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USA biter i det sure eplet og godtar at Hizbollah kan spille en politisk rolle. Det er en strek i regningen for Israel, på kort sikt.

Den politiske kursendringen kan minne om utviklingen i Irak, der USA har måttet stole på shiaene, uten å ha noen garanti for fremtiden.

Ifølge Taif-erklæringen skulle Hizbollah avvæpnes når Syria trakk seg ut av Libanon. Det er nå lagt på hylla.

USA er blitt tvunget til å erkjenne at Hizbollahs innflytelse er så stor at bevegelsen må tas inn i varmen. Den kan ikke ignoreres. Eller rettere: man må forsøke å temme den.

The administration’s shift was described by American, European and United Nations officials as a reluctant recognition that Hezbollah, besides having a militia and sponsoring attacks on Israelis, is an enormous political force in Lebanon that could block Western efforts to get Syria to withdraw its troops.

The new posture of the administration was described by its officials, who asked not to be identified because of longstanding American antipathy toward Hezbollah.

«Hezbollah has American blood on its hands,» an administration official said, referring to such events as the truck bombing that killed more than 200 American marines in Beirut in 1983. «They are in the same category as Al Qaeda. The administration has an absolute aversion to admitting that Hezbollah has a role to play in Lebanon, but that is the path we’re going down.»

Only a few weeks ago, the United States was tangling with France over Hezbollah’s status, as France blocked an effort by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to have Europe formally label Hezbollah a terrorist group, restricting its fund-raising.

Now the United States has basically accepted the French view, echoed by others in Europe, that with Hezbollah emerging as such a force in very fractured Lebanon, it is dangerous to antagonize it right now and wiser to encourage the party to run candidates in Lebanese elections.

Hvordan vil det påvirke forholdet Paris/Washington at Bush viser slik pragmatisme?

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