Sunday, August 20, 2006

Israel committed to block arms and kill Nasrallah

NY Times--JERUSALEM, Aug. 19 — Despite a cease-fire agreement, Israel intends to do its best to keep Iran and Syria from rearming Hezbollah and to kill the militia’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, says a senior Israeli commander.

The officer would only speak on the condition of anonymity in an interview on Friday. But, speaking one day before commandos carried out a raid that Israeli officials said was to disrupt arms shipments for Hezbollah from Syria and Iran, he was explicit that Israel would continue to seek out and block any such attempts. He also emphasized that, despite criticism from the Israeli public and even troops of the performance of the Army and government, he considered the threat and the fighting ability of Hezbollah to have been severely diminished.

Furthermore, he made it clear that Sheik Nasrallah remained a target as the leader of a group that Israel and the United States have labeled terrorist. “There’s only one solution for him,” he said. At another point, he said simply, “This man must die.”

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  • Amir Taheri, Arab News--Lebanon: Prelude to a Bigger, Longer, Costlier, and Deadlier Struggle: If one takes the conflicting claims of victory seriously, only one conclusion seems possible: The protagonists are in no mood to modify, let alone abandon, their rival projects to remove the threat of war. There will be no place for the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Baathist regime in Syria and the Hezbollah in an American-designed "Greater Middle East". At the same time, there could be no place for Israel, US influence, and pro-American regimes in a Middle East where the Islamic republic and its allies, including non-state players, set the agenda. The miniwar fought in Lebanon was one battle in what could be a bigger, longer, costlier, and deadlier struggle for setting the agenda for the Middle East that would also affect the global balance of power. Because the prospect of such a war is looming larger than before, it may be too early to draw hasty conclusions from the five-week test of wills that Lebanon had to witness this summer.