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Securing a Nation's Life

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Securing a Nation's Life

By John E. Carey
August 2, 2006

In the next few days, one of two things will happen. Either the United Nations Security Council will pass a resolution demanding that the Israelis accept a cease fire plan and stop the bloodshed or the war in Lebanon will continue.

We think the war in Lebanon continues.

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There are a myriad of reasons why resolutions pass or don't pass at the UN. A resolution's passage or failure before the august international body does not necessarily mean the ideas underlying the resolution are good or bad. Sometimes, as in any political system, a bad idea gets accepted by everybody or a good idea ends up on the floor.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice returned from Jerusalem to Washington on Monday saying a cease fire resolution in the UN could be just a few days off. Israel, it seemed, had mistakenly bombed Lebanese woman and children at Qana, and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed to a 48 hour cessation of air attacks and bombing in that part of Lebanon near Israel.

Hezbollah took that olive branch and broke it over its knee.

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Secretary Rice reiterated her belief in a UN cease fire resolution Tuesday evening on the PBS Newshour, saying about the timing of a resolution, "This week is entirely possible. Certainly we are talking about days not weeks."

We just don't believe it.

Israel has stated that it needs time to create a new situation whereby Hezbollah's missiles cannot reach into Israel again. They launched a ground assault into Lebanon to assure everyone that this objective was more than talk.

It is an imperative.

Israeli soldiers tell me they are fighting for the future existence of Israel. They are fighting for the life of their nation.

And using Churcillian words, "pain, tears and blood," Israel's Olmert reaffirmed Israeli resolve after the abbreviated "48 hour" air bombardment semi-cease fire.

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The losers in that miscarried idea, an idea created after the regrettable deaths at Qana, were Secretary of State Rice, Hezbollah and Olmert himself.

Israeli pilots we were able to reach said they were shocked by the brief cessation of the air campaign. One pilot was positively frantic on the phone, saying, "Stopping now violates every sound principle of war. You cannot give the enemy opportunities to rearm, move around and regroup."

This was not one man's voice but the sound of the collective shout of the Israeli people. What Mr. Olmert heard during the air bombardment cease fire was not the silence due to the lack of exploding bombs. He heard the deafening roar of objections from his military planners and the public at large.

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John E. Carey is the former president of International Defense Consultants, Inc.

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