The Anti-Dean: The Wall Street Journal Gets It Right
As noted below, Howard Dean almost infallibly gets it wrong. ("Infallibly gets it wrong" admittedly is technically an oxymoron, but appropriate in Dean's case.) In contrast, the Wall Street Journal--the anti-Dean--almost always gets it right. (It is noteworthy that a liberal columnist in today's Los Angeles Times, in listing the political crimes of Joe Lieberman, cited as one of his offenses that he has published opinion pieces in "the ultraconservative Wall Street Journal editorial pages." Heavens, what next?)
Today's lead editorial in the WSJ.com Opinion Journal, entitled "Iran's First Strike", is no exception. WSJ sets out the evidence that the Hamas attack on Israel in the south and the Hezbollah attack on Israel in the north were coordinated by Iran, with the active assistance of its Syrian ally. As WSJ notes, its analysis is shared by Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, who recently told al-Arabiya television that "What is happening in Lebanon is part of the struggle between Syria and Iran on the one side and Israel on the other." And: "Iran is saying to the U.S.: '[If] you want to fight in the Gulf or hit our nuclear facilities, we will hurt you in your home, in Israel.' "
The Journal then observes:
The question going forward is whether the Bush Administration will acknowledge this Lebanon conflict as the strategic threat it is and fight back accordingly. That means at a minimum allowing our ally in the region, Israel, the time and diplomatic support to deal Iran's Hezbollah proxies a heavy blow. Israel has already cut off supply lines from Syria by land and air. And now it is working systematically to destroy the military force that Hezbollah has accumulated, especially its missiles, which now include radars that can hit a warship and perhaps have the range to reach Tel Aviv.
If, as we believe, Iran did coordinate the Hamas and Hezbollah attacks as a challenge to the United States and Israel, the results have not been the capitulation that Iran had hoped for. As The Hedgehog Blog noted on Sunday, after the ferocious Israeli reaction, Iran made an abrupt and startling turn-around from its previous refusal to negotiate giving up its nuclear program. Jules Crittenden, a columnist for the Boston Herald, concurs with our cause-and-effect analysis in this piece.