...there is the horrible-to-contemplate but irresistibly seductive diplomatic option: to invite the Syrians to disarm Hezbollah and persuade it to follow the political path. Hezbollah already has two ministers in the Lebanese cabinet and might claim more.
Naturally that would imply the recognition of Syrian suzerainty over
, and of course the thoroughly unworthy Bashar Assad would have to be treated as a leader of regional importance. Only that could tempt Mr. Assad to abandon his alliance with Lebanon -- along with the important rewards that would come his way more or less spontaneously. These rewards would include gifts from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, all three of which now fear Iran as the most dangerous threat they face; they would also include the approval -- or at least the diminished hostility -- of Syria's Sunni majority, which vehemently dislikes the alliance with Shiite Iran, especially now that the Iranians are supporting Iraq's Shiites in their bloody fight with the Sunnis. Iran
France, the U.S.and the U.K., it would, of course, be tremendously embarrassing to recognize that they made a gigantic error in expelling Syriawithout having put anything its place, thus leaving a vacuum of power in that Hezbollah has exploited. (A new principle of statecraft thus emerges: It is a mistake to follow the French even when they are right.) But unlike the military option, which is simply impossible, the diplomatic option is merely humiliating. Having massacred their own Islamists very efficiently, the Syrians can do the job again, if sufficiently rewarded. Lebanon