One wonders what planet Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice landed from, thinking she can build an international force to take charge in south Lebanon without going to Damascus and trying to bring the Syrians on board.
We need to get real on Lebanon. Hezbollah made a reckless mistake in provoking Israel. Shame on Hezbollah for bringing this disaster upon Lebanon by embedding its “heroic” forces amid civilians. I understand Israel’s vital need to degrade Hezbollah’s rocket network. But Hezbollah’s militia, which represents 40 percent of Lebanon, the Shiites, can’t be wiped out at a price that Israel, or America’s Arab allies, can sustain — if at all.
You can’t go into an office in the Arab world today without finding an Arab TV station featuring the daily carnage in Lebanon. It’s now the Muzak of the Arab world, and it is toxic for us and our Arab friends.
Despite Hezbollah’s bravado, Israel has hurt it and its supporters badly, in a way they will never forget. Point made. It is now time to wind down this war and pull together a deal — a cease-fire, a prisoner exchange, a resumption of the peace effort and an international force to help the Lebanese Army secure the border with Israel — before things spin out of control. Whoever goes for a knockout blow will knock themselves out instead.