Kofi Annan, United Nations, Hezbollah
'Bugged' Blue Helmets dog Kofi

By Judi McLeod
Tuesday, September 5, 2006
The Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council (LCCC), among others worry about the prospect of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan meeting personally with terrorist Hassan Nasrallah during his recent 11-day tour of the Middle East.
"Any meeting between Mr. Annan and Mr. Hassan Nasrallah that takes place outside the framework of Hezbollah scheduling the surrender of its weapons and abandoning its culture of hatred, violence and terror is a prelude to scuttling the efforts of the United Nations, voiding the UN resolutions of their substance, and legitimizing a fundamentalist organization," LCCC chairman Elias Bejjani and Political Adviser Charbel Barakat state in a media communique.
Given that UNIFIL (the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon), a 2000 man strong blue-helmet contingent, was discovered to have openly published what the Weekly Standard describes as "daily, real-time intelligence, of obvious usefulness to Hezbollah, on the location, equipment, and force structure of Israeli troops in Lebanon," anything remotely UN bears watching.
Double-dealing is hardly a new characteristic of the world's largest bureaucracy.
"Annan's words--"I think I can do business with Saddam" have never been forgotten.
"I think it's important that I come here myself to discuss with the Lebanese authorities the aftermath of the war and the measures we need to take to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and to underscore international solidarity," Annan said after being met at the airport last week by Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh.
The resolution ended 34 days of fighting between Hezbollah and Israeli forces on August 14. It calls for deployment of 15,000 peacekeepers in Southern Lebanon and an equal number of Lebanese troops to patrol the border region when Israel withdraws.
Given UNIFIL's spying on Israel for Hezbollah, isn't that akin to sending the fox into the henhouse?
In its media communique, LCCC is specifically asking the Secretary General "to remain within the bounds of his mandate and not graft onto resolution 1701 similar mechanisms to those he employed in the oil-for-food program in Iraq."
"We draw the attention of the international community, the Arab countries, the Lebanese government and all those concerned with Lebanon to the following facts, cautions and demands: "Since the independence of Lebanon, Syria never recognized the right of Lebanon to exist as an independent sovereign State. Syria, continuously and without exception, related to Lebanon from a standpoint of superiority, hatred, envy and meanness. Syria has been, and continues to be, behind all of Lebanon's problems and crises, the big and small wars on its soil, and the suffering of its people. Syria continues to nurture outlaw organizations operating on Lebanese soil and seeks to destabilize and maintain insecurity, while holding in its prisons hundreds of Lebanese nationals who were seized illegally in Lebanon and held without due process.
"Therefore, the deployment of international forces along the borders of Lebanon with Syria to support the Lebanese Army in monitoring and interdicting the cross-border infiltration of people and the smuggling of weapons is of the utmost importance, if not the most important element in stabilizing and pacifying Lebanon. Without such a deployment, there will be no stability or security in Lebanon, the country will remain an arena for the wars of others, and its people will remain the fodder for these wars."
In the LCCC communique, Bejjani and Barakat accuse Annan of operating with his own agenda.
"Mr. Annan took the unwarranted and dubious step of declaring that the international force is not mandated with disarming Hezbollah, as if Mr. Annan is operating according to his own private agenda that includes the protection and the legitimization of the military role of the fundamentalist party.
"We strongly denounce this position which requires clarification by Mr. Annan."
Nor did Annan inspire much confidence with Israel on his Middle-East tour.
The Israeli officials with whom Annan met last week made it clear that when he travels next to Syria and Iran, two nations who have clout with Hezbollah, he should press both regimes to order the release of their two captives.
For appeasers, the rocky road seems to be getting rockier.
** Canada Free Press founding editor Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard.
Judi can be reached at: letters@canadafreepress.com