Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Second Lebanon War - an Update

The Jerusalem Post's latest Lebanon headline is "Soldiers can open fire if threatened." Hmmm, okay, define "threatened." Let's look at my earlier coverage here:
Given the way the "Second Lebanon War" was "fought" (read: terrorist action, not a war at all), I don't really see how we're supposed to redefine Rules of Engagement (see earlier discussion on ROE) when none have been set to date. According to the Post:
"There are new procedures for opening fire, and if there are demonstrations that endanger soldiers, they can shoot at the feet of the main inciter," [a high-ranking IDF] officer said. "If there are circumstances that endanger soldiers, then they can open fire to remove the risk."

"First we call UNIFIL and they notify the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF)," he said. "The use of fire is a last resort." The officer said that the IDF did not expect UNIFIL to open fire at Hizbullah operatives even if they were on their way to perpetrate attacks against Israel. "We see them as a motivator for LAF," the officer said. "But we don't expect them to storm and engage Hizbullah."

No kidding! The UNIFIL folks are gonna stand around and cheer Hezbollah on! Wake up. As to the IDF flyovers that allegedly are in violation of the mythical ROE in Lebanon:
The IDF officer said the IDF would continue flying over Lebanon until the kidnapped soldiers - Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser - were returned to Israel and the military felt that Syria was not smuggling weapons into Lebanon for Hizbullah.

The last little bit of this--until the military feels Syria is not smuggling weapons into Lebanon for Hezbollah--is pure weasel wording. That's been going on for decades and is a loophole to continue air defense if I ever saw one. Now, I'm not saying Israel shouldn't continue air defense of its northern border, since it's still occupied by an enemy Terrorist State, but at least admit that's what you're doing.


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