The U.N. in what can be best described as proof that it’s better to be late than never has awoken from a deep sleep of inaction and malfeasence and pulled its unarmed and defenseless observers from the center of the Israeli Labanon battlefield.
The United Nations has decided to remove 50 unarmed observers from posts along the Israeli-Lebanese border and relocate them with lightly armed U.N. peacekeepers, a spokesman said Friday.
“These are unarmed people and this is for their protection,” said Milos Struger, a spokesman for U.N. peacekeepers. He said the 2,000 peacekeepers in Lebanon have light weapons for self-defense.
The observer mission, known as UNTSO, had kept about 50 observers in four posts along the border. Two posts have already been abandoned: the one destroyed at Khiam on July 25, and a second near the village of Maroun al-Ras, where Hezbollah guerrilla gunfire wounded an observer on July 23.
As the UN finally “gets it right” cries are heard from the Hezbollah apologists (like this one and this Newsvine freak)) and sympathizers are heard screeming; “It’s the JOOOOS fault!
They take that stance out of idelogical idiocy of course and that mindset seems to fit the U.N. as well. But you have to ask yourself just who read the UNIFIL report of July 20 (pdf file) at Turtle Bay. Obviously no one, or at least no one that cared.
28. Control of the Blue Line and its vicinity appears to have remained for the most part with Hizbollah. During the reporting period, Hizbollah maintained and reinforced a visible presence in the area, with permanent observation posts, temporary checkpoints and patrols. It continued to carry out intensive construction works to strengthen and expand some of its fixed positions, install additional technical equipment, such as cameras, establish new positions close to the Blue Line and build new access roads.
These measures resulted in a more strategically laid out and fortified structure of Hizbollah’s deployment along the Blue Line. Some Hizbollah positions remained in close proximity to United Nations positions, especially in the Hula area, posing a significant security risk to United Nations personnel and equipment, as demonstrated during the heavy exchanges of fire on 28 May. In letters to the Foreign Minister, dated 23 March, 27 June and 5 July 2006, the Force Commander, General Pellegrini, expressed grave concern about the Hizbollah construction works in close proximity to United Nations positions and requested that the Government of Lebanon take necessary actions to rectify the situation. However, the situation remained unchanged despite repeated objections addressed by UNIFIL to the Lebanese authorities. UNIFIL observed the reconstruction of Hizbollah positions that were damaged or destroyed during the 28 May exchange of fire.
The United Nations should have been well aware as far back as March Hezbollah was using their positions as safe havens from which to carry out not only reconnaissance of Israeli positions, but possible areas they could attack from in the event of hostilities occured.
At this point the investigation isn’t complete and the Israeli side of events haven’t been aired. But all indications are, from the U.N.’s own reports via UNIFIL, they were sadly lacking in the “protect thy own” department.
And sadly it isn’t the first time. You’ll recall that U.N. special representative in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, and 22 others were killed when a bomb ripped apart the Mission headquarters in Baghdad. Shortly thereafter Kofi started pointed his crooked fingers at the U.S for not providing the needed security cordon around the compound.
An independent panel investigating the bombing found “UN security systems” in place “dysfunctional and in need of reform.” It was also discovered the U.S. had offered both assistance thru a detailed security plan and personal to accomplish the job.
The U.N. turned down that offer.
The investigating panel was led by Martti Ahtisaari, a former President of Finland and appointed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. His words at the time show the U.N. didn’t learn much from that tragedy as evidenced by the current debacle in Lebanon; “There has been a dramatic shift. Earlier we all believed that the UN flags protected us…We need a much more professional approach, a professional staff, and resources available for the organization.”
united Nations, UN, UNIFIL, Kofi Annan, Israel, Lebanon, Terrorism, Politics, Cranial Cavity
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