Destined to Fail

I don’t disagree with the harsh assessments Paul and Scott have already delivered on the U.N. resolution brokered by the administration yesterday, but let me just add a few words from a slightly different perspective. In reading the resolution, I’m reminded of the old joke about the economist’s solution to the problem of how to get out of a hole: “First, assume a ladder.”

The fundamental problem in Lebanon is that the government of that country is unable, and probably unwilling in any event, to control Hezbollah. The strongest military force in that nation, by far, is Hezbollah. Nothing in the resolution, and nothing even remotely foreseeable that will be done to implement the resolution, addresses this basic problem. Instead, the resolution “assumes a ladder;” it “calls for” Israel and Lebanon to support a long-term solution that includes this “element”:

full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state…

So Hezbollah is to be disarmed. By whom? When? How? The resolution is silent. In fact, the disarming of Hezbollah isn’t going to happen; it can’t, unless Hezbollah unilaterally decides to disband. And why would it do that? Likewise, the resolution decrees that no weapons will be shipped into Lebanon except with the approval of that country’s government. That isn’t going to happen either. Iran and Syria will continue to supply Hezbollah.

So the agreement will fail. Hezbollah will emerge with heightened stature as the first Arab force to fight Israel without being crushed. And Israel will have to renew the battle at some future date, under conditions that will almost certainly be more difficult than at present.

So it’s hard for me to see this deal as anything but a defeat for all who want to vigorously oppose the advance of Islamic imperialism in the Middle East and beyond.

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