The August Cease fire called between Israel and Hezbollah (and honestly Iranian) forces is troubling for many reasons. Obviously, to prevent the loss of life (especially civilian) is a positive thing; however, in this case it appears to be more of a delaying tactic. This conflict has been brewing for decades and will not end because of a brief treaty that the United States helped orchestrate. Unfortunately, we have led ourselves and our allies in the Middle East into a perceptually peaceful state of appeasement, one that will be responded to with increased aggression and ghastly consequences. Let me explain why I feel that way.
The primary issue I have with the cease fire is that it was signed by ineligible parties. Israel representing a real interest has signed or agreed to on one side, but who is the other interested party? Hezbollah is not a recognized state and therefore cannot come to agreement on peace terms. Lebanon supposedly does not endorse Hezbollah (although, in their Democratic environment they have 12 Hezbollah leaders in their cabinet) nor recognize their group as an independent state. In addition, they do not â€śapproveâ€ť of the actions of Hezbollah. So who can sign the cease fire (legally) as an opponent of Israel? This would be like allowing non-gang member citizens of South Los Angeles to sign a truce between the gangs and the police.
While Hezbollah may claim to respect the cease fire, it is only an opportunity to claim victory and refresh their soldiers.
Who is Hezbollah exactly?
The history of Hezbollah begins with the 1982 occupation of Beirut and southern Lebanon by Israel. Israel had moved into Lebanon in an effort to control terrorists from the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) who had settled there and were carrying out attacks on Israel. In response Shiâ€™ite Muslims with the assistance of Iranian Revolutionary Guards formed Hezbollah to combat the Israeli presence, and ultimately to assist the Palestinians in their fight for statehood.
Since being recognized as a â€śpolitical group,â€ť it has been implicated in terrorist actions targeting Americans, Jews and Israelis around the world. The largest and most damaging of which were;
* July 18, 1994: Suicide bombing of AMIA Jewish Center in Argentina: 87 killed, 300 injured.
* March 17, 1992: Suicide bombing of Israeli Embassy in Argentina: 29 killed, over 250 injured.
* October 23, 1983: Suicide bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut: 241 marines killed.
Hezbollah was founded by Ali Akbar Motashemi and their structure is that of a Militant Islamic Fundamentalism organization. Their goals are the complete destruction of Israel as well as the establishment of an Islamic state in Lebanon and expansion over Israel. Also, keep in mind that the group was formed by the Iranians under the guidance of the Ayatollah Khomeini (the most powerful terrorist in the world). The same man who overthrew the reasonably led government of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran. Of course, Jimmy Carter allowed that to happen.
Their biggest claim to fame is that they pioneered the use of suicide bombings in the Mideast that have maimed or killed hundreds of innocent civilians. Plus they conduct some great paramilitary operations against civilian and military targets. Just a group of good people.
The United States is not too fond of Hezbollah either. Prior to September 11, we held Hezbollah responsible for more deaths of Americans than any other terrorist organization. In December of 2004, the United States designated HezbollahĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s satellite TV station, Al Manar, a terrorist ran station and placed it on our Terrorism Exclusion List.
Prior to that, Hezbollah was responsible for killing American Charles Hegna during a 1984 Hijacking of a Kuwaiti Airlines Flight. They have also claimed responsibility for the detonation of a tanker truck filled with explosives outside of the Khobar Towers complex in Dahrahn, Saudi Arabia on June 25, 1996. Over 19 American serviceman were killed and 370 American and Saudi citizens were severly injured. This is in addition to the major attacks I listed above.
They are not only active in Israel and the Middle East. Hezbollah is believed to be in our backyard. The FBI believes that they maintain a network of Sleeper Cells in the United States and in September 2003, U.S Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage testified before Congress that they were able to coordinate attacks on the same level as Al Qaeda. That same year, the FBI uncovered a cell in Charlotte, NC that was raising funds to purchase night-vision goggles, GPS systems, stun guns, naval equipment, nitrogen cutters and laser range finders. Make no mistake, these people are terrorists.
It was their actions that led to this conflict in the first place. On July 12, Hezbollah guerrillas captured two Israeli soldiers in a raid into northern Israel. They started this war, but it wasnâ€™t the first time.
In addition, to my lack of understanding as to who this peace settlement is between, I have my doubts as to how long it can possibly last. Hezbollah has already broken the cease fire by fire rockets and attacking Israeli Defense Forces, after the proclaimed cease. They are motivating their people by celebrating the defeat of Israel. In fact, in Iran, thousands have came out into the streets victoriously shouting victory as you can see here.
This stall in fighting will only embolden the extreme Islamic fundamentalists to take further actions. They consider Israel and the U.S as downtrodden and defeatable. We can expect a new series of attacks on Israeli forces and civilians as well as renewed attacks on U.S and other Western interests.
Unfortunately, the U.S helped broker this deal. Personally, I think it was the worst thing for us to do. We should have allowed Israel to continue purging the scum of Hezbollah from Lebanon. Instead, we have made them stronger and as a result, the Western World will pay for it.
Of course we can always look at the success of the other peace agreements;
* Paris Peace Conference, 1919
* Faisal-Weizmann Agreement (1919)
* 1949 Armistice Agreements
* Camp David Accords (1978)
* Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty (1979)
* Madrid Conference of 1991
* Oslo Accords (1993)
* Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace (1994)
* Camp David 2000 Summit
* Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
* Projects working for peace among Israelis and Arabs
* List of Middle East peace proposals
* International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict
They have seemed to work. At least for a few minutes.
I was hoping to write more, but I am out of time. Please feel free to share your thoughts.
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