The Israeli government has neatly shown the EU leaders to be powerless blowhards, so leaving itself free to kill off Hezbollah.
The much-underrated Israeli Prime Minister set the trap:
Israeli leaders yesterday said for the first time that they would consider the deployment of a NATO-led multinational force in Lebanon to monitor a cease-fire with Hezbollah, as diplomats increased their efforts to halt the escalating crisis in the Middle East.Obviously Israel couldn’t accept a UN force - the UN was complicit in Hezbollah’s kidnapping and murder of 3 Israeli soldiers 6 years ago. That left high-trust NATO. But without the US and Brits (busy elsewhere), NATO couldn’t fight its way out of a paper bag (ironic post here).
But the only point a peacekeeping force is to fight the well-equipped and trained (by Syria & Iran) Hezbollah nutters – if Israel kills them off, the Israeli Boy Scouts could police Southern Lebanon.
So that leaves the Euro pols who want to provide "peacekeepers" facing the certainty that these would face a nasty war, and they’ve reacted with characteristic fortitude (my ellipsis and emphasis):
“All the politicians are saying, ‘Great, great’ to the idea of a force, but no one is saying whose soldiers will be on the ground,” said one senior European official. “Everyone will volunteer to be in charge of the logistics in Cyprus.”I bet the president called John Bolton to share a good laugh about this.
…Germany says it is willing to participate only if Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia that it would police, agrees to it, a highly unlikely development.
…France — which has called the idea of a force premature — withdrew in defeat after Hezbollah’s suicide bombing of a Marine barracks in Beirut in October 1983, which killed 241 Marines and 56 French soldiers.
The challenge of creating a viable international force to secure Israel’s border with Lebanon was captured by Nahum Barnea, a columnist for the Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot. The European foreign ministers were enthusiastic, he said.
“They only had one small condition for the force to be made up of soldiers from another country,” Mr. Barnea wrote. “The Germans recommended France; the French recommended Egypt, and so on. It is doubtful whether there is a single country in the West currently volunteering to lay down its soldiers on Hezbollah’s fence.”