U.N. resolution: Steps toward a permanent cease-fire in LebanonI have several comments on this, but they all boil down to: What on earth do they think is going to make Hezbollah abide by this agreement? Let's keep one thing in mind here. Hezbollah started this. They invaded Israeli territory just for the kicks they get from pulling the Israeli tail, and Israel reacted, big time. Worse, Hezbollah is getting major PR goodies on the Arab street for their valiant stand against the evil Zionists. They say they'll quit per the deal, but really, they have no incentive to quit. Why would they? We'll see whether they do. (How many of those damn' Katyushas do they have, anyhow? And how are they getting resupplied, if they are?)
-- The resolution calls for the "full cessation" of fighting. Hezbollah would stop all attacks, and Israel would be limited to defensive military operations.
-- Once fighting ends, the U.N. force would be expanded from 2,000 to 15,000 troops to help deployment of Lebanese soldiers and withdrawal of Israeli forces.
-- It spells out a series of steps toward a permanent cease-fire and a lasting political solution, including the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon.
-- It stresses that the Lebanese government must be the only armed force in the country.
-- It requests international aid for the Lebanese people.
I've heard remarks about Israel's incursions into Lebanon's sovereign state. That's ridiculous. Between Syria and Hezbollah, Lebanon isn't a sovereign state. They certainly have no control over their foreign policy: Hassan Nasrallah is in charge of that. The deal suggests that the Lebanese government should be the only armed force in the country; of course it should; and from that I deduce that at this point, Hezbollah is the Lebanese government, since it's clearly the only armed force in the country.
I'd also like to know where the extra 13,000 soldiers will come from, with which the agreement proposes to reinforce UNIFIL. This falls into the "You and what army?" category. At the best of times, the U.N. has trouble getting people to put boots on the ground under those blue hats, and the situation in Lebanon is disastrous. The U.S. has already weaseled out. Who's going to provide 13,000 additional U.N. troops? Santa Claus? The Arab League should, but in their hearts they think Hezbollah's doing just fine.
The only part of the deal that actually makes sense is the request for international aid for the Lebanese people. If only the people who promise millions of dollars in aid were willing to write the actual checks...