Captain Ed offers the most interesting idea, that this cease-fire deal may have been a kind of trap for Hezbollah:
Does anyone not believe that this crisis has been precipitated by Hezbollah’s refusal to leave southern Lebanon and disarm? The cease-fire proposal put the onus on them to cease their attacks on Israel and to dismantle their military wing. I warned earlier that such a requirement would eliminate the need for Hezbollah at all; their entire raison d’etre for the Lebanese people has been as a shield against the Israelis. If the Lebanese Army took that function away from them, they just become another terrorist militia, a construct of which the Lebanese have rightly tired.
Nasrallah knew this. He signaled his approval yesterday of the cease-fire but objected to the arms embargo and the disarming of his organization. Perhaps he thought the Israelis would reject it, but when the Israeli Cabinet adopted it unanimously, it looks like Nasrallah had his bluff called.
Unless Siniora gets this resolution adopted in the next couple of hours, Israel will push past the Litani into Bekaa — and this time they will have the tacit endorsement of the UN Security Council.
Jeff Goldstein writes that the cease-fire agreement is similar to President Bush’s strategy with Saddam Hussein:
In an update to my post yesterday I allowed for this possibility as it occured to me (after my initial knee-jerk fury) that Bush had used a similar tactic with respect to Iraq–namely, that he gave Hussein a last, public, and internationally-monitored chance to prove he’d disarmed, knowing (most likely) that Saddam would call the bluff and rely upon the caterwauling and disapproval of a couple of bought-off UN Security Council member countries to prevent an invasion.
So it’s possible that his administration has orchestrated, along witih Olmert, the same kind of plan here–knowing, as nearly everyone must, that Hizballah will refuse to disarm.
What an interesting plan, if it turns out that the cease-fire was designed to situate Israel so it has the UNSC’s endorsement to go after Hezbollah full force once the terror organization either doesn’t agree to the cease-fire or violates it. I hope the cease-fire fails because it would give Olmert a second chance to get the Israeli offensive against Hezbollah right and destroy it once and for all. I just hope Olmert has the nerve to do it.
11:11 PM EDT Just about an hour ago the BBC ran this:
Crucial Lebanese cabinet talks on disarming Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon under a UN-brokered ceasefire have been put off.
A truce between Israel and Hezbollah is due to come into force at 0500 GMT.
The postponement, amid reported divisions, seriously complicates the establishment of a stable ceasefire, the BBC’s Nick Childs in Beirut says.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ordered the country’s army to halt fighting at 2300 GMT on Sunday.
Israel will now begin withdrawing some of its forces immediately, according to the newspaper Haaretz, reporting on a meeting between Mr Olmert, Defence Minister Amir Peretz and senior army staff. …
Lebanon’s cabinet indefinitely postponed its meeting.
After five hours of discussions on Saturday, it had agreed to accept a UN Security Council ceasefire resolution with reservations.
The second gathering was meant to consider the details of implementation.
However, the issue of Hezbollah’s disarmament and its military presence in southern Lebanon continues to cause major tensions within the fragile government, our correspondent reports.
He says that without a meeting and an agreed plan, it seems that the deployment of 15,000 Lebanese army troops to the south is unlikely to go ahead.
Even if the planned ceasefire happens, the prospects of continuing skirmishes on the ground will remain high, he adds.
Hezbollah, a member of the government, says it will abide by the resolution but retains the right to continue attacks until the last Israeli soldier has left Lebanese soil.