"UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen raised an "alarm" about the situation in the Middle East, warning that the region faces the possibilities of full-scale war, a fresh effort to contain the current violence, or energetic diplomacy to try to bring lasting peace.
"One is that we continue on the path of violence - the kind of mildest one being that we continue on the slippery slope of violence that we've seen not only in Lebanon but also in Gaza, West Bank, Iraq and elsewhere in the region," he said. "The other one is that it leads to a full confrontation, and worst case to a regional confrontation with arms."
The second option is "energetic diplomacy" by the international community to address the underlying problems, he said.
Roed-Larsen said this is "extremely difficult" today because the four conflicts in the Middle East are separate, but have become entwined.
"Hopefully there is still a possibility to address this diplomatically and with peaceful means," he said. "However, that this will happen in the very foreseeable future is not that likely."
The third option, he said, is "a vigorous containment policy which stems the slide on the slippery slope" and moves to address "broader regional tensions."
basically, i have to agree with his assessments on the things happening down there right now. before there was only one variable to worry about, and that was Israel. now there are like 4 different things that are intermingled, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel and Iran. if things continue down the same path the next few years as they've done the last few years, i fear that we might have a conventional "continental war" coming up.