Harper's magazine had a provocative cartoon last Thursday of Rice's surprise visit to Lebanon. It made the same point, which Mourhaf Jouejati, director of Middle Eastern Studies at George Washington University makes in Roger Cohen's column in the New York Times and that is that, "The United States has been more a party to this conflict than an arbiter. [...] Lebanese democracy, a supposedly cherished American aim, has been sacrificed for the Israeli ally." I don't quite agree with this point, but unfortunately, what I think doesn't matter. What is important is how the world perceives the United States and its role in this crisis. As William Arkin points out in the Washington Post, perception is reality and facts matter less than the image created by the way people interprets them.