Passing the difficult Lebanon test means creating a win-win situation for the Lebanese, the Israelis and the region as a whole. Realizing what is at stake, Italy is seriously committed to its solution -- with humanitarian assistance as well as with a generous offer of troops (3,000) for the new Unifil mission.D'Alema then lists three conditions that are needed to pass "the Lebanese test".
First, of course, the Lebanese army and the international peacekeeping force, working together in a consistent and sustainable way, must be able to guarantee Lebanon's full sovereignty over its territory. [And just in case some might find some vagueness in that point, he goes on to say that] Hezballah will have to disband... .With regards to Syria, Mr. D'Alema wrote,
The second related step, thus, will be making sure that Israel achieves enhanced security through political agreements with its neighbors... .
Thirdly, Hezbollah will have to evolve into a purely political and nonviolent movement... . Hassan Nasrallah's recent self-criticism about the consequences of the war demonstrates the limits of a strategy based on violence.
Syria, in particular must choose between being a cooperative stakeholder (by complying with Resolution 1701) or self-isolation.He then goes on to elaborate on what he sees as Europe's new role in the region,
By offering 7,000 troops to the enhanced Unifil mission, Europe has spelled out its commitment. For the first time Europe takes full responsibility for a security role in the Middle East. After having long been a "payer" of economic assistance, the EU shows willingness to become a "player... ."As I read through the piece I thought about Nasrallah's interview yesterday and how he said that he had no problem with the Unifil contingent so long as it did not try to disarm him. I also could not help but imagine a European base or military convoy obliterated by a suicide bomber - similar in magnitude to that which transpired in 1982.
The implementation of Resolution 1701 will be a crucial test for all of us. If we succeed, this will create new momentum for seriously addressing the 60-year-old Palestinian issue -- the sooner the better, for all parties involved.
What really matters now is how the presence of these troops will impact the Lebanese political scene, because ultimately the key to passing "the Lebanese test" (as Mr. D'Alema puts it) lies in that particular playground. Will the Europeans give March 14 the teeth that the Army could never offer them? Or will they just sit there and be forgotten? Time will tell.