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It was depressing to read Thursday night’s press conference with Steve Hadley and Condi Rice, because it was almost all about process, and not about war. Aside from their quite proper insistance that we do want a viable, free Lebanon, it was all about “I’ve called this one, he’s called that one, we’re talking, talking, talking all the time, not to worry.”

There are harsh parameters on this moment, which is an opportunity waiting to be seized. In another week or so the “international community” (the appeasers and “stability” mavens) will force Israel to stop. At that moment, we should want Hizbollah destroyed in both Lebanon and Syria, Assad under attack from his own people for playing this awful game, and Khamenei humiliated as the artefice of a failed operation. We should be openly calling for regime change in Damascus and Tehran, on the grounds that the civilized world cannot any longer tolerate tyrannical murderers calling the shots in the Middle East and elsewhere.

But we have not heard anything about “seizing the moment.” We hear lawyer talk and diplotalk, surrender talk and appeasement talk, and there is no action whatsoever. Is this not the time to go after the terrorist training camps in Syria and Iran? What in the world are we waiting for?

And finally, if we dither through this one, the next one will be worse. Maybe much worse. It’s not going away. Stability is a mirage. Chamberlain had a choice between dishonor and war. He chose dishonor and got war anyway. You too, Mr. President. It’s the way it works.

Michael LedeenMichael Ledeen is an American historian, philosopher, foreign-policy analyst, and writer. He is a former consultant to the National Security Council, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense. ...

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