Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Quote of the Day: why oppose a cease-fire?

Yesterday, Portland blogger Bill McDonald (HT: Jack) noted a graphic in Britain's The Independent newspaper that showed the US was one of just three countries -- the others being the United Kingdom and Israel -- who hadn't backed the UN call for a cease-fire in the Middle East.

And who can argue with the idea of a cease-fire? Who wouldn't be in favor of the cessation of hostilities to save human life? How stupid can the US and UK be, when every other country of the world is against them?

Unfortunately, it's not that simple, says the incomparable Andrew McCarthy on NRO's The Corner. McCarthy reminds us that a cease-fire is an idea based upon the false premise that Hezbollah is a legitimate world partner, instead of the fact that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization supported by terrorists sympathizers Syria and Iran. McCarthy notes that a cease-fire treats Hezbollah like a sovereign nation instead of "a terrorist organization which exists outside the civilizing norms on which much of diplomacy (like much of international law) is premised." He continues:
Wouldn't a "sustainable cease-fire" implicitly acknowledge Hezbollah's right to continue existing as a terrorist organization (and, by definition, prevent "firing" on it, which is the only realistic way it can be destroyed)? Wouldn't it, moreover, reward Hezbollah — by virtue of nothing other than its savagery — with the elevated status of a sovereign?

Is that how you defeat terrorism?
In other words, Hezbollah hasn't followed the "rules" of diplomacy for decades, and isn't about to start now. Thus, a cease-fire (which inherently implies that negotiations will follow) offers rewards based on a track record that directly and unavoidably contradicts the reasons for such rewards.

McCarthy bases all this on the idea that Hezbollah should be destroyed, with which I agree. Unfortunately, I don't think it's going to happen. It's like claiming that Islamic terrorism would stop with the destruction of al Qaeda. There are too many bad guys out there all-too-willing to take the place of an Osama bin Laden or Hassan Nasrallah -- especially when the goal is the eradication of Israel -- should they make their final descent into Hell.


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