Israel has every right as a sovereign nation to defend its boarders and its people from the Hezbollah terrorist organization. I find no fault with Israel for taking military action against Hezbollah and its supporters. But, unfortunately, the current operation is doomed to failure unless a political solution is found. Additionally, the current crisis shows that democratization of the middle east does not necessarily bring stability and peace.
While the current plan for Israel to enter southern Lebanon and take Hezbollah head on is intended to decapitate and reduce the ability of Hezbollah, it is doomed to fail for several reasons.
First off, this sort of exercise will have the short term effect of greatly diminishing the ability of Hezbollah to attack Israel via missiles or other offensives. But, long term, it will do nothing to lessen the ability of Hezbollah to strike at Israel. The only way that Israel can have long term impact on Hezbollah is to take and hold southern Lebanon for the indefinite future. Israel had done this up until 2000 when it withdrew from southern Lebanon unilaterally. The expenditures of many and manpower it took to hold these areas was high and weighed heavily on the Israeli state. Unless Israel is willing and able to re-occupy the areas, Hezbollah will re-arm and re-man the area soon after an Israeli troop withdraw. Israel has made other incursions into Lebanon to destroy the Hezbollah forces, and each time, they have returned with equal or greater force. It has been proven over and over that an occupation force does not bring long term stability, nor does it stop Hezbollah from organizing and laying in wait for its next opportunity. We have seen from Israel's occupation of multiple areas that while it may make the interior of Israel safer, it does nothing to quell the greater conflict.
Second, due to the scope of the war, many innocent civilians have been killed or wounded. While Israel may be attempting to be as precise as possible in its offensive, it seems to be killing as many (if not more) civilians as militants. This is due to collateral damage, mistakes, and the fact that Hezbollah has no problem hiding behind civilian populations when attacked. this has the effect of making Israel look as sinister as Hezbollah, and wins the support of Muslims to the Hezbollah cause. Hezbollah, in its humanitarian efforts, comes out looking like the hero and not the villain to the people of the Arab middle east.
Third, the Israeli offensive does nothing to turn the tide of support that Hezbollah receives from Syria and Iran. Syria and Iran, each with their own political purposes for supporting Hezbollah, will come out of the crisis unscathed, and without real consequences for their support of Hezbollah. Syria and Iran will continue to support the terrorist activities of Hezbollah long after this conflict. Unless Israel was to take actions that would deter Syria and Iran from supporting Hezbollah, Hezbollah will be anything but diminished in capacity long term.
Unfortunately for the soldiers in the Israeli Defense Force, the only way to conduct this operation with minimal civilian casualties as well as doing a real clean sweep of Hezbollah is to conduct only ground offensives with air support. The current air strikes on targets in Beirut have had the effect of neither doing real damage to Hezbollah, or creating public support for Israel's self defense.
The only way that Israel will have a permanent effect on the situation is to drive a wedge between Hezbollah and its supporters internationally, as well as driving a wedge between Hezbollah and the local populace. This cannot be done with the current operations. This is a political operation, not a military operation. While Israel may achieve short term security through its current operations, it may set itself back in the goal of a long term peace.
Additionally, the current crisis shows that democracy, in and of itself, will not be a cure to the ongoing conflict. The two nations that have come out in condemnation, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are both authoritarian regimes. While the two fledgling democracies in the region, Lebanon and Iraq, have respectively done nothing to curb Hezbollah, or come out in condemnation of Israel without a condemnation of Hezbollah.
Unfortunately, there is no political solution to be found with Hezbollah itself. The only way for Israel to arrive are long term peace it to come to a political solution with Hezbollah's supporters. Syria is the most likely to come to some sort of political solution. But for a political solution to be reached with Syria, the US will probably have to compromise on its other policy and political agendas.
This situation, obviously, is a bad one with no easy solution. It will take some very strong politically will from many varied parties to end this, but the current situation will not be alleviated by military means alone.