There were reports that France, Turkey and other nations might be involved in a peacekeeping force:

France, tipped to lead an eventual peacekeeping force, said it must be bigger than the 10,000 troops suggested by Mr Annan, be sufficiently well-armed and have precise guidelines when it comes to opening fire. Italy, Finland, Poland, Sweden and Spain are all also considering sending peacekeepers. EU candidate Turkey and Indonesia have also said they may provide troops if there is a peace to keep. Several Latin American states may also send troops. Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern said that Ireland would consider such a request following a UN mandate.

But Fox News reports that France is already getting cold feet:

But France said it will not participate in a Thursday meeting at the U.N. to dicuss the troop deployment, saying such discussions should wait until fighting halts and the U.N. Security Council agrees to a wider framework for lasting peace.

France and the USA no doubt remember what happened last time they tried to keep the peace in Lebanon; their barracks were attacked by Hezbollah suicide bombers. From Wikipedia:

The death toll was 241 American servicemen: 220 Marines, 18 Navy personnel and 3 Army soldiers. Sixty Americans were injured. In the attack on the French barracks, 58 paratroopers were killed and 15 injured.

More recently, UN forces were stationed at the border to keep the peace after Israel withdrew in 2000. The UN forces sided with Hezbollah and Hezbollah converted Southern Lebanon into a terrorist state within Lebanon. No way will Israel agree to a UN force.

So, what sort of force can can keep the peace? Bush has ruled out US forces. Any other NATO forces wil be targetted by Hezbollah terrorists. Muslim forces will side with Hezbollah. UN forces have proven useless at peacekeeping in virtually every conflict where they have been deployed. So, who’s going to step up to the plate?

Lets imagine that a force can be assembled that will be acceptable to the Lebanese and Israeli governments. What will they do if Hezbollah starts firing longe-range missiles from the Bekaa Valley into Israel? What if those missiles are armed with chemical or biological weapons? Or, nuclear material? Will the peacekeeping force stop Israel from responding?

The fact of the matter is that a peacekeeping force cannot be put into place until Hezbollah’s military capacity is destroyed and its supply lines from Syria and Iran blocked. The only force in a position to do that is Israel (with US backing) and that is what Israel is doing. Only when the Hezbollah cat has been beaten into a pulp will a peacekeeping mouse be able to bell it.

There will be no cease-fire until we can hear the bell ringing.

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