Monday, July 17, 2006

Militia Rebuked by Some Arab Countries

NYT reported With the battle between Israel and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah raging, key Arab governments have taken the rare step of blaming Hezbollah, underscoring in part their growing fear of influence by the group’s main sponsor, Iran.

Their fear of Iran outweighs their hatred for the Jews.
Saudi Arabia, with Jordan, Egypt and several Persian Gulf states, chastised Hezbollah for “unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible acts” at an emergency Arab League summit meeting in Cairo on Saturday. The Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, said of Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel, “These acts will pull the whole region back to years ago,
Just years ago? The Islamoterrorists want to take the whole region back 13 centuries.
and we cannot simply accept them.” Prince Faisal spoke at the closed-door meeting but his words were reported to journalists by other delegates.
It appears they have problems with leaks, just like we do.
The meeting ended with participants asserting that the Middle East peace process had failed and requesting help from the United Nations Security Council.
The only thing more worthless than the United Nations Security Council is the UN itself.
It is nearly unheard of for Arab officials to chastise an Arab group engaged in conflict with Israel, especially as images of destruction by Israeli warplanes are beamed into Arab living rooms. Normally under such circumstances, Arabs are not blamed, and condemnations of Israel are routine. But the willingness of those governments to defy public opinion in their own countries underscores a shift that is prompted by the growing influence of Iran and Shiite Muslims in Iraq and across the region.

CQ blogged Even if a direct supply route could be found, the Arab nations want no part of this battle, not while America has an overwhelming force in the region, one that has become battle-hardened and expert in confronting Arab terrorists as well as Arab military forces. It sliced through the best Arab military force in the region in three weeks. No other Arab nation has a military even at the reduced strength of Saddam's pre-invasion forces.

The only nation that would support Nasrallah is non-Arab Iran. They have the same problem of communications that everyone else does, as I pointed out earlier. The Iranians might be tempted to start lobbing missiles at Tel Aviv -- I doubt they would try to hit Jerusalem, with the Muslim claim on the city -- but it would invite an immediate American response, perhaps including an anti-missile strike that would strip Iran of any leverage at all in the region.

CQ blogged The New York Times provides an interesting analysis regarding the surprising criticism coming from Arab capitals towards Hezbollah. Yesterday, its chief complained that the Arabs had not rallied around his organization while it fights the hated "Zionists". However, the Arabs understand that Hezbollah represents a non-Arab threat that presents a much bigger problem than Israel.... What is clear is that even the various kleptocracies in the region have becomed unnerved by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's rhetoric and brazen pursuit of nuclear weapons. The fall of Saddam Hussein removed the one military force that could stack up against Israel, and the American occupation puts Israel out of reach for most of the rest of the Arab nations. That makes any nation that deliberately invites Israeli and American retaliation a little less than rational, and the nutty rhetoric coming from Teheran only means that the Americans will stick around a little longer.... For all their talk, the Arabs understand that Israel really presents no long-term threat to their own regimes. Israel does not covet land outside of their own territory and parts of the West Bank. They do not want Lebanon for themselves, nor Jordan nor Syria. They want to be left alone. Iran, on the other hand, wants to pick up where Saddam Hussein left off. Rather than a pan-Arab vision, though, the mullahcracy wants to reestablish the Caliphate, a pan-Islamism with Teheran in charge. That puts all of their regimes at risk, regardless of whether Iran fails or succeeds. The result -- we now have the singular event of Arabs taking Israel's side in a conflict with other Arabs. Check your window this morning, because pigs may soon begin to fly.

Michael Galien blogged This is exactly what the West and Israel need at this point of time. Ahmadinejad seems to make life impossible for himself. It seems that it's not just the West anymore that is determined to do something against the Iranian threat; Arab nations might be joining the pack as well. In the global war against terrorism, this could be an important development.

Michael Galien blogged To summarize Hezbollah's position at this point of time: it needs foreign help to be able to continue carrying on its terrorist attacks against Israel, but it doesn't need anyone's help to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel. Or: Israel is stronger and whooping Hezbollah's butt, while at the same time Hezbollah is much stronger than Israel and whooping Israel's butt.

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