Tag Archives: Hezbollah

Egypt And Iran Clash Over Power

A fundamental problem with American foreign policy is to ignore the dynamics of conflict within the Middle East that has nothing to do with Western nations. Iran reacted strongly to comments by Egyptian President Mubarak who sharply condemned Iranian attempts to interfere in regional issues. Iran’s Shiite government has been supporting Sunni groups like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood because they are able to downplay religious issues by focusing on Israel and the Iraq war. Mubarak told an interviewer “if you complain of interventions from external forces in Iran… don’t do it with other countries.”

Relations between the countries have worsened after discovery of an Iranian backed Hezbollah cell in Egypt. If the Israel -Palestinian conflict could be resolved it might be possible to deflect the impact of Iranian influence by emphasizing religious and ideological issues which ordinarily separate Shiites and Sunnis.

Hezbollah Defeated In Lebanon

Barack Obama sent a message to Muslims in the Middle East that it was time to put an end to extremism and move in the direction of attaining peace. The people of Lebanon sent a message to Hezbollah that allowing them to gain control of the government would make peace in their own country and the region difficult to attain. A win by Hezbollah would have strengthened forces seeking to continue bloodshed and impede opportunities for peace. Early results projected the pro-West alliance gaining 67 seats in the next parliament versus 52 for Hezbollah and its allies. The key battles in Christian districts where pro-Western candidates defeated Christians who were seeking an alliance with Hezbollah.

The people of Lebanon apparently feared a victory for Hezbollah would only lead to increased Iranian influence in their nation and greater involvement in Hebollah attempts to aid radical groups in Gaza and other areas of the Middle East.

Egypt Urges Israel To Cease Threatening Lebanon

Egypt has urged Israeli leaders to cease making provocative statements to Lebanon and using the threat of war in order to bring about changes in Lebanese policies. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit,on a visit to Beirut, said: “we spoke with the Israelis during Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s visit to Egypt, and asked them to stop thinking about threatening this friendly Arab country.” His comments came in response to a recent statement by Environment Minister Gideon Ezra who said on Wednesday, “the moment the Lebanese government confers legitimacy on Hezbollah, it must understand that the entire Lebanese state will be a target in the same way that all of Israel is a target for Hezbollah.”

Hezbollah continues making threats about destroying Israel which only serve to aid war hawks in the Israel government. Unfortunately, the Egyptian government does not have sufficient leverage over Hezbollah to persuade its leaders to tone down the rhetoric of war. This leaves Israel in the position of being calm and now allowing threats to result in counter threats.

Are There Limits On Televising Hate?

The Australian government is discussing to what extent should it censor children and adult programs televised by an Hezbollah station which propogates hatred toward Israel and Jews. Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television channel is broadcast from Indonesia and offers a variety of TV programs, many of which are blatantly anti-Jewish or urged support for terrorist groups. Australian Jewish groups are particularly incenses at children program which are used by Hezbollah to engender hatred within children toward Jews. Under Australian law, TV stations are banned from directly recruiting viewers to join terrorist organizations or to fund raise for these groups.

Censorship raises questions as to the extent of freedom of speech. In America, the guideline is whether the speech is equivalent to shouting,”fire” i

Palestinians Hail Child Murderer!

The writer of this blog supports the right of Palestinians for a homeland as well as for a future in which people of Palestine and Israel live in peace. One of the tragedies of Palestinians in their struggle for independence is transforming thugs and murderers into national heroes. Israel and Hezbollah completed the the prisoner swap which witnessed the return of the bodies of two members of Israel Defense Force soldiers while Israel handed over the two bit thug and murderer Samir Kuntar. Mr. Kuntar killed an innocent Israeli civilian and then bashed in the head of a baby–an action hailed by many Palestinians as heroic! This “brave”man never uttered a word of reflective concern about his behavior other than to promise “my people and dear ones in Palestine that I and my dear comrades in the valiant Islamic resistance are returning.”

Now that the exchange has taken place, Israel is waiting for further Hezbollah action along its border with Lebanon. A Kuwait newspaper last week reported Hezbollah has new sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles hidden in the mountains in central Lebanon which might be used against Israel planes.

The war continues between Hezbollah and Israel. How many more innocent Arab and Israeli children must die in this struggle over power?

Lebanon Walks Tightrope Of Coalition Government

After months of confusion and turmoil, Lebanon finally has a government and there is some hope it might result in being able to confront serious problems that have been left on the way side due to an inability of bringing diverse groups together. Hezbollah will have a veto on any action taken and former General Michel Suleiman will assume the office of presidency. In a sense, the trouble is just beginning for Lebanon which must decide if Hezbollah is to retain its arms. At present, Hezbllah due to its powerful military force is able to hold off any action by the Lebanese army to make it conform to government decisions.

Prime Minister Fouad Siniora believes the urgent needs are regaining confidence by the world in the ability of Lebanon to govern itself and to prepare for upcoming elections. There are important goals, but more important is the role of Syria and Iran in using money and power to influence decisions within Lebanon. Frankly, the situation if too unstable and confused to have much confidence things will work out OK.

German Agent Brokers Mideast Peace

A member of the German intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst(BND) has been responsible for brokering an exchange deal between Israel and Hezbollah on behalf of the United Nations. He has now enabled development of an official proposal which is on the table and the Israeli government will shortly decide whether or not to accept it. Gerhard C, who goes by the nickname, ‘Mr. Hezbollah,” has been shuttling back and forth in an effort to secure the release of two Israeli soldiers, either held prisoner or more likely are dead, who will be exchanged for four Hezbollah miitiamen. A sticking point is that one of the four Hezbollah prisoneers is Samir Kuntar who murdered an Israeli family including smashing in the head of a young girl.

A major issue standing in the way of an exchange is the demand of Hezbollah for the additional release of a few dozen Palestinians held prisoner. Israel fears releasing them will weaken its hand in negotiations with Hamas which has made similar demands for release of hundreds of prisoners in exchange for a captured Israeli soldier. Gerhard C. is prposing that after the return of the Israeli soldiers, a period of time would elapse before Israel releases other prisoners to avoid allowing Hezbollah to claim it obtained their freedom.

Sunni Muslims To Hezbollah–No Surender!

Lebanon’s Sunni Muslim leader, Saad Al-Hariri pledged there would be no political surrender to what he termed a bid by Hezbollah and its Syrian and Iranian backers to impose their will on the nation by force. Hariri said they”simply are demanding that we surrender, they want Beirut to raise the white flag..This is impossible.” He promised Hezbollah and its allies “they will not be able to obtain Saad Ali Haririr’s signature.. on a deed to surrnder to the Iranian and Syrian regimes.” Hezbollah forces have routed western backed government forces in Beirut and in mountainous areas around the city. The success of Hezbollah has ruined the credibility of the Saniora government and its main patron, the United States. Saudi Arabia warned Iran if it endorsed Hezbollah’s actions it would impact how other Arab nations relate to the Iranian government.

In Tehran, President Ahmadinejad denied any involvement with Hezbollah and insisted “Iran is the only country not interfering in Lebanon.” The entire Middle East knows Iran has been supplying Hezbollah, but Ahmadinejad continues trying to deny the obvious.

Future historians will note that every action undertaken by the Bush administration in the Middle East has wound up disastrously. The world awaits anxiously for a new administration which simply has to do better than Bush who is batting, zero in the success campaign.

When Is Reality-Reality?

Jonathan Cook, writing in al-Ahram, believes Israel’s recent air attack in Syria is linked to broader foreign policy goals. He argues many American neo-conservatives consider either cowing or defeating Syria as step one in their goal of destroying the present regime in Iran. The Bush administration is divided between pragmatists like Condi Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates who want to involve Syria in any peace process versus neo-conservatives led by Dick Cheney who seek to reorganize the entire Middle East.

Cook charges the Israel Mossad and top military leaders have been fostering the idea of Iran being months away from developing atomic bombs making it imperative to destroy their nuclear facilities. Therefore, it was necessary to take care of Syria whose airspace had to be used in bombing Iran. Despite Syria’s assistance to American intelligence during the Iraq war and its desire for peace with Israel, American turned a deaf ear to Syria. This led Syria to purchase arms, including anti-missile weapons from Russia. Israel then argued Syria was arming for war.

The recent air strike by Israeli planes in Syria is a blatant violation of international law, but no protests came from Washington D.C. which is quick to blame Iran or its enemies of violating international boundaries. The air attack was most probably aimed at weapons destined for Hezbollah. Stories circulated by American officials claiming Syria had nuclear facilities are too ridiculous to fathom.

Cook argues a “reality” is being created by the American media of a Syrian-Hezbollah-Iran axis close to possessing atomic weapons. Neo-conservatives have stretched the boundaries of reality by claiming Shiite Iran is supporting Sunni al-Qaeda. American media is continually presenting stories concerning Iran’s atomic weapon development even though the IAEA has found no evidence of any such achievement. The drum beat goes on creating a new reality of an atomic bomb Iran which must be immediately halted.