There is only one reason why a participant in a long term struggle, or a backer of a participant in that struggle, suddenly and arbitrarily calls for a cease fire: that participant is getting the crap kicked out of it.

That was my first thought when the news reported Sunday morning that Syria, one of two primary backers for the Hezbollah terrorist state in Southern Lebanon, the other being Iran, had suddenly released a statement that it would agree to cease fire negotiations and a face-to-face meeting with the United States.

With reporters on all sides ominously intoning the day of the conflict -- "We have now entered DAY 12 of the Conflict Between Israel and Lebanon" -- as zealously as they do casualty counts, the one thing the terrorists have had going for them is a public relations blitz that says Israel, not the terrorists mind you, only Israel, is killing mostly civilians, with little to no reporting on damage to the terrorist army. (Interesting also that they say the conflict is between Israel and Lebanon, which it isn't, rather than Israel and Hezbollah terrorists, which it is.)

But if that were the case, and Hezbollah actually was as strong as the whiners and hand wringers want us to believe, then in the mindset of the typical street fighter, Syria, Iran and Hezbollah all would be taunting Israel, daring it to continue its military action where it would take more punishment. Instead, there is a sudden call for a cease fire.

No doubt in my mind, Hezbollah is reeling and Israel is inflicting far more damage than the pro-terrorist news outlets in the U. S. and worldwide would want us to suspect. I also believe Israel is uncovering some pretty nasty secrets in the towns it has taken along the border, and Syria knows that the Hezbollah terrorists have a few more things hidden in those tunnels and bunkers that it doesn't want Israel finding. I wonder if the Iraqi WMDs made their way to Hezbollah-land?

Oddly, Syria's announcement Sunday morning came only hours after it threatened to engage Israel in military action if Israel went too far into Lebanon or Israeli troops got too close to Syria.

Earth to Damascus: You have a border with Israel. They can put a hundred tank and infantry divisions on that border if they feel like it and you have no legal recourse. Of course, if you arm and support an aggressor nation, such as Hezbollah, that is openly bombing Israel, then all bets are off.

No, the conflicting statements from Syria signal that all is not well in their corner of the funny farm, and they are desperate to somehow put an end to Israel's efforts before they go too much further.

The United States and Israel would do well to ignore Syria, Iran, Kofi Anan, and all the other magpies calling for 'consensus' and 'negotiations' and 'meaningful discussions.' The terrorists are losing and hiding something on the border and they don't want Israel finding it. They can't get it out because the roads, bridges and airports are out of service, and the terrorists aren't strong enough to protect it forever. We would be making a huge blunder to discontinue this action before we find out what that is.

Liberal commentators such as Fox News' Juan Williams whine that civilians are being killed and the "Arab Street" will react negatively, and the big kids won't let him play in their games, and may even steal his milk money. But as has been shown by the widespread refusal on the part of many Islamic nations to take a stand in this conflict, the long-term show of strength and resolve by the Bush administration in both Afghanistan and Iraq has resulted in a willingness to let Israel destroy Hezbollah.

Why, might you ask? Because despite all the fawning reports on these terrorists, not from the usual Islamic extremist news outlets, but from the pro-terrorist American media such as the NY Times, Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN, the fact is Hezbollah and its backers are hideously brutal murderers, and if they prevail, all of the Arab world will be under their control, which no sane person can contemplate without a shudder.

It is simply amazing to watch the pro-terrorist news media report on what a great bunch of guys the Hezbollah believers are, what with them building schools and clinics and providing social services, all intended to undercut the democratically elected and unfortunately weak legitimate Lebanese government. But somehow those news reports forget to mention that the real purpose of the schools is to brainwash continuing generations of terrorists who hate mindlessly because that is all they know.

Or that the medical clinics' real purpose is to treat terrorists wounded during their crime sprees against Israel. Or, for that matter, those injured during bomb making classes, or chemical warfare training accidents.

Think I'm wrong? Watch enough news in a day and eventually you'll see film footage of present-day Nazis, goose-stepping through Lebanon, carrying the Hezbollah flag, preceded by a contingent of goose-stepping prepubescent Nazis also carrying the Hezbollah flag, portraying themselves as the heart and soul of Lebanon. Does a majority of the Lebanese citizenry actually think this way?

And what good are the schools, clinics and social services when the people who provide them start a war with a neighboring state, based solely on a mindless racial and ethnic hatred? What support will they have in the long run when they order the civilians to stay in their homes, babysitting rockets and other weaponry, where they most certainly will become casualties, after the Israeli Army blankets the area with pamphlets, loudspeakers and even phone calls telling them to leave to avoid being injured?

The pro-terrorist news media continually bring up Vietnam and America in their reports, usually parroting long since discredited and disproven statements about what went on in that country 35 years ago between the United States and the communists as comparisons to the present conflict. But if they want Vietnam as an analogy they are missing the best comparison.

Until the Tet Offensive of January and February 1968, the Viet Cong -- communist guerillas much like the present-day Hezbollah -- terrorized the civilian populace of South Vietnam to keep them in line and create a ready supply of food, shelter, and recruits. Their aim was to convince the civilians to join in the fighting against the Americans when the Tet Offensive was launched, showing the world that they all wanted America out.

Bad move. When the communist terrorists sprung their offensive they were mowed down in droves, losing an estimated 35,000 Viet Cong, fully half their military force in a couple of weeks, in addition to tens of thousands of regular North Vietnamese communist troops. The South Vietnamese civilians stayed home, and a major facet of the communist strategy fell flat. The Viet Cong continued to fight sporadically and ineffectively for another year before an unbelievably ill-conceived second Tet Offensive ended their military capabilities permanently.

That is the true comparison and the inevitable conclusion of the terrorist tactics. The populace is with you when all is peaceful and not too many people get beaten or murdered for breaking real or imagined regulations. But let the whole populace be held up for ransom and used as human shields and those images will remain imbedded in their collective unconscious forever.

Israel should hold firm, move as far north as necessary and kill every single Hezbollah fighter in the way. And don't repeat Richard Nixon's mistake from the Cambodian incursion by saying just how far the military will go and how long it will stay. Go as far as necessary for as long as necessary to get the job done.

That is the only way to resolve this war and set the real stage for a lasting peace. Find what they are hiding, and hold it up for the world to see. Free as many civilians as possible and let them tell the truth about Hezbollah using them as shields. It won't change all the minds in the world but it will give a lot of people something to think about before they embark on similar ventures.

Best Quote of the Week Starting July 23, 2006.

John Bolton, America's Ambassador to the United Nations, when asked if the US has had any face-to-face discussions with Syria: "We have an embassy in Damascus. They can pick up the phone."

It's about time someone has the courage to point out that the onus for resolving problems started by Iran and Syria is on Iran and Syria, not the United States. Syria wants to talk with us? Hey, pick up the phone, have your people call my people. I'll see if I can pencil you in.

NOTE TO TV NEWS CAMERAMEN: Don't shine camera lights into the eyes of advancing infantrymen at night. They have spent hours getting their eyes adjusted to the darkness and those camera lights not only blind them for the moment, they greatly diminish their ability to make out objects in the dark for hours afterward. This could mean the difference between life and death for the soldiers. Your camera work is meaningless when the stakes are that high.