Michael Totten has a great set of pictures of the Lebanon-Israel border and describes what it’s like there. The Lebanon side is Hezbollah controlled, the Israeli side is settled with towns and irrigated fields. Check it out.
Also, Totten has had a guest blogger who takes on the question of what to do about Syria. It is an interesting look into the mind of someone with a stake in the conclusion of events. It’s quite different from most of the analyses I’ve seen on the conflict.
The Bush Administration may want to spread democracy and peace in the Middle East, but regime change and the military option have yet to prove effective in this tumultuous region. There is great potential for further instability.
The Bush Administration learned a lot from the Iraq campaign. President Bush, Secretary Rice, US Ambassador to the UN Bolton, and US Ambassador to Lebanon Feltman are brilliantly using diplomacy. The United States government deserves congratulations for the way it is deftly using international institutions to support America's agenda. This is highlighting the best attributes of American foreign policy - support for democracy, human rights, justice, and anti-terror - while regaining the trust of the international community. America does not appear as the bully.
Key word: diplomacy. The US does not need to assert the military option because everyone knows it is there. A few brazen remarks every so often wouldn't hurt, but shouldn't be a quotidien habit.
My only comment is that everyone knows the military option is there only because the current administration has proven that the U.S. will actually use it.