On the Wing

Flying in the face of widespread left wing extremism!

More UN peacewatchers in Lebanon?

Posted by Exile on July 18, 2006

UN peacewatcherAs the G8 talks came to an end in St. Petersburg, Tony Blair and Kofi Anan were hatching a plot to put “an international force” in place in south Lebanon to ‘keep the peace’. Perhaps it isn’t common knowledge, but there has been a UN peace keeping force in south Lebanon for the last 28 years, and it hasn’t made a bit of difference to the terrorist attacks from Hezbollah. They continued unhindered in all those years. The force comprises some 2000 troops and has no prohibitive effect whatsoever. So what’s new?
Recalling what I said yesterday in my blog about the UN needing some teeth and less gums, I wonder what the UN Security Council will say to beefing up the UN presence in Lebanon and will it be allowed to get involved in fighting Hizbollah instead of merely watching the terrorist activity as it goes happily by?
The Times of London has also been snooping round this one:

Speaking at the summit in St Petersburg, Mr Blair and the UN Secretary-General led demands for such a force in an effort to stop Hezbollah attacks on Israel, and Israeli retaliation.

“The only way we are going to have a cessation of violence is if we have an international force deployed into that area,” Mr Blair said.

Well Tony, it’s already there, it just hasn´t been big enough or had the mandate to stop, arrest, hinder or shoot back at Hizbollah. Until that is sorted out, then the presence of a UN force in Lebanon is meaningless. They may as well be boy scouts on a jamboree. The Israeli plan is to create a terrorist free buffer zone in southern Lebanon and they seem pretty determined about it right now.

Amir Peretz, the Israeli Defence Minister, said that his country was determined to create a buffer zone in southern Lebanon. “We intend to complete this operation. We have no intention of allowing anyone to stop us,” he said.

And who can blame them? I believe the Israelis have shown enough good will and tolerance and they have to do now what the UN hasn’t or won’t do. Clear out the Hizbollah for good and all. John Bolton seems to have gripped the essentials in all this:

John Bolton, Washington’s UN Ambassador, asked what would make a new force more effective than the UN “interim” force that has been in southern Lebanon for 28 years. He said: “Would such a force be empowered to deal with the real problem? The real problem is Hezbollah. Would it be empowered to deal with the countries like Syria and Iran that support Hezbollah?”
[…..]Mr Blair said that the new force would have to be “a significantly larger contingent with a far more specific mission”.

I agree with Blair. It would have to be a much larger contingent, and the mission must be to fight and defeat the Hizbollah, as Israel is doing now. And when that is achieved, then it would have to move north to the lebanese-syrian border and prevent further intrusion. In fact, why not give it the mandate to invade Syria from the get go and eradicate the entire problem? This would send a huge “no more crap” signal to Iran too. John Bolton seems to understand this, why doesn’t anyone else?
A last comment form the times article:

The Israeli Government is unlikely to find the idea acceptable unless the new force had a very different mandate to that of Unifil, the UN force already in the area.
Mr Blair played down the possibility of British troops being involved, saying that the British military was already stretched.

I can understand the Israeli scepticism.
My “give the UN teeth” blog may just have hit the nail on the head. It has to be a UN commitment. But they have to commit a viable fighting force, not a bunch of impotent onlookers.

There are enough of those already.

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One Response to “More UN peacewatchers in Lebanon?”

  1. War. On Tv. said

    I’ve always viewed the UN like a doctor without medication. It does a good job of diagnosing the problem, but is never able to provide a cure. My question is this…what were 2,000 UN “peacekeepers” doing for 2 years while the Hizballah was amassing rockets to attack Israel across a sovereign UN approved border? They’ve had 2 years to implement UNSC resolution 1559. 2 years. Did no one see the presence of a non-governmental militia in the area as being detrimental to the “peace” process. And if UN peacekeepers aren’t allowed to enforce UN resolutions, then what’s the point at all? The UN usually comes across as being magnificantly inept, which is why many are afraid to give them more power. Remember how well UN peacekeepers performed in Africa? Would an increased force be any different in Lebanon?

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