2 Fronts + 2 Conflicts = 0 Solutions

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Nobody is really surprised by this headline which explains the breakdown in peace talks concerning the new second-front in the War on Terror.

Apparently, there was much agreement at these talks about the need for a U.N. peacekeeping force and humanitarian and reconstruction assistance. No problems there. But the disagreement, which was between the U.S. and everyone else, was about the terms of the ceasefire. Everyone else says cease fire now, then create the long-term solution. We say let 'em keep going until we find a long-term solution. Interesting.

This created a perception among participants:

With the violence still ongoing, participants said they agreed to continue discussions, but CNN's John King said there was a sense among European and Arab leaders that the United States was buying time for Israel in its offensive against Hezbollah.
So...our refusal to accept a ceasefire was seen by the middle-east as another pro-Israeli maneuver from the U.S.? No way!

I do understand Condi's worry: "that taking that [immediate ceasefire] approach would leave Hezbollah in place and still armed with its rockets." Yes, Condi, it would. But you see...with an immediate ceasefire, it actually becomes easier to find the guys with the guns and get them. If you say "no more guns" and you see a dude walking around with guns...he's probably up to no good. Additionally, you have the added benefit of not have more civillians die in a reasonably-justifiable conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.

To the Administration's credit, their peace plan at least includes a prisoner swap, a withdrawal of the Israeli army now in southern Lebanon, and transfer of the disputed Shebaa Farms area to Lebanon. This is good. But the sting of the U.S. tactical approach to this solution, letting the fighting go on until a solution is drafted, is reflected in a diplomat's statement that "everyone but the United States wanted cessation of fighting to make room for more negotiations and humanitarian aid." Certainly doesn't make us look really good over there, where our perception is already a little, ah, clouded.

The toll so far?
Since July 12, at least 401 people -- mostly civilians -- have been killed in Israeli strikes, Lebanese sources said. The IDF said the death toll from Hezbollah rockets striking Israel and the fighting in southern Lebanon is 50 -- 19 of them civilians.

The fighting also has wounded about 1,500 people in Lebanon and more than 300 civilians in Israel, the sources said.

The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday suffered its largest loss of life in its offensive against Hezbollah guerrillas. Nine Israeli soldiers were killed while fighting in southern Lebanese towns.

Eight soldiers were killed and 22 more were wounded in Bint Jbeil, near the Israeli border, while battling militiamen in what the IDF has called Hezbollah's "terror capital."[CNN.com]
So, you know, no hurry Condi. This is nowhere near the level of death from the first front in the War, which we seem to be forgetting about during the Israel-Lebanon hullabaloo.

So let's not forget about what's going on in Iraq (thanks to Atrios for the link). An estimated 100 people per day are being killed in Iraq. So you know...no hurry there either. While it is not yet classified as Civil War, which is definitely arguable, there continues to be no viable solution for a sovereign Iraq. It's not about cutting-and-running. It's about how to stop a civil war and make Iraq viable. We pretty much owe it to them at this point.

But our ability to do so is hampered by our treatment of the Middle-East. By levvying threats against Iran and Syria, we fan the flames. Even if the truth behind the perception of Arab diplomats is absolutely wrong (about our dragging our feet to buy more time for Israel's offensive), it is still their perception and is justified.

I argue that success in Iraq hinges on how we treat the rest of the Middle-East, including Lebanon and Israel, Syria and Iran, not the other way around. The other way around, hinging Mid-East success on Iraq, ain't worked so well. There are too many folks with too much of a vested interest in our failing in Iraq...and using our apparent block of a solution to Israel and Lebanon as further justification of our intentions.


B Mac 1:01 PM  

Exactly. I have a hard time picturing a scenario where peace can come "too quickly".

Rather than repeat my full diatribe on the subject, I posted it here: http://bmacsblog.blogspot.com

red_white_and_brew,  8:50 AM  

When I was in the Guard, we beat the crap out of peace nick, Birkenstock wearing hippies like you.

Smitty 1:02 PM  

R,W & B:

When I was in the Marines, we beat the piss out of untrained pansies who joined the National Girls. Talk to me when you've had some real military experience.

You're so cliche' that you are an absolute farce to other Republicans who see a different, more viable solution to the Israel-Lebnanon mess than the stumblefucks in the Administration. You are a discredit to people who engage in foreign policy debate and a mocking joke to Conservatives. You're like a cartoon. You join the ranks of robots like Anne Coulter, who are so small-minded that even other real Conservatives don't even take her seriously.

Why don't you come back when you're willing to engage in debate.

Bob 3:33 PM  

By "the 'Guard" doesn't he really mean "the 'scouts"

(insert boy or girl in place of ')

Oh, and by the way its: Peacenik, not "peace nick" asshole.

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