Friday, July 14, 2006

Michael Young: Syria Behind Hezbollah Attacks

Reason contributor and Lebanon Daily Star editor Michael Young has an editorial in the New York Times entitled "Israel's Invasion, Syria's War". In, it he offers three ways that Hezbollah transgressed political lines: its expansion of military operations outside of Shebaa Farms, the coordination strategy with Hamas, and the attempted "coup d'etat" against the government of Lebanon by making war against Israel.

Young places the blame for these transgressions squarely on Syria:

Iran, of course, has long bankrolled Hezbollah, and the Israeli government said yesterday it feared the two kidnapped soldiers were being taken to Tehran. But Syria is the nexus of regional instability, giving shelter to several of the most intransigent Palestinian militants, transferring arms to Hezbollah, and undermining Lebanon’s frail sovereignty.

Israel can brutalize Lebanon all it wants, but unless something is done to stop Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, from exporting instability to buttress his despotic regime, little will change.

Young is far more an expert than I, but I think this analysis will prove false. It is Iran that has stated the goal of destroying Israel most explicitly, and I surmise that Iran, which created and controls Hezbollah, is the senior partner in its alliance with Syria. The target of the fighting is primarily Israel, not the anti-Syrian Lebanese government, so I still suspect this is mostly Iran's war. Young adds another comment that is worrisome in its implications:
Once the Israelis end their offensive, Hezbollah will regroup and continue to hold Lebanon hostage through its militia, arguably the most effective force in the country. Hamas leaders in Damascus will continue derailing any negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. And Syria will continue to eat away at Lebanese independence, reversing the gains of last year when hundreds of thousands of Lebanese marched against Syrian hegemony.

Implicit in this statement is the notion that Israel will not destroy Hamas, that it will still be a threat after all that destruction. It frightens me that the editor of a Lebanese paper does not beleive that not even Israel is capable of destroying Hezbollah.

However, Big Pharaoh provides us with his father's expertise. His father (Bigger Pharaoh?) was a general in the Egyptian army and served during the Six-Day War:
This idiot Nasrallah. He is so funny. He keeps on issuing threats, he has no idea what he is talking about. What Israel is doing to him now is just gentle padding on the shoulders. Abou Shakha dah didn't see what we saw. Israel fought on 3 fronts in 1967 and it was hell. I was there, I saw it all.


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