Much of what goes on in the world these days has a surreal quality. But here’s a case that is sort of emblematic of a host of situations:
“Syrian rebels linked to Al-Qaeda have seized UN weapons, uniforms and vehicles from peacekeepers in the Golan and set up a ‘safe zone’ to wage attacks, the Syrian ambassador said Tuesday.
“The United Nations on Monday was forced to pull back hundreds of peacekeepers to the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan (sic) after Syrian rebels advanced on their positions.
“Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari said fighters from Al-Nusra ‘had succeeded in occupying all of the Syrian side’ of the Golan, driving out the troops from the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).
“’The terrorists are now using United Nations cars, which hold the emblem of the United Nations forces in the Golan. They are using the uniform of the UNDOF, the weapons of UNDOF, the positions of UNDOF to shell on the Syrian army as well as on the civilians in the villages,’ Jaafari told reporters.”
UNDOF is charged with monitoring a buffer zone that runs across the Golan, between Israel and Syria. Its 1,200-strong force is comprised of troops from Fiji, India, Ireland, Nepal, the Netherlands, and the Philippines.
This is the clearest map I was able to locate. Note: In 1981, Israel applied civil law to the Golan, which has been in Israeli hands since 1967:
“Jaafari accused Israel, Qatar and Jordan of being behind a ‘very big plot’ to destabilize Syria by letting the Syrian rebels take control of part of the buffer to set up a ‘safe zone’ from where it can wage attacks.”
Israel cooperating with Hamas-funding Qatar in a “very big plot”?? Well, the story would not be complete if Israel were not blamed somehow.
From here we can segue to another task that the UN is assuming:
The UN is brokering an agreement for the reconstruction of Gaza.
According to a report just released by Robert Serry, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process:
“Reconstruction, recovery, governance and security in the Gaza Strip must take place in the context of the return of one legitimate Palestinian Authority to the Strip… (emphasis added)
“The formation of the GNC [Government of National Consensus] under President Abbas and in accordance with the PLO principles was welcomed by the international community. The UN has long underscored the need for progress towards Palestinian unity in line with existing resolutions, within the framework of the PLO commitments and the positions of the Quartet and the Arab Peace Initiative.”
If I were able to make genuine sense of this diplomatic double-talk, I would gladly explain it. Apparently the UN is endorsing the Palestinian Unity government – which is on the verge of falling apart and which Hamas does not truly acknowledge in Gaza in any event – as the legitimate authority in Gaza. That is, if the unity government works within the framework of the Quartet positions, which Hamas refuses to accept.
The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, the body coordinating development assistance to the Palestinians, will come together in New York in a meeting hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
But there’s more:
Reconstruction will also involve the private sector, and the UN will do “monitoring to ensure that construction materials will not be diverted from civilian to military uses.” (Emphasis added)
The UN? I’m sure they will function according to their well-recognized standards.
Apparently Israel has agreed to this. Did we have a choice? Did we seek alternatives? ARE there alternatives?
The decision was made not to re-take Gaza. Are we stuck with this, which will lead to no good? IF it happens.
Serry said the UN considers the “temporary mechanism [the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee]” to rebuild Gaza “a signal of hope to the people of Gaza.” According to the Washington Post, he considers this “an important step toward lifting all remaining closures of crossings into the Strip.”
Please note, there is not a word about demilitarization of Hamas. He has the unmitigated gall to talk about lifting all remaining closures without addressing the dangers to Israel.
I would remind you: Monitoring the reconstruction project to make sure reconstruction materials (primarily concrete) will not be diverted to military purposes (construction of tunnels) in no way addresses the wholesale smuggling of rockets into Gaza (in pieces that can be easily smuggled), were all closures to be fully opened.
Where is our prime minister in all of this? The fact that Serry – no friend to Israel – imagines that the crossings should soon be opened fully in no way indicates that Netanyahu has signed off on this. He perhaps finds it wiser – more politic, in his style – to let Serry et al make pronouncements to which Israel has not agreed without bothering to contradict. There surely must be intention, as well, to do monitoring on our side – although Serry, of course, mentions no role for Israel.
Serry said the reconstruction project “must get up and running without delay.”
But a key source of mine says it’s not going to happen. He seemed quite sure. He was not fully explicit but here are are a couple of the reasons why not:
“The deputy Palestinian prime minister, Mohammed Mustafa, said last week that international donors are hesitant to fund Gaza’s reconstruction so long as Hamas remains in control there and the specter of future wars looms. Mustafa, a top official in the West Bank Palestinian Authority, said international bodies are eager for President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah forces to take on a leading role in Gaza.” (Emphasis added)
Hamas already took out Fatah forces in Gaza once. Are we due for a re-run?
It occurs to me here that Netanyahu may read the situation much as my source does.
Serry is under the illusion that if the Security Council supports the project, it will reassure donors that the project they invest in will be implemented “expeditiously, and solely for their intended civilian purpose.”
Now that I’ve stopped laughing, I will close with a bit of recent UN history:
After the Lebanon war in 2006, during which Israel seriously degraded Hamas capabilities, the Security Council passed Resolution 1701. It set in place UNIFIL – UN forces that were intended to work with the Lebanese army to prevent Hamas from re-arming (smuggling rockets in from Syria). Today Hezbollah has some 100,000 rockets. (And I’ll address this major problem soon.)
At one point, some years ago, I learned that UNIFIL did no operations – no monitoring or patrolling – at night. The smuggling, needless to say, was done at night.
My friends, did I not say this was surreal? Let’s watch how it plays out now…
We have not yet heard from Hamas – and remember that there is no final ceasefire agreement yet.
I note here as well that there is no mention of a role for the EU, which was supposed to be solidly on board with assuring that Hamas did not re-arm, etc. etc.
By: Lloyd Marcus
For crying out loud, will someone “pleeeeease” take a stand for Conservatism? Someone forwarded this article to me, “Why Are Republicans Suddenly Leaning Left?” http://bit.ly/1qEJAvj The article cites numerous examples of the GOP obviously believing it must embrace at least lukewarm Liberalism while backing away from Conservatism to win elections.
The article mentioned that Mitt Romney avoided saying “Republican” in an ad supporting Scott Brown’s Senate run. Romney said in the ad referring to Brown, “will buck his own party to do what’s right for New Hampshire.” Romney’s statement implies that Conservatism can be mean, but rest assured that Brown will push back if Republicans go down that road. This hogwash drives me nuts because Conservatism is not mean, Liberalism is mean!
Mr Romney you are an honorable man. But, if you are not going to boldly articulate the superior attributes of Conservatism; how it is rooted in compassion and why it is most beneficial to all Americans — if you are afraid to explain the foundational evils of Liberalism, please stay home; out of the 2016 presidential race.
In the first 2012 presidential debate, Romney kicked Obama’s butt with truth and facts. Then, Romney went on “prevent defense” in the next debate. His behavior said, “I have Obama on the ropes. I’m not going to say or do anything to blow my lead.” Consequently, in the second debate Romney allowed Obama to get away with lies.
Clueless low info voters believed Obama’s lies and his sycophant MSM allies said nothing. Romney’s lukewarm defense of Republican principles (Conservatism) led to 4 million frustrated Republican voters staying home, not bothering to cast their votes on election day.
Thus far, Romney is telegraphing that he will use the same failed “don’t-come-across-too-conservative” strategy again. Stay home Mr Romney. Please stay home.
Even the Bible expresses displeasure with those who are afraid to stand up for what they believe. “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
Like President Ronald Reagan, I am a bold colors kind of guy. http://bit.ly/WIQPGf
Enough with the weak kneed apologizing and watering down what it means to be conservative; allowing certain Americans to break laws due to race, embracing immoral and culturally destructive behaviors in the name of inclusion.
I liked G. W. Bush, but I rue the day that he came out with his “Compassionate Conservatism”. He reenforced Dems/liberal’s lie that Conservatism is not by nature, compassionate. The truth is Conservatism is the epitome of compassion. When will someone have the backbone to stand up for Conservatism; tell Americans why it is far better for them than Liberalism? I am a black conservative because it would be idiotic and self-destructive to embrace Liberalism.
Conservatism 101: A Tale of Two Dads – Little Johnny Says He Does Not Want to Go to School.
Liberal dad’s reply: “Son, I feel your pain. School has too many challenges. Stay in bed. I will provide for and protect you.”
Conservative dad’s reply: “Johnny, you get your butt out of that bed this instant and get ready for school. I will speak to the principal, attend PTA and do whatever necessary. You need an education to have a happy and fulfilled life. I love you son.”
Which dad is righteous, loving and truly compassionate?
Folks, my little scenario illustrates the foundational beliefs under girding Conservatism and Liberalism in America. Conservatism is good for people, offering help to launch folks into self-reliance and personal achievement which creates self-respect and self-esteem.
Liberalism is notorious for dissing people, implying that they are stupid and weak in need of cradle to grave government dependency and intellectual liberals managing their lives.
This is why it is so frustrating to watch the MSM get away with branding the Tea Party “extreme” with very little push back and even support from the GOP. At the core of the Tea Party is Conservatism. Unlike liberals, we respect the individual. We are patriots who desire our government to abide by the Constitution. We desire smaller government, laws enforced equally, fiscal responsibility and a president who does not behave like our Imperial Dictator. And yet, we in the Tea Party are the ones called crazy extremists and a threat to our nation. Why won’t someone tell America the truth, who we really are?
Continuing to allow liberal’s lies about conservatives to go unchallenged is unacceptable. Liberal’s modus operandi is to accuse conservatives of the very crimes they commit.
For example: Liberals say conservatives are intolerant. Liberals are the epitome of intolerance. And for all their campaigning against bullying, liberals are notorious bullies. Talk about blood in the water; how many times have we witnessed the liberal MSM having a feeding frenzy ripping apart someone who dared to express a point of view other than their consensus on an issue? http://bit.ly/1tNkmNz
Bloody victims barely hold on to life after suffering public humiliation and the loss of property and income. And yet, these vicious liberal bullies get all the credit; praised as paragons of compassion. The truth is compassion is the heart of Conservatism.
With Obama’s declining approval numbers, GOP candidates have a golden opportunity to explain the superior attributes and benefits of Conservatism.
Who will be our John the Baptist? Who will be our voice crying in the wilderness proclaiming the good news of Conservatism?
Hat Tip: BB
By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings
Last Friday a friend of ours had a few folks over for dinner as they showed us their new house. Upon entering my attention was drawn to a row of bookshelves handsomely filled with a life time’s collection of ‘favorites’. He explained how painful it was deciding which books to keep and which to donate as the new house was considerably smaller and there simply wasn’t room for everything.
I wasn’t the only one taking a cursory observation of the books. My friend Don was quietly remarking, “I’ve read these, and these…and most of these as well”. He paused momentarily as one book caught his attention; reaching to touch it and then carefully extract it from the others as he opened the cover and smiled.
“I see you’ve found an old friend”, I remarked as he temporarily found another dimension in time and space, closing his eyes to savor the moment.
“You have no idea”, he responded in hushed tones as he placed the book carefully, almost lovingly, to the space it had occupied, “I helped this fellow write at one time”. He truly had found an ‘old friend’ among the printed works.
I was visiting with my folks over the weekend and found myself perusing their book shelves. In their ‘Florida Room’ there’s a set of Compton’s Encyclopedias printed in 1936. These books were considered ‘ancient’, but useful all the same, when used to help with school assignments. They trapped history in place, a time period captured in black and white which recorded the events of our world up to that moment and no further.
Unlike the Internet, Google or other search engines which we take for granted in our day, encyclopedias in their printed form freeze time so that it can be examined without editing by future generations.
When I was a young boy I was fascinated with airplanes and often found myself day dreaming as the pictures presented in the encyclopedia whisked me off into the wild blue yonder. We lived a short distance from the Grumman facilities and thrilled to hear them testing jet engines, the future of flying machines close enough to make the hair on our backs stand on end.
But there were no jet planes as yet, at least no passenger jets taking off on the half hour every day. The airplanes of that time were small propeller driven aircraft considered by many to be a novelty more than a means of transportation for the masses. The only jets at the time were being developed as fighter jets for the Korean War. I remember looking up to see a formation of Flying Boxcars, marveling as they slowly marched across the sky to complete some military purpose.
I snapped a couple of digital pictures with my cell phone while enjoying these old books, uploaded them to my Dropbox account; the Cloud which magically stores all the zeros and ones perfectly somewhere in the heavens until you want to use them later. Once resized with a photo editing program these images were inserted into this article so that anyone with a computer connection can view them; all this we take for granted.
With a little imagination you might see a young boy staring into the pages of that old encyclopedia, the image of an airplane before him as he prepares his mind for all that is to come. That’s what it’s like to find an old friend among all the other books on the shelves, a chance to savor the past while at the same time considering the blessings given over the years.
This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.