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December 31, 2008
Walid Phares on the war with Iran's proxies in Gaza
Occasional AT contributor Dr. Walid Phares of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies has an excellent overview of the conflict in Gaza where he rightly points to the influence of Iran driving Hamas:
The big picture is obvious. The current conflict is not really about the classic Arab-Israeli process, which can resume between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the Arab League anytime it is not obstructed. The Gaza fight is about Iran's confrontation with Israel, and perhaps with the U.S. globally. A global strategic reading leads us to conclude that - just as we saw in Lebanon in 2006 -Tehran is pulling the strings and very smartly. Timing the Hamas end to the cease fire between two American presidencies in Washington and just before the Israeli and Palestinian elections, the Mullahs thought they would drag Israel into the Gaza battle on an Iranian timetable, triggering a "street" show of anger, boosted by the jihadi propaganda machine in the region with all the usual ramifications in the West. The astute Iranian move is to drag Israel enough into Gaza's mud to indict it internationally so that any future Israeli strikes at Iran's nuclear program will be seen as catastrophic. Tehran is calculating the minutia hoping Hamas will win at the end of the day, and that the Obama administration will begin its "talks" with Iran from an inferior position (since Israel will be blamed for the violence not the jihadists in Gaza). But the game has lots of risks, including the possibility that Hamas may lose its ability to be a military event maker after this campaign is over.
You can read the rest here.