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.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.