Iran and Syria Press Ahead to Form Line of Confrontation States
Consider the events of the day while studying the map at the left. In Lebanon, Pierre Gemayel is assassinated and a second anti-Syrian politician and cabinet minister in the government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora narrowly escapes an assassination attempt. Hezbollah is calling its followers out into the streets, threatening to overthrow the Saniora Government. This is a coup in progress.
The government of Iraq--the very government that the American Left and Al Qaida accuse of being an American puppet regime--restores diplomatic relations with Syria for the first time in 14 years. The Presidents of Iraq and Syria are invited by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a weekend summit in Tehran.
It seems clear that the Syria-Iran axis is applying a full-court press to achieve its strategic objective--the creation of a solid line of confrontation states ranging from Lebanon on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, through Syria and Iraq, to Iran on the Persian Gulf. This alliance would create a continuous hostile front aimed at America's allies in the region: Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf States. The real target is America's influence in the region.
Why now? What has changed since the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon in 2005, when Lebanon asserted its independence following the Syrian-inspired assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on February 14, 2005?
First came Israel's failure to fully defeat Hezbollah during the war this past summer. Then came United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 1701, which essentially handed South Lebanon back to Hezbollah, which regrouped and rearmed following its incomplete thrashing by Israel. Finally came the mounting opposition in the United States to staying the course in Iraq, culminating in the midterm elections that brought Democratic majorities into both houses of Congress. Rarely have the results of an American election had a more immediate impact on international affairs. Iran, Syria and Hezbollah have closely studied the developments on the American polticial scene, and have concluded that the United States has lost the will to defy their advance.
Unfortunately, they may be right.