Searching for a European Power Willing to police the Cease-Fire in Lebanon.--

The Belmont Report discusses the difficulties that European powers are having in agreeing to pacify Lebanon until someone else pacifies it first:

Though many people reflexively disagree with President Bush, his statement that the ceasefire in Lebanon under UNSC Resolution 1701 will collapse unless a major European country makes a substantial contribution of troops to an expanded UNIFIL force will probably meet with wide agreement. It is now hoped that Italy will fill the gap left by the sudden refusal of France, co-sponsor of 1701, to send more than 200 men to the contingent. The problem is that the Europeans have no intention of disarming Hezbollah by force, which would require high intensity combat operations and politically unpopular casualties. France actually wanted an assurance that Hezbollah would be "safed" before they made their appearance. MSNBC reported: "French officials on Tuesday (Aug 15) insisted Paris would resist leading a bolstered international force in southern Lebanon without Lebanese government assurances that Hizbollah, the militant Shia group, would be disarmed. ... French officials accept that disarming Hizbollah would not happen overnight but say an international force could not be deployed until a demilitarized zone was created."

Nor would the "international community" leave the disarmament of Hezbollah to Israel, even under its residual right to self-defense under 1701. The UN actually warned Israel that it was violating the ceasefire simply by using force to interdict arms smuggling from Syria -- arms meant to attack Israel.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan views the Israel Defense Forces' commando operation near Baalbek over the weekend as a violation of the cease-fire agreement, UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen told Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni during their meeting in Jerusalem Monday. "If you discovered arms smuggling, you could have complained through diplomatic channels," Larsen told Livni.

There was something of the air of unreality about Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema statement on Tuesday that "From Israel, we expect a renewed effort, this time truly binding, to respect the ceasefire. It's fair to expect that Hizbollah put down their weapons, but we cannot send our troops to Lebanon if the (Israeli) army keeps shooting."

lemonade (mail):
Talk is cheap.
8.23.2006 1:53am
Harry Eagar (mail):
'something of the air of unreality'?

Total freakin' lunacy, and just as much from our supposed tough guys as from French pantywaists.

'The gentlemen had a choice between dishonor and war. They chose dishonor. They will have war.' (Quoted from memory)

Been there, done that.
8.23.2006 1:55am

"If you discovered arms smuggling, you could have complained through diplomatic channels,"

Hezbollah has diplomatic status?

Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese Defense Establishment such that it is controlled by the Lebanese government?

Syria will admit to smuggling arms into Lebanon?

What kind of idiot is this guy.

The French are beneath contempt.
8.23.2006 2:41am
noahpraetorius (mail):
I read somewhere that the French insisted on vague rules of engagement in the UN resolution and that one of the reasons they cite for such a puny force of 200 combat engineers is vague rules of engagement!
8.23.2006 4:42am
John the lesser (mail):
I think this is a backdoor revelation of the effectiveness of Islamist strategy. The reason France is wimpy is because they have been overrun with Arabs. The same is true of every other European country. It will be increasingly difficult to find any Euro that will stand up to the Arab bloc. For the life of me, I cannot understand why people would want to flee one hell-hole in the middle east and try to recreate that hell-hole in their place of refuge. Do they just not understand?
8.23.2006 8:05am
France actually wanted an assurance that Hezbollah would be "safed" before they made their appearance.

Maybe we should have asked for safety guarantees before Normandy.
8.23.2006 9:57am
johnt (mail):
Ah yes, our allies. The ones we ignored, without whose support and approval we went to war. Which caused a dangerous unilateralism which connects to imperialism. Whose blessings would have graced our efforts and given us moral stature.
Whose sagacity, experience, morality, and sophistication would have helped immeasurably.
If only we would have waited and learned from the "Old Europe". Think of all the hectoring editorials from the NY Times and all the outraged Letters to the Editors that could have been avoided if only we had heeded the advice of our betters, our allies.
Kudos also to Kofi Annan, who for the moment is not counting his money, and the United Nations, truly the "Last Best Hope for Peace".
If only we would learn from the noble and expeditious example of our friendly critics, our allies.
8.23.2006 10:20am
DDWWBB (mail):
Shmuel Rosner points out that an ineffectual UN is probably a good thing for Israel in the long run.

However from the point of view of the Road Map, Israel's main concern has always been that its treaty\international law obligations are enforced whereas the Arabs have few pressures (either external or internal) to keep to their commitments. If there are to be future land withdrawals from Israel there is probably going to require some public signal from either the Arab world or the international community that this state of affairs has changed.
8.23.2006 10:35am
joe (mail):
Two favorite quotes about the French:

"Cheese eating surrender monkeys" (from the Simpsons)
"The French, they're there when they need you" (unknown)
8.23.2006 10:45am
Houston Lawyer:
It looks like our Secretary of State made the John Kerry mistake of assuming the French would act in good faith. Question whether she has learned anything.
8.23.2006 10:51am
Humble Law Student (mail):

You mean the Colin Powell mistake (his getting ambushed at the UN by the French over the resolution against Saddam).
8.23.2006 10:54am
Ryan Larosa (mail):
It will be interesting to see if UN resolution 1701 will be as much as a success as 1559.
8.23.2006 11:02am
Michael B (mail):
This international "community" (now there's an oxymoron for the ages) is the great mephitic on the world stage today. Amply perfumed, ever preening and posturing and ever floating upon an ample supply of funds and an ample supply of distortionist propaganda provided by the MSM/media, academe and other venues as well, but such it is: the great and enduring ideological pollutant on the world's stage today.

If a terse summary, all that's substantively descriptive nonetheless, not in the least hyperbolic, not in the least an exaggerated appraisal.
8.23.2006 11:04am
Michael B (mail):
One of VDH's latest is a touchstone in this vein. Three apt and particularly telling excerpts, emphases added:

"Syria and Iran stage celebrations as news emerges from the ruins of southern Lebanon revealing just how well-armed Hezbollah was — and how impotent the Lebanese "government" really is. The only suspense remaining is whether the United Nations peacekeeping force or the Lebanese army will prove the most craven in giving Hezbollah a green light to rearm and terrorize."

"The near criminal indifference of the international community is cause for greater depression still. No one says a thing about horrific Arab racism and anti-Semitism that brazenly offer the world pictures of our Secretary of State as a primate and constant hate speech of Jews as apes and pigs."

"The globalized media is absolutely discredited after the coverage of Lebanon. Reuters has destroyed its reputation, gained from 150 years of world reporting, by releasing doctored pictures and tolerating staged photo-ops. Almost all the Western media outlets failed to distinguish Lebanese civilian from military casualties — as if the Hezbollah terrorists they never filmed and never interviewed never died."
8.23.2006 11:15am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
I believe some of the actors in this business think the job of the UN force is, among other things, to prevent "foreign forces" from moving in South Lebanon.

Obviously, Israel is foreign to South Lebanon. But, for purposes of this exercise, is Hezbollah foreign? If either Hezbollah or the Lebanese army begin shooting at Israel, what--really--is the UN expecting to do about it? Is the UN going to be the Shield of Hezbollah?
8.23.2006 1:49pm
o' connuh j.:
It's the Belmont _Club_. Always a good read.
8.23.2006 1:55pm
Fwance doesn't want to send more troops? Quelle surprise!
8.23.2006 3:08pm
Maybe if the Hez opens fire and kills all the blue helments the UN and the world will wake up. But the Hez will not have to do anything but whisper boo and the UN will run with its tail between its legs. Then there will be another whinning and wailing of the UN and supporters of just how awful and brutal the US is in that they did not do enough to help. And the dance goes on.
8.23.2006 4:24pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Houston and Humble, I take your point about gullible -- easily gullible, too -- American diplomats, but the lesson of lessons unlearned goes back further and deeper.

The appeasement of the '30s is being repeated, as if with a pantograph, but now by the children of the people who ran it then. Amazingly stupid.
8.23.2006 4:37pm
"France actually wanted an assurance that Hezbollah would be "safed" before they made their appearance."

Isn't that what Israel was working on before the ceasefire?
8.23.2006 6:23pm