August 20, 2006:
The ceasefire deal is coming apart more quickly than originally expected. The European nations, which had originally promised combat troops, and a willingness to enforce the ceasefire in southern Lebanon (that is, disarm Hizbollah) are rapidly backpedaling. France, which had talked about leading the peacekeepers, and providing thousands of troops, when the ceasefire was being pushed through the UN, now offers 200 troops, and wants no part of leading the operation.
This is angering the UN, because everyone admits that only the well trained, and fairly incorruptible, European soldiers stand a chance of being able to disarm Hizbollah and assure peace in Lebanon. At the moment, most of the nations offering troops are Moslem. These soldiers would not crack down on Hizbollah, and would assure another round of fighting between Israel and the terrorists. The UN wants 3,500 peacekeepers in place by August 28th, and all 15,000 by late November. So far, it appears that this will not happen. The UN continues to appeal for troops, and condemn Israeli efforts to enforce the ceasefire conditions (that Hizbollah not rearm and reoccupy bases in southern Lebanon.) As in the past, the UN will pass resolutions demanding action, but will do nothing, except criticize Israel for defending itself.
Meanwhile, Israel has said it will maintain the ceasefire conditions until an effective peacekeeping force arrives in southern Lebanon. To this end, Israel sent a force of commandos, by helicopter, to a spot near the Syrian border. There was gunfire and explosions, and casualties, and the commandos flew out.
The Lebanese army has sent 1,500 troops to three areas that Israeli troops have withdrawn from. But the Lebanese government has already said that it will use force on Hizbollah. As in the past, Hizbollah will be allowed to bully its way through any Lebanese government officials.
The UN won't enforce the ceasefire, nor will Lebanon. Both will criticize Israeli efforts to enforce the ceasefire. That criticism is discouraging any European nations from joining the peacekeeping force. Fighting Hizbollah is seen as a losing proposition. Hizbollah will organize some dead civilians, and any force that fights Hizbollah will automatically become bad guys in the eyes of the mass media and the Moslem world.
However, Hizbollah media deception tactics are themselves becoming news, thus making Hizbollahs Information War efforts less effective. However, in the Moslem world, Hizbollah can still do no wrong. But 40 percent of Lebanese are not Moslem, but Christians. The Lebanese Christians are pressuring the other anti-Hizbollah minorities (Druze and Sunni) to back an effort to disarm Hizbollah. So far, no one wants to risk it. Most everyone is running from any responsibility for dealing with Hizbollah.
August 19, 2006: Turkey said that it was forcing Iranian air transports, suspected of carrying weapons, to land and be searched, before being allowed to proceed to Syria. However, not all large transports are searched, and it is known from reports out of Syria, that military personnel and weapons are still being flown from Iran to Syria.