Geopolitical realities force Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to visit Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, who probably orchestrated a massive car bomb that killed Hariri's father in 2005.

The recent rise in Syrian influence would be less galling were Assad doing anything visible to advance the Middle East peace process--one common view holds that untangling the Syrian-Israeli border could be a crucial first step towards a broader paece--as this Sy Hersh opus suggested might happen.