Beyond the Cusp

June 1, 2013

Looming Disaster in American-Israeli Relations

Filed under: 1949 Armistice Line,1967 Borders,Abu Mazzen,Administration,Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade,al-Qaeda,Amalekites,Anti-Israel,Anti-Semitism,Anti-Zionist,Appeasement,Appointment,Arab World,Arabist,Arabs,Armed Services,Army,Blood Libel,Border Patrol,Borders,Cabinet,Civilization,Command,Condemning Israel,Consequences,Defend Israel,Defend Palestinians,Divided Jerusalem,Executive Order,Fatah,Government,Green Line,Hamas,History,Holy Sites,Hostages,IDF,Intifada,Islam,Islamic Jihad,Israel,Israeli Capital City,Jerusalem,Jewish Heritage,Jewish Home,Jewish Leadership,Jewish State,Jewish Temple,Jews,Jihad,John Kerry,Jordan River,Jordan Valley,Joseph’s Tomb,Judea,Judean Hills,Kever Yosef,Kidnap Soldier,Kotel,Land for Peace,Machpelah,Mahmoud Abbas,Media,Middle East,Military,Mount of Olives,Mount of Olives Cemetary,Obama,Oslo Accords,Palestinian,Palestinian Authority,Palestinian Legislative Committee,Palestinian Security Force,Partition Plan,Peace Process,Peacekeepers,PLO,Politics,Popular Resistance Committees,Post-Zionist,PRC,Pre-Conditions,Prisoner Release,Promised Land,Promised Land,Rachel's Tomb,Refugee Camp,Refugees,Response to Terrorism,Right of Return,Rock Throwing,Rocket Attacks,Samaria,Secretary of State,Settlements,Statehood,Suicide Bomber,Temple Mount,Terror,Third Intifada,Tomb of the Patriarchs,United States,US Army,War,West Bank,Western Wall,Window for Peace,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 3:49 AM
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What would be a faster way to turn the American public against Israel than to have United States troops returning in caskets from Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank, where they were serving as peacekeepers presumably protecting the Palestinians from the Israelis and vice versa. If such a thing exists we have been unable to think what it might take. The problem is that the path that President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry may be taking in order to force a peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis includes American troops placed within the new Arab State of Palestine as a guarantee to Israel to prevent terrorism and a guarantee to the Palestinians against any Israeli interferences and guarding against IDF responses even if somehow a terrorist event should be committed. This idea is fraught with potential calamities and disasters beyond all imagination. Judging from the current situation in Iraq one can easily envision exactly how useless American troops would be in preventing all terrorist attacks while also being committed to performing their tasks while obeying all restrictions and limitations placed upon them by the Palestinian leadership. Add that the main function of American troops as peacekeepers would soon be realized that they are actually just potential hostages held whenever such were needed to make demands for concessions from either Israel or the United States. The best bet is that American peacekeepers stationed in Palestine to act as a deterrent against terrorism and to be guarantors of peace while enforcing the agreed upon border would be pulled either at the insistence of the American public or the demands of the Palestinians within the first year.

 

The path leading to this catastrophe waiting to happen will occur quickly and be in place before anybody either in Israel, the United States or the Arab World has time to react and prevent such idiocy. The most likely scenario will go something like this. Secretary of State Kerry will convince Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to forgo his litany of preconditions in return for a guarantee that the 1949 Armistice Lines, also called the 1967 Lines, will be the basis for the borders and that the Palestinians will have their Capital in East Jerusalem with complete control over the Temple Mount. Secretary of State Kerry will coerce Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to come to the talks by guaranteeing that the United States will enforce Israeli access to all Jewish Holy Sites especially in Jerusalem and that the United States will be the guarantor preventing any future terrorist attacks including rocket attacks. There will be a great meeting very likely in Washington on the East Lawn or the Oval Office with a signing ceremony where a tentative peace agreement will be signed. The agreement will spell out a proposed solution to such final issues as borders, Palestine being a non-military State defended by the United States, a solution to the Palestinian refugee resettlement with some ten to twenty thousand who have provable claims to lands lost within Israel being accepted by Israel with the remainder being absorbed by Palestine and possibly some remaining in the countries where they have resided with some having lived there over sixty years. And the cherry on top of this peace of cake will be American peacekeepers placed in the State of Palestine as the guarantors of all the implementations, peace, safety, and security for both sides. Presto, instant Americans placed in harms’ way under what will be the worst possible of conditions.

 

In order to appease the Palestinians, the American troops will answer to the Palestinian leadership operating under similar restriction as the UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon), who operate in a nearly complete ineffectiveness in containing Hezballah in Lebanon from rebuilding south of the Litany River, having to request permission in order to operate outside of their bases and perform any of their supposed duties. The American troops will find that their service will be utilized in such a manner that they will only have the effect of preventing any Israeli response to terrorism. The ability of the American forces to control or prevent terrorism will be virtually nullified by restrictions placed on them by the Palestinian government. They will become a protective force for the terrorist functions by blunting any operational abilities of Israel in anti-terror operations within Palestine, the only thing restricting terrorism on a massive scale currently. Eventually there will be American soldiers kidnapped by such groups as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda, Salafists or even al-Aksa Brigades, who are part of Abbas’s Fatah Organization, should the Americans actually manage to hold any terrorists from any of these groups or simply to make demands for any purpose from freeing terrorists held by Israel or any country worldwide or any other purpose where a hostage would give sufficient leverage. The American troops would also be living day and night wearing a virtual target on their backs and be targeted by any terror groups or individuals who are not supporters of Mahmoud Abbas; this is a very large and possibly majority of the Palestinian Arab population. Once Americans are taken hostage or murdered while presumably making Israel safe from the Palestinians, and this is how it will be played in the press and across the media, the relations between the American public and Israel will begin to grow strained. At some point Israel will likely ask that the Americans cut their losses and return to the United States as the price of American troops being harmed would be too high a price that Israel would rather the United States not pay. Israel has, in their entire history, never requested for American troops to come to their aid. Israel has always preferred to be responsible for the security of her people and country and have been consistently reluctant to allow others to be placed in harm’s way preferring to take such risks for their security themselves. This idea of injecting American troops into the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is an awful idea whose time must be avoided and seen as poisonous to Israeli-American relations. Nothing positive can come from such a mistaken idea, such an abhorrent and noxious idea.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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March 13, 2013

United Nations Debate the Worth of Peacekeepers in Syria Ominous

We have been sold a lie about the United Nations and their use of peacekeepers to prevent flare-ups of violence between peoples living in some of the world’s hottest of hotspots. The reports claim that United Nations peacekeepers brave dangerous conditions placing themselves between potential adversaries and assure that violence will not be sustained should any menacing and foreboding events start a prelude to violence. But is this the reality or simply a nice fairy tale we accept as to believe otherwise would render the presence of peacekeepers and thus the United Nations relatively useless in blunting potential violence between any of the numerous regions where United Nations peacekeepers are currently deployed. The truth about the reality of peacekeepers effectiveness is important as they are an expensive luxury that are a waste of resources if they prove ineffective in actually preventing wars, violence, or persecution of minorities or other endangered peoples. Some of the recent events surrounding the deployment of peacekeepers resulting in their fleeing or being pulled at the first signs of violence or at the request of an aggressor who is already threatening to initiate aggressions.

 

When we look at the implementations where peacekeepers have been deployed we see mixed results. Even if we ignore the reports of misbehavior by peacekeeping troops such as trading food for favors and other similarly revolting practices, there still remains a question of the actual effectiveness of inserting peacekeepers to actually keep the peace. The current event which triggered our curiosity are the reports that the United Nations is reviewing whether to continue to station the peacekeepers in Syria near the Golan Heights and the Israeli border where they are tasked to enforce a DMZ (demilitarized zone) separating Israeli forces from those of Syria. For much of the time since their deployment in 1974 at the conclusion of the 1973 Yom Kippur War between Egypt and Syria against Israel these peacekeepers have watched a calm border with only a few relatively minor exceptions; the best known was a recent march on the Israeli border during Naqba demonstrations at which time no peacekeepers were near enough to challenge the Syrian demonstrators. At the close of the war the United Nations was eventually tasked to provide peacekeepers on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights and in the Sinai Peninsula (originally along the Suez Canal then moved to the Sinai after the Egyptian Israeli peace accords) between Israel and Egypt. This past week we witnessed the capture and holding hostage of twenty-one Philippine troops serving as peacekeepers. Originally the Syrian Rebels demanded for pro-Assad forces be pulled from towns near the Syrian Israeli border or they threatened to murder their captives. Fortunately, the release of the Philippine troops was negotiated and they were released. Since then there has been another incident where United Nations peacekeepers were on the receiving end of rifle shots, similarly to the number of incidents which have also been experienced by the Israeli troops stationed in the Golan Heights which has included rifle fire, mortars and even a number of artillery shells. The United Nations has one-thousand peacekeepers deployed from the Philippines, India and Austria making up the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). The UNDOF has already suspended their nighttime patrols as a precaution against further hostage situations and are considering pulling the entire UNDOF troops. What good are peacekeepers if they are pulled at the first instance of violence?

 

Looking at past experiences between United Nations and international forces as peacekeepers who have presumably been placed to prevent aggressions between Israel and the surrounding nations which have attacked Israel numerous times as well as sponsored across border terror attacks none have produced any preventive actions by any of the forces deployed as peacekeepers. After the Suez War of 1956 there was United Nations peacekeepers assigned to prevent Egyptian forces from crossing into the Sinai Peninsula as a preparation for war. When Gamal Abdel Nasser decided to move massive numbers of troops to the Israeli border in the Sinai Peninsula and cut off Israeli shipping access through the Straights of Tiran he simply demanded that the United Nations peacekeepers be removed to allow his aggressions. There were no attempts to prevent the coming war and the peacekeepers were removed in complete compliance to Nasser’s demands. There is also the complete ineffectiveness of the Lebanon peacekeepers, UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) in preventing the building of enforcements, tunnels and weapons caches south of the Litani River by the terror group Hezballah. These troops were completely ineffective in preventing the Second Lebanon War which was initiated after Hezballah forces crossed into Israel killing a number of IDF troops and kidnapping three others, they too were killed by their captors. When the restoration of a ceasefire was initiated through the United Nations, it was agreed that UNIFIL would be strengthened and their mission expanded. The result has been that the failure of UNIFIL has been expanded to fail to meet its new responsibilities and Hezballah has imported and placed multiple times the numbers of rockets and other munitions than were present at the start of the Second Lebanon War posing an even greater threat. Then there were the NATO observers who were placed with the agreement of the United Nations of monitors of the Rafah Crossing from the Sinai Peninsula in and out of Gaza. These observers did not last but a couple of weeks before they retreated to their hotel in Israel never to return to their monitoring posts. Hamas removed the monitoring cameras and the Rafah crossing has been enforced by Egyptian troops when any monitoring has been present. Basically, the record of United Nations peacekeepers has mostly been they have kept the peace until any palpable threat of violence was raised in their locations and they then found the quickest route of retreat and utilized it as soon as fighting was imminent. One would have to question what is the actual effectiveness of peacekeepers who only keep peace when there is no violence and leave when the peace becomes threatened.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 17, 2012

Syria Sliding Back Towards Chaos and Violence

Welcoming the advanced group of five United Nations unarmed monitors was news of renewed shelling upon the city of Homs with one report claimed they were bombarded at a rate of one shell per minute. By our best estimate, the ceasefire in Syria lasted almost six hours before artillery and tank fire broke the calm and everything started returning to wide ranged fighting. The official Syrian state news agency SANA reported the shelling and other violence were in response to terrorist attacks which ramped up almost immediately after the ceasefire was implemented forcing the government troops to resume their actions in order to protect the Syrian people. Best estimate is that the Syrian military is protecting half the Syrian people from the other half of the Syrian people.

 

The United Nations five peacekeepers were to be backed up by more some time today bringing their numbers up to thirty with plans on adding up to three hundred in total when quiet has been obtained. But there may be a small problem with the United Nations plan beyond the continued violence. Norwegian Major General Robert Mood was the appointed commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force until he boarded a flight leaving from Damascus and apparently headed home with no intention of returning. It is so refreshing when somebody from the United Nations actually shows good sense and clear thinking. We would like to commend Major General Robert Mood on a decision that is likely to prolong his life if not his career. It now falls to Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon to find a new appointment to command the peacekeeping efforts in Syria. We are willing to bet that volunteers with the slightest of experience on their resume would stand a decent chance at landing the position. The big question is not when will the fighting end in Syria, but when and where President Assad receives asylum and a nice villa in a country where he is unlikely to allow his being tried for crimes against humanity. That is something not likely to occur in the immediate future but we are still predicting by the end of May, though some here are starting to have their doubts.

 

We would like to wish Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon the best of luck in his search for a replacement to command the peacekeepers in Syria. Looking back at the year long history of the desperate situation in Syria, we expect that filling this position may be somewhat more difficult than usual. Remembering the two attempts at peacekeeping by the Arab League does not make the United Nation’s efforts look to have a promising future. The initial attempt by the Arab League fell apart before it got started as there were no volunteers to man the force. They got a little further with their second try which actually got exactly to the stage now attained by the United Nations. When a number of the Arab League observers came under fire and had to flee along with the civilians with whom they had been receiving reports and information, the League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby decided to pull the peacekeepers out immediately after a brief discussion with several Arab foreign ministers.

 

On a more personal level, it is hoped that the violence which has continued for over thirteen months and very likely claimed over ten-thousand lives, many of which were innocents, and uncounted injured including women and children, too often young children, and torn any shred of normalcy from the whole of Syria, may those pushing the conflict realize the harm and needless destruction they are causing and find some common ground and shared decency and resolve this conflict before there is nothing left of Syria for the winners to rule. You want to identify the true violence and denial of decent living conditions, it is the continued civil war in Syria, the little mentioned multi-party conflict for control in Libya and the senseless war over the oil fields between the Sudan and the newly established country of South Sudan, formed as a supposed solution to the ceaseless slaughter and warfare which ravaged the area of which Darfur was but one slice of the whole of suffering of that area. These are the current examples of real Arab suffering, of real Arab families being denied the opportunity to live a normal life, the real places scarred by violence which is beyond the imagination of most who read this article. Then there are those whose countries are in turmoil as they cobble together new governance after often brutal violence which brought the end of the rule of dictators and Presidents for life and now their country suffers economic collapse making their lives even more harsh than ever. And this rosy scenario ignores the possibility of the turmoil and strife of the Arab Spring spreading and turning more countries into victims of the eventual Arab Winter which seems to inevitably follow.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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