Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Ceasefire Mirage

I worry that the optimism surrounding the U.N.'s peace resolution may be misplaced. At first glance, this sounds encouraging:
Israel and Lebanon agreed to accept the terms of the U.N. cease-fire, according to U.S. and U.N. diplomats. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will ask his cabinet to approve the resolution when it meets Sunday, according to Israeli officials. The Lebanese cabinet is scheduled to vote on it Saturday.

Boths sides look to ratify the resolution this weekend, with the next logical step a cessation of hostilities. That's how ceasefires work, right? Apparently, this ceasefire allows for lots of fire, for an unspecified time:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the cease-fire will not go into effect immediately. She said U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan will consult with Israel and Lebanon in the coming days to set a date for the cessation of hostilities.

"No one can expect an immediate end to all acts of violence," Rice said. She cautioned that "the conditions of a lasting peace must be nurtured over time."

The resolution provides the first significant hope for a gradual reduction in the violence

Call me thick, but a ceasefire agreement usually means we can "expect an immediate end" to violence. Instead, we have a situation where the date of actual ceasefire is yet to be determined. So, we have a ceasefire, but we still need negotiations to agree on the ceasefire, and even then it will only be gradual ceasefire. My head hurts.

I see many scenarios where this formula completely unravels. If both sides agree to the framework, why not an immediate ceasefire? The delay suggests that there is still much to be clarified, which contradicts the back-slapping optimism at the U.N. This conflict isn't over, not by a long shot.


Nasrallah today:
Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah says the guerilla organization will follow the terms of a UN ceasefire, but will keep fighting until Israeli troops pull out of southern Lebanon.

Israeli Army Chief Halut:
Halut pledged the roughly 30,000 Israeli troops currently in Lebanon will stay put until an international force arrives.

Israel won't leave until there is an international force in place, while Hezbollah vows to fight until Israel withdraws. Given the practical obstacles, a UN force can't be put on the ground for weeks, so it would seem a ceasefire still remains a distant hope.


Peter Mckay offers his usual insightful commentary:
Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said Canada welcomed the UN resolution, calling it "the most important political development since the beginning of the conflict."

Or, maybe the only political development? I'm sure Canada was instrumental in these talks and will play a vital role as we move forward. Cough.


TonyGuitar said...

Michael, a *rigid liberal*, learns from Marine Dad, the logic of Western resolve.

Sadly, it came down to a question of them or us. Think about this Michael: them or us.

Who would die and who would live? the American government is sworn to protect Americans.

Absent a surrender from the Japanese we had every reason to believe that they would fight us down to the last man, woman or child standing. We were expecting American casualties in the hundreds of thousands.

Instead we leveled three of their cities in the hope that this would eliminate their will to fight.

It did. The Japanese died and the Americans lived.

Am I proud of that decision? No, frankly I'm not. This is not a question of emotion, its a question of cold hard rationality.

Do I find the use of nuclear weapons barbaric? yes, I honestly do.

Would I advocate their use against Muslim population centers if it comes to a question of them or us?

Yes Michael I would.

Do I admire Truman for making this choice? yes I do. It was a difficult decision and not one that he took lightly, but ultimately he did his duty to the people he had sworn to protect.

It was them or it was us. don't forget that.

Next, did this bring civilization to Japan?

Well given that they are the number two economy in the world I would have to say that it did. Japan is a vibrant and civilized place. We in America are pleased to have them as both friends and allies. We spend an enormous amount of our money protecting the Japanese and we are glad to do so. I cannot ever recall anyone complaining about the cost of keeping Japan safe. They are stalwart people solidly democratic and very peaceful.

We buy their cars, we eat their food, we pay for the privilege of watching their best athletes play our favorite game.

do you now understand my point?
marine dad | 08.10.06 - 3:03 pm | #
Borrowed from:

Please, no emotional labels like * warmonger *. Debate about direct defense is not popular or easy, but we better be real rather than surprised. = TG

Steve V said...


So you are advocating Israel nuke Lebanon and Palestine? I really do hate bad analogies.

TonyGuitar said...

A good way to free yourself from being tongetied by hate for bad analogies is to run an open blogsite and debate dessenting opinion. = TG