Failure of mideast talks in Rome should give Israel more time to destroy Hezballah


Talks between key Middle East players in Rome on a plan for ending the 15-day-old conflict in Lebanon Wednesday failed to reach agreement on an immediate cease-fire.

Officials called a halt to the conflict, but U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said any cease-fire must be "sustainable."

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan reiterated calls for the deployment of an international peacekeeping force, but there was no consensus on its creation.

Leaders made agreements on humanitarian aid and reconstruction, but discussions faltered as the United States resisted demands for an immediate cease-fire, insisting that a cessation of hostilities must be part of a wider plan to permanently disarming Lebanese Hezbollah militants.

Rice said she had been moved by an impassioned plea by Lebanon's Prime Minister to "stop the killing" but said the U.S. favors long-term efforts to end "spasms of violence" in the region.


One source involved in the talks said everyone but the United States wanted to press ahead with an immediate cease-fire, but Rice argued that taking that approach would leave Hezbollah in place and still armed with its rockets.


As a general rule cease fires favor the guy who is losing. The terms Rice is suggesting for a cease fire conform pretty closely with what Israel would deem a victory. The Hezzies are not ready to condede that at this point and the rest of the world cannot impose a cease fire on either one of the parties anyway. It is just not time for a cease fire yet.


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