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Saturday, 12 August 2006

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R

Condi Rice didn't want a return to the "status quo ante"? Has she forgotten the words of her hero George Herbert Walker Bush? "Aggression must not be rewarded. Principles must not be compromised".

Israel chose aggression when faced with action that was consistent with the 1996 understanding between Israel and Hizbullah. That aggression must not be rewarded. This Security Council resolution is an attempt by certain people to reward aggression.

Fortunately, Hizbullah has proven to Lebanon its indispensibility and that its forces should be deputised by the Lebanese government. If you believe CAMERA, it already has been deputised and therefore the presence of its resistance operatives is consistent with security council resolutions.

Unfortunately, Hizbullah's deterrence powers were not enough. It was not enough to be a guerrilla army that made the Israelis think twice before entering Lebanon. In the end, its rocket force could not possibly convince the Israelis not to bomb the country. So what is required is a better rocket force and a real air defence system. Such could be operated by either the resistance or the regular army.

Decisions about Hizbullah autonomous capabilities must not be decoupled from the issue of political reform. Shi'ites are very underrepresented in the Lebanese system, with seats reserved for ethno-religious groups. Any loss of autonomy must be traded for greater representation at a national level that would allow Hizbullah to become a leading party in a coalition government.

These are delicate issues for discussion between different factions and not the kind of matter where interference in the form of ill-intentioned Security Council resolutions is helpful. Unfortunately, this is what occurred in the case of 1559, a resolution maliciously conceived and illegal, as it deals only with the internal affairs of Lebanon. Its government opposed the resolution, though the powers that sponsered it justified it by claiming that opposition politicians backed it. Thus, they claimed opposition politicians to be the true leaders of Lebanon, an unacceptable practice in international diplomacy.

Moreover, the weasel word used in that resolution, "militia", though code for Hizbullah, is in the end just a word "militia" that the government of Lebanon did not recognise as applying to Hizbullah. Therefore, as Lebanon decides what is a militia and what is not, it considers itself in compliance and with that the matter is closed.

Kiki

I feel uneasy about the word "aggression" because I believe that even if Israel was "wrong," meaning that this war was so destructive and so bloody for nothing, it was wrong the right reasons. The problem was in the means, which the Olmert government chose to achieve its objectives. The United States stayed on the side too long even when it was clear that the Olmert's strategy wasn't working. There were no victors to this war, we (the world) all lost. The question is who is going to fight for peace and who is going to make sure that this doesn't happen again?

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