Thursday, August 05, 2010

Soccer Dad

Soccer Dad

During Lebanese Ambush, Some UNIFIL Members Did Not Even Bother To Stick Around (Updated)

Posted: 05 Aug 2010 10:57 AM PDT

There can be no doubt that UNIFIL has a difficult job--keeping the peace in Lebanon between Hezbollah and Israel. First, there is the danger involved in dealing with the Hezbollah terrorist group. In addition, UNIFIL also has to deal with the fact that Hezbollah routinely disregards the terms of Resolution 1701 which set the terms for ending the war in 2006, hiding weapons in civlian areas--as Israel has clearly documented.

But if you are a member of the UNFIL force, you have a job to do and are expected to do it.

In the case of the Lebanese ambush of the IDF, they didn't.

Some of them stand to the side--

And then there were others who got out of there as fast as they could:

Lebanese media have lashed out at the UN Interim Force, which includes Indonesian soldiers, in Lebanon, calling it an "impotent" bystander after a deadly border skirmish between Lebanese and Israeli forces.

"The impotent international forces beat a retreat, left the place of combat and watched the unfolding events from afar," said the daily As-Safir, which is close to the Shiite movement Hezbollah.

..."Why did UNIFIL not help the army, at least by offering first aid?" it questioned, citing senior sources involved in calming the border tension.

It said an organization such as UNIFIL was "obliged to deal with the evacuation of casualties."

On Tuesday, Hezbollah-run Al-Manar television aired images of two Indonesian soldiers, presumably from UNIFIL, leaving the site of the skirmish in a shared taxi.

New TV, which also sympathizes with Hezbollah, spoke of the "escape" of UNIFIL soldiers.

Another source confirmed:

The Indonesian troops had attempted to stop any escalation in the fighting, but when the exchanges grew heavy, they were ordered to retreat or find cover. Hizbollah's Al Manar television showed images on Tuesday night of stunned and dehydrated Indonesian peacekeepers being attended to by local medics and helped into a taxi, in a village near the fighting.

And Israellycool has a video of the UNIFIL members in town.

UNIFIL has failed to stop Hezbollah from rearming itself.

UNIFIL failed to play a preventative role in the Lebanese ambush that resulted in the death of an Israeli commander

Just what is UNIFIL doing there?

UPDATE: Well, if you really want to know--I'll tell you. There is what the UNIFIL force was supposed to be able to do, and then what is ended up being limited to doing.


The new force is expected to operate under Article 7 of the UN Charter, granting it enforcement authority. Its troops will be authorized to open fire in order to carry out Security Council resolutions, not just in self-defense. UNIFIL, whose mandate is based on Article 6 of the UN Charter, has no such authority. Its role is one of observing and reporting.

But in the end:

The resolution authorises the UN force, known by its acronym Unifil, to take "all necessary action" to stop the area it patrols from being using for any kind of hostile activities.

But in a significant concession to the Lebanese it will still have a traditional peacekeeping mandate, under Chapter 6 of the UN charter.

A Chapter 7 mandate, which Israel had wanted, allows troops to use military force to enforce peace.

So while I am sympathetic to the Lebanese media who decry the impotence of UNIFIL--UNIFIL has exactly the mandate that Lebanon (and Hezbollah) picked for it.

Hat tip: Mere Rhetoric

by Daled Amos

Well if the un did its job ...

Posted: 05 Aug 2010 04:23 AM PDT

Under the heading of U.N. attempts to defuse Israel-Lebanon tension the Washington Post reports:

A day after Israeli and Lebanese forces exchanged fire in a clash that left four people dead, the commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force in south Lebanon invited officers from both sides for an unusual three-way meeting in a bid to avert an expansion of hostilities.

It's well and good for the UN to invite Israeli and Lebanese officers, but how about preventing the violence in the first place? If the U.N. soldiers were doing their jobs and not just palling around with Lebanese soldiers (and before them Hamas Hezbollah) we wouldn't have so much tension on Israel's northern border.

It wasn't 800 years it was 436, and it was peaceful if you consider a "convert or die" ultimatum peaceful

Posted: 05 Aug 2010 03:54 AM PDT

A recent Washington Post editorial about the "Ground Zero mosque" observed:

It's fine that Imam Rauf decided to call his organization the Cordoba Initiative; Cordova, Spain is an important place of history that merits study and draws tourists to Spain. But any serious statement on Cordova would at least recognize the obvious fact -- that relations among the religions in Cordova were not equal, and that the Muslims at that time considered non-Muslims "dhimmi," meaning second class citizens. Instead,Imam Rauf's reference chose to omit this, declaring instead that that era was marked with "tolerance, inclusiveness and respect." and that Muslims "..honored knowledge and fostered intellectual pursuits." The words "subjugation" and "threats" do not appear.

Well, actually the Post's editorial on the topic said nothing about the misuse of the name Cordoba to show tolerance. What I "quoted" above was paraphrased from an editorial rightly criticizing Gov. McDonnell of Virginia for his declaration of Confederate History month and omitting any reference to slavery.

Rather, the Post's editorial A vote for religious freedom: N.Y. panel clears way for mosque near Ground Zero asserts:

The $100 million Cordoba House takes its name from the medieval Spanish city where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in peace for 800 years. The developers promise to act in that spirit by bringing people together in peace, healing and collaboration at a center that would include a 500-seat auditorium, art exhibition space, a swimming pool and retail space. It would also include a mosque. This sparked vocal opposition not only in New York but throughout the country.

First of all the Jewish (and Christian) presence in Cordova ended in 1147 century C.E. You see the previous Muslim rulers at that time were replaced by the Almohads from northern Africa. Rather than tolerating non-Muslims, the Almohads offered them a choice "convert or die." So many Jews - including the family of the Rambam (Maimonides) - left.

Second of all, while Jews (and Christians) were tolerated before then, their presence didn't exactly demonstrate Western enlightenment. (h/t to Robert Avrech for pointing this out)

A Cordoba House in Canada offers the same whitewashed version of history that Imam Rauf wishes to peddle and that the editors of the Washington Post gullibly swallow:

The Muslims that governed southern Spain developed an inclusive administrative culture, and the face of public life was diverse. Christians served as administrators, governors and advisors to the Caliphs. Both Jews and Christians were able to practice their faiths with complete freedom and were granted the right to administer separate courts to uphold their biblical traditions and laws. The atmosphere of tolerance, inclusiveness and respect witnessed in Cordoba inspired erudition in the multiple religious traditions in Cordoba. Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholars gathered to translate and subsequently to revive the traditions of the classic Greek philosophers at a time when the rest of the world lay stagnate in feudalistic traditions and overpowering monarchies. Cordoba became the centre of Jewish intellectual endeavors, being home to some of the most influential poets and commentators of the middle ages, such as Judah Halevi, and Maimonides.

In truth, Jewish (and presumably Christian) life in Cordova was a little less romantic:

The occupation of Iberia by the Moors was a welcome occurrence for a well pummeled and remaining Jewish population. Of course the Muslims were not completely tolerant, but they were more tolerant than the rulers of the previous administration. Under the ruling Caliph (the descendant of Mohammed--the prophet of G-d on earth), the Jews were able to preserve their rites and traditions. Peaceful coexistence led to their economic and social expansion. Their status was that of Dhimmis, non-Muslims living in a land governed by Muslims. The Jews had limited autonomy, but full rights to practice their religion, as well as full protection by their Muslim rulers; but this did not occur for free. There was a specific tax called the jizya that Dhimmis had to pay to receive these benefits. Having its origin in the Qur'an, it states Dhimmis who did not pay this tax, should either convert to Islam, or face the death penalty (Qur'an 9, 29). This tax, higher than the tax Muslims had to pay, was in several occasions one of the most important sources of income for the kingdom. The jizya was not only a tax, but also a symbolic expression of subordination (Lewis 14).

So yes, things were better for Jews in southern Spain under Islamic rule, but it was hardly the model of tolerance and understanding that the editors of the Post advertise. If one takes the proper lesson from the name of "Cordoba," it is that Islam wishes to subjugate non-Muslims. It's a shame that the Post's editors, in their attempt to justify the building of the Islamic Center, fail to hold Imam Rauf to the same standard that they held Governor McDonnell.

Tolerance is a two way street.

Crossposted on Yourish.

If ... you must 080510

Posted: 05 Aug 2010 03:34 AM PDT

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DM Barak sounds like a *gasp* settler!

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I've read that Leonardo DiCapria has now pulled out of project with Mel Gibson. Will any major star now declare Oliver Stone untouchable?

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A new application of "renting a crowd."

If you haven't read The Not so popular Party at Baseball Crank; you must.
Given the court case against ObamaCare in Virginia and the vote against it in Missouri, popular sentiment is running against the Democrats. If they keep pushing their agenda against increasing opposition they'll continue to slide.

If you haven't read Ariana gets it at Don Surber; you must.
I don't know if Sarah Palin is the Republican leader, but she can't be dismissed either.

Submitted 08/05/10

Posted: 05 Aug 2010 02:40 AM PDT

This weeks' Watcher's Council submissions are UP!

Council Submissions

Non-Council Submissions

Read. Enjoy. Be informed.

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