Time for Diplomacy in Lebanon

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Haaretz is calling for a ceasefire in Lebanon: “If the aim is really to drive the Hezbollah forces from the [Israel-Lebanon] border, it is possible that an agreement on this issue can already be reached by the relevant parties.” Indeed.

Meanwhile, Michael Young in the New York Times makes the point raised here yesterday—Israel can certainly go to the international community and get support for the disarmament of Hezbollah, using Security Council resolution 1559 as a “cudgel.” Would Hezbollah obey? Possibly. Anthony Shadid reports that the group may have lost much standing in Lebanon after its latest antics, which have, among other things, provoked a response that has ruined the country’s tourist season, one of its few major sources of income. (As a bonus link, check out the Los Angeles Times on whether Syria and Iran instigated this crisis by using Hezbollah as a proxy—basically, it’s not at all clear.)

So there’s all the makings of a possible diplomatic resolution to this crisis. It at least needs to be tried. But the Bush administration is doing nothing. No leadership. No signs that it wants to try to hold Israel back. Nothing. Why? Because region-wide war in the Middle East and outright chaos is the goal? It’s certainly beginning to look like that.

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