The Bush-Blair doctrine that a cease fire in Lebanon can only occur when and if Hezbollah relinquishes its weapons is a strategy which can only end in failure - which may in fact be the purpose of the doctrine. That way, Bush and Blair can justify Israel's military machine destroying an entire nation under the pretext of these so-called preconditions of a cease fire as a prelude to negotiations.
Whether we like it or not, Hezbollah and Hamas have transitioned from terrorist organizations to domestic political entities. In the later case Hamas was elected to power in a free and open election which we supported. Hezbollah's role in Lebanon is more complex. Hezbollah has not met the UN's requirement that it disarm, but it is a functioning part of a coalition government plus a bonified community organization and de facto armed force of southern Shiite Lebanon.
In both cases, the US/British/Israeli demand that both groups give up their right to armed struggle against Israel is an oxymoronic demand since a fundamental definition of nation-state status is the right of self-defence and to bear arms. We don't have to agree with their goals or use to which Hezbollah and Hamas put their weaponry. Targeting innocent civilians violates any semblance of decency whether it's the actions of Hezbollah, Hamas or Israel - or for that matter the U.S.
But the implicit lumping of Hezbollah and Hamas with non-state terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda is to be intellectually disingenuous about the world of the 21st century and to create political conditions which by their definition make any resolution of the immediate crisis on the West Bank or in Lebanon impossible. The fact is neither Hezbollah nor Hamas will drop their arms, nor end their use of terrorism - until the reasons which created them are addressed.
This will require the US along with her coalition of the willing and Israel to put an end to a neo-colonial strategy which is designed to pit pro-US but authoritarian regimes - Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan - against anti-US but equally authoritarian regimes tied to Shiite fundamentalism - Iran and Syria. The irony is that US/Israeli policy is destroying any semblances of democracy that existed in Lebanon, the West Bank or Iraq.
So, until our terms for a negotiated settlement change and a ceasefire becomes the first step - Condi Rice is wasting her time and our tax dollars flying in and out of the Middle East. It's the pretence of a solution to mask a policy of all out war via our Israeli surrogate. The Bush/Blair doctrine is part of the problem, not part of the solution and Israel has become a witting tool of our flawed and myopic foreign policy.