The Corner

Things Fall Apart

Was just talking to someone who is watching the U.N. business closely. This observer’s guess is that the U.S.-French compromise is going to go down. The Arab League came close to voting against it today, but is instead sending a delegation to New York to harangue everyone tomorrow. Because we are so worried about the Lebanese government falling, the resolution will probably be re-negotiated, heading in the direction of calling for an Israeli withdrawal and embracing stronger language on Shebaa Farms and on a prisoner exchange. Even then, Hezbollah seems unlikely to accept it. The basic problem is that there is a deep division over ultimate goals–we want a change to the status quo, a lot of the other players just want Israel out, regardless. The French were willing to play along with us, because they want to preserve their traditional influence over Lebanon. But they probably didn’t realize how good a deal we had gotten from them on the draft and probably are taken aback by the Arab reaction. The good news is that the total collapse of the resolution would at least allow Israel to keep hitting Hezbollah.

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