Despite what Bush says, there were no winners in the Hezbollah v. Isreali conflict. How many people were displaced? 1.5 Million. How many people were injured and killed? How much infrastructure and commerce was destroyed. All for what? Isreal still didn't get their soldiers back, nor did they render Hezbollah impotent. All it accomplished is another generation of righteous anger and hatred on both sides that will only fuel the next generation of conflicts. The world should of stepped in and kept both sides from escalating a conflict -- and have them take a deep breath.
Diplomacy is the tool of the strong and violence and military action the tool of the weak and inarticulate. Real strength is the courage to wage peace when it is the toughest -- when real harm has come to you. Diplomacy requires the strength to absorb blows and the intelligence to navigate through the nuances and complexities of geo-political relationships and strike the right deals that will undermine the extremists in the world.
It is the reality of modern military conflict that state militaries cannot really deal a decisive victories anymore. That was lost in the nuclear age and the emergence of the concept of war crimes and crimes against humanity. It was lost in the electronic age where the planet has a front seat in any conflict. States need to worry that a conflict can spiral out of control into a nuclear exchange or have the world community hold us accountable for crimes against humanity.
Instead all we have is low intensity but nasty guerilla wars that fester and cause human misery and grudges with no satisfying conclusion and no winners.
Bush's declaration of victory shows how ignorant and how a negative influence he is in world politics. A fragile peace has been created, we do not need someone making this into favoring one side or another. It helps no one and it is absurd thought to think anyone won. It is why the Middle East doesn't see us as an honest broker in their region. Bush would have been wise to just shut up or at least acknowledge the human suffering that has occured on both sides and welcoming the halt in that suffering. This is the unhelpful and unstatesmanlike behavior of this President that swaggers and blunders that makes me embarrassed for our country.