John Bolton On A Cease Fire

Ambassador Bolton had this to say at a press conference at Turtle Bay this afternoon:

Well look, I think we could have a cessation of hostilities immediately if Hezbollah would stop terrorizing innocent civilians and give up the kidnapped Israeli soldiers. So that to the extent this crisis continues, the cause is Hezbollah. How you get a ceasefire between one entity, which is a government of a democratically elected state on the one hand, and another entity on the other which is a terrorist gang, no one has yet explained. The government of Israel, everybody says, has the right to exercise the right of self-defense, which even if there are criticisms of Israeli actions by some, they recognize the fundamental right to self-defense. That’s a legitimate right. Are there any activities that Hezbollah engages in, militarily that are legitimate? I don’t think so. All of it’s activities are terrorist and all of them are illegitimate, so I don’t see the balance or the parallelism between the two sides and therefore I think it’s a very fundamental question: how a terrorist group agrees to a ceasefire. You know in a democratically elected government, the theory is that the people ultimately can hold the government accountable when it does something and doesn’t live up to it. How do you hold a terrorist group accountable? Who runs the terrorist group? Who makes the commitment that a terrorist group will abide by a ceasefire? What does a terrorist group think a ceasefire is? These are – you can use the words “cessation of hostilities” or “truce” or ‘ceasefire”. Nobody has yet explained how a terrorist group and a democratic state come to a mutual ceasefire.

Simply brilliant. Every time I hear some breathless reporter or government representative talk about the need for a cease fire I growl a little inside. A cease fire between Israel and Hezbollah is impossible, as a cease fire means both sides cease fire. What these people mean is that they expect Israel to cease it’s fire and go back to taking Hezbollah’s fire without reacting. John Bolton’s comments today express just how irrational these calls for cease fire are.

How does one parley with a pit of snakes?

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