France seemed to be getting it. Chirac realized that both Hizbollah and Hamas were not acting on their own but as proxies, part of a bigger problem:
...Chirac said that he believed another country - likely Syria - was behind the actions of the militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah.With the realization that larger forces with designs on increased power in the Middle East were pulling the strings causing instability, destruction and death in the area, Chirac immediately leaped into action:
"I have the feeling, if not the conviction, that Hamas and Hezbollah wouldn't have taken the initiatives alone," Chirac said.
"There is, without any doubt, an action which must be discussed with Syria," the French president said.So for Israel, who is under attack on two fronts and facing rockets and missiles on a daily basis Chirac can only say:
"One could ask if today there is not a sort of will to destroy Lebanon, its equipment, its roads, its communication."But Syria--whom Chirac sees as the the force behind the twin terrorist organizations behind the upheaval in the region--is going to get a talking to.
Boy, I'd hate to be in Assad's shoes!
Frances approach is reflected in the statement by the G8, which stated that in Gaza
All Palestinian parties should accept the existence of Israel, reject violence, and accept all previous agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap. For its part, Israel needs to refrain from unilateral acts that could prejudice a final settlement and agree to negotiate in good faith. [emphasis added]Meanwhile, up north, Hizbollah wants to negotiate (there's that word again) the exchange of the Israeli soldiers for the release of prisoners in Israeli jails.
Now, besides talk of negotiating, there is now also talk of UN peacekeeping forces--a neat trick considering how difficult it generally is to keep something you don't have. And of all the possible peacekeeping forces, the UN is undoubtedly the least qualified to put together such a force. As the New York Sun puts it:
We couldn't think of a worse idea. The UN's peacekeeping record -- we immediately think of Rwanda and Srebrenica -- hardly inspire confidence. One million Tutsis were massacred in Rwanda and some 8,000 Muslims were massacred in Srebrenica under the U.N.'s watch.There's also Israel's past history with UN peacekeepers--the ones that politely left when Nasser asked them to go in 1967, and the ones who in 2000 had information on the Hizbollah kidnapping of Israeli soldiers and first denied they had information and then refused to turn it over for fear of compromising their neutral (neutralized?) status.
Other suggested reasons why peacekeepers in Lebanon is such a terrible idea:
o The 241 marines, serving as peacekeepers in Lebanon, who were killed by a truckload of explosives in October 23, 1983
o The bombing of UN peacekeepers in Iraq and their subsequent withdrawal on August 19, 2003.
Besides, Israel already has experience with these sort of lulls which do nothing but give terrorists time to regroup--which is exactly what Hizbollah will do, having incurred no consequences for its actions.
Keep in mind that, considering the fact that the U.N. Commission on Human Rights passed a resolution on April 14, 2003 affirming the legitimacy of using "all available means including armed struggle" to resist "foreign occupation and for self-determination"--the very last thing Israel needs is the UN standing guard.
Considering the history of Hizbollah and Hamas--long on terror and short on promises--as well as the current ongoing news of rockets, missiles, kidnappings, and death combined with the threat to both the Middle East region and the West--isn't the idea of talk and negotiation really disroportionate to the threat involved?
If you think so, you are in the minority.