Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bush's Alternate Reality

Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State, in an op-ed in today's Washington Post, describing the mandate of UN resolution 1701 (the Israel-Lebanon-Hezbollah "peace" resolution):

Second, this resolution will help the democratic government of Lebanon expand its sovereign authority. The international community is imposing an embargo on all weapons heading into Lebanon without the government's consent.

President Bush, as quoted in today's Washington Post:

On Monday, President Bush said the U.N. force would help undercut the ability of Iran and Syria to supply arms to Hezbollah by securing the Syrian border and ports. "In other words, part of the mandate and part of the mission of the troops, the UNIFIL troops, will be to seal off the Syrian border," Bush said.

Jean-Marie Guehenno, a French national who heads the U.N. peacekeeping department, on the UN's actual mandate and responsibilities in the region , again as quoted by the Washington Post:

[Guehenno] said he is considering sending a small number of customs experts and special police to advise Lebanese customs officials at some key entry points.

Sealing the Lebanese borders "is not something that the U.N. can do," he said. "What the U.N. can do is help the government of Lebanon manage its border in a way that is in conformity with the resolutions of the council."

Guehenno also cautioned that while U.N. peacekeepers are authorized to use force, they "are not going to forcibly disarm Hezbollah," adding: "That is not in the resolution. I don't think there would be many troop contributors who would think that would be a wise approach."

The sad thing is, I don't know whether Bush/Condi are intentionally lying or else just clueless about what's going on in the Middle East. Both?


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