Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Remember Hezbollah

Stratfor believes that while al-Qaeda has declined under US blows, Hezbollah remainds largely intact. If Iran replaces Iraq as the focus of US effort, Hezbollah will inevitably come to the forefront.

Unlike al Qaeda, which has been badly damaged as an organization since 9/11, Hezbollah has never been stronger -- and does pose a strategic threat to the United States. In addition to Hezbollah -- which might be better positioned to conduct attacks in many parts of the world than the Iranian government itself -- Iran's retaliatory plans would include other external surrogates, as well as indigenous Iranian forces such as the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which includes its Quds Force and Special Unit of Martyr Seekers.

The political focus may shifting from Iraq to Iran. The Washington Note describes this letter from Chuck Hagel to President Bush to make an unconditional commitment to diplomacy in order to dispel any fears that a new war with Iran is in the offing.

I write to urge you to consider pursuing direct, unconditional and comprehensive talks with the Government of Iran. ... Unless there is a strategic shift, I believe we will find ourselves in a dangerous and increasingly isolated position in the coming months. I do not see how the collective actions that we are now taking will produce the results that we seek. If this continues, our ability to sustain a united international front will weaken as countries grow uncertain over our motives and unwilling to risk open confrontation with Iran, and we are left with fewer and fewer policy options.

The difficulty with Hagel's suggestion is that a unilateral renunciation the possibility of military action may actually reduce the prospect of diplomatic success. The Christian Science Monitor observes that "Iran is the new Iraq", the new foreign policy fault line that divides opinion on how best to handle Islamic radicalism.


Blogger RWE said...

"Iran's retaliatory plans would include other external surrogates..."

Does anyone else think it odd that Iran threatens to activate its vast army of terrorist cells when threatened?

I can think of nothing more likely to cause the largest possible percentage of the U.S., European, Australian, etc, populations to demand that Iran be turned into a large scale simulation of the Moon than for Iran to "activate its terrorist cells."

Nor would anything be more likely to ensure the permanent destruction of those cells than their use "en masse."

They try that, and we even will have Dennis Freakin' Kucinich screaming for us to flash fry their whole country. The Weather Channel will be giving forecasts for Tehran: "Scattered mushroom clouds and a high temperature of 4500 deg" Hillary and Lehey will demand Congressional hearings into why we did not have 500 Megaton bombs ready to drop on Iran.

They people MUST be crazy.

10/31/2007 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Noocyte said...

It is threats like these from Iran which so definitively put the lie to the arguments of those who mock the analogy of today's Iran with Germany of the mid-Thirties. Iran, they argue is nothing like the military and industrial powerhouse of Germany during that period. Its GDP is minuscule compared to that of Hitler's Germany...


They are misusing the analogy by slavishly and literally applying the threat profile of a twentieth century nation-state in the run-up to a twentieth-century war to that of a 21st-century amalgam of state and non-state actors in a 21st-century war. Whether they are doing this out of a disingenuous attempt to obfuscate the terms of the argument or out of a sad deficiency in the capacity for abstract reasoning is an open question for me.

Iran is perilous out of all proportion to its (not inconsiderable but far inferior) ability to field a conventional force in an open battlespace, or to the raw megatonneage of nuclear ordnance it can deploy. It has amply demonstrated in the past, and explicitly threatened for the future to employ a Robbian "Global Guerrilla" style of networked asymmetrical warfare. Distributed attacks on infrastructure, unpredictable mass-casualty attacks by various proxies, and --most horrifyingly-- "plausibly deniable" hand-offs of nuclear materials to various "external surrogates" for radiological or even small thermonuclear devices...we're talking here about some serious force multiplying capabilities.

So, bleatings by Panglossian Transnationals or hidebound "realists" aside, the only sensible position given the overwhelming preponderance of the evidence is that Iran poses an existential threat to Israel, and a grievous strategic threat to Europe and the US. Talk of taking the military option off the table is, quite simply, mad. That option should remain squarely in the center of the table...with a noisily ticking timer...whose inexorably descending digits are hidden from the Mullahs' a locked room.

10/31/2007 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

The "Shits" revolution is a deep seated belief...

Do not be fooled about surgical strikes will tame this beast, this is a movement that by it's own choice sent 100,000's of thousands of kids to their deaths as human mine sweepers, it is the current president of this movement that was in charge of this child/martyrdom operation.

If the dogs of war are unleashed we will have to take extreme actions against hezbollah, syria, hamas, iran & others in their sphere of influence. They have already declared all Americans "terrorists" and have declared the legal right to murder those that simply insult their faith.

We can win this war, but it will be bloody and it will not be politically correct.....

But do not doubt that the iranians are serious and do not have any doubts that they would have no problem sacrificing 10,000,000 of their own if they could destroy EITHER the Great Satan (usa) of the Little Satan (israel)

when those who seek our genocidal elimination actively pursue such aims we must employ all means available.

I go back to my "pork rinds for allah" thesis, hit them on all levels.

Destroy their weapons, oil industry & refineries, command and control, armies and yes kill and bag the mullahs in pig skins for all the islamic world to see...

complete and utter humiliation, prove to the "shits" and the "suns" that allah has abandoned them, the the dhimmi west is a tool of allah to defeat them.

Will this happen? I doubt it...

but I do see us going to war and pulling our punches. just as israel did in southern lebanon last summer.

Can you imagine the news if Israel, in response to 100's of rockets, fired back at the populated areas of shits in southern lebanon?

In the end however all arab/islamic revolts have been put down this way. From Black September to Hama.... The ONLY thing that islamists understand is complete destruction.

10/31/2007 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

If Iran launched a global guerilla campaign, Britain and the EU would promptly surrender. Already Labor is arguing in favor of "eradicating" Christmas and replacing it with Muslim festivals, people in schools, both students and staff, are forced to dress as Muslims, and Labor's policy is to replace British customs with foreign ones for Multiculturalism, and encourage settlement of the countryside by foreigners (read: Muslims).

Hillary would also surrender. Her live-in Lesbian Lover, Humma Abedin, is tied through her parents to some nasty people in the Magic Kingdom. Though a US citizen she spent most of her childhood and young adulthood in Saudi.

No Dem would do anything other than surrender. Susan Faludi wrote a book decrying the War on Terror because it marginalizes feminists who are of no use in times of peril. That's the Dem party in a microcosm.

10/31/2007 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Towering Barbarian said...

"Susan Faludi wrote a book decrying the War on Terror because it marginalizes feminists who are of no use in times of peril."

Whiskey, do you remember the title of that book? o_O

It sounds like the sort of thing that cries out to Heaven for a good fisking sometime and I think I'd enjoy doing it. n_n

10/31/2007 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Unless world views are going to change anytime soon then Hezbollah "coming to the forefront" would be a good thing because they could be confronted directly, and decisively.

Maybe I'm just projecting my own attitude but I get a sense that more and more people in the US, and perhaps more particularly in Europe, know that the intrusion of the strange marriage of Islamism/Marxism cannot continue much longer without dire consequences for the liberty of future generations. People are starting to say what they have already been thinking for a long time.

Whether or not the mucky mucks who run the major political parties pick up on these vibes or not, and if they do whether they promote them or oppose them, will be interesting to say the least.

11/01/2007 05:27:00 AM  
Blogger BrianFH said...

Just a quibble, but it would be "kilotonnage"; AFAIK A-bombs can't be cranked up to the megaton range.

The distinction that exists here between the orientation and wishes of the populace and the regime is especially stark. Devastating the country would be a weak second or third choice for ending the Mullocracy.

you notice the clause in Chuckie's letter: "I do not see how ...". And that's the problem. The D's just can't grok the sheer worthlessness of diplomacy, sanctions, etc. when faced with Totalitarian Hubris. It just doesn't register.

11/01/2007 05:59:00 AM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

Hezbollah is sitting in the cat bird seat, after watching the Lebanese army maneuver in the PLO camps, and the Israeli army's actions in the south before that, they have had the opportunity to harvest a great deal of intel.

Hezbollah's movement through Damascus and I think to some lesser degree through Beirut have not been restrained, but certain ambitions have no doubt been put on hold, while putting the Levant like plan in place in the south of Iraq. At this rate there's about to be a whole lot of Shi'ah-ache-ing going on.

11/01/2007 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

By the way, Col Paul Tibbets, pilot of the B-29 that dropped the nuclear weapon on Hiroshima, and the commander of the 509th Bomb Group, died today at the age of 92.

He requested no funeral and no headstone, so to reduce the chance for protests.

This is how a man that did so much to save an entire race from self-genocide is treated today.

The Iranians should be as lucky as the Japanese.

11/01/2007 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger davod said...

The next time the Israelis attack Hezbolah they will go to war. They will use any non nuclear means to fight and eradicate Hezbolah. If this means civilian casulaties because of Hezbolah's tactics so be it.

Then agaian, maybe this is just wishfull thinking on my part (The all out war, not the civilian casualties).

11/02/2007 01:59:00 AM  

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