Saturday, August 12, 2006

UN Passes Resolution (Updated)

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The UN hammered out a resolution to cease hostilities in Lebanon:

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution Friday that calls for an end to the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, and authorizes the deployment of 15,000 U.N. peacekeepers to help Lebanese troops take control of south Lebanon as Israel withdraws.

The draft, which had been proposed by the United States and France, offers the best chance yet for peace after more than four weeks of significant bloodshed. It was the first significant action by the Security Council, the most powerful U.N. body, to address a war that has killed more than 800 people, destroyed Lebanon's infrastructure and inflamed tensions across the Middle East.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert endorsed the resolution late Friday, after a day of dramatic day brinksmanship including a threat to expand the ground war in Lebanon. But Israeli officials said Israel would not halt fighting until Israel's Cabinet has approved the cease-fire deal in its weekly meeting Sunday.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora also assured Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that his country backed the resolution, a U.S. official said.

Reaction from around the blogosphere varies. I for one think Israel could have gotten more including the required release of the soldiers that were abducted that led to this latest crisis.

This part seems ambiguous to me:

That would be done by creating a new buffer zone in south Lebanon "free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and UNIFIL" - the acronym of the U.N. force deployed in the region since 1978. The force now has 2,000 troops; the resolution would expand it to a maximum of 15,000.

Hezbollah is a part of the Lebanese government and in turn can have armed troops there according to this.

Walid Phares is not at all happy and thinks we've just crushed the Cedar Revolution and handed Iran a huge gift.

Captain Ed is a bit more optimistic.

Taylor Marsh, as usual, doesn't get it and instead of a thoughtful reasoned post, she goes for the cheap shot at neo-cons. Typical. Such unserious people they are.

Here's Powerline's analysis.

Elisabeth in Israel is dismayed.

Update: WoC syas that Olmerts days are surely numbered. Billmon agrees and writes:

This, of course, is 100% kosher bullshit -- nobody in their right mind would start a major offensive at "full power" knowing full well it will all have to be shut down within 48 or at most 72 hours. So it looks like the big push was just a big fraud all along -- a desperate attempt by Olmert and his bedraggled colleagues to try to kick a little dust in the eyes of their domestic constituents. But the message -- "Yeah, boy, if they had'na stopped me I would have kicked Hizbullah's ass but good -- isn't very original or at this point even slightly believable.

I wrote awhile ago my thoughts on how Ariel Sharon would've handled this situation. I'm sure he would have been a bit less tentaive even though he had his issues in Lebanon while Defense Minister.

Given the opportunity that Olmert was given, and knowing that time was limited, he failed to engage Hezbollah and take them out once a for all. The Israeli public has sustained rocket blast after rocket blast and would be willing to accept more if they thought the IDF was allowed to really put it to Nasrallah's boys.

Update 2: Tim Rutten on Reutersgate. He gets it right.

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