July 29, 2006


Hezbollah Politicians Back Peace Package (SAM F. GHATTAS, 7/28/06, AP)

Hezbollah politicians, while expressing reservations, have joined their critics in the government in agreeing to a peace package that includes strengthening an international force in south Lebanon and disarming the guerrillas, the government said.

The agreement - reached after a heated six-hour Cabinet meeting - was the first time that Hezbollah has signed onto a proposal for ending the crisis that includes the deploying of international forces.

Once they're running a government in Lebanon we'll supply them with weapons and training.

Shiite Pilgrimage Leads to Church: On Perilous Border, Lebanese Christians Take In Muslims (Anthony Shadid, 7/29/06, Washington Post)

The word went out -- there was refuge in a Christian village -- and thousands came.

In a pilgrimage of fear, Shiite Muslims from the towns most ravaged along the Lebanese border fled for Rmeish, a hilltop hamlet along a road where Israeli shells fell, at times, every 15 seconds Friday. Here, they escaped to a church, and at the church, a basement lit by soft shafts of sunlight. In it were the wretched of this war: children with dirty feet and a pregnant woman who feared giving birth in squalor, an 85-year-old man whose donkey, his sole possession, was killed by a bomb and hundreds of others among the at least 10,000 who arrived in Rmeish, some drinking from a fetid pool and walking the streets in search of food and goodwill.

"The safety of God," said Heidar Issa, one of those here. "That's what we were counting on."

In a country fractured by faith, torn asunder by 15 years of civil war, they found refuge among the Lebanese Christians they once fought. Their politics often diverged -- over support for Hezbollah, their views of today's conflict -- but they shared a plight. And in a common misery wrought by war, less than a mile from the Israeli border, there was fleeting coexistence rather than talk of strife.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 29, 2006 8:13 AM

And take their Christians.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 29, 2006 9:26 AM

While all sides seemed to be looking for a way to stop the fighting, details of plans taking shape on all sides were still fuzzy. And it was not at all certain Hezbollah would really follow through on the Lebanese government plan that would effectively abolish the militants' military wing.

It's a hudna. Hezbollah's been pounded and needs time to regroup.

"It is very hard to understand how you have a ceasefire with a terrorist organization like Hezbollah.. I am not sure that conventional thinking about a ceasefire makes any sense when you are dealing with a terrorist group."
- US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton.

Posted by: Gideon at July 29, 2006 9:26 AM

Looks like John "gets it."

Posted by: erp at July 29, 2006 9:30 AM

Yes, to get a meaningful agreement you have to treat them like the state they are in reality, not terrorists.

Posted by: oj at July 29, 2006 9:36 AM

A political party that openly claims both the political and a military wing earns the right to be questioned about which side actually directs policy.

If Hezbollah's political representatives want to be taken seriously as politicans you can work with and not simply mouthpieces designed to put a smiley face on the excesses of the military wing, they need to make a lot better effort in working with Lebanon's other factions in restoring the country's independence, instead of verbally attacking Israel and then demanding a cease-fire after the military poobah runs to hide under a bed in the Iranian embassy until somebody makes the mean old IDF go away.

Posted by: John at July 29, 2006 11:48 AM

Tell it to Washington and Adams.

Posted by: oj at July 29, 2006 12:01 PM

What army did Adams, Mason, Madison, Franklin or Jefferson command? Other than King George of Virginia, which other political leader headed an army? I'm serious, I can't think of any, and seem to remember Arnold defected because the politicans "dissed" him and his military victories.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 29, 2006 12:50 PM


Exactly. We had a political wing and a military wing.

Posted by: oj at July 29, 2006 8:42 PM

In our case, each wing knew when and where it was in charge. Whether that is the case with Hezbollah remains to be seen.

Posted by: mf at July 29, 2006 8:54 PM

And one fought with terror tactics while the other held itself out as a normal political entity. We taught well.

Posted by: oj at July 29, 2006 8:58 PM

While you'll always be my favorite blogger, you and & I truly part ways on the Shi'ite political reformation.
Hizbollah, Hamas, Iran, they are all insane and have no hope of ever bringing forth any sort of Western Liberal government!

Posted by: Mike Daley at July 29, 2006 11:13 PM

Iran already has a Western illiberal democracy. It'll liberalize in short order--far quicker than the West evolved.

Posted by: oj at July 29, 2006 11:17 PM

I'm not sure I would trust the Democrats with weapons and training.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at July 30, 2006 3:43 AM