July 23, 2006
"If [Hizbollah] wants to be a political party, it needs to act like a political party and not have in its arsenal things like anti-ship cruise missiles -- most political parties don't have that kind of weaponry."
~ Ambassador John Bolton, today on "Fox News Sunday"
[Posted by R.S.]
July 21, 2006
Below is an excerpt from today's Ha'aretz. You gotta love the way these UN peacekeepers follow instructions to a tee:
1) SIT on the border;
2) HUNKER down if missiles fly by; and
3) BLAME the side you're least afraid of.
Oh, how we'll miss them if and when (please G-d) their term expires...
Excerpt from article entitled 16 hurt, 4 moderately, in Katyusha strike on Haifa:
Also Friday, a United Nations observation post just inside northern Israel was struck during fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militants.
The Israel Defense Forces said Hezbollah-fired rockets fell short of their targets in Israel and struck the post, but a UN officer said the facility was hit by an artillery shell fired by the IDF.
The UN officer, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, said an IDF shell "impacted a direct hit on the UN position overlooking [the Israeli border town of] Zarit." The post is part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
The UN official said the facility was severely damaged but that none of the Ghanaian troops inside the bomb shelters were injured.
The mission of the UNIFIL force, currently at almost 2,000 military personnel and more than 300 civilians, is to patrol the border line, known as the Blue Line, drawn by the United Nations after Israel withdrew its troops from south Lebanon in 2000 after 18 years.
[Posted by R.S.]
July 11, 2006
There's a piece in today's WSJ entitled "In Defense of Disengagement", in which columnist Bret Stephens makes a case in support of the Gaza disengagement. Unfortunately, however, Mr. Stephens fails to address the issue of how the withdrawal was perceived - rightfully or wrongfully - by Hamas & co. (including fellow terrorists everywhere) and more importantly, the consequences of this perception.
Stephens writes, for example: "It bears notice that since Israel withdrew from its security corridor in southern Lebanon in May 2000, its northern frontier has been relatively quiet, despite Hezbollah and its thousands of medium-range missiles."
Maybe, but Stephens neglects to mention that Israel's hurried withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, left not only its Lebanese Christian allies (the SLA) reeling from whiplash, but also terrorists-in-waiting (e.g., Arafat & co.) emboldened by a perceived victory for terrorism, and reenergized to embark on a second Intifida only months later. Israel's northern frontier may have quieted down (relatively-speaking) for now, but its other "frontiers", i.e., the West Bank, the Gaza strip (not to mention the internal Israeli Arab situation), have exploded into violence.
There are several other assertions in Stephen's article with which I disagree, but the bottom line is: When assessing whether a unilateral and partial/temporary solution, like the Gaza disengagement, is a success, one needs to factor in the effect(s) it's had on ALL frontiers.
[Posted by R.S.]
"Let me be very clear: The policy of strategic patience has ended. ... All options are on the table. If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level we believe requires action, that option is on the table."
~ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, at a news conference in Seoul on Friday with his South Korean counterpart, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se (more here).