LEBANON UPDATE….Let’s check in with Lebanon, shall we? First up, the Guardian reports on the views of our closest ally:
Tony Blair will press George Bush today to support “as a matter of urgency” a ceasefire in Lebanon as part of a UN security council resolution next week, according to Downing Street sources.
At a White House meeting, the prime minister will express his concern that pro-western Arab governments are “getting squeezed” by the crisis and the longer it continues, the more squeezed they will be, giving militants a boost.
Is that true? Are Arab governments, dismayed by our stalling tactics, turning toward support for Hezbollah? The New York Times says yes:
At the onset of the Lebanese crisis, Arab governments, starting with Saudi Arabia, slammed Hezbollah for recklessly provoking a war….Now, with hundreds of Lebanese dead and Hezbollah holding out against the vaunted Israeli military for more than two weeks, the tide of public opinion across the Arab world is surging behind the organization, transforming the Shiite group?s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, into a folk hero and forcing a change in official statements.
So: Tony Blair fears that the war is giving militants a boost; Arab public opinion has turned the head of Hezbollah into a folk hero; and as we already know, al-Qaeda has now decided to join the battle as well. What’s more, on a purely military basis, it looks like Hezbollah has only been moderately weakened by the whole thing.
This is working out well, isn’t it?