The more I think about Hezbollah's takover of Beirut, the less I am inclined to change my mind: The responsibility for this state of affairs lies squarely in the hands of the March 14 coalition and their (former) master the Syrians and their (current) master the Americans.
The US nurtured and sustained Syria's grip on Lebanon from the early years of the Lebanese War to around 2003. It gave Syria a free hand to occupy and transform the country into the terrorist base that it became. It drew implicit agreements (red lines with Israel) with the Syrian regime, it called the Syrian occupation a "factor of stability", and in the end it sponsored the Taif Agreement that killed whatever chance was left for Lebanon to heal itself.
During all those years, the US watched (and endorsed) as Syria bombed, killed and destroyed Lebanon's institutions, including Syria's targeting of Western interests (embassy bombings, US Marine barracks bombing, hostage-taking....). After 1990 and the Taif Agreement, the US continued to sponsor its Syrian client and its Haririan sub-clients inside Lebanon, while Hezbollah was building its empire, and attacked those who fought Syria at the time as "agents provocateurs" who did not want Lebanon to be stable. The world knew what Hezbollah was doing, but everyone chose "stability" and expediency and small tactical interests. It's the same story, every time.
Like it did with Saddam Hussein, the US allowed Hezbollah to build its empire and its arsenal over 25 years under the sponsorship of the Syrian occupation of Lebanon, and then changed its mind with typical incompetence. And now, the US and its Lebanese allies - the former agents of the Syrian occupation, namely Hariri, Siniora, Jumblatt and all the rest of them - are looking at the monster they created gobbling up Beirut in one bite, and soon all of Lebanon.
With the Bush administration reneging on all the pledges it made after September 11, 2001, there is no doubt in my mind that a Democrat will be in the White House come next November. Too bad, because I like McCain. But McCain, in the few utterances he has made about the Lebanese file, has shown a superficial understanding of the Lebanese crisis and is likely to continue the inept management of Bush by working through the failed cronies that are Hariri, Siniora, Jumblatt and their allies as a way to stand up to Iran and Hezbollah.
With a Democrat in the White House, things will not look much brighter either, because the Lebanon of the 2010s is likely to be similar to the Lebanon of the 1990s: A hypocritical - supposedly more civilized than Bush's - engagement with Iran and Hezbollah, rather than a frontal attack, on the assumption that by talking with "these people" we would convince them to peacefully retreat from their radical hallucinations about the world.