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July 14, 2006
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A Time For War And A Time For Peace
Earlier this week, over at Wizbang, I discussed the difficulties in arranging a cease-fire in Lebanon. As the fighting has continued, and in many ways intensified, so have the calls. And even more complications have come to mind.
As I said, one challenge is that Israel has laid out its terms for a ceasefire, and they are imminently reasonable: the return of its kidnapped soldiers, the cessation of attacks on their civilian populace, and the disarming of Hezbollah. Lebanon is also eager for a ceasefire, but that is largely irrelevant: they are not a party to the fighting. The group Israel is fighting, Hezbollah, has expressed no interest in ending the fighting; in fact, they have ratcheted up their attacks and their rhetoric (a feat I would have thought unachievable, but nonetheless they have managed to do so) in light of events.
But this begs the question: with whom shall the ceasefire be negotiated? Hezbollah has no Secretary of State, no Negotiator In Chief, no single person or body with the designated authority to speak for the whole organization and make binding agreements with. Even if a spokesman for the group were to make a deal with The Criminal Zionist Occupying Entity, it would last just long enough for the first "rogue element" to rearm and launch a new attack. At that point, the situation is not back to where it stands today, but possibly even worse.
Beyond the lack of that second party to any peace talks, there is no body that can serve as a broker for any deal.
There's an old saying that "it takes two thieves to make an honest bargain." The way I've most often heard it applied is when there are assets to be apportioned between two parties. The first party divides the assets into two portions, and the second party chooses which party gets which portion. This is the simplest way I've seen to guarantee honesty.
However, when the dispute does mandate a third party, then it should be a party that both sides are willing to trust. And in this current situation, the two most likely candidates are disqualified.
The United States certainly has the influence over Israel to achieve such an agreement, but we would be unacceptable to Hezbollah. Likewise, entering into negotiations with Hezbollah is utterly unacceptable to the United States. Not only is Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations, making any official contacts with them a violation of US law, but they are a sworn enemy of the United States. Several Hezbollah members are near the top of the United States' list of most wanted terrorists, but prior to 9/11 they had killed more Americans than any other terrorist organization in the world.
The other body that might be called in to moderate the fighting would be the United Nations. But there are two great obstacles to this one -- one obvious, one more subtle.
The first is that Israel has no reason to trust the United Nations to be a fair broker in any matter, but in one such as this especially. As Meryl Yourish brought to my attention, nearly six years ago a group of Hezbollah terrorists invaded Israel under false guise as UN Peacekeepers, attacked an Israeli military patrol, and kidnapped three Israeli soldiers. They then fled back to Lebanon, where the soldiers were killed and their bodies traded for live Hezbollah prisoners.
Virtually the whole incident was observed and recorded by United Nations Peacekeeping forces, who had been bribed to allow the attack to take place. And the United Nations, on direct orders from Secretary General Kofi Annan, did everything humanly possible to cover up their involvement. They denied everything, destroyed evidence, refused to turn over that which they did not destroy, and eventually censored that which the did give to Israel to make it worthless.
And while they stonewalled, those three Israeli soldiers died brutal deaths.
This is just one particularly heinous example of how the UN treats Israel. For more examples, see here.
On a far more profound level, though, by brokering an agreement between Israel and Hezbollah, the United Nations would be drawing an equivalency between a free, democratic, independent nation and a terrorist group. (The cynic in me points out that it would merely be not overly significant; the UN routinely denounces Israel as "criminal" and "terrorist," to this would simply formalize the position.) This would grant Hezbollah the standing and status of a modern nation, with none of the attendant responsibilities and obligations and duties inherent therein. This would be an unprecedented victory for terrorists.
There is a very simple solution to this problem. It arose because Lebanon failed to fulfill its obligations as a sovereign nation and assert control of its southern territories. It needs to wrest those areas from Hezbollah, rigorously patrol its lands, and enforce the peace -- the basic obligations of any nation-state.
With luck, Israel's ongoing destruction of Hezbollah personnel and ordnance will weaken that terrorist organization to the point where Lebanon can achieve that. Then -- and only then -- should a ceasefire be arranged, and between Lebanon and Israel only. Hezbollah should not be a party to those talks.
In the meantime, the United States gains the satisfaction of seeing an old enemy suffer a crushing defeat at the hands of an old ally. We should offer support and encouragement to our friend, shield them from their enemies at the United Nations, offer any assistance they might require (short of intervening directly ourselves), and let them continue doing what has needed doing for far too long.
The Bible states clearly that "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... a time of war, and a time of peace." (Ecclesiastes 3:1-3:8)
This is a time of war against Hezbollah. Let us not call for peace until we are certain it will be a lasting one.
Posted by Jay Tea · 22 July 2006 08:00 AM
Jay, since you are in the mode of "posted elsewhere", why not take this piece of common sense and post it over at DailyKos.
Sure it will get flamed, but they would have to read it first.
Posted by: 1918 at July 22, 2006 01:03 PM
Jay quoting the Bible... perhaps posting on Kos would reap a positive response after all, 1918.
Posted by: SilverBubble at July 22, 2006 04:50 PM
I love this post!...
Posted by: Zsa Zsa at July 23, 2006 01:46 PM