It’s a pity this more accurate name wasn’t chosen instead of UNIFIL. It’s far from Interim, and it’s close to cheating to use “in” in an acronym in that way. Further, this acronym better describes the observational nature of the task force: counting attacks in each direction, reporting on non-uniformed casualties, and doing some humanitarian work.
But given the recent tendencies of Hezbollah to use UNIFIL peacekeeper positions as strategic cover, what should the UN guys do? Let’s say that there are some moral members of the team. Take the Canadians. They want to continue their mission, observing and helping those civilians trapped between Hezbollah and Israel. They don’t want to become belligerents on either side: though one side has the moral edge, there is still some value to having neutral observers in such a conflict.
They could try to move away. How can they do so while still conducting their humanitarian and observational mission?
They could attack, becoming partisans. They could… what? I don’t like that they’re letting themselves be used as shields, but I’m not sure what they can do about it on the ground. Complaining in public about the bad guys using them as shields would be nice, but wouldn’t fix their actual problem: Hezbollah doesn’t care what the New York Times prints.
Update: The UN has begun publicly complaining. Will this have an effect on Hezbollah’s actions? Will this have an effect on complaints that the UN is complicit in shielding Hezbollah?