Friday, August 18, 2006

NPR : France Commits 200 Troops to Lead Lebanon Force

There seems to be two sides to the Lebanese issue. When this entire thing first came to a head, many on the news said that Lebanon had refused or at least didn't make much of an effort to get Hezbollah out of their country, even though they weren't necessarily "supporting" them. Most of their support was coming from Syria and Iran. This made it sound like Lebanon did mind that Hezbollah was there. I don't know if that is true or not.

What I do know is that Lebanon is a young country that doesn't have the finances that some of its neighbors do. Hezbollah (regardless of its terrorist activities) was providing social support for a segment of the Lebanonese population which in reality took the pressure to support them off Lebanon's official government. Perhaps Lebanon didn't mind this, perhaps they didn't know what to do about it.

The thing I find interesting about France's statements regarding the drop from 2000 troops to 200 troops is that they say they want Lebanon to deal with the Hezbollah issue first, before they will commit more UN soldiers. Well, if Lebanon was in a position to get Hezbollah out on their own, don't we all think they would have done it before now?

I don't know what the right answer is for this issue, but I know that Lebanon can't be thrown back to dealing with this entire thing without some kind of international support or we will see this same fighting occur again in a short time, and all the same finger pointing going on. If Hezbollah is the terrorist organization it is reputed to be (regardless of whatever kind of "social activities" it uses to validate itself), then it needs to be dealt with by the international community just like the other organizations (Al Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf, and others) have been.


Haha said...

What amazes me is that France wants to be the Big Negotiator, they need those ties with Iran, which I believe is why they are wanting the Lebanese army to do it all...but they never put their money where their mouth is, they want to be a big player but have to sacrifice anything by sending adequate troops to help police. Typical

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

Lebanon didn't fight back when Israel attacked because the US would bomb any country that openly attacks Israel.

There's a really interesting PBS series--and a book--called With God On Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right. It's fascinating to see how some evangelical Christians believe the Jews must be kept back in Israel for Jesus' Second Coming to occur . . . to see how that has influenced our foreign policy.

I only heard the very end of NPR's thing about France this morning, though, so I don't know what's going on in that case.

Haha said...

Sally, I believe Hezbollah made the first move in this one.