Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Iranian-Syrian Crescent: As Hezbollah Continues Its Conquest of Lebanon, Don't Lose Sight of the Strategic Threat to the U.S.

Hezbollah militias continued their attacks on pro-government supporters in Lebanon on Sunday, attacking Druse villages in the mountains surrounding Beirut. Encouragingly, all theree of the leading Presidential candidates have noted the seriouness of the Hezbollah threat to the Lebanese government. However, do the policies advocated by Senator Barack Obama toward Iraq and Iran show that he truly understands the strategic threat to the United States, of which the current fighting in Lebanon is just one theater?

The Hedgehog Blog first described this challenge in a post on November 21, 2006, entitled, "Iran and Syria Press Ahead to Form Line of Confrontation States." At the time, I wrote:

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.

Speaking of the Democratic midterm election victories in 2006, when the Democratic Party regained control of both Houses of Congress, on the basis of what appeared to American sentiment against continuing U.S. military involvement in Iraq, I wrote

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.

What was true in 2006 will be even more true in the 2008 Presidential Election. Consider the likelihood that the next President of the United States will be Barack Obama, and that he will make good his promise to precipitously withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq within six months of taking office. Iranian influence would dominate Iraq, even without any overt military moves. Coupled with Hezbollah control over Lebanon, the crescent of anti-American confrontation states would be complete, forming a noose tightening around the Arabian oil states.

Couple that with Democratic refusal to develop domestic oil reserves, and where would the U.S. be? From whom would we buy our oil? From an increasingly confrontational Russia, or a hostile Venezuela?

Imagine the heights to which the the price of oil, and then gasoline, would then reach. And it will not be because of oil company windfall profits.


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