Mahmoud Sabit at PostGlobal

Mahmoud Sabit

Cairo, Egypt

Mahmoud Sabit is a historian and an authority on Egypt’s 19th century political reforms. Sabit also works as a writer and producer of historical documentaries. Close.

Mahmoud Sabit

Cairo, Egypt

Mahmoud Sabit is a historian and an authority on Egypt’s 19th century political reforms. more »

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Don't Put them in Harm's Way

Cairo, Egypt -- Unless Tony Blair and the European leaders are contemplating sending a military force comparable to the one that the UN sent into Korea at the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 with several full scale divisions with supporting equipment and air power, then such military forces would be definitively sent into harms way.

The outstanding issues between all the involved parties would first have to be agreed to in principal before any peacekeeping force is sent into the region. The peacekeeping force would also need to have the support of the Lebanese army. At the moment the Lebanese army has been targeted within their military bases by Israeli military strikes. There may not be much of a Lebanese army left one week from now. Lebanese military personnel may not want to sit in their barracks and await their imminent destruction. They dissolved several times in the past for similar reasons and returned to join their respective sectarian regions, which also means that many of the rank and file Shia'a in the army may return to the South and take up arms with Hezbollah.

The only lasting difference that such a peacekeeping force can make is to keep an already agreed to peace. The parties involved -- Israel, Lebanon, Hezballah, and Syria, -- would first have to arrive at an agreement in principal addressing their outstanding demands, before such a peacekeeping force is deployed.

In order for these respective demands to be met, there must be serious engagement by the international community to ensure that all parties actually come to an agreement. Any disproportionate support for one party, or dismissal of the legitimate interests of another would merely postpone this crisis to some more convenient confrontation at a later date.

This time, the outstanding issues must be addressed -- the disarming of Hezbullah, a prisoner exchange, a final determination as to the status of the Sheba Farms, Israel's security concerns, some mutual agreement in reference to Syria's concerns about the Golan Heights. These are in short the agreements necessary to establish actual sovereign borders rather than temporary armistice or ceasefire lines. It has been 39 years since UN Security Council Resolution 242, as it pertains to that territory captured by Israel in the Golan Heights in 1967 and insists that the belligerents come to a definitive peace settlement. It is also high time that this UN Resolution were implemented.

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