The majority of the people have voted no on the current poll asking if the cease fire will hold between Lebanon and Israel. It looks like the IntoxiNation readers are very smart indeed. First we look into yesterday's news:
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is "deeply concerned" about Israel's commando raid Saturday in eastern Lebanon, which he said violated the cease-fire resolution concerning Israel and Hezbollah, his spokesman said in a written statement.
The statement also cited the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon as saying there have "also been several air violations by Israeli military aircraft."
Annan's comments affirmed those by Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who earlier had condemned the Israeli operation as a violation of the U.N.-brokered cease-fire.
Today we find out that Israel wants even more conditions to suit them placed into the cease fire:
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that Israel will not accept the presence of peacekeepers in Lebanon from countries that don't have diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, according to officials.
The decision complicated efforts by the United Nations to form a 15,000-strong peacekeeping force to help enforce a truce that ended 34 days of fighting between Israel and the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah.
The decision was made at a meeting of Olmert's inner Security Cabinet, meeting participants said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak to the media.
This Morning, Karen Hughes was on CNN saying that the whole world agrees on a cease fire for Israel/Lebanon. This afternoon, Tony Snow echoed that statement in his press conference. It seems this may not actually be the case:
U.S., European and Arab officials holding crisis talks on Lebanon failed to agree Wednesday on an immediate plan to halt the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas.
Although officials called for an end to the violence, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said there cannot be a return to a "status quo" of political uncertainty and instability in Lebanon. She said any cease-fire must be "sustainable."
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the solution to the Mideast crisis should involve Iran and Syria. He also called for the formation of a multinational force to help Lebanon assert its authority and implement U.N. resolutions that would disarm Hezbollah.
After listening to a dramatic appeal from Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora for them to stop the killing, the officials said they had agreed on the need to deploy an international force under the aegis of the United Nations in southern Lebanon.
"An international force in Lebanon should urgently be authorized under a U.N. mandate to support the Lebanese armed forces in providing a secure environment," Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema said — but there was no mention of who would take part or any other details.
"Participants expressed their determination to work immediately to reach, with utmost urgency, a cease-fire that puts an end to the current violence and hostilities. The cease-fire must be lasting, permanent and sustainable," D'Alema said.
The United States strongly criticized the No. 2 United Nations official on Wednesday for a speech he gave that accused the U.S. government of leaving Americans in the dark about the world body's good works.
U.S. Ambassador John Bolton called Tuesday's speech by Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown a "very, very grave mistake" that could undermine Secretary-General Kofi Annan's efforts to push through an ambitious reform agenda at the world organization.
He demanded that Annan repudiate the rare public criticism by a U.N. official, and even suggested that the fate of the organization itself might be at stake.
Kofi is standing by his man and the speech he made, which is really the interesting part:
"You have to engage to help make this institution a better institution," Malloch Brown told reporters. "And you need to engage, if I dare say so, with your own public opinion to explain better why the U.N. matters to American interests."
In the speech, Malloch Brown said the United States relies on the United Nations as a diplomatic tool but doesn't defend it against criticism at home. That policy of "stealth diplomacy" is unsustainable, he said.
While praising Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her predecessors, Malloch Brown lamented that the good works of the U.N. are ignored. "Much of the public discourse that reaches the U.S. heartland has been largely abandoned to its loudest detractors such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News."
"The U.N.'s role is in effect a secret in Middle America even as it is highlighted in the Middle East and other parts of the world," Malloch Brown said.