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.
When it comes to corruption the United Nations -- the citadel of the international community -- takes all cakes. Its peacekeeping forces are known for rape and pillage. The best of them are ineffective. The worst are like an invading force of barbarians. Within United Nations offices all over the world both financial corruption and sexual harassment are ongoing problems. "What is surprising about that?" a U.S. Justice Department official asks me. "UN officials come from countries rife with sexism and corruption. Why would you expect them to act any better when they are ensconced in Geneva or out at a UN facility in Africa?"
The UN's "Oil for Food" scandal is the most expensive scandal of modern times. Almost nothing has been done about it. The United States has been rendered controversial for trying to do something about it, and Ambassador John Bolton has been assailed as rude for insisting on reform.
Now we see the spectacle of these same grafters and frauds trying to impose themselves on Israel. Says UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Israel is using "excessive force." Presumably the proper force is that which UNIFIL applied in southern Lebanon. What was UNIFIL doing while Hezbollah was fortifying southern Lebanon? I suggest we send over the FBI to inquire as to how many Lebanese were raped by the UN peacekeepers and how much boodle they brought in. In the 1930s the officers of the League of Nations would never have dreamed of such squalor being carried on by members of an international body of law.