By Ted Belman
Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, is now in control of Lebanon.
What is painfully obvious is that the vacuum created by retreat, is quickly filled by Iran through her proxies. So Israel’s retreat from Gaza enabled the takeover by Hamas. Israel’s retreat from Lebanon enabled the takeover by Hezbollah. Similarly a retreat from Iraq by US forces will enable Iran’s proxy to takeover.
The Washington Times reports,
Sheik Yazeeb Khader, a Ramallah-based Hamas political activist and editor, said militant groups across the Middle East are gaining power at the expense of U.S.-backed regimes, just as Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip from forces loyal to U.S.-backed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
“What happened in Gaza in 2007 is an achievement; now it is happening in 2008 in Lebanon. It’s going to happen in 2009 in Jordan and it’s going to happen in 2010 in Egypt,”
In Countering Iran, Reuel Marc Gerecht acknowledges this but points out,
President Bush’s surge caught the Iranians off-guard and turned what had been a winning situation for Iran in Iraq–multiple Shiite parties dependent upon Iranian aid and good will in a savage battle against Sunni insurgents and al Qaeda–into a potentially huge defeat for Tehran. Barring a strike by President Bush against Iran’s nuclear sites before January 2009, Iraq is the only arena where the administration is capable of moving effectively against Tehran.
The tide may have turned for good against Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, with potentially huge ramifications for hearts and minds throughout the Sunni Arab world. The clerics in Tehran could be dealt out of the inner circles of Iraqi Shia politics. With continued progress in Iraq, the next administration would be in a position to turn its full attention to thwarting Iran elsewhere in the region–and to preventing the mullahs from acquiring nuclear weapons.
I am not so hopeful. The US must stay in Iraq until such time as Iran has been defanged. I have argued for years now that this is a regional war and that the US can’t win in Iraq without punishing and perhaps defeating Iran.
So now we must emphasize that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is also a regional conflict and that both Israel and the US must approach it as such. This time around both S. Arabia, Jordan and Egypt feel threatened by Iran and the Muslim brotherhood so they too will be willing allies.
Thus within a year there will be a regional war. Israel will be tasked with defeating Hezbollah and Hamas. Victory will not come easily or cheaply. The US will be tasked with destroying Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the Mullahs and the nuclear facilities in Iran.
Victory should be the goal. Then the US should divide Iran, separating the areas with Kurds and joining it to a new sate Kurdistan. It should also separate the area on the east where the Azeries live. Finally, the eastern area of Syria where the Kurds live should be ceded to Kurdistan. The rest of Syria should go to Turkey in exchange for Turkey agreeing to ceding eastern Turkey where the Kurds live to Kurdistan.
A redrawing of the Middle East map in this way will mean the end of the Iranian influence. The enlarged Turkey and the newly crated Kurdistan will cement US dominance in the region.
Forget about the peace process. Nobody wants it to progress until such time as Iran is taken out of the equation.
Ron Breiman, formerly President of the PSI, asks How should we deal with Hamas? argues “We should neither boost it nor topple it. We should work in a way that weakens it, without toppling it.”
He is also against a large scale operation.
“Some believe that a wide-scale military operation aimed at toppling the Hamas regime is needed. Yet they do not think about the price of such operation in terms of both Israeli and Palestinian lives, as well as the diplomatic and immoral errors inherent in such operation: namely, the current government in Israel may end up turning IDF casualties into the silver platter for the establishment of a Palestinian state. The risk inherent in handing over Gaza to the control of the Palestinian Authority is greater than the risk posed by Hamas.”
I agree with him. We should only destroy them if the result is that we get to annex Judea and Samaria.