Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, July 17, 2006

France Lambasted On Israel, Lebanon

Gerald M. Steinberg has particulalry harsh words for France in a column in today's WSJ. First the history:
The French foreign and defense ministers pressed Israel [in early 2000] to return its military forces to the international border. In detailed talks that took place at the French ambassador's residence in Jaffa, in which I participated as an academic consultant, the Europeans assured us that once Israel retreated, Hezbollah would lose its raison d'ĂȘtre as a "militia" and transform itself into a political party. France and its partners would send peacekeepers to prevent terror and missile attacks against Israel, help the Lebanese army take control of the border, and disarm Hezbollah. In May that year, the Israeli military left Lebanon. The United Nations certified that the withdrawal was complete.

But Europe did nothing.
As Hezbollah became more and more embolded, thanks to armaments, funds and training from Iran, France continued to play with its beret on the sidelines. Now that Israel finally could take no more rocket attacks, no more troop-killing incursions, the French have finally reacted:
"For several hours, there has been a bombardment of an airport of an entirely sovereign country, a friend of France... this is a disproportionate act of war," French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said. It may have escaped the minister that the initial act of war originated from Lebanon and that the target of this unprovoked aggression is supposedly also a "sovereign country" and "friend of France."
Which makes one wonder why John Kerry and the Dems are so intent on being friends with Europe. What, exactly, is promised in return? How good are the promises?

Steinberg hopes the EU and France will actually help the situation by conditioning their aid to Lebanon: If a franc goes to Hezbollah, it's all over. In proposing such a clear-headed solution, Steinberg is probably already sighing with the knowledge that even if France and its EU partners were to make such a commitment, they're not likely to keep it.

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