My Plan for Peace

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Here's the way to peace.

We need to focus on Lebanon. Our object is to help Lebanon get control of its territory and be a sovereign state so that the government of Lebanon — not outside forces — is responsible for what goes on there.

Hizballah must be disarmed. That is called for in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559. To put it another way, the members of the Security Council foresaw that leaving Hizballah armed would likely lead to exactly what has happened. So this was predictable. If you want to create stability, then you have to carry through on U.N. Resolution 1559.

If there is to be an international force — and there should be — its mission should be to disarm Hizballah. Such a force needs to be knowledgeable, strong and no-nonsense. It has to go in with the expectation that Hizballah will lay down its arms so they can be destroyed. If Hizballah won't do that, the international force has got to have the active rules of engagement and military capability to destroy those weapons.

The U.S. should not be part of the international force. But it should be made up of highly trained troops contributed by strong and responsible countries. We've been wise not to go rushing diplomatically to Damascus or Tehran. But Iran's hands are all over this, as are Syria's. As Hizballah's missiles are cleared out of there, that's a rebuke to Iran and Syria, and it's essential to enable Lebanon to be a sovereign state. That means deploying the Lebanese army to all parts of their country.

I'm glad to see the Marines going back to do these tough jobs, as Marines always do. The day the marine barracks were bombed — by Hezbollah — in 1983, was the worst day of the Reagan presidency for me.