The last decade in world affairs has revolved around a global conflict between the world's last remaining superpower and "political Islam," with a seemingly endless series of horrifying events - African embassy bombings, 9/11, Fallujah, half a million Pakistani refugees, etc. All the deaths demonstrate the importance of tracking the impact of Mideast affairs on the superpower: it is a very big elephant and where it steps will matter. Today was a very bad day for the proponents of empire.
Hezbollah moved gracefully and smartly by the Western democratic rulebook from outsider toward being the new ruling party in Lebanon. It probably does not have the faintest idea of how difficult ruling Lebanon will be, but that's another story. Today, Hezbollah looked professional and modern; Washington's allies looked incompetent and petulant.
Coincidentally, a little leak of Palestinian secrets exposed the utter fraud of the Washington-Tel Aviv position on Israel's West Bank colonization project that, until today, was known as the "peace process."
As Roman emperors could tell us if they were still around, a superpower needs to appear effective.
It appears that Washington will soon face a fateful decision. Assuming that Hezbollah legally and peacefully forms the next Lebanese regime, Washington will have to decide whether to accept the democratic process and help Lebanon survive or try to provoke a return to the ghastly civil war of the 1980s. Provoking civil war in tiny Lebanon will have unpredictable consequences over the long run, but over the short run, it is highly likely to constitute al Qua'ida's greatest victory so far.
Washington playing the "heavy"