Friday, October 28, 2005

what is going on??? Iran and Hizballah raise the stakes!

Okay, so yesterday, the Iranian president (i.e. the head of state of one of the most powerful nations in the region) said that Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth. He said that a Jewish state in the heart of the Muslim world is simply unacceptable.

Also yesterday, Hassan Nasrallah gave his speach in which he asserted that "[we] stand on the side of Syria's leadership and people as it is being targeted by American and Zionist attempts to punish it...."

My guess is that these two speeches are reactions to developments in the Security Council pertaining to the Mehlis and Larsen reports. Iran's strategic link to the Mediteranean Sea through Hizballah and Syria is under threat in an unprecedented manner. In other words, although Iran itself is not directly under attack, its strategic outreach (its ability to project power in the region and internationally) is, and ultimately will be cut down to size.

How far will the Iranians go to protect their interests? Well, yesterday, we also saw the explosion in an Israeli market. And, as I mentioned above, Hassan Nasrallah gave his speach, which basically threw the idea of seeking justice for Hariri's murder outside the window, and completely redefined the issue in political terms (justice out, international relations in). In other words, Nasrallah has now become an obstructionist. Eventhough he has not said it flat out, he has withdrawn his already precarious "political cover" from the Mehlis investigation, hence eliminating the national consensus and unanimity it has had thus far (and needs in order to continue its work).

What are the next steps the Iranians may take? Well, 1) they may pressure Hizballah to withdraw from the government, 2) they may escalate bombings in Israel, 3) they may also escalate violence in Iraq. Again, as I metioned in a previous comment in From Beirut to the Beltway, I believe Hizballah is too valuable to the Iranians for it to be utilized lightly. However, the following questions linger in my mind: 1) How far will the Iranians go if they really feel threatened? 2) How much will they ask from Hizballah? 3) What will this mean for Lebanon? 4) What will all this posturing mean for the next UN Security Council Resolution concerning Syria?

This is a truly epic battle between the West and Iran, and it has just been raised to a whole new level. As always though, the "little guys" pay the price for the games played by the big shots. I hope we, in Lebanon, don't end up in such a situation. I already feel sorry the Palestinians though... their's is the "front of first resort". They're already paying the price.

5 comments:

Lazarus said...

I found Nasrallah's speech and comments completely out of place. He had a chance to say something great, and missed it.

But I disagree that it was his speech which "completely redefined the issue in political terms (justice out, international relations in)". It has been like that for some time now.

I too hope that we don't end up in such a situation. If it is true, as Fisk calls his book, that this is the "Great war for civilization", then there is a big chance that things might not look too good.

Anonymous said...

Take my word..bye bye International Court.
Syria still controls Lebanon.
We have just underestimated Bachar.
With HA,Amal and Emile the future is not rosy.

Anonymous said...

fuck syria and fuck pro syrians like lahoud, berri, nasrallah, arslan, AOUN, karami...FUCK U ALL. FUCK SYRIA AND SOON THE US WILL BE FUCKING SYRIA!! HAHAHAHA HAHAHAHA!!

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Keii said...

fuck syria , just came from google to say that. we might allow a pLO state but we would go to damascus and burn it to the ground if they touch our golan. a lot of druze will come with us too.