Sunday, August 13, 2006

Where are Israel's Kidnapped Soldiers? 

I'm assuming they're still somewhere in Lebanon, because I sure as heck don't see them anywhere in the operative clauses of this break-through UN cease-fire capitulation. In fact, in the entire verbiage-soaked resolution, the kidnapped soldiers are only mentioned in the preamble:

“PP3. Emphasizing the need for an end of violence, but at the same time emphasizing the need to address urgently the causes that have given rise to the current crisis, including by the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers;
I thought that defeating Hizballah would have been a satisfactory and effective way of emphasizing this "unconditional" requirement. The third paragraph in a rambling, non-operative preamble to a toothless resolution is all but useless for emphasizing the importance of pretty much anything, except impressing other diplomats over drinks and cocktail weenies. Especially when that third paragraph is followed by seven more "mindful" and "determined" paragraphs laying out Hizballah's conditions for that unconditional demand.

But what did we really expect? It's called Cease-Fire, which doesn't even reach the tepid milestone of Truce on the road to Peace Agreement or Treaty. Nasrallah, the man launching the missiles and ordering the kidnappings isn't any more willing than the UN to call the conflict over either:

Nasrallah called continued resistance to the Israel offensive "our natural right" and predicted more hard fighting to come. "We must not make a mistake, not in the resistance, the government or the people, and believe that the war has ended. The war has not ended. There have been continued strikes and continued casualties," he said.

"Today nothing has changed and it appears tomorrow nothing will change," he said.
This conflict is not over, merely on hiatus. The soldiers are still being held, and during this interim will in all likelihood share Ron Arad's now twenty-year-old fate, being moved to Syria or Iran as more lethal missiles with enough range to threaten every home in Israel pass by headed the other direction back into Lebanon.

It's probably the easiest prediction any psychic could ever make, but this war will heat up again, and when it does it promises to be more violent and threatening to Israel's existence than anything seen so far. The only question is whether Israel will by then have leadership with the least clue what to do.

I hope so, but that's not a prediction I'm ready to make yet.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: