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

Freedom's Fidelity

Friday, August 18, 2006

What Cease Fire?

So we're in the midst of a cease-fire and both Israel and The Hez are claiming victory. Whatever. At this point, it is too early to say who won and lost. One thing that I can say with confidence though is that Hezbollah will not hold up their end of the bargain and disarm. Maybe that isn't a bad thing. When Israel left Lebanon in 2000 it was under the agreement that the UN would contain Hezbollah in the south and not allow them to arm and build. That didn't happen as evidence by the thousands of missiles that were launched towards Israeli cities.

I think Israel's best option is to let the UN take over (again!). Watch them fail and finally go in and do the job themselves. As Strategy Page notes:
August 16, 2006: The success of the ceasefire in Lebanon hinges on a condition that Lebanon and Hizbollah both insist will not happen. Hizbollah is supposed to disarm, but says bluntly that it will not do so. The Lebanese government says it will not force Hizbollah to disarm. So what's going to happen? It appears that Israel is going to hold the UN responsible for carrying out its peace deal, and disarm Hizbollah. To that end, Israel will withdraw its troops from Lebanon, and leave it to UN peacekeepers to do what they are obliged to do.
The Israeli strategy appears to be to allow the UN deal to self-destruct. If the UN peacekeepers can disarm Hizbollah, fine. If not, Israeli ground troops will come back in and clear everyone out of southern Lebanon. At that point, it will be obvious that no one else is willing, or able, to deal with the outlaw "state-within-a-state" that Hizbollah represents. Hizbollah will still exist after being thrown out of southern Lebanon, and it will be up to the majority of Lebanese, and the rest of the Arab world, to deal with Hizbollah and radical Shias.

Hizbollah suffered a defeat. Their rocket attacks on Israel, while appearing spectacular (nearly 4,000 rockets launched), were unimpressive (39 Israelis killed, half of them Arabs). On the ground, Hizbollah lost nearly 600 of its own personnel, and billions of dollars worth of assets and weapons. Israeli losses were far less.

Read the rest.


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