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Our Proxy War-A Test for the West

August 4, 2006

"Death to America, death to America-the great Satan".

"This American administration is an enemy. Our motto, which we are not afraid to repeat year after year, is: 'Death to America.'

So speaks Hassan Nasrallah, Leader of Hizzbollah!1

"Israel should be "wiped off the map" followed by "Very soon, this stain of disgrace [i.e. Israel] will be purged from the center of the Islamic world - and this is attainable." Also shouted by Ahmadinejad, Iran's commander.2

So Mr.'s Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad are equal opportunity haters of both Israel and the United States. Now these are not new comments to those of us living in the Middle East-we have been hearing this rhetoric and much more for quite some time now. The fact is that this kind of vitriolic speech has also been directed at most other Western countries.

It seems that the relationship between these two men goes back many years and it is playing out on the world stage these last 20 days. Hizzbollah is a terrorist organization that cleverly portrays itself as a social and political advocate for the sovereign state of Lebanon. However, it produces nothing but terror, relies totally upon outside sources for its funding and has declared on multiple occasions that its primary goal is to eradicate another sovereign state-Israel. Furthermore, it has also directed its desire for America to be eliminated as well. Hizzbollah has developed a well-trained militia, funded and supplied by Iran and Syria. It has spent the last 6 years arming itself with rockets, munitions, guns of all types, thermal suits to be worn to disable Israel's body heat seeking signals and posseses anti-tank RPGs to list but a few of its military assets. An intricate series of underground bunkers together with a sophisticated communication system has been readied for this moment in time. A notable omission is the lack of building any safety rooms or underground safe bunkers for the people of Lebanon.

Iran has declared its hatred for Israel as wells as America. Ahmadinejad minces no words when he indicates his real intentions-a Muslim world with the infidels eliminated. Some individuals dismiss him as unstable-he is an intelligent, wily and cunning man who believes in what he speaks. He is creating a following of people inside his country and beyond who do not fear death, they worship it and are preparing for the day they can execute the plan. Iran has used the West's petrol dollars to fund an enormous army, develop a powerful military infrastructure, he is close to having THE bomb, and he is so clever he realizes his goals require the use of others. He has spent untold number of dollars developing an army outside his own army-Hizzbollah. It is estimated that Iran funds Hizzbollah to the tune of $100 million a year. Syria has been and is currently used as the management depot and transportation agent on behalf of Iran for Hizzbollah. All three of the aforementioned states and/or groups are literally "connected at the hip."

Ahmadinejad realized some time ago that he could accomplish several goals by simply funding Hizzbollah. As a military extension or proxy of Iran, Hizzbollah could be used to agitate Israel and goad it into the development of policies that would benefit Iran. Iran could use its proxy to create a significant regional disturbance at a time and choosing of its choice-this has happened some three weeks ago. Some experts suggest that the timing was consistent with the world discussion, G8 meeting, that would have placed the world's attention on Iran's nuclear plans. The purpose of the disturbance was to divert the international attention way from this issue-it worked! However, I suggest another possibility for this emerging war.

Iran has international intentions and they fall under the umbrella of terror, control and domination. Ahmadinejad is a clever man, he studies the war as it unfolds. He risks none of his soldiers, his material and personnel investment is his cost; the benefit is the knowledge he is gathering from this war. The prosecution of this war provides valuable military information as he is learning how Israel responds to the emerging Hizzbollah strategies. He would gain incredible information if his staff was also directing some of the battle field actions to see exactly how Israel responds and to see how it adjusts to field experience. He is learning what works and what does not produce the desired results.

I further suggest that as important is his stated dream of Islamic domination he is studying how the Western countries are responding to the events on the ground as well as how other Islamic countries are responding. He is also watching carefully the media, again on both sides of this war. He is learning what PR to present; basically he is learning how to creatively manipulate the media in his favor. He knows that the media is a major tool in controlling world opinion and then world policy.

It is this last concept that we need to attend to immediately. I am not convinced that the West truly "gets it" yet. If we do understand what is unfolding in front of us, then I am not sure we still have the courage or fortitude to do what is necessary. I am encouraged by Tony Blair's recent assessment of world events:3

"The crisis in the Lebanon has not changed its thesis. It has brought it into sharp relief. The purpose of the provocation that began the conflict was clear. It was to create chaos, division and bloodshed, to provoke retaliation by Israel that would lead to Arab and Muslim opinion being inflamed, not against those who started the aggression but against those who responded to it... There is an arc of extremism now stretching across the Middle East and touching, with increasing definition, countries far outside that region. To defeat it will need an alliance of moderation, that paints a different future in which Muslim, Jew and Christian; Arab and Western; wealthy and developing nations can make progress in peace and harmony with each other. My argument to you today is this: we will not win the battle against this global extremism unless we win it at the level of values..."

I have also watched Mr. Blair's critics in England and around the world attack him for these and other comments he has made recently. It is useful to observe how politically certain Western countries are responding to his comments as well as to events in the Israeli-Lebanese war. It is instructive to witness these and other countries "rush to judgment" by calling for an immediate ceasefire. It is also useful to observe which countries have decided to condemn Israel, the very country who was attacked by a terrorist group called Hizzbollah. It is my contention that Ahmadinejad not only is watching all of this, he is learning and will use this data when he decides to launch his major attack. He will develop new strategies.

The use of his Hizzbollah proxy is a test for the West. We have THE opportunity now to stop the march of fascist Islam. Imagine, joining together as one voice and declaring "no more". Imagine calling Hizzbollah's actions and behavior for what they are. We can deal a major blow to what appears to be inevitable. We should stand now and draw the proverbial "line in the sand." Declaring that the following is no longer going to be tolerated or accepted and holding them accountable for such inhumane behavior as: abusing civilians, surrounding your unidentified army with civilians, holding civilians at gun point and threatening death if they leave. The Western world must take this unique opportunity to stand up against the tyranny of our enemy. This is a test-the worst is yet to come- -it is for us to pass or fail. We can take back control!

End Notes

1.Editorial, New York Sun, March 11,2005
2.Steve Schippert, "Ahmadinejad Predicts End of Israel: Soon," Threats Watch, April 14, 2006
3.Tony Blair, Speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, August 1, 2006.



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