Tag Archives: hezbollah

A New Middle East, Part III: Israel

The question is which is preferable… 2000

Israel Surrounded by Arab National-Seularist Regimes

or now

Rollback of Arab National-Secularism

The first map, the world as it was before George Bush and Ariel Sharon, shows an Israel surrounded by Arab National-Secularist regimes: Yasser Arafat’s Fatah-led PLO in the east, and two states controlled by the Baath party, Lebanon and Syria. The situation gets even worse down south, as another Arab National-Secularist regime, Egypt, borders Israel on the Sinai. The only half-way normal neighbor Israel had was the tribalist Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Arab National-Secularism was one of the worst products of the twentieth century, the intellectual offshoot of German National-Socialism and an ideology may have done less harm if it ruled for a few bloody years (as the NSDAP did in Germany) whether than perverting generations of minds.

If Arab National-Secularism merely left lifeless, frozen states in its midst, fine. But National-Secularism has done worse than freezing the cultures of the states it takes over, but it begins destroying the culture. Arab National-Secularism, by taking away the traditional meaning of life while not replacing it with economic growth, leaves behind a murderous rage. In states like Egypt and Syria it has so-far been contained by massacres and political repression. In countries where it can break free, such as Iraq and Lebanon, the consequence is state failure and civil war.

Israel’s greatest enemy has been the National-Secularism and, because of its wise actions, Israel is in the final phases of destroying Arab National-Secularism as a political force.

The recent Israel War in Lebanon did not succeed in destroying Hezbollah as a fighting force — it failed as a war in the context of war — but it succeeded in further rolling back the Arab National-Secularist block that has been Israel’s main enemy. The War in Lebanon succeeded as a War in the Context of Everything Else<. In the context of war, Isarel’s failure to disarm Hezbollah makes Hizbullah stronger. In the context of everything else, Israel’s failure to disarm Hezbollah weakens Syria (which was forced to stay out of the fight due to fear of Israeli retaliation and Muslim Brother reaction).

Lebanon is now even further away from Syria’s sphere of influence than before the Hezbollah War. All actors see yet another failure by an Arab National-Secularist government, and another success by a Shia Theocratic government.

Lebanon will now be contested between the country’s indigenous, globally-oriented, Catholic-Sunni majority, and a smaller but well armed Shia minority. It is important that whatever country leads the SysAdmin effort in that country, be if France, Italy, or someone else, that the Catholic-Sunni majority’s interests are favored. Yet it is a mistake to believe that just because Hezbollah won the war Israel must lose the peace. On the contrary, by further weakening its primary 4GW adversary, Israel is closer to “peace” than ever.

A New Middle East, a tdaxp series
A New Middle East 1: Our Vanquished Enemies
A New Middle East 2: Iran
A New Middle East 3: Israel
A New Middle East 4: Islam is the Answer

Leave Iraq Now

What if the Shia turn against U.S.?,” by Joe Galloway, The Anniston Start, 5 August 2006, http://www.annistonstar.com/opinion/2006/as-columns-0805-0-6h04s2718.htm (from Michael Yon and The Corner).

More Iranian experts calling on Bush to deal from the baseline that Iran’s getting the bomb,” by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 7 August 2006, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/003548.html.

Iraq is a state in the deepest part of the gap. We should be firewalling ourselves off from the Gap’s violence. We should be increasing the instability in the Gap (to change their system) while increasing the stability of the Core (to preserve our system). We should realize that attempts to superimpose the legal structure of the Core in an imaginary state surrounded in the Gap

Bad Neighbors

By remaining in Iraq, our foreign policy is at the mercy of Iran’s kind graces. As long as we are in Iraq, we can only do what Iran wants us to do: unless we are willing to put American in a trap worthy of the French in Indochina

However invincible the military of the world’s only superpower might seem, every army has its weak spot. Historically, it centers on logistics, the supply line tail that wags the dog. From Hannibal to Erwin Rommel, from Robert E. Lee to Kim Il Sung in 1950, it’s been ever thus.

The lifeline for American forces in Iraq is a 400-plus-mile main supply route that runs from Kuwait through Shia-dominated and Iranian-infiltrated southern Iraq to Baghdad and points north and west.

Along that route, trucks and tankers driven by third-country nationals — Turks, Pakistanis and others — haul 95 percent of the beans and bullets for our troops and 100 percent of the fuel that our tanks and Bradleys and Humvees gulp at staggering rates.

There’s another strategic vulnerability farther up the chain: Supplies for our forces must first reach the main port in Kuwait by ships — ships that must transit the Strait of Hormuz past a gantlet of Iranian Silkworm anti-ship missiles and suicide torpedo boats.

Little wonder, then, that Iran and its ayatollahs have the nerve to thumb their noses at efforts to curtail their nuclear ambitions and to supply thousands of short- and medium-range missiles to their Hezbollah proteges in Lebanon.

Iraq’s Highway, Our Vulnerability, Iran’s Veto

Tom Barnett has written similar things in the future:

Again, this is what I warned about back in early 2005 in Esquire: we either get off the WMD focus or Iran would veto our efforts at peace throughout the region. Now that Iran’s gone through with that obvious threat, taking advantage of the unleashed Shiite minorities’s anger throughout the region (the main byproduct of the Big Bang), a lot of people who had a hard time with such arguments back then are basically repeating them now.

The way out is to leave Iraq. We know that Iraqis – even Iraqis who do not like us — will kill Baathist and Qaedists on their own. Increasingly, our misguided attempts to move up Iraq just amount to subverting the democratic Iraqi government’s attempts to defear our mutual enemies. The best plan is to leave Iraq, recovery our foreign policy from the Iranian Mullahs, and continue winning the Global War on Terrorism.

Israel as 4GW Victory Machine

The Israelis are expert at 4th Generation Wars. This style of war, which focuses on changing the mental orientation of opponents, is normally dangerous for state powers. France lost 4G Wars in Vietnam and Algeria, while the United States was previously set back in Vietnam, Lebanon, and Somalia.

Yet the Israelis are the exception. With a patience often associated with non-state actors, the Jewish State destroyed the nationalist-secularist Palestine Liberation Organization. Exploiting internal divisions among the Palestinian population originally seen during the First Intifada in 1987, Jerusalem began increasing the moral, mental, and physical isolation of the PLO. The first major attack was the Oslo Peace Accords in 1993, a controversial move to delegitimize the PLO by removing its reason for being. Low intensity war (with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat repeatedly maneuvered into the role of the senseless aggressor) waged for more than a decade, with Israel ever working to isolate the PLO from its tools for power.

David’s Patient Nation

Israeli Victory came on January 25, 2006, when Hamas (a spin-off of the technocratic-fundamentalist Muslim Brothers) trounced the PLO’s main political party, Al-Fatah, in free Palestinian elections.

It appears that Israel is using a similar strategy to build victory in Lebanon. Israel recognizes that isolation leads to defeat, so she attempts to maximize her connectivity while minimizing the connectivity of her enemy, Hezbollah. In particular, Israel is attempting to maximize Hezbollah’s physical disconnectivity. Israel’s airstrikes against roads and bridges that lead to Syria are widely recognized, but attacks on infrastructure by themselves could not do much. There is no “systempunkt” — the mythical list of physical infrastructure targets that can permanently destroy an enemy — so Israel instead focuses on changing the long-term correlation of forces.

Behind the scene diplomacy by Israel and her lobbies forced the military expulsion of Syria from Lebanon. Indeed, Dawlat Israil is turning the security situation of Lebanon on its head, from a Hezbollah-friendly state in the Syrian orbit to a country that faces a French anti-Hezbollah invasion. That prospect was viewed by some as impossible when it was first floated last year, but momentum is building.

In summary, Israel is destroying Hezbollah just like she destroyed the PLO: patiently. Israel is excelling at dual-use attacks, not just degrading Hezbollah’s firepower in the short-term but changing the facts on the ground that allow Hezbollah to thrive in the long-term.

Bravo Israel!

A Modest Proposal for the Middle East

Pull out of Iraq while having the air force bomb the Ba’athist government in Syria and the Party of God in Lebanon.

The net results (viz. the April 2003 invasion of Iraq)

  • No more minority (Sunni Ba’ath) government in Iraq
  • No more minority (Alawite Ba’ath) government in Syria
  • No more minority (Hizbollah) government in Lebanon

Our legacy is three rational states, a huge improvement over the mess with British and French made.

Barnett v. Cole on Iranian Involvement in Anti-Iraqi Terrorism

Al-Zawahiri, Bush and Aljazeera,” by Juan Cole, Informed Comment, 5 August 2005, http://www.juancole.com/2005/08/fool-me-once-shame-on-you-fool-me-cant.html.

Tehran has the veto over peace in Iraq …,” by Thomas Barnet, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 6 August 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/002120.html.

Dr. Thomas Barnett seems to accept claims that Iran is supporting anti-Shia terrorists in Iraq…

I said in the Feb issue of Esquire, I say it again:

Some Bombs Used in Iraq Are Made in Iran, U.S. Says


Published: August 6, 2005

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 – Many of the new, more sophisticated roadside bombs used to attack American and government forces in Iraq have been designed in Iran and shipped in from there, United States military and intelligence officials said Friday, raising the prospect of increased foreign help for Iraqi insurgents.

American commanders say the deadlier bombs could become more common as insurgent bomb makers learn the techniques to make the weapons themselves in Iraq.

But just as troubling is that the spread of the new weapons seems to suggest a new and unusual area of cooperation between Iranian Shiites and Iraqi Sunnis to drive American forces out – a possibility that the commanders said they could make little sense of given the increasing violence between the sects in Iraq …

You can say this is not good. I say it’s as good as we choose to make it.

… while Dr. Juan Cole is skeptical

Do you notice how Hizbullah (Hezbollah), which is Shiite, is in southern Lebanon, way over in the west of the map, on the Mediterranean? Do you notice how northeastern Iran (also Shiite) is way over to the east of the map, near the Caspian sea? Do you notice how there isn’t any way to get from Lebanon to Iran except through Syria and then Turkey? Do you notice how there isn’t any way to get from Lebanon to Iraq except via Syria or Syria-and-Jordan? (You could fly, but if the Lebanese government is permitting air transport of 500 pound bombs out of Beirut, we have other problems than just some Iraqi arms smuggling).

Do you notice how there are 250,000 tons of missing munitions in Iraq, such that it is not necessary for the Baath military intelligence to import very many from elsewhere?

Do you notice how the US military has not captured any Lebanese Hizbullah in the company of Sunni guerrillas in Iraq? Do you notice how only the Baathist ex-Minister of the Interior, Falah al-Naqib, an appointee of CIA asset Iyad Allawi, ever alleged that he had captured Lebanese Hizbullah in Iraq? (Do you notice how Allawi’s Minister of Defense, Baathist Hazem Shaalan, charged that Iran was Iraq’s number one enemy when he was briefly in power last year?)

Do you notice how there are two, count them, two, Iraqi organizations called “Hezbollah” (which just means “party of God”) and how Americans frequently are confused and think these are the Lebanese party, which they are not?

Do you notice how the US military has not captured any Iranians in the Sunni Arab provinces of Anbar, Salahuddin, etc.? (Occasionally Iranian pilgrims have been captured in Shiite areas, where they threw in with Shiite militants.)

Do you notice how the US military has captured lots of Sunni Saudis, Jordanians, Egyptians, Sudanese, etc.?

Do you notice how the Sunni guerrillas talk nasty about the Shiites and blow them up and slit their throats? Do you notice how some people are depending on you not to know that radical Shiites and extremist Sunnis don’t like each other?

Apparently, so is the Iraqi Government

Iraq’s Prime Minister, Iran’s President

Iraq’s defence minister, on a landmark visit to Iran, called Thursday for reconciliation between the two neighbours and former arch-foes and pledged not to allow Iraqi soil to be used for attacks against the Islamic republic.

“We have come here to turn a painful page and to open another,” Saadun al-Dulaimi said at a press conference with Iranian counterpart Ali Shamkhani.

I have come to Iran to ask forgiveness for what Saddam Hussein has done,” he said, referring to Saddam’s attack on Iran in 1980 that sparked a bitter eight-year war and led to hundreds of thousands of deaths.

Dulaimi pledged that the two sides would begin military and anti-terrorist cooperation, but nevertheless asserted it was too soon for US and other foriegn troops to pull out of his country.

Iran is concerned about the US military presence on its borders and has repeatedly called for their withdrawal, but Dulaimi asserted that “given the present situation, if foreign forces leave Iraq there will be nothing but chaos and more trouble.”

“Iraq will not be a source of insecurity and instability for any of its neighbors. Nobody can use its soil to attack Iraq’s neighbors,” Dulaimi insisted, in response to Iranian concerns over a possible American attack.

Tensions between Iran and the US are high over Washington’s claims the clerical regime here is seeking to arm itself with nuclear weapons. Tehran has also been accused of backing Iraqi insurgents and Palestinian militants.

Shamkhani announced the formation of joint committees for military cooperation, the fight against terrorism, clearing minefields and investigating the missing soldiers from the 1980-1988 between Iran and Saddam’s Iraq.

The military committee is aimed at “equipping the Iraqi army … to create an independent and self-sufficient Iraqi army”, he said.

Pro-U.N. Republican Spam Bot

Let’s Accept Hezbollah: Annan,” Associated Press, 9 March 2005, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1046733.cms.

United Nations Secretary Genreal Kofi Annan calls for normalizing Hezbollah. Does Annan read tdaxp?

The United Nations must recognise Hezbollah as a force to be reckoned with in implementing the UN resolution calling for the withdrawal of all Syrian forces from Lebanon and the disarmament of the country’s militias, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said later on Tuesday.

He was responding to a question about the disarmament of Hezbollah, which showed its strength on Tuesday at a huge pro-Syrian rally in Beirut attended by thousands of people who chanted anti-US slogans.

Annan said the world needs to accept that in every society different groups may hold different views. “Of course, we need to be careful of the forces at work in Lebanese society as we move forward,” he said.

But even the Hezbollah — if I read the message on the placards they are using — they are talking about non-interference by outsiders… which is not entirely at odds with the Security Council resolution, that there should be withdrawal of Syrian troops,” Annan told reporters.

It’s good Annan recognizes Hezbollah’s move for what it is.

For this (rare) insight, Templar Pundit calls for defunding the U.N.:

Funding ought to be revoked from the UN for their recent behavior.

Defunding the U.N for for its evil acts? Possibly. For trying to bring about peace on democracy in the Greater Middle East? Never?

Of course I’m just a Republican spam bot, so what do I know?

My Kind of Terrorists

Huge Crowds at Pro-Syria Rally,” CNN, 8 March 2005, http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/03/08/lebanon.syria/index.html.

I need to revise my view on Hezbollah in light of…

Hezbollah Peacefully Demonstrates to Effect Political Change
Hezbollah Supporters Protest in Arabic and French


Watching the Hezbollah protest in Lebanon, I see Lebanese flags everywhere. No Syrian flags, no banners, and few framed photos.

This is Hezbollah acting as a patriotic Lebanese party.

Great. Hopefully Hezbollah’s pro-Syrian statements are to show it has something to trade. And hopefully this, like Sistani’s call for a peaceful march on Najaf, is Hezbollah’s demonstration that they understand peaceful change.

What a wonderful day!

Update: Templar Pundit is not pleased

Wrong Side of History, Wrong Side of the Deal

Hezbollah Declares Full Support for Syria,” New York Times, 6 March 2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/06/international/middleeast/06cnd-syria.html.

US, France repeat calls for Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon,” GEO World News, 7 March 2005, http://www.geo.tv/main_files/world.aspx?id=68031.

As another cynical terrorist-appeasing realpolitician sees the handwriting on the wall

President Pervez Musharraf has also asked Syria to implement United Nations resolutions.

Lebanese opposition celebrating Syrian pullout from the country, after a protest campaign from the mid of last month. The protests and international pressure forced the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s to announce pullout of troops in two phases.

Assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri last month provoked an upsurge in anti-Syrian sentiment inside Lebanon and calls for an immediate and complete Syrian withdrawal.

Pakistan’s President Musharraf in a brief stopover in Beirut on his way to the Central Asian states visited Hariri’s residence and condoled with the family. Talking with the newsmen later Musharraf urged for proper investigations of the assassination and called Syria to respect aspirations of the people of Lebanon.

The Shia “Army of God” opts to support schismatic swaydo Christians who celebrate Christmas and Epiphany

The Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah declared its full support for Syria today, presenting a direct challenge to opposition groups after Syria promised to gradually withdraw troops from Lebanon.

Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, spoke to reporters today in his stronghold in southern Beirut, breaking weeks of relative silence over the crisis concerning Syria’s presence in Lebanon. He called for Lebanese to “express their gratitude” to Syria by joining a demonstration on Tuesday against United Nations Resolution 1559, which calls for Syria’s withdrawal and Hezbollah’s disarmament.

It would have been better if Hezbollah was bought off, but this is still useful. It further cements the Iran-Syria rift. Iran is supporting a government in Iraq that Syria is attacking. Now, Syria is supporting an opposition group standing in the way of democratic Shia dominance of Lebanon. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia would not have stuck their necks out on Lebanon if it was not already a fait accompli.

Iran’s actions have been consistent with the thesis that they are trading Syria for membership in the nuclear club. Hezbollah had to choose which side of that deal they want to be part of. They chose poorly.

If Hezbollah wishes to remain loyal to the ancien regime, fine. They’ll meet the same fate.