Rice arrives in Rome
We've just landed in Rome, the next stop on the Condoleezza Rice World Tour. What does the secretary of state have to show so far for her diplomacy? Today, an agreement that Israel will permit aid deliveries at Beirut's airport, plus try to open a ground corridor for relief supplies. More importantly, from talking to the Rice team, a clear sense is emerging that they see the current conflict as a proxy war with Iran. It is Iran's hand that they see encouraging Hezbollah to take steps it knew would provoke Israel into using force. Rice clearly thinks the future of Lebanon is at stake and with it the future of moderate governments in the Middle East. Key to a solution? Tomorrow's summit on how to create an international force. Who will contribute troops? Will they take charge of the ports? Which comes first, the troops or a cease-fire? A top official just told me on the plane, "Well, they can't fight their way in."
By the way, I'm writing this as our motorcade races from the airport in Rome... my head buried in my BlackBerry. How crazy is that?
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