Another assassination in Lebanon, by the same Syrian thugs who have killed so many in Lebanon-and long ago were de facto invited into that country to offer “order” by the same Bakerism that has now returned. One of the great achievements of the present Bush administration was forcing Syria out of Lebanon and allowing democracy a chance there. Do we really wish to undo all that by offering protocols and concessions to those who are aiding in the killing of our soldiers in Iraq? What I like about the Bush administration is its principled resolve: as the hawkish liberals bailed, so they stayed the course; as the paleos condemned them as naifs and worse, they kept trying to push reform in the Middle East; when many of the Neocons bailed on the war they so long wanted, they still were firm. But after going through all that, would they really sit down with murderous regimes in Iran and Syria, whose intelligence operatives are daily killing reformers from Beirut to Baghdad, and who are the archetypes of all that they abhor in the Middle East? Say it ain’t so.