IN RETROSPECT....

IN RETROSPECT.... The good news over the weekend is that the relevant parties have reached a cease-fire agreement that will be better for Israelis and Lebanese alike than continued fighting would have been. The bad news is that, as skeptics like me have been saying from the beginning, pretty much nobody with the exception of Hassan Nasrallah is better off than they would have been had this major incursion not happened in the first place. Israel's achieved essentially nothing in a strategic sense, has gotten far more of its own citizens killed than were at risk from Hezbollah in the first place, the Lebanese government is weaker than ever, and Hezbollah's Shiite constituents have paid the highest price of all.

This is the way it tends to go with preventive war. Fighting other people is a highly undesirable outcome compared to cooperating with them or even tensely coexisting with them. It's very, very easy for both sides to lose in these situations.

--Matthew Yglesias

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