Saturday, July 15, 2006

Bush barking up the wrong tree, again

Kash Kheirkhah

While Israeli intelligence officials say about 100 Iranian soldiers are in Lebanon fighting alongside Hezbollah and that they helped fire the Iranian-made, radar-guided C-102 at the Israeli warship late Friday, President Bush is demanding that Syria rein in Hezbollah attacks on Israel.

The fact that Hezbollah is backed financially and logistically by mullahs in Iran is no secret to anyone. Why President Bush is pointing his finger at Syria instead of Iran raises a big question for me at this point. Has Mr Bush not read Jane's intelligence review?

Well let me try again here. The article three of the Iranian Constitution states that in order to attain its objectives the country's foreign policy must be based on "Islamic criteria, fraternal commitment to all Muslims, and unsparing support to the freedom fighters of the world." Under this banner, Mullahs have created the Hezbollah, supplied it of large quantities of arms and cash to support its operations. At the same time, Iran has established ties to Islamic Jihad, a former terrorist wing of Hezbollah responsible for most of the kidnappings of Western nationals in Lebanon from 1984 to 1989.

Now why is Iran trying to expand its terrorist tentacles to all corners of the region? Is it really "fraternal commitment to all Muslims, and unsparing support to the freedom fighters of the world?" Of course, not. The current regime in Iran is one created out of the ideology of terror. It very well knows that due to its rogue nature, it won't be able to survive unless it spreads terror and keep the region on the brink of wide-scale crises on a permanent basis.

Hezbollah and other Muslim radical organizations were created out of this ideology and were groomed for the day the existence of the terror regime in Iran could be, in any way, jeopardized and that day is today.

The alarm bell rang for the mullahs last week, when Russia and China joined the United States and Europe on Wednesday by agreeing to seek a United Nations Security Council resolution ordering Iran to freeze some nuclear activities, or face sanctions and that's when Hezbollah and terrorist groups alike can come handy.

The United States should know that from now on, the closer it gets to punishing Iran over its nuclear defiance and possibly overthrowing its current regime, the more violent reactions it'll get from Iran and its terrorist satellites in the Middle East. There must be a well-thought-out plan in place as to how to handle Iran's reactions. Although I recognize Israel's right to defend its citizens, I hardly believe a military campaign-- even as massive as the on-going one-- can root our Hamas or Hezbollah. Instead, it’ll just cost the lives of innocent civilians and in the long run, will cause the masses to rally to the defense of these organizations. Why should Israel, who knows where Hizbollah hidouts and its arsenal are located, target Beirut and make innocent people of Lebanon pay the price for what Hezbollah and its masters do?

The US, Israel and the world should focus on "the root of all evil" in the Middle East instead once and for all. Without mullahs in Iran, terror organizations in the Middle East will be doomed to perdition and an abandoned Syrian regime to either have to change its behavior or eventually face the music. Mullahs' reaction to the threat of "possible UN sanctions" not only shows how helpless they get when the world speaks with one voice against them, but also proves how vulnerable they are. It's time for the US to go for the jugular.

Update 1- Also read: Newsweek- Iran's Stealth War on U.S. and Israel

When Tehran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, met last week with the European Union's Javier Solana and delegates from Britain, France, Germany and Russia, they expected he'd make some counteroffer to their proposed package of incentives for Iran to stop its nuclear-enrichment program. But no...Iranian bloggers and other commentators suggest the regime is badly divided over Ahmadinejad's radical rhetoric, and the risks he is running in the confrontation over nuclear arms. Nevertheless, as soon as the fruitless talks in Brussels had adjourned, the delegation went straight to Damascus. And the next day, Nasrallah started his war...

Update 2-Khaleej Times-Lebanon a proxy battleground for Iran: Jumblatt

DUBAI - Lebanon has become a proxy battleground for Iran in its resistance to US-led pressure on its nuclear programme, Druze leader Walid Jumblatt charged on Sunday.

“The war is no longer Lebanon’s ... it is an Iranian war,” Jumblatt told Arabic news channel Al-Arabiya on the fifth day of an Israeli onslaught against its northern neighbour following the capture of two soldiers by Shia militant group Hezbollah.

“Iran is telling the United States: You want to fight me in the Gulf and destroy my nuclear programme? I will hit you at home, in Israel,” said the Druze leader, who is a close ally of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora and an outspoken critic of Iran’s key regional ally Syria.Jumblatt said Hezbollah’s “sophisticated arsenal is not there for no reason” and that “Lebanon has become the battlefield” for Iran’s nuclear stand-off with the West.