Despite Kofi Annans griping the world is sighing a collective sigh of relief at the end of war and the onset of peace in the Middle East. Resolution 1701 is the salving angel of peace that has stemmed the flow of battle, before it could set the mid-east and the world alight. It's the rod in the hands of the peace loving nations of the worlds to spank the Israelis fo their lashing out at their tormentors, and to slap on the wrist those rascals of Hezbollah teasing Israelian civillians with their random, but ineffective rocket attacks (a 100 or so deadly casualties in the last for weeks alone, but who's counting? 56 fake corpses in Qana are much more important, n'est-ce pas?). All in all the world was saved from the precipice of an unfortunate clash of civilizations that would've been entirely to blame on Israeli nervous over reaction to the involuntary hitchhiking trip of three Israeli soldiers in jihadist cars.
Or is it?
The rethoric out of the ME is anything but reassuring. Assad of Syria already promised more war. Ahmadinejad is more fervently then ever preaching the end of the Zionist entity. Lebanons foreign minster promised that Lebanon would be the last country ever to sign a peace deal with Israel (evidently he's in the loop of something we ought to know about). Within the Palestinian Authority op-eds are calling for a third Intifada. It seems the muslim nations making up the mediterranean mid-east are sensing blood in the water.
In the mean time Hezbollah is not disarming and will not be disarmed. Of the prospective members of the enlarged UNIFIL contingent, the French, designated leaders of the peace enforcing mission, have already said they do not see it as their job to take away the toys of the Nasrallah boys. Indonesia is impatient to send its soldiers to join UNIFIL at the same time as around 1000 Indonesian islamists are hitchhiking to Syria and from there to Lebanon to reinforce Hezbollah.
And nobody is bothered in the least that for now, the only countries volunteering for UNIFIL part deux are the countries that can be expected to align themselves with the jihadists of Hezbollah. Well, Israel might be worried, Netanyahu seems to be, Caroline Glick definitely is. But the rest of the western world is whistling past the graveyard, studiously ignoring the moving shadows caught in the corners of eyes.
No, the good people of the (western) world are not looking at the shadows, convincing themselves they're just bushes and weeds moving in the wind. And so they are organizing a donor conference to hand Lebanon the money with which Hezbollah will be able to replenish the 3000 or so rockets wasted on Israeli territory. One would expect that with the 'nukular brouhaha' with Iran, western powers would have learned to take promises from certain quarters with a grain of salt. But hey: such is mans creativity and imagination that no stupidity is beyond him.
In the mean time all the monday morning quarterbacking is about done, and the results are in. The general consensus seems to be that while Israel won the engagement tactically, even without giving up the moral high ground (whatever happended to 'all is fair in love AND WAR', BTW?), Israel suffered a devastating strategic defeat. They won militarily but were defated politically.
While voices in Israel are openly clamoring for Ehud Olmerts head on a silver platter, along with assorted cabinet members and IDF generals (see Caroline Glicks piece, for example, or this on Liberty and Justice, or this), the West in general should realize that not only did Israel lose. We all did.
The scant support Israel has received from the western world communicated a clear message to whatever alliance of barbarians the evil gnome is forging that we won't fight, not really. We communicated our total unwillingness to commit to a cause, any cause in a way that would inspire us to take mortal risks in order to defend it. We proclaim our commitment to peace and democracy at the top of our lungs. But our actions, speaking louder then our words, communicate our unwillingness to confront the agents of war and totalitarianism.
And judging by the rethoric coming out of the ME, including long-standing NATO ally Turkey, that message has been understood loud and clear. And it'll come back to haunt us. Guaranteed.
Victor Hanson wrote a couple of weeks ago that the present situation is so strikingly similar to Europe, 1939 that interested historians need only to watch the evening news to get a flavor of what that time might have been like. It is my sincere fear that with resolution 1701 we have created exactly that which we had hoped to avoid (1). But alas, such is our craving for peace at any price, as long as it doesn't hurt our own comfortable little lives, that we have dammed off the growing tide in one place, only for it to explode over our heads even more violently at another time and place.
And in doing so we have forsaken what for all practical pusposes is a completely natural ally (Israel) and have let our adversaries know they're welcome to come in, we won't put up much of a fight. We won't make a stand, we'll surrender to any evil. In that sense I am back to the comparison Victor Hanson made: The way we sold out Israel is uncannily reminiscent of the way the Allies sold out Chechoslovakia to the Nazis.
The Free West
Liberty and Justice
The Bellmont club
(1) Moreover, we have set ourselves up in such a way that we (meaning us, sad little EU-ropean) will find ourselves most likely fighting for the bad guys. France and UNIFIL part deux will not bother Hezbollah. Hezbollah *will* bother Israel, provoking yet another reaction. UNIFIL soldiers will die in the process, pitting the EU and the UN against Israel. One domino after another...
[UPDATE001] Goes to commitment: Wretchard of the Belmont Club has an excellent piece up, explaining far better what I meant by our tacit admission we in the west don't have any. Highly recommended.
[UPDATE002] Couple of items via Jihad Watch more or less relevant to the above:
1) Iran is going on massive maneuvers "introducing Iran's new defensive doctrine", no doubt drawing lessons form Hizbollah and the Iraqi 'insurgency'. Hope the US has a couple of keyholes overhead to monitor.
2) Syria is also applying lessons learned. Apparently they're setting up militias, Hezbollah style.
[An] official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Syria learned from Hizbullah's military campaign against Israel the past month that "fighting" is more effective than peace negotiations with regard to gaining territory.So long almost 40 years of faux peace, welcome years of all too real war. Any bets on decisive intervention by the West? Thought not...