Re "Cease-Fire Begins After Fierce Battles," Aug. 14
The adoption of the U.N. resolution calling for Israel and Hezbollah to cease hostilities has only a remote chance for long-term success because Hezbollah has little incentive to disarm and stop attacking Israelis. The "status quo ante" that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said was unacceptable has apparently become acceptable to the United States.
The main lesson from the Israeli incursion into Lebanon is that the Bush administration doctrine for fighting guerrilla wars primarily with airstrikes instead of overwhelming ground forces has once again become a recipe for failure and prolonged warfare.
\f7Hezbollah has no intention of following the cease-fire terms, and the Lebanese government has no intention of forcing Hezbollah to do so. As reported in the Jerusalem Post on Saturday, two Hezbollah members "expressed reservations, particularly over an article in the resolution that 'gives the impression that it exonerates Israel of responsibility for the crimes' " and blames Hezbollah for the war. Hezbollah said, "We will deal with the requirements of the resolution with realism in a way that serves the national interest."
In other words, Hezbollah will do what it pleases regardless of some piece of paper. Add that to Hezbollah commander Sheik Hassan Nasrallah's vow to fight until Israeli soldiers leave Lebanon, and of course Israel will (rightfully) respond. At best Hezbollah and the Lebanese will obey only what they want to in the "cease-fire" agreement.