"Israel Won the War Against Hizbullah"

[Jerusalem Post] Interview with Amir Taheri by Ruthie Blum - Q: Hasn't Hizbullah emerged strengthened as a result of the war in Lebanon last summer? Taheri: No, it has been destroyed. Israel won the war against Hizbullah. As long as Hizbullah controlled southern Lebanon, it could exert "proximity pressure" on Israel. That situation has changed; that status quo no longer exists. That Hizbullah tried to camouflage its defeat by provoking a political crisis in Lebanon is also an indication of its understanding that the situation has changed. It may become stronger in the future, but the Israelis killed 637 Hizbullah warriors out of a full-time fighting force of about 2,000 - about a quarter of its fighters. It also lost literally all of its missile launching pads in the south, many missiles and arsenals. In other words, it lost manpower, territory, and weaponry. Altogether, Hizbullah is in a very dangerous situation because it found out that Iran does not want allies; it wants agents. Suddenly, Hizbullah is so tied to the Islamic Republic that it has lost its maneuverability. Q: How dangerous is Ahmadinejad? Taheri: He is dangerous because he controls the resources of a major and powerful state. Q: Isn't Khamenei the one calling the shots? Taheri: It doesn't work this way - with Ahmadinejad saying, "Let's go to war," and Khamenei saying, "No." Prudence dictates taking Ahmadinejad seriously and assuming that he has the power - even if he doesn't. It's like when Hitler came to power, and the British and the French said, "But there's still [president Paul von] Hindenburg." Amir Taheri is former editor-in-chief of Kayhan, Iran's main daily newspaper.

2007-05-04 01:00:00

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