Saturday, August 19, 2006

To peacekeep, or not to peacekeep

Greece is now in the throes of contemplating the delicate task of sending peacekeeping forces into Lebanon to uphold what seems to be a rather weak ceasefire. Many E.U. countries have faltered in their offers to send troops right away, with Germany and the Netherlands choosing to stay out of Lebanon. France will only send 200 troops, asking for a clearer mandate. In light of the recent special ops mission by Israel against Hezbollah, I can't say I blame France for their hesitation. Sure, you need the peacekeeping forces in play to keep the peace, but can the peace be kept in such a volatile situation?

Greece has played a part in several peacekeeping missions in the past, and their contribution to aid in Lebanon over the past month has been laudable. However, I question the viability of sending Greek troops - or any peacekeepers - into the "peaceful" fray, as it almost seems the situation could be further compounded by the U.N. troops. Too many cooks can spoil the broth, and the broth is already a bit rancid. Can the ceasefire hold? Can the peacekeeping forces make it hold? Or will it erupt into further bloodshed?

Obviously, I have a bit more at stake when it comes to the Greeks. I have become rather protective of my new country and would prefer that its brave men and women not be sent into unresolvable and violent situations. But perhaps that is the true nature of the peacekeeper - to step in where there is no hope for resolution, and somehow make it right again.

8 comments:

Jack H. said...

Mel,

I'm sure you read the news about the reasons why Israel conducted this operation against Hezbullah. A cease fire that allows Hezbullah to restock their weapons from Iran and Syria is not part of the cease fire and thus Israel is within their rights to protect their interests.

Hows about we condemn Iran, Syria, and Hezbullah for trying to rearm themselves before we condemn Israel for their defensive moves.

A credible news source, blog etc, gives both sides of the story. If not, then your blog is no better than any of the other biased Greek Channels.

FreeCyprus said...

Mel, I don't want to see Greek lives threatened by going into that hornet's nest anymore than you do. Unfortunately, there are no peace-keeping missions yet in Hawaii.

I feel that the Lebanese are unwilling or unable to keep the peace in the south of Lebanon, and Jack is right...this "ceasefire" translates into "let's give Hizbullah some time to re-arm"

The ceasefire also gives Hizbullah time to rebuild homes for people thus giving it some great public relations. How many times have we read/heard the following in articles and on Al Jazeera: "oh I never liked Hizbullah before, but now that they've rebuilt my home, I am a strong supporter...I love Nasrallah"

FreeCyprus said...

Well, those homes would have to be rebuilt, regardless if there was a ceasefire...

I think the issue here is keeping Hizbullah at bay and preventing them from attacking northern Israel. Israel and Olmert screwed up when they stated in the beginning that their goal was the "irradiation of Hizbullah". That's an impossible task, and didn't happen during Israel's stay in southern Lebanon from 1982-2000.

The goal is a safe buffer zone in the south of Lebanon in order to limit or end attacks into northern Israel. If the Lebanese are unwilling or unable to do that, then we in the free West must step up and do it.

Jack H. said...

Thanks Free Cyprus. I feel that most of the world media and at least in the blog world takes the Hezbullah side instead of the Israelis.

Thanks for posting such a nice, positive, and enlightening post. Let's see if the blog host acknowledges it.

Thanos said...

Why? What the hell kind of talk is that? We the "free West" have no business in the Middle East.

It's not like there is a real ceasefire. The north is looking to rearm, the south is looking for a buffer zone - expense free! Have foreign troops take over and occupy Lebanese territory (with all the danger consequences) so that Israel can feel safe. Excellent deal!

If Israel feels threatened and wants a buffer zone in Lebanon, by all means. But let them pay the political price (for it is after all occupation of a sovereign state) and the price of blood.

Alternately let there REALLY be peace (no unilateral action on either side) and the UN can step in to regulate - perhaps with a shared buffer zone north and south of the border. How's that?

Keep away is what I say...

Anonymous said...

zardoz says :

hiya guys ,,just back from holidays in crete,
Just catching up with your writings.

"MEL good luck with your thesis ".


and ill have to strongly support THANOS perpective as far , as the what and how ,,,,of greeks in peacekeeping missions,,it sticks

what doesnt stick is the ramblings of the people ready to include everyone in a new bloodbath,,,
including greeks .....SLY people
but whoever started this dam thing can clean up after his own mess.....



= z a r d o z =

melusina said...

Well, first, as everyone who has replied here except Jack H. has surmised, this post was not about right action in regards to Israel or Hezbollah, but about my concerns regarding peacekeeping forces in a region that is obviously still in great turmoil. I simply stated a fact, that Israel had violated the ceasefire. Obviously, if Hezbollah is rearming, they are also violating the ceasefire, because that was, I believe, also one of the conditions of the ceasefire - in fact, I think one of the conditions was that Lebanon force Hezbollah to dearm, or unarm, or whatever you'd call it. I have made a few posts on this matter, if you'd look back, you'd see my point that I am not on either side, but that the world *perception* is that Israel is coming off as the "bad guys" in this situation because of the way things are going. I don't think I've ever said that Hezbollah is right or that I take their side, because I don't.

My biggest issue in this war is the people - the people of both Israel and Lebanon, who don't want the war and are getting caught in the middle of all the politics. Sure, I don't have an easy solution for the problem, and I doubt there is one. I don't like that Lebanon has been destroyed because their government allows Hezbollah refuge. I don't like that Israelis have been injured because of the irrationality of Palestinian terrorists. And I am obviously uncertain about the viability of UN interference in the matter. I'm not sure there is an easy fix to this problem, and the involvement of the West could catapult the war into an international imbroglio.

Lebanon needs to step up - right now as the ceasefire agreement stands, it is THEIR responsibility to make sure Hezbollah is unarmed and doesn't attack. But Israel has to keep their side of the deal as well. Otherwise, what is the point of UN involvement?

FreeCyprus said...

That's it...Lebanon itself should step up, take responsibility, and maintain peace.

But the Lebanese army has come out and said "we will not disarm Hizbullah" and since about 50% (what are the latest numbers?) of the Lebanese army have said they support Hizbullah (some say ARE Hizbullah?)...this statement was to be expected