Just a thought: There’s a recent precedent for an administration sitting tight while one military force knocks the hell out of another (with a not inconsiderable humanitarian cost), in the hopes that it would eventually advance the cause of a diplomatic settlement. It’s what the Clinton administration did in the summer of 1995 when the Croats launched an offensive against the Serbs that involved something like 200,000 Serbs being driven from Eastern Croatia. The smarter Clintonistas realized that in the long run this burst of war served the cause of peace. Richard Holbrooke and his negotiating team encouraged the Croats to keep going. “The map negotiations are taking place on the battlefield right now,” he explained. Similarly, the negotiations over who ultimately gets to control Southern Lebanon—Hezbollah or someone else?—are now taking place on the battlefield. ~Rich Lowry, The Corner

This “burst of war” to which Mr. Lowry so casually refers was the ethnic cleansing of the Serbian population of the Krajina, which was as much a war crime as anything committed by any side in the Balkan Wars, and it followed active U.S. training and support for the Croatian army.  The Serbs of the Krajina remain displaced to this day.  That is the kind of solution Mr. Lowry would like to see in Lebanon: war crimes for peace!  Do these people really wonder why most of the world finds their vision of the world so dreadful?

Update: Mr. Lowry may be pleased by the displacement of population that has already taken place.  From Monsters & Critics:

United Nations relief coordinator Jan Egeland on Sunday condemned the devastation caused by Israeli airstrikes in Beirut describing it as ‘horrific’ and terming it ‘a violation of humanitarian law.’

‘The whole thing has to stop. It’s no natural disaster, but a man-made crisis. This is a senseless war,’ Egeland said as the bombing campaign by the Israel Air Force and missile attacks by the Lebanese Hezbollah movement continued unabated for the 12th successive day.