Mideast update (sort of)
I've been reading newspapers, watching television (including from Israel and the Mideast), googling the news, and it's quite difficult to get a clear picture of what's happening and predict what's going to happen. My sense is that the G-8 statement was more favorable to the U.S. position (and by extension to Israel) than I would have expected. It stressed Israel's right to act in "self defence" and seems to suggest that Hizbollah and Hamas should return the kidnapped soldiers as first steps and as part of the conditions for cease-fire. There were also clear indications that the leading Arab-Sunni states, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt are hoping for Hizbollah's demise. I think that Israel could probably continue with the bombing for quite a while. I also don't think that the war would expand beyond Lebanon.