The notion that fifteen thousand international forces complimented by another fifteen thousand Lebanese soldiers will patrol the border between Lebanon and Israel is a myth. It is a grandiose story.
The notion that these international force soldiers will disarm any Hezbollah members attempting to infiltrate the area is - and was from the very outset - just one big myth. It is just one big lie.
On paper, it was a great ploy. It was a way to end the hostilities. In reality, it never had a chance at success. There was never a chance that it would, could or will ever happen.
On paper, The Cease Fire Document clearly stipulates the duties and responsibilities of the international force and the guidelines under which the cease fire is in effect. In reality, the document is being disregarded. Those nations involved in implementing the cease fire and forming the international force are, in essence, re-inventing, re-working, re-formatting and totally disregarding the word and the spirit of the document.
This is what The Cease Fire says:
- The Cease Fire speaks of a Hezbollah-free zone.
- The Cease Fire speaks of disarming Hezbollah.
- The Cease Fire specifically articulates the responsibility of the international force and the Lebanese force to prevent Hezbollah from amassing any weapons.
- The Cease Fire specifically talks about the role of the international force.
- The Cease Fire is clear that the international troops are there to confront Hezbollah.
- The Cease Fire is clear that the forces are there to secure not protect the Lebanese side of the border.
- The Cease Fire stipulates that the forces are to stop Hezbollah from amassing troops and weapons to be used against Israel.
- The Cease Fire is not about keeping Israel out of Lebanon but about keeping Hezbollah from threatening Israel.
You would never know that, however, from listening to the international agencies monitoring the cease fire and the governments preparing to send their troops to police the cease fire.
This is what the interested parties have been quoted as saying:
- They are happy to step up and protect the Lebanese FROM Israel.
- The international force will be there to protect innocent Lebanese FROM Israel.
- They have said that they will not intercept the flow of weapons TO Hezbollah.
- They (including the Lebanese) WILL NOT disarm Hezbollah or another militia.
So far, Qatar has committed 200 soldiers to the international forces. Indonesia has volunteered to provide an as yet undisclosed number of troops. Turkey is thinking about sending soldiers. These are all Muslim nations. Qatar is actually an Arab country. Indonesia has no diplomatic relations with Israel. Neither does Qatar although they do have a trade office which is just one step below actually having official diplomatic relations.
Emerging is a warped sense of the purpose and the objective of the international force as mandated by the cease fire between Israel and Hezbollah. What can we expect from Muslim nations and Arab neighbors when even The New York Times is re-writing the cease fire and has totally inverted the real purpose of the international force? Monday's New York Times (9/4/06) has a headline describing the soldiers going to the "buffer zone" between Lebanon and Israel. It is a Hezbollah-free zone, not a buffer zone. This isn't just semantics. This is a systematic inversion of the stated and intended reasoning behind the call to cease fire.
Listen to the United Nations Secretary General and pay attention to what other, supposedly informed UN sources are saying and you come away with the impression that the international force is there - specifically and exclusively - to protect Hezbollah and the Lebanese from Israel.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The stated purpose of the international force is:
- To disarm Hezbollah.
- To prevent Hezbollah from re-arming.
- To protect the border between Lebanon and Israel so that there is no re-amassing of Hezbollah forces.
- To prevent a future threat from Hezbollah against Israel.
This Cease Fire Document is probably the most pro-Israel document ever produced by the United Nations. This Cease Fire Document squarely places the guilt and responsibility of the entire conflict on Hezbollah. This Cease Fire actually permits Israel to go into Lebanon and defend itself against Hezbollah should Israel determine that Hezbollah is organizing and gathering weapons.
And because the international community has not come forth with the 15000 soldiers required, the United Nations will default on the agreement. If the troops never arrive in Lebanon the cease fire has been breached. Not by Israel. Not by Hezbollah. By the United Nations.
The United Nations coming to the rescue. Another myth exploded.
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