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« War In Lebanon: The IDF Moves In | WILLisms.com | Quoth The Craven: Nevermore »

And Now The Peace Offensive Begins

Is it all ending not with a bang but a whimper?

Israel's defence minister, Amir Peretz, yesterday endorsed the deployment of an international force, possibly led by Nato, in southern Lebanon

Aren't there international forces there already called UNIFIL and UNDOF? Why Israel would put so much faith into this again is beyond me - though your safety is probably far more secure in NATO's hands than the UN's.

Condoleeza Rice arrives today in Jerusalem, and she has the linchpin Syria on her mind. Condi stated that the United States' poor relationship with Syria is overstated, and that

"It is very important to establish conditions under which a ceasefire can take place. We believe that a ceasefire is urgent. It is important to have conditions that will make it also sustainable."

At least one member of Syria's government, information minister Mohsen Bilal, sees things differently -

Madrid, July 23: A Syrian Minister warned Israel in an interview published today that a major ground incursion into Lebanon would draw his country into the Middle East conflict.

"If Israel makes a land entry into Lebanon, they can get to within 20 kilometres of Damascus," Information Minister Moshen Bilal told a Spanish newspaper.

"What will we do? Stand by with our arms folded? Absolutely not. Without any doubt, Syria will intervene in the conflict."

Bilal said Syria wanted above all a ceasefire "as soon as possible" combined with a prisoner exchange and indicated he was working to that end with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, whom he met in recent days in Madrid.

But he added, "I repeat, if Israel makes a land invasion of Lebanon and gets near US, Syria will not stand by with arms folded. It will enter the conflict."

Syria wants to use diplomatic leverage to regain the Shebaa Farms and all of the Golan Heights territory occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 24 July 2006 12:02 AM


Syria’s public bluster is certainly understandable… up to a point. After all, there is a certain “honor” to be considered regardless of how it all works out. But bluster is all it really amounts to.

Baby Assad, who has yet to be heard from authoritatively, needs those 500 or so tanks right where they are in Syria simply to stay in power. IAF could thoroughly decimate them in about two hour’s worth of work. As for the Syrian Air Force, the last time they were tested in conflict, the final score was 107 to Zero… and the winner was the Israelis. The Russian-built MiG-29 is a serious air-superiority weapon, but Syria’s pilots are simply no match for their Israeli counterparts.

Finally, for the benefit of some of our less seasoned citizens, Shabba and the Golan, which were lost to Israel in the 1967 War… a war started by the Arab side, and decisively lost by them as well… are strategically important because of their commanding height over the surrounding region. Although the usually cacophonous Israelis are today speaking with one, united voice, I would expect the Israeli government to fall, and quickly, if it was to acquiesce to returning these strategically necessary bits of land back to the Syrians. Ain’t gonna happen.

Posted by: Bat One at July 24, 2006 07:43 AM

Rob, at Say Anything said it best! It is not the lack of diplomacy but the lack of retribution. How true that statement is...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at July 24, 2006 11:40 AM