Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice spoke from the Western White House, also known as President Bush’s favorite vacation spot from which to watch large numbers of people die. She addressed the draft U.N. resolution on the Israel/Lebanon conflict nearly one month old. I took the liberty of reading between the lines in her comments and offer my version below:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice described a draft U.N. cease-fire resolution as a first step to stop violence in the Middle East, but said it cannot solve the problems in Lebanon which now include almost 1,000 civilian deaths, $2.5 billion in damaged or destroyed infrastructure, and in impending humanitarian crisis with nearly 1 million people displaced and hospitals shuttering their doors.
Rice said the completely neutered Lebanese government must extend its authority into the south so the militant Islamic group Hezbollah does not have control. She said the international community must help Lebanese forces be successful over the next several months. There needs to be teams of peacekeepers in the region to protect and patrol the rubble.
"We're trying to deal with a problem that has been festering and brewing in Lebanon now for years and years and years," Rice said. "And so it's not going to be solved by one resolution in the Security Council. The problem consisted of 5,000 armed Hezbollah guerillas in a country of 4.4 million people. For each armed Hezbollah fighter Israel destroyed $2.5 million in infrastructure and displaced 20,000 Lebanese citizens.
"These things take awhile to wind down, you can’t expect an army of 250,000 to wipe out 5,000 guerillas quickly" she said. "It is certainly not the case that probably all violence is going to stop. .. I can't say that you should rule out that there could be skirmishes of some kind for some time to come." (For the last three weeks didn’t she say no cease fire until a lasting peace could be formed? Now she says don’t expect a lasting peace. Did we wait almost a month for nothing?)
Rice said a second proposal was being drafted at the U.N. that would form an international force. There can be no looting of fictional weapons of mass destruction as the Americans experienced in Iraq.
"There are things the Israelis wanted (wink, wink) and things the #@#&@ Lebanese wanted, and everybody wasn't going to get everything that they wanted," Rice said. "This is the international community's effort to bring about a reasonable, equitable basis for the cessation of hostilities almost a month late of the kind that are so devastating to civilian populations that the Bush administration cares very little about.”
How many in that civilian population died during the U.S. knuckle dragging? Condi speaks but those who can read between the lines no longer listen. She doesn’t speak for us.
P.S. Anything in italics is solely a creation of this author. Any resemblance to real life positions or perspectives is merely a matter of coincidence.