The Lebanon war was damaging for Israel, the United States and, most of all, Lebanon itself. But it may have taught everyone a lesson that will be immensely important to the future of the Middle East: The solutions to the big problems that afflict the region are not military but political.
Meanwhile, the same edition of the Post reports Hezbollah's continued refusal to disarm. It's painfully obvious that Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon without destroying Hezbollah will mean even greater suffering and bloodshed when the West finally decides to deal with the problem.
The "lesson" Ignatius talks about should have been learned in 1938, when Neville Chamberlain surrendered Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler. Chamberlain was trying to use the familiar paradigm of diplomacy to deal with something he didn't understand - a true monster. And Hitler was a piker in the monster business compared to Hezbollah and the other Islamic fascist groups. Even the Waffen SS didn't strap explosives to themselves and jump into English schoolbuses. And let's not forget that Hitler came to power through legal democratic means, as have Hezbollah and Hamas.
Ignatius refers to Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora as a "surprise hero" in the ceasefire deal. Siniora's "heroism" apparently consists of helping Hezbollah get the ceasefire agreement watered down to the point where it places virtually no restriction on Hezbollah. For example, Siniora got UN Chapter 7 thrown out. That would have allowed UN peacekeepers to use force to engage and disarm Hezbollah terrorists. Now they'll observe as Hezbollah restocks with fresh missiles from Syria and Iran. Perhaps they'll file reports, and maybe their commander will even fire off a strongly worded protest or two.
Ignatius calls Hezbollah and its leader Hasan Nasrallah the "wild card", which is an apt, if mild, description, but he's judging Nasrallah by Western standards. Ignatius writes that Nasrallah will "lose his new halo" if he attacks Israel again. This is a man who orders suicide attacks against Israeli children; he cares not one whit for any "halo" bestowed upon him by the infidels he despises.
David Ignatius gazes upon the impotence and folly of Western diplomacy and calls it good; peace in our time.
Also posted at The Dread Pundit Bluto.