United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon

Better A Bad Press Than A Good Epitaph
June 13, 2010

Actually, the hysteria about the Israeli encounter with the Turkish goons has abated. And it has probably come to the attention of some reasonable people that Recep Tayyip Erdogan is working the seas not exactly for the interests of the Turks but for the Islamic crusade being led by the Iranian clerisy and secret police. I know little about Erdogan but something more about Turkey. The last century of its history is being betrayed in an avalanche of thuggish holiness. Its economy is not doing as bad as that of Greece. But just wait. Tourism is going down, down, down ...

Abbas Doesn't Want the Embargo Lifted Either
June 13, 2010

There's a fascinating dispatch in Ha'aretz reporting that Palestinian
Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has made it clear to President Obama that he doesn't want Israel's naval blockade against Hamas lifted. This
should be no surprise, and it raises difficult questions for both America
and the meddlesome Europeans who can produce nothing diplomatically but hot air. In fact, why doesn't Europe attend to its own terrible problems, among
which are the survival of the Eurozone itself and the very liquidity of
Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland? What does that mean? Leave Israel alone. But it won'

Another Victory For The Obama Administration: “Hezbollah Has So Many Rockets That They Are At A Point Where They Have More Missiles Than Most Governments In The World”
April 27, 2010

This is Defense Secretary Robert Gates talking, and he is telling the stark truth to Ehud Barak, Israel’s minister of defense, who presumably already knows.  Of course, it did not start with the Obama administration at all. It was one of the sterling achievements of the Bush custodianship of foreign affairs in which Condi Rice hustled, along with Tzipi Livni, to close down the 2006 Lebanon war. Security Council Resolution 1701 was the instrument, and it had a history in the United Nations going back at least to1978.

No American Troops Should Die Protecting Israel
April 12, 2010

Almost before the celebrants at Barack Obama’s inauguration had gotten over their hangovers some 15 months ago, the president designated George Mitchell as his special envoy in the Middle East. I wrote then and several times since that he would be a flop, poor man. After all, it’s not the case that he had been a great success in any of his other high-minded missions, including the investigation into steroid use by baseball heroes.

They’ve Been Telling Us All Along...
January 31, 2010

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, against which I warned long ago, passed unanimously on August 11, 2006. Two days later, the Israeli cabinet approved the motion 24-0--but with one astute minister abstaining. For whatever it is worth, I thought (and wrote) that the restrictions on Hezbollah (and, more than inferentially, on both Syria and Iran) meant less than nothing.

Resolution 1701's Violent Legacy
July 16, 2009

It is three years since the second Lebanon war began and nearly three years since it was supposedly ended.  Formally, the finale came with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which was the handicraft of Condi Rice in her panic to have some kind of achievement to her name. President Bush played along with the charade, maybe because Israeli politics itself had made continuing the conflict untenable. In any case, I warned time and again, during the war and long after, that 1701 was a fraud.

And What Of The Un Troops In Lebanon? They Disintegrated, Like In Most Other Locales
April 13, 2009

I warned many times that Security Council Resolution 1701 to which Israel was coerced by Condoleezza Rice into accepting was a peril to its defense.  The resolution, whittled down so that it had as little substance as possible, vested the maintenance of the peace and the prevention of Syrian (and Iranian) smuggling of arms to Hezbollah to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. This international "interim" force was first mustered in 1978. It has not performed well. In fact, Hezbollah has remilitarized southern Lebanon with more rockets and missiles than before.

Isn't This A Little Much, Even For The Un?
July 20, 2008

The guys in the blue helmets are from UNIFIL, the legion that has not been keeping the peace in Lebanon since 1978. 

Jerusalem Dispatch
October 16, 2006

"Olmert, we forgive you," read an unsigned pre-Yom Kippur ad, placed in the newspaper Maariv by the amorphous movement to oust Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. "We forgive you for the first defeat in war since the founding of the state of Israel. We forgive you for the penetration of corruption into government. We forgive you for the confused leadership. We forgive you because the job is simply too big for you." Israelis have seldom been kind to their prime ministers, even the most beloved.

Total Failure In Lebanon
and
October 04, 2006

The United Nations never fails to fail. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has failed for decades. (And what do they mean by "interim"? Interim between when and when?) I knew (yes, knew; not suspected; not thought) that Security Council Resolution 1701 would go the way of its predecessor, Security Council Resolution 1559. It's not because I'm a seer. It's because the United Nations is the United Nations, and fights over language are what it does best. But the language is not what failed this time. It was the intentions of the parties.