Herein lies the minority trap: the greater the punishment that Hezbollah and Assad inflict on the Sunni majority, the more they expose themselves and their supporters to violent retribution, which in turn drives the minority population further into their embrace. Neither the first Vienna summit on Syria negotiations nor the second one planned for this weekend appears to address the tragedy of these two minorities -- the Lebanese Shiites and the Syrian Alawites. Without a lifeline thrown from outside powers, the bond between hijacking despots and hijacked population will almost certainly grow tighter.
Hezbollah's intervention in Syria has achieved significant gains. The result, however, has been that Hezbollah ("party of God" in Arabic), once widely respected by Sunnis in Syria and the region for its military struggle against Israel, is now frequently dubbed the "Party of Satan."
If administration officials want to avoid a close concert of the Iranians, Syrians, Hamas and Hezbollah, then they should cease making the casual, convenient assumption that they're all a bunch of bad guys out to get us. That is a self-serving, intellectually lazy notion nurtured by many inside and outside the White House. It can only lead us into blind alleys. That is, unless one sees all these intricate issues liable to resolution by confrontation with the prospect of war.