20060825

White blogule to UNIFIL v 2.0 - Touche, Mr Bolton

As expected, France will contribute with about 2,000 soldiers to the new UNIFIL. The Quai d'Orsay managed to get what it wanted : a stronger force, a stronger UN, a stronger Europe and above all (let's hope) a stronger Lebanon. Not a remake of the 1995 fiasco in Bosnia. Not the dirty quick fix the US diplomacy dreamt of.
Bush dared criticize France for doing nothing but there is a big difference between doing nothing during the bombing of Lebanon (follow my stare) and putting a positive pressure on peacemakers during the ceasefire. I tend to believe the second option to be more efficient for a durable peace in the region. Besides, I prefer the French position (send 200 troops first, add 2,000 once the conditions are confirmed) to the Italian (promise 3,000 troops first, send 2,000 once the frame is set).
As expected, some Israelis are starting to wonder what went wrong. Many do ask the right questions : did we have to wage this war in the first place ? why did we use forbidden US weapons against civilians ? can we trust our leaders ? what's wrong with our country at the national and the international level ?... Unfortunately, others speak louder with the wrong answers : victory was at hand but politicians failed the military and didn't go all the way, Israel needs a tougher regime.

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