Lebanon: Iran Retains the Initiative in the Mideast

(Washington Post) Jackson Diehl - Lebanon is a prime front in the regional cold war between Iran, Syria and their militarized proxies, including Hizbullah and Hamas, and the "moderate" and mostly Sunni U.S. allies. An eruption of actual civil war in Lebanon does not seem to be imminent, in spite of the likelihood that an international tribunal will soon indict members of Hizbullah for the murder of Prime Minister Saad Hariri's father. Hizbullah's move vividly demonstrated that the Iranian side retains the initiative. Because Hamas and Hizbullah are the two strongest military forces in the Levant other than Israel, they have the capacity to provoke, to disrupt and to start an armed conflict at any time of their - or Tehran's - choosing. The most imminent threat to U.S. interests in the Middle East, however, is not war; it is revolution.

2011-01-14 08:40:28

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