Monday, August 14, 2006

Israel loses, Hizb'Allah wins

Once again, Israel is poised to lose a peace agreement, but this time it will do so after failing to win the war. This is a complete disaster, and the responsibility for it falls squarely on the shoulders of Ehud Olmert and the Israeli government for handling a war as if it were a precious crystal -- gently and with fear of breakage. See this perspicacious Ralph Peters column for more.

National Review asked its analysts, and some allies, to render their opinions on the UN resolution and the "peace" deal. Here are some noteworthy comments.

From Anne Bayefsky: The most frightening part of the U.N. Security Council resolution is that the United States agreed to allow the U.N. to play a pivotal role in the battle of our age — between democracy and terrorism, freedom and bondage, dignity and intolerance.

* * *
Why is the America that guards the right of self-defense so dearly willing to deny it, in effect, to the state of Israel? Why would America permit the U.N., which has systematically sided with Arab and Islamic states in their war against the Jews for half a century, to play-act as even-handed peacemaker? Why did the administration believe that denying Israel a win over Iranian proxies this time means America is more likely to win over their Iranian bosses next time?

From Shoshana Bryen:
At the U.N., the U.S. held out for what Israel called its strategic goals: return of its soldiers, dismantling Hezbollah, and extending Lebanese sovereignty to the south. But UNSCR 1701 contains no enforcement mechanism, leaving continued and successful military operations by the IDF as the only hope for a satisfactory resolution. To date, unfortunately, IDF operations have been far from successful, and Israel’s civilian leadership appears to have decided against continuing offensive military operations. Israel’s chief of military intelligence acknowledged that Syria and Iran will continue to supply Hezbollah — a huge setback for the good guys.

From Caroline Glick, the Cassandra of Israel: Kofi Annan is a major beneficiary of the resolution because it named him the arbiter of compliance with the ceasefire. Moreover, by retaining UNIFIL and widening its mandate, it rendered him Generalissimo Annan of Lebanon. Israel can expect daily condemnations from the U.N. Secretariat’s office for any act it takes to defend itself against Hezbollah strikes.

Hezbollah is the big winner of the resolution because it adopts almost every Hezbollah demand. Hezbollah will not be disarmed. An arms embargo will not be instituted against it. Its unsupportable claim to Lebanese sovereignty over the Shebaa Farms on the Golan Heights has received international recognition. It is not going to be forced to release the Israeli soldiers it holds as hostages. . .

From Laurent Murawiec: Israel has been defied and found wanting: It neither defended territory and population from attack nor brought the war to its enemy. A hesitant war never tried to hit the enemy’s center of gravity. Some fingers were crushed — Hezbollah fighters — but neither the head, Iran, nor Syria, their connector, were hit. They have shown themselves able to unleash more terror against Israel, through their utensil Nasrallah, without having to pay a price.

And the voice of optimism in this, Saul Singer, said: A colleague called this war an “unmitigated disaster” for Israel. Let’s call it a squandered opportunity. This was our shot at decisively trouncing an Iranian division on our border and we blew it.

The upside is Iran’s proxy no longer constitutes the same deterrent against us. We destroyed most of its most dangerous missiles. We demonstrated we weren’t afraid to subject our population to bombardment and that barrages of over a hundred missiles a day only caused our public to say “fight harder!”

Another byproduct is what was supposed to have been a Palestinian struggle against occupation has been revealed for what it really is: an Israeli struggle for existence against the same axis of evil that is threatening the rest of the free world. This should have been clear since 9/11; now it is undeniable.

Somehow, the Europeans and the Arabs will be all-too-able to deny the undeniable, as they've done for decades.

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