On an unannounced trip to ravaged Beirut, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice outlined a plan Monday to deploy an international force, possibly led by NATO, in a buffer zone just inside Lebanon for 60 to 90 days, after which it would expand its mission to help the Lebanese army regain control of the south, Lebanese and U.S. officials said.
The force would also help train the army, which according to U.S. officials now has neither the will nor the means to disarm Hezbollah, Lebanon's last private militia.
But Rice's plan to end the conflict, prop up the Lebanese government and weaken Hezbollah was greeted with skepticism by Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, Lebanon's top elected Shiite official, and other leaders. Siniora and the speaker of parliament, Nabih Berri, a Shiite with close ties to Hezbollah, warned that Hezbollah was unlikely to accept any foreign military presence in its traditional stronghold in heavily Shiite southern Lebanon. Hezbollah has already rejected calls to disarm.
I have a better idea...let's stay the hell out of it. Israel is more than capable of handling it themselves, and frankly it's their problem. The last thing we need is more quagmire-type involvement in the Middle East, where frankly we poke our noses in their affairs much more than we should.
Let 'em fight it out. It's a Middle East problem, let the Middle East work it out.
Technorati Tags: Politics, Middle East, Israel, Lebanon, Hezbollah