Monday, August 07, 2006

 

Another diplomatic success story

Apparently, diplomatic efforts have really been stepped up in the Lebanon arena such that France and the U.S. have a proposal put together to bring to the U.N. Obviously, everyone wants an end to the violence so, at first blush, the uninitiated might think this is easy. Here’s how the proposal is being received Latest from Lebanon:

“Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, in an interview, said a draft U.N. Security Council resolution …is "impractical" because it would leave Israeli forces in southern Lebanon with Hezbollah fighters nearby until an international force can be organized and deployed. That, he said, sounds like a recipe for more bloodshed.”

Remarkably, Mr. Siniora has also proposed sending in 15,000 Lebanese troops to southern Lebanon to keep Hezbollah away. I say remarkably because we shouldn’t have to negotiate with a head of state to get that head of state to act like a head of state - Hezbollah violence is, and has been, the responsibility of the Lebanese government. Speaking of Hezbollah, their take on the proposal:

“Hezbollah ministers, repeating earlier statements from the movement's leaders, said the group's militia in southern Lebanon would not lay down its arms or stop firing until all Israeli soldiers are out of Lebanon. Only then, and only when the Shebaa Farms and prisoner exchange demands have been addressed, will the movement enter into discussions about disarmament and restoration of government authority in the embattled border area, they insisted.”

…and Israel won’t comment.

So, in sum, we have Hezbollah who started this whole mess basically demanding everything they wanted from the beginning in return for a cease-fire; Lebanon, which was adamant that it wasn’t involved, is also looking to get some concessions out of a possible ceasefire and Israel presumably remains committed to regaining their two soldiers as well as the disarmament of Hezbollah – which was promised years ago anyway.

If this was the Clinton administration, this would be described as “nearly’ reaching a peace accord. But hey, don’t try this at home – these are professional diplomats at work.

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