Robin Wright at Wapo gets the scoop:
Israel, with U.S. support, intends to resist calls for a cease-fire and continue a longer-term strategy of punishing Hezbollah, which is likely to include several weeks of precision bombing in Lebanon, according to senior Israeli and U.S. officials...And of course the Bush team are putting their UN Avengers badges back on again:
For the United States, the broader goal is to strangle the axis of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and Iran, which the Bush administration believes is pooling resources to change the strategic playing field in the Middle East, U.S. officials say.
Specifically, officials said, Israel and the United States are looking to create conditions for achieving one remaining goal of U.N. Resolution 1559, adopted in 2004, which calls for the dismantling and disarming of Lebanon's militias and expanding the state's control over all its territory.As Wright thankfully points out, "there are no guarantees... that this strategy will work." Furthermore:
"We think part of the solution to this is the implementation of 1559, which would eliminate that [armed group operating outside the government] and help Lebanon extend all of its authority throughout the whole country," national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley told reporters with Bush in Russia yesterday...
"The only way a cease-fire will even be considered is if 1559 is fully implemented," said the senior Israeli official.
"The Bush administration's position -- and diplomacy -- are the opposite of what happened during the Clinton administration."