Europe and Canada Shouldn’t Betray the People of the Middle East Suffering under Iranian Tyranny

Jan. 17 2020

Surveying the anti-government protests in Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran, as well as the refusal of the Syrian revolutionaries to surrender, the Canadian journalist Terry Glavin writes:

There is a revolution going on. It has been underway in fits and starts for years. It unites Lebanese, Syrians, Iranians, and Iraqis. Its object is the sundering of a bloody Khomeinist despotism that runs from the [Islamist dictatorship] in Tehran through the Assad regime in Damascus to Hizballah in Lebanon, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and the Hashd al-Shaabi militias in Iraq, which have now insinuated themselves into every branch of the Iraqi state.

It’s all very well for Canada’s Justin Trudeau and the United Kingdom’s Boris Johnson and Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron to want to force Tehran to get back in line with Barack Obama’s nuclear-rapprochement arrangement, which Donald Trump has renounced. But the genie will not be put back in the bottle so easily.

It was Obama’s nuclear deal that freed up [Iran’s] Quds Force to enforce its ghastly Khomeinist hegemony throughout the region in the first place, and now, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is warning that European soldiers in the region, not just American soldiers, may soon find themselves on the Quds Force’s target list. Counseling a return to the Obama-era status quo is not a call to de-escalation. Don’t believe it.

It is profoundly ill-advised. It may suit the purposes of some Canadian and European firms that are scraping for a place for themselves in the Iranian economy, much of which is owned and controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. But it would be a profound betrayal of the people of Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and Iraq, who have already known little but betrayal from six successive Democratic and Republican administrations in the United States, and from the “West” generally, Canada included.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at National Post

More about: Canada, Europe, Human Rights, Iran, Iran nuclear program

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Risk Their Lives, but Still May Do More Harm Than Good

Jan. 27 2023

Last month an Irish member of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was killed by Hizballah guerrillas who opened fire on his vehicle. To David Schenker, it is likely the peacekeeper was “assassinated” to send “a clear message of Hizballah’s growing hostility toward UNIFIL.” The peacekeeping force has had a presence in south Lebanon since 1978, serving first to maintain calm between Israel and the PLO, and later between Israel and Hizballah. But, Schenker explains, it seems to be accomplishing little in that regard:

In its biannual reports to the Security Council, UNIFIL openly concedes its failure to interdict weapons destined for Hizballah. While the contingent acknowledges allegations of “arms transfers to non-state actors” in Lebanon, i.e., Hizballah, UNIFIL says it’s “not in a position to substantiate” them. Given how ubiquitous UN peacekeepers are in the Hizballah heartland, this perennial failure to observe—let alone appropriate—even a single weapons delivery is a fair measure of the utter failure of UNIFIL’s mission. Regardless, Washington continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into this failed enterprise, and its local partner, the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Since 2006, UNIFIL patrols have periodically been subjected to Hizballah roadside bombs in what quickly proved to be a successful effort to discourage the organization proactively from executing its charge. In recent years, though, UN peacekeepers have increasingly been targeted by the terror organization that runs Lebanon, and which tightly controls the region that UNIFIL was set up to secure. The latest UN reports tell a harrowing story of a spike in the pattern of harassment and assaults on the force. . . .

Four decades on, UNIFIL’s mission has clearly become untenable. Not only is the organization ineffective, its deployment serves as a key driver of the economy in south Lebanon, employing and sustaining Hizballah’s supporters and constituents. At $500 million a year—$125 million of which is paid by Washington—the deployment is also expensive. Already, the force is in harm’s way, and during the inevitable next war between Israel and Hizballah, this 10,000-strong contingent will provide the militia with an impressive human shield.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Lebanon, Peacekeepers, U.S. Foreign policy