OP8 and the Future

""OP8. Calls for Israel and Lebanon to support a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution based on the following principles and elements:

— full respect for the Blue Line by both parties;
— security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities, including the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani river of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11, deployed in this area;
— full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state;
— no foreign forces in Lebanon without the consent of its government;
— no sales or supply of arms and related materiel to Lebanon except as authorized by its government;
— provision to the United Nations of all remaining maps of land mines in Lebanon in Israel’s possession.  UN Resolution 1701


Lebanon2000_opt 1- "Between the Blue Line and the Litani River."  The Litani closely approaches the panhandle of Israel in the area of Metulla.  The river then extends north away from Israel.  What are the boundaries of the "buffer zone" in that area since the language of the resolution does not describe them?

2- Since Hizbullah is a legal political party in Lebanon with representation in parliament and ministers in the government, what is to prevent the integration of Hizbullah forces into the Lebanese government security forces?  If that occurs then the provisions of OP8 will be fulfilled with regard to the exclusivity of the possession of armed forces by the Lebanese government.

3- In the event of the integration of Hizbullah forces into those of Lebanon, then re-supply of those forces from outside Lebanon will not violate the relevant portion of OP8.

It should be remembered that Hizbullah and its Shia political ally "Amal" control a bloc of seats in the Lebanese parliament amounting to 35 seats out of 128.  Democracy in action.

Pat Lang


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15 Responses to OP8 and the Future

  1. Piotr Chmielarz says:

    in my opinion this resolution is nothing other than repeating of Munich not in Europe but on Middle East. This resolution told that no foreign army can be on territory of Lebanon. What forces can force israeli army to withdraw. This resolution told that Hezbollah can’t repeat fire and allow Israeli army on defence but what creators of this resolution mean by defence in my opinion this give permision israeli army on continuation of offensive. In this resolution is written that only lebanon army can be on south. What can be told about this army now? this army does’nt defend country not only in 1982 but they aren’t defending it now. This army is good enough for military parade but not to fight. There is only one true army in Lebanon now Hezbollah. In my opinion Israeli can easy have their north border on river Litanii if they weren’t forced to withdraw from south Lebanon by Hezbollah. In my opinion this resolution gives israel permision for annexation territory of south Lebanon to river Litanii nad further annexion of Lebanon territory. 1982 Hezbollah
    2006 ?

  2. blowback says:

    Full respect for the Blue Line by both parties – there go all of Israel’s overflights of Lebanon, one of Hezbollah’s demands.
    No foreign forces in Lebanon – does this mean that the White House hasn’t realized that Hezbollah is an indigenous resistance movement? Does Bush understand what indigenous means?
    Dan Halutz has announced that he is going to ignore the ceasefire anyway.
    Mr Halutz told Sky News the army will obey the ceasefire only once it is implemented and will continue to operate until Israel achieves its aims.
    So how can the ceasefire be implemented if the Israeli army is going to obey it only once it is implemented? Are they expecting Hezbollah to stop fighting so that the IDF can destroy them?

  3. jamzo says:

    listened to you on NPR news piece at 8:00 am this morning
    it was a disconcerting experience -you and newt gingrich in the same context
    newt calling for regime change in iran followed by your realistic assessment of US and Israeli military options

  4. zanzibar says:

    I guess if HA and Lebanese army are interchangeable then then this cease-fire arrangement would make sense from a HA perspective. What I don’t get is since both IDF and HA are belligerents and HA has pretty much held the IDF to the starting line why did they not push to have an equivalence in the agreement? For example have UNIFIL monitors on both sides of the border in a demilitarized zone with no IAF overflights. Is HA giving up with this deal all the positions and construction details of all their bunkers and tunnels and fortifications that they have used so effectively?
    Now, what’s up with this last push by the IDF? Does Olmert need to have a few IDF soldiers plant the Israeli flag on the bank of the Litani as a photo-op to remain in power?
    Curious how folks here feel this will play out on two levels a) the Shia crescent b) Cheney/Bush neo-cons’ “GWOT” and ME domination.

  5. Ferdinand says:

    If this ceasefire does play out as planned, I’m curious about the UNIFIL force. Secretary Rice says it will be extremely “robust,” will be enabled to defend itself, etc. I wonder what level of engagement will be displayed by this new UN force. “Peacekeepers” (simply maintaining order inside the buffer zone)? Or will it undertake combat operations and try to apprehend/kill suspected Hizbullah? I can’t imagine that Israel could be satisfied with anything less than that. Which strikes me as a departure from how UN troops have traditionally acted. Is the UN to fight Israel’s own war of attrition for them?

  6. W. Patrick Lang says:

    I think you have to think about the Israeli options now that their troops are on the Litani.
    Are they going to cooperate with a possible HA attemot to withdraw its armed force north of the Litani? It would be most uncharacteristic of them to do so. they have a record of ignoring the niceties, i.e., neutrality, cease fires, et.
    Would they allow the UN force to escort these enemies to north of the river under UN protection? It would be interesting to see.
    Will HA prefer to continue to fight the Israelis south of the river? Maybe. pl

  7. Montag says:

    Israeli troops on the Litani River are as mirage-like as the German troops in Stalingrad who briefly reached the Volga River–only to see futility on the other side.
    Newt Gingrich has a wealth of experience–at claiming a wealth of experience.

  8. Mo says:

    I think the real fly in the ointment of this ceasefire is that HA will not stop attacks while the Israelis are on Lebanese soil. The ceasefire will be called Monday, but I’m guessing HA will ignore it. The rocket attacks on Israel may stop but HA will claim Israels continued occupation as offensive while the IDF will claim it to be defensive.
    In regards to being at the Litani, I beleive they had to airlift soldiers in order to make that claim. Current reports suggest fighting is still going on around Taibe and Marjayoun(yet another of those villages they had already “taken”).
    I dont know if US media are showing an IDF clip of their soldiers in action in the “Lebanese village of Ghandourieh”, but I have seen such a clip today, except there is a buiding in the clip that clearly has a Hebrew sign above it.
    Is the NPR news piece jamzo referred to available on the web?

  9. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Light troops in airheads on the river line are vulnerable until reached by ground columns. pl

  10. Abu Sinan says:

    All this resolution does is guarantee round two in years or decades to come.
    Bush and Rice kept on talking about laying the grounf work for a real and lasting peace by address the root causes of the violence.
    By this they meant disarming Hizb’Allah, ignoring the history that Hizb’Allah was simply just an out growth of Israeli actions.
    There will be violence in the future if the Palestinian issue isnt dealt with, as well as the small area of disputed Lebanese have occupied since their previous withdrawl and the occupation of Syrian land.
    THESE are the root issues, not Hizb’Allah arms.

  11. Mo says:

    blowback, so close and they still required airlifting in. As the Colonel points out and the helicopter taken out tonight testifies, this is a risky move just so Olmert can say he got to the Litani. I can think of little worse than a politician who risks his troops lives for such a limited political gain.

  12. jamzo says:

    mo asked if npr report with Newt and PL was online
    here is the link

  13. blowback says:

    John Bolton, in an interview with the caterwauling Pammy of Atlas Shrugs, strongly suggests that the resolution provides cover for the Israelis to continue attacking Hezb’allah. He starts by implying that the war is not going as expected in southern Lebanon. He then goes on to say that the resolution calls on Israel to stop offensive activity but qualifies that with “Israel is acting in legitimate self-defense”. He further states that Hezb’allah is a terrorist organization and that “terrorist organizations cannot condust legitimate military operations”.
    Health warning: Listening to Pammy can damage your sanity.

  14. searp says:

    Seems to me that the underlying problem for the Israelis is that they simply cannot mortally wound HA.
    (1) HA is supported by millions of potential military recruits
    (2) HA has legitimized itself in the Lebanese political sphere
    (3) HA has external support that guarantees money and weapons. Sure, it can be made harder, but it cannot be completely cut off.
    I do not believe HA can be militarily defeated. Israel (and the US) will have to completely re-think our ME policies.

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