Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Middle East; where to?

I've been closely following the developments between Israel and Lebanon. As you know, anything that goes on between any two parties in the Middle East will eventually have direct or indirect effects on the rest of the region's countries.

I don't know for sure what made Hizbollah do what they did this morning but I can make some guesses starting from the fact that Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hizbollah collectively form one big axis of evil in the Middle East with connected interests and shared goals so the abduction of the two Israeli soldiers looks like an act planned to serve the interests of the members of the axis without the least regard to the harm it can bring upon Lebanon.

For example, the foreign ministers of the 5 UNSC countries and Germany were meeting today to discuss how to respond to Iran's position regarding the nuclear issue, so this could be an attempt to distract the international community and especially Israel and America from the Iranian nuclear threat. And if that's the case, then their plan has just failed. But this will also mean they (the axis) will try other measures and will cause more trouble to distract the international community from focusing on the Iranian nuclear threat.

Meanwhile, Hizbollah itself is under continuous pressure from other parties inside Lebanon regarding the disarmament of the party's militia; therefore maybe Nesrallah thought that putting Lebanon in such an embarrassing de facto situation would relieve some of that pressure and give him an upper hand in the negotiations.

Another possibility is that the operation was conducted in the hope that it could lower the Israeli pressure on Hizbollah's allies in Hamas and slow the ongoing military operation in Gaza.

Actually it could be all of the above reasons because they all serve the common interest of the axis members and are all three possibilities fall in the category of putting the international community, America and Israel in a position where they have to fight (militarily or politically) on more than one front.

It's still early to speculate how this situation is going to unfold but nothing indicates the presence of possibility for a peaceful resolution and the question is how much force the Israelis are willing to use and how far they're going to send their military, and most important, whether other parties are going to be involved and I personally think Iran and Syria are not going to stand idle in this conflict. That's because there's no way that Iran didn't know about what Hizbollah was planning for (while the Lebanese government was apparently clueless!) and I think Iran knows that Israel would respond with force. That's if operation wasn't entirely an Iranian plan in the first place.

I think Tehran wants to buy time here, they know it will be almost impossible to avoid a confrontation, actually they are looking forward to it but they want to decide when and where and they want to be prepared well enough for it (can they?!). So they want to fight to the last Lebanese, Iraqi and Syrian before their turn comes.

From an Iraqi perspective I believe that a powerful strike to Hizbollah will be in Iraq's national interest. Hizbollah is Iran's and Syria's partner in feeding instability in Iraq as there were evidence that this terror group has a role in equipping and training insurgents in Iraq and Hizbollah had more than once openly showed support for the "resistance" in Iraq and sponsored the meetings of Baathist and radical Islamist militants who are responsible for most of the violence in Iraq.

Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hizbollah have made it clear that their mission is to fight back the American plans in the Middle East, to me that is equal to saying that their mission is to stop Iraq from becoming a stable democratic country to prevent democracy from spreading to the rest of the region.

Those extremists do not understand the language of compromise and they do not believe in negotiating even if they declare the opposite.
They want a war and I think they're going to get one.

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