A ray of hope from... the French?

YARGB has posted this comment (registration required) from Belmont Club which I think is right:

The French ceasefire proposal, according to the Jerusalem Post has the following stipulations:

The proposal stresses the need "to create the conditions for a permanent cease—fire and a lasting solution to the current crisis between Israel and Lebanon." [....]

The conditions for a permanent cease—fire include a buffer zone stretching from the Blue Line — the UN—demarcated boundary that Israel withdrew behind in 2000 — to the Litani River, which was the northern border of Israel's occupation of Lebanon in 1982.

The buffer zone would be "free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Lebanese armed and security forces and of UN—mandated international forces," the draft says.

These are the preconditions for the deployment of a French—led international force. If the French are unwilling to sweep the Hezbollah out, the only conclusion is that France will await a battlefield result which creates those conditions. In other words, it's a "green light" tricked out as a stoplight. It is effectively a Security Council mandate to sweep out Hezbollah to the Litani River.

Nasrallah can have a ceasefire at this price. It's also a way of saying 'we want peace' but in practice say 'you are authorized to wage war to this limit'.

But consider, if Hezbollah gives up its Southen Lebanon stronghold it becomes vastly weakened with respect to its internal rivals. It loses face with its former constituents. It's a defeat of monumental proportions for Hezbollah. Narallah can of course try to spin it, but that ball will hardly rotate.

Now Nasrallah's own megalomanic rhetoric will work against him. He has raised expectations in the Arab street so that to withdraw voluntarily or be driven ignominiously north of the Litani will be a humiliation. Somebody give him a bottle of whiskey and cocked automatic. Either that or he should resolve to reject the ceasefire and fight on."

Clarice Feldman   7 30 06

YARGB has posted this comment (registration required) from Belmont Club which I think is right:

The French ceasefire proposal, according to the Jerusalem Post has the following stipulations:

The proposal stresses the need "to create the conditions for a permanent cease—fire and a lasting solution to the current crisis between Israel and Lebanon." [....]

The conditions for a permanent cease—fire include a buffer zone stretching from the Blue Line — the UN—demarcated boundary that Israel withdrew behind in 2000 — to the Litani River, which was the northern border of Israel's occupation of Lebanon in 1982.

The buffer zone would be "free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Lebanese armed and security forces and of UN—mandated international forces," the draft says.

These are the preconditions for the deployment of a French—led international force. If the French are unwilling to sweep the Hezbollah out, the only conclusion is that France will await a battlefield result which creates those conditions. In other words, it's a "green light" tricked out as a stoplight. It is effectively a Security Council mandate to sweep out Hezbollah to the Litani River.

Nasrallah can have a ceasefire at this price. It's also a way of saying 'we want peace' but in practice say 'you are authorized to wage war to this limit'.

But consider, if Hezbollah gives up its Southen Lebanon stronghold it becomes vastly weakened with respect to its internal rivals. It loses face with its former constituents. It's a defeat of monumental proportions for Hezbollah. Narallah can of course try to spin it, but that ball will hardly rotate.

Now Nasrallah's own megalomanic rhetoric will work against him. He has raised expectations in the Arab street so that to withdraw voluntarily or be driven ignominiously north of the Litani will be a humiliation. Somebody give him a bottle of whiskey and cocked automatic. Either that or he should resolve to reject the ceasefire and fight on."

Clarice Feldman   7 30 06