Condi's Got Her Hands Full

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, right, and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert smile during a joint press conference at Olmert's office in Jerusalem Tuesday July 25, 2006 AP

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has made her stops in Lebanon and Israel.

She wants the fighting to stop, but the only way that is going to happen is when Israel feels it has done sufficient damage to Hezbollah. That may take a while.

Plenty of rockets are still flying out of southern Lebanon and into Haifa. As long as the rockets fly, Israel will be on the offensive.

Middle East TV screens are filled with images of uprooted civilians and injured children. It's perfect propaganda for recruiting the next generation of Hezbollah fighters. If this feels like a movie you've seen before, it is.

What of Iran and Syria? Iran supplies the missiles, some men and the know-how; Syria provides the easy routing. But neither country is on the Secretary's travel schedule yet.

Do you hold direct talks with them? What punitive action could you threaten them with that would make them fall into line? Beats me.

Oh, and who puts Lebanon back together again?

Condi's got her hands full.


Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith
  • Peter Stevenson

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