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War In The Middle East: U.N. peacekeepers may have done more than just look the other way as Hezbollah created its armed state within a state. The blue helmets may have served as Hezbollah's military intelligence.
Real-time battlefield intelligence is a keystone of 21st century warfare, especially when you're up against a terrorist enemy that has had six years to construct hardened underground bunkers and tunnels from which to fight while not having to obey the rules of war.
The situation gets complicated and your task becomes harder when that real-time intelligence is being provided to that enemy, Hezbollah, by uniformed observers who are supposed to be neutral: the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Writing in the Sept. 4 issue of The Weekly Standard, Lori Lowenthal Marcus reviewed the UNIFIL postings on its Web site (un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil) during Hezbollah's war with Israel. She documented how UNIFIL listed Israeli positions and troop movements on a regular basis, sometimes within 30 minutes of their deployment.
UNIFIL has observed much but done little since Israel withdrew totally from Lebanon in 2000, except to interfere in Israel's ability to defend itself.
As Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the U.N., noted recently: "Hezbollah would launch military attacks 50 meters from a UNIFIL outpost, Israel would shoot back and UNIFIL would protest against the Israeli response. Now it has been caught actively aiding Israel's attackers."
Marcus' review of UNIFIL's Web postings show that it was daily revealing the towns Israeli soldiers had moved into, the positions from which they were firing, and when and how they had entered Lebanon. These postings described the nature of their weaponry and materiel, and the locations of Israeli Defense Force safety structures mere hours after their construction.
One such posting, dated July 25, read:
"Yesterday and during last night, the IDF moved significant reinforcements, including a number of tanks, armored personal carriers, bulldozers and infantry, to the area of Marun Al Ras inside Lebanese territory. The IDF advanced from that area north toward Bint Jubayl, and south toward Yarun."
We're sure Hezbollah's terrorists, as they had their morning coffee, read such postings with interest before deciding which civilian building or U.N. observation posts they could hide behind and launch rockets from on Haifa and other northern Israeli civilian targets.
This isn't the first time UNIFIL aided Hezbollah. In an Oct. 7, 2000, incident similar to the killing and capture by Hezbollah of IDF soldiers that sparked the latest war, Hezbollah operatives used cars disguised as U.N. vehicles to kidnap and kill three Israeli soldiers.
UNIFIL not only observed, but also videotaped, the incident. When Israel asked for a copy of the tape, it was first told that no such tape existed, then that handing it over would violate the U.N.'s "neutrality." Insert your own joke here.
For six years, UNIFIL watched the Iranian advanced guard move in 13,000 rockets and place them in hardened bunkers. The U.N. gang let its observers and posts be shields for Hezbollah attacks. Add UNIFIL's battlefield-intelligence collaboration with Hezbollah, and the U.N.'s actions are shameful and unconscionable.
This is the organization that is supposed to restore peace in Lebanon and restrain Hezbollah?
This is the "neutral" organization that is supposed to keep Iran from nuking Israel? No, this is the organization whose officials and members took bribes from Saddam Hussein under the corrupt oil-for-food program.
No wonder UNIFIL isn't supposed to fire on Hezbollah. That might constitute friendly fire. Say what you want about the ineffective League of Nations. At least it never slept with the enemy.