17 July 2006

I am Jack's complete lack of surprise

US cool to immediate Israel-Hezbollah ceasefire

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States declined to join calls for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah, insisting such a pact would only be a temporary fix for the worsening crisis.

"What ... everybody wants to see is a cessation of violence," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

"But nobody wants to see a cessation of violence done in such a way that you end up back where we are today at some point in the future."

A United Nations team, European Union foreign ministers and other key political players have called for a ceasefire, but Hezbollah has already rejected such a step on terms laid down by Israel.

A senior State Department official meanwhile spelled out Washington's objections to an immediate ceasefire.

"A ceasefire is a very specific term," the official said. It implies some sort of temporary status.

"You want to get to a place where you actually have a cessation of violence not only in the immediate term, but the longer term. Ceasefire implies a state of suspended hostilities which is not what you want," the official said.

"In order to have a lasting cessation of hostilities, you have to take those steps where the government of Lebanon exercises control over its entire space and Hezbollah is dismantled," the official said.

The official's comments bolstered the view of analysts who have interpreted Washington's statements on the crisis to mean that the Bush administration wants to allow Israel space to wipe out Hezbollah's infrastructure.
So, by all means, let's work out the longer term solution while major public infrastructure is being destroyed and neighborhoods are being bombed, killing civilians and militants, alike. After all, isn't that the ideal situation for Lebanon to "exercise control over it's entire space?" Assuming the government survives Israel's preposterously out of preportion muscle-flexing, I'm sure it'll do just that.

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