Here is the current UNIFIL document from the UN.
Note its stated activities to ensure the previous ceasefire:
Maintaining the ceasefire through patrols, observation from fixed positions and close contact with the parties;And why did such information passage not include that Hezbollah was rearming along the border? Often at places very close to UN posts?
(BIG H/t to Michelle Malkin)Jed Babbin explains: "The U.N.'s years-long record on the Israel-Lebanon border makes mockery of the term "peacekeeping." On page 155 of my book, "Inside the Asylum," is a picture of a U.N. outpost on that border. The U.N. flag and the Hezbollah flag fly side by side. Observers told me the U.N. and Hezbollah personnel share water and telephones, and that the U.N. presence serves as a shield against Israeli strikes against the terrorists."This was reported, wasn't it? Before the UNSC? Multiple times? Repeatedly showing that Hezbollah was sighting its bases of operation close enough to UN compounds that even a deific thunderbolt would of, necessity, cause any UN troops to have terminal static cling... All of that was reported and large newsgatherings brought forth at Turtle Bay so as to vehemently expose Hezbollah's activity in placing UN personnel at risk was done, wasn't it?
And what about this editorial from the Washington Times (18 JUL 2006):
In June 1982, UNIFIL failed to stop Palestinian terrorist groups from attacking Israel and forced an occupation of much of Lebanon, leading to the destruction of the Palestinian terrorist bases there. With substantial Syrian and Iranian complicity, Hezbollah supplanted the PLO as the dominant terrorist organization in Lebanon. In 1985, Israel withdrew from Lebanese territory but for a small security zone on Lebanon's southern border, required to prevent attacks on Israel. Over the next 15 years, UNIFIL was mostly worthless, unable to stop Hezbollah attacks but remarkably successful in getting in the way of Israelis defending themselves. Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, describes how this worked: "Hezbollah would launch military attacks 50 meters from a UNIFIL outpost, Israel would shoot back and UNIFIL would protest against the Israeli response."Was the UN there *just to observe* or to 'keep close contact with both parties' on what they observed? And then the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation lights into the UN with this wonderful observation on UNIFIL (24 JUL 2006):
When Israel withdrew from the security zone in May 2000, UNIFIL was worthless again, as Hezbollah rushed to the border to establish a terrorist presence the U.N. forces could only observe. On Oct. 7, 2000, Hezbollah operatives used cars disguised as U.N. vehicles to kidnap and kill three Israeli soldiers. When Israel asked UNIFIL for a videotape of the cars that Hezbollah used in the kidnapping, U.N. officials lied, telling them that no such tape existed. UNIFIL failed to prevent last week's Hezbollah raid, in which two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped and eight others died. That set off the current mess.
But observer or not, UNIFIL has hardly been one of the more effective UN peacekeeping forces. It has lost soldiers and posts to cross-border fire, at least two of its civilian workers have been arrested by warring parties and held effectively as hostages, and in 2001 Hezbollah threatened to attack UNIFIL for spying because it was filming the aftermath of a bloody raid.The only thing worse than criticism from the CBC would be getting it from the Communists.
Israel has not been particularly enamored of UNIFIL either. According to the newspaper Haaretz, Israel complained to the UN and others last year that UNIFIL allows Hezbollah to build its own military outposts too close to the UN ones and that its very presence serves as an excuse for the Lebanese government to take no action against Hezbollah. It says that UNIFIL makes no distinction between the Israeli army and Hezbollah when reporting violations of the ceasefire.
The biggest criticism, of course, is that despite having about 5,800 soldiers at its disposal during its peak, UNIFIL was unable to prevent the Israelis from re-invading Lebanon in 1982, or Hezbollah from its steady build-up in recent years.
Another big problem is that it seems to be detested by ordinary Lebanese. When the aerial bombardment started almost two weeks ago, villagers in the south made their way to a UNIFIL post seeking shelter but were turned away. A group was killed as a result and angry relatives subsequently pelted UNIFIL peacekeepers with stones, a local story that was given wide play in the region.
Now, would you like to know a real fun thing? UNIFIL reported an incident by Hezbollah to cross the Blue Line and take Israelis prisoner so as to negotiate the release of 19 Lebanese prisoners! Do you know WHEN that was reported? 20 OCT 2000 in the report S/2000/1049 paragraph 6:
6. Hezbollah has stated that its operation had been planned for some time to take prisoners and thus obtain the release of 19 Lebanese prisoners still held by Israel. The Secretary-General, who had been pursuing the question of these prisoners with the Israeli authorities, remains ready to work with the Governments of Israel and Lebanon with a view to resolving the matter.Worked real well, didn't it? And then in paragraph 10 they report that the Lebanese had left Hezbollah to basically run Southern Lebanon and Hezbollah has restricted the movement of UNIFIL! Note the call at the end of the document to uphold the UN's duty to the cease fire agreement and that it really *should* be done.
So lets check out what happened in the next few months with the 22 JAN 2001 report S/2001/166... on 28 DEC 2000 a group of Lebanese throwing firecrackers and waving toy pistols along with throwing rocks at Israeli Defense Forces came under fire. Can anyone tell the difference between a *toy* pistol and a *real* pistol at, say, 200'? How about 300'? I have seen some damn realistic *toy* pistols out there...
Then comes the 16 and 16 NOV 2000 Hezbollah roadside bomb attacks against the IDF. Such *wonderful* observing of the Blue Line! And then a mortar attack from Hezbollah on 3 JAN 2001... and the IAF has been responding to these things... as is its RIGHT to do so. They are not 'violating Lebanese airspace' they ARE responding to aggressive attacks and using all legal and lawful means to end them within the bounds of the cease fire. Note the verbiage to have the UN uphold its part of the cease fire. Oh, and they are understaffed by about half.
On to the 30 APR 2001 document S/2001/423:
4. Serious breaches occurred relating to the Shab'a farms dispute. On 16"...potential to further exacerbate tension"? Really?
February, Hizballah killed one Israeli soldier and wounded two others by means of a
bomb placed in the Shab'a farms area, on the Israeli side of the Blue Line. The
Israeli forces retaliated with heavy mortar and artillery fire into the vicinity of Kafr
Shuba. On 14 April, Hizballah struck an Israeli tank with a missile approximately
three kilometres from the Blue Line on the Israeli side, killing one Israeli soldier
and wounding three others. The Israeli forces initially responded with heavy
artillery fire into Lebanon, and on 16 April they carried out an air attack against a
Syrian radar position about 45 kilometres east of Beirut. The Syrian authorities
reported one soldier killed and four wounded. These incidents are a matter of serious concern as they have the potential to further exacerbate tension.
All of these UN reports are filled with this litany: Hezbollah provokes illegally, Israel responds legally. Palestinians demonstrate violently or try to get across the Blue Line illegally, Israel rightfully responds. Demonstrators use threatening activity and stage provocations and Israel does its best to ensure things are done in the RIGHT WAY and to defend themselves from threats. Again and again, each quarterly report has this sort of thing going on... and then the NEXT report has 'Israel's violating Lebanese airspace' and often forget to put in 'in response to previous Hezbollah attacks'. And continuous interference of the UNIFIL observations by Hezbollah stopping them. Over and over and over and over. And all of these are reported as VIOLATIONS of the cease fire agreement. And the Lebanese excuse? They don't want to put their army along the border until there is a PEACE AGREEMENT! Yes, they do NOT want to patrol and enforce their own borders!
And in all of that I am having problems finding references to: Hezbollah mobile rocket launchers, Hezbollah putting arms and military equipment in and around civilian areas and homes, Hezbollah building right *next* to UNIFIL compounds... Just what, pray tell, were these folks observing? The fine weather of that part of the world? Those wonderfushepherdsds with their flocks that wander back and forth across the border seems to be a constant background worry... I am sure that sheep-bombs will be next, mark my words! They did clear minefields here and there... and observed some reconstruction. But only what Hezbollah *wanted* them to see. Read the reports yourself and in chronological order... a very revealing picture is painted by them in their dullness and ordinariness.
This brings me to Jan Egeland and his conception of having to rebuild Lebanon, which I questioned the veracity of his statement timeline and offered this little critique after Mr. Egeland went through the bombed out HQ of Hezbollah in a part of Beirut which was reported as I stated:
...oh, also note that he is asking for $0.00 for rebuilding Israel. Such a fair and nice minded guy to REWARD the antagonists in this. And that IS the Hezbollah 'heartland' and it is a SLUM.Not only reward the antagonists, but probably give the folks in the slum better dwellings and still not a single, solitary mention by any UN Official, anywhere, of reparations to ISRAEL from having suffered ILLEGAL attacks for YEARS before this or having its civilian population targeted by barbaric terrorists.
By not doing anything to ensure the cease fire was being held to and, in fact, not being able to report on the activities of terrorists, and then not reporting that the terrorists were building in and around UN outposts, the UN has tacitly supported, aided and abetted Hezbollah. A known terrorist organization or an illegally armed wing of a political party if you want the Lebanese take on it. In either case they were doing things that they should not have been doing and were *not* being stopped by anyone. In point of fact the UN, by tacitly not reporting on the activities of Hezbollah building near them was actively supporting those activities and willingly taking part as a shield against Israeli counter-attacks. In this doing the UN has become a partisan member of this conflict.
The UN should not only be held accountable for those actions and prosecuted for them, but should pay reparations to the Lebanese Government and the Israeli Government for the taking of sides and abdicating their sworn duty to report on the military activities, including build-up, of non-legitimate militias and terrorists.
No money *just* for Lebanon.
Both Israel and Lebanon should be repaid by the UN for the damage done by Hezbollah as they gave aid and comfort to the enemy in their support of them.