Saturday, July 29, 2006

Clock Ticking On Israel's Right To Self Defense

The concern any American or Israeli ought to have about the "international community's" efforts establish a cease fire in Lebanon is that the "international community" has no interest in peace, merely quiet. Islamofascism is a totalitarian political movement, and such movements always treat peace agreements as precursors to their next demand.

So Israel is in a nearly impossible position. Hiding in civilian areas, buying the loyalties of the Shia population in Lebanon, Hezbollah can absorb Israel's blows knowing that sooner or later, the democratic nations on which Israel depends will grow tired of all the ugly headlines coming out of the Middle East and will force the two sides to negotiate. Each will concede some point, Israel will return to it's normal state, and Hezbollah can rebuild and plot the next step of its campaign to destroy the Jewish state. The "international community", having successfully defended itself against the recognition of Islamic terrorist goals, will then return to the delusions that allowed Hezbollah to grow so powerful to being with. A cease fire now will quell the headlines, many of which are staged by Hezbollah's propagandists, but will effectively trade Lebanese lives now for Israeli lives later.

Apropos the "international community's" concern for quiet, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to discuss the fighting in Lebanon. The sense of the Israeli's is that they have another week to ten days to continue fighting Hezbollah. After that, Secretary Rice proposes a "stabilization" force of 10,000 to 30,000 to enter southern Lebanon to assist the Lebanese army to enter the area and disarm Hezbollah.

Even if a "stabilization" force were to enter southern Lebanon, there is little to no guarantee they wouldn't eventually become as corrupt and useless as the U.N. peace keepers in Lebanon and elsewhere. And why shouldn't they? Hezbollah has the money to corrupt them and the will to intimidate them into blindness. Once the bombs stop the "international community" will turn to other matters: no one would notice until it's too late.

The rumor prior to the meeting was that an Israel concession would be that it would give up its claim to the Shebaa Farms. This is a demand of the Lebanese government, but the Israelis don't wish to give up the land in the current circumstances. First, they have the superior territorial claim under a U.N. resolution. Second, while they no longer have any security interest in the area, they do not wish to give a victory, however indirect, to Hezbollah. The U.S. believes it would be a peaceful, reassuring gesture, but the cost of showing weakness to Hezbollah might be to high for the benefit of the Lebanese government's goodwill.

The most fortunate piece of information to come out of the meeting is that the U.S. agrees that the return of two kidnapped soldiers would be required for any cease fire deal. How many Hezbollah prisoners Israel would have to give back is not mentioned.

Secretary Rice will travel next to Lebanon.


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