Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Few Questions for Kofi Annan

By John E. Carey
July 26, 2006

As often occurs in the tricky world of international relations, President George Bush and the United States find themselves viewed by the rest of the world as supporting the wanton killing of innocent civilians right now.

And Hezbollah is to blame.

Using the most despicable trick known to man: hiding behind innocent civilians including women and children, the terrorists Hezbollah nation (you heard me right: “nation”) has found a way to antagonize Israel to such a point that the Israeli’s feel compelled to respond. And when they do respond with F-16s armed with precision guided weapons, innocents get killed.

President Bill Clinton pointed this out. "The danger in this Israeli strategy is that Hezbollah attacks with rockets, then hides among civilians. No matter how measured the response is, if you go after them, you're going to kill innocent people."

Following Israeli attacks, Hezbollah drags newsmen and women to the scene and screams, “Look what the bloodthirsty Jews are doing to us!!”

CNN even documented that Hezbollah had staged some of the post attack scenery with props such as empty ambulances moving away with sirens on for effect.

But a real tragedy here is that Kofi Annan of the UN, lost his impartiality for just a moment. Without the benefit of any investigation, the leader of the world’s largest peace-loving organization, accused a sovereign member state of murdering peacekeepers intentionally. I find that deplorable.

Then we see a stampede of everyone who likes to knife the United States speaking out: like Jacque Chirac of France saying the Israeli response is “not proportional.” Hey, I’d like to see the French reaction to angry Arabs shooting unguided rockets into downtown Paris. In fact, we know exactly the French reaction when unhappy Arabs merely speak out about unemployment in France: they face hundreds of armed policemen.

Hezbollah brilliantly antagonized Israel to such a point that the Israeli’s sent their defense forces into Lebanon in an effort to get the Hezbollah to stop shooting rockets into Israel: rockets that have no guidance systems and kill indiscriminately.

So Israel, using many precision, laser guided bombs and other high tech equipments supplied by the United States, has gone into Lebanon. And much of the world blames, who else? The United States.

Well, I don’t mind saying I blame the Hezbollah, their backers in Syria and Iran, and the United Nations.

Blaming Hezbollah seems pretty straightforward. Hezbollah’s leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah is on the record:“This state [Israel] was established on the basis of occupation….I say that this is a state based on occupation, that has usurped the rights of others…. I don’t believe in the State of Israel as a legal state because it was founded on occupation.”

We have several complaints about this. First, by denying the legitimacy of a UN state, Hezbollah allows itself to treat the citizens of that state with distain. Hezbollah has been murdering innocent Jews for years. Second, why doesn’t Kofi Annan set the record straight on the legitimacy of Israel, which was created by UN mandate?

Why do we blame Syria and Iran? Because they admit guilt. In fact, they are proud of their bloodthirsty ways and want to eliminate the State of Israel, a State they do not recognize as “legitimate.”

"Iran is standing by the Syrian people," Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi proudly told reporters.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad boasted that Israel was not tough enough to counter Iran and also warned against an attack against Syria."Thanks be to God, despite its criminal and savage nature, the Zionist regime and its supporters in the West do not have the power to look in the same way towards Iran," the fiercely anti-Israeli president wailed."If Israel commits another act of idiocy and aggresses Syria, this will be the same as an aggression against the entire Islamic world and it will receive a stinging response," Ahmadinejad said in a telephone conversation with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad famously described Israel as a "disgraceful blot" that should be "wiped off the face of the earth". Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is more hard-line than his predecessor, told students in Tehran that a new wave of Palestinian attacks would be enough to finish off Israel. This in October 2005. Did we listen? Kofi?

This is the same Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proudly defying the UN and building a nuclear bomb. Kofi? You have anything to add on this?

And why do we blame the UN? Because the UN has been watching Hezbollah take over southern Lebanon, fortify itself, and attack Israel repeatedly for years. Officially called the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, commonly called Unifil, these “peacekeepers” have been between Lebanon and Israel for 28 years at a cost of about one hundred million dollars a year.

We deeply mourn the loss of UN soldiers in the current fighting. But, we ask, what were they doing there? They are “observers,” “noncombatants,” and “peacekeepers.” Why didn’t Kofi Annan have them removed to safety when the fighting erupted? Kofi?

And what have they been doing for 28 years?"They [Unifil] are barely able to take care of themselves," said Timur Goksel, referring to the UN peacekeepers. "How can you expect them to do their work?"The blue-helmeted UN Unifil soldiers include a moderately trained and semi-disciplined Irish brigade. These Irish UN troops were routinely referred to as the "whisky army" by both Islam and Jewish observers who came into contact with them. The Israeli-backed Christian militiamen - known by the Unifil acronym LAUIs (Lebanese Armed and Uniformed by Israel) countered any effort by the Irish troops to stray far from their base at Camp Shamrock.

And I hate to throw red meat to red necks but who is commanding Unifil just now? The French.

Finally, why do we refer to Hezbollah as a “nation”? Because they have all the trappings of a nation.

Hezbollah controls its own media, including a TV station al-Manar (“The Beacon”), runs hotels and restaurants, and operates a thriving economy in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah provides social services that the government of Lebanon cannot afford to supply. It controls some 25% of the Lebanese land mass and almost half a million people. It runs its own schools, elderly centers, clinics, hospitals and libraries.

Hezbollah’s headquarters is called “The Embassy” by locals the in the part of Beirut called Dahiya, a crowded Shiite neighborhood where the Hezbollah has its seat of government.

Hezbollah has seats in Lebanon's governing councils too. But more importantly, Hezbollah owns southern Lebanon and is the law in that region near Israel.

But what makes Hezbollah very different, in fact unique in the history of stateless terror groups to date, is its access to very sophisticated missiles and other weapons. When did any group but a nation have Chinese-made C-802 “Silkworm” missiles capable of hitting an Israeli warship, the Ahi Hanit, before? Kofi?

Note that Iran's president denied today that he sent any military hardware to Hezbollah. But nobody much believes him. In fact, as one military source noted, "Hezbollah has everything Iran has."

How else is Hezbollah more like a "state" than a terror group? According to Israel's Dr. Boaz Ganor, the deputy dean of the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy and the founder of the Institute for Counter Terrorism in Israel said, "The Hizbullah has succeeded in creating a situation in which it deters Israel more than Israel deters it. It is unprecedented for a terrorist organization to deter a state and not vice versa."

For the last 50 years deterrence meant nuclear weapons.

Is that next for Hezbollah? Kofi?

We do not know, and may never know, if Hezbollah possesses or has access to weapons of mass destruction or really long-range ballistic missiles. But certainly Israeli military planners fear and are at least somewhat deterred by Hezbollah because of what they have done in the past and what they may yet do in the future.


Blogger prashant said...

You make a great point. I completely agree with you

12:57 PM  

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