Sunday, July 23, 2006

Today's Update and a comment on the Lebanese stand

I guess in Lebanese terms this isn't a heavy toll, but here it is. A barrage of rockets on Haifa and the Galilee. Two people were killed this morning, over 90 people injured through out the day.

Strangely, or maybe not so strangely, morale seems better, from what I can see. The overall sense is "what else can they do to us? we know how bad it can get, we're there, now it's time to kick some Hezbulla ass".

One of the headlines today is about possible negotiations with the Hezbulla -
Lebanese parliament speaker says Hizbullah has agreed that Lebanese government
hold negotiations on prisoner exchange deal with Israel through third party;
earlier Lebanese foreign minister says two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by
Hizbullah safe and well

Reading the comments on the internet sites (in Hebrew), the general opinion is that Nassaralla is getting weaker and tired and that now's the time to push forward and topple him over. People realize this will take time, but his words today, mocking the Israeli army, are interpreted as indicating a state of panic, more than anything else. He was making fun of the fact that it took the IDF 3 days to take over one Hezbulla controlled village, but people here realize all too well why this is taking time.

The one thing though is, that by offering to negotiate, the Lebanese government is putting itself in a dangerous position. Here's why. The general public here is having a hard time following the inner complexities of Lebanese government and society as it is. Many people here urge the government to just strike out at anything Lebanese, in an effort to pressure the Lebanese government into restraining Hezbulla. Others, myself included, are saying that the Lebanese government is too weak, and should not be expected to do much, so we should indeed focus on Hezbulla only. After all, Lebanon kept saying that they can't reign in the Hezbulla, that they have no effect on them.

But now, we see that the Lebanese government still has open channels of communication with the Hezbulla. The way I see it, it is offering the Hezbulla a ladder to get off the tall tree it has climbed. That would mean the survival of Hezbulla in the same form as it is now. How is that in the best interest of Lebanon? It makes the Lebanese government look as if it cooperates with the Hezbulla, not fighting against it. And that doesn't look good from here. The Lebanese government needs to make up its mind - is it with the Hezbulla or against it? I can't see how you can hold this burning stick from both ends.


steve said...

The Lebanese government is surely in a tough spot. Bear in mind, Hezbollah is an elected part of the Lebanese government. I think this is why, one, they have an open line of communication and, two, they cannot attempt some military operation against themselves. (This also because Hezbollah is very strong). A third party, hopefully a coalition of interested parties will certainly be needed to intrude with some peacekeeping force. Inasmuch as Hezbollah is intranisgent concerning the eradication of the State of Israel, obviously they need a serious muzzle.

Jean said...

Anat, where are you reading all these HA comments ? the nasrallah speeches I mean. do you have an internet address ?

As for this government move, I can't read it too well just yet, it's too early, let's wait a few hours/days.
But one thing is sure. If HA goes back to being how it was before the war, the only looser will be Lebanon. it will be a shame ! all those civilian lives, gone to waste... all this destruction, for nothing...
No, HA must not be allowed to maintain the same level of efficiency, be it political or military..
I've got a strange feeling that once again, lebanon will be the only looser.
Israel will get its soldiers back, HA will get its prisonners back and its posture, and lebanon will continue to sacrifice more lebanese for the sake of others.

Let's hope this move clears out in the next days.

IsrealiMom said...

Interesting, I can't find the reference in the article in English, though it is there in the Hebrew version. I wonder why they didn't translate that.

Jad Aoun said...

Contacts between the Lebanese government and Hezbollah is through a third party - Speaker of the House Nabih Berri, head of the Amal Party (a moderate Shiite party with close ties to Hezbollah). The US is seeing this as a positive move. US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, stated that this shows Hezbollah weakening and finally accepting the authority of the central government.

steve said...

Bolton finally got one right then. We are watching it unfold before us and seeing some generally honest reportage. In spite of the tragedy, that is something.

steve said...

...."But now, we see that the Lebanese government still has open channels of communication with the Hezbulla. The way I see it, it is offering the Hezbulla a ladder to get off the tall tree it has climbed. That would mean the survival of Hezbulla in the same form as it is now."

I'm assuming Hezbollah would be disarmed and monitored. The politicians of Hezbollah in Beirut are not the "armed wing". They should be easily identifiable. And disarmed. It should be enforced, as well. Dodge City, Lebanon.
I really do think Hezbollah needs disarming. What threat are they under, being a part of a nation they are even elected in? They deserve political, just not armed respect, even if they are religious nut cases. Let the Army be the Lebanese Army.

IsrealiMom said...

Jean, I have the link for you. They finally translated the interview with Nassaralla -,7340,L-3280435,00.html

Jean said...

Thanks, Annette.
Personal note, I just hate it when all the radical groups put the word God in every sentence.

As to the communication channels between the government and HA, like Jad said, it's through a third party, namely the speaker of the chamber, who's also the leader of amal.
I never trusted that guy neither. He was a staunch supporter of Syria, and when we drove syria out, he practically begged to stay speaker, saying that his loyalty goes now to lebanon... still to be proven if you ask me.