Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lebanon crisis: Breakthrough in talks over cease-fire?

Haaretz reports that the parties involved in diplomatic negotiations for a UN-brokered cease-fire resolution aimed at ending the fighting in Lebanon made a breakthrough Thursday, raising hopes that a truce deal would pave the way for the stationing of international troops in Lebanon as part of a package that would end the month-long confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah.

Hararetz also quotes a Lebanese senior political source as saying "The breakthrough is based on the inclusion in the call for a cessation of hostilities for a progressive Israeli withdrawal from Lebanese territory to go simultaneously with the deployment of the Lebanese army backed by reinforced UN peacekeepers."

The source also said the peacekeepers would mainly be reinforced by French soldiers. As part of the deal, Hezbollah would pull out from south of the Litani river. After 30 days, there would be a more comprehensive resolution that declares a ceasefire and sets out solutions for the release of captive IDF soldiers, the release of Lebanese prisoners and the disarming of Hezbollah.

I belive this is great news for all those who would not only like to see this war end as soon as possible, but also for all those who want to see Hezbollah and its leader, finally dealt with. It doesn't matter if Aljazeera and other Arab media will hail Hezbollah as the tiumphant side of this disasterous battle. The reality of the matter is that, as Tom Friedman states in his wonderful book, From Beirut to Jerusalem, prime time can't substitute for reality and the reality is that when the war is over, Hassan Nasrallah will no longer be a player in the Lebanese politics after what he did to his own country and the poor people of Lebanon. What's more, Iran will no longer be able to threaten to unleash Hezbollah in response to the international pressure to stop its nuclear program.