The exploding Middle East received barely a mention in the President's SOTU address. Yet, the tinder box set alight in Tunisia has the potential of starting a forest fire. Egypt is already starting to burn; demonstrations continue in Jordan. In Lebanon, Hezbollah, designated a terrorist group by us, represents 40% of Lebanese and together with supporting Christian factions forms a clear (over 60%) majority. They have a social/charitable wing that is hugely supportive of, and supported by the Shia; moreover, being clearly more honest than other parties, they have genuine credibility with their constituents. We, of course, do not deal with them. Eventually, we will, for they now control Lebanon, and will always be a leading player. We have to get used to the fact that the Tehran, Syria, Lebanon axis is now a powerful counterweight to Israel, and Tehran's influence in Iraq has changed the balance of power in the Gulf. They must all be grateful to our neo-cons.