Sunday, August 20, 2006

Backs Out Of

Every nation that worked on the Peace Treaty is now backing out. Doesn't that sound Biblical? If not, you'd better start reading your Bible a little more critically. It isn't just a book of feel-good messages, you know. There's some stuff in there about Israel, and the Jews, and the people who try to kill them.

This all sounds so familiar:

None of the European countries who were so loudly calling for a cease-fire in Lebanon are willing to commit troops. They’re afraid of being sitting ducks, human shields for Hizballah. And they should be: Europeans Delay Decision on Role Inside Lebanon. (Hat tip: Ron.)

PARIS, Aug. 20 — The shaky, United Nations-brokered cease-fire in Lebanon suffered another blow on Sunday when the European countries that had been called upon to provide the backbone of a peacekeeping force delayed a decision on committing troops until the mission is more clearly defined.

Their reservations postponed any action on the force at least until Wednesday, when the European Union will take up the issue.

Haunted by their experiences in Bosnia in the 1990’s, when their forces were unable to stop widespread ethnic killing, European governments are insisting upon clarifying the chain of command and rules of engagement before plunging into the even greater complexities of the Middle East.

“In the past, when peacekeeping missions were not properly defined, we’ve seen major failures,’’ a spokeswoman for the French Foreign Ministry, Agnès Romatet-Espagne, said Sunday. “There are the bad memories of Bosnia. This time we want the answers beforehand, so we don’t come to the problems when they have happened.’’

In addition, a senior French official said, “Italy, Spain and Finland have raised the same questions as France has.” Following the usual diplomatic practice, the official asked not to be identified. A spokesman for the Spanish Foreign Ministry said Spain was willing to send troops, “but the rules have to be clarified and agreed on.”

Some countries, like Australia, which has placed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, have flatly refused to commit troops. “We have no intention of making any significant contribution,” said a senior Australian government official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. “We don’t have any confidence in it. It is not going to have the mandate to disarm Hezbollah.”

1Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.

--- I Thessalonians 5:1-6