Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Settling Old Scores

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As an addendum to the previous post, the US has a few scores to settle with Hezbollah and is in no rush to save a group that killed 241 Marines and 17 others in two attacks in the 1980's.

The Inquirer has this:

JERUSALEM - As the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah enters its second week, it appears there will be no peace without U.S. intervention.

While Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has made long-distance efforts to calm the crisis that began with the abduction of two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid from Lebanon, she said yesterday she would not go to the region until the time was right.

Some analysts interpret the apparent absence of urgency as tacit support for Israel to continue its military campaign.

"The United States will allow Israel to go on pounding Hezbollah and its strongholds until the group says, 'Uncle,' " said Israeli analyst Amatzia Baram. "Then Uncle Sam will step in."

The Iranians and Syrians aren't the only ones who can battle through proxies. Our proxy however, is armed to the teeth and trained to use the weapons available.

This is a blood feud writ large and I don't see any end of major hostilities until Hezbollah is brought to heel and the Lebanese army or a UN force that's adequate can take over. A UN force with some true peacekeeping latitude:

About 2,000 lightly armed multinational peacekeeping troops of UNIFIL - the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon - have been in the area since 1978 but have been toothless against sporadic violence.

"The best result is for Hezbollah to be disarmed. Practically speaking, there is no chance of that right now," said Baram, a professor of Mideast history in Haifa, Israel's third-largest city, which has been hit by Hezbollah missiles.

"The second-best option is for a powerful international force - and by powerful, I mean at least 10,000 troops with tanks, not just jeeps, and full authority to shoot to kill," Baram said. "... Otherwise they become a shield behind which Hezbollah can kill us."

Cameron Brown, a specialist in U.S.-Israel relations at the Interdisciplinary Center, an academic institute north of Tel Aviv, said: "The United States will make it appear that diplomacy is on the horizon in order to give the military a few more days to play itself out.

Thoughts from the right-side of the blogosphere can be found at Captain Ed's , Suzie at Assorted Babble and Jihad Watch. Thoughts from the left at AMERICAblog and the News Blog.

Update: More at the Bos'un Locker.

Update 2: Krauthammer nails it:

But only one country has the capacity to do the job. That is Israel, now recognized by the world as forced into this fight by Hezbollah's aggression.

The road to a solution is therefore clear: Israel liberates south Lebanon and gives it back to the Lebanese.

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