April 23, 2010

No Scuds for Hizballah - just "the usual rockets"

Sales brochure - click for larger image With incredible nonchalance to continued Syrian and Iranian violations of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 - which ended the Israel-Hizballah confrontation of 2006 - an American State Department official acknowledged the delivery of rockets to Lebanon. He added that he was unsure if Scud missiles had been delivered, somehow indicating that Scuds were a problem, but "the usual rockets" are not.

Interesting position taken by the State Department. In case they have forgotten the provisions of UNSCR 1701, there was to be absolutely no resupply of Hizballah. That means no rockets, no explosives, no small arms, and yes, no missiles. Yet, Hizballah admits that it has received new and improved rockets, claiming an inventory of 40,000 units in its arsenal - the Israelis believe this to be an accurate number. The arsenal includes the Iranian manufactured Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rockets - the Iranian sales brochure is pictured above left.

Syria and Iran both deny any resupply of the group since 2006. That defies logic - no one believes that, well maybe those who still refuse to acknowledge that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Surprisingly, no one wants to hold the two nations accountable.

Accountability seems to be a casualty of the new American "outreach" to Syria and Iran. Of course, Iran continues to defy the United States and the rest of the world over its nuclear program, and Syria is rewarded with the upgrading of diplomatic relations with the United States to the ambassadorial level.

Here are the words of Jeffrey Feltman, the assistant secretary of state for the Middle East. This is really going to shake things up in Damascus....

"The United States would have really, really serious concerns" if Syria had in fact supplied Scuds to Hizballah. "If these reports turn out to be true, we're going to have to review the full range of tools that are available for us in order to make Syria reverse what would be an incendiary, provocative action."

Unfortunately, what we are saying to the Syrians and the Iranians is, "You can ignore your obligations and violate UNSCR 1701 up to a point. You can provide 40,000 lethal rockets to Hizballah, but not the Scud missile."

In other words, no missiles, just the usual rockets. Unbelievable diplomacy on our part. No wonder they don't take us seriously.