What if, after the September 11 attacks, things had been done differently? What if President Bush had addressed the nation by saying, "My fellow Americans: Everything in us cries out for revenge. It would be easy to give in to this cry, and I'm sure you would support me if I mobilized our troops to hunt down the terrorists and those who helped them. But I propose another route, one that links us in our vulnerability to the other peoples of this world."
It’s possible that Hezbollah was inviting a sharp Israeli response when it decided to cross into Israel, ambush an Israeli patrol and kidnap two soldiers. In any case, the Israelis’ decision to launch land and air strikes on Hezbollah strongholds and on Lebanon’s infrastructure has only burnished Hezbollah’s credentials.Far from turning the Lebanese against the “Party of God," Israel’s military response has bolstered Hezbollah’s self-appointed role as defender of the nation. In fact, it has made Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah a hero throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds.