Thursday, August 17, 2006
Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni met on Wednesday (August 16) with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in New York. She told the Secretary General, "The fact that the kidnapped soldiers have not yet been released by Hizbullah constitutes a clear violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, and I expect that the international community continue to work for their immediate release." The Secretary General agreed to the request by the foreign minister that he meet with the families of the kidnapped soldiers.Gee, that's nice of him -- to meet with the families of the kidnapped soldiers. Now that maintaining peace between Lebanon and Israel is his direct responsibility, and kidnapped soldiers is a clear threat to the peace, I wonder what he's going to do about it?
(Nothing, of course. This is the UN we're talking about. But I'm an optimist.)
According to UN Security Council Resolution 1701, Secretary General Kofi Annan is responsible for supervising the implementation of the resolution, in particular the establishment of the multinational force. Foreign Minister Livni 's meeting with the Secretary General focused on the composition of this force. She stressed Israel's expectation that the force will be of high quality, with real military capabilities, and composed of soldiers from appropriate countries. FM Livni also told the Secretary General that Israel expects to see the force deployed as soon as possible. "This force must be capable of implementing the Security Council resolution, backed by the international community, as stated in the resolution," she said.Indeed.
Personally, I find myself wishing for old-style Israeli diplomacy, which would have gone something like this:
"If you want to install a UN peacekeeping force, go ahead. Just make sure that it solves the problem. If your boys don't solve the problem, ours will."
UPDATE: Brian Dunn wonders if the much-vaunted 'international community', which was so upset at America's 'unilateral' invasion of Iraq, will now step up to the plate, now that a UN Security Council resolution has called for an international force. This is what they've been waiting for, right?
You know, the man has a point. It would be very nice, very nice indeed, to fantasize about a world community, each nation concerned about the overall good, all willing to put their shoulders to the wheel when help is needed.France, meanwhile, wants to send a small, purely symbolic contingent to the force, and the United Nations is trying to convince French officials that such a decision would be devastating, a news report said Thursday.Shocking! Especially when you consider that that "international test" was written in French and has to be translated into English for us to take it. And France refuses to enforce a UN Security Council resolution? How can this be? Quickly, nurse! Five CCs of nuance, stat!
Though France has been widely expected to lead the force, the newspaper Le Monde reported that it planned to contribute merely 10 officers and 200 military engineers.
But that's all the 'world community' is -- a fantasy. The UN remains what it has always been, a glorified debating society. And, by refusing to distinguish one country from another -- by guaranteeing an equal footing to democracies, dictatorships and theocracies -- the UN is, by definition, a place where moral equivalence rules.
So if you want an organization that is guaranteed to treat the arsonist and the firefighter equally, look no further than the UN. And I still can't believe Israel agreed to entrust her security to the ranting spoiled brats of the UN.