And to think the crazy wingnuts said UN peacekeepers would do more to protect Hezbollah from Israel than vice versa.
U.N. peacekeeping forces in south Lebanon intervened for the first time Thursday with Israeli forces who arrested journalists in violation of Resolution 1701…
Members of UNIFIL’s French battalion almost clashed with Israeli troops who arrested a French journalist and a Lebanese photographer at an improvised checkpoint in the border area of Marwaheen in the western sector of south Lebanon.
A UNIFIL officer told United Press International that a French force was rushed to the location of the checkpoint and a heated argument erupted between French and Israeli officers, which lasted an hour before the Israeli troops released the two journalists.
Like Spinal Tap’s appeal, violations of 1701 that UNIFIL can and can’t respond to are … selective:
They cannot set up checkpoints. They cannot search cars or homes or businesses. They cannot detain suspects. If they see a truck transporting missiles for example, they cannot stop it. And they cannot staff check points with the Lebanese Army because they do not know each others procedures…
And so if there was any thought that the multinational forces would disarm or restrain Hezbollah, or search for hidden weapons caches, the commanders on the ground say very clearly that is not their job. Those responsibilities, they said, will depend on the political will of the government.
Israel’s pressuring them to be more aggressive. Against terrorists, I mean. They’ve already got aggression towards Israeli troops at checkpoints down pat.
Speaking of the UN, the U.S. is set to support one of the Muslim candidates for UN Secretary-General. No doubt this’ll earn us all kinds of crazy goodwill on the Arab street. I’m sure he’ll be a fair and impartial broker in international affairs, too. Much like, say, Mohammed ElBaradei is.
Update: New from the AP — “Little Pressure on Hezbollah to Disarm.”
Update: Ynet’s got news of another confrontation between French troops and the IDF, and this one sounds nothing like the first. Are the French getting, um, froggy?