Friday, August 11, 2006

Diplomacy and the Hounds of Hell, Part XXV

Isn't it amazing that as bad as I think this ceasefire draft agreement would have been for Israel, the Lebanese are the first to come out in opposition of the draft? Heavy fighting continues unabated.

Hizbullah's rocket attacks continue and some attribute the latest barrage to Israel's strike on a bridge leading into Syria, but the fact is that Hizbullah needs absolutely no reason other than Israel's very existence to continue its war against Israel.

Is Hizbullah having problems with getting food? I don't think that's really plausible, but we do know that the Red Cross/Red Crescent is willingly helping Hizbullah get out of South Lebanon and crossing bridges that were destroyed by Israeli airstrikes.

The military is fuming and analysts are saying that if the Israelis stay put, they're inviting Hizbullah take the upper hand. Olmert had put a hold on the Litani and expanded operations plan, thinking that diplomatic actions might be fruitful. Not a good move as Israel continues to eliminate Hizbullah and their launchers.

The UN is evacuating a group of 350 Lebanese soldiers detained by Israel in the Lebanese town of Marjayoun.

The fauxtography continues, as Hamas tries to exploit the accidental death of a young girl to claim that she was killed by Israeli military actions. Reutersgate continues to strike other news outlets, just as many had predicted (myself included).

The UN Human Rights Council is going to meet to discuss Israel's actions. Never mind Hizbullah's actions, every single one of which is a violation of international law and human decency, but they're going after Israel which is defending itself against a genocidal and nihlistic enemy, with Iran pulling the strings.

Via storage manager at LGF, Iran has been working towards this day for 27 years. And they're willing to do anything to achieve their ultimate goal of imposing a religious empire of Islamism on the Middle East and then the world.

Bloggers to check in with for daily updates are Blue Crab Boulevard, Carl in Jerusalem, Israellycool, Dave Bender, Meryl Yourish, Euphoric Reality, Pajamas Media, Hot Air, Jameel at the Muqata, Greetings from the French Hill, R'Lazer, and Live from an Israeli Bunker. Check back with them regularly for updates.

Is this the end of the Palestinian Authority? Vital Perspective notes that the rift between Fatah and Hamas has only grown since the attack on Israel that ended with Gilad Shalit being taken into Gaza by Hamas terrorists.

More rockets continued to hit Israel this morning, but the IDF quickly destroyed the launchers.

The most serious problem for Israel is that the Hizbullah terrorists are equipped with high tech Russian anti-tank weapons that have either disabled or destroyed 30 Israeli tanks. Nearly half of Israeli military casualties have been a result of those tanks being destroyed. The seriousness of this issue cannot be underestimated, and shows just how dangerous Hizbullah will be if a ceasefire is imposed that does not eliminate Hizbullah's military capabilities.

Israel is trying to obtain special cluster munitions from the US to go after those rocket launchers, but the State Department is trying to delay the request. The State Department should stand aside and let the arsenal of democracy continue the resupply request because the effort is designed to destroy a terrorist organization on the Department's own watch list.

Yet another flawed ceasefire deal is being proffered at the UN, but Hizbullah rejects any ceasefire deal that will leave any IDF in South Lebanon. Well, what about the two IDF soldiers that Hizbullah took from Israel nearly a month ago?

Vital Perspective has gotten its hands on the latest draft ceasefire agreement, and let's just say that it's short on what Hizbullah is required to do. In fact, all Hizbullah is required to do is the following:
1. Calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hizbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations;
That's it. The Lebanese government would be the sole power authorized to carry weapons in Lebanon, which is the same position Lebanon has been in since before UN SCR 1559. Indeed, this resolution does nothing to improve Israel's security situation, let alone eliminate Hizbullah's presence in Lebanon.

Israel appears to have agreed to this agreement, but it will depend on whether Hizbullah will stop firing into Israel. I call that a long shot. Olmert is calling on the Israeli government to approve the UN resolution.

In the meantime, the larger Israeli ground offensive appears on for the moment. Israel thinks it will take about a week to drive to the Litani River, and then 4-6 weeks after that to eliminate Hizbullah between the Litani and the Israeli border.

Hizbullah is going to declare victory regardless of what happens going forward. Their existence is reason enough for them to declar victory. The fact that Israeli leaders dithered on taking decisive and crushing action against Hizbullah and then vacillating between a larger offensive and limited action only further provided Hizbullah with the time and space to prepare defensive positions and continue their attacks against Israel.

120 rockets were fired into Israel today. Yossi Beilin, who still clings to Oslo like a baby to his binky despite the fact that he's a teenager, thinks that a wider operation is a victory for Hizbullah. Every day Hizbullah continues to exist is a victory for the Islamic terrorist group and its benefactors in Tehran and Damascus.

Hizbullah had claimed that it destroyed an Israeli warship, but the IDF denies the claims., which happened to be the organization that sent me to Israel for six weeks way back in 1993 on a fellowship, has a great roundup of the photo frauds in Lebanon.

Vital Perspective is a must read on the diplomatic posturing. The key to whether this deal has any legs is Hizbullah's Nasrallah. If he doesn't go with it, it doesn't matter who signed off on the deal in Turtle Bay. It would be a dead issue.
The question is, does any of this matter? The Security Council will likely unanimously approve the resolution tonight. Israel will likely accept it on Sunday. Lebanon has expressed satisfaction, but none of this matters if Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the terrorist Hezbollah organization, does not accept it. If the rocket attacks continue, if Israeli civilians are forced to live their lives in bomb shelters, if the IDF is attacked from their positions within Israel, then Israel can and will exercise its legitimate right to self-defense, and this resolution will have achieved little if anything at all. So by all means, Israel must accept this resolution. As Secretary Rice has said in the past, following this resolution, "We will see who is for peace and who is not."
My question to Sec. State Rice is don't we already know who's for peace and who's for pieces? Hizbullah wants to destroy Israel, and this ceasefire only delays Israel's ability to destroy a mortal enemy.

Ed Morrissey thinks he sees some good out of this resolution. I think you've got to look real hard to find some good, and I've got some quibbles with his analysis:
Lastly, by agreeing to this cease-fire, Olmert puts pressure on Siniora to do the same and to put Hezbollah in a box. If Siniora refuses, then Olmert orders the incursion. If Nasrallah refuses to accede to Siniora's demand to disarm and withdraw as required by this proposal, Olmert can claim that the Lebanese government is hostage to Nasrallah and act to liberate it. Olmert will have worked the appeasers into a position where they will have endorsed further military action by the collapse of their own peace plan.

Everything hinges on Nasrallah. If he accepts the terms and allows Siniora to dislodge them from southern Lebanon, Hezbollah is finished regardless of their public claims. Their raison d'etre is the defense of the southern border against Israel -- and if the Lebanese Army takes that responsibility, then their militia serves no purpose in the middle of Lebanon. If Nasrallah balks, then Israel will have a green light and a wide window to finish the job, and they will have lost very little in the hours it will take for the gambit to play to its conclusion.
Even here, the question of Sheba Farms rears its ugly head. While the UN says it's not part of Lebanon, Hizbullah does, and they claim Israel is therefore occupying Lebanon.

Also, Israel's position is thoroughly dependent upon the very entities that have proven themselves to be completely incapable of acting to stop attacks against Israel. All the same, Israel's strategic and tactical position is diminished by having to react to events instead of getting ahead of the curve and dictating the terms of this fight.

Rick Moran is not a happy camper tonite. I think he joins quite a few Israelis in that group. Michelle Malkin thinks this is waving the white flag - and Hizbullah's.

What will happen to the Israeli government? I think it's too soon to tell, especially since the fighting is not even close to being over.

Allah has the roundup. Walid Phares isn't a happy camper either because the biggest potential winner is Iran. Security Watchtower also weighs in. I'm with Pamela at Atlas Shrugs when there's no demand for Hizbullah to return the two Israeli soldiers they took in the initial attack that precipitated this war. She thinks that this gives Iran more time to rearm and reequip Hizbullah with the kinds of weapons that have proven to be quite deadly to the Israeli forces thus far - the anti-tank weapons that have been the cause of nearly half of the Israeli casualties.

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