Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Time for UN to pull-out UNIFIL

So much for UN Resolution 1701. The Jerusalem Post reports:
Lebanon's new Cabinet unanimously approved a draft policy statement which could secure Hizbullah's existence as an armed organization and guarantee its right to "liberate or recover occupied lands" on Monday, setting the stage for a parliament endorsement of the government, Information Minister Tarek Mitri said.
Mitri said some ministers in the majority had reservations on the paragraph indicating HIzbullah can keep its weapons. But in the end, all ministers voted in favor of the statement, he said.

"The Cabinet unanimously approved the draft," Mitri told reporters after the five-hour meeting at the presidential palace in a Beirut suburb. The parliament will now discuss the policy statement before giving Prime Minister Fuad Saniora's 30-member national unity government an expected vote of confidence. The parliament meeting is expected later this week. The Cabinet is widely expected to win the parliament vote because it has representatives from the Western-backed majority and the Syrian-supported opposition.

Some observers in Lebanon see the clause on "resistance" as a significant victory for Hizbullah, which has long resisted giving up its arms in its fight against Israel. "Lebanese officials from the president down had always legitimized Hizbullah's resistance as a national cause," Timur Goksel, a former senior UNIFIL adviser/spokesman who now teaches in Lebanon about Middle Eastern conflict, told reporters on Sunday.

"This time, a vehemently anti-Hizbullah government - led by a majority that has significant Western support - has put its signature to a clause that allows Hizbullah to take actions in the fields listed without seeking government approval," Goksel said. "It also puts an end to any dreams of disarming Hizbullah. It secures Hizbullah's armed existence."
Since the government of Lebanon has duly enfranchised Hezbollah milita’s arms, and even has given Hezbollah an official mission statement of sorts; perhaps its time we all just accepted UN Resolution 1701 is an unmitigated disaster, nu? And the next time Hezbollah attempts “resistance” operations within the sphere of Israel sovereignty; I don’t want to hear any of you wankers pratting on endlessly about the ‘innocents’ in Lebanon. Hezbollah is now Lebanon and there are no more innocents.

In fact, I would say it’s high time to pull out UNIFIL as there is simply no point or role for UNIFIL if the government of Lebanon flat out refuses to disarm Hezbollah and prefers to allow Hezbollah to operate as a state within a state. Think I am being a little extreme. Check out this report from Arutz Sheva:
( The Hizbullah terrorist group slammed the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) on Tuesday night for its intention to rescue any Israel Air Force pilot whose aircraft is shot down over Lebanon.

According to a report published by the Lebanese daily newspaper al-Akhbar, Commander Claudio Graziano distributed to his troops a contingency plan in which UNIFIL soldiers would aim to reach the pilot before the terrorists could get to him. Failing that, if the pilot is captured by guerrilla forces, Plan B is an attempt to rescue him from enemy hands. However, if the pilot is being held by the Lebanese Army, according to the plan, UNIFIL would do nothing.

Hizbullah spokesmen appeared on the terrorist-linked Al-Manar television station Tuesday evening to denounce the plan and the United Nations peacekeeping force, despite UNIFIL’s denial of the report.
Call it a failure of imagination on my part but a UN force who will not patrol at night or will not engage when threaten by armed gunman is not my idea of the cavalry riding to anyone’s rescue.

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