How The International Force Can Help Lebanon

By Marc Grossman, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs

Any analysis about what to do to end the conflict between Israel and Lebanon, and diminish the chances that it will recur, must start with three assumptions. First, Hezbollah is a terrorist organization which has killed Americans and many others worldwide. Second, Israel should not have to fight Hezbollah alone; we are in a global struggle against extremism and making Israel stand alone invites excesses. Third, a UN force whose job it is to monitor a weak or non-existent ceasefire is a bad movie we’ve seen before in the Middle East and the Balkans.

The right objective for an international force is enforcement of UN Security Council Resolution 1559, passed in 2004, which calls for a restoration of Lebanon’s sovereignty and the disarming of militias like Hezbollah. As part of the effort to pass the U.S.-French text, the Security Council should reaffirm its intent to make real the promises of Resolution 1559. The international force should then openly ally itself with the government of Lebanon and the Lebanese security forces against Hezbollah, so that together they can enforce Resolution 1559.

The international force must have the resources, expertise and will both to train and equip the Lebanese forces and to fight a hard war against the Hezbollah terrorists. Once that threshold goal is reached, the international force, together with Lebanese forces, should move south toward the border with Israel, squeezing Hezbollah until it is defeated and returning Lebanon’s sovereignty to all of Lebanon.

If an end to the current fighting can be accomplished in this way, the stage might be set for a renewed effort by the American Administration to focus on peace-making between Israelis and Palestinians. The first Gulf War led to the Madrid Conference. President Bush called in 2002 for a Palestinian and an Israeli state to live side by side in peace. Actively pursuing that vision now, even as the Administration works to support UN Security Council Resolution 1559, would help the United States in Iraq and elsewhere in the Islamic world and give hope that today’s violence might lead to some progress on peace.

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5 Comments on “How The International Force Can Help Lebanon”

  1. J Says:

    Too bad that CALME’s lead article by Grossman is so one-sided, hardly the face of an honest broker. In view of ALL the UN resolutions since 1948, it is no less than stunning to showcase the cherry-picked 1559, as The One –and the only one from Too Many perspectives in Isreal and Washington–for the US to get behind. We are in this mess, and making it worse each day– for Isreal, for Americans, and for the rest of the world who wants Peace–by constantly doing the bidding of a small group of militarists and polititians “representing” the traumitized state of Israel. American interests and international interests are increasingly ill-served by the narrow minds and hysteric voices harping from the Isreali goverment. It’s grossly disappointing that CALME, supposedly a neutral voice for transcending all the Roadblocks and political correctness, has also been co-opted by dissemblers like Grossman, and Ross, etc. By now, we all know the players and the back scratchers, and can recognize the Jersulaem talking points. So CALME, please: stop dissembling, and get on with the real mission of Peace and Stability in the Middle East.

  2. Robert Blandford Says:

    At each of these tragic junctions I would hope that CALME luminaries would reiterate the central truth that “It’s the Settlements Stupid”. The settlements are an “in your face” statement that there will never be a Palestinian state. The settlements are illegal under the Geneva Convention signed by Israel … no settling of citizens in conquered territory. The settlements do not contribute to Israeli security; the Geneva Convention allows for occupation, the Israeli Army may remain in occupation until a satisfactory peace is achieved.

    The only justifications for the settlements are religious. It is critical that American Jews like Grossman make this clear at every opportunity and that they insist that Israel vacate the settlements immediately without preconditions … since they are illegal. The victim of a crime need not negotiate for the crime to cease. To meet the security issue they should point out that Israel need not vacate the occupations. Their failure to constantly emphasize these points in an outspoken way, to point out that the settlements are illegal, casts doubt on their sincerity.

  3. Joel A. Levitt Says:

    It has become clear that the nation-members of the UN are unwilling to participate in a military effort to enforce UN1559. It is equally clear that Hezbollah will tenaciously pursue the destruction of Israel. What then can be done?

    Syria is essential to Hezbollah’s program, and Syria understandably wants the return of the Golan. There are three steps that the U.S. can take to promote peace. First, the Congress can change the law so that all channels for relating to Syria are available to the State Department. Second, the administration can press Israel to negotiate a peace with Syria. Finally, the U.S. can organize the international community to pay for the resettlement of Israelis who have settled in the Golan.


  4. Glad to hear of your new blog (but why do you call it a “journal” which makes it sound like a print publication? a blog it is & should be called).

    I run a peace blog aggregator, Israel Palestine Blogs featuring 35 Israeli, Palestinian, Lebanese, & Diaspora Arab & Jewish blogs dedicated to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict. I’ve added yr feed to the site. Hope it generates some additional traffic to yr site.

  5. J Says:

    If…
    HBZ kidnapping Israeli soldiers in a cross border raid July 12 is justification for carpet bombing Lebanon;
    Then…
    Israeli commandos raiding a Hezbollah stronghold deep in Lebanon on Aug 19 is clear violation of the UN 1701 Cease-Fire, despite the convoluted parsing of words by US/Israel officials.

    Also, If
    …the IDF “poses” as the Lebanese Army–by using their vehicle and wearing their uniforms, how will this help the real Lebanese Army in controling HBZ? Do such tactics just make it harder and Less Likely for the Lebanese Army to be effective in achieving Israel’s goal of disarming HBZ and implementing UNSR 1559.

    But, alas; there is NO logic and no strategy.
    Just bravado tactics: weary attempts to save face
    as one keeps digging the ever-deepening hole within which
    Isreal –and the US is iraq–is putting itself.

    The Wisdom of Pogo: “We have met the enemy–and it is us!”


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