Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

War, or War?

Still no cease fire in sight, and sadly that is for the best in terms of prospects for long term peace. Michael Totten, who recently spent 7 months in Lebanon, notes in a must read, but somewhat depressing article that:
Israel and Lebanon (especially Lebanon) will continue to burn as long as Hezbollah exists as a terror militia freed from the leash of the state. The punishment for taking on Hezbollah is war. The punishment for not taking on Hezbollah is war. Lebanese were doomed to suffer war no matter what.

There you have it, the simple, sad reality. For what is Israel supposed to do when Hezbollah crosses its border, kidnaps its soldiers and rains missiles down on its population centers? I know what we would do, I know what we did.

Frankly, Israel is in an existential struggle, and the absurdity of the UN calling for Israeli restraint is, once again, incredibly revealing. The UN is directly responsible for creating today's conditions, for allowing Hezbollah to be armed to the gills, and that fact deserves much more scrutiny than it is so far receiving.

But, Claudia Rosett is on the case in this must read piece.

Hezbollah deliberately provoked this war on July 12 by kidnapping Israeli soldiers inside Israel's borders, and has been launching rockets into Israel from a massive arsenal that under U.N. writ Hezbollah is not even supposed to possess. That was not the deal under which Israel, in keeping with U.N. wishes, withdrew entirely from southern Lebanon in 2000. The U.N. promise was that Hezbollah would be defanged and that U.N. peacekeepers would help the Lebanese government reestablish control over Hezbollah-infested terrain inside Lebanon.

Over the past six years, Israel honored its commitment to peace. The U.N. — disproportionately — required in practice no such compliance on the Lebanese side of the border. The "peacekeepers" of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon, called UNIFIL, sat passively looking on, costing about $100 million a year and doing nothing to stop Hezbollah from trucking in weapons, digging tunnels, and running the armed protection rackets with which it has kept a grip on swathes of Lebanon, including the southern border with Israel, parts of the Bekaa, and southern Beirut. Before the current fighting, UNIFIL had most recently distinguished itself for a run-of-the-U.N.-mill financial swindle involving a contingent of Ukrainian peacekeeping troops. On that subject, whatever laws might have been violated, the U.N. has — as usual with U.N. scams — refused to release details. Now, UNIFIL peacekeepers have been reduced to casualties of the crossfire, while Secretary-General Kofi Annan urges that we take what the U.N. has done wrong already, and do more of it.

...These latest exercises in disproportion begin, of course, with U.N. officials ritually condemning all parties. With that sleight of hand, they conjure the baseline U.N. fallacy known as moral equivalence. In that U.N. scheme of the universe, a democratic society that is attacked while honoring U.N. agreements is treated as no different from its death-cult rule-violating terrorist attackers. But — and here we get to the U.N.'s real dark arts — having set up that bizarre equation, U.N. officials then proceed with their "proportionate" calculus, lavishing their further innuendos, sly criticisms, or, in some cases, outright denunciations on Israel. These comments — biased or even inane though some of them are — echo especially loud in the so-called international community because they come from officials flashing a U.N. badge.

Read the whole biting column.


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