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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, August 26, 2006

What did you do in the war, UNIFIL?

Lori Lowenthal Marcus of The Weekly Standard writes You broadcast Israeli troop movements, that's what.
"DURING THE RECENT month-long war between Hezbollah and Israel, U.N. "peacekeeping" forces made a startling contribution: They openly published daily real-time intelligence, of obvious usefulness to Hezbollah, on the location, equipment, and force structure of Israeli troops in Lebanon.

UNIFIL--the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, a nearly 2,000-man blue-helmet contingent that has been present on the Lebanon-Israel border since 1978--is officially neutral. Yet, throughout the recent war, it posted on its website for all to see precise information about the movements of Israeli Defense Forces soldiers and the nature of their weaponry and materiel, even specifying the placement of IDF safety structures within hours of their construction. New information was sometimes only 30 minutes old when it was posted, and never more than 24 hours old.

Meanwhile, UNIFIL posted not a single item of specific intelligence regarding Hezbollah forces. Statements on the order of Hezbollah "fired rockets in large numbers from various locations" and Hezbollah's rockets "were fired in significantly larger numbers from various locations" are as precise as its coverage of the other side ever got.

Inquiries made of various Israeli military and government representatives and analysts yielded near unanimous agreement that at least some of UNIFIL's postings, in the words of one retired senior military analyst, "could have exposed Israeli soldiers to grave danger." These analysts, including a current high ranking military official, noted that the same intelligence would not have been provided by the U.N. about Israel's enemies.

Sure enough, a review of every single UNIFIL web posting during the war shows that, while UNIFIL was daily revealing the towns where Israeli soldiers were located, the positions from which they were firing, and when and how they had entered Lebanese territory, it never described Hezbollah movements or locations with any specificity whatsoever.

This partiality is inconsistent not only with UNIFIL's mission but also with its own stated policies. In a telling incident just a few years back, UNIFIL vigorously insisted on its 'neutral ity'--at Israel's expense."

UNIFL has looked the other way for the last 6+ years and turned a blind eye as Hezbollah brought in weapons and missiles, dug trenches and bunkers, to the detriment of Israel's safety.

They also looked the other way on October 7, 2000, when three IDF soldiers were kidnapped by Hezbollah in very close proximity to a UNIFIL shelter and taken across the border into Lebanon. Suspecting the U.N. had a videotape of the incident, Israel asked for the videotapes but their requests were spurned. Instead of helping in the attempt to rescue the kidnapped IDF soldiers, by furnishing the videotape of the incident, Kofi Annan chose to take the obstruction route and stymie the Israeli investigation - first by denying that a tape existed.

Eventually (nine months later), Kofi admitted not only did a tape exist, but that three tapes existed. UNer's claimed that it was not their responsibility to provide the videotapes and doing so would violate the UN peacekeeping mandate of impartiality and objectivity.
The U.N. report on the incident was adamant that its force had "to ensure that military and other sensitive information remains in their domain and is not passed to parties to a conflict."

Uh, huh. Do you see a little inconsistency here? So do you think a larger contingent of peacekeepers will make a difference? It's possible. You can take the position that with a larger contingency, it will be harder to ignore events on the ground by wearing blinders. But, I'm not overly confident that it will.

When Abu Oudai, one of the leaders of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group was asked by the Galili Report if Hezbollah would continue to get arms shipments from Syria and Iran despite the cease fire, Oudai responded:
Hezbollah will continue to arm because it had a strategic role in this conflict of the Middle East and only dumb, stupid and blind people can think that any international or local force can prevent the organization from keeping its military posts in the south and from receiving arms supplies from all around the world.

I must admit that some of the United Nations International Force In Lebanon members had a very friendly and cooperative (Abu Udai laughing) attitude towards Hezbollah. And can you imagine Hezbollah being defeated by thousands of soldiers who will be deployed with no political interest and with no enthusiasm on the ground?


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