Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hezbollah unloved

It is obvious that the activities of Hezbollah are causing divisions in the Arab world. Many countries condemn the adventurism of Hezbollah outright while only a few support it.

Saudi Arabia has condemned Hezbollah for the kidnappings while Egyptian politicians are clearly concerned that Israel’s raids on southern Lebanon will boost support for Hezbollah and their fanatical supporters in Teheran. With the exception of the Palestinians the Arab countries are united in blaming Iran and Syria for the fighting in Lebanon. One general spin is that many Arab countries see the current conflict as thwarting the ambitions of the religious crazies in Iran with the bonus that the weight of this effort is being borne by equally unloved Israel. Many of these countries would like to see Hezbollah, as the Iran’s branch office on the Mediterranean, cop it in the neck.

The Iranian and Syrian leaders are in part using Hezbullah to divert attention from Iran's nuclear program and Syria's involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The Iranians are not Arabs and Iran is backing Shia groups in Iraq who seek to turn Iraq into an Iranian ally – the Sunnis in Iraq increasingly want the Americans to stick around. The Islamic paradises in Iran, Sudan and Afghanistan don’t look attractive to anyone in the Western world but also look repugnant to non-fanatical Muslims everywhere – the barbarism of the Iranian regime is getting and deserves universal condemnation. Moreover, Iran wishes to secure nuclear weapons and attack Israel. If it did so – or threatened to do so – much ‘collateral damage’ would fall on surrounding Arab states. This is presumably an extra inducement for Arabs to hope Hezbollah will cop it in the neck.

Hezbollah in Lebanon may rally more troops behind its ratbag causes or may face isolation and ultimate annihilation there because of its instrumental role in bringing catastrophe on this long-suffering nation. Israel will work towards achieving the latter view. It is no better than anyone else at resolving moral ambiguities but it is far better than any Arab country at winning wars.


Bring Back EP at LP said...

Of course they should be condemned.

Their rockets are so poor they have gone off in Arab sections of Israel, they are injuring their islamic brothers.

hc said...

Actually Israel was concerned about the typpe of missile that exploded - potentially much more damaging than others they have used.

Hezbollah are a disciplined fighting frorce and should not be written off entirely yet. Though it does seem that Israel has the upper hand and that they are receiving only lukewarm support from their 'Islamic brothers'.

Bring Back EP at LP said...

Agreed Harry but they cannot direct the missiles to specific targets. They are a hit and miss missile so to speak.

I think that Israel was equally concerned that the missiles could go a lot further than previously and hit much more populous areas.

Anonymous said...

Hezbollah are still 'loved' by Syria and Iran and Israel has warned them