Watching the morning programs today on Finnish TV, MTV3 channel interviewed retired gen-Gustav Hägglund, (who commanded UNIFIL troops in Lebanon from 1986-88) about the situation in southern Lebanon. His thinking reflects the norm here in Europe that, the world (not just Israel) has to accept the reality of Hezbollah’s status in the south, and Lebanese society in general, and refrain from using the terrorist label. He made NO REFERENCE OF SYRIAN AND IRANIAN funding/support, and interests in keeping Hezbollah a fighting “proxy” force. He avoided mentioning their participation/involvement completely, choosing rather to center exclusively on Hezbollah and Israel, and their need to recognize the other, moral equivalizing both sides once again.
Hägglund even said that the Hezbollah should be
“given back” appeased, with the Shebaa farms, in order to remove the pretence for any future hostilities, which completely overlooks the claims by Syria over the same area of land. Something which the UN has already upheld, and underlines when it observed the Israeli pullout from Lebanon in 2000, as being complete.
How a western democracy successfully maintains a peaceful border with a neighbor that is a heavily armed, intolerant terrorist group that dances to the tune of Iran, conveniently remained outside the conversation. This is politics pure and simple, and no western state, even the US, wants to do the badly needed work of ending the military strength of Hezbollah, “on the ground”. This would also have to include more UN resolutions, that not only threated Iran with sanctions, but Syria as well, to stop the flow of weaponry that will soon be making its way to the Bekaa valley. The Hezbollah will not believe the game is over, until their paymasters in Tehran and Damascus believe its over as well.
UNSC 1701 looks just as nice as did UNSC 1559, and both are already decorating the wall of Hassan Nasrallah’s new office space. KGS
Observations from AS:
“Yes, our TV and press state that it is the “US and Israel” that demanded disarmament of Hizbollah. The HS writes as if the big brave Lebanese army is taking command of the South. And that Hizbollah is rebuilding houses out of the goodness of their hearts (what goes into the basements and garages of those houses?) It is interesting that Israel will fulfull the Resolution, the others will not, yet Israel will not get points for doing so. But so far there are no public statements of disappointment. So was the Resolution purely cynical, merely a way for the world to force an end to the war and get Israel out? Basically time ran out, and the Security Council got organized. This all implies there will be another round of Lebanon 2, and that things such as missile and antitank defense, and ground vs. air, have to be considered.”