Some EU officials are pushing for an immediate cease-fire on the grounds that continued fighting will weaken the democrats inside Lebanon's government. But the more likely outcome from a premature cease-fire would be an emboldened Hezbollah with democrats under siege. And you can bet on Damascus and Tehran taking a victory lap to boot. That said, today's Washington Post editorial, "Diplomatic Traps," is spot on.
Another plausible-sounding diplomatic option is for the United States to get behind a U.N. proposal to send a peacekeeping force to Lebanon, after a cease-fire. But that's been tried before, too, and if the result is to allow Hezbollah to regroup and rearm, Hezbollah will have achieved its war aim: to strike a blow against Israel while preserving its status as a state within a state. An international force would help only if it had a mandate and the capability to enforce Hezbollah's disarmament. That won't be possible unless Israel's military campaign greatly weakens the movement.â€¦.
The unprovoked attack across an international border by Iran's client Hezbollah succeeded in turning the world's attention from the nuclear crisis to the Middle East -- just as Iran must have hoped. The best response is to shift the focus back -- and make clear that the United States and its allies will not be intimidated through war-by-proxy.