America's Cold War with Iran Unfolds in Lebanon

[New Republic] David Samuels - The true importance of the June 7 elections in Lebanon has less to do with the formal balance of power inside the country than it does with the increasingly tense struggle between the alliance of America's regional clients that includes Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, and the Iranian-Syrian axis. There are two likely outcomes in the upcoming election - a narrow Hizbullah loss or a narrow Hizbullah win. Either way, the election will provide very public evidence of the declining influence of the U.S. in Lebanon and the growing power of Iran. In the new Middle East, Tehran - armed with the strategic insulation that nuclear weapons confer - will be able to destabilize any government it doesn't like without fear of military reprisal. As nearby regimes weigh the pros and cons of life inside the nuclear cage with the Iranian tiger, Lebanon offers a preview of what the future might be like.

2009-05-12 06:00:00

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