Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Hezbollah, Israel etc

Ok, so I've been glued to watching as much news as possible the last few days. Trying to stay constantly updated on what's going on in Israel, not only because I have family there (south of Tel-Aviv) but because I really think this is a chess game between America and Ahmadinejad. I think the rest of the major players are seeing this also, especially the other sects of Islam (Sunni, Wahhabi's), more secular muslims, the EU and Russia. I think it's important to note, that North Korea is watching intently also.
Go back to just before the IDF Lebanon jackhammer operation started and what was going on? You had the NoKor's shooting missles, and Israel slapping the Palestinians around for their latest aggressions. There also was an upcoming G8 meeting to discuss a unified approach to Iran. This was not something that Iran really wanted to happen, so Iran through Syria, had Hezbollah do a little "attention getting". I think at this point, it's important to remember that Israel really didn't want to go back into Lebanon, at all. They went down that road before and it wasn't something they wanted to do again. Iran knew this, and history of the last 6 years pretty much backed it up between their pulling out of there 6 years ago and the fact that recently (Shalit situation, not withstanding), they've had a policy of compromise and not retaliation. This time was different though.
My personal opinion, is that Ohlmert called the White House and asked Bush what he wanted done, realizing that the hand of Iran and Syria were behind it and knowing that there was a large consensus about the growing potential threat of a nuclear Iran. Rather then pushing "restraint" like so many times before (by Bush and previous Presidents), it appears that Bush said have at 'em. The timing of this is funny, since Time magazine just came out with a story about the end of "cowboy diplomacy".
To put it in chess terms, the King (Iran) and Queen (Syria) sent their pawn (hezbollah) out into the middle of the chessboard with very little protection, expecting them to hold the middle (attention of the world) for just a short time. Bush realizing this decided to use his Knight (Israel, they can't be called anyone's pawn, not with the 4th largest military in the world) to smash the pawn and a few other pawns. They also succesfully took over the center of the board. Here's where I think you see the rest of the world deciding to let this play out. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan condemned Hezbollah attacks (not mentioning them by name, but you got their point). Russia and even France signed onto the G8 statement condemning Hezbollah's attacks, demanding the release of the Israeli soldiers, the right of Israel to defend itself, AND the enforcement of UN resolution 1559.
It seems to me, that Israel has been told "we got your back, just don't hit Syria or Iran yet". Chess terms, don't send your knight too deep into enemy territory. What will be important is this, will Israel (knight) be given the time to eliminate/disarm Hezbollah and Hamas (pawns). There are also a few other interesting points here. The government of Lebanon has had 6 years to disarm Hezbollah, but hasn't. Could this be a reminder to other nations that passively allow terrorist groups to operate there that is or can be an accountability for it? In addition, if Israel is given time, this could seriously weaken the standing of Iran in the muslim world. Right now the Sunni's and Wahabbi's are watching. IF Bush and Ohlmert can "clear the field of pawns" it will send a message that Iran is not the "middle eastern power" they claim to be. North Korea is watching also, gauging the world's resolve and thinking about how Japan could be the next knight America uses. The chess player in Iran, has subtly threatened to use some of his other pawn's, the Iranian based Hezbollah.
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