We hear that they've got a strategy for victory in Iraq, too

Rice on Hezbollah: Hope for the best, and maybe somebody will call them names.

Published August 16, 2006 3:57PM (EDT)

Asked whether U.N. forces in southern Lebanon will "forcibly disarm" Hezbollah forces that aren't supposed to be there, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tells USA Today: "I think it's a little bit of a misreading of how you disarm a militia. You have to have a plan, first of all, for the disarmament of a militia, and then the hope is that some people lay down their arms voluntarily."

What if they don't?

"Well, I don't want to speculate because I think so much depends on conditions," Rice says. The secretary says that Hezbollah has been weakened by Israel's military action and that an international embargo, if "carried out with vigor," can prevent the group from rearming. "And then I think there will be a lot of pressure on Hezbollah to make a choice, and if, in fact, they make the wrong choice, one would have to assume that there will be others who are willing to call Hezbollah what we are willing to call it, which is a terrorist organization."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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