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Promoting the Charade

The rolling Reuters headline, once reading "Israel to halt pullout unless Lebanon army deploys" (Update 4 version), has now been currently amended to aptly read "Lebanon approves troop move to south".

This move by Lebanon - and its hollow army - should not be read with relief as a sign that the IDF can now pull back into Israel with the 'bases covered.'

The question should be not whether or not the Lebanese army will deploy to southern Lebanon, but rather what they will do - or more aptly, will not do - once they get there.

The Lebanese Army will not seek to disarm Hizballah.

Already seeking to defy the UN ceasefire agreement, the Lebanese government is working on arrangements to avoid disarming Hizballah by allowing the terrorists to keep their arms so long as they do not display them in public. For its part, the Lebanese army is incapable of standing up to Hizballah alone, a condition engineered long ago by Iran and long-occupying Syria.

But as Lebanon’s UN Ambassador Nahoud Mahmoud made clear Monday, the Lebanese government never intended to use force to disarm Hizballah regardless of the agreed-upon UN ceasefire plan, saying, “Hizballah will just leave the area as armed elements as I understand it, and the Lebanese army will take over the whole region along with the United Nations forces.”

It should be viewed with concern that Israel would play into the charade that Lebanon hopes to promote: That of Lebanese government control of Hizballistan while terrorists are asked to cooperate by simply keeping their tools of war hidden from view.

Power Line today directs to a piece by Arthur Herman that may have otherwise gone unoticed in this space. In The Mideast's Munich, Herman poses that war with the Iranian mullahs is unavoidable, and that the UN Resolution 1701 ceasefire - and the charade it promotes - favors and emboldens the terrorists and their supporting regimes.

Resolution 1701 shows that, for the time being at least, the balance has likewise shifted to the terrorists and their state sponsors. Like Munich, it marks the triumph of the principle of putting off until tomorrow what needs to be done today. Like Munich, it will mean not peace in our time, but a bigger war in our future.

In that sense, the cease-fire may be even more momentous than Munich, and a greater blunder. In 1938 Chamberlain and other appeasers had the excuse that they were trying to prevent an armed conflict no one wanted. Today, of course, that conflict is already here. Historians will conclude that by supporting U.N. Resolution 1701 and getting Israel to agree, the Bush administration has in effect declared that its global war on terror is over. We have reverted to the pre-9/11 box of tools, if not necessarily the pre-9/11 mindset. From now on, the worst Iran, Syria, and North Korea will have to worry about are serial resolutions in the United Nations. Terrorists will be busy dodging Justice Department subpoenas, not Tomahawk missiles.

Our enemies know better. They know the war is only entering a new stage, and they know who the winners and losers were last weekend.

There are many comparisons of the West and the situation today to pre-World War II European events and the mindset from the same period. Judging by last weekend's events, Arthur Herman's observations may prove the most prescient.

To be certain, the charade of control in southern Lebanon and the permitted reprieve and recovery it affords Iran's Hizballah foreign legion certainly lends itself to support Herman’s conclusions.