Who gains from the current Israeli war?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. PARIS, France (UPI) -- Once again Lebanon finds itself a major player in a war it did not choose to fight in. And once again Lebanon is paying the price. So who stands to profit from the latest developments in Lebanon? Certainly not the Lebanese who are once again seeing their country destroyed right in front of their eyes.

    Indeed, the majority of Lebanese have still not forgotten the long nightmarish 15-year civil war that devastated the country but that former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri helped rebuild. After Syria, one of Lebanon`s two neighbors was suspected of having a responsibility in the killing of the former prime minister, Israel, Lebanon`s other neighbor is killing Hariri`s dream; the roads and bridges he built, the new airport and much of the infrastructure Hariri rebuilt after the war.

    In its new offensive on Lebanon, Israel wants to hold the Lebanese government responsible for Hezbollah`s actions. Now if Israel is acting as though it is ignorant of the reality of Lebanese politics, Arab leaders appear somewhat more realistic. Several Arab leaders have in fact criticized Hezbollah, blaming the Lebanese Shiite militia for the latest violence.

    Saudi Arabia said it held Hezbollah 'fully responsible' for what a statement released by the official Saudi Arabian news agency called 'its irresponsible action,' referring to the kidnapping the two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border attack Wednesday.

    Saudi Arabia said it believes in the right of peoples under occupation to resist by all possible means, and that the kingdom always stood by the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance movements against military occupation, 'But the kingdom wants to draw a line between legitimate resistance and the uncalculated adventures carried out by members who are part of the state but act from behind it and without consulting with the legitimate authorities, creating as such an extremely dangerous situation and exposing all Arab countries and their achievements to destruction.'

    The Saudi statement said time has come for Hezbollah to 'assume alone the full responsibility of their irresponsible acts.'

    Egypt`s mass-circulation newspaper al-Ahram, known to reflect the government`s views, said Hezbollah is to be blamed for the ongoing Israeli war on Lebanon. The paper added that this latest escalation with Israel 'serves regional goals.'

    What exactly does all that mean? Well, let the paper itself explain.

    'Many in Lebanon believe that there are parties who sacrifice Lebanon`s security to serve regional calculations and the interests of other countries.'

    That`s Middle East speak for 'Syria and Iran' may have a hand in the latest violence in so far that both countries support Hezbollah. In fact, Cairo is voicing out loud what many people in the Middle East believe but dare not say.

    So why would Syria and Iran find it in their interest to raise the stakes in the Middle East? Well, for a number of reasons. Syria, who was forced to pull its army out of Lebanon after it was unofficially blamed for the assassination of Hariri, never quite got over the humiliation of submitting to the pressure of both the Lebanese street and the international community.

    By inviting Israeli strikes on Lebanon, Syria is saying, 'see what happens when we leave? Maybe had we stayed this would have not happened.'

    Secondly, the new spate of violence in Lebanon will suspend -- if only temporarily -- the investigation into the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri from the front pages. This is buying Damascus some serious time.

    As for Iran, it allows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to deflect the focus on Iran`s nuclear ambitions. While world leaders remain pre-occupied with Lebanon, it means Iran can get ahead developing its nuclear program. And this is buying Tehran, too, some precious time.

    And while Lebanon gets pounded back to its civil war era, Damascus and Tehran remain -- at least for the moment -- outside the conflict, even though they, far more so than the Lebanese government, not only support, but arm and finance Hezbollah.

    Of course, if Israel were to hit either Damascus or Tehran, if would spark a full-fledged regional war. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned that his country would deal 'a painful response' to Israel in case it attacked its Arab ally, Syria.

    'If the entity which occupies Jerusalem commits a foolish act and carries out an aggression against Syria it will be tantamount to aggression against the Islamic world and will be confronted with a painful response,' Ahmadinejad was quoted by the Iranian News Agency, IRNA.

    A pertinent question might be why Iran deems it an act of aggression against the Islamic world if Syria were to be hit, but when Lebanon is being bombed back 20 years, as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would do, the reaction is limited to verbal support. Although it`s no great surprise, even Arab ministers meeting in Cairo failed to come up with an action plan to help Lebanon. Once again Lebanon finds itself a reluctant participant in a war in which it had no say -- and in which it holds no cards with which to negotiate.

  2. Seems like the author is stating that the problem right now is basically an intra-Arab one.
  3. bsmeter