Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Iraq War=Regional War With Iran

The big story of the past two years is the way in which the War on Terrorism has clearly emerged as a regional war with Iran—clearly, that is, for those who are willing to see it. Below, I link to a particularly clear-eyed analysis by Walid Phares of how Iran is advancing on all of its fronts.

See a similar analysis in the Wall Street Journal, which I particularly like because it acknowledges the inevitability of the drift toward war and most of all, because it regards Iranian aggression as a "miscalculation," based on the history of confrontations between free societies and expansionist dictatorships: the free societies always seem weak in the beginning—and they always triumph in the end.

But there is always a disastrous cost for the delay in confronting evil. Right now, Iran's leaders are cracking down on dissent inside Iran in what some are describing as a campaign similar to China's Cultural Revolution. At the same time, Iran is shipping missiles to Syria that will allow it to strike at Israel if Iran is attacked.

Iran's minions in Lebanon are now attacking UN peacekeepers (who are, of course, utterly unable to keep the peace), while an update on the analysis linked to below points to new claims—from the Palestinians—that Iran exercised direct "command and control" in the Hamas takeover of Gaza.

Iran wants war, and it is moving forward on all fronts. The longer we delay the showdown, the higher the cost we will pay.

"Phares—Lebanon, Gaza, the Broader Syro-Iranian War," National Review Online, June 21The latest dramatic military and terror events in Gaza and Lebanon can be viewed from a regional geopolitical perspective: A Syro-Iranian axis offensive on its (their) primarily western front stretching along the Mediterranean coast.

.. In previous analyses I have argued that the Tehran-Damascus axis is involved in a regional campaign to seize as much physical terrain and score as many victories across the Middle East in order to consolidate their strategic posture before 2008; the year they believe Americans will limit—perhaps diminish—their moves because of the US presidential campaign season….

Following are the main fronts:

Eastern Front: There have been multiple reports and much evidence of arming and supplying neo-Taliban and other Jihadi forces in Afghanistan in order that they may engage US-led NATO forces and provoke chaos across the country.

Central Front: The axis has intensified its actions against US and coalition forces, as wells as Iraqi civilians in an attempt to create more sectarian tension, with the greater objective of disrupting “surge” operations in particular, and generally eroding US and allied efforts in Iraq.
Western Front: The axis has unleashed two blitzkrieg-like offensives—one on the upper western front (Lebanon). The other within the lower western front (Gaza).

In Lebanon, the Tehran-Damascus axis has had as its goals to crumble the Seniora Government, cripple the Lebanese Army, and crush the Cedar Revolution….

The axis has also been involved in Gaza where they surprised observers with their decision to throw Hamas fully against Fatah and the PA in the enclave. The plan to seize control of Gaza was projected a long time ago. But the timing was at the discretion of the Syro-Iranian war room, which funds and strategically controls Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

The heavy fighting in Gaza represents an important decision made by the regional masters: The acceleration of the axis offensive so that by the end of summer, four battlefields will be fully ignited against the US, its allies and regional democracies: Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza (Palestinian territories). But just as important is the fact that an entire Taliban-like zone has been established on the eastern Mediterranean under Hamas control and with Syro-Iranian backing. Our expectations are that, short of a large-scale counter-operation aimed at dislodging the "coup" in the enclave, the area will become a massive terror base of operations….

The Jihadi strategic mind is in its full offensive mode in the region.

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