Monday, August 14, 2006

No Peace In Our Time

Barbara Amiel exposes the fallacy underlying the ceasefire against Hezbollah: that a determined enemy will lay down its arms after having secured advantages it could never have won without them:

Hezbollah is disciplined, armed, committed to their cause to the point of suicide and supported by Iran and Syria plus a whack of noisy Islamists around the world. Those who have demanded they give up their arms -- the UN and some members of it -- are largely irresolute, indeterminate and agnostic at best when it comes to the UN Charter and the beliefs for which it is supposed to stand. Given this balance, it is pointless rhetoric to expect that Hezbollah will line up at points designated by the French foreign minister or the New York Times and quietly hand over their weapons.

Incredible though the belief in such a notion is, the tooth fairy is being asked to grant an even more wondrous wish. The EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana hopes Hezbollah will simply decide they don't need arms, having attained their political aspirations, though he is a bit foggy about what that means. His wish is to wake up and find Hezbollah "dissolved."

Hezbollah and its supporters are not so foggy. They are happy to explain their aim is to see Israel eliminated from the Middle East along with all Western influence. That done, their cause will have been achieved and Hezbollah will "be playing a role in the political life of Lebanon, but not be part of any other thing," just as (Javier) Solana hopes, though I suspect in that scenario swords are unlikely to become ploughshares.

Why should Hezbollah honour the ceasefire and disarm? The UN's own resolution doesn't demand disarming, and even if it did, Hezbollah knows that the UN could never disarm them even if it wanted to.

In fact, the UN resolution has given Hezbollah the recognition it has always sought--that it is the effective government of southern Lebanon. And given Ehud Olmert's irresolution, also its first real victory over Israel.

Hezbollah won't quit while it's ahead.

Expect the rocket attacks to resume, heavier than before, presently.

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