Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
August 16, 2006
WAR: Trust But Don't Dare Verify

From the WaPo on Hezbollah's latest negotiating strategy:

The makings of a compromise emerged from all-day meetings in Beirut, according to senior officials involved in the negotiations, and Prime Minister Fouad Siniora scheduled a cabinet session Wednesday for what he hoped would be formal approval of the deal. Hezbollah indicated it would be willing to pull back its fighters and weapons in exchange for a promise from the army not to probe too carefully for underground bunkers and weapons caches, the officials said.

I regard the cease-fire as a wonderful arrangement in theory - if we really could get the Lebanese to take control, that would be preferable to having the Israelis do the job and possibly break Lebanon's democracy and tenuous independence from Syria beyond repair in the process - but utterly impractical in light of the facts on the ground. I don't buy the optimistic scenario that says that this is all an Israeli plan to resume hostilities on better terms, but, basically, Olmert screwed up and suffered some bad PR, resulting in squandering his foreign diplomatic and domestic political capital in record time. If the UN cease fire breaks down quickly - or, more accurately, if it is widely and publicly recognized as doing so - then Israel may have the wind of a UN resolution at its back to re-start hostilities.

More here (via RCP) and here from pessimists on what Olmert hath wrought (though Glick and Podhoretz disagree on how well Hezbollah comes out of this).

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:28 PM | War 2006 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

There is a reason most people happen to think highly of Mr. Reagan. Amiable, likeable, with an iron will and a clear understanding of what went on behind the other guys' eyes.

Hezbollah is starting the PR war first by claiming a glorious victory, then starting to rebuild. Fine. Let them rebuild. One thing I find is that once you start building, instead of destroying, you actually take pride in what you do, and don't want it destroued. The entire idea was this miserable, violent ridden gang of criminals would have to start becoming a legitimate government. Doubtful, but you never know. It's not like those brave French troops will make much difference.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at August 17, 2006 10:25 AM
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