Why the U.S. and Israel are the losers

Don’t miss the NRO Symposium on Lebanon. The participants, some of the clearest thinking experts on Israel and the Middle East, conclude with near unanimity that the bad guys won. The best any of them can say about the outcome is that it was “a squandered opportunity” (Saul Singer).

Some of the participants see one positive from the episode, a positive that has nothing to do with the U.N. resolution or the U.S. role. Hezbollah has now revealed what it can and cannot do against Israel. This is a plus because the Hezbollah presence in Lebanon has been viewed as an important card held by Iran. We now know that the card, while significant, is not high enough to deter action against Iran’s nuclear facilities — not, that is, until Iran is able to supply nuclear warheads to Hezbollah.

Unfortunately, I think it’s unlikely that this administration, constrained as it now is by the desire to please France, Kofi Annan, and world opinion generally, will take military action against Iran.

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