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Militarized Peacekeeping for Palestine?
Militarized Peacekeeping for Palestine?
by Stephen Lendman
So-called Blue Helmets stoke conflict. They don't preserve peace. They don't anywhere. They're imperial enforcers. They're human rights abusers.
Vulnerable people they control suffer horrifically. NATO's worse. It's a killing machine. It's mission is war, not peace. More on that below.
In 1948, UN peacekeeping operations began. UNTSO's mission (UN Truce Supervision Organization) monitored the first of two failed Arab/Israeli truces. It did so in June 1948.
It's still there. Peace remains distant. It was never achieved. UN Blue Helmets play no active role. They never did. They don't now. They waste money. They take up space. They report selectively. They serve Israeli and Western interests.
It shows in longstanding Palestinian persecution. It's in systematic land theft. It shows militarized occupation doesn't work. It shows Blue Helmets do more harm than good.
Wherever they're deployed, it's the same. Haiti was the first ever lawless mission. MINUSTAH enforced coup d'etat authority. It did so against a democratically elected leader.
Instead of supporting Jean-Bertrand Aristide's legitimacy, it blocked his right of return. It prevented him from serving millions of supportive Haitians. It terrorizes them in the process.
Blue Helmets proliferate violence and instability. They do it everywhere they're deployed. They prey on helpless people. They commit mass rapes and other atrocities.
They're complicit with organized crime. They're involved in illicit sex trafficking. Thousands of women and girls are harmed.
They plunder, exploit and kill. Nothing is done to stop them. People live in constant fear. Little gets reported.
In countries like Congo, Bosnia, Kosovo and Haiti, sexual exploitation and trafficking are part of their dysfunctional economies. Sex tourism flourishes.
Blue Helmets facilitate it. They're part of the problem. They make bad situations worse. They serve power and bottom line interests. They exploit vulnerable people doing so.
Al-Monitor asked "Is There (a) Role for NATO In Israel-Palestine Peace Process?"
Can NATO do what it never did before? What it's not mandated to do? Can Blue Helmets do better? Can impossible missions work? Only on TV and Hollywood's silver screen.
Reality's another story altogether. It's lawless. It's harsh. It's unforgiving. It's inhumane.
Robert Hunter's a former US NATO ambassador. More recently, he was a RAND Corporation senior advisor. He directed the National Defense University Center for Transatlantic Security Studies. Currently, he chairs the Council for a Community of Democracies.
His article headlined "Still Seeking Strategy" discussed new Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. "NATO forces could be stationed in Palestine to help provide security, including against terrorism," he said.
"NATO countries would agree to provide the former (troops), and the West and hopefully rich Arab countries would provide the latter (money)."
"These are small prices to pay for ending this seemingly endless conflict."
So-called December 2002 "Clinton Parameters" recommended an international force. It urged one "monitor(ing) the implementation of the agreement between both sides."
Observers suggested NATO. Reasons given didn't wash. Robert Kagan co-founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). It prioritized war. It deplored peace.
The Foreign Policy Initiative replaced it. Extremist neocons run it. It's agenda is just as hardline. War on humanity defines it.
On April 18, 2002, Kagan headlined "Can NATO Patrol Palestine?" Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan endorsed an international force, he said.
So did Colin Powell. "Even some Israelis have warmed to the idea, provided of course that any force includes American troops," added Kagan.
The "idea deserves to be taken seriously," he said. He didn't have Palestinians in mind saying so. Israeli forces terrorize them.
Imagine piling on with US and other NATO troops. Doing so assures greater occupation harshness. Kagan didn't explain.
Nor did New York Times columnist Tom Friedman. On December 11, 2002, he headlined "Go Slow-Mo, NATO."
On the one hand, he deplored a Middle East "NATO rapid reaction force." I weep for the trees that will now be chopped down for all the think-tank studies about what this NATO force should do," he said.
On the other hand, he recommended a "no-motion force - a NATO peacekeeping army." He urged Israel and Palestine to let NATO control "the West Bank, Gaza, and Arab areas of East Jerusalem."
He suggested it "serve as a permanent border guard between" Israeli and Palestinian territory.
He claimed Palestinians aren't ready for prime time. They're "not ready to run" their own territory "responsibly."
"What to do," he asked? Mutual trust for peace is gone, he said. "The only way out is a trusted third party. The only viable party is a US-led NATO force."
Pre-WW II, imagine believing Nazi troops were the only "trusted third party" to occupy Czechoslovakia, Austria, and other sovereign European territory. Imagine people believing it.
Lukewarm reactions followed suggesting NATO best serves Palestine. Protracted quagmire conditions might follow deployment.
In 2009, former NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer expressed skepticism. North Atlantic Alliance involvement requires resolving three fundamental issues, he said.
They include comprehensive peace between both sides, each one requesting NATO help, and UN officials endorsing the idea.
In 2011, current NATO Secretary-General Fogh Rasmussen said "these three ifs are far from being met."
Doing so is less likely now than then. Peace is a convenient illusion. Palestinians want no part of NATO. They deplore US involvement. They know UN endorsement reflects Washington's policy.
Since June 1967, 22% of original Palestine's been occupied. It's militarized. It's brutal. It precludes liberation. It denies Palestinians all rights. Deploying US-led NATO forces makes things worse, not better.
It's no idea whose time has come. Don't bet it won't resurface in peace talks.
Don't bet it won't be recommended. Don't bet Palestinians won't be pressured to accept what they deplore.
Don't bet against NATO troops supplementing thousands of deployed Israeli forces. Don't bet against US involvement. Don't bet they won't terrorize Palestinians jointly.
Don't bet Western leaders won't call NATO occupying forces the best chance for sustained peace. Don't bet rogue Arab states won't agree.
Don't bet media scoundrels won't regurgitate the Big Lie. It's what they do best.
In 2004, NATO said it didn't exclude involvement in Palestine. Large deployment numbers would be needed. NATO expert Florence Gaub estimates between 43,700 and 76,000."
Imagine them occupying Palestine. Imagine a killing machine enforcing peace. Imagine the impossible. Imagine a better idea yet to surface.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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