Israel-Syria Peace Deal? Lebanon Falling, Iran Rising
My reactions are based on an article titled Israel-Syria Peace Deal Could Threaten Iran, Hezbollah. When you only read the title you think that things are improving (snicker, snicker) in the Middle East. That is what the article is about - right?
Wrong. First off, if you actually believe that things can dramatically improve in the Middle East just through talks then, well, you’re stupid and naive. Secondly, here is some stuff from the article that tells why this new “peace” deal has no chance:
Negotiations between two nations that have officially been at war for 60 years face significant hurdles on a long road that could lead nowhere.
Assistant Secretary of State David Welch told reporters on Wednesday that the Bush administration remains skeptical of Syria because it continues to back Hezbollah , allows top Hamas leaders to operate openly in Damascus and retains close ties to Iran .
“That said, Israel lives in a difficult neighborhood,” said Welch. “It’s in its national interest to find ways to expand the circle of peace if other people are serious about doing it, and I see that they’re undertaking that experiment now.”
The news was met with deep skepticism in Israel , where Olmert’s political future is in jeopardy because of a deepening political corruption investigation that could bring down his fragile coalition government before he can ever approve direct talks with Syria .
Israel and Syria announced the new peace initiative hours before an Israeli judge eased a gag order and allowed Israeli journalists to report more details of the Olmert investigation.
Israeli police and prosecutors are looking into allegations that Olmert accepted cash bribes from an American businessman, Morris Talanksy. Both Olmert and Talansky have denied the charges, but the prime minister has vowed to step down if he is indicted.
“This is very dangerous for Israel that a Prime Minster is trying to negotiate because of his personal interest and out of weakness,” said Yuval Steinitz , a lawmaker with Israel’s opposition Likud party.
To summarize, Olmert is talking with Syria to take attention away from his bribery scandal.
But this wasn’t what really caught my attention. At the end of the article there was a little portion that the editors said could be cut for space considerations. Here it is, uncut:
News of the peace talks came on the same day that Lebanon’s warring factions reached an agreement to end an 18-month political impasse that spilled into street fighting earlier this month with deadly clashes between opposition forces led by Hezbollah’s Sunni Muslim fighters and pro-government Sunni Muslim fighters.
The breakthrough gives the Iranian-backed Hezbollah camp its two main demands: veto power over all government decisions and a revised electoral law that’s designed to better represent Lebanon’s disparate sects.
The agreement is an important political victory for Hezbollah, whose allies seized large swaths of Beirut this month in a show of military superiority that left the fragile, Western-allied government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Saniora with few cards to play.
This is exactly what is meant by “one step forward, two steps back.” More accurately, these developments can be characterized as one small step for protecting Olmert’s ass and one giant leap for advancing Iran’s stranglehold on the region.
The only thing that will ever help the Middle East is if someone can spread the ideals of personal liberty to that region. Bush tried and there have been some successes in Iraq. But Iran is the key player there. They want power and are willing to push the limits to increase their power. I hate saying this, but I think Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was better at limiting Iran’s overreaching foreign “policy” than we are. The main difference is that while Hussein did something we fall over ourselves to prove that we will do nothing.
No, I’m not saying “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” (technically) but I am saying that now is the time to prevent the virus that is Iran from spreading. We should have helped Lebanon protect itself from Iranian-backed Hezbollah. We need to do whatever it takes to make sure Iran’s influence isn’t allowed to spread further to places like Jordan, the UAE, Qatar, South America, and other places throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia.
The world is quickly changing and we’re standing back as not-so-friendly countries like Iran, Russia, China, Venezuela, and the like are spreading their influence to countries that greedily accept “aide” in exchange for support against America and the West.
Over the last generation a greater portion of the world has come to live in free countries than at any other time in history. If we relent and give up our leadership position in the world in exchange for some BS talks with crazed regimes this trend will be reversed.
The quintessential question Americans need to answer is this: do we want to talk or do we want to lead? BigT