Why now?

If we assume that Iran is behind both the attack by Hizbullah on Israel and the new violence in Baghdad, then the question arises, 'why now?' Wouldn't it have made more sense for them to wait until they have the Bomb? 

Here is a guess.  The December 15, 2005 election which put the current government of Iraq in place, and was the second 'purple revolution' showed the interest of the people of Iraq in establishing a new representative democracy, the centerpiece of the Bush Administration's objective in the Iraq War.  In addition, the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon was establishing an independent state there that was getting out from under the thumb of Syria.

Israel and Lebanon have no quarrel with each other — indeed the stronger Lebanon is as a state, the better it is for Israel.  If Lebanon can become a strong economic state, that is better still. 

Thus, the good guys were making real progress in both Iraq and in Lebanon.  Iran has moved to block that progress and to destroy it if possible by moving both countries back to irredentist sectarianism.  By having Hizbullah attack Israel, Iran has required Israel to make a military response that is inevitably destructive in Lebanon and may have the added advantage of showing Israel as much weaker than had previously been believed by both its friends and its foes. 

Since Hizbullah is Shia, its being at war with Israel provides a sectarian rallying point for the Shia in Iraq, upsetting the idea of a multi—sectarian nation state there.  In addition, extreme sectarian violence, certainly participated in by the Sunnis as well, may show the U.S. to be much weaker in Iraq than had previously been believed by both its friends and its foes.

The solution?  There is only one solution and that is victory.  Is it achievable?  Israel seems to be waffling on this point, but it is difficult to see how the government of Israel can reestablish confidence in the community of the nation if it does not destroy its attacker.  Does anybody think the French army is going to destroy Israel's attacker?  In Iraq, defining victory is more difficult.  But it may require that Moqtada al—Sadr's Mahdi Army is destroyed.  Whether this is within our capability or whether it is even desirable must be considered at a higher pay grade.

Greg Richards    8 8 06

If we assume that Iran is behind both the attack by Hizbullah on Israel and the new violence in Baghdad, then the question arises, 'why now?' Wouldn't it have made more sense for them to wait until they have the Bomb? 

Here is a guess.  The December 15, 2005 election which put the current government of Iraq in place, and was the second 'purple revolution' showed the interest of the people of Iraq in establishing a new representative democracy, the centerpiece of the Bush Administration's objective in the Iraq War.  In addition, the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon was establishing an independent state there that was getting out from under the thumb of Syria.

Israel and Lebanon have no quarrel with each other — indeed the stronger Lebanon is as a state, the better it is for Israel.  If Lebanon can become a strong economic state, that is better still. 

Thus, the good guys were making real progress in both Iraq and in Lebanon.  Iran has moved to block that progress and to destroy it if possible by moving both countries back to irredentist sectarianism.  By having Hizbullah attack Israel, Iran has required Israel to make a military response that is inevitably destructive in Lebanon and may have the added advantage of showing Israel as much weaker than had previously been believed by both its friends and its foes. 

Since Hizbullah is Shia, its being at war with Israel provides a sectarian rallying point for the Shia in Iraq, upsetting the idea of a multi—sectarian nation state there.  In addition, extreme sectarian violence, certainly participated in by the Sunnis as well, may show the U.S. to be much weaker in Iraq than had previously been believed by both its friends and its foes.

The solution?  There is only one solution and that is victory.  Is it achievable?  Israel seems to be waffling on this point, but it is difficult to see how the government of Israel can reestablish confidence in the community of the nation if it does not destroy its attacker.  Does anybody think the French army is going to destroy Israel's attacker?  In Iraq, defining victory is more difficult.  But it may require that Moqtada al—Sadr's Mahdi Army is destroyed.  Whether this is within our capability or whether it is even desirable must be considered at a higher pay grade.

Greg Richards    8 8 06