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UN Resolution 1701–The Triumph of Hope Over Experience?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:03 pm - August 12, 2006.
Filed under: Blogging,Civil Discourse,War On Terror

Given the track record of the United Nations (UN) in the MIddle East, I am not particularly optimistic that the Security Council Resolution 1701, unanimously passed yesterday, will lead to long-term solution to the conflict between the sovereign nation of Israel and the international scofflaws of Hezbollah. Conservative opinion seems divided on the issue with the normally pro-Bush Administration bloggers like Hugh Hewitt and Powerline, pessimistic (about the Administration-backed resolution) while Captain Ed is cautiously optimistic.

I’m somewhere between the two. For those of you who want to better understand what I mean by civil discourse, look at how Captain Ed and Powerline respond to each other’s points. First, Captain Ed weighs in, calling the Cease-Fire a Mixed Bag. Paul at Powerline responds to Captain Ed here, then the good Captain offers a response to Paul. Each addresses the other’s points and neither engages in backbiting or name-calling.

A great example of where the blogosphere can promote serious civil discourse of the topics of the day.

They both raise valid points and I strongly encourage you to follow their conversation. My heart is with the Captain because the resolution has passed — and I want the cease-fire to succeed and for Hezbollah to collapse — but my mind is with Paul, given the UN’s track record.

Even UN Secretary General Kofi Annan acknowledges that Hezbollah is responsible for the current conflict, saying:

Since 12 July, when Hezbollah launched an unprovoked attack on Israel, killing eight Israeli soldiers and kidnapping two, both Lebanon and Israel have been thrown back into the turmoil of war, death and destruction.

While delighted with passage of the resolution yesterday, Annan seems to blame the Security Council for the continuation of hostilities when he expressed his profound disappointment “that the Council did not reach this point much, much earlier.

It is not Annan who should be disappointed with the Security Council, but rather the Council who should be disappointed with him for failing to enforce its resolution 1559, calling “for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias.” The United Nations had two-and-one-half years to act upon this resolution. It had a force in southern Lebanon and yet Hezbollah continued to operate there in defiance of international law. It did nothing to stop them.

Had Resolution 1559 been implemented, Hezbollah would have been disarmed and thus unable to launch the “unprovoked attack” which even Kofi Annan acknowledged was the cause of this war. If the United Nations is to be a serious organization, it must take seriously the pronouncements of the Security Council, mandated by its charter to pass resolutions binding on member-states. The UN failed to fulfill the promise of 1559. We can only hope that it succeeds in implementing 1701.



  1. Unfortunately. I think this will turn out to be a loss for both Israel and the US. Worse yet, Hizbollah gains in stature for having withstood the IDF. Like the Iraq mess, it was poorly thought out and now even Israelis are calling for Olmert’s scalp. Meanwhile, the Cedar Revolution is in shambles. And Iran is laughing all the way to the (nuclear) bank.

    Comment by Ian — August 13, 2006 @ 2:13 am - August 13, 2006

  2. From the post

    It is not Annan who should be disappointed with the Security Council, but rather the Council who should be disappointed with him for failing to enforce its resolution 1559

    This is funny as heck. How do you think that Kofi Annan–himself–is supposed to “enforce” the Security Council’s resolution? Stand on the border between Israel and Lebanon with a musket and fire at anyone who crosses his path?

    The members of the Security Counsel can pass resolution after resolution, but until and unless they provide for a means to implement their resolutions, the resolutions mean nothing. I’m sure that even those of you in La-La-Land can understand that. Somehow, this kvetch reminds me of those memorable lines from My Fair Lady:

    Words, words, words, I’m so sick of words,
    I get words all day through, first from him, now from you,
    Is that all you blighters can do….?

    Obviously, that’s all that the blighters on the Security Council can and will do. Words. All day through. First from him. Now from you. They (the blighters on the Security Council) might talk tough, but they are rather niggardly when it comes to providing the means to implement the words.

    So, answer me this (and answer it quickly, since I’m preparing to jet off to Munich in a few hours) what specifically do you believe that Kofi should do to implement anything? I’m not asking for something that is obviously as vapid as the US military’s Iraq “plan” described in the slide depicted here. Something a bit more specific. Certainly more specific than the slide depicted here.

    Comment by raj — August 13, 2006 @ 6:54 am - August 13, 2006

  3. I have to say I agree with you. I HOPE Hezbollah is destroyed, and I hope 1701 accomplishes this. However, I have no faith whatsoever in UN diplomacy.

    Comment by Steve — August 13, 2006 @ 8:30 am - August 13, 2006

  4. Here’s a response for you, Raj (though bothering is in some ways against my better judgment). Since all Kofi can do is spout impotent words against a real enemy of humanity like Hezbollah, then what he should do is shut the hell up and stand aside when somebody, like the United States or Isreal, actually has the guts to really sacrifice something to acheive the result that Kofi claims to desire. Ironically, in a war of propaganda and ideas, the UN does have teeth against those nations actually imbued with a conscience, and so the anti-US and anti-Israeli posturing it indulges in does damage. Quite simply, the UN should learn that where it can do nothing productive, it should do nothing, and let the real players go.

    Comment by Casey — August 13, 2006 @ 10:21 am - August 13, 2006

  5. most of the people you cite as being against it are FOR the iraq war. So this bodes well for the resolution.

    Comment by lester — August 13, 2006 @ 11:25 am - August 13, 2006

  6. The UN has been there for years and never did anything about Hezbollah and even allowed the animals to place themselves near UN sites. Hezbollah must disarm and will not do so. Isreal will then have the cover to go back in and do what the UN will never do. Its another pointless time out for evil just like all UN resolutions. Isreal has always won and the Eurabian Confederacy has always lost. They will win this in the end.

    Comment by VinceTN — August 13, 2006 @ 12:51 pm - August 13, 2006

  7. what does this have to do with homosexuality or patriotism? Lebanon is just as much an ally as israel. We have no reason to root for either

    Comment by lester — August 13, 2006 @ 1:36 pm - August 13, 2006

  8. I like Lebanon too. Lebanon has allowed itself to be a launching pad for terrorists and the result is a heavy price by Isreal’s hand. Isreal would love a peaceful border with Lebanon but the Army of God will not allow it and the UN did nothing to deter it. Stop threatening Isreal and you will stop being hurt. Look at Egypt, look at Jordan. Allah has turned his back on the Arabs too many times in the past for them to believe they will ever see Isreal’s destruction.

    Lebanon will have to make real choices now and they may not be up to it. It may be Lebanon that falls over this conflict. It most certainly won’t be Isreal. I want Lebanon to succeed and prosper but not by selling its soul to terrorits.

    Comment by VinceTN — August 13, 2006 @ 2:06 pm - August 13, 2006

  9. whatever. the jihadists tell the arabs the only thing they should care about is palestine. the weekly standard tells everyone the only thing they should care about is israel. What about OUR border?

    Comment by lester — August 13, 2006 @ 4:03 pm - August 13, 2006

  10. Whatever? Our border? What does our border have to do with this thread? Already the Lebanese are failing to authorize the military to go south. Already the Party of God is refusing to disarm. Perhaps Olmert and Bush knew what they were doing all along. It was assumed that Isreal would not agree to the resolution. Since they have, the Lebs have to actually do something. They can’t/won’t so the next phase of Isreal’s incursion into Terroristan continues.

    Comment by VinceTN — August 13, 2006 @ 4:53 pm - August 13, 2006

  11. vince- what does our border have to do with it? the page is called gaypatriot. not gayisraelipatriot. if olmert and co don’t like the neighborhood they can leave. who cares? not me

    Comment by lester — August 13, 2006 @ 5:48 pm - August 13, 2006

  12. The primary concern of this document was to generate a Blue Zone between the feuding parties (the state of Israel, and the militant wing of Hezbollah).

    The UN officially makes no demands or decrees in which other nations to co-operate. You may notice that each resolution uses phrases like “… calls upon Israel…” – the UN as an instituion has no authority over the sovereigity of nations. It is a forum for the international community to apply pressure on nations of the world to maintain international peace.

    At the present moment, Hezbollah is a fairly limited threat to international peace and security. The situation grew to such a point in such a short period of time that the UN deemed that it WAS a threat to international security, but due to the limited nature of the Hezbollah militia, providing Lebanon with the opportunity to once again attempt to disarm Hezbollah, or at the very least offer them the opportunity to request help from the international community to disarm hezbollah. I think it would be interesting to hear a request from the Lebanese President to the UN for a UNIFIL force with the authority to force the disarmament of Hezbollah… After all, no UN force can operate on sovereign territory without a request or consent from that sovereign nation.

    In short, I don’t think you can assume that the UN has failed if they do not somehow manage to disarm Hezbollah. Despite the fact that they had a force in southern lebanon, any show of that force un-authorized by the labanese government would be officially challenging the sovereignty of Lebanon and would be considered, in international law, an act of war against the Lebanese Nation.

    You’re all right to admit that the UN has very little power of enforcement, but the ideal from which the UN came was not an international government, instead it is an international organization (with far reaching powers), aimed at the promotion of Peace and security, economic and social development, human rights, and humanitarian affairs. If the UN were an organization that could create binding decisions, you would be stuck with the same problems you see with any government with a national military. Corruption of any kind could ultimately lead to the forceful oppression of sovereign states. Provide the UN with binding decisions, and you eliminate the sovereignty of States. In the grand-scheme of things, that might be a good thing, I really don’t know… but I would suspect that such power will not be seen in the UN for many years to come… if ever.

    Comment by Sobey — August 14, 2006 @ 1:30 am - August 14, 2006

  13. The UN has clearly failed. As GPW pointed out, there were resolutions to disarm groups like Hezbollah, but that has not happened. It’s nice for Annan to acknowledge that Hezbollah started it, but hasn’t stated what the real problem is. First, that Hezbollah should not be in existence, and it should have happened a long time ago. Also, that Israel is making a concerted effort to not hurt innocent civilians, whereas Hezbollah does not appear to be doing so. In fact, there mere existence hurts innocent civilians. I have been a staunch critic of Pres. Bush, but his off-the-record comment to Tony Blair about getting Syria to have Hezbollah stopping this “sh&t.” I would just go further to add again that groups like Hezbollah should not be in existence as per UN resolutions.

    Granted, Annan saying virtually nothing about Hezbollah’s existence and complete culpability in this matter, is going to stop Hezbollah. But Annan’s silence has given Hezbollah legitimacy and gives the appearance that they are on an equal footing with Israel. Any long-term solution must include the destruction of Hezbollah.

    Comment by Pat — August 14, 2006 @ 12:59 pm - August 14, 2006

  14. Well said, Pat.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — August 14, 2006 @ 1:14 pm - August 14, 2006

  15. Michael Totten’s report from the war zone, not to be missed:

    Comment by anon — August 14, 2006 @ 1:36 pm - August 14, 2006

  16. Thanks, GPW. But I see I botched the first sentence of the second paragraph. Should have written…

    Granted, Annan saying that Hezbollah should be eliminated and that Hezbollah is completely culpable in this matter, is not going to stop Hezbollah.

    Comment by Pat — August 14, 2006 @ 1:51 pm - August 14, 2006

  17. I keep reading “The UN failed” but in reality it was never given a chance to suceed.
    How does one suggest that the UN enforce its resolutions?
    Until we are willing to create a funded standing UN army, it will always be impotent unless its members have the will.
    Does anyone want that type of army?
    Further, I believe the UN was there on a monitering basis not a peacekeeping basis. Moniter means watch, not strike out.
    Further, Hezbollah is non governmental movement.
    Its very difficult to impose sanctions or destroy a group that works outside the system.

    Comment by keogh — August 14, 2006 @ 2:50 pm - August 14, 2006

  18. Good critique, Keogh in #17.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — August 14, 2006 @ 3:47 pm - August 14, 2006

  19. Dan, it is not a good critique. Not only was the U.N. given many chances to succeed over a period of years, which it blew – the U.N. actually let its monitoring posts be used as bases for Hezbollah attacks on Israel.

    “Moniter means watch, not strike out” – indeed. If only the U.N. had indeed MONITORED Hezbollah strikes on Israel, i.e., at least warned Israel as strikes were happening within the plain sight of UNIFIL bases!

    Comment by Calarato — August 14, 2006 @ 4:31 pm - August 14, 2006

  20. (for clarity, I should have written: as Hezbollah launched strikes from within plain sight of UNIFIL bases!)

    Comment by Calarato — August 14, 2006 @ 4:51 pm - August 14, 2006

  21. #4 Casey — August 13, 2006 @ 10:21 am – August 13, 2006

    Here’s a response for you, Raj (though bothering is in some ways against my better judgment). Since all Kofi can do is spout impotent words…

    As far as I can tell, the SecyGen of the United Nations, at this point Kofi Annan, occupies a chair that has no more power than the Queen of England. On matters that are of interest to the controlling the UN, in public he spouts what the controlling powers want him to spout off upon. Nothing more, nothing less. And

    Comment by raj — August 15, 2006 @ 12:47 am - August 15, 2006

  22. And yet, RajIan, leftists like yourself demand that the US bow, scrape, kneel, and quake at his every word.

    Notice the double standard here, folks; when explaining why his pet terrorist groups and their European supporters can ignore the UN, RajIan drones on and on and on about how powerless and irrelevant it is and how these groups can ignore it without a care or worry.

    However, when the US threatens to intervene and cut off the flow of illicit oil profits and weapons-supplying contracts to the French and German bureaucracy from Iran, Syria, and previously, Iraq, RajIan suddenly demands that the US get the UN’s approval for everything; otherwise it would be wrong and illegitimate.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 15, 2006 @ 1:03 pm - August 15, 2006

  23. Double standard noted as you directed, NDXXX. Thanks for pointing it out, once again.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — August 15, 2006 @ 1:44 pm - August 15, 2006

  24. Bill Roggio’s writing is not to be missed. Here, he analyzes the winners and losers of the conflict:

    Note: Israel, the U.S., and the democratic / Cedar Revolution aspirations of the Lebanese people, have all lost. “[This newest] elevation of Hezbollah as the predominant military and political force [in Lebanon] bodes ill for those looking to put the days of civil war and armed militias behind them.”

    Another loser is the Nation-State system that the U.N. supposedly protects. Terrorism has scored a victory, in the form of Hezbollah being formally negotiated with as a quasi-government. “Non-state actors and terrorist groups can usurp the power of a state, essentially declare war against a sovereign nation, and not pay the consequences… ‘

    So much for the hopeless, illegitimate U.N. “The behavior of the United Nations… shows there was more interest in preserving Hezbollah and restoring peace at all costs than the legitimate security concerns of a [member] nation-state.”

    Comment by Calarato — August 15, 2006 @ 4:18 pm - August 15, 2006

  25. Now, as for the claims by the Bush and Olmert Administrations that Hezbollah was somehow defeated…

    In the State Department’s words: “The facts are that, once this resolution is implemented, it is a strategic setback for Hezbollah…”

    In President Bush’s words: “Hezbollah [is] claiming victory, but how can you claim victory when at one time you were a state within a state, safe within southern Lebanon and now you’re going to be replaced?”

    But note their claims rest on a future hypothetical – something that has not happened yet – that Hezbollah will now lay down and disarm itself before the feet of UNIFIL and the Lebanese Army.

    All I can say is: I’ll believe it when I see it. Same with Roggio. Same with Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s former (and hopefully future) PM.

    And so far – it isn’t happening. It’s only been 2 days, and already Beirut is now saying that Hezbollah can keep their weapons; they should just not show them off in public so much.

    So, either we ought to be having a new war this week – or else it really has been a de facto victory for Hezbollah terrorists and murderers.

    That’s the U.N. for you. And yes, I also blame the Bush and Olmert Administrations.

    Comment by Calarato — August 15, 2006 @ 5:49 pm - August 15, 2006

  26. hezbollahs victory proves the cedar revolution was about lebanon, not israel or the US

    Comment by lester — August 15, 2006 @ 6:12 pm - August 15, 2006

  27. What victory? Sounds like a stalemate to me…

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — August 16, 2006 @ 12:35 pm - August 16, 2006

  28. As long as hezbollah is there to claim victory, it is a victory.
    To quote somebody I forgot who:
    Victory goes to he who yells the loudest.

    Comment by keogh — August 16, 2006 @ 1:51 pm - August 16, 2006

  29. Then, 401(k) plan, I claim victory over you on this blog in terms of managing and debating the issues.


    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — August 16, 2006 @ 2:04 pm - August 16, 2006

  30. I don’t concede!!!

    Comment by keogh — August 16, 2006 @ 8:30 pm - August 16, 2006

  31. Neither did Israel. So your point of reference is now debunked.

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — August 16, 2006 @ 11:57 pm - August 16, 2006

  32. Becuase they came down so strong and gained so little, it appears they did.
    That’s the problem with such high stakes tactics. If it goes bad, you could loose everything

    Comment by keogh — August 17, 2006 @ 12:30 am - August 17, 2006

  33. Oh, so appearances take the place of facts? That’s a new one on me, 401(k) plan. I guess that explains the LibRAT mindset after all.

    Every time you try to open a door to an argument, you hit yourself in the nose. Just too fun to watch!

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — August 17, 2006 @ 12:19 pm - August 17, 2006

  34. Actually Peter , you are exactly right! Its quite possible for appearences to be more powerful than facts.
    I can’t beleive you have not seen this phenomena in action before.
    Perhaps you need to begin to open your door, look outside and see how the world works!

    Comment by keogh — August 17, 2006 @ 3:19 pm - August 17, 2006

  35. Then following your so-called logic, I guess for all my appearances on this board versus your own, I am vastly superior to you…

    You don’t know when to quit, do you 401(k) plan?

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — August 17, 2006 @ 3:57 pm - August 17, 2006

  36. Yes you are getting the idea now.
    Even though I have completely proven you wrong, after every post, you claim victory, yet say nothing!
    It appears you are a disciple of Tareq Aziz!

    Comment by keogh — August 17, 2006 @ 4:31 pm - August 17, 2006

  37. This is getting too easy…

    (clearing throat)

    Okay, 401(k) plan…please show me EXACTLY where you have proven me wrong on this board. I want exact quotes.

    And it’s so cute that you wrongly try to color me as Tariq Aziz. In my opinion, you are as clueless as Saddam’s Propaganda Minister during Operation Iraqi Liberation. You remember him? Jon Steward even parodied him.

    Suffice to say you are a parody of serious political conversation.

    Match, set, game.

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — August 17, 2006 @ 5:25 pm - August 17, 2006

  38. Tariq,
    You rightists have a serious case of premature jubilation.

    The whole world saw this foolishness during the country wide embarrassment of the “Mission Accomplished Stunt”
    Or the “Last Throes” incompetency…

    I have no time to go back and show you how I have proved you are wrong. Nor do I owe it to you. You know it and I know it. That is all I care about.
    That being said, I think your assumption in comment number 27 has been pretty well debunked…

    It looks to me that the right and especially you Tariq, could benefit greatly by practicing the start-stop technique or the squeeze-pause technique.
    Let me know which one is more effective.

    Comment by keogh — August 17, 2006 @ 6:07 pm - August 17, 2006

  39. Peter, you hit the corked ball out of the park when you wrote:

    “Suffice to say you (keogh) are a parody of serious political conversation.”

    keogh knows he’s on the short end of the stick in these debates. That’s why, like Ian and raj and lester and monty, his opinions become more flaming with each post.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — August 17, 2006 @ 7:53 pm - August 17, 2006

  40. Well,
    It appears the rightists try to save face by attempting to trivialize reality instead of simply accepting their own lack of reality.
    A typical reaction…it actually humanizes you.

    Comment by keogh — August 18, 2006 @ 12:28 am - August 18, 2006

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