What looked, only days ago, like it was not going to boil over into a full-scale regional conflict, is now inching back towards 100 °C.

  • Syria is threatening to enter the conflict between Israel and Lebanon if Israeli troops fighting in Lebanon approach too closely to the Syrian border.
  • Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has advised Israel to “pack up and move,” stating that the “Zionists have launched their own destruction by attacking Lebanon.”
  • Nonetheless, “the chairman of Iran’s armed forces joint chiefs, Maj. Gen. Sayyed Hassan Firuzabadi, said Iran would never join the current Middle East fighting,” and the Iranian street is griping that Ahmadinejad should butt-out of the current conflict and focus on helping his own people.
  • Bush is trying to get his Saudi friends to pressure Syria to sever ties with Iran and Hizbullah, but this Slate piece suggests that the more pressure they feel, the more likely they are to stick together.
  • And finally, while I disagree with much of Tariq Ali’s assessment of Israel’s interest in Lebanon, I agree with his conclusion: “Until the question of Palestine is resolved and Iraq’s occupation ended, there will be no peace in the region.”