Sunday, September 17, 2006

Defending Lebanon

Yahoo! News reported A top Hezbollah leader said the Shiite group would have no problems with UN peacekeepers as long as they limit their work to defending Lebanon against Israel and do not pursue other agendas.

Such as defending Israel from attacks by Hezbollah, should Iran decide it needs another war.
"UNIFIL (the UN Interim Force in Lebanon) is here to protect the Lebanese and Lebanon's sovereignty, and we want its mandate limited to that," in which case there "will be no problems," Nabil Qaouk, the group's chief in the south, told AFP Saturday.

"We want the new UNIFIL to do its work in conformity with" UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which led to an August 14 truce in the war between Israel and Hezbollah.
And which calls for Hezbollah to be disarmed.
"Israel is seeking to have this force play a new role, in other words, to place it under its control," Qaouk said. "We hope that Europe and the French will not be under American control and will be the closest friends of the Lebanese and the Arab world."
The cowardly French sell their friendship to whoever can pay the most. How much is Lebanon offerring? How much is Hezbollah offerring?
More than 7,000 troops from EU countries will make up the backbone of an expanded UNIFIL presence in Lebanon, which is expected to total 15,000. Under Resolution 1701, they are deploying in south Lebanon, along with an equal number of Lebanese troops, as Israel progressively withdraws from the country.

Qaouk was speaking two days after the French commander of UNIFIL indicated his men would act to take weapons away from Hezbollah if the Lebanese army failed to do so.
Good for him.
Resolution 1701 calls for establishing "an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL" between the Israeli border and the Litani River. It stipulates that UNIFIL should "assist the Lebanese armed forces" in achieving that. Pellegrini said that, "if the (Lebanese army) fails to act, we must assume our responsibilities as a UN force. Someone will have to intervene, with all the consequences that this might have for the Lebanese authorities." Hezbollah has resolutely refused to turn over its arms, saying it will keep them until Israel ends its occupation of the country.
And anyone that thinks they will then disarm is an idiot.

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