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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Tuesday
Sep 22nd
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Analysis arrow Another UN Commander Caters to Terrorists
Another UN Commander Caters to Terrorists PDF Print E-mail
Written by W. Thomas Smith Jr.   
Tuesday, 26 August 2008

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Once again, a foreign military commander leading so-called peacekeeping troops under a United Nations flag in south Lebanon makes a public comment that should surely be condemned as ill-informed, pandering to Hezbollah terrorists, or – should I say it – gutless (not willing to tangle with Hezbollah or simply passing the buck to a higher authority, whoever that may be).

Speaking to a Reuters’ correspondent, Lt. Col. Marc Ollier, commanding officer of UNIFIL’s (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) French contingent, says, “I don’t believe Hezbollah’s weapons figure in Resolution 1701.”

According to Reuters, UN Security Council Resolution 1701 “speaks of keeping armed men and illicit weapons out of the UNIFIL zone.”

Ollier says, “So we monitor that, but disarming an armed militia is not in 1701.”

Perhaps Ollier should take the time to read UNSCR 1701 and the earlier UNSCR 1559, both of which declare that all “militias” in Lebanon are to be disarmed. And 1701 specifically states, “all armed groups in Lebanon” are “required” to disarm, and “there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese State.”

Simply put, Hezbollah should have been disarmed two years ago according to 1701, four years ago if we look at 1559.

Ollier’s comments, this week, come on the heels of another comment by a UN commander, this month, which Lebanon’s pro-democracy majority deems was also catering to terrorists.

On Aug. 15, Italian Army Major General Claudio Graziano, senior commander of UNIFIL, told the Jerusalem Post that “excellent cooperation” existed between UNIFIL forces and Hezbollah militiamen, and “apart from UN troops, Lebanese soldiers and [local] hunters, no one is armed south of the Litani River.”

Those comments caused the Lebanese people living south of the Litani, and countless counterterrorism experts worldwide to ask what kind of Kool-Aid Gen. Graziano was drinking.

As I wrote on Aug. 16:

“Hezbollah’s refusal to disarm is officially based on its argument that it is a “resistance” force, therefore it should maintain its arms. That’s what Hezbollah, its supporters, and apologists say. Those of us who have been deeply involved in the development of analysis on Hezbollah understand the group’s “clinging to its guns” actually stems from more sinister motives.”

We must also remember, Hezbollah and it allies launched a deadly series of armed-attacks against the Lebanese government and citizenry in May after the government made decisions that didn’t please Hezbollah. In the end, Lebanon’s government caved and Hezbollah was granted all sorts of concessions; including veto power on Lebanese government decisions (meaning Iran and Syria, Hezbollah’s big-money benefactors, now have covert veto power in Lebanon). As if that wasn’t enough, Hezbollah has now “wormed its way” into Lebanon’s Defense Ministry as a sort of “official” element of the legitimate Lebanese armed forces.

In the wake of Graziano’s comments, Tom Harb, secretary general of The International Lebanese Committee for UN Security Council Resolution 1559, sent a letter to the Italian mission at the UN, all UN Security Council members, and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a portion of which reads:

“Graziano says, ‘Hezbollah is one of the parties that agree with 1701 and support 1701.’ This is factually untrue as evidenced by Hezbollah’s armed offensive – with impunity –against the Lebanese government and citizenry in May.
 
“Graziano adds, ‘UNIFIL has no commitment to the disarmament of Hezbollah … We are a peacekeeping force, not peace enforcement.’ This is contradictory to say the least, and proof that UNIFIL is a hollow force in Lebanon.”

According to sources, Lebanese Army Intelligence in the south is not only coordinating with UNIFIL, but sharing intelligence with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

“Hezbollah is also terrorizing Lebanese civilians in south Lebanon often within eyesight and earshot of UNIFIL troops, and UNIFIL never initiates any investigation whatsoever,” says Harb. “For instance, when Hezbollah attacked across the country in May 2008, the organization’s fighters ransacked the offices of the mufti of Tyre and Jabal Amel. UNIFIL did absolutely nothing to either prevent this act or investigate it after the fact.”

So are UNIFIL commanders and troops really as incompetent – perhaps impotent – as evidenced by their words and deeds (or lack thereof)? Let’s not forget the infamous photograph of UNIFIL troops saluting the remains of returning terrorists during the recent “swap” between Israel and Hezbollah.

 

Visit W. Thomas Smith Jr. online at uswriter.com.

 

NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and do not represent the opinions of World Defense Review and its affiliates. WDR accepts no responsibility whatsoever for the accuracy or inaccuracy of the content of this or any other story published on this website. Copyright and all rights for this story (and all other stories by the author) are held by the author.



 
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