Friday, July 28, 2006

Is Hezbollah Folding?

Blue Crab blogged This is truly bizarre. According to this report, Hezbollah politicians have agreed to some pretty startling concessions to end the war.

BEIRUT, Lebanon - Hezbollah politicians, while expressing reservations, have joined their critics in the government in agreeing to a peace package that includes strengthening an international force in south Lebanon and disarming the guerrillas, the government said. The agreement — reached after a heated six-hour Cabinet meeting — was the first time that Hezbollah has signed onto a proposal for ending the crisis that includes the deploying of international forces.

The package falls short of American and Israeli demands in that it calls for an immediate cease-fire before working out details of a force and includes other conditions. But European Union officials said Friday the proposals form a basis for an agreement, increasing the pressure on the United States to call for a cease-fire. President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Friday they too want an international force dispatched quickly to the Mideast but said any plan to end the fighting — to have a lasting effect — must address long-running regional disputes. "This is a moment of intense conflict in the Middle East," Bush said after his meeting with Blair in Washington. "Yet our aim is to turn it into a moment of opportunity and a chance for broader change in the region."

By signing onto the peace proposals, Hezbollah gave Western-backed Prime Minister Fuad Saniora a boost in future negotiations. Going into Thursday night's Cabinet session, Hezbollah's two ministers expressed deep reservations about the force and its mandate, fearing it could turn against their guerrillas. "Will the international force be a deterrent one and used against who?" officials who attended the Cabinet meeting said in summing up Hezbollah cabinet ministers concerns. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the debate.

But afterward, Information Minister Ghazi Aridi announced that the package had been agreed on by consensus in a rare show of unity by a divided administration. While all sides seemed to be looking for a way to stop the fighting, details of plans taking shape on all sides were still fuzzy. And it was not at all certain Hezbollah would really follow through on the Lebanese government plan that would effectively abolish the militants' military wing. It may have signed on to the deal convinced that Israel would reject it.
If true, this indicates how bad a situation Hezbollah is actually in. If they thought they were winning, there is absolutely no way they would agree to any of these terms. Period. I suspect their miscalculation here was of epic proportions and they know it. I also suspect Israel is very close indeed to a total crushing of Hezbollah.
At least Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's secretary-general, is very frightened that Israel will find where he is hiding, because he knows they are targeting him. These cowards will do anything to protect their own lives, even back down (for a while).


one more patriot said...

I would like to think your right, but it's probably just another stall tatic so they can regroup and then inflict more damage on Israel. They will never give up as long as Israel exist.

Don Singleton said...

I agree that they will never quit trying to destroy Israel, but it may well be that Sheik Hassan Nasrallah is very afraid of Israel targeting him, and he may be willing to force the fighters to appear to stop until he finds a much safer place to hide

Gaius Arbo said...

Something is up, though. They would not even think about this unless something went badly wrong in their calculations, don't you think?

Don Singleton said...

A lot went wrong with their calculations. They thought Isreal would just swap a few hundred prisoners for their two soliders. They were very surprised when Israel started dropping bombs.

Anonymous said...

I think it is all moot.

First of all Israel will not agree to said proposal for very good reasons.

#1...It rewards the raid that slew and kidnapped soldiers with the release of Terrorists, the very act that the kidnapping was designed to do.

#2...The release will take place after a cease fire. That means never. If the UN and Hez didn't follow up on the last agreement why would they follow up on this one?

#3...The UN already set the boundries years ago and the farms area was determined to belong to Israel, given the wonderful record of the UN why would Israel agree to a second UN decision that might say otherwise, in addition the claims to the area arose after the agreement. If they are given to the Hez they will find another reason to shoot at Israel.

#4 If Israel stopps now after major cities are attacked then the next time rockets are shot at their cities the precedent will be set for them to "restrain" themselves again. This is unacceptable.

#5 Hez will never be weaker then it is now. The supply routes from Syria are cut, Iran can't get through Iraq and the rest of the Arab world is worried about the threat from Persia. Any cease file will allow Hez to re-arm and re-supply and will give more time for Iran to finish its bomb. Once it is done the Arab world will kowtow, they know that we won't nuke them. They know that Israel will not nuke them unless they are about to be nuked by them first, but they certainly don't know that Iran won't nuke them if they don't stay in line. Who is going to defend them from Iranian nukes? Not us.

There is not a single good choice, there is only the necessary choice, finish off Hez stay in the south and draw their fighters to the area, stay until the Lebanese are willing to fight against them too. This means a lot of suffering for a lot of people overthere and the deaths of hundreds or even thousands. That stinks! Unfortunately in my opinion the failure to do so will mean a lot of suffering for tens of millions and horrible deaths for tens or hundreds of thousands.

I very much hope I am wrong.