Sunday, August 13, 2006

Israeli/Lebanon War Update

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Captain Ed says that the Lebanese government is about to fall:

The cease-fire agreement appears to have created a crisis in Lebanon's government, as a Cabinet meeting of Siniora's government has been abruptly cancelled. The Cabinet was supposed to vote on a plan to deploy their army into southern Lebanon and to displace Hezbollah. That has now been indefinitely delayed -- which means that Israel is not bound by the agreement to stop fighting(.)

Information from Lebanon indicates that they played the game of brinksmanship by betting the Israeli cabinet would not approve the resolution. They did by a 24-0 vote with one abstention.

Nasrallah is now in a very difficult place. His options are very limited at this point. Ed sums it up much better than I:

Does anyone not believe that this crisis has been precipitated by Hezbollah's refusal to leave southern Lebanon and disarm? The cease-fire proposal put the onus on them to cease their attacks on Israel and to dismantle their military wing. I warned earlier that such a requirement would eliminate the need for Hezbollah at all; their entire raison d'etre for the Lebanese people has been as a shield against the Israelis. If the Lebanese Army took that function away from them, they just become another terrorist militia, a construct of which the Lebanese have rightly tired.

Nasrallah knew this. He signaled his approval yesterday of the cease-fire but objected to the arms embargo and the disarming of his organization. Perhaps he thought the Israelis would reject it, but when the Israeli Cabinet adopted it unanimously, it looks like Nasrallah had his bluff called.

The cease fire is set for Monday at 0700. Let's see if Hezbollah abides by this agreement and more importantly if the Lebanese army can handle Hezbollah. Tomorrow should prove an interesting day.

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