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Comments on: Eye on the Watcher’s Council





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By: Dave Schuler

Wed, 23 Aug 2006 20:31:23 +0000

Thanks, AbbaGav. My comment wasn't meant either as dismissal or as excusing the French but more along the lines of fatalism. I believe that the simplest explanation for the behavior of the French is that UNSC1701 was intentionally (at least on the part of the French) vaporware. They've achieved their objective at very little cost to them and don't much care that it's undoubtedly fleeting. Your comments are much appreciated. The Glittering Eye is as much about conversation as it is about posting and if every comment agreed with me completely it wouldn't be much of a conversation, would it?



By: AbbaGav

Wed, 23 Aug 2006 20:24:51 +0000

Let me start by saying I really enjoy and appreciate your weekly roundup. That said, however (there's always the however), I wanted to respond to part of what you said in response to my post. While I agree things haven't gone well for Israel in the Hizballah conflict, and a "mulligan" might be preferable to the situation the government has maneuvered itself into at this point, I'm not sure this gives the French a free pass here. I agree the French miss the old situation, where Hizballah was armed to the teeth but so long as nobody said anything or actually launched anything, it could be business as usual. The problem is that France was the driving force behind an internationally backed ceasefire deal that was based on a number of critical status quo breakers: Hizballah must be disarmed being chief among them. Now that they've pushed this condition into a written document and joined everyone in getting it signed, promising their forces, etc., for France to now merely step back and say "Sorry, ignore what we all signed, take the status quo instead" is an unacceptable further trashing of the international community's diplomatic reputation, particularly with respect to Israel. Had they pushed a cease fire that honestly stated the intentions you laid out, and instead of "HA must disarm" it said "HA will be allowed to rearm back to the status quo enough to replace the missiles they used up, and then we'll go back to status quo during which they could further arm themselves without consequence" at least that paper would have meant something. Of course status quo then would have included return of captured Israelis. I don't believe the situation is as neat as you are painting it in your dismissal. The truthful conditions HA would accept Israel could not accept. The truthful conditions Israel would accept HA would not accept. So France appears to have written a vaporware treaty, to HA's benefit. I don't know if anyone in the world can now expect Israel to accept any international promises in the future (reluctant even this time), and this will complicate ending any future conflicts. That doesn't seem to bother anyone though, but it bothers me. But again, (sorry for the ramble, this is just quick typing reaction), I agree Israel is in a bit of a bind and doesn't have high expectations now (partly due to UN/French/international abandonment of agreed conditions). This isn't meant to be a complete deconstruction of what you said, just objecting to letting France off the hook.



By: kreiz

Wed, 23 Aug 2006 14:40:06 +0000

It's gotta be Moran, given the sheer gravitas of his post and the attention it drew across the Net.