Saturday, July 29, 2006

Israel's neighbours want to destroy them...

So let's put together a peacekeeping force made up of Israel's neighbours!

Via POGGE, the mind boggles at the thought. But, that is precisely what Steve Harper is now suggesting. (All emphasis mine.)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been blunt about his lack of enthusiasm for committing Canadian troops to a still undefined international force to secure the Lebanese-Israeli border.

He argues it's a task better performed by soldiers from neighboring countries, and that Canada's contribution will come in the form of financial and humanitarian assistance to areas devastated by the more than two weeks of bombing.
Please, please, please, provide something by way of explanation for that line of thinking.

Harper's pre-emptive stance has not, however, deterred opposition Liberal and NDP MPs from arguing in favour of committing Canadian military personnel and equipment. Nor has it eliminated the prospect of Canada being pressed by other countries to pitch in.
OK, let's dismiss the NDP and Liberal arguments on political grounds. Let's not however, dismiss the view of the international community in wanting Canada involved... should such a force ever be generated and if a cease-fire ever occurs.

Canada, despite the position of Harper in taking one side in the current conflict, stands a better chance of placing troops on a blue line and being honest brokers than many other countries. We still have an opportunity to come out of this without becoming mired in failed US diplomacy if we quickly commit to a presence on the ground.

Yes, it would mean Stevie would have to temper his US scripted support for Israel and he might actually have to do something measured. And, there is now an up side to Harper's unqualified support for Israel. The Israelis would probably consider Canada's presence something of a good thing.

Lebanon might not be too pleased, but given his suggestion that Lebanon's neighbours do the job, they probably view Harper as a bit of a diplomatic amateur and pretty low on any scale of statesmanship you might choose to use.

Whether such a mission is ever mounted remains to be seen, but it's a certainty that it would never be comprised in the manner suggested by Harper.

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