July 28, 2006

They teach us that phony "peace" is meaningless

Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher in today's Washington Post:

In April 1996, when Hezbollah again launched rocket attacks on Israel's northern border, the Israelis countered with Operation Grapes of Wrath, sending 400,000 Lebanese fleeing from southern Lebanon. Errant Israeli bombs hit a U.N. refugee camp at Cana in southern Lebanon, killing about 100 civilians and bringing the wrath of international public opinion down upon Israel.

This time Shimon Peres, who had become prime minister after the assassination of Rabin, sought our help. In response, we launched an eight-day shuttle to Damascus, Beirut and Jerusalem that produced a written agreement bringing the hostilities to an end. Weeks later, the parties agreed to a border monitoring group consisting of Israel, Syria, Lebanon, France and the United States. Until three weeks ago, that agreement had succeeded for 10 years in preventing a wholesale resumption of hostilities.

What do these episodes teach us?

President Bush provides the correct answer:

My goal is exactly what I said it was, and that is to hopefully end this as quickly as possible, and at the same time, making sure there's a lasting peace -- not a fake peace, not a fake, you know, kind of circumstances that make us all feel better, and then, sure enough, the problem arises again.

"Fake" in that since Christopher's "terrific" agreement, Israel has withdrawn from Lebanon (not to mention Gaza), while Hizbollah continued to build its arsenal.

But hey, if I was Christopher, I'd try to make foreign policy appear as peachy as possible from back in the Clinton years, too -- just to avoid having folks remember that it was he and that administration that glossed over the al Qaeda threat and brokered another "terrific agreement" with North Korea.

(h/t: Taranto.)

Posted by Rhodey at July 28, 2006 03:45 PM | TrackBack

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