Much as it pains me to say it, Warren Christopher is talking a reasonable amount of sense. The key paragraph is this:
“The impact is not limited to Lebanon or Israel. Every day America gives the green light to further Israeli violence, our already tattered reputation sinks even lower. The reluctance of our closest allies in the Middle East even to receive Secretary Rice this week in their capitals attests to this fact.”
What’s more, the longer this goes on, the much-vaunted Sunni/Shia split (evidenced by the notably lukewarm attitude of some Arab regimes to Hezbollah) will be overwhelmed by traditional hatred of Israel, and the need of those Sunni regimes to protect their own positions domestically, as that already poisonous hatred is whipped up still more within their countries. Those regimes may dislike Iranian adventurism in the region, but as David Gardner points out in today’s FT (link requires subscription) they fear their own people more.
A ceasefire is in America’s interest. Christopher is right to argue for it.