Hizballah-Lebanese Peace Plan?
From CNN comes word that the Lebanese government, weak as it is, and Hizballah, clearly battered as it is, have agreed to a cease fire plan.
The Lebanese cease-fire plan, reached at a meeting on Friday night, calls for an immediate cease-fire, the release of Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails and the return of two Israeli soldiers held by Hezbollah.
[Commentary: No cease fire plan should include a prisoner swap that ammounts to rewarding terrorism, regardless of the toll exacted by Israeli strikes on Hizballah.]
The plan also calls for the return of displaced Lebanese to their homes, negotiations between Israel and Lebanon concerning the disputed Shebaa farms now under Israeli control, the disclosure of maps showing Israeli minefields near the Lebanese border, the deployment and strengthening of the Lebanese army and the expansion of the U.N. force in the south.
While Hezbollah agreed to a cease-fire with Israel and an increased international presence in southern Lebanon, the group objected to "a robust force" of international peacekeepers in the region, the sources said.
Perhaps a map of Hizballah minefields would be in order as well?
While Condoleezza Rice said that there needs to be 'some give and take' on this agreement, the one piece of the puzzle missing from this plan is Israel. Expect Israel to possibly put a nice public face on it but reject it out of hand.
Consider the points:
• No disarming of Hizballah.
• A weak and deeply segregated Lebanese army in the south w/o NATO force behind it.
• Hapless UN forces remain with a paper mission w/o tangible desire.
• Prisoner swap reward for terrorism.
• Land Reward - Shebaa Farms, regardless of whether Israel really wants it or not.
It appears that what Israel gets in return are their two soldiers (not unimportant by any means) and a healing period for Hizballah similar to that employed by Hamas during the unofficial ceasefire that was in place for just over one year.
It will take more than 'give and take' to make this plan a lasting solution. Otherwise, the fight is merely put off for another day.
When an attacked terrorist group wants a cease fire, press forward with determination.
For what it's worth, it should be noted that Israel has chosen to maintain the tougher fight thus far, that being against Hizballah. Removing Syria from the equation militarily is far easier to achieve than taking on Hizballah. Cutting off the oxygen line from neighboring Assad would cripple Hizballah in short order, making their defeat far easier than without doing so.
Hizballah's Nasrallah said that he wanted a war of attrition. He should be given his desires.
The above, of course, assumes that the true goal is to defeat Hizballah and reduce them to a non-threat in Lebanon. So long as Syria remains a Hizballah life-line of military and logistical support - ensuring Iran's flow of treasure and weaponry - Hizballah will continue to breathe and fight on.
To truly defeat Hizballah, Israel needs to 'give' it the language it understands in the form of an iron fist and 'take' away its oxygen supply to the east.
That's just the way it is. Otherwise, the terrorists are being managed, not defeated.
And therein lay the choice.