The Administration clearly has no desire to see a cease fire between Israel and Hezbollah. Although the other government officials came to the meeting in Rome arguing for a demand for an immediate cease fire, Rice was hell bent on preventing that.
The BBC reported that nearly an hour and a half was spent debating whether the phrase "immediate" should be used in relation to a cease fire. In the end, Kofi Annan, still declared the need for an immediate cease fire, and BBC News ran with that as its headline.
[Note: the photo is courtesy of About.com. I quite like the Condi-Conan look.]
Her rhetoric justifying a position of no cease fire is worth considering. According to the New York Times, Rice said after the meeting:
"It doesn't do anyone any good to raise false hopes about something that's not going to happen. It's not going to happen. I did say to the group 'When will we learn?' The fields of the Middle East are littered with broken cease-fires."Translation:
"What is the point of working towards a solution? People will only die anyway? Best to give up now, and just let Israel bomb Hezbollah into the stone age, along with the Lebanese civilians who are stuck in the middle."The U.S. apparently has a new approach to diplomacy: Diplomacy works best that works least.
Time has a compelling commentary on "Condi in Diplomatic Disneyland".