. It would be naive of them to do so.The fact that they have an actual military - rather than a rag-tag handful of guerillas - has given them a great barganing chip with the Isrealis. Furthermore, as several commentators have pointed out today (see all Hezbollah has to do is stay in existence and Isrea will have lost this round. I don't think there will be any peace until the US forces Isreal to pull back to its 1967 borders and allows the creation of a genuine Palestinian state. All the US need do to do this is start cutting off aid to Isreal. Of course, this senario is about as unlikely as Hezbollah disarming, given the fact that the US is at this moment controled by a united front of neocon fanatics, religious loons and the military industrial complex. So, I am sorry to say, this misery is going to go on for a long while yet. But we can always hope for peace...

Steve V said...

If the Americans would actually engage Syria, with bilateral talks, instead of largely ignoring them, there could be some incentive to cut off arms supply to Hezbollah. Refusing to talk only exasperbates the situation, what we need now is some united diplomacy to slowly change directions.


It's a complete clusterfuck, don't get me wrong :)

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