Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Grading the Global Test on a French Curve

When I wrote, at the conclusion of the Hizbollah War, that Israel had hammered Hizbollah but halted their attack in favor of counting on the UN to deliver ultimate victory by clearing southern Lebanon of terrorists, I was skeptical that this approach could succeed.

I didn't know the half of it:

Two weeks ago French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie called the IAF's overflights of Lebanese airspace "extremely dangerous," and threatened that France's forces in Lebanon were liable to fire on the IAF flights "because they may be felt as hostile by forces of the coalition." By word and deed, UNIFIL forces are making clear that they view the IDF, not Hizbullah as their enemy. As they increase their provocations against Israel, UNIFIL forces turn a blind eye to weapons being smuggled daily to Hizbullah from Syria. Were Israel to attempt to take action against Hizbullah or Syria to prevent them from attacking in anticipation of an Israeli strike on Iran, there can be little doubt how UNIFIL would respond.

I thought I was being cynical to assume that the UN would merely be ineffective in protecting Israel. In retrospect, I don't understand how I could have failed to foresee that the UN would actually work against Israel and protect the terrorists.

I guess I was still giddy from passing that international test and seeing a few French engineers paddle ashore in Lebanon with the tricolors flying.

As I said, Israel will apply the lessons learned this summer in the next round.