With much of the world pushing for a ceasefire in Lebanon, preferably brokered by the United States (because, after all, Israel is just a puppet of the US — or are we their puppet? It depends on whose turn it is, I guess, and I lost my schedule), I believe it’s time to reintroduce those fine folks to a few simple realities.
1) There are three parties with immediate concerns towards a ceasefire: Lebanon, Israel, and Hezbollah.
2) The government and military of Lebanon are not directly involved in the current fighting. Indeed, it can be argued that their unwillingness to get involved with the affairs taking place within its borders are a direct cause of the fighting.
3) Hezbollah has expressed no interest in a ceasefire, but rather has ratcheted up both its attacks and its rhetoric.
4) Hezbollah is not a nation-state, but rather a terrorist organization with literal barrels of blood on its hands — a significant fraction of it American.
5) Israel has clearly stated its terms for a ceasefire from the instant they started shooting back:
A) The return of its kidnapped soldiers
B) A cessation of attacks by Hezbollah from Lebanon
C) The securing of Lebanon’s southern region to prevent Hezbollah’s return.
6) Neither Hezbollah nor any party with influence over them has shown the slightest interest in accepting or even discussing Israel’s highly irrational and unreasonable position of “stop killing us, and we’ll stop killing you.”
7) As Hezbollah is a terrorist organization (which, it always bears repeating, had killed more Americans than any other terrorist group before 9/11, and still holds the #2 position), and it is the official position of the United States to not have any dealings with terrorist groups.
8) Especially when it comes to saving their asses from getting blown to bits by our ally for committing terrorist acts against that ally.
I’d like to see an international effort to rebuild and strengthen Lebanon, once they have been purged of the cancer of Hezbollah. Not only on humanitarian grounds and personal, sentimental reasons (I was born in Lebanon, New Hampshire, named after the region), but to avoid the power vacuum that will be created by the long-overdue destruction of Hezbollah. If the Lebanese government doesn’t step up and firmly take control, the resulting chaos will prove an open invitation for Syria to once again intervene and “restore order” — and that puts us right back where this whole sad story began.
But all that is contingent on the elimination of Hezbollah — if not completely, then weakened to the point where the feeble Lebanese government can reassert control over its own territory and prevent its southern tier from being used as a terrorist staging ground.
So should Secretary of State Rice go to the Middle East and work on brokering a ceasefire? Absolutely. At her soonest convenience.
However, I understand that this week she’s getting her hair washed. Next week doesn’t look good, either, as she has a manicure scheduled, and some shoe shopping pencilled in… tell you what, Hezbollah: leave your phone number. We’ll get back to you.