Well, US Secretary of State Condileeza Rice has arrived in the Middle East for talks aimed at negotiating a ceasefire, and to announce humanitarian aid. All well and good. Dr Rice has also said that the long term solution lies in "peaceful and democratic society" in the Middle East.
Ah, peace and democracy! They go so well together, like strawberries and cream, Paris Hilton and scandal, blogger and opinionated know-it-all. Though Israel is a democracy, and so was Lebanon last time I checked. The problem is, of course, that free voting means that people are free to vote for Hezbollah, or conversely Likud.
Nonetheless "democracy" is the current US one-size-fits all solution to the problems of the world. The US is determined to impose a democratic society upon the people of Iraq, whether they like it or not. (Which provides an interesting contrast to the previous US policy of supporting the overthrow of democratically elected governments, such as in Chile in 1973, but never let consistency get in the way of a good foreign policy).
Events are still unfolding, so it remains to be seen whether any solution comes from Dr Rice's visit, or if it will be a mere case of seagull diplomacy (term derived from seagull manager). Though to be fair, it seems more likely not. The problems of the Middle East have defied solving for quite some time now (at least since my last coffee break). Two wrongs don't make a right. But sadly for the people of the region, it's a place where sometimes two rights don't make a right.