Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What's going on

What's going on in Lebanon? I mean, aside from the obvious? I had been wondering, but with work the way it is, had not been able to look very far.

Why the intensity of the Israeli response, first to Hamas, and now especially to Hizballah? Why are the usual decriers of outrage so muted in their response; France, Russia, the Arab countries? It is obviously much bigger than the kidnap, or capture, of 2 or 3 soldiers, but the dynamics escaped me. This article from Debkafile is illuminating. I'm not in a position to say if it is correct. However, it makes sense.

They call this a

... poker game between Tehran and Washington going back and forth over the heads of Israel and Lebanon.
George Bush is not only not opposing it, he's right behind it.
The green light flashing in Washington may give Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert a latitude never before granted any Israeli premier. But it also tells the Islamic Republic that its rulers’ meddling in Iraq carries a high price tag. By pulverizing Iran’s surrogate, Israel is articulating America’s determination to smash Iran’s strength and positions of influence around the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.

This determination was sparked by an unnoticed incident in Iraq on July 4, 2006.

On that day, for the first time in the Iraq War, Nasrallah [leader of Hizballah] activated the three-year-old sleeper terror and sabotage networks Iranian and Hizballah intelligence had established across Iraq shortly after the US invasion. He was obeying orders from Iranian supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

America’s Day of Independence 2006 was selected for this group to make its first low-key attacks against US forces in Baghdad and British units in Basra and break surface under the name of The Abu al Fadal al Abas Brigades. No one had heard of it because Tehran had kept this Iraqi arm of Hizballah dark as the ultimate weapon to spring on the Americans in Iraq at the appropriate moment.

President Bush saw that if he looked away and let Iran’s challenge burst into full-blown action without responding, America’s standing in Iraq and the rest of the region would be forfeit. He was further stirred into a response by Tehran’s developing appetite for quick gains. On July 12, believing they had got away with it in Iraq, Iran and Hizballah followed it up by opening a second front against Israel, America’s ally: the Shiite terrorists kidnapped two Israeli soldiers.

Therefore, Israel’s Operation Just Reward, which started out as a rescue operation for its two abducted soldiers, then a campaign to push Hizballah back from its border, within six days opened Lebanon up as a major arena for the showdown building up between the United States and Tehran over a whole bagful of issues - not least Iran’s nuclear defiance. However, the unacknowledged object of Israel’s campaign is none of the highly rational goals outlined by officials. It is to satisfy Washington that Tehran has been given a bloody nose and is ready to pull back from its deepening political, military and intelligence interference in Iraq.
That makes sense, doesn't it?

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