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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why did Lebanon do it?

Why did the Lebanese Armed Forces murder an IDF Lieutenant Colonel in cold blood last week? Joshua Muravchik explains.
Why the sudden daring?

Because Hezbollah now largely controls Lebanon, and Iran owns Hezbollah, and both are feeling their oats. Initiating the skirmish with Israel was of a piece with the boast by Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff just three days earlier that Iran could build a nuclear bomb. According to a semiofficial Iranian news agency, the chief of staff elaborated: “Today . . . we are presented with an opportunity to alter world management.” In this usage, “world management” means the same thing that the Soviets used to call the “correlation of forces.” In the face of such an opportunity, he continued, “confining ourselves to small steps, while less costly, is not right.” And as Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the estimable Iran expert who brought these comments to light, explains, the chief of staff’s “reported remarks were full of comments about how this moment is a turning point in world history — one in which international arrogance can be replaced by a new global management, if only Iran makes the necessary effort.”

Some reports say Iran wants to avoid a new war between Hezbollah and Israel for now, preferring to keep the vast arsenal it has placed on Israel’s borders at the ready for retaliation against any strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. This makes sense, and if it is true, it makes this week’s events all the more ominous.

Reportedly, the commander of the unit that attacked the Israelis is a Shiite — sympathetic to Hezbollah. Conceivably, the Lebanese deliberately staged the incident to heat up the border in order to deflect the UN investigation of the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, which reportedly is leading directly to the doorsteps of the Syrian government and Hezbollah. Or possibly, it was an act of pure bravado.

But either way, this aggression and the Iranian aide’s speech both indicate that the region’s radical, anti-American forces are growing bolder. This is an inevitable result of America’s projection of weakness and uncertainty, the essence of Obama’s foreign policy, expecially toward our Middle Eastern enemies.
What could go wrong?


At 10:35 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Shimon Shapira weighs in on the Expansion of Iranian Hegemony in Lebanon in an article for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Read more:

At 10:44 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

There's Israel's dhimmi politicians who sit by passively as the threat from Hezbollah grows.

What could go wrong indeed


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