- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Having helped set the stage for failure in Lebanon, America now laments the situation. The foreign policy wonks that gave us the wars on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan brought about the current situation in Beirut. Rather than treat Hezbollah as an integral part of the Lebanese body politic, our foreign policy sought to exclude it and to assist Israel in its destruction.

Placing Syria on our hit list along with Iraq and Iran was an even more monumental error. Punishing Syria left an important player out of the mix of issues that concern us - Iraq, Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and Lebanon. The dispatch of an ambassador to Damascus is not a reward, but a small step in correcting a foreign-policy failure.

JOSEPH ELIAS

Wilkes-Barre, Pa.