UNIFIL is in place since 1978, although it’s not the oldest UN mission, given that UNMOGIP in Pakistan started in 1949: it is easy now to consider the effectiveness of a mission that is involved in the loop created by the UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and the impossible task to disarm the Hezbollah Group.
Interposition is an easy but useless task and, as in Pakistan and in other areas of the world, will continue for ages.
The UN Department for Peace Keeping Operations will continue to be bigger and bigger, so much to manage these operations worldwide.
The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Activities will continue to be bigger and bigger, so much to coordinate a lot of humanitarian efforts belonging to organizations that do not have any intention to be coordinated.
European forces and European diplomacies in Lebanon, despite the UN umbrella, are perceived as friends by some of the Lebanese and Hezbollah and as enemies by the Israelis.
When a Force does not appear as an impartial one, any peacekeeping mission is over. Italian Minister of Defence, Mr. Ignazio La Russa, declared recently that “the mission cannot last for ever” and that “we cannot be trapped in a situation like that”.
This is a remarkable statement by an Italian official. The audience should recall that some years ago Italy withdrew its forces from Iraq to follow the left wing lobby against peacekeeping missions and, immediately after, supported a new mission to protect, in the framework of the usual vague UN statement, the Palestinians and Hezbollah, the so called “Party of God”, a paramilitary formation with ties to Iran and links to other terrorist groups.
The reason why a lot of European parties and institutions support Hezbollah is just in the ideology of fool politicians unable to understand how dangerous is an organization known for being radical on the religious side, with a military structure and military equipments on the operational side, with a political structure but no internal democracy on the political side.
In any crisis area even medicines can become weapons. The result of this joint UN – EU effort is that we have a peacekeeping force in constant danger because the violence among Hezbollah, the Israelis and the Lebanese can resume at any time for any reason, maybe just a tree cut as it happened recently.
As it happens in any crisis, nobody is innocent in South Lebanon. The Israelis do not want to release the pressure on the Palestinians, Hezbollah is a radical organization aimed to destroy Israel and the Lebanese Society is too fragmented to protect his borders and keep Syria and Hezbollah out of its territories. External players are just keeping the situation as it is.
Does the international community have to remain there to freeze a very hot situation? The answer is no, unless local players, inside and outside Lebanon, are willing to make significant steps to solve the crisis; diplomats, as usual, are to investigate the solutions. Politicians should have a vision to give the diplomats to work on.
In the meantime a downsizing on the financial support could help…
p.s. “Daddy, when do you think the Middle East will be peaceful?”. “Quite soon, son, maybe the day Prince Charles will go to the Throne…”
In Libano i Caschi Blu sventolano bandiera bianca – By L’Anacoreta (5 agosto 2010)
Scontri Israele-Libano sulla Blue Line interessano Unifil (3 agosto 2010)