I read a post yesterday at MEMRI that settled for me that Iran directed the dual attacks against Israel from Gaza and southern Lebanon. Not supported or influenced or encouraged, but directed. One of the key passages was this:
On June 16, 2006, the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat [note: June 16, 2006] reported: "Well-informed sources in Tehran have told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that the talks held in Tehran between Syrian Defense Minister Hassan Turkmani and his Iranian counterpart Mustafa Mohammad Najjar did not only deal with military and security aspects of the strategic cooperation between the two countries, but also with the situation in Lebanon... [The talks also] dealt with the situation in Palestine, and with the ways of assisting the Hamas and the [Islamic] Jihad in their conflict with Fatah...
"In a meeting with reporters after the signing of the military cooperation agreement, the Syrian defense minister stated that 'the American threats against Iran and Syria are nothing new... We are examining ways of countering these threats, and are establishing a joint front against Israel's threats... [since] Iran regards Syria's security as its own.'"
"Syria, on its part, has renewed its previous agreements with Iran which allow Iranian ammunition trucks to pass [through Syria] into Lebanon..."
This is Iran's war.
Memri today followed up that post with another detailing Iran's relationship to the escalation of violence against Israel. Most interesting is a reference to they make to this video clip:
It is noteworthy that on May 4, 2006, Hizbullah founder and former secretary-general Sheikh Subhi Al-Tufeili told Al-Arabiya TV: "They [Hizbullah] are committed to the Iranian policy... I have said before that the Shi'ites in Lebanon serve as Iran's 'playing ground'... Hizbullah definitely fosters its relations with the Syrians, but its real leadership is 'the rule of the jurisprudent' - in other words, [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has now even warned Israel against any attack on Syria: "If the Zionist regime commits another stupid move and attacks Syria, this will be considered like attacking the whole Islamic world and this regime will receive a very fierce response". Thus, a justification for direct violence against Israel by Iran is created, as is a justification of direct violence against U.S. troops in Iraq. And the Counterterrorism Blog reports that the likely mastermind of Hezbollah's attacks has close ties to Iranian security.
Op-For (via Pajamas Media) makes the following observation:
Americans don't think like Israelis do. We play checkers, they play chess. We want our wars lightning fast and equally furious. Israelis play the waiting game.They're the tortoise; we're the hare. They think 10 moves down the line, so their first moves often times don't make sense. And they fight to achieve a singular endstate: to exist.
With this in mind we can piece together what Israel has done on the last few days: they have destroyed landing strips throughout Lebanon -- not merely the Beirut airport but those at military bases as well; they have blockaded Lebanese ports; they have destroyed bridges that connect southern Lebanon to the rest of the country; they have destroyed the road that connects Beirut and Damascus. All this prevents kidnapped soldiers from being removed to Iran, and it prevents resupply of the missiles that Hezbollah are launching into northern Israel, including Haifa. This isolation of Hezbollah is the precursor to that group's destruction.
I'd also speculate that the relentless Israeli claims that Lebanon is responsible, as well as the pressure being placed on that country's citizens, are an attempt to divide the Lebanese populace. Hezbollah is a powerful faction, effectively the governing power in southern Lebanon. Many Lebanese resent what they have brought down on their country, and their anger now confronts the bloodthirsty intransigence of Hezbollah's. It may be that Hezbollah soon finds itself in a two front war, much to Israel's relief.
The U.S. has shown spine, I'm proud to say, both in holding Syria to account and in vetoing an anti-Israel security council resolution:
John Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said that "in light of the fluid events on the ground," the United States believed the Qatar-sponsored resolution was untimely and out of date, and would have helped inflame passions in the Middle East.
We shall see how deep the support will run and how long it will last.
Finally, this post at Solomonia (via Israellycool), excerpts Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's counterarguments to the assertion that Israel's responses to acts of war against them by both the Palestinians and Hezbollah have been disproportionate:
What exactly is the criterion by which one measures the proportion of more than a thousand missiles shot at innocent civilians against the measures that were taken by the State of Israel in the last few days? Can one measure the anxiety, the fear, the shocks, the lack of security of tens of thousands of people living day-in and day-out for almost a year under the constant threat of missiles shot at them? When was the last time that the European Union condemned this shooting and suggested measures, effective measures to stop it?
...tell me do you think your country would have supplied electricity for a state which is shooting at Great Britain one thousand missiles? In return for the generosity of shooting at you a thousand missiles, you would have supplied them with electricity and if you cut the supply about one third - it's not that there is no supply of electricity by Israel. There is still most of the, all of the electricity of Gaza is supplied by Israel and 70% of the population still have supply of electricity. All is provided by Israel, in spite of the shooting.
The New York Times reports on the strains that the fragile society of Lebanon now faces as a result of Hezbollah's atrocity:
The Lebanese cabinet met Thursday, called for "national unity" and condemned the Israeli assault, demanding that the "international community help secure a cease-fire."
The attack strained the fragile ties binding Lebanon, whose population of Sunni and Shiite Muslims, Christians and Druse, had begun recovering from the wounds of civil war. Lebanese reactions varied, in many cases along sectarian lines.
Again, I think this was anticipated by Israel. In fact, I wonder if shaking Lebanon is a central part of Israeli strategy: if Lebanon collapses, then Hezbollah must also fight a civil war, as well as fight Israel; if Lebanon does not collapse, then it will be because the various factions unite and move to defang the Iranian-backed terrorists. Either way, Israel is relieved of a grave threat. A united front against Hezbollah is not beyond possibility: it has in fact been a goal of many Lebanese leaders.
- Israel / Gaza / Lebanon Omnibus Update
- Iran May Be Pulling The Strings
- It All Starts With Hamas
- "...a disturbing feel of July 1914..."
- Palestinian Prime Minister Indulges In His Victimhood
- Israel Withdraws Then Returns To Northern Gaza
- "We want to be martyrs too."
- Israel's Operation Summer Rain Presses Forward