FROM Ze'ev Schiff
The Politics of Peacekeeping As the United Nations wrangles over the peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, the big question is whether there will be enough troops to enforce the ceasefire before it collapses. Europe is the obvious place for the soldiers to come from, and today it appears that Italy would take over for France as the leader. But the European Union won't even meet until Wednesday and the UN wants the first contingent in the country by early next week. Meantime, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has accused Israel of violating the ceasefire resolution after Israeli commandos were dropped into Lebanon's Bekaa Valley Saturday morning, in what might have been an anti-arms-smuggling mission or an attempt to rescue two kidnapped soldiers. We get perspectives from Paris, Beirut and Jerusalem. (An extended version of this discussion originally aired earlier today on To the Point.)
The Politics of Peacekeeping France is not the only nation in Europe with cold feet about sending troops to southern Lebanon. Italy, Spain and Finland want to know if the rules of engagement will require their soldiers to make the peace or just keep it. Will they have to disarm Hezbollah? Meantime, Israeli commandos engaged Hezbollah 60 miles inside the Lebanese border. Israel says they were trying to stop arms smuggling prohibited by the UN resolution, but Secretary General Kofi Annan says they violated the cease-fire . There are rumors that they were trying to rescue two kidnapped soldiers. We get perspectives from Paris, Beirut and Jerusalem, and hear about a new UN resolution proposed by the US.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
The US gets deeper into Middle East wars. What's the endgame? President Trump welcomed Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to the White House today… just one of the changes in America's approach to the Middle East since Barack Obama left office. We hear about that and the escalation of warfare as well as civilian casualties.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?