Memories… Hezbollah is making mischief in Lebanon, and the U.N. is making excuses. Where have I heard all this before? As usual, being utterly unqualified to comment on stuff like this doesn’t stop the thinklets from coming:
No worries. Despite U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ statement that “Hezbollah has more weapons than most countries” and western intelligence reports that Syria is smuggling Scuds into Lebanon in pieces, the United Nations forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) have put the matter to rest:
Responding to Israeli accusations that Syria was smuggling Scud missiles and other weapons to Hezbollah, a UNIFIL official said on Wednesday that his force had found no evidence of any such armaments in southern Lebanon.
“We have no evidence of any Scud missiles in UNIFIL’s area of operations” in southern Lebanon, the daily An-Nahar newspaper quoted Major General Alberto Asarta Cuevas as saying.
“These missiles are large and difficult to hide,” he said.
Of course we know that Israel-hating Hezbollah, which has entwined itself throughout the innards of Lebanon like some mutant terrorist tapeworm, managed to sneak sophisticated weaponry into southern Lebanon right under UNIFIL’s clueless noses prior to the 2006 war. That was right around the time that the blue helmets – supposedly there to enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559’s requirement that Hezbollah leave Lebanon – yawned while Hezbollah hoisted their flag in plain view and conducted kidnapping raids, Katyusha terror, and other anti-Israel aggression with impunity.
Interestingly, former Clinton advisor, David Scheffer, implied cowardice was behind UNIFIL’s failure to detect the arms buildup. During an appearance on The Factor during the 2006 war, Scheffer excused UNIFIL because the rockets were stockpiled where Hezbollah didn’t “permit” them to go. Tidbits like that, coupled with reports of Hezbollah routing Blue Helmets by pelting them with rocks, don’t inspire confidence.
Here is video of Scheffer’s comments, along with a predictably heated but amusing O’Reilly remark regarding U.N. impotence and Viagra.
Okay, we can all agree that UNIFIL isn’t going to be replacing the Green Berets anytime soon. In fact, Michael Rubin at the Corner believes that UNIFIL’s incompetence makes them a “human shield” for Hezbollah while sending the message that “they can rearm without consequence.”
The rearming of Hezbollah — to the point that, as Secretary Gates points out, they now have more missiles than most countries — highlights the utter failure of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. What was a force of slightly less than 2,000 men, before the 2006 war, ballooned in the aftermath of the end of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 ending that war into more than 11,000 troops — the budget for which, this year, is more than $500 million. Rather than maintain peace or prevent Hezbollah’s rearmament, UNIFIL has become, in effect, the world’s most expensive summer camp.
Whether it was cowardice, incompetence, or honest-to-goodness support and cover for Hezbollah’s objectives, none of this should inspire trust in UNIFIL’s assurances about the current arms build-up.
And one doesn’t even need to look that far. How can a body that gives Iran a seat at the Commission on the Status of Women, expect any degree of credibility?