Nothing is simple, and that goes double for occurrences in Lebanon at the moment. What seems to be the case, may not be, and a "wait and see" attitude is the only way to go.
As I write, the ceasefire mandated by the Security Council is ostensibly less than 12 hours away. However…the Lebanese cabinet has indefinitely postponed a meeting that was supposed to be held today to discuss the deployment of its troops in southern Lebanon. The delay involves the issue of disarmament of Hezbollah in this area, per the resolution. Apparently Hezbollah members of the cabinet didn’t want to discuss it at all. This provides an inkling of the effectiveness of the resolution, should the ceasefire ever come to be. Hezbollah is balking and there is no mechanism for enforcing disarmament, nor is the Lebanese army keen to take on Hezbollah.
Today was a day of heavy fighting inside of Lebanon — with the IDF having made it up to the Litani River, and rockets still being fired in the north of Israel.
Israel says it will cease firing at 7AM tomorrow but that does not mean the end of the operation. Until the Lebanese army and international forces deploy, the IDF will remain. Not only will it remain, it will take defensive action wherever necessary. The rush to get to the Litani, as I am understanding it, was to block off Hezbollah. Neither guerillas nor weapons can be brought north, out of the southern sector — the IDF is waiting for them.
Of course, the question that remains uppermost is whether there will be any ceasefire tomorrow: Will Hezbollah stop shooting?
The Israeli cabinet met this morning, and after contentious discussion approved United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 unanimously (with former Sec. of Defense Mofaz abstaining). PM Olmert says that this is a good resolution — that Hezbollah won’t be a "state within a state" any longer, and there will now be accountability from the Lebanese government.
Don’t believe it. But no need to take my word for the fact that this is a bad resolution:
Consider what Israel’s own ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman, told the UNSC, in the course of the debate regarding the resolution: He warned that unless the means to enforce the resolution were to be defined, "We will be back [in the UNSC], if not in a week, then in a month or a year, facing an even greater tragedy."
Consider this and ask yourself why Olmert would then support the resolution even though it does NOT provide means for enforcement.
And consider what Ahmed Barakat, a member of Hezbollah’s central council, said in an interview to the Qatari newspaper al-Watan:
"Today Arab and Muslim society is reasonably certain that the defeat of Israel is possible and that countdown to the disappearance of the Zionist entity in the region has begun.
"This is the reason that Shimon Peres said it was a life or death battle and this is why the triumph of the resistance is the beginning of the death of the Israeli enemy. For, if a mere organization succeeded in defeating Israel, why would Arab nations not succeed in doing so if they allied? Many Arabs and Muslims viewed Israel in a fictional way and the resistance has succeeded in changing this."
Barakat said that the leadership was not hurt and that Hezbollah was still in possession of many rockets and other "surprises" for use later.
Consider and understand well, for this is the essence of the failure: With this resolution we will have weakened our deterrence capability, and given Hezbollah the time and space to come back to hit us even harder on another day. This is simply a hudna, sanctioned by the international community. A hudna, although it is often represented as being a ceasefire, is not. It is a temporary cessation of hostilities intended to buy time for regrouping and rearming, and it is built into Muslim law.
You’re going to hear all sorts of arguments about our successes — that we took out long range rockets, that we’ve shown the world that we respond with force when provoked, that we’ve now changed the parameters of Lebanon. But before you decide that the resolution may be a good thing, read what Caroline Glick says today:
This posting can be found at: https://www.arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2006/8/13/posted-august-13-2006.html