Emmett Tyrrell

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The other day in Rome, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held her ground. Bravo, Condi. Her counterparts in the "international community" wanted to prevail upon her to join with them in an agreement calling upon Israel to desist from trying to extirpate from southern Lebanon Hezbollah launch sites used for the missiles that have been raining down on northern Israel -- unprovoked. On July 12 Hezbollah crossed into Israel, attacked Israeli soldiers and carried two back into Lebanon. Presumably the "international community" would see to it that Hezbollah's land and aerial assaults would end. Or would it?

The "international community," through the instrumentality of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), has done nothing to disarm Hezbollah, though according to UN Resolution 1559 it was supposed to. Instead Hezbollah has been free to militarize southern Lebanon beyond even the imagination of Israeli intelligence agencies. It is difficult to believe that Hezbollah bunkers, tunnels and missile sites could have been established without the knowledge of UNIFIL forces stationed nearby. So now Israel is to end its defensive attacks on Hezbollah, according to the desire of the "international community." Israel is undoing the mischief that the United Nations allowed, but now Israel is to desist.

The "international community" has no conscience. If it has a memory, the memory goes unused. Israel withdrew from today's contested regions in Lebanon and Gaza with the hope and the promise that those areas would become peaceful. Now they are being used as launching sites for killing Israelis -- and the "international community" wants Israel to cease fire and forbear. What would it have Hezbollah do? Hezbollah has already thwarted the demands of the United Nations.

In the race to absurdity a new world record is being set. Israel is being diabolized by governments that have year after year, atrocity after atrocity, become inured to the growing barbarism of the terrorists' notion of war. The terrorists wear no uniforms and are governed by no nation of laws, yet they expect to be treated as soldiers. They, as a matter of policy, attack defenseless civilians and employ suicide bombers to kill by ambuscade yet expect to be covered by the Geneva accords. They act like madmen yet demand to be treated as though they were rational and reasonable.

The "international community" goes along with all these nihilistic expectations and demands. Those who oppose this drift into barbarism are treated as the aggressors. Frankly by comparison to the international community of appeasers in the 1930s today's appeasers are more cowardly and corrupt.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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