Wednesday, August 09, 2006

End This Tragedy Now

The peace efforts in the war over Lebanon are obviously at a standstill as France and the US discusses changes to their draft UN Security Council resolution and the Israeli government is considering launching a more significant ground offensive into southern Lebanon.

The war is not going Israel's way.

Yesterday, the general in charge of IDF's Northern Command was de facto dismissed. There is obvious tension over military strategy.

But to launch a major ground offensive into Lebanon would be to enter a quagmire where Israel have been numerous times before - without ever really achieving its stated objectives.

It would effectively kill the possibility of an early cease-fire. The tragedy would be prolonged.

The ray of hope that is there is the 7-point plan presented by Lebanon's Prime Minister Faoud Siniora. The fact that is seems to have the support of Hezbollah is of the utmost importance.

Today, Siniora argues for his plan in an OpEd in Washington Post - hoping to reach political opinion makers there directly.

But no progress seems possible as long as Israel insists on holding on to positions in Lebanon until an international force arrives, and Hezbollah refusing any cease-fire as long as Israel does not leave Lebanon, thus also de facto blocking the arrival of any possible augmented international force.

To me, it seems reasonable that Israel leaves positions that serve no purpose anyhow ; they have not stopped the rocket attacks - while what is there of the Army of Lebanon in cooperation with what is there of UN forces takes over that limited area until an international force can arrive.

It's not the perfect way forward - bit still a way forward where others look like being blocked.