Lebanon Update 8
It goes without saying that I hate Hizbollah and everything for which it stands. That said, what has Hizbollah done in the past few days? It has proved itself as a reliable Iranian subcontractor and a regional player to which the world must now listen. Let me explain.
On the first day of this crisis, Hassan Nassrallah was threatening Israel that if they continue to target Beirut, he would order attacks on Haifa. What does that mean? He wants to say to the world that Beirut is his and that Siniora's government doesn't matter. When Hassan Nassrallah begins to speak on behalf of all of Lebanon, it greatly undermines the fragile democratic government in Beirut. Today, Hassan Nassrallah has only gotten tougher, talking about "open war" and "Haifa and beyond." This man is getting points from Tehran and the winner at the end is, surprise, surprise, Iran.
The Jewish state found itself trapped in this crisis. For Israel, it all began when Hizbollah rockets killed some of its soldiers and kidnapped two of them. But the all-out war against Lebanon that Israel declared was no justification for two soldiers, so they upped the stakes, calling for Hizbollah to disarm and Bush, like a cheerleader echoed that demand, calling upon Hizbollah to disarm.
It is now too late for Israel to back away and be satisfied with the return of its two soldiers, they have started something they need to finish. It is justifiable, in a military sense to cut the enemy's supply routes, but in this case, that just happens to affect millions of non-concerned Lebanese civilians, not to mention the tourists who found themselves trapped.
Winners and Losers in this Crisis:
Before the Crisis:
Winners: Israel, the Lebanese government, the United States
Because the Lebanese government would gradually become a solid democracy backed by the United States and would eventually undermine Hizbollah and Israel would just sit back and enjoy the benefits.
Losers: Iran, Syria and Hizbollah
Because without this crisis, Iran would keep getting pressure on its nukes project, would be forced to find a way to come to terms with the fact that a prosperous, pluralistic Lebanon would eventually undermine Hizbollah. As for Syria, the strengthening of this anti-Syrian Lebanese government would further distance Syria from the Lebanese scene.
During this Crisis:
Winners: Hizbollah, Iran and Syria
Because Hizbollah now is Lebanon and Lebanon is Hizbollah, courtesy of Iranian and Syrian weapons and support.
Losers: Israel, Lebanese government and the United States
Because at a time when the very idea of Bush's democratization project is being questioned, the only Arab democracy is pleading for a cease-fire while its airports and highways are getting hit by Israeli rockets. The Lebanese government has been exposed to the whole world that it has no control over Hizbollah and that it is now at the mercy of Hassan Nassrallah. As for Israel, it has opened another front during an already tense time.
After the Crisis:
Hizbollah is defeated and or disarmed
Winners: U.S., Israel
Because that would be a blow to global terrorism and Iran. Israel would once and for all rid itself of its northern enemy.
Losers: Iran, Syria and the Lebanese government
Iran and Syria would lose their militant ally in Lebanon. But also the Lebanese government would have to start from scratch while Syria's allies in Beirut would attempt to score a comeback, hence, bringing Lebanon back to the pre-Hariri assassination days.
a premature cease-fire was to be agreed upon
Winners: Iran, Syria and Hizbollah
Because Iran would then say that they can disrupt the region whenever they want and if you think $87 is a lot for a barrel of oil, then just wait until Iran orders hitting Haifa or Tel Aviv with rockets. Hizbollah would become a stronger player in Beirut and Syria would laugh at Beirut's politicians and say to them, "did you really think you could do it without us?"
Losers: United States, Lebanese government and Israel
Because as Iran becomes more powerful, Iraq's prospects of becoming a democracy automatically weaken and with mid-term elections around the corner, Republican candidates for '08 would begin looking for ways to exiting Iraq, of course, prematurely. The Lebanese government would lower its head before the grand master, Hassan Nassrallah who can take all of Lebanon to war whenever he or his bosses in Iran please. As for Israel, it would have to be more cautious of the area it unilaterally withdrew from six years ago, southern Lebanon
I know I am a genius...