Negotiations underway in the corridors of the United Nations Security Council on issuing a resolution on the Israeli aggression against Lebanon remain deadlocked. The talks rise and fall and alternate waves of optimism and pessimism sweep over the negotiators trying to reach an agreement on such a resolution.
All such attempts collide with the intransigence of America and Israel as they cling fast to their conditions and refuse to make any concessions. This is accompanied by military operations and Israeli military attacks that penetrate Lebanese territory, bombardments that kill civilians, and the killing and displacement of the largest possible number of residents in an attempt to put pressure on Lebanon from the inside by exacerbating the refugee crisis and preventing any means of providing for their needs and requirements. It is also in response to the failure and losses suffered by the Israeli military in its penetrations into Lebanon on the ground. In an attempt to make some advances in the negotiations, France presented a draft proposal in which it tries to get around American objections, such as America’s insistence that the draft provide for a halt of offensive military operations rather than a cease-fire, and the introduction of an international deterrent force that supervises the armed situation in the south and on the Lebanese-Syrian borders (under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter), disarming Hizballah, and tying up the Israeli withdrawal until that is accomplished. Therefore the French have decided to offer their proposals including an international force also on the basis of UN Chapter VII but with lighter language about its tasks. The French are also proposing the deployment of French forces to arrive immediately pending the formation of the international force later on, the disarming of Hizballah in the region, the deployment of forces and the implementation of UN Resolution 1559 and of the at-Ta’if Accords, with a mention of the Shabaa Farms, but with the immediate release of the two Israeli prisoners, while the matter of Lebanese prisoners is to be looked into speedily.
Although these proposals are a long way from the Lebanese seven-point proposal, they have also been rejected so far thanks to increased pressure from the United States. France has therefore threatened to advance its own separate draft resolution. Russia likewise has advanced a plan involving a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire. Israel’s failures and the rise of political and military differences within the nazi elite that is running the war against Lebanon are continuing.
Popular protests against the continuing aggression are widening. All that is taking place against the backdrop of the failure of the Israeli military offensive on the ground. Some are putting the blame on the attempt to rely entirely on air power, others blame the fact that the offensive on the ground was carried out in gradual stages and the pervasive fear of getting bogged down in a south-Lebanon quagmire. This fear has been exacerbated by the increase in military losses since the attempt to advance further began. Thus, despite the extent of the destruction of Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure as a result of the Israeli assault, Israel’s military failure is being reflected in the back and forth under way in the Security Council where America’s desire to implement its plan to wipe out the resistance politically has lost its swagger as a result of the fact that its tool, Israel, has failed to implement its plan militarily on the ground. With the continuation and escalation of the fighting in coming days, it is expected that Israeli military casualties will rise, causing increased grumbling and protest from the Israeli public and inflaming the political struggle among the Israeli authorities and within its ruling political class (between the patrons and the opposition) in particular since voices have begun to be heard asking who is to blame for what is going on and who will pay the price for this gamble that has brought down the standing of their army, with others are now beginning to single out Condoleezza Rice as being the one who pushed the Israeli leadership once again into the Lebanese quagmire.
Has the situation entered a dead end?
Israel has not been able to score a military victory up to now, and in fact has paid a very big price, materially, in terms of manpower, and more importantly in terms of morale, since it has not been able to crush the resistance as it expected to be able to do. The jost serious thing is the question as to what would happen if the Lebanese resistance’s means of confrontation were adopted by resistance movements on more than one Arab front. What would then remain of the legendary Israeli superiority that it regards as a foundation of its existence?
The United States has not been able to benefit, so far, from this aggression (because it has failed), and has not been able to make gains to compensate for the difficulties and problems it is facing generally in the framework of its "New Middle East" scheme, and in pursuing a policy that has caused problems for its old allies and new ones alike, in Lebanon, and in the Arab world. In fact some of its "achievements" are now in danger of collapse. So can America bear to leave this confrontation without having achieved any progress in isolating and striking the forces that are resisting or obstructing the spread of its plans?
France feels that it is waging the last battle of its presence in the Middle East. Its policy of tying itself to the United States has won it nothing; in fact has brought it losses. And its last loss might be in Lebanon, since France has come to realize that the battle in Lebanon, rather than weakening its "enemies and competitors" has been weakening its allies.
Syria and Iran wait and watch. The Lebanese have continued to uphold their demands, with Arab support so far, because if, after reaching a consensus on those demands, they start to make concessions, that could have domestic repercussions. This is an option that everyone has been avoiding so far, despite attempts at "preemptive strikes" by one or another political grouping. Possibilities.
The first possibility is that all sides might make mutual concessions in order to arrive at a UN resolution acceptable to all parties. The likelihood of this is slim, because under the current balance of forces and with the current situation on the battlefield and in the negotiations, and given the fact that the conditions demanded by the sides are contradictory, it would be difficult to arrive at such a resolution at the present times.
The second possibility is that America will continue to use the "diplomacy of gunfire" to put pressure on the international, Arab, and Lebanese positions to continue to try to push them to make concessions and submit to America’s conditions.
This supposes that more time will be given to talks and to Israeli military activities, with military strikes from the air and land aimed at the resistance and also designed to displace the largest possible number of residents in several regions of the country in order to weaken Lebanon’s ability to resist, and to put pressure on the resistance from the inside as well. This is the jost probable possibility, and it could lead to other possibilities. This is the option that America and Israel have been pursuing thus far. Therefore the Lebanese in positions of authority must uphold the demands and rights of the Lebanese, not making concessions or frittering them away, and their diplomacy must base itself on the resistance and steadfastness of our people, considering them the foundation on which the aims of the aggression can be dashed.
The third possibility is that America and Israel will back away from some of their conditions for the time being, particularly given the fact that their military operation has been stalling, with domestic splits inside Israel increasing, with America afraid that some of its "achievements" in the Middle East are threatened with being lost. They might therefore agree to a temporary truce, so that American can shuffle its cards anew. The possibility of this is however slim at this point, since the opposition to the American-Israeli plan is limited only to Lebanon and Palestine.