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Cedars Losing, World Watching

The Editors at National Review Online lament the seemingly inevitable death throes of the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, and their opening graph says much while not quite getting it right.

Hezbollah is proving to be a very capable and determined force in Lebanon, and a great danger to the wider world as well. In July 2005 it overplayed its hand by attacking Israel and bringing retribution down on itself and on the Lebanon it claimed to be protecting. Since then, however, the main imperialist instrument of Iran has enjoyed running rings around the United States and the United Nations, neither of which has any coherent idea of what is to be done.

The UN certainly has no idea what to do, as it functions on consensus and near-consensus while little is to be found there regarding Lebanon. The UN cannot even complete an investigation into the bombing and murder of Rafik Hariri, the impetus of the Cedar Revolution.

But I would contend that the United States - certainly much of its leadership - knows full well what must be done: Remove the Iranian regime driving so much of the instability and violence there. Hizballah is, after all, little more than an Iranian foreign legion.

Rather, what the United States largely lacks is the political and moral courage and conviction to state such and begin in earnest a debate over means rather than ends.

Until we acknowledge openly that no change will occur in Iranian behavior without a change in the messianic regime, we will continue to flounder and drift in indecision as Iran grows more confident, more aggressive, more deadly and - soon - infinitely more (nuclear) armed.

It is not a pleasant reality, but it remains so. And procrastinating in the name of seeking (in futility) an alternative redress ultimately emboldens and empowers an enemy which fertilizes and germinates the fields of terror as a means of exerting its will.

And the world, seemingly paralyzed by its distaste for conflict, sits idly by watching Lebanon fall into the clutches of Iran and Syria as they meticulously and relentlessly execute their conflict. Successfully.

Again, it's not pleasant and there are no easy answers, but the reality is hardly deniable, though try as we might.