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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 12:52 AM
Original message
Congress halts aid to Lebanese army
The US Congress is blocking funding to the Lebanese military following its attack on Israeli soldiers last week amidst concerns it is cooperating with Hizbullah.

"This incident was tragic and entirely avoidable. US assistance is intended to enhance our safety and that of our allies, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-New York) said Monday.

<snip>

Similarly, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman also applied a hold, citing more general concerns about reported Hizbullah influence on the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Berman entered his hold the day before the deadly incident, which he said only confirmed his reservations. His office also wants more information on Hizbullahs role in the LAF, how diligently US weapons are kept track of and how well the LAF cooperates with UNIFIL.

Until we know more about this incident and the nature of Hizbullah influence on the LAF -- and can assure that the LAF is a responsible actor -- I cannot in good conscience allow the United States to continue sending weapons to Lebanon, Berman said.


http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?ID=1842...

U.S.: Iran's actions compromise Lebanon's sovereignty

State Department spokesman responds to Iran announcement it will support Lebanon's army if U.S. halts its military funding.

U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said Tuesday that "Iran's activities compromise Lebanese sovereignty," after Iran offered to support Lebanon's army if the U.S. were to discontinue military aid.

On the unexpected decision by a U.S. Congressman to suspend that aid over concerns the weapons could be turned on Israel, Crowley said that "there is aid already in the pipeline. So I can't say that a hold today necessarily has an immediate impact."

Israel said it had complained to Washington and Paris about funding provided to the Lebanese army after Lebanese soldiers killed a senior Israeli officer in a rare border skirmish that also left two Lebanese soldiers and a Lebanese journalist dead.

Iran's ambassador to Lebanon met Lebanese army chief Jean Kahwaji on Monday and said Tehran was ready to "cooperate with the Lebanese army in any area that would help the military in performing its national role in defending Lebanon."


http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-iran-...
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. Lebanon: We'll reject U.S. military aid if weapons can't be used against Israel
Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr said Wednesday he would reject any U.S. military assistance to Lebanon's army if it comes with conditions that the weapons not be used against Israel.

Murr was commenting Wednesday on a decision by U.S. lawmakers to suspend $100 million in aid over concerns the weapons could be turned on Israel and that Hezbollah may have influence over the Lebanese army.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/lebanon-w...
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. So Lebanon has to promise not to defend it self against Israel?
wow, as to the rest this move by Howard Berman and Nita Lowey is a threat to the stability of the region but if Lebanon takes Iran up on it's offer it will all the Arabs fault or so our ever dutiful Congress will line up to say
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Are you suggesting the Lebanese Army is responsible for defending Lebanon against attacks?
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 06:25 PM by oberliner
If so, why do they have no problem with a massive illegal militia group within Lebanon independent of their army stockpiling weapons and making belligerent statements against neighboring countries?

To wit:

Hezbollah says it's ready for fresh war with Israel and stronger now

Nearly four years after Hezbollah fought invading Israeli troops to a standstill in south Lebanon, the militant Shiite group says it's prepared for a fresh conflict and confident of victory.

"We are ready for another war and we eagerly await it," says veteran Hezbollah fighter Abu Hadi on a drive through the Bekaa Valley. "We expect the next war to be short. The Israelis will not be able to endure what we will do to them."

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0507/He...
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I imagine that "massive" militia is quite happy with the outcome of this incident...
1) It allows that "massive" militia (in reality it has less than 2000 regular troops) to hold itself forth as the only serious guarantor of Lebanese security.

2) It also allows that militia - and Iran, besides - to paint the United States as a fickle and unreliable ally as far as Arabs are concerned. After all, I could hardly see the US Congress voting to terminate aid to Israel after shooting a Lebanese border guard.

Compare this with the Iranians, who not only paid Hezbollah's expenses of the last war, but also paid $12,000 in compensation to every single Shia that lost a house as a result of Israeli shelling. Is it really any surprise that even some Lebanese Christians are beginning to support the opposition?
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Agreed
1. Not sure why you are putting massive in quotation marks. The fact that they have, as you pointed out, around 2000 regular troops, in addition to what has been estimated in the range of 10,000 reserves, and an arsenal of over 12,000 rockets (and growing, according to its leader), makes it pretty darn massive as far as extra-governmental militia groups go relative to the size of the country.

With respect to your point, I don't think this particular incident impacts Hezbollah's "holding itself forth as the only serious guarantor of Lebanese security." It has done so before this incident and it will continue to do so.

2. Indeed it does allow Hezbollah to continue to paint the US in a negative light. Hezbollah will certainly capitalize on this decision in an attempt to rally support for its cause.

It is clear why some Lebanese would perceive Hezbollah and Iran in a positive manner.

What is your opinion with respect to the various UN Security Council resolutions that call for Hezbollah to disband as an independent militia group?

Do you believe that extenuating circumstances justify this particular component of this UN resolution being disregarded?
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. re:
It is clear why some Lebanese would perceive Hezbollah and Iran in a positive manner.

I would say it is because most Lebanese believe that without Hezbollah, Israel would probably still be occupying southern Lebanon.

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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. A recent survey suggests the opposite
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 10:59 PM by oberliner
A solid majority of Lebanese (65 percent) have an unfavorable view of Hezbollah.

Among the Sunni population, it is nearly a 100 percent unfavorable rating for Hezbollah (with the reverse being true among the Shia population). Lebanese Christians largely hold negative views of Hezbollah (80 percent).

The perception of Nasrallah is similarly split.

The survey took place in June of 2009.

Edit to include link:
http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1486/survey-muslim-nations-...
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. 87% of Lebanese supported Hezbollah during the 2006 war
To be honest, I'd doubt some of the findings of your survey, but in any event the sectarian clashes in June 2009 between Sunni militiae and Hezbollah in Beirut were probably to blame for that very low show of support amongst Sunnis - obviously, a survey from June 2009 is not altogether "recent".

There is, however, a wide consensus amongst Lebanese that HA has a role in deterring and defending Lebanon against Israeli attack, which is precisely why the Taif accord allowed HA alone amongst all the militiae to keep its arms, providing they were only used against foreign attack.

link: http://www.mideastmonitor.org/issues/0609/0609_6.htm

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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Most said that Hezbollah should not keep their weapons after the conflict was over
The surveys also indicate that the majority of Sunnis and Christians do not believe that Hezbollah came out as the winner in the conflict with Israel.

I do not think that these surveys provide evidence to support your claim that a majority of Lebanese believe that Israel would still be occupying southern Lebanon were it not for Hezbollah.

With respect to the Pew Survey I cited for you, what do you mean when you say you would "doubt some of the findings" in the survey?

Are you questioning the validity of the survey? If so, what do you find to be suspicious about it?
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #15
35. The Lebanese cabinet voted unanimously in Dec 2009 to allow Hezbollah to keep its weapons
http://www.haaretz.com/news/lebanon-cabinet-lets-hezbol...

"All 30 Cabinet ministers voted Wednesday to approve the policy statement that endorses Hezbollah's right to keep its weapons. Five ministers from the pro-Western majority expressed reservations over the clause addressing Hezbollah, but did not vote against it."
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-13-10 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #35
39. So the newly formed government did not reflect the will of the people?
Edited on Fri Aug-13-10 12:05 AM by oberliner
When I look at the questions and answers in the survey you provided, I see the following:

Do you think that Hezbollah should keep its weapons after this war?

No: 51 Yes: 49

With the results breaking down as follows:

Sunni: No: 54 Yes: 46
Shiite: No: 16 Yes: 84
Druze: No: 79 Yes: 21
Christian: No: 77 Yes: 23

How do you account for the discrepancy between these figures where just over half the population is opposed to Hezbollah keeping its weapons after the war and the unanimous result of the cabinet vote?
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. are you suggesting that to prove itself Lebanon should have another civil war?
you seem to be with this

If so, why do they have no problem with a massive illegal militia group within Lebanon independent of their army stockpiling weapons and making belligerent statements against neighboring countries?

Hezbollah is a fact of life in Lebanon and part of the Lebanese government and yes the Lebanese military is responsible for protecting Lebanon


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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Hezbollah should disband as a militia group
The Lebanese Army should be the sole military force in Lebanon. That is what UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701 call for. I am not sure why you are in favor of those particular components of those resolutions being ignored.
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I am not in favor of any of 1701 being ignored but it is by both parties
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 09:12 PM by azurnoir
those being Israel and Hezbollah but back to the subject do you feel this move to cut off aid to the Lebanese military is justified, do you think it will result in anything positive for Lebanon?
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. How can we afford to send hundreds of millions of dollars to Lebanon every year?
The US has spent over 700 million dollars since 2006 in military aid to Lebanon. What are we getting in return for that investment?

Isn't there a better use for that money here in the United States? Aren't we in a recession?

Why should our tax dollars be spent to pay for another country's military?

Can you explain to me the reason why we are underwriting the Lebanese Army?
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. the same could be said for our 9 billion+ in aid to Israel
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 10:23 PM by azurnoir
and before for go on about how it creates oh so many jobs in the US I must ask are the US based companies selling these arms to Israel actually manufacturing them in the US? In any event the amount that Israel can play with or 750,000,000 annually dollars or 2.25 billion dollars since 2007 amounts to a bit more wouldn't you say and what do we get in return?
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I thought we were talking about Lebanon
Not sure why you are switching topics.

To get back to the issue at hand, is it fair to say that you support continuing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Lebanon?

You think the United States should continue to provide the Lebanese army with funding, training, and military equipment/weaponry?

Wasn't the primary argument behind the increased US aid to Lebanon's military after 2006 to support their carrying out the requirements of UNSCR 1701 by asserting its sovereignty over the whole of Lebanese territory?
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. They'd have to offer them a fair bit more aid in order to do that...
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 11:18 PM by shaayecanaan
the equipment the LAF receives from the US isn't a patch on the equipment HA receives from Iran. The only kit that the US has been willing to supply are small arms and utility vehicles, most of which would be cut like butter by the anti-tank weapons that HA use.

I quite agree with you that in the absence of meaningful aid, piecemeal aid from the US to the LAF serves no useful purpose at all and should probably be terminated. If that is the case, however, it will mean that the US essentially recognises Hezbollah as the de facto security force in Lebanon and will probably have to come to terms with them in some way.

At least one other person has figured this out for themselves:-

http://drezner.foreignpolicy.com/blog/2188
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Interesting point thanks n/t
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. What steps do you think ought to be taken to get Hezbollah to disband as required by UNSCR 1701?
Other than unanimously passing a Security Council resolution, is there anything else that you think can or should be done by the international community?

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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #20
29. The relevant text of UNSCR 1701 is as follows:-
"Emphasizes the importance of the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) and resolution 1680 (2006), and of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, for it to exercise its full sovereignty, so that there will be no weapons without the consent of the Government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the Government of Lebanon"

There's nothing in there that states that Hezbollah is illegal, or that it is required to disband. Specifically, the Taif accords does not require the Resistance to surrender its weapons, providing that they are used against foreign parties only.

Hezbollah argue that as long as they possess weapons in accordance with the Taif accords and Lebanese law, then they possess those weapons with the consent and authority of the Lebanese state.

You might consider that that is a fairly technical interpretation, but of course I've thought the same of your interpretation of UNSCR 242 for quite some time.

Arguably, HA is in breach of OP8 of that UNSCR 1701, by having forces south of the Litani river, but of course Israel, by staging overflights of Lebanese territory, is in breach of that provision also.

OTOH, UNSCR 1559 called for the disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias in Lebanon, but HA have maintained that as long as the Sunni and Druze militiae have arms they are under no obligation to disarm themselves.


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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. No, actually, that is not the relevant text of UNSCR 1701
Edited on Thu Aug-12-10 07:04 PM by oberliner
This is the relevant text of UNSCR 1701:

"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 27 July 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese State;"

UNSCR 1701 calls for "full implementaion" of UNSCR 1559, which, as you point out, explicitly calls for:

"the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias"

This point is emphasized in UNSCR 1701 which reiterates the fact that previous UNSC resolutions have already "required" the disarmament of "all armed groups in Lebanon" - of which, I am sure you will agree, Hezbollah is one.
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. You're quoting Wikipedia, not the UN resolution...
the official text of UNSCR 1701 is listed here on the Security Council web site. For some reason sometimes they don't allow direct linking to these documents, but if you have any trouble you can access it by going through their homepage:-

http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N06/465/03/P...

To reiterate, the text states as follows:-

Emphasizes the importance of the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) and resolution 1680 (2006), and of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, for it to exercise its full sovereignty, so that there will be no weapons without the consent of the Government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the Government of Lebanon

There is no mention of Hezbollah being illegal, and as I said before the Taif accord does not require it to disarm. The statement that UNSCR 1701 prescribes Hezbollah is illegal is therefore false.

You will note that Israel remains in breach of UNSCR 1701 by staging overflights of Lebanon. No doubt Israel's excuse is that while Hezbollah remains in breach of the resolution Israel is under no obligation to observe it either. Of course, Hezbollah's excuse is that while the Sunni and Druze militiae remain armed Hezbollah is likewise under no obligation to disarm in accordance with UNSCR 1559.

Furthermore, Israel remains also in breach of several other UN resolutions in relation to East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the West Bank. However illegal you claim Hezbollah to be, it seems that the IDF has much more illegality to worry about.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Not true - I am quoting the UN Security Council website
Edited on Thu Aug-12-10 09:05 PM by oberliner
Here is the link:

http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sc8808.doc.htm

To return to my original questions to you:

What steps do you think ought to be taken to get Hezbollah to disband (or, rather, disarm) as required by UNSCR 1701 (or, if you prefer, 1556)?

Other than unanimously passing a Security Council resolution, is there anything else that you think can or should be done by the international community?

Edit to add:

Is it fair to say that due to the extenuating circumstances you've indicated (the existence of other militia groups in Lebanon, the Israeli violations of the resolutions, etc.), you do not believe that any steps should be taken by the international community to get Hezbollah to disarm?
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. That's not the official text of the resolution
That's the press release/minutes of the meeting of the Security Council. I have already directed you to the official text of the resolution.

Perhaps I should turn your question on its flipside: do you think that there is any particular reason for Hezbollah to comply with Security Council resolutions whilst Israel and the other militiae in Lebanon show not the slightest inclination to do so?
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Respectfully, you are incorrect - it is the official text of the resolution
Edited on Thu Aug-12-10 10:54 PM by oberliner
Here is the official UN Security Council website that has the full text of each UN Security Council resolution passed in 2006.

http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/unsc_resolutions06.htm

If you click on the link for UNSC 1701, it opens a PDF file which certainly appears to be the official version of the resolution, and it contains, verbatim, the text I cited above. (The text of the resolution is, in fact, identical to what was in the link I provided)

Are you claiming that the resolution linked to on UN Security Council web page is somehow not the official text of the resolution?

Edit to add: Both of our links point to the same PDF of the same resolution which was listed on the previous UN link I provided so I am not sure what you are disputing in that regard. The resolution contains both the text you cited and the text I cited. You were quoting from the 3rd operative clause (Emphasizing...) and I was quoting from the 8th (Calls For...).

As to the initial questions that sparked this exchange, allow me to amend them in the following way to incorporate your concerns:

What steps do you think ought to be taken to get Hezbollah and all other extra-governmental milita groups in Lebanon to disarm as required by UNSCR 1701 (or, if you prefer, 1556)? Is there anything that you think can or should be done by the international community in this regard?

I would argue that while there may be no particular reason for either Hezbollah or Israel to comply with elements of the resolution that they don't care for (especially when they can point to violations on the other side), it is the responsibility of the international community to at least make some effort towards seeing that each component of the resolution is implemented. Otherwise, what is the point of passing the resolution in the first place?

I would also add that there have been several reports made by the Secretary General on this resolution since it passed in 2006.

In the Secretary General's 8th Report on Resolution 1701 (delivered in November of 2008), he noted the following:

"As indicated in my previous reports, Hizbullah continues to maintain a substantial military capacity distinct from that of the Lebanese State, in direct contravention of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1701 (2006). I am concerned that Hizbullah may have sought to upgrade further those capabilities."

You will note that the Secretary General indicates that Hezbollah's actions were "in direct contravention" not only of UNSCR 1559 but also of UNSCR 1701.

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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. Thats a bit rich...
"Both of our links point to the same PDF of the same resolution which was listed on the previous UN link I provided so I am not sure what you are disputing in that regard. The resolution contains both the text you cited and the text I cited."

May I refer you to your post above where you said:- "No, actually, that is not the relevant text of UNSCR 1701". This started off as your dispute, not mine.

What steps do you think ought to be taken to get Hezbollah and all other extra-governmental milita groups in Lebanon to disarm as required by UNSCR 1701 (or, if you prefer, 1556)? Is there anything that you think can or should be done by the international community in this regard?

I would say the most important step would be establishing an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, that would allow the normalisation of relations between Israel and the Arab states and the repatriation of Palestinian refugees currently resident in Lebanon.

I would also note that the Lebanese cabinet decision referenced in UNSCR 1701 requires the following:-

"A commitment from the Security Council to place the Shebaa Farms area and the Kfarshouba Hills under UN jurisdiction until border delineation and Lebanese sovereignty over them are fully settled. While in UN custody, the area will be accessible to Lebanese property owners there."
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. Well, I am glad we are both looking at the same resolution
Not sure why you were claiming that the resolution I linked to was not the official resolution when it was. Definitely led to some double and triple checking on my part!

In my comment that started off the dispute, I was making a point with respect to which part of the resolution was relevant to the question at hand. My claim was that the relevant piece was in the clause that I cited rather than in the one you cited. I guess I could have made that more clear.

I do thank you for answering my question, although I find it a bit odd that you appear to be suggesting that implementing components of the resolution ought to be contingent upon establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank.

Am I understanding you correctly that you believe that Hezbollah ought not be asked to disarm until such time that a Palestinian state is established and the Palestinian refugees currently living in Lebanon are repatriated to that state (along with a normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab states)?

I don't mean to put words into your mouth - so please forgive me if I have mischaracterized your position.

Assuming that all Sunni, Druze, and other extragovernmental militia groups disarmed, and assuming Israel was determined to be in complete compliance with all components of UNSCR 1701, what would be your position with regard to whether or not Hezbollah would need to disarm at that point (assuming that a Palestinian state had not yet been established)?
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-13-10 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #38
42. Re:
Assuming that all Sunni, Druze, and other extragovernmental militia groups disarmed, and assuming Israel was determined to be in complete compliance with all components of UNSCR 1701, what would be your position with regard to whether or not Hezbollah would need to disarm at that point (assuming that a Palestinian state had not yet been established)?

I would say that unless there is a firm commitment by Israel to the territorial integrity of Lebanon as well as the other neighbouring Arab states, which is really part and parcel of normalisation between Israel and the Arab states, I don't think it is either feasible or appropriate to require Hezbollah to disarm.

As far as most Lebanese are concerned, the only difference between the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon is that Israel pays a price in blood for occupying the latter but not the former. I see Hezbollah as being the main disincentive to any potential Israeli presence in Lebanon. Ergo, until that prospect is eliminated I am uncomfortable with that disincentive being removed. If Israeli troops were dying in the Golan Heights at the same rate they died in Lebanon, I have no doubt that Israel would have left that area by now as well.

You may not like that opinion, but that is the opinion of a Lebanese Christian, and many others besides. As I have said many times before, if Israel gives the Golan back to Syria and the West Bank to the Palestinians, and if the Arabs so much as fire a pea-shooter over the border, Israel can respond as they like. Until such time, they are in a poor position to insist that others obey international law.



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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. I was comparing your examples and asking a very pertinent question
but yes I do believe that we should keep funding Lebanese military I believe last weeks incident took place in south Lebanon and it was with the Lebanese military not Hezbollah. Are you asserting that Hezbollah has sovereignty over Lebanon or that the Lebanese military does not last week would beg to differ from that stance. As I pointed out both sides are breaking 1701, are you suggesting that a double standard should apply?
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
19. Not an entirely unreasonable statement
Given that US military aid to Israel keeps getting used against Lebanon.
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whosinpower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
21. The article reads as though
The aid was blocked AS A RESULT OF THE ATTACK.....but this is not true.

The aid was put on hold A DAY BEFORE THE ATTACK.

How serendipitous for the congressmen who wanted to put a hold on this aid, that a conflict would occur just at that time.....

Having said that - one has to wonder, in the bigger context, is freezing, withholding aid helpful to eroding Hezbollah's strengths? Does it do the opposite....push Lebanon further into the arms of Iran? Who would want that?





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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Do you have a link for that?
The earliest I can find any announcement of the halt is August 9 I will not post the link because it's Luccianne, the attack took place on either August 2 or 3, it would be interesting if you are right though
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. That is what it says in the article that you posted
"Berman entered his hold the day before the deadly incident"
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. yes I know I wanted another source besides Haaretz also you have not answered my previous comment
Edited on Thu Aug-12-10 03:15 PM by azurnoir
odd that it was not announced earlier the whole does seem a bit "convenient " and also why does Howard Berman not appear on opensecrets is he hiding who funds his campaigns? I have searched in a number of ways and still can find nothing earlier than August 9
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. The citation wasn't from Ha'aretz, it was from the JPost article you posted
Edited on Thu Aug-12-10 03:43 PM by oberliner
The quote I pulled was from the Jpost article you listed first in your OP.

It was in the second paragraph after your "snip".

Here is an AP article that also indicates the date of the hold:

WASHINGTON The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Monday he has suspended U.S. military aid to Lebanon's army amid growing concern in Congress that American-supplied weapons could threaten Israel.

Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., said he placed a hold on $100 million in assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces on Aug. 2, because he was concerned about influence the militant group Hezbollah may have in the army. He said those concerns were reinforced a day later when Lebanese soldiers shot and killed an Israeli officer along the two countries' border.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jBvCx...

Also, Howard Berman does appear on Open Secrets (as everyone in Congress does). He has received significant contributions from Pro-Israel lobby groups if that is what you were wondering about.

Not entirely sure what else you are asking.

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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. I posted 2 articles 1 from Haaretz 1 from JPost you failed to answer comment #17 n/t
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. In response to comment #17
I think all sides should adhere to the resolution. Hezbollah should disband as a militia group and the Lebanese Army should be responsible for defending the whole of Lebanon. Israel should cease all overflights into Lebanon that represent violations of the resolution as well.
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #28
36. Thanks , now as to the August 2 date that is Berman's claim a week after the fact
Edited on Thu Aug-12-10 11:54 PM by azurnoir
it does seem odd that no public announcement was made for entire week but here is another link

The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, Howard Berman, said he suspended U.S. military aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces on Aug. 2 amid the growing concern in Congress. He said those concerns were reinforced a day later when the armies of Lebanon and Israel fought along their border, killing two Lebanese soldiers, a Lebanese journalist and a senior Israeli officer.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/11/1771133/lebanon-r...

eta there is also a 10 hour time difference between Los Angles and Jerusalem or its 952 pm 8/12 in CA and 752am 8/13 in Israel meaning depending on the exact time of the clash Bermans gold if indeed it was entered 8/2 still may have been after the clash
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-13-10 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #36
40. What is your theory on why the announcement was made when it was?
I am not sure what you are suggesting.
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-13-10 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. I find Congressman Berman's claim questionable
because it was made a week after the fact and is possibly a claim made to make it appear less that Lebanon is being punished for killing an Israeli officer it would seem that some mention of his motion would have been made during the ensuing week
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. I found Berman using a different search and as expected
Edited on Thu Aug-12-10 04:28 PM by azurnoir
he recieves a substantial amount from Pro-Israel interest groups
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